The evidence that climate change is the result of human actions is becoming increasingly stronger, as is the need to take action to limit the worst effects of climate change on the planet. However, politicians continue to equivocate and fail to address the trade-offs which are needed to deliver effective action. In this paper, we report on the potential of bottom-up approaches to transport planning to address the trade-offs between the need to reduce car-based travel and the social consequences of poor mobility options in rural areas. Using the theories of Sustainable Communities and Communities of Practice, we analyse the implementation of the Robin demand-responsive transport service in the West of England, presenting new data relating to the effectiveness of this service in providing low-carbon transport alternatives to rural residents. We find that the Robin is indeed effective, and that it has worked better in one location, where engagement with potential new users of the service has been prioritised. We conclude that such bottom-up transport options can be transformative, subject to the support of key stakeholders and integration with top-down systems of governance.
- Sustainability trap
- sustainability trap