The objective of this experiment, which was one of the Government's programme of Rural Transport Experiments (Rutex), was to assess the effectiveness of specially-produced information in helping people to make better use of existing public transport services for awkward, multi-stage journeys from rural areas to hospitals. The experiment was based on five hospitals in or near Ayr, which served the population of a large rural area to the south. It was assumed that people would be familiar with local bus services to and from Ayr, but could benefit from information on the routes and times of buses between central Ayr and the hospitals. Six man-weeks were spent in compiling the necessary information and designing a separate leaflet for each hospital. Leaflets were initially distributed through hospitals, doctors' surgeries and other outlets, but a preliminary survey indicated that they were not reaching enough of the people to whom they might be of use. An alternative method of distribution was then adopted: hospitals sent leaflets to out-patients with their appointment cards. By this means, all potential bus travellers received leaflets, 70 per cent used them to plan journeys, 40 per cent made more convenient journeys and 20 per cent faster journeys as a result, and a third were more disposed to use buses.

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