Bus

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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

The Scandinavian Way to Better Public Transport

August, 2017

Our new report, The Scandinavian Way to Better Public Transport, shows how the Scandinavians put a high value on making their city regions sustainable, liveable and attractive places in which to live and invest. This has led them to promote active travel and to invest in smart, green and high quality public transport networks. In doing so they are moving quickly towards new smart ways of paying for access to transport, phasing out diesel buses to improve air quality, and investing heavily in more and better tram, train and bus services. They are able to do this because by and large they have the powers they need to plan and develop their local transport networks. The results are cities high up global league tables as places where people want to live and work in, high levels of public transport use and in some cities in particular cycle use that is off the scale in comparison to the UK. 

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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.

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 Bus fares change regularly and it is likely that some of the fares are out of date, however, this is intended as a snap shot analysis and should be treated as such.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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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.

Bus Policy

June, 2016
This 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 what Government policy changes could help give the urban bus a brighter future.
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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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Bus Policy

June, 2016
This 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 what Government policy changes could help give the urban bus a brighter future.
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The Scandinavian Way to Better Public Transport

August, 2017

Our new report, The Scandinavian Way to Better Public Transport, shows how the Scandinavians put a high value on making their city regions sustainable, liveable and attractive places in which to live and invest. This has led them to promote active travel and to invest in smart, green and high quality public transport networks. In doing so they are moving quickly towards new smart ways of paying for access to transport, phasing out diesel buses to improve air quality, and investing heavily in more and better tram, train and bus services. They are able to do this because by and large they have the powers they need to plan and develop their local transport networks. The results are cities high up global league tables as places where people want to live and work in, high levels of public transport use and in some cities in particular cycle use that is off the scale in comparison to the UK. 

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

Policy Futures for Urban Transport

June, 2015

This report maps out the policies needed to build on recent progress on devolution to the city regions on transport, in order to achieve a wider vision of smart and integrated transport networks that deliver growth. The report finds that: ‘There’s a strong consensus that Britain’s city regions are key to the rebalancing of the economy and the UK’s wider economic success’, and ‘great strides have been made in ensuring that city regions can better shape their own futures and make the connections between different policy goals’. The report goes on to set out the policy framework needed to make faster and further progress.

NOTE: This document has been superseded by the 2016 version which can be downloaded below.

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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