Smart Transport

City regions make the case for urban transport ahead of Budget

Urban Transport Group, the UK’s network of city region transport authorities, is urging further support and guaranteed revenue funding from the Government ahead of the Budget.

UTG said it is making the call as the Government’s plans for easing the lockdown showed that continuing restrictions will “severely limit public transport use for at least the next four months” amid wider uncertainty over what level of public transport patronage will ultimately return.

Laura Shoaf, chair of UTG and managing director of Transport for West Midlands, said: “The lockdown release roadmap shows that restrictions will substantially reduce fares revenue for public transport for at least four months.

“We also do not expect public transport use to return to pre-pandemic levels when all restrictions are removed.

“We are therefore making the case for a new deal for urban transport, with simplified, devolved and guaranteed revenue funding.

“This will enable us to provide single integrated public transport networks in the most cost effective way during the remainder of the pandemic and beyond.”

Shoaf said that alongside this, there should be a long term capital funding deal for investment in urban transport, similar to the one that national rail and roads already have.

She added: “This will give us the certainty we need to invest in the decarbonised urban transport networks that can serve all of our communities and underpin a green and just recovery.”

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