Regional and Urban Rail banner image

Regional and Urban Rail

Our urban and regional rail networks are key to sustaining city centre economies, whilst rail also provides the wider connectivity that city regions need.

How we work on rail

 

Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director at Transport North East, is our lead Board member on rail, working with Urban Transport Group Director Jonathan Bray, who is the lead staff member on rail.

Our Rail Strategy group within our Professional Network focuses on regional and urban rail issues.

Resources for this topic

View documents, reports and other material.

Report

Dream ticket? The challenges and opportunities of delivering smart ticketing in the city regions

There are multiple obstacles to giving public transport users in the city regions a London-style smart and simple ticketing system. This report suggests a new approach is needed, and recommends more leadership from Government, better resourcing of the transition, and more collaboration between all the key players.
Read more about Dream ticket? The challenges and opportunities of delivering smart ticketing in the city regions Download file

Report

The Good Life: The role of transport in shaping a new and sustainable era for suburbs

We are a nation of suburbanites. However, the ubiquity of suburban living is often not reflected in transport policy. And there can be no decarbonisation of transport without specific measures to decarbonise transport in the suburbs. This report presents four foundations of suburbs for a new era – one which offers all suburbanites the promise of the ‘Good Life’ whilst addressing the climate crisis.
Read more about The Good Life: The role of transport in shaping a new and sustainable era for suburbs Download file

Report

What next for urban transport?

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. 

Read more about What next for urban transport? Download file

Report

Number crunch 2019: Urban transport trends in changing times

This is the second in our Number crunch report series and provides an updated overview of the key trends over the last ten years, as well as taking a look at what the new and most recent data is telling us.

We are living in rapidly changing times. Big shifts are taking place in urban transport trends.

Read more about Number crunch 2019: Urban transport trends in changing times Download file

Report

Policy futures for urban transport

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.

Read more about Policy futures for urban transport Download file

Report

Rail Cities UK: Our vision for their future

Significant rail expansion is the 'only viable option' to help UK cities achieve their ambitions on economic growth and meeting housing demand, whilst also creating attractive urban centres with less road traffic and better air quality.

Read more about Rail Cities UK: Our vision for their future Download file

Report

The Transformational Benefits of Investing in Regional Rail

Regional rail services carry more than three times the numbers of passengers than the much higher profile long distance (Inter-City) services. As the UK’s city regions increasingly develop their service sector economies and concentrate employment in city centres, rail enables large numbers of people to be moved efficiently and effectively into these ever more congested places.

Read more about The Transformational Benefits of Investing in Regional Rail Download file

Report

Policy Futures

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:

Read more about Policy Futures Download file

Report

Rail Devolution Works

Our ‘Rail Devolution Works’ report argues that further rail devolution will enable other regions and areas to also radically transform rail services in a way that supports economic growth at the same time as improving the journey experience for passengers.

Read more about Rail Devolution Works Download file

Report

Horizon scan of implications of technological and social change

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: 

Read more about Horizon scan of implications of technological and social change Download file

Report

Destination Growth: the case for Britain's regional railways

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. 

Read more about Destination Growth: the case for Britain's regional railways Download file

Report

A heavy load to bear - towards a fairer allocation of rail industry costs for regional rail

This report shows how regional rail is allocated a disproportionate share of the railways' overall costs which distorts the wider debate about its value for money. The report sets out how an alternative fairer, more defensible and rational system would halve regional rail's share of government support.

Read more about A heavy load to bear - towards a fairer allocation of rail industry costs for regional rail Download file

Report

Options for Regional Rail - A review of ways to improve Britain's regional rail services

A report for pteg by Transport for Quality of Life intended to help widen the scope of debate about regional rail by considering whether more thoroughgoing governance changes might offer greater benefits and whether these benefits are worth the potential risks and costs associated with deeper reform.

Read more about Options for Regional Rail - A review of ways to improve Britain's regional rail services Download file

Report

LSTF Monitoring and Evaluation Guidance - Final Report

Building on the work of the Department for Transport, pteg commissioned AECOM to prepare additional guidance for PTEs and other Local Transport Authorities to assist in the monitoring and evaluation of Local Sustainable Transport Fund projects. The guidance provides a practical approach to developing cost effective and affordable monitoring and evaluation programmes.

Read more about LSTF Monitoring and Evaluation Guidance - Final Report Download file

Report

PTEs role on rail stations

The study was commissioned to identify and review alternative structures of responsibility for railway station sponsorship, stewardship, and service delivery, in the context of potential scope for greater devolvement of responsibility for urban rail to the PTEs.

Read more about PTEs role on rail stations Download file

Report

Rail Cities in the 21st Century - The Case for Devolution

Modern and efficient rail networks are key to ensuring that city regions can grow in a green and smart way. But to realise the potential of urban rail, remote control by Whitehall needs to be replaced with local control by the city regions themselves. Only then can rail play its part in the fully integrated, responsive public transport networks that the city regions need.

