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Funding

There needs to be longer term and enhanced capital and revenue funding for transport in urban areas if our city regions are to have modern and effective transport networks capable of supporting their economies in a sustainable way.

Find out more about the funding challenges urban transport faces and the case for how best they can be resolved.

How we work on funding

 

Laura Shoaf, Chief Executive of West Midlands Combined Authority, and Chair of the Urban Transport Group is the lead Board member for funding, working with Jonathan Bray, Director, as the lead member of staff on funding. 

Resources for this topic

View documents, reports and other material.

Report

Continuing COVID Funding Support for Urban Public Transport

This report finds that if Government’s Covid-related financial support to urban public transport outside London ends (in March 2022), buses would soon be less frequent and more expensive, and patronage would be substantially lower than pre-Covid levels, potentially up to 30% lower.
Read more about Continuing COVID Funding Support for Urban Public Transport Download file

Report

Leading Light: What Light Rail can do for City Regions

This report, produced by Steer for the Urban Transport Group, shows how Britain’s light rail systems have supported economic growth in the areas that they serve, promoted social inclusion and led to environmental gain, including a reduction in carbon emissions.
Read more about Leading Light: What Light Rail can do for City Regions Download file

Report

Back the Bus to Level Up

This report makes the case for bus revenue funding and reform of how it is provided. It aims to arrive at a realistic assessment of the revenue funding that will be needed to support the ambitious transformation in bus services envisaged by the National Bus Strategy.
Read more about Back the Bus to Level Up Download file

Report

The Local Transport Lottery - The costs and inefficiencies of funding local transport through ad hoc competitions

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. 

Read more about The Local Transport Lottery - The costs and inefficiencies of funding local transport through ad hoc competitions 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

The cross-sector benefits of backing the bus

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.

Read more about The cross-sector benefits of backing the bus 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

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

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

Revenue vs Capital Mismatch

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.

Read more about Revenue vs Capital Mismatch Download file

Report

Transport Works for growth and jobs

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.

Read more about Transport Works for growth and jobs 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

Transport works: the case for investing in the city regions

This document outlines the case for continued investment in urban local transport through the recession and beyond. Investing in better transport has been an important part of the stimulus package implemented by government in order to support key sectors of the economy through the recession.

Read more about Transport works: the case for investing in the city regions Download file

Nearly one in three urban bus trips – some 300 million journeys - could be lost without further financial support from Government, report warns

Closed bus stop
The number of bus passengers in city regions outside London could be up to 30% lower than before the pandemic – a “similar magnitude” to the direct impact which COVID-19 itself has had on demand - if the Government does not extend its financial support for the bus. 

Urban Transport Group responds to Levelling Up White Paper

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

Urban Transport Group responds to Spending Review

Rishi Sunak
The Urban Transport Group has responded to today's Spending Review.

New report makes case for spending review to back the bus

West Midlands Bus
A new report by the Urban Transport Group has shown that the Spending Review will need to make significantly more funding available for bus if the aspirations of the national bus strategy, and the Government’s wider levelling up agenda, are to be to met.

Urban transport authorities welcome extension of COVID light rail funding support

Midland Metro
The Urban Transport Group today welcomed the extension by one month (from June 21st to July 19th) of funding from Government to close the gap caused by loss of patronage due to the pandemic.

City regions make case for new deal for urban transport in run up to Budget

New deal for urban transport
City region transport authorities are making the case for a new deal on urban transport in the run up to next week’s Budget.

City regions must be “at the heart” of Government’s Green Industrial Revolution

Metrolink Tram
The Urban Transport Group, the UK’s network of city region transport authorities, has today responded to the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

Report paints stark picture for future of bus and tram services without continued Government COVID-19 support

Empty bus image
The future of local public transport services is at serious risk - including the potential for deep cuts to bus services and the temporary closure of light rail systems - without continued COVID-19 financial support from Government, according to a new report. 

Empower urban transport authorities to build back better from COVID-19, urges report

Build back better image
Transport authorities can play their part in shaping a positive legacy of COVID-19 for the UK’s city regions, provided they are given both the funding and powers they need to respond to the challenges that lie ahead.

