RACV calls for better coordination of transport services in rural areas
The recently released RACV report – referred to by Peter McMahon in his comments on attracting Greyhound Coaches back to the East Coast route – found that older non-drivers find it difficult to get to social occasions and that they lose their independence.
The RACV’s chief behavioural scientist, Anne Harris, says “Older people, we found, have become very isolated once they stopped driving.”
She also finds that younger people in rural areas can miss out on education or training opportunities, if they don’t have a parent to drive them. Opportunities for work and training can be rare so young people should be able to take them up without transport being a barrier.
The report recommends the State Government appoint regional transport coordinators to organise alternatives. Coordination of all existing options was the ‘standout need’ put to me last year by Sheryl McHugh of Wellington Shire’s ‘Let’s get connected program’.
When comparing Victorian services with some of the best practice international approaches the key components noted are:
In essence the report says the Victorian State Government needs to be far more proactive in the transport/mobility area AND to commit resources to develop a more effective, integrated program.
PWF would love to hear how rural & regional areas in other states have managed – What’s worked ? What hasn’t?
Related PWF article – A joint approach to transport issues in rural & remote Victorian towns