Policies to devolve transport powers and build links to the North must go ‘further and faster’ if cities are to support growth, a report has claimed.
The Passenger Transport Executive Group (pteg) has said government action must now support integrated transport networks and support the transformation of strategic links between urban areas to deliver economic development.
The Policy futures for urban transport report says a more effective relationship much be built between the city regions, Highways England and Network Rail to ensure national and smaller scale road and rail links are delivered in a more unified way.
Support for the regions to run ‘simple to use and understand’ bus networks was also said to be ‘key’, while support was raised for the greater availability of smart ticketing across multiple modes of transport.
Pteg also pushed for a ‘fresh look’ at bus funding alongside greater financial stability for transport as a whole to address the ‘growing mismatch’ between capital and revenue funding.
The body said the new Conservative government needed to move ‘full speed ahead’ on rail devolution and implement ambitious national active travel and air quality strategies.
Chief executive of Transport for Greater Manchester and Pteg chair, Dr Jon Lamonte, said schemes such as the expansion of the Manchester Metrolink and promotion of smart ticketing showed national urban transport networks were ‘changing for the better’ yet improvements needed to go ‘further and faster’.
‘A key priority has to be ensuring that the new Buses Bill helps us give the city regions bus networks that are simple to use and understand – in particular through smart and simple ticketing. If we can get that right, alongside the effective devolution of powers over local rail network, we can give the city regions the more integrated and responsive transport networks that are needed to support growth,’ Mr Lamonte added.