This report takes an in-depth look at the implications of an excessive reliance on competition funding for urban transport projects.
The research shows how such a reliance impacts local authorities’ ability to deliver value for money and places pressure on authorities and their staff.
The report is based on surveys and one-to-one interviews with senior officers responsible for delivering transport policies, programmes and projects in some of England’s largest city regions.
This report - published to coincide with the 2019 Autumn Party Conferences - identifies four urban transport challenges and four solutions needed to overcome them.
It also details what transport authorities need from Government to bring about these changes.
On launching the report, Stephen Edwards, Chair of the Urban Transport Group and Executive Director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, said: "There is much more that needs to be done if transport is to contribute effectively to meeting the many challenges that city regions face, from the climate crisis to public health challenges associated with a lack of physical activity. The right policies can help overcome these challenges."
This report highlights how investing in bus services is key to achieving a wide range of policy objectives across Government.
The report also finds that the way in which bus services are funded is mired in complexity, with no oversight within Whitehall of how the various funding streams from different Government departments impact on bus services overall.
It also shows that all the main forms of funding for bus services are under severe pressure – in particular those that come indirectly from the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government which support bus services that bus companies will not provide on a commercial basis. The report calls for a new ‘Connectivity Fund’ – which would bring together existing bus funding together with funding from other Government Departments into a significantly enhanced and ring-fenced pot for local government to support bus services.
The latest edition of Policy futures for urban transport emphasises how a new deal on funding and powers is essential to keep the UK's cities moving forward.
The report sets out the 10 key policy changes that are needed to make cities healthier, fairer and more prosperous.
These include further devolution of rail services; greater funding for buses; reform of taxi and Private Hire Vehicle legislation; an ambitious strategy to encourage more cycling and walking; a long term investment plan for urban rail services; and a visionary national policy framework on air quality.
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 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.
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.
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
This report sets out the success of regional rail over the past decade and a half despite limited investment when compared to other rail sectors. The report then goes on to develop two hypothetical scenarios to demonstrate how investment in regional rail could deliver even greater benefits, significantly reducing subsidy and growing the benefits delivered to our city region economies.
This report reviews ten examples of small scale transport schemes that have been delivered by pteg members. The case studies range from intelligent bus priority, to journey planning advice, cycle hire and new bus links. The report shows that small schemes can achieve outstanding value for money by: making use of local knowledge; being responsive to changing circumstances; and by being effectively targeted. Small schemes can also help provide proof of concept for novel interventions.
This report builds on our 2011 report on the ‘Value for money and appraisal of small schemes’, which gathered over 150 separate pieces of evidence and showed that, on average, smaller schemes deliver £3.50 of economic benefits for every £1 of public spending. Our wider work demonstrating the impact of local transport spending also includes the 2014 ‘Transport Works for Jobs and Growth’ report, the 2013 ‘Case for the Urban Bus’ report and the transportworks.org website.
The next few years will see an upward trend in local transport capital grant funding from central government, supported by a wide-ranging consensus about the contribution of local transport networks to economic growth. In contrast, Local Authorities have seen a sustained decline in resource funding, driven by deep cuts to the Department for Communities and Local Government‟s (DCLG) budget. And there is no sign the cuts are about to stop. As the mismatch between capital and revenue funding grows, this could ultimately damage the effectiveness of capital investment in local transport networks. This report explores how resource funding constraints are affecting the delivery of local transport capital schemes and how this is likely to evolve over the next few years.
The bus is key to achieving 46 policy goals of 12 of the 24 Departments across Whitehall including the Department for Work and Pensions, HM Treasury, Department of Health, Department for Education and Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. This report shows how, despite these cross sector benefits, all the main forms of funding for bus services are under severe pressure and sets out how bus funding can be reformed.
This report summarises some of the latest academic research which shows the importance of agglomeration economies (the way in which high value sectors of the economy cluster together in cities) in driving wider national economies. It also shows that these urban clusters cannot develop to their full potential without high quality and efficient transport networks.
The challenges to improving transport in the UK’s city regions and the solutions needed to overcome them have been set out by the Urban Transport Group today.
The Urban Transport Group has today welcomed the appointment of Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP as Chancellor of the Exchequer, and set out its priorities for urban transport in the Government’s forthcoming Spending Review.
MPs on the Transport Select Committee are “absolutely right” to call for urgent action to tackle bus decline in their new report into the health of the bus market in England.
The National Infrastructure Commission’s call for Government to make devolved funding for urban transport to cities a key test of the Government’s forthcoming National Infrastructure Strategy is hugely welcome, says the Urban Transport Group.
- New ‘Connectivity Fund’ needed to reverse significant cuts in bus funding
Investing in bus services is key to achieving a wide range of policy objectives across Government, a new report from the Urban Transport Group has shown.
Membership of the Urban Transport Group has received a significant boost today as Translink, Northern Ireland’s main public transport provider, has joined as an Associate Member.
Stephen Edwards, the Executive Director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), is the new Chair of the Urban Transport Group.
His appointment follows the end of the two-year term of outgoing Chair Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director at Nexus.