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Call for Evidence

Call for evidence - Public transport in towns and cities

Overview

The House of Lords Built Environment Committee has launched an inquiry into public transport in towns and cities in England.

The Committee invites interested individuals and organisations to submit written evidence to this inquiry by 11 March 2022. The Committee intends to hold oral evidence sessions between February and May and will publish its report later in the year.

Background

The ways people choose to travel for work, school and leisure have changed over recent years, driven by trends including digitalisation. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought further dramatic changes in travel patterns, with more people working flexibly, although it is not clear how enduring these changes will be.  

This inquiry will assess public transport travel trends in towns and cities. We will consider how public transport choices vary across different demographics and the impact of technological and digital developments on travel behaviours. The inquiry will explore the extent to which local authorities are equipped with the appropriate funding and powers to provide high-quality public transport services. We are interested in connectivity across modes and how to achieve better integration through data and innovation. This inquiry will consider likely future trends in public transport innovation and how public policy can be shaped in light of these trends.

The Government has recently published a number of plans aimed at encouraging more consumers to use public transport. These include the National Bus Strategy, the Williams‑Shapps Plan for Rail, the Integrated Rail Plan and the Transport Decarbonisation Plan. The Committee will consider recent policy initiatives and ask how better policy coordination across the built environment could improve outcomes.

We are keen to hear from interested stakeholders and individuals, including operators, companies of all kinds with an interest in the subject, membership organisations, representative bodies, the Government, local authorities, non-governmental organisations and academics, about these issues. The Committee is also interested to learn from international comparisons.

Diversity comes in many forms and hearing a range of different perspectives means that Committees are better informed and can more effectively scrutinise public policy and legislation. We encourage anyone with experience or expertise of an issue under investigation to share their views with the Committee, in the full knowledge that they have value and are welcome.

The Inquiry

The Committee seeks evidence in response to the following questions. It is not necessary to answer all the 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?

This call for written evidence has now closed.

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