Campaigners point to new research and urge government not to overlook the benefits of buses when allocating £2.4bn Transforming Cities Fund

 

The report cites the ‘Fastway’ project in Crawley as an example of a project that has improved journey times and reliability and caused a decline in car use

 

With the government having last week extended its Transforming Cities Fund for urban transport to £2.4bn, a new report shows how investment in buses could bring major benefits to the 10 cities shortlisted to bid for the funding.

The findings, in a new report for Greener Journeys by consultancy firm Arup, illustrate how investment in innovative bus infrastructure projects is helping and could continue to help local services buck the overall national trend of declining usage.

In a commentary published alongside the report Stephen Joseph, former chief executive of the Campaign for Better Transport, warned that buses could be overlooked in favour of “more glamorous” alternatives such as new railway stations, tram lines and cycling networks.

“Cities ignoring buses would be missing out”, he said. “The Greener Journeys/Arup report makes a strong case for buses to get their share of this funding and in this way to create more good news stories about buses.”

The report cites the ‘Fastway’ project in Crawley, where roundabouts and junctions have been redesigned to create segregated bus lanes, as an example of a project that has improved journey times and reliability and caused a decline in car use, helping to deliver £6.10 in wider economic benefits for each £1 spent.

The Transforming Cities Fund provides a real opportunity to encourage a shift from car to bus by making bus journeys more convenient and reliable.

Claire Haigh, chief executive of Greener Journeys, said: “Cities across the UK are being suffocated by congestion and air pollution, but the Transforming Cities Fund provides a real opportunity to encourage a shift from car to bus by making bus journeys more convenient and reliable.

 
This article appears in the latest issue of Passenger Transport.

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