Arcadis has ranked Manchester as having the third most sustainable transport network in the UK, second to London and Edinburgh but ahead of its regional rivals.
This is the conclusion drawn by consultancy Arcadis’ Sustainable Cities Mobility Index, which ranks 100 cities with reference to three pillars of transport sustainability: people – reflecting quality of life through factors including accessibility, connectivity and uptake of walking and cycling; planet – capturing green factors, including congestion, pollution and emissions; and profit – public finance, affordability and economic opportunity.
Manchester was ranked 35th globally, performing consistently across the index. The city has some of the highest density of bus and metro stops in Europe, and ranks second only to London in terms of the highest share of trips undertaken by public transport in Europe.
On the downside, according to the report it suffers some of the longest commuting times outside of London, with only Rome, Istanbul and Turkey scoring more poorly in the whole of Europe. Manchester would also benefit from offering more active transport options, for example by improving cycling infrastructure and increasing the number of pedestrian areas, Arcadis said.
Jonathan Moore, the firm’s chief executive in the city, said: “Manchester is rightly focused on transport, but it cannot be complacent. There is undoubtedly a lot we’re getting right, but our position so far behind the capital means poor transport connectivity could risk holding back business and economic growth.
“Manchester’s transport network has come on in leaps and bounds over the last ten years. We now have a sophisticated Metrolink system connecting our two main train stations with the wider region, as well as an extensive bus network, a citywide rail network and the busiest airport outside of London. But while the infrastructure inside the city is working well, we need far better links with the rest of the Northern region.
“The Northern Powerhouse Rail campaign would be transformational for businesses in the North; increasing capacity, creating jobs and making the nation’s economy more balanced. Ultimately, this is how Manchester is going to stand out on the international stage.”
The full report can be read online.