Transport Chair responds to Urban Transport Group's Policy Futures report
12 September 2018
Responding to today's publication of the Urban Transport Group's Policy Futures report, Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee said: "The 10 key policy changes the Urban Transport Group are calling for are in line with what we have been saying are needed if our transport networks are going to support inclusive growth across West Yorkshire and the Leeds City Region."
The Urban Transport Group (UTG), which represents the UK's largest city region transport authorities says a new deal on funding and powers is required to keep the UK's cities moving forward.
Vital policy changes
Policy Futures report sets out the 10 key policy changes the UTG considers vital to making cities healthier, fairer and more prosperous. These policy changes include further devolution of rail services, greater funding for buses, an ambitious strategy to encourage more cycling and walking, a long term investment plan for urban rail services, reform of taxi and Private Hire Vehicle legislation and a visionary national policy framework on air quality.
Cllr Groves said: "Recent events affecting local train users have exposed the lack of overall leadership on the north's rail services and the need for a greater devolution of control over our networks. And while we have recently opened three new rail stations in West Yorkshire and have more in the pipeline, we need, as the UTG report states, a plan for long-term investment in our urban networks.
"Through our West Yorkshire-plus Transport Fund we have spent over £90 million on capital schemes, such as Wakefield Eastern Relief Road and Temple Green Park and Ride, designed to support economic growth by fighting congestion and improving journey times, and to improve air quality.
"However, as the UTG state in their 10 key policy changes, we also require improved and guaranteed capital and revenue funding that would enable us to deliver the modern efficient and reliable transport that local people deserve and, quite rightly, expect."
Cllr Groves went on to say that through its successful City Connect programme, the Combined Authority had delivered 40km of segregated cycle infrastructure in West Yorkshire and through its work with businesses, schools and individuals had provided support to thousands of people wanting to take up active travel. But she reiterated the UTG's call for an ambitious national active travel strategy that seeks to accelerate growth in the number of trips made on foot or by bike.
She added: "In West Yorkshire, we have developed some of the country's best cycling infrastructure but a more joined-up and consistent approach to active travel is needed at a national level of we are going to continue building upon this success."