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Charity makes case for a joined up public transport network so it works for passengers

16 November 2018

A report released today from Campaign for Better Transport calls for new transport interchanges to join up parts of the fragmented public transport network so that it works for passengers.

Integrated Transport: a new generation of interchanges found that current bus, rail and coach services are poorly integrated, which makes door-to-door public transport journeys difficult, or often impossible, leaving people reliant on the car as the preferred means of travel.

Darren Shirley, Chief Executive of Campaign for Better Transport, said:

"Public transport that does not connect up discourages people from using it and leaves more people choosing to drive, increasing congestion on our roads. We need more rail, bus, and coach interchanges to join up part of the fragmented public transport network so that it works for passengers."

The report highlights that the operation, investment and planning of different public transport modes is made in isolation, which means opportunities to link them is missed. The result is a network that does not offer connections between different transport options and is expensive and inefficient for passengers. The report concludes that transport interchanges are key to connecting different networks and allowing for door-to-door journeys, and makes a number of recommendations, including:

  • The Government needs to develop priority national transport interchanges and examine opportunities for regional ones, and prioritise them in the planning system.
  • Regional bodies with devolved transport powers should plan to deliver integrated local public transport networks.
  • A national investment strategy for buses, our most used form of public transport, would ensure buses are a key part of the transport mix and would start to reverse the decline in services that is leaving communities isolated and disconnected.

Alastair Hanton from the Foundation for Integrated Transport (FIT), which commissioned the report, said:

"Interchanges are at the heart of integrated transport. Each of the report's examples shows how creating links between services could help existing passengers and attract new passengers."


For further information please contact the press office on 020 3746 2235 or communications@bettertransport.org.uk

Notes to Editors

Case study: Luton North

Located 30 miles north of central London, Luton, Dunstable and Houghton Regis have a combined population of 260,000. Travelling by public transport between the area's main towns is currently difficult due to poorly connecting public transport services and bad road design. For instance, the 18 miles from Luton to Milton Keynes currently takes one and a half hours by train because you have to go via central London. Coach journeys are quicker at 35 minutes, but that only gets you to Milton Keynes Coachway where you have to swap to a bus to get into the town centre. Travelling the nine miles between Luton and Stevenage by bus can take upwards of 50 minutes because the new road layout at Luton Airport imposes considerable delays on existing bus routes, whereas the same car journey takes 30 minutes.

A new Luton North interchange station serving the midland mainline and M1 Junction 11a would allow for better rail and road freight interchanges; better local bus interchanges; create car parking and a coach interchange; and open up a potential connection to the guided busway. In the longer term it would also create potential to establish a link between the midland Main Line and the Marston Vale line, allowing travel toward Milton Keynes and Oxford.

1. Read Integrated transport: a new generation of interchanges

2. Campaign for Better Transport is the UK's leading authority on sustainable transport. We champion transport solutions that improve people's lives and reduce environmental damage. Our campaigns push innovative, practical policies at local and national levels. Campaign for Better Transport Charitable Trust is a registered charity (1101929).

3. The Foundation for Integrated Transport (FIT) is a UK grant-making charity (number 1156363) established in 2014 that exists to help create and promote transport solutions which rely less on the use of the private car, and are more environmentally friendly, affordable and accessible.