Green wall

Sustainability

Transport has a key role to play in cutting carbon emissions and improving air quality as well as making our city regions more climate resilient and bio-diverse. To achieve this we will need to make more journeys by more sustainable means.

We also need to decarbonise urban vehicle fleets and make the connections across transport, energy and the built and natural environments.

How we work on sustainability

 

Clare Linton, Policy and Research Advisor, is the lead staff member for our work on sustainability. 

Resources for this topic

View documents, reports and other material.

Report

Future Streets: Challenges and opportunities

Streets are often the most contested spaces in any town or city. There are a large number and wide variety of calls on street space (at least 160 legitimate calls), and they simply can’t all be met. This report seeks to help local highway and strategic transport authorities rise to the challenge of better street and kerbside management.
Read more about Future Streets: Challenges and opportunities Download file

Report

The Good Life: The role of transport in shaping a new and sustainable era for suburbs

We are a nation of suburbanites. However, the ubiquity of suburban living is often not reflected in transport policy. And there can be no decarbonisation of transport without specific measures to decarbonise transport in the suburbs. This report presents four foundations of suburbs for a new era – one which offers all suburbanites the promise of the ‘Good Life’ whilst addressing the climate crisis.
Read more about The Good Life: The role of transport in shaping a new and sustainable era for suburbs Download file

Report

Leading Light: What Light Rail can do for City Regions

This report, produced by Steer for the Urban Transport Group, shows how Britain’s light rail systems have supported economic growth in the areas that they serve, promoted social inclusion and led to environmental gain, including a reduction in carbon emissions.
Read more about Leading Light: What Light Rail can do for City Regions Download file

Report

Making the connections on climate: How city regions can join the dots between transport, energy and the built environment

This report draws together practical examples of the links that can be made on climate at the city region level between transport and energy, and between transport and the decarbonisation and adaptation of the built environment.
Read more about Making the connections on climate: How city regions can join the dots between transport, energy and the built environment Download file

Report

What next for urban transport?

This report - published to coincide with the 2019 Autumn Party Conferences - identifies four urban transport challenges and four solutions needed to overcome them.

It also details what transport authorities need from Government to bring about these changes. 

Read more about What next for urban transport? Download file

Report

The cross-sector benefits of backing the bus

This report highlights how investing in bus services is key to achieving a wide range of policy objectives across Government. 

The report also finds that the way in which bus services are funded is mired in complexity, with no oversight within Whitehall of how the various funding streams from different Government departments impact on bus services overall.

Read more about The cross-sector benefits of backing the bus Download file

Report

Policy futures for urban transport

The latest edition of Policy futures for urban transport emphasises how a new deal on funding and powers is essential to keep the UK's cities moving forward.

The report sets out the 10 key policy changes that are needed to make cities healthier, fairer and more prosperous.

Read more about Policy futures for urban transport Download file

Report

Policy Futures

Policy futures for urban transport sets out how, with more focused governance in place, the city regions are delivering major investment programmes including on public transport, highways and active travel, and smart ticketing. The report says that - with the right national policy framework - further and faster progress can be made, including:

Read more about Policy Futures Download file

Report

Horizon scan of implications of technological and social change

This report aims to provide decision makers with a guide to the implications for urban transport of transformative social and technological change and how they can best respond. 

The report (which was produced in collaboration with Arup Foresight) identifies four key overarching trends: 

Read more about Horizon scan of implications of technological and social change Download file

Report

Changing Highways Policy

This report to pteg by Atkins focuses on the most important recent and forthcoming changes to highways policy and the implications of these for Metropolitan areas, including in respect of air quality, carbon emissions, technology, the Strategic Road Network, road maintenance, road safety, planning, freight, management of road space and parking policy.

Read more about Changing Highways Policy Download file

Report

LSTF Monitoring and Evaluation Guidance - Final Report

Building on the work of the Department for Transport, pteg commissioned AECOM to prepare additional guidance for PTEs and other Local Transport Authorities to assist in the monitoring and evaluation of Local Sustainable Transport Fund projects. The guidance provides a practical approach to developing cost effective and affordable monitoring and evaluation programmes.

