South Somerset District Council is inviting residents in Crewkerne and elsewhere across the district, to apply to become part of a research group on rural transport services in South Somerset. For the past 12 months, SSDC has been investigating how a better rural transport service can be established. The district council have been working with partners, commercial providers of new technology and the Government’s innovation arm, the Connected Places Catapult, to look at creating alternatives to heavily subsidised fixed timetable and fixed journey services, which currently exist.

In a recent press release, a spokesperson for SSDC said: “An important part of this work is to fully understand the needs of residents. We are delighted to announce that the Connected Places Catapult has chosen South Somerset as the subject of its research, looking at a largely rural area. The first part of this activity is to put together a focus group of 15 people, who can help design and launch the study. We are particularly keen to hear from people who rely on public transport to move around the district and those who are eager to switch to public transport for environmental benefits.”

SSDC are looking for a representative group of residents across the district’s rural areas, including students going to college, people travelling to work and older residents needing to travel for healthcare. The study will also include shopping and meeting with family and friends. Residents who would like to put themselves forward for the research group, need to initially be available to take part in an online session on Monday July 13th and participate in two tasks based around how rural transport could be improved in South Somerset. Applications invited A member of the team will be in contact with successful applicants.

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