• Mapping Scotland: #MoreThanaMinibus

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    • Mapping Scotland: #MoreThanaMinibus
    • by David Kelly
      Director for Scotland

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    Mapping Scotland project

    Our flagship Mapping Scotland project was launched last year to research, map and analyse Scotland’s Community Transport sector with four big aims:

    • Recover from COVID-19: Understanding the impact of COVID-19 and making the case for change to secure evidence-based policymaking, greater recognition and more funding
    • Raise our profile: Demonstrating the diversity and strength of Community Transport to strengthen the sector, attract new talent, reach new audiences and restore passenger levels
    • Identify gaps and opportunities: Building new forums, facilitating collaborations and helping create new operators in the right places
    • Prepare for the future: Assessing the nature and scale of the sector’s challenges and opportunities to demand, design or deliver the investment and support you need from CTA, national or local government, regulators and funders

    It’s been a colossal endeavour for a small (but mighty!) Team Scotland. As part of a rigorous evidence-gathering process over the last 12 months, we’ve conducted or developed:

    • Extensive desk-based research on 168 operators across Scotland
    • Literature review of reports, strategies and plans
    • Dozens of interviews, visits and meetings with CTA members and stakeholders
    • Detailed quantitative survey responses from 70 CTA members
    • 14 case studies from operators across 11 local authorities

    And now, finally, thanks to the hard work of the CTA team, the support of Transport Scotland and the contribution of our members, we’re proud today to be able to publish our More Than a Minibus report and launch the first-ever map of Community Transport in Scotland.

    More Than a Minibus report

    Our report is the first ‘State of the Sector’ style report for the Community Transport sector in seven years and is packed with data, evidence and insights about operators, funding, permits, passengers, vehicles, staff, volunteers and more.

    You can download the report here to find out more.

    The minibus remains a symbol which many people closely associated with our sector – and we found that 2 in 3 Community Transport vehicles in Scotland are in fact minibuses. But our findings also powerfully illustrate that Community Transport is about so much #MoreThanaMinibus.

    Our sector brings people together, builds community wealth and tackles big problems like climate change, poverty, inequality, exclusion and loneliness. Over 12% of the sector’s fleet is now hybrid or electric, while 17% of operators run a food bank or community pantry. CTA members are also innovating with new and exciting modes and models, from e-bikes (5%) to car clubs (10%).

    As Scotland recovers from COVID-19, struggles with a cost of living crisis and transitions to net zero, Community Transport is more important than ever before.

    Nearly 1 in 2 operators reported increasing demand in 2021 and more than 2 in 3 now want to expand. Our research underlines the potential of our sector to accelerate climate action, reduce car use and reduce carbon emissions, but also reveals a ‘net zero funding gap’ of £87.4 million to fully electrify the Community Transport fleet.

    We’re committed to using the results of our research, as well as our map, to inform and enhance everything we do in the year ahead – from establishing new forums and curating exciting events, to engaging with funders and influencing policy.

    Map of Community Transport in Scotland

    Our interactive, online map features all 168 CTA members in Scotland and will, we hope, be a fantastic resource for:

    • New and existing operators to identify and collaborate with their peers and neighbours
    • Politicians, policymakers and regulators to implement policies and strategies which recognise and help our sector
    • Funders and stakeholders to understand and respond to the financial needs of our sector
    • Volunteers, passengers and the public to find services and opportunities near them

    You can view and use our interactive map here on Google Maps.

    Our report and our map are big steps forward for CTA and Community Transport in Scotland – but this is still just the start of our journey together.

    The Community Transport sector has built back better from the pandemic – and so have we. CTA’s Team Scotland will continue to strengthen as we deliver on our ambitions to champion, connect, support and grow the sector.

    I look forward to hearing your views on what our research can tell us – and what comes next. If you’re a CTA member, join me and Jenny Gilruth MSP, Scotland’s Transport Minister, at CTA Scotland Conference 2022 in Perth next week to discuss our findings and be part of the conservation about the future of Community Transport.

    If you’re one of our stakeholders or partners, I’d be very happy to talk you through our findings or present our research to your colleagues, members or network. Just email me at david.kelly@ctauk.org.

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