New models of delivery for Community transport
Faced with a need to cut costs in all areas of passenger transport, including public, education and social services transport, Cambridgeshire County Council instigated a Transport Summit held at March Town Hall in February 2011. The summit was to seek agreement amongst those involved in the delivery of transport and with a an interest in transport outcomes, to work collaboratively to see what could be achieved by working across organisational boundaries.
Bluemarble was engaged to facilitate a Solution Centre programme to develop ways in which partners could achieve their agreed ambition to join up resources, priorities, people and journeys, and transport operators to achieve wider community outcomes through a more efficient, effective and co-ordinated approach to transport.
A cross-organisational group, with representation from local authorities (at Cabinet Member level), NHS Cambridgeshire and Cambridgeshire ACRE oversee the work. The group has been supported by a core Solutions Group of representatives from across all sectors, including transport operators, who have developed a model of delivery, that includes proposals for:
• a joint strategic commissioning body (Transport for Cambridgeshire) that brings together resources from the funding bodies, including local authorities public, education, special needs, adult social care and health transport
• local transport consortia (owned by communities) to determine local transport priorities and deliver statutory outcomes, through integrating local services and incentives to generate improved service accessibility and transport innovations.
Following Cabinet approvals the programme is now developing a small number of pathfinder projects that will allow the testing of different approaches, including the use of micro-franchises. Subject to the business case, it is anticipated that one or more of the pathfinders will go live by the end of the year and that roll out of local transport consortia will take place over the next few years.
The new model would allow partners to explore the potential to innovate and improve service accessibility through a more integrated, efficient approach to delivering transport in line with statutory and discretionary policies. It is anticipated that Cambridgeshire Future Transport will be able to deliver wider community outcomes through identifying practical, achievable and sustainable solutions that will achieve greater value for money. The new model aims to stimulate market innovation and response as well as open opportunities to create new community joint ventures.
“The Bluemarble approach has brought partners together for the first time in a way that is enabling a truly innovative solution to emerge. Their role as independent facilitators has ensured we have achieved engagement across senior political and officer stakeholders that will support us going forward with implementation of the pathfinder projects”
Clr McGuire Deputy Leader, Cambridgeshire County Council