Urban Transport Group calls for new deal on funding and powers

News stories are free to read. Click here for full access to all the features, articles and archive from only £2.99.

The Urban Transport Group has warned that further devolution of rail services, greater funding for buses and reform of taxi and private hire vehicle legislation are just three parts of a new deal on funding and powers that is required to keep the UK’s cities moving forward.

The organisation, which represents the UK’s largest city region transport authorities, published a report titled ‘Policy futures for urban transport.’

The report sets out 10 key policy changes, which it says are needed to make cities healthier, fairer and more prosperous.

Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director of Nexus and Chair of UTG, said: “Cities are the key drivers of the UK economy – yet not enough has been invested in the urban transport networks that support those economies.

“We need a new deal on funding and powers which recognise the exceptional benefits urban transport offers, from supporting jobs and boosting economic growth, to improving air quality and tackling climate change.”

Jonathan Bray, Director of UTG, added: “Not only is urban transport underfunded, the way it is funded is highly complex and short-termist.

“We need to overhaul this current approach if we are to truly realise the benefits better urban transport can bring. We look forward to working in partnership with government to make our vision a reality.”

The West Yorkshire combined authority has responded to the report.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said: “The 10 key policy changes the UTG is calling for are in line with what we have been saying are needed if our transport networks are going to support inclusive growth across West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region.

“Through our West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund we have spent over £90m on capital schemes, such as Wakefield Eastern Relief Road and Temple Green Park and Ride, designed to support economic growth by fighting congestion and improving journey times, and to improve air quality.

“However, as the UTG states in its 10 key policy changes, we also require improved and guaranteed capital and revenue funding that would enable us to deliver the modern efficient and reliable transport that local people deserve and, quite rightly, expect.”