8 July 2009: We've been saying for some time that people in isolated rural areas need better public transport. Now we're delighted to see the Tories pick up one of our ideas.
The Conservatives have promised £7 million if elected to pilot a national 'dial-a-taxi' scheme over 7 years. We suggested this in our report on rural transport. The scheme could mean that if you don't have a bus service you can get where you want by taxibus, if you book up to an hour in advance.
Does this mean there might be a time when people can live in the countryside without having to own a car? Maybe, but the Conservatives must be prepared to put more money into the scheme after the pilot, and taxibuses must be run in addition to normal buses, not instead of them. To stop traffic clogging up our countryside, we’re going to need more buses and more local rail, as well as more taxibuses.