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Cairngorms National Park is A Park for All

13th November 2007

A CONFERENCE is taking place this week to look at how transport can help improve social inclusion in the Cairngorms National Park’s rural communities.

The annual Park for All conference is taking place at the Lecht Ski and Activity Centre on Thursday November 15th from 10am-4pm. It is being organised by the Cairngorms National Park Authority.

The conference will look at community transport and its wider links to social inclusion, passenger transport and the national context and the barriers to accessing transport, in particular focusing on the role community transport can play in enabling disadvantaged groups to travel around the Park. It will also consider issues such as access, affordability, information for travellers, training for transport staff, the use of public sector and community transport resources, developing social enterprises and best practice.

A number of speakers are due to attend from a variety of backgrounds including transport, the public sector and community organisations. There will be a number of workshops on the day including social enterprise and community transport and addressing social inclusion.

The event will help to meet the fourth aim of the Park – to promote sustainable economic and social development of the area’s communities.

Elspeth Grant, the CNPA’s Social Inclusion Policy Officer, said: “We all need to be able to access essential transport services, for social and leisure reasons, to get to work and also simply to experience the Park.

“However transport is one of the key barriers to people engaging with the Park, and this is particularly felt by groups who are disadvantaged, whether through age, disability or low income.

“Transport must be accessible, affordable and information readily available to meet the needs of everyone. This conference will focus on these barriers and discuss the role that community transport can play to help in addressing them.”