Rethink needed on national public transport strategy

The Chief Executive of Stagecoah, Martin Griffiths, has called for a complete rethink in the way that government, local authorities and public transport operators work together.

His comments come after various research has shown that public transport use could fall dramatically after the lockdown. He said the prioritisation of walking, cycling and buses over private transport would take ‘radical and permanent’ changes made to infrastructure and planning.

He also said new housing developments should prioritise public transport hubs, electric charging points and cycling provision over parking spaces.

“As the government examines how to take Britain out of lockdown, we must make Covid-19 a defining moment to deliver fundamental changes in how we manage mobility and put sustainability at the heart of decision-making. Public transport – particularly our bus networks – and active travel must be central to a transformed approach by governments. We need to make Covid-19 the game-changer for sustainable transport and out of tragedy create hope.

“Firstly, securing our transport future must start with industry and government developing a joint operational and investment plan. We must ensure a sustainable transition of Britain’s bus networks from the emergency levels of lockdown to more comprehensive links which support the country’s recovery. This could include a move away from peak-time commuting to spread demand. We will need to rebuild confidence in mass transit in the months ahead and provide phased support for it to be sustainable. Building on measures already introduced by operators to protect transport workers and customers, there is no reason why we all cannot return to safely using Britain’s most important public transport mode. Transitional support is an investment that will pay back many times over in helping our citizens, communities, economies and planet recover.”

To read Mr Griffiths’ full comments, please click here:


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