Accessible and affordable transport is a lifeline for many rural residents. However, with a backdrop of budget cuts, Suffolk and Essex county councils were finding it challenging to sustain the existing transport network and meet statutory commitments.

The councils jointly commissioned FutureGov as part of a Department for Transport (DfT) funded project that explored opportunities for radically redesigning the way rural transport services are supplied.


We initially carried out in-depth research, including interviews and ride-alongs, with rural residents, transport suppliers, and industry experts. We looked to understand the problem areas and spot opportunities. Over the following months, we designed a concept for a digital platform that enabled existing transport providers to provide a flexible “better bus” service to rural communities by utilising their spare capacity.

FutureGov has really developed our thinking about how a digital-led approach could transform the visibility of demand and supply to create and test a bold new approach to the challenges of rural transport.

Aiden Dunn

Interim Director of Resource Management, Suffolk County Council


million people in the UK live in rural areas


forecast saving in commissioning transport services


The prototype concept gained the support of leading transport industry experts at the Transport Systems Catapult and DfT due to its unique potential to transform rural mobility. As a result, the concept could increase the number of paying passengers on rural services by over 50% and save up to £4 million for Essex by boosting competitive commissioning.

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We’re always happy to answer any questions you have about FutureGov and discuss how we can work together.

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