Rural transport services are often inadequate. Passenger and goods transport needs improving to stimulate rural economies and reduce poverty. Understanding existing rural transport systems and constraining factors is a precondition for appropriate policy action. The Sub-Saharan Africa Transport Policy Program (SSATP) commissioned a study to develop and test a methodology for the rapid assessment of rural transport systems.
The argument presented in this report is that the relationships between improved rural road infrastructure and the provision of complementary vehicle services have not been fully understood resulting in over emphasis on infrastructure and under emphasis on the vehicle services themselves. The paper draws on evidence from cross country comparisons to conclude that there are particular problems in the rural areas of Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA).