Rural Transport Grants Scheme launches

Funding available for community transport operators in Mid Suffolk is set to better connect local communities and reduce emissions

Mid Suffolk District Council have launched a new Rural Transport Grants Scheme to help provide passenger transport routes across their district.

The hope is to better connect local communities and reduce emissions, by providing viable alternatives to solo car journeys.

This will, in turn, help lower emissions and improve air quality in line with the council’s and the Suffolk Climate Change Partnership’s net zero emissions targets.

Six grants of up to £100,000 are available.

Each is allocated to one of six areas of operation, which include:

  1. Central Mid Suffolk
  2. South Mid Suffolk
  3. South East Mid Suffolk
  4. South West Mid Suffolk
  5. North East Mid Suffolk
  6. North West Mid Suffolk

Existing community transport operators can apply to deliver a transport service within any of the areas via the councils website, until Monday 15 April 2024.

Applications will need to show, among other aspects:

  • how the route will be run in the greenest and most sustainable way possible
    This could include utilising hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) or biofuel, and minimising ‘dead mileage’, with ambitions to go electric as soon as it becomes a viable option
  • that strategic stops have been considered, such as rail stations, colleges and healthcare sites, among others
    This is to ensure any new service appeals to a wide demographic supporting residents of all ages
Cllr Teresa Davis, cabinet member for thriving towns and rural communities at Mid Suffolk District Council, said: 

“This grant scheme is all about increasing availability and routes of community buses in Mid Suffolk, not only for those in need, but to offer more choice for people to opt for something other than their car."

The council will continue to monitor other related and local projects, which may change the picture for service provision across the county.

They include local taxi-bus pilots, central Government grant schemes, and existing community transport provision, such as Suffolk County Council’s ‘Connecting Communities’

Find more information about the Rural Transport Grants Scheme

Rural Transport Grants Scheme