Today FEP is pleased to publish its first transport study reports
Travel data is often collected around pinchpoints and problems. Indeed, Highways England’s and other transport network’s first question is how big is the problem that needs solving before any resource can be allocated. Away from the trunk road network, the responsibility typically lies with the County Council for road maintenance and improvements. Again this tends to be problem focused for existing routes and planning focused for new developments. There is limited real up to date data on general usage away from problems and new developments.
For public transport in the district with only 1 railway station for 203 square miles, this again falls on road transport providers such as buses, community transport and taxis. Buses are constrained by the need to run historic routes. Where these are recognised as commercial unviable, the slack is taken up by community transport running reduced timetabled or dial-a-ride services. The opportunity to research new and evolving needs is therefore constrained.
Transport Studies in the Forest of Dean
The Transport Study is therefore a fundamental project for the District. In 2021 working with Rural Techs on their MERGeS project, FEP was pleased to undertake two surveys about current travel needs and usage. We asked as many as possible of those living in the District to complete the Forest Inhabitants Transport Study as an online questionnaire while a core team surveyed a specific group of companies to find out about their employee needs.
Together the surveys create an interesting picture of the real transport needs of the District when not under Covid restrictions. It highlights the current mismatch between public transport provision and demand leading to an over-reliance on the car. They challenge some of the perceptions around active travel such as walking and cycling. But above all they support the need for a radical overhaul of transport options if the district is to capitalise on new ways of working, studying and accessing medical care and to play a real part in reducing transport’s role as one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions and climate change.
Please click the highlights to find the full published reports for:
The published research was undertaken as part of Rural Techs MERGeS project funded by the Geospatial Commission’s Innovate UK SBRI competition: Using geospatial data to solve transport challenges phase 1. The Geospatial Commission & Innovate UK do not endorse any of the findings or positions outlined in the work being published by the projects.