Connect up when you level up

25 January 2023

Last week we saw the latest projects to get Levelling Up Fund cash. Investment in these tough times is good news. There was of course some lively discussion across regions, communities, and sectors!

Good to see lots of transport in there – £41m for West Yorkshire bus improvements, £50m for the ‘Cardiff Crossrail’ and new electric buses for the north east, to name just a few. It’ll be important to keep the needs of passengers at the heart of planning for all this.

But I couldn’t help noticing that of the 111 projects in the announcement, only 26 made reference to public transport connectivity. New homes, leisure and community facilities are great news – even better if they are accessible to all, not just those with access to a car.

Britain has tough decarbonisation targets to meet. Part of the solution must be encouraging people to switch to public transport. We know that people make their choice based on cost and convenience. New developments must have a proper plan for integrating with public transport to help make it a realistic, easy option.

We’ve got lots of insight into what passengers want and need – this could be invaluable for planners, developers and local authorities. Let’s not miss an opportunity to build truly sustainable communities.

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