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Scottish Rural and Islands Transport Community (SIRTC) BYOC Cafe: Friday 26 February 2021

Webinar in progressd

Attendees at the webinar

© John Yellowlees 2021

Simon Young in Oxfordshire has devised Project Move with a vaccine bus to take clinical services direct to the public. Lots of buses are off the road, no-one is using public transport, so decided to see how we can take out seats, put in booths for testing, vaccination and other services.

Lent vehicle by Oxford Bus Company, doesn't lose PSV status, had to leave wheelchair-accessible area, created three pods at front with fridge, lockers and rest area at back. Could put up gazebo outside for people waiting. Could include a generator. Localised testing, keeping people out of hospitals. Next stage could be vans. Had to deep-clean, you could not believe how dirty the bus was. Need to provide for a weekly deep-clean.

Thurston Hodge in Scottish Borders is working on a project that aims to figure what are the rural issues and to identify solutions - eg ebikes, paths, ride-sharing, car-sharing, roaming information hub. Looking at organised hitchhiking to keep young people in rural areas. Carrying freight together with passengers on a bus is now almost impossible, preventing a village bus from servicing a village shop.

Greg Gormley founded SKOOT after his daughter earned £65 giving lifts identified on SnapChat. LIftsharing is great apart from the awkward human element of ordering a lift and agreeing payment. Aim is to create a foundation, with an iPad in a community hall enabling people to order lifts, planting trees to stay carbon-neutral. The movement is growing worldwide, with Liftshare in the UK. Currently confined to friends, concerned about scams in the pandemic but would like to expand to errands.

Terry Hagerty sees disclosure and digital connectivity as issues in rural areas. Road Equivalent Tariff is a double-edged sword for the islands, which need more than just a mass influx of campervans.

Notes by John Yellowlees

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