Rural Transport

Rural Transport

Rural areas present some unique problems when it comes to providing access for people to necessary services and activities.  We believe that transport should be accessible, affordable, available and acceptable to all - and this applies across the board, not just in urban areas. However, the distinctive characteristics of rural areas often lead to reliance on the private car, which in turn has negative effects upon both the residents of rural areas and the environment in which they live.

ITP has expertise and experience in providing support and guidance to help our clients redress the dominance of the private car in a variety of different rural contexts.  This benefits the residents, businesses and visitors who live in and use these areas.  This may involve improving community collaboration and use of innovative measures such as demand-responsive bus or taxi schemes and car sharing.



  • Transport policy and strategy development and implementation
  • Public and stakeholder consultation
  • Community engagement
  • Development of new transport measures
  • Survey and case study research
  • Smarter Choices development and implementation
  • Innovative accessibility planning for rural areas
  • Monitoring and evaluation of transport interventions


Snow covered byway in winter

Project Examples

Rural transport thinkpiece - ITP authored a ‘think-piece’ examining sustainable transport issues that are relevant in rural communities for the Commission for Rural Communities (CRC).  The provocative study involved interviews with leading rural practitioners, and resulted in a commended ‘think-piece’ that was both published on the CRC web-site and presented to an invited high level audience.

Review of rural accessibility strategies - This ITP research project for the Commission for Rural Communities sought to provide an overview of accessibility planning within Local Transport Plans  in rural communities.  It comprised a review of 21 accessibility strategies from predominantly rural authorities and a number of telephone interviews with local authority officers.  We found that although accessibility planning was being undertaken in rural areas, the authorities interviewed experienced some unique issues relating to mapping and available guidance.

Stanhope transport and access study - Working closely with a steering group of local councils and local interest groups, ITP undertook a transport and access study for Stanhope market town.  This identified best practice for the management of all forms of traffic in the town.  We made recommendations for improvements to resolve issues around long and short-stay car parking, coach drop off and parking, mobility scooter management, walking and cycling, and rural transport integration.

Peak District sustainable transport action plan - Peak District National Park Authority (PDNPA) commissioned ITP to produce a Sustainable Transport Action Plan. The aim of the action plan was to feed into and influence the next round of the Local Transport Plans of those highways authorities that are situated within or adjacent to the national park.  Rather than duplicating existing statutory documents, the action plan complements and adds detail to the authority’s existing policies. We engaged with local and national stakeholders such as Natural England, the Highways Agency, Northern Rail, High Peak Borough Council and local highway authorities to get buy-in and ownership of the action plan by these agencies.

Rural accessibility best practice case studies - ITP was appointed by the Commission for Rural Communities to produce ten best practice case studies of rural-based accessibility projects arising from the local transport plan process.  The study involved an initial desk review of the accessibility process applied to rural communities, followed by on-site depth interviews with practitioners and stakeholders.  The work culminated in the production of a best practice report to be used alongside the LTP3 guidance issued by the DfT, and includes an examination of the background and scoping of each case study, funding models, partnership building and operational issues.