Urban Transport Group responds to Levelling Up White Paper

Wednesday, February 2, 2022

The Urban Transport Group, the network of UK transport authorities, has today responded to the Government’s Levelling Up White Paper.

The paper sets out 12 missions to level up the UK, one of which is that “By 2030, local public transport connectivity across the country will be significantly closer to the standards of London, with improved services, simpler fares and integrated ticketing.”

It also states that the Government will “explore devolving more transport powers and responsibilities in England.”

Laura Shoaf, Chair of the Urban Transport Group, and Chief Executive at West Midlands Combined Authority, said:

“Devolving more powers over transport is the right approach as Mayors, leaders and local transport authorities are far better placed to make the right calls than command and control from Whitehall. However, we need to see this translated into action, including on the devolution of more powers over local rail networks, over bus funding, as well as less micro-management of our capital investment programmes.

“We welcome the investment that the Government is making in the future of bus services which will bring real benefits in some places. However, those same bus networks face a more immediate challenge which is the ending of additional Covid revenue support from 1st April. This is one reason why we are already seeing service cuts and inevitably there will be more to come without a sustainable, longer term revenue support package for the bus.”