Conservative Party Conference – What’s your number one priority for improving transport in cities?

This week it was the turn of the Tory Party conference to share their transport priorities with us on our board. And participants took up the challenge, sharing a range of ideas for improving cities. For an overview of our work on the directions for transport policy in cities, check out Policy Futures. Let’s take a look at some of the suggestions, and our work in these areas, in more detail.

con1

You may, or may not, be surprised to find that there were a lot of similarities between the transport priorities raised at both the Labour and Conservative party conferences. Buses were a recurring theme, and seem to bridge the political divide. You can find more in our Bus Policy briefing, where we argue the importance of buses to public transport.

con2

Increased oversight of bus routes and ticketting was highlighed as a priroriy for improving cities transport, and the forthcoming Buses Bill will devolve more powers to city regions. You can find out more about this in our Buses Bill FAQ.

con3

Integration of bus routes is something else that was raised as a priority for city transport, something which the Buses Bill should also help to address.

con4

Congestion was raised as a challenge for urban transport. At UTG, we argue that greater priority for buses is a key strategy for reducing congestion in cities, and the Case for Bus Priority can be found here. You can also find lots more work on the value of buses to our city regions here.

con5

Electric Vehicle Charging was a point that came up at the Conservative Party conference, and you can find our work on transport sustainability here.

con6

Lots of people across both conferences highlighted cycling as their number one priority for improving urban transport. Our Cycling Hub shares our work on this area, as well as providing direction to other organisations who are delivering evidence on the case for cycling investment.

con7

Finally, we were thrown a bit of a curve ball, with the question of ‘Where are the canoes and kayaks”? This isn’t something that we’ve looked at, but it did spark a debate in the office about the possibilities of kayaking for commuting in Leeds!

Hopefully, for those of you who shared your transport priorities, across both conferences, this is a useful way of finding out more about our work on these areas.

Labour Party Conference – What’s your number one priority for improving transport in cities?

At the recent Labour Party Conference, we asked attendees to share with us their number one priority for improving transport in the cities. And lots of people took up the challenge, as you can see on our board below! We’re going highlight some of these here and direct you to some of the work that we’ve done in these areas. Our Policy Futures document showcases the directions for policy across transport, with more specific work highlighted below.

img_20160926_172403

Lots of people highlighted buses as an important area for improving transport in our cities, from synchronisation across operators, greater regulation and more frequent and reliable services to encourage people to move away from cars.

img_20160927_113808

Buses are vital to our city regions, with over 80% of public transport trips in metropolitan areas being made by bus and contributing £2.5bn of benefits in the metropolitan areas alone. You can find more in our Bus Policy briefing, where we argue the importance of buses to public transport. The forthcoming Bus Services Bill will devolve more powers to city regions over their bus networks, and you can find out more about the bill in our Buses Bill FAQ. And there is lots more work on the value of buses to our city regions here.

img_20160927_113641

Many people made suggestions around the accessibility of buses, the need for audio-visual announcements on buses and priority for wheelchair users. This is clearly important and UTG’s work has recognised the value of buses in supporting those with greater accessibility requirements. The Guide Dogs are currently leading a campaign for Talking Buses, take a look to find out more.

img_20160927_113631

Digital innovation is an area that UTG are increasingly looking into. Ticketing is an area that we have worked on a great deal in the past, see Smart Ticketing for more. We held an event earlier this year looking at emerging data and transport authorities, which broadens out our examinations of digital innovation, you can find more on our Smart Futures pages and a blog post about the event too.

img_20160927_113740

Freight transport was an area that came up and something that UTG have worked on. You can find out more on our Freight Hub and read our Vision for Urban Freight. We also held a Last Mile Challenge Conference in 2014 asking people to share innovative ideas for last mile deliveries in cities.

img_20160927_113654

Lots of people highlighted cycling as their number one priority for improving urban transport. Our Cycling Hub shares our work on this area, as well as providing direction to other organisations who are delivering evidence on the case for cycling investment.

img_20160926_093043

And, we couldn’t have a transport priorities board without someone mentioning POTHOLES! UTG has examined the economics of national and local road maintenance, and you can find out more in our Bumpy Ride report.

Hopefully, for those of you who shared your transport priorities, this is a useful way of finding out more about our work on these areas. We’ll also be at the Conservative Party Conference and hopefully we can share transport priorities from there and look at some of the similarities and differences between them.