As part of the 2016 proposal to close the inpatient beds at the Rothbury Community Hospital, Northumberland Clinical Commissioning Group produced a Travel Impact Report. An updated report was presented to the Rothbury Hospital Review Group in January 2019.
This report, and any examination of public transport timetables in Coquetdale, immediately demonstrates two key facts: for many people in the upper dale there is little or no public transport and the only towns directly accessible from Coquetdale are Alnwick, Morpeth and Newcastle.
Healthwatch Northumberland would add that such a study should also consider the reality of using services as well as their availability and we have looked in more detail at the most likely journeys to be taken. We also consider the issue of public transport provision in the future in the face of likely reductions in funding for concessionary and non-commercial services.
We consider some of the issues of using private cars, for example, the percentage of individuals of different ages that hold driving licences and the assumptions about car usage at different income levels.