City regions respond to Government’s COVID-19 funding for urban public transport

Stephen Edwards image
The Urban Transport Group, the UK’s network of city region transport authorities, has today responded to the Government’s package of financial support for urban public transport as it works to keep people moving through the COVID-19 crisis.

Urban Transport Group responds to Government’s plans to boost walking and cycling

Cycle sign image
The Urban Transport Group has responded to the Government’s plans to overhaul walking and cycling in England.

Excessive use of competition funding for urban transport projects is inefficient and costly, report reveals

Metro construction
Excessive reliance by Government on short-term competition funding for the long-term task of transforming urban transport networks is inefficient and costly, according to a new report by the Urban Transport Group, the UK’s network of city region transport authorities.

UTG welcomes new government’s commitment to invest in urban transport

Stephen Edwards

Responding to the outcome of the election, and the Queen’s Speech, UTG Chair, Stephen Edwards, said:

Critical challenges and solutions to improving transport in city regions identified ahead of party conferences

What next for urban transport? cover
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.

Urban Transport Group welcomes appointment of Rt. Hon. Sajid Javid MP as Chancellor and sets out city region transport priorities for Spending Review

Sajid Javid
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.

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

Number crunch 2019 cover
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.

MPs are right to call for urgent action to tackle bus decline, says Urban Transport Group

Woman boarding bus
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.

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

Bus
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.

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

Electric car
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.

Supporting bus services key to achieving policy goals of Government departments, report shows

Woman on bus
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.

Urban Transport Group strengthened as Northern Ireland’s public transport provider joins up

Jonathan Bray with Translink staff
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.

South Yorkshire transport chief is new Chair of Urban Transport Group

Stephen Edwards
Stephen Edwards, the Executive Director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), is the new Chair of the Urban Transport Group.

‘Transit oriented development’ can help meet housing demand and reduce car-based urban sprawl, says report

The place to be visual
Placing transport at the heart of new building developments will help the UK to meet its demand for new homes and prevent car-based urban sprawl, a report from the Urban Transport Group says today.

Leading urban transport data tool relaunches with expansive range of new statistics

Data Hub on laptop
The country’s leading online tool for transport data in cities has been relaunched today to include an even wider range of transport-related statistics, such as congestion, road safety and satisfaction.

Transport key to ‘putting towns back on the map’, says report

About towns report cover
Transport has a key role to play in helping the UK’s post-industrial towns to thrive – putting them firmly back on the map, a report by the Urban Transport Group finds today.

New deal on funding and powers essential to keep cities moving forward, stresses Urban Transport Group

Walking blur
Further devolution of rail services, greater funding for buses and reform of taxi and Private Hire Vehicle legislation – these are just three parts of a new deal on funding and powers that is required to keep the UK’s cities moving forward.

Urban Transport Group welcomes National Infrastructure Commission call for long term stability for urban transport funding

Road traffic lights
The Urban Transport Group has welcomed the first ever National Infrastructure Assessment, published by the National Infrastructure Commission, for offering what it called a “powerful endorsement” of the case for investing more in transport within cities.

Rail fares consultation “ignores case for greater fares simplification and integration in cities”

Railway tracks
The Urban Transport Group has today responded to the launch of a public consultation on rail fares in the UK.

New report highlights changing transport needs of “flat white economy”

Banks, bytes and bikes cover
Transport needs in urban areas are changing amid the growth of the so-called “flat white economy”, a new report from the Urban Transport Group highlights today.

UTG welcomes funding focus on cities

Funding
Jonathan Bray, Director of the Urban Transport Group, said: 'We welcome the focus of this funding announcement on the importance of investing in transport in cities and city regions'

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

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 in a smart and sustainable way.

New ‘Horizon Scan’ report sets out how forward thinking cities can respond to rapid technological and social change

Horizon Scan cityscape
A new report from pteg aims to provide city decision makers with a guide to the implications for urban transport of transformative social and technological change and how they can best respond. 

Bumpy ride ahead for highways warns new report

Road sign
A report released today, ‘A Bumpy Ride – the funding and economics of Highways Maintenance on local roads in the city regions’, reveals a growing gap between spending on road maintenance on national roads when compared with local roads.

