A first-of-its-kind event at empowering community groups to help address Fenland’s rural transport challenges takes place in the district next month.
The Fenland Transport Conference 2017: Shaping Transport in Our Community is being held at the GER Social Club in March on Thursday, October 12, from 10am to 4pm.
Town and parish councils, schools, organisations, health care providers and local charities are invited to the event, along with transport providers and companies, and it is also open to the public.
Organised by the Fenland Transport and Access Group (TAG) with support and sponsorship from train operator CrossCountry, the conference is aimed at anyone affected by or with an interest in local transport.
It will discuss transport issues across Fenland, share information and knowledge on existing transport services and explore ways in which community groups can work together to improve the local transport network.
It will also be an early opportunity to help develop a new transport strategy for Fenland and to influence the content and ideas for the first neighbourhood planning transport guide being developed by TAG and CrossCountry.
Councillor Simon King, Fenland’s Cabinet member for transport, said: “This is a chance for members of the community to learn from local transport experiences and expertise, and consider ways in which Fenland’s accessibility challenges can be met.
“Developing a rural transport network that is integrated, accessible and affordable will help enhance the quality of life for people living and working in Fenland by improving their access to services, leisure activities and employment.”
Event sponsor CrossCountry, the UK’s largest passenger train operator, supports many Community Rail Partnerships throughout the country. Their involvement in the Fenland Transport Conference is through its Your Railway Our Community fund and forms part of its ongoing work to assist with delivering local transport improvements.
Chris Leech, CrossCountry’s business community manager, said: “We are pleased to be supporting the Fenland Transport Conference, and to help the development of a new strategy to meeting the area’s transport needs. Good transport services are as important to rural areas as they are for larger towns and cities, as they provide opportunities for leisure and business travel, connect communities, strengthen local economies and promote social inclusion.”
The conference includes presentations from CrossCountry, the Association of Community Rail Partnerships and TAG members.
There will also be question and answer sessions, workshops and group discussions.
Members of the public are welcome to attend, but as places are limited they must be booked in advance by 5pm on Friday, October 6. For more information and to book a place, contact Wendy Otter or Belinda Pedler from the Council’s transport team on 01354 622318 or 622324.
The Fenland Transport and Access Group is made up of a number of organisations including Cambridgeshire ACRE, Cambridgeshire County Council, Fenland District Council, Care Network, Fenland Area Community Transport (FACT), Sustrans and town and parish council representatives. It membership draws together expertise in transport planning, public and community transport operation and elected members, and aims to ensure that transport is available to meet the basic needs of all residents.