Maximising mobility and access to services in rural areas

Demographic change and limited public funding in remote rural areas threaten the accessibility of goods and social services in many countries in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR). The MAMBA project aims to meet this challenge by promoting sustainable “people-to-service” and “service-to-people” solutions in rural areas.

These guidelines seek to provide feasible policy recommendations for national, regional and local government bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and transport service providers. They offer insights into overcoming legal, financial and governance obstacles to rural transport solutions, and aim to improve and maximise both mobility and access to services in rural regions. They are based on what has been learned during the three-year project in the nine regions involved, which have tested pilot schemes and established mobility centres. The pilot actions were part of the MAMBA project co-funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme and included legislative, economic and social analyses.

The main recommendations for maximising mobility and access to services in rural areas are:

  1. Develop long-term mobility planning tools
  2. Improve social inclusion and access to services
  3. Try out innovative solutions using smaller vehicles
  4. Support grassroots initiatives
  5. Combine trips to save resources
  6. Establish conditions that guarantee mobility
  7. Make mobility-related procurement easier in
    rural areas
  8. Take risks and come up with innovative solutions
  9. Go digital.

This document is the official output O5.4 of MAMBA (Maximising Mobility and Accessibility of Services in Regions Affected by Demographic Change). MAMBA is a transnational cooperation project part-funded by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund under the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014–2020). The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, the Managing Authority or the Joint Secretariat of the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Programme 2014–2020.

About this guidance document:
These guidelines are based on the pilot actions implemented during the MAMBA project,
including legislative, economic and socio-cultural analyses. This document shall assist policymakers, government ministries, transport service providers and municipalities when working on mobility solutions in rural areas, and encourage all stakeholders to become more open to alternative
transport solutions and expand their traditional services.