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09/11/2011 - Value of Community Transport Research Findings

 
The HITRANS Partnership at their meeting in Stornoway on 7th October considered the findings of consultants DHC and TAS who HITRANS engaged to undertake a review of five community transport schemes in the Highlands and Islands. The aim of this work was to identify the social benefits, both financial and non-financial, of a small sample of community transport projects in the Highlands and Islands.
The individual projects were chosen to give a range of different types of service which have been designed to serve different sectors of the community. It is hoped that by studying these specific projects in detail, it will be possible to measure the benefits arising from their operation.

The projects considered in the study were:
• Argyll and Bute Council – Red Cross
• Comhairle nan Eilean Siar – Tagsa Uibhist
• Highland Council – Morvern Community Transport
• Moray Council – Speyside Community Car Scheme
• Orkney Council area – Orkney Disability Forum Dial A Bus Scheme

The findings of the report have identified the very real value community transport offers to the communities served. This value is evident in both social and economic terms. Across the five case studies, the cost of replacing the CT provision with commercially managed transport services would be in excess of £500k, which is an order of magnitude greater than the level of current council spending on CT. The CT projects also deliver much more than a transport service. Added value derives not just from volunteer time, but an ability to connect with benefits across a wider range of policy areas than is possible with other transport delivery approaches.

Welcoming the findings of the research HITRANS Chair Cllr Duncan MacIntyre said,

“The work carried out for HITRANS on the Value of Community Transport has helped quantify the value these serves offer their communities in a way that we hope will help shape future policy on the investment in this area. Those of us who have worked with Community Transport groups know how important their services are but it is really good to have this research that presents the value of CT in a similar way to other appraisal techniques that support different forms of public spending.”

The full report on the Value of Community Transport Economic Analysis is available to download from the Research section of the HITRANS website.

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