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The bus is the UK's main form of public transport. Find out more about how the industry works, the case for investing in bus and what we are doing to make bus services better

Resources

Number crunch: Transport trends in the city regions

April, 2018

Our report, Number crunch: Transport trends in the city regions, identifies some of the most defining patterns of the past decade (and projected future trends) that are changing the face of the UK’s city regions, and the way that people travel within them.

Ageing urban populations, rapid bus passenger decline and huge growth in private hire vehicles are just some of the dramatic shifts taking place in UK cities.

The report draws on data from our unique, free and interactive online tool ‘Data Hub’, which allows users to generate bespoke analysis, graphics and charts of transport, economic and population data.

Bus Policy

March, 2018
This updated briefing looks at why buses matter and how bus policy works. It explains the significant challenges facing the sector and how city regions are backing the bus. It also sets out how the 2017 Bus Services Act could help make bus services better.
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Policy Futures

September, 2017

Policy futures for urban transport sets out how, with more focused governance in place, the city regions are delivering major investment programmes including on public transport, highways and active travel, and smart ticketing. The report says that - with the right national policy framework - further and faster progress can be made, including:

  • ensuring that the benefits of transformative technological change are maximised including new ways of paying for access to transport, connected and autonomous vehicles and data;
  • that barriers between different sectors are broken down so that the benefits that transport can bring to achieving wider policy goals - in areas like health, employment and education - are fully realised.

The Scandinavian way to better public transport

August, 2017

‘The Scandinavian Way to Better Public Transport’ shows how transport authorities in three Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) are using devolved powers to transform public transport for the better - and sets out the lessons that the UK could learn.

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Total Transport: a better approach to commissioning non-emergency patient transport?

March, 2017

‘Total Transport’ schemes pool resources and vehicle fleets from across the public sector which are currently used to provide separate mainstream, social services, education and healthcare transport provision. Through pooling and coordination a better overall service can be provided at less cost to the taxpayer. However, it is proving challenging to get NHS non emergency patient transport services to participate in such schemes despite the major savings that could accrue from doing so. This briefing explains the scale of the potential opportunity from Total Transport schemes which include the NHS.

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Bus Policy

March, 2018
This updated briefing looks at why buses matter and how bus policy works. It explains the significant challenges facing the sector and how city regions are backing the bus. It also sets out how the 2017 Bus Services Act could help make bus services better.
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Multi-Operator ticket premia EXTERNAL 2016

January, 2017
This document provides comparative analysis of bus operator fares and multi-operator ticket fareas across Urban Transport Group member areas and a range of comparators. This information was collected in October 2016 and was correct at the time of research. Bus fares change regularly and it is likely that some of the fares are out of date, however, this is intended as a snap shot analysis and should be treated as such.
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Bus fare analysis 2016

January, 2017
This briefing provides a summary of bus fares from the main operators across Urban Transport Group member areas. Bus fare information was collected in October 2016 and was correct at the time of research. Bus fares are updated regularly so it is likely that some of the fares have already changes, however, this document is a snap shot analysis and should be treated as such.
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Number crunch: Transport trends in the city regions

April, 2018

Our report, Number crunch: Transport trends in the city regions, identifies some of the most defining patterns of the past decade (and projected future trends) that are changing the face of the UK’s city regions, and the way that people travel within them.

Ageing urban populations, rapid bus passenger decline and huge growth in private hire vehicles are just some of the dramatic shifts taking place in UK cities.

The report draws on data from our unique, free and interactive online tool ‘Data Hub’, which allows users to generate bespoke analysis, graphics and charts of transport, economic and population data.

Policy Futures

September, 2017

Policy futures for urban transport sets out how, with more focused governance in place, the city regions are delivering major investment programmes including on public transport, highways and active travel, and smart ticketing. The report says that - with the right national policy framework - further and faster progress can be made, including:

  • ensuring that the benefits of transformative technological change are maximised including new ways of paying for access to transport, connected and autonomous vehicles and data;
  • that barriers between different sectors are broken down so that the benefits that transport can bring to achieving wider policy goals - in areas like health, employment and education - are fully realised.

