CROWD NTS 2018 2

Calls for cycling and rail investment ahead of Transport Summit

Transport leaders have given their thoughts on what changes could revolutionise the region’s connectivity, including funding for cycling infrastructure, the end of Pacer trains, and longer-term transport planning, ahead of speaking at the Northern Transport Conference next week.

Boardman Burnham

Chris Boardman, former Olympic cycling champion & Greater Manchester cycling and walking commissioner

What one transport change do you think could revolutionise the North?

“A colossal 30% of all trips under one kilometre in Greater Manchester are made in a car – that’s the equivalent of a 15-minute walk or a five-minute bike ride. If we enable people to make those journeys without cars, it would have a phenomenal effect on air quality, congestion and health, and it would make our communities much nicer places to live and work. That’s what we’re working towards.”

If you could have one promise from Government regarding transport what would it be?

“Active travel needs to be given the same, if not more, status as roads and rail investment. A consistent funding stream for cycling and walking investment is essential. We’d like to see at least 5% of the Department for Transport’s budget ring-fenced for cycling and walking infrastructure.”

Barry White, chief executive, Transport for the North

If you could have one promise from Government regarding transport what would it be?

“Our flagship programme is Northern Powerhouse Rail, an up-to-£39bn programme that will transform connectivity across the whole of the North of England. Our board has been clear in asking for full commitment to Northern Powerhouse Rail, ensuring long-term capital investment is assigned in the next Spending Review, as well as development funding to ensure we progress at pace. This will help move towards detailed consent stage by the early 2020s, enabling first phase construction from as early as 2024.”

BARRY WHITE NTS 2018

Barry White, Transport for the North

What innovation would you like to see implemented today, to prepare for transport in 30 years time?

“Innovation in the way we plan and invest in transport will deliver change. Historically we’ve planned transport in quite short-term cycles, which hasn’t given industry the confidence to invest and plan for longer-term innovations. With a clear plan for investment and an infrastructure pipeline that will make the North more connected, companies will have more confidence to make longer-term strategic decisions.

“The overarching change I’d like to see is the North acting as one strong, productive economy. If we address the fundamental issue of being better connected, we can provide a platform for a whole raft of disruptors and innovators to shape the North’s economy over the next 30 years. All the factors that will shape the life of the next generations can be traced back to more co-ordinated investment in our transport network.”

Anna-Jane Hunter, director of North of England rail, Network Rail

What one transport change do you think could revolutionise the North?

Anna Jane Hunter“I think there are several things coming up that will revolutionise the North. The next 12 months will see a transformation in rolling stock for both Transpennine Express and Northern, in particular the exit of the much-maligned pacers from our network. Looking to the future, the Transpennine route upgrade, HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail all have the potential to bring towns and cities in the region closer together, making it possible to travel between them in a way much more common in the south of the country. This will be revolutionary for our economy, for social mobility and for the railway itself.”

What innovation would you like to see implemented today, to prepare for transport in 50 years’ time?

“I’d like to see us move more quickly on the digital railway programme; in particular stock and crew systems are a pet project of mine. We could manage disruption much more effectively if we had better visibility of resources. Train operators find it difficult to make a business case for such systems because of franchise length, so I think we need to take a more holistic, industry approach to digital railway systems to make sure we can unlock benefits on that scale. We are beginning to think more like this, but I’m impatient and would like to see us move more quickly!”

Stephen Joseph, transport policy consultant, formerly Campaign for Better Transport

If you could have one promise from the Government regarding transport, what would it be?

“Proper long-term funding for local transport (local buses, trams and trains, better cycling and walking routes, and road maintenance), to give people more choice and reduce car dependency, pollution and social isolation.”

What innovation would you like to see implemented today, to prepare for transport in 50 years’ time?

“Replacing fuel and vehicle taxes with road user charging, allied with ‘green mile’ tax benefits so anyone car sharing or using sustainable transport gets tax benefits.”

Hear more from Chris Boardman, Transport for the North, Network Rail + more at the Northern Transport Summit on Thursday 16 May – book your tickets below. 

 

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The next 12 months will see the exit of pacer trains? But northern rail say by the end of 2019. So which is it?

By Adam Ash

Good to see a well-balanced range of comments, with cycle representing 1% of trips in the North, bus 7%, rail 1% and car 0.64%.

By Sam

Sorry for the tyypo, that should have been 64% for car.

By Sam

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