Public transport in towns and cities inquiry, launched by Lords Committee

The House of Lords Built Environment Committee has launched its inquiry into public transport in towns and cities in England and is inviting written contributions.

This inquiry will assess public transport travel trends in towns and cities. It will consider how public transport choices vary across different demographics and the impact of technology on how people travel.

The Committee will consider future trends in public transport innovation and how public policy may be shaped in light of these trends.  The Committee is interested in connectivity across modes and how to achieve better integration through data and innovation.

The inquiry will find out if local authorities have enough money and powers to provide high-quality public transport services.

The committee is seeking answers to the following questions:

  1. What are the current and anticipated levels of public transport demand and capacity in towns and cities in England? What influences public transport travel patterns? How does the choice of public transport vary across different demographic groups?
  2. How might public transport travel patterns shift in the next 10 years? What impact could digitalisation and the COVID-19 pandemic have on travel patterns in the long term?
  3. What can be done to improve connectivity across public transport modes? How could better integration be delivered in urban areas outside London?
  4. What are the likely areas of innovation in urban public transport over the next 10 years? How should public policy be shaped considering both incremental and transformational innovations? How could data help transport services meet consumer demand?
  5. Are local authorities well equipped with appropriate funding and powers to deliver high-quality public transport services? Would further devolution of transport policy contribute to better outcomes?
  6. Could better policy coordination across government departments, and between central and local government, improve public transport outcomes? If so, how can this be achieved?
  7. What are the barriers to improving urban public transport, in terms of delivering the necessary infrastructure, increasing connectivity and improving the consumer experience?
  8. Are there other important changes, not covered elsewhere in these questions, which would improve matters?

Baroness Neville-Rolfe DBE CMG, Chair of the Built Environment Committee, said: “People are changing the ways in which they travel – for work, school and leisure – partly driven by digital change. On top of this, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a dramatic impact on how people use public transport in towns and cities, although it is not clear how much of this change will be permanent.

“Our inquiry will focus on finding out how public transport will be used in the future. It will make recommendations to the Government on how its policies can be shaped in light of new innovations. To inform our work we want to hear from as broad a range of people as possible. If you have a view on public transport, respond to our call for evidence and let us know what you think.”

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