PTEG (the Passenger Transport Executive Group) have published, what I consider to be, an extremely important report on the role of the bus – you can find it here: http://pteg.net/resources/types/reports/making-connections-cross-sector-benefits-supporting-bus-services
So why is it so important? Well for starters, it is extremely relevant to the research I am currently doing in my spare time for my PhD!!!
The report is an articulation of the role of transport as a utility that supports all areas of our lives, supports communities, people, businesses and so on. The report focuses on the role of the bus – given the bus is the forgotten mode of transport, ignored, mostly unloved, sneered at by some, avoided by others, and also an absolutely critical artery in the lifeblood of all of our towns and cities.
I really like the structure of the report and its illustration of how the bus supports a great number of policy objectives – not including the Department for Transport, there are 11 Government departments with a chapter exploring how the bus supports their work. Taking us to the sensible next question – so why are buses (and transport) relatively underfunded and ignored given the much greater role it plays in supporting a great number of social, environmental and economic policy objectives. Which then leads us to the debate around – why don’t these other Departments fund transport interventions that will deliver benefits for them…?
Well, in a few years time I will complete my PhD research and i will have some answers and a lot of evidence on this very subject 😉