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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.