New report shows smaller transport schemes have big benefits

Small but mighty
A new report from pteg, launched today (24th June), ‘Small but mighty transport schemes’, shows that smaller transport schemes can achieve outstanding value for money in boosting growth and contribute towards other wide ranging social and environmental public policy benefits. 

New report shows bus key to achieving the policy goals of half of all Government departments across Whitehall

Bus in Manchester
A report published today by pteg finds that 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.

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

Network Rail repairing bridge
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.

New report finds Government could make transport work harder for jobs and growth

Birmingham city skyline
A new report from pteg says: ‘It is time to let transport work harder for jobs and long term economic growth’ through stepping up investment in urban transport in the city regions.

pteg responds to Campaign for Better Transport buses report

Woman boarding bus

Commenting on today's Campaign for Better Transport report on bus cuts ‘Buses in Crisis: A report on bus funding across England and Wales’, pteg Support Unit Director,  Jonathan Bray said:

New HMT figures show public spending on transport at five year low

Taking a coin from a stack
New analysis of recently released Treasury public spending figures reveals that public spending on transport in London is £545 per head compared with £236 per head (2.3 times higher) for the West Midlands and the North of England combined.

Strong case for the urban bus made at Westminster event

Group photo of some of the speakers at the urban bus event
More than 65 MPs, bus industry leaders, councillors, think tanks and civil servants met today at a pteg event on ‘The Case for the Urban Bus: Getting on Board for Growth’ to discuss the key role that the bus plays in supporting the UK’s urban economies and how the Spending Review could give the bus a better deal.

Major new report shows the urban bus is 'exceptional value for the taxpayer'

Bus
In the most detailed evaluation yet of the full benefits of the urban bus a major new pteg report shows that investing in the urban bus represents ‘exceptional value for money for the taxpayer’ providing multiple and overlapping economic, transport, social and health benefits.

Transport 'funding shift' exposed

Coin being taken from a stack
A ‘funding shift’ briefing, published today, by pteg, shows that although the government as a whole sees big cities as key to economic growth, whenever decisions are taken on how funding should be allocated, the Department for Transport (and other Government departments) are moving funding from Britain’s largest urban areas to either rural areas, or to the London mega-region.

Number crunch of transport spending shows local transport is biggest loser

Stacking coins
In one of the most in-depth analysis so far produced on the Government's transport spending record, a new report shows that spending on local transport outside London has been hardest hit – down by 27% in 2012/3 when compared with the pre-election transport budget for 2010/11.

Warning over concessionary travel 'timebomb'

Passengers on a bus in South Yorkshire
The leaders of the six largest urban transport authorities outside London today warned the national free bus travel scheme for older and disabled people is a financial ‘timebomb’ as the costs of the scheme rise and Government funding for it falls.

New figures show widening funding gap between transport spending in London and the regions

Funding gap
New analysis of Treasury public spending figures reveals that spending on transport in London has now risen to £644 per head compared with £243 per head for the West Midlands and the North of England combined.

Breakthrough on devolution of bus funding

Blurred bus on nighttime street
England's big city transport authorities today welcomed Norman Baker's decision to begin a process of devolving bus subsidies to local transport authorities.

New Treasury figures show massive transport funding gap between London and the regions

Funding gap
New public spending figures released by the Treasury show transport spend in London is now nearing triple the spend in the North of England and West Midlands.

Transport Works!

Liverpool interchange by night
For the first time the evidence base for investing in urban transport has been brought together in a single website: transportworks.org.

Transport funding gap grows even wider

Funding gap
New figures show transport spend in London is now close to triple the spend in the North of England and West Midlands.

Small is beautiful

GMPTE
Smaller public transport schemes (such as bus priority bus schemes) funded by the Integrated Transport Block (which was halved in the CSR) show high value for money, according to analysis in a new report for pteg by Jacobs.

New Chair of pteg calls for more investment in local rail

Geoff Inskip - Director General of Centro
Geoff Inskip, chief executive of Centro, has been appointed as the new Chair of pteg, taking over the role from Neil Scales.

pteg publishes spending review case

Pound coins being counted
n the run up to October 20th, pteg today made public the case that it put to the Treasury as part of the spending review process.

