Faced with a need to cut costs in all areas of passenger transport Cambridgeshire County Council established agreement amongst those involved in both transport delivery and community outcomes to collaborate to see what innovative solutions could be achieved by working across organisational boundaries.
Bluemarble were engaged to facilitate a solution programme. A cross-organisational governance group, chaired at Cabinet member level, with representation from all local authorities, NHS Cambridgeshire and Cambridgeshire voluntary sector, was established to oversee the work. A core ‘Solutions Group’ of representatives from across all sectors, including transport operators, came together over a 10 week period to develop a new integrated model of delivery, including proposals for:
• a joint strategic body (Transport for Cambridgeshire) to bring together resources from the funding authorities (including education, special needs, adult social care and non-emergency health transport), to align priorities, specify and commission statutory outcomes
• local transport consortia (owned by communities) to determine local priorities, deliver statutory outcomes and provide improved value for money through the smart design and integration of services across previous silos
Following Cabinet approvals the programme is now developing a small number of pathfinder projects that will allow the testing of tailored approaches for different localities, 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 aims to stimulate market innovation and response as well as open opportunities to create new community joint ventures.
“This is an exciting and bold project which could see the tens of millions of pounds spent across the county on passenger transport put in the hands of our communities to provide locally targeted transport. Not only does it give the decisions about how to provide local transport to local people, but through the micro-franchise scheme could see local enterprise being given a real boost”.
- Cambridgeshire County Councillor Ian Bates, Cabinet Member for Growth and Planning