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Solving Mobility challenges in Rural England

Paul Curtis, Vectos Associate Director, presented on “Connecting Rural Communities through Smart Transport and Mobility” at the Rural Conference 2018 last week.

The Rural Conference 2018 provided an opportunity for public and private sector rural bodies from all over the country to come together to find solutions to the social and economic issues that face rural communities, to benefit the nation as a whole.

Paul is leading Vectos’ contribution to the EU R&D project SMARTA (Smart Rural Transport Areas).

SMARTA is developing new insights into the challenges faced by rural communities across the world in maintaining good transport services and accessibility. The research and pilots will provide us with a series of mobility solutions that can be deployed across the UK and other countries to benefit local economies and keep communities connected. These include demand and shared mobility services, new technologies, new platforms and cross-sector working. The project will build a network of stakeholders to share these good practices and help overcome barriers.

“Vectos is researching into the policies in different countries which can help or hinder the delivery of rural mobility services and make recommendations for how these can be improved; building the business case for cross-sector collaboration, opening the door to more cost effective, flexible and on-demand services,” he said.

“We will help coordinate the delivery and evaluation of the pilots by reviewing the social, economic and environmental benefits, as well as those associated with improved accessibility.

“The conference has helped Vectos create valuable connections with the Rural Services Network, Rural England, English local authorities and other service providers to collate good practice examples of improving last mile connectivity with rural communities.

“We are identifying potential pilot sites to trial and evaluate new and extended mobility services which use new technologies and sharing to make better use of existing transport capacity.”

You can contact Paul at [email protected] if you are interested in learning more about the project or getting involved.

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