New report shows local transport spending outside London could be decimated in spending review

Press release
A new report for pteg by finance and business advisors Grant Thornton UK LLP, shows that unprotected areas of the transport budget could be facing devastating cuts.

Green transport is working

ecolink bus close-up Nottingham
A new report, launched today (Monday July 19th) shows there are now over 450,000 jobs in sustainable transport industries in the UK.

pteg launches new campaign on city region transport investment

Press release
At a well attended parliamentary event last night, pteg launched a new campaign to make the case that spending on city region transport networks should be maintained.

pteg backs MPs' call for more rail investment in the North

Press release

Responding to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee report on ‘Priorities for Investment in the Railways’, published today (00.01 Monday 15th Feb), Chair of pteg, Neil Scales said:

Cost of free bus travel could 'spiral out of control'

Press release
The cost of concessionary bus travel in England could spiral out of control even if the government plugs the current funding gaps, new research published today has revealed.

ITAs call on Government to retain special grants to fund concessionary passes

Concessionary pass holders on bus
In their response to the consultation on the administration of the national concessionary fares scheme, the largest transport authorities outside London have called on the Government to retain the ‘special grant’ that ITAs have used to successfully administer and support the scheme so far.

Concern over train investment cutbacks

Northern Rail service at Leeds
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.

Funding boost for free fares scheme

Press release
City region transport authorities today welcomed the news that the Government is to provide them with a special grant to cover the cost of the go-anywhere, free off-peak bus travel scheme for older and disabled people, which starts next April.

City region transport authorities welcome new trains – but regions should get fair share

Press release
Passenger Transport Authorities for six of Britain’s largest city regions have welcomed plans for 1,000 new carriages – but have called on Government to ensure that Britain’s booming city regions get their fair share of the investment.

PTEs set out transport case to Government spending review

Press release
A new report for pteg has found that halving the gap in public spending on transport with London could generate £4 billion a year to ensure that transport networks in the North and West Midlands can support the sustainable development of the city regions.

Failure to invest in rail could slow regional regeneration

Press release
Economic development in some of Britain’s largest regional cities could be held back through lack of investment in their commuter rail networks, a new report, launched today shows.

Briefing

The threat to public transport in the city regions

Urban public transport is in danger of entering a new period of retrenchment and decline, following on from years of decline in bus services outside London and the body blow of Covid-19 pandemic. To avoid this, we set out what needs to happen.

Read more about The threat to public transport in the city regions Download file

Briefing

COVID19 funding challenges on urban transport

Government has put in place emergency funding packages to allow public transport to be maintained during the pandemic. This funding has been welcome as it closes the gap between the costs of providing local public transport and the revenue gap created by much lower levels of patronage than normal. However these various funding packages are nearing ‘cliff edge’ end dates
Read more about COVID19 funding challenges on urban transport Download file

Briefing

Doing more for less - How working together on transport cuts costs and saves time

The Urban Transport Group brings together and promotes the interests of Britain’s largest urban areas on transport. Through working together as a network, we help to save time and money for our members by doing things once and collaboratively – rather than separately and expensively. Saving significant costs for our members is just one benefit of being part of our organisation.

Read more about Doing more for less - How working together on transport cuts costs and saves time 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

HMT 2013 Spending Review: transport number crunch

Briefing analysing what the 2013 Spending Review means for transport. It takes a closer look at the overall funding envelope for the UK government and the Department for Transport and how this has evolved, before looking at the balance between resource/revenue and capital budgets and the specific challenges facing local transport over the next couple of years.

Read more about HMT 2013 Spending Review: transport number crunch Download file

Briefing

Transport number crunch

In this briefing we seek to place the 2011 and 2012 Autumn Statements in the context of other major changes in transport funding that have taken place since May 2010, analysing the implications for local transport.

Read more about Transport number crunch Download file

Briefing

Concessionary Travel: The funding timebomb for PTEs

The English National Concessionary Travel Scheme has been highly successful in giving older and disabled people the freedom of free off‐peak bus travel. But the costs of the scheme are rising fast whilst funding is falling. This financial ‘timebomb’ will lead to severe cuts in other frontline transport services unless a sustainable funding solution can be found.

Read more about Concessionary Travel: The funding timebomb for PTEs Download file