The purpose of this research is to provide a comprehensive overview of the challenges to developing more sustainable travel patterns for those living in rural areas without increasing transport-related social exclusion, and to provide a range of policy proposals for how these challenges can be overcome or minimised.
The approach is to view rural transport in the broader and necessary context of sustainability. The research takes the perspective that sustainable rural transport must be developed by considering its role in achieving sustainability.
Following a review of current trends in rural areas, this research identifies the unsustainable nature of mobility patterns. Inadequacies in existing transport provision in rural Ireland are identified by way of example. This situation is compounded by a lack of funding, coordinated policies and data. The report outlines a number of international case studies. The lessons deduced from the case studies suggest that a two pronged approach – one of transport reduction (i.e. reducing the amount of individual vehicle kilometres driven) combined with transport provision – is required when developing a sustainable rural transport policy.