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Inquiry launch: Reforming public transport after the pandemic

24 July 2020

The longer-term implications of the coronavirus pandemic for the UK’s public transport are to be examined by the Transport Committee.

Send us your views

The areas that the Committee is calling for evidence on is below.

The deadline for submission is Thursday 24 September 2020.

Impact of Covid-19 on the UK’s key transport sectors

From the first weeks of lockdown, the Transport Committee has charted the impact of Covid-19 on the UK’s key transport sectors. Transport workers, stakeholders, mayors and ministers working in aviation, local transport, freight and maritime described the immediate pressures they faced during an unprecedented period of profound upheaval.

As plummeting passenger demand threatened the financial viability of many operators, the UK Government provided billions of pounds of public subsidies for bus and train operators, light rail and tram systems. Additional funding was provided to boost cycling and walking.

The actions of central and local government in response to the crisis could, and perhaps should, influence how people choose how to travel in the longer term. As more people work from home, shop online and choose to walk, cycle or drive, policy makers will need to reimagine how the transport system works. It also presents a chance to explore reforms and technological innovations that may shape the future of transport in the UK and beyond.

This new inquiry will take a holistic look at how public transport is changing and the implications for current government strategies including the Williams Rail Review, bus strategy, walking and cycling, taxis and private hire vehicles. 

The pandemic could prove a unique opportunity to build a better, more sustainable transport system, which helps to meet the Government’s target to achieve net zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.  The Transport Committee is one of the six commissioning select committees of Climate Assembly UK, which will publish its full report in September.

Call for evidence

The Committee welcomes written evidence on the extent that the coronavirus pandemic could, and should, be used as an opportunity to reform public transport for the longer-term.

We are particularly interested in the long-term implications of the pandemic for:

  • the use of public transport and the way that people choose to travel, both locally and for longer domestic journeys;
  • central and local governmental transport priorities and finances and funding for transport;
  • the devolution of transport policy-making responsibilities and powers;
  • the resilience of the transport system for future crises;
  • the decarbonisation of transport and the capability to meet net zero carbon emissions targets by 2050;
  • innovation and technological reform within transport.
  • International travel is not included within the remit of this inquiry.

We will also be looking to see how governments and transport authorities in other countries are responding to similar challenges.

Further information

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