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Transport And Social Exclusion

Volume 400: debated on Wednesday 26 February 2003

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The Minister for Social Exclusion and Deputy Minister for Women
(Mrs. Barbara Roche)

The Social Exclusion Unit has today published Making the Connections, its final report on Transport and Social Exclusion. Copies have been placed in the Library.

This report sets out a new strategy to help people on low incomes get to work and key services like jobs, schools and hospitals. The report includes a package of measures across government to improve transport links and to support people on low incomes and in deprived areas in reaching the services we all need.

The cornerstone of the report is a new commitment to accessibility planning, in which local transport authorities will lead a process of auditing and action to ensure accessibility—meaning that people can get where they need to go.

The report builds on existing Government initiatives to help improve accessibility, like the £123 million funding of the Rural and Urban Bus Challenges. It includes action right across central and local Government, for example:

Better travel information in Jobcentre Plus offices to help broaden horizons for those seeking work
£l4 million to help fund new transport to college
Transport to healthcare organised around the needs of the patient and supported by better information on travel options
Better joint working between local authorities and Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships to reduce crime and fear of crime around public transport
Revised planning guidance so new services are easier to reach

To help tackle higher rates of pedestrian deaths in deprived areas—a further issue highlighted in the report—Transport Ministers announced last November that £17 million of Government investment will go to the most deprived local authorities to help bring those rates down.