Read more about Rail Cities in the 21st Century - The Case for Devolution Download file

Report

What light rail can do for cities

This report sets out the case for investing in light rail. It is based on a detailed review of the available evidence held by the promoters of schemes in the UK looking at the benefits that have been delivered so far and how these have been achieved.

Read more about What light rail can do for cities Download file

Press release

The biggest job in UK urban transport: TfL Commissioner to speak about leading through a global crisis and towards a green and just recovery

Transport for London Commissioner Andy Byford will be in conversation with Jo Field, Chief Executive of JFG Communications and President of Women in Transport for the seventh in the Urban Transport Next series of events, hosted by Urban Transport Group.
Read more about The biggest job in UK urban transport: TfL Commissioner to speak about leading through a global crisis and towards a green and just recovery

Press release

Rail stations investment key to building back better after COVID-19

Investing in rail stations can give a much needed boost to local economies and communities in the aftermath of the coronavirus crisis, according to a new report which highlights the benefits of devolved authorities’ involvement in station transformation.
Read more about Rail stations investment key to building back better after COVID-19

Press release

Changing travel habits in UK’s cities revealed in new data report

Fewer commutes per person, reduced car use in major urban centres and rapidly falling bus patronage – these are just some of the transport trends taking place in the UK’s biggest cities and city regions, as identified in the Urban Transport Group’s latest data report.
Read more about Changing travel habits in UK’s cities revealed in new data report

Press release

National Infrastructure Commission is right to make devolved transport funding for cities a key test for Government’s future infrastructure plan

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.
Read more about National Infrastructure Commission is right to make devolved transport funding for cities a key test for Government’s future infrastructure plan

Press release

Climate advisors’ ‘clear route map’ for tackling transport emissions welcomed by city region transport authorities

The Urban Transport Group - the UK's network of city region transport authorities - has today welcomed the Committee on Climate Change’s new advice for Government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, and specifically its recommendations for the transport sector.
Read more about Climate advisors’ ‘clear route map’ for tackling transport emissions welcomed by city region transport authorities

Press release

City region transport authorities call for more local control over rail services

The Urban Transport Group - the UK's network of city region transport authorities - has today called for the Williams Rail Review to give far greater emphasis to the proven success of the devolution of control over regional and urban rail services by making it a cornerstone of wider railway reform.
Read more about City region transport authorities call for more local control over rail services

Press release

Rail Cities UK report maps out better future for urban rail

Significant rail expansion is the ‘only viable option’ to help UK cities achieve their ambitions on economic growth and meeting housing demand, whilst also creating attractive urban centres with less road traffic and better air quality. 
Read more about Rail Cities UK report maps out better future for urban rail

Press release

UTG response to RDG partnership railway launch

Ben Still, Managing Director of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority and board director and lead on rail for the Urban Transport Group, comments on the Rail Delivery Group's ‘In Partnership for Britain’s Prosperity’ announcement.

Read more about UTG response to RDG partnership railway launch

Press release

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

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 in a smart and sustainable way.

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

Press release

Report sets out new vision for urban freight

A new report from pteg highlights the essential role of urban freight in ensuring the effective functioning of the UK economy and presents a fresh vision designed to safeguard this role, as well as protect the environment and quality of life for communities.
Read more about Report sets out new vision for urban freight

Press release

New report makes powerful case for growth agenda for the North's railways

A new report from pteg shows how the North’s booming railways are integral to its economic prospects; and shows why future plans for the North’s railways should be based on expansion and growth.

‘The Economic Value of Rail in the North of England’ finds that:

Read more about New report makes powerful case for growth agenda for the North's railways

Press release

New report reveals how biased cost allocation system penalises local rail services in the regions

A new report from pteg takes the lid off the complex way in which the costs of running the national rail network to show how time and again the rules are biased against regional rail, loading on costs in a way that feeds false perceptions about the value for money of local rail services in England outside the South East.
Read more about New report reveals how biased cost allocation system penalises local rail services in the regions

Press release

How the Beeching cuts left the city regions down but not out

Fifty years to the day since the publication of the Beeching report changed the shape of Britain’s railways forever, new analysis published today by pteg has revealed the extent of its impact on rail networks in England’s largest regional conurbations and how it left them down, but by no means out.
Read more about How the Beeching cuts left the city regions down but not out

Press release

pteg welcomes CBT rail devolution report

Commenting on Campaign for Better Transport's ‘Going Local: Lessons for rail policy from London Overground and Merseyrail’ report, published today (Thursday 7th Feb), pteg Director, Jonathan Bray, said:

Read more about pteg welcomes CBT rail devolution report

Press release

pteg welcomes high-speed rail decision

Following the announcement today of the next phase of high speed rail and the publication of the routes to Leeds and Manchester, Geoff Inskip, the lead on rail issues for pteg said:

