New community transport network launch a ‘significant event’

The creation of a new partnership to enhance and co-ordinate community transport in the West of Scotland is “one of the most significant events in the history of transport in Scotland”, Traffic Commissioner Joan Aitken has said.

The West of Scotland Community Transport Network will see Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) work with stakeholders in the community transport sector at regional and national level to monitor, evaluate and improve vital services delivered to commuters across the West of Scotland.

Speaking at the launch of the Network in Glasgow today – which was attended by representatives from more than 40 organisations, including community transport operators, voluntary and community groups and statutory bodies – Ms Aitken said:

“SPT is one of the best Regional Transport Partnerships in Britain and a force for good.

“The creation of this network is one of the most significant events in the history of community transport in Scotland. SPT is using its considerable resources to support this new Community Transport Network, which will give me as Traffic Commissioner the assurance I need that quality community services will be delivered and that passengers will be safe.

“As the use of community transport grows, I want to make sure that it is properly supported, and this network and the work of SPT is a very positive contribution.”

SPT Vice Chair Denis McKenna, who chaired the launch, added:

“Community transport projects are set to play an increasingly important role in the transport mix for local communities.

“While SPT is committed to providing socially necessary transport, the hard truth is that we are simply not in a position to afford to plug all the gaps left by the withdrawal of commercial operators, and we want to work in partnership to develop innovative solutions to meeting some of these gaps.

“This network will allow SPT to work with community transport providers to co-ordinate, enhance and better utilise our resources to ensure the West of Scotland has a Community Transport Sector that is fit for purpose and can rise to the challenges and opportunities it faces in the future.”