West Berkshire gets grant to improve access to amenities in rural areas
West Berkshire Council has been successful in its bid for a £196,000 study to find ways of improving community transport access to a range of essential services.
The successful bid means the “Total Transport” grant will now go towards a feasibility study to identify options of improving access to education, employment, healthcare, leisure and shopping for residents in isolated areas.
The study will consider the rural parts of West Berkshire together with the adjoining western ward within Wokingham and will be undertaken in partnership with the Institute for Sustainable Solutions Research at Plymouth University.
Head of Highways and Transport for West Berkshire Mark Edwards said that intial work with the university was already underway and would take around two years to complete.
He said: “It is anticipated that the study findings, recommendations and the follow up action plan are likely to have a national relevance and could be rolled out to similar geographical areas nationwide.
“At a local level, it will benefit residents in outlying communities across West Berkshire and neighbouring Wokingham to access essential amenities where conventional bus services are no longer viable or appropriate.”
The study will be created in partnership with a range of organisations including the NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups for Newbury & District and Wokingham, Community Transport providers and Voluntary Groups.