The Scandinavian way to better public transport

August, 2017

‘The Scandinavian Way to Better Public Transport’ shows how transport authorities in three Scandinavian countries (Sweden, Denmark and Norway) are using devolved powers to transform public transport for the better - and sets out the lessons that the UK could learn.

Topic: 

Total Transport: a better approach to commissioning non-emergency patient transport?

March, 2017

‘Total Transport’ schemes pool resources and vehicle fleets from across the public sector which are currently used to provide separate mainstream, social services, education and healthcare transport provision. Through pooling and coordination a better overall service can be provided at less cost to the taxpayer. However, it is proving challenging to get NHS non emergency patient transport services to participate in such schemes despite the major savings that could accrue from doing so. This briefing explains the scale of the potential opportunity from Total Transport schemes which include the NHS.

Policy Futures for Urban Transport - our vision and roadmap

September, 2016

This report sets out our vision for how future UK urban transport policy could unfold in a way that enables the nation’s urban areas to deliver smart and sustainable growth that has far-reaching benefits. It looks at the great strides our city regions have already made and proposes fifteen ways in which national government and transport authorities can work together to create the transport networks urban areas need in order to fully realise their potential.

Horizon scan of implications of technological and social change

November, 2015

This report aims to provide decision makers with a guide to the implications for urban transport of transformative social and technological change and how they can best respond. 

The report (which was produced in collaboration with Arup Foresight) identifies four key overarching trends: 

  • Changes in demographics and lifestyles and the rise of the sharing economy alter mobility choices
  • Urbanisation, climate change and the need to improve air quality put pressure on transport systems
  • Advances in technology and increased digital connectivity make transport infrastructure smarter and more efficient 
  • More powers are devolved to cities and city regions which results in more innovation and leadership in responding to urban challenges in locally appropriate ways

Ticket to Thrive: The role of urban public transport in tackling unemployment

February, 2015

This report reveals the vital role of public transport, and the bus in particular, in enabling people to find and sustain employment. Some 77% of jobseekers in British cities outside London do not have regular access to a car, van or motorbike and can face significant barriers to work as a result. The report finds that these barriers include expensive public transport tickets; poorly connected employment sites; mismatches between working hours and available transport; and limited travel horizons. It recommends seven key policies that could help overcome these obstacles, including: a new funding deal to enable local councils to protect lifeline bus services and connect people to opportunity; more effective powers over bus services for local transport authorities, offering them greater control over where and when buses run and the affordability of fares; a review of the potential for an adequately funded national jobseeker and apprentice travel concession.

Oxford SmartZone

February, 2015

In 2011, the two main bus operators in the city of Oxford introduced an inter-operable smart ticketing system known as the SmartZone. Meanwhile, many other parts of the country have faced significant challenges in attempting to introduce inter-operable smart ticketing in deregulated bus markets. The Oxford system has therefore attracted considerable attention and it has been suggested that it could offer valuable lessons for other areas. This paper explains the context within which the scheme was developed and describes the key features of bus ticketing in the city of Oxford and in its wider travel to work area. The paper then compares the Oxford system with the aspirations of Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs).

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National road and rail networks: draft national policy statement

February, 2014
Response to consultation on the overall policy against which the Secretary of State for Transport will make decisions on applications for nationally significant infrastructure projects on the national road and rail networks.
Consulting body: 
Department for Transport

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UTG welcomes all party support for new bus powers

Friday, November 25, 2016
Bus in Merseyside

The Urban Transport Group today welcomed backing for the Government's new buses legislation from the all-party House of Commons Transport Select Committee.

The Urban Transport Group represents transport authorities serving areas where the majority of bus travel takes place.

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UK's largest urban transport authorities set out vision for future of transport in the city regions

Thursday, September 15, 2016
Policy Futures

Following on from the EU referendum, the formation of a new Government and with the start of the party conference season, the Urban Transport Group has set out a vision for how UK transport policy could unfold in a way that will enable the nation’s largest urban areas to deliver inclusive growth

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