Better Rural Buses

Tell us about your organisation and why it needed a good website

Relbus is a volunteer run lobby group that campaigns to improve local public transport connections by bus. We’ve had a website on our locality since the beginning (2011) and refreshed it in 2014 (we added a mobile site listing the emerging apps on the market) and again in 2016. We needed somewhere to store campaign literature, share stories and campaigns (we had a number of prominent guest bloggers), document progress with our campaigns, and above all punch above our weight. A fresh looking up-to-date website was therefore important.

Houston we have a problem!

We had no resources (at the time we didn’t even have a bank account), and muted political appetite to actually resolve chronic issues of poor provision (long journey times and services that didn’t connect to what people need), high fares (punitive for those on a low income) and inadequate infrastructure (from the bus stop to the bus itself).

How did Ourlocality help resolve your problem?

External factors helped us get off to a good start, build up a membership (still free) and argue the case. Without a free website we would have found it harder to sustain the momentum, document our campaigns and publish our press releases, responses to public consultations, including to Scottish Government and the Competition Commission.

What would you say to others?

The free platform is where we started and it is good, even if you have little experience of publishing online. Most of our volunteers were reasonably tech savvy, so if you need help it is better to ask for it – the platform software is WordPress and very popular! It is easy to set up a trial site without making it public.

And how much did it cost?

Hundreds of hours of volunteer time, we are very grateful. We got our domain donated, but even if you pay the minimal hosting for a domain (£36pa plus the cost of the domain itself), this is peanuts.

By @ourlocality

Publishing Locally in East Lothian since 2010