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Transport is key for UK towns to survive

Transport is key for UK towns to survive

(Posted on 08/11/18)

Transport has a key role to play in helping the UK’s post-industrial towns thrive according to a report by the Urban Transport Group.

The report, About towns: How transport can help towns thrive, shows how transport can address the challenges that towns face, such as unemployment, underinvestment and a lack of housing - by creating jobs, attracting investment and opening up sites for homes.

Transport can also shape the way towns look and how their residents feel about them – renewing a sense of civic pride through better and healthier streets, and high-quality transport infrastructure such as stations and interchanges.

Tobyn Hughes, chair of the Urban Transport Group, said: “As major drivers of the economy, cities have been the focus of much of the debate about urban transport policy. But the future of the UK’s post-industrial towns, and how they succeed and support their residents and wider economies, is increasingly under the spotlight.

“This report shines a light on just how key transport is if our towns are to thrive. Whether it is providing greater access to jobs, opening investment opportunities, meeting housing demand or creating go-to destinations, transport is a true enabler of prosperous and proud towns.”

However, the report argues that one-off investments in flagship, capital transport projects, are not enough alone for towns to truly succeed. Investment must be integrated with other initiatives in areas such as education, housing and economic development such as locating new colleges alongside public transport hubs and ensuring public transport is affordable for young people.

Jonathan Bray, director of the Urban Transport Group, added: “We need to move away from a ‘silver bullet’ approach based on a single transport solution and instead towards packages of transport measures combined with wider cross-sector initiatives on housing, employment and education. Only then can transport make its mark in reversing the fortunes of our post-industrial towns.”

Key findings from the report include:

 The report also includes several examples of where transport has helped or is helping towns to succeed, including:

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