A CHALLENGE has been set for every county councillor and MP in Somerset to exclusively use public transport for three weeks, to raise awareness of the county’s transport problems.

The public transport campaign group Everybody Get On Board, has set down the gauntlet for 55 Somerset county councillors and five MPs as part of their Live It, Love It, Learn challenge.

Chard resident Melissa Whittaker-Mather, co-lead of EGOB, said that the group’s aim is ‘to encourage the county to re-prioritise the public transportation network in Somerset and to make it integrated, and environmentally and socially sustainable.’ She added: “We have already attended County Hall and created a petition which includes the request for a transport needs analysis.

“Many who have contacted said they are either unable to gain access to transport or that the services in place are limited and have missed work opportunities, education opportunities and are unable to attend social and medical appointments.

“Many do not have access to alternative forms of transport, such as community or voluntary lead transport, due to either no availability or the cost.”

Participants in the Live It, love It, Learn challenge have been encouraged to use buses, trains, cycle paths and pavements to get around, and document the cost and time comparison.

Councillors and MPs have also been encouraged to ‘engage with members of the public to discuss public transport provisions to gain qualitative data by keeping a diary of services used, associated costs and notes of conversations.’

For more information, or to join EGOB, email melissawhittaker490@btinternet.com.