Read more about pteg welcomes high-speed rail decision

Press release

pteg welcomes rail devolution progress

Commenting on the publication by the Department for Transport today of the outcomes of the consultation on the scope for further rail devolution, and rail Minister Simon Burns's accompanying statement, Geoff Inskip, Chair of pteg said:

Read more about pteg welcomes rail devolution progress

Press release

Unlocking the rail devolution opportunity

In its response to the Government’s consultation on the potential for rail decentralisation, pteg has called on the Government to seize the opportunity that rail devolution offers for better rail services in the North and Midlands.
Read more about Unlocking the rail devolution opportunity

Press release

Time for local rail services to be run locally

At a meeting held in Leeds, leaders of the six largest urban transport authorities outside London called on the Government to transfer key responsibilities over local rail services from Whitehall.
Read more about Time for local rail services to be run locally

Press release

pteg welcomes McNulty report

The six largest public transport authorities outside London today welcomed the McNulty report, and in particular its focus on the potential for greater devolution of rail powers outside London.
Read more about pteg welcomes McNulty report

Press release

Time for localism on urban rail

In response to the DfT’s consultation on the future of rail franchising (which closes today), pteg has set out new proposals for the decentralisation of responsibilities for city region rail networks.
Read more about Time for localism on urban rail

Press release

Merry Christmas from pteg

This Christmas, rather than sending Christmas cards, pteg is making a donation to Railway Children – the voice for street children worldwide.
Read more about Merry Christmas from pteg

Press release

Concern over train investment cutbacks

Following on from a Parliamentary debate today, pteg expressed concern that overcrowding at key regional rail hubs could get worse as the Department of Transport is seeking to scale down its planned investment in additional rolling stock for the North’s rail network.
Read more about Concern over train investment cutbacks

Press release

Call for bigger say on local rail networks

Cllr Mark Dowd OBE, the new Chair of the group of six Passenger Transport Authorities has written to the Secretary of State for Transport, Ruth Kelly MP, to welcome the prospect of greater influence over local rail networks.
Read more about Call for bigger say on local rail networks

Press release

PTEs disappointed by downgrading of franchise powers but heartened by cross party support for strong future role

pteg said today it was disappointed that the Government has pushed through clauses in the Railways Bill that will remove the PTEs’ automatic right to be co-signatories of rail franchises – despite considerable cross party opposition in both the upper and lower houses.
Read more about PTEs disappointed by downgrading of franchise powers but heartened by cross party support for strong future role

Press release

Passengers lose under Railways Bill

pteg expressed its concern today over clauses in the Railways Bill (published today) which would remove the PTEs’ powers to plan and manage local rail networks.
Read more about Passengers lose under Railways Bill

Press release

Concern over Railways Bill

Britain’s seven Passenger Transport Executives (which serve more than thirteen million people in some of the country’s largest city regions) have expressed their concern over Government proposals to strip them of their powers over local rail networks.

Read more about Concern over Railways Bill

Press release

End of Northern rail franchise uncertainty

pteg today welcomed the Government's decision to go ahead with the Northern Rail franchise, and looks forward to working with Northern Rail operator - Serco-NedRailways.
Read more about End of Northern rail franchise uncertainty

Press release

pteg responds to SRA rolling stock strategy

pteg described the Strategic Rail Authority’s rolling stock strategy released today as, ‘a welcome commitment from the SRA to better manage and coordinate decisions on rolling stock,’ but said, ‘there was still no clear plan for providing the extra trains needed to tackle worsening overcrowding on commuter services in the regions.’
Read more about pteg responds to SRA rolling stock strategy

Press release

pteg researches ‘the case for rail in the conurbations’

pteg has commissioned a new report – ‘The Case for Rail in the Conurbations’. Transport consultants JMP have been commissioned to produce the report which will examine the role of rail in the conurbations in the context of the full range of relevant Government policy objectives. These are not just the Government’s objectives for rail but also those for raising the economic performance of the regions, and tackling social exclusion.

Read more about pteg researches ‘the case for rail in the conurbations’

Press release

pteg concern at high leasing charges

pteg is calling for train leasing charges that reflect the quality and type of train, and for more transparency and flexibility in train lease contracts to tackle overcrowding on PTE rail networks.
Read more about pteg concern at high leasing charges

Briefing

Briefing on the Transport Bill

A briefing on the Transport Bill announced as part of the Queen's Speech in May 2022, including what we know so far and what the Bill should contain to transform urban transport for the better.

Read more about Briefing on the Transport Bill Download file

Briefing

Policy Futures - Seamless public transport

This policy futures paper highlights the growing appetite for giving larger cities outside London more of the benefits that London enjoys on public transport, and brings together the ideas from the other policy futures papers.

Read more about Policy Futures - Seamless public transport Download file

Briefing

Policy Futures - Rail

This Policy Futures paper sets out the changed needed to ensure that modern commuter networks compliment enhanced national and inter-regional services in a way that meets the needs of the city regions.

Read more about Policy Futures - Rail Download file