Access to Services
The Importance of Accessibility
Geographical barriers can place some parts of the population at a disadvantage whenever they need to access basic services such as shops, GPs, schools, post offices.
Whilst many services have become available over the Internet in recent years, paradoxically, the availability of broadband Internet access has historically been largely confined to densley populated urban areas where accessing services by traditional methods is less of a problem.
This is not an issue that only affects Lincolnshire, and a national initiative to ensure that all households have the same opportunity to access Internet services will provide the infrastructure to enable this.
The Internet provides a powerful communication channel, however, the usage of it varies across the different demographic profiles of the population.
Lincolnshire is a large rural county and in many areas outside of the urban centres, accessibility can be a problem if the availability of public transport is low.
This has led to a greater necessity for car ownership than many other areas of the country.
Although the rural nature of Lincolnshire leads to a tendency for a higher number of cars, these are not evenly spread across the county, and are not necessarily owned by the people who may have the greatest accessibility needs.
Therefore, despite some areas having a high incidence of car ownership, there could still be crucial gaps in availability of suitable transport and access to vital services for vulnerable or high need groups.
Indicators are produced by the Department for Transport at small area level which show how accessible key services are using public transport or walking.
Public transport in Lincolnshire includes a number of Demand Responsive Transport services operated by Lincolnshire County Council to supplement the commercially available provision. More information about these services and their coverage can be obtained by contacting the LCC Transport Accessibility Team.
The following excerpt from the Local Broadband Plan for Lincolnshire provides the context for why it is essential to consider broadband provision when planning services.
Rural and coastal areas have the highest concentrations of older residents who don’t use the
internet. Research has shown that these are one of three specific priority audiences who
would particularly benefit from access to the internet.
Benefits of this improved accessibility include:
Better health and well-being outcomes - there is evidence that shows links between poor health and digital exclusion
Better support for older people to continue living independently in their own homes
A reduction in social isolation through better online communication and access to goods and services that would otherwise be difficult to reach
Savings for public service providers through improved access to health information and services, leading to reductions in direct care costs.
Access to wider range and diversity of cultural, arts and media experiences
A combination of broadband enablement and encouragement of internet usage has the
potential to generate significant savings for local and national government. This can also
lead to many positive outcomes for the economy, individuals and communities, supporting a
good quality of life.
For more information about the Broadband Plan, onlincolnshire is a comprehensive resource about the planned roll out of superfast broadband in Lincolnshire.
Sources of Data and Analysis
The 4th Lincolnshire Local Transport Plan was published in April 2013, and sets out the transport strategy for the county for the next 10 years. It is supported by a range of other policies and strategies covering specific transport related issues or areas.
Please note that within the Access to Services data for 2014 in the top section of the profile below, access to Futher Education data at local authority district and Lincolnshire levels is unavilable due to technical issues in the Dept for Transport dataset. However, all of the Access to Services data shown below (including Futher Education) is available for small geographies throughout the County. Click the orange icons to view the data shown below.