The way forward is public transport campaign

Date: 07.09.21 | in: Transport

I welcome the Campaign for Better Transport’s ‘The Way Forward Is Public Transport’ campaign. The pandemic has understandably dominated the headlines for the past year, but we cannot forget we are still in a climate emergency and that green, efficient transport must be the future.

In the last few months, the Government has published its plans for both buses and trains after several delays. I am concerned that these plans have not fundamentally addressed one of the biggest challenges with our transport system, which is that different modes of transport are not working together. They do not turn up together when required and they are not joined up. We need a bus and train system that genuinely connects people.

This has been the case for many years within my constituency and I have had countless meetings with Bus and Rail companies to improve bus/train connections between Otley and Menston station.

The bus strategy should have been used to revolutionise the bus industry, but in my opinion, it lacks ambition and does not deliver a radical transition to a zero-emission fleet. In addition, bus tickets are already unaffordable for many. We need reassurances from the Government that fares will not rise disproportionately in future, and instead will be brought down to a reasonable level that people can afford.

After a period of record low passenger numbers, we also need to encourage people back on to trains to help our economy and our environment. Despite this, fares have been increased again this year. Although I welcomed the announcement of flexible rail tickets, there remains a lack of proper detail on them and whether they will actually make travel cheaper for the average commuter.

While I was pleased to see the recent Government announcement of steps to increase public ownership and control over the railways, the plans do not go far enough. I believe greater responsibility for metro mayors, along with fuller public ownership would better serve the public, the state and long-term investment. I want to see us work towards the redesigning of urban spaces and investment in bus and rail, including enabling more cities, towns and rural areas to develop local mobility plans – coupled with an expanded cycling and walking strategy.

Our newly elected Labour Mayor for West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin is working on improving Transport and you can find out more about her work at:

https://www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/improving-transport/

All details are correct at date of publication shown at the top of the article

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