Read more about LSTF Monitoring and Evaluation Guidance - Final Report Download file

Report

Thriving Cities - Integrated land use and transport planning

Setting out the stark choices ahead in new planning reforms, this report recommends three 'golden rules' for future planning policy. The report also highlights good and bad practice on transport and land use planning and calls for local authorities and Local Economic Partnerships to proactively draw up highly sustainable masterplans for development sites of key significance.

Read more about Thriving Cities - Integrated land use and transport planning Download file

Report

Cycling in the city regions: Technical report

This document reports the results of a series of modelling exercises intended to estimate the potential impact and value for money of a step change in the delivery of interventions to support and promote cycling in the six PTE areas. The purpose of this exercise is to support decision-makers in developing effective strategies aimed at increasing cycling levels in the metropolitan areas.

Read more about Cycling in the city regions: Technical report Download file

Report

Cycling in the city regions: Delivering a step change

This report explores the potential impact of a step change in the delivery of interventions to support and promote cycling in the English city regions outside of London. It finds that the greatest potential for increasing cycling in the UK can be found in the city regions.

Read more about Cycling in the city regions: Delivering a step change Download file

New approach needed to take the conflict out of the streets of the future, urges report

Person cycling in London
There are at least 160 legitimate calls on street space and they cannot all be met. A new report from Urban Movement for the Urban Transport Group calls for a fresh approach to remove the conflict from the competing demands for street space.

Transport has key role in shaping sustainable suburbs in post-COVID era, report finds

Man and boy on cargo bike
Transport has a key role to play in shaping a new and sustainable era for the suburbs, a new report from the Urban Transport Group says.

Speed up zero emission vehicle usage across cities or risk missing decarbonisation targets, report urges

Electric bus in Leeds
A more cohesive approach to accelerating the uptake of zero emission vehicles across the UK’s city regions is vital if ambitious city-wide and national decarbonisation targets are to be achieved, a new report urges.

New transport technologies must promote equity and inclusion to deliver just transition to net zero, says report

Woman with e-bike
Embracing new technologies will play a key role in decarbonising transport and help towns and cities to achieve net zero emissions – but steps must also be taken to ensure that the way new technologies are applied does not marginalise some groups or reinforce existing inequalities.

Greening urban freight key to decarbonising city regions, says report

Man on cargo bike
The greening of urban freight and logistics is central to decarbonisation strategies both nationally and within city regions, says a new report by the Urban Transport Group.

100 million car and taxi trips in city regions could be replaced by e-bikes if Government delivers target for shift to cycling, new report shows

Woman riding e-bike
Over 100 million car and taxi trips made in city regions each year could instead be on e-bikes if the Government is able to deliver its target for mode shift to cycling, according to a new report by consultants Steer for the Urban Transport Group (UTG).

Government will miss carbon reduction objectives and levelling up goals without more local transport spending, warn city regions

Treasury building
The Government will fail to meet its objectives around carbon reduction and levelling up unless it increases spending on local transport as part of the Spending Review.

City regions must be “at the heart” of Government’s Green Industrial Revolution

Metrolink Tram
The Urban Transport Group, the UK’s network of city region transport authorities, has today responded to the Government’s Ten Point Plan for a Green Industrial Revolution.

UTG launches ‘Urban Transport Next’ - a new series of lunchtime conversations on the future beyond COVID

Press release
Designed to stimulate and inspire, the ‘Urban Transport Next’ events will see leading figures in urban transport discuss potential opportunities, challenges and strategies for the coming months and years.

Empower urban transport authorities to build back better from COVID-19, urges report

Build back better image
Transport authorities can play their part in shaping a positive legacy of COVID-19 for the UK’s city regions, provided they are given both the funding and powers they need to respond to the challenges that lie ahead.

Urban Transport Group responds to NHS campaign to tackle climate change

NHS vehicles
The Urban Transport Group has welcomed the launch of the NHS’ campaign ‘For A Greener NHS’ designed to tackle the climate “health emergency”, which it announced this weekend.

Cities have opportunity to address climate crisis & create more liveable places by joining dots between transport, energy & built environment

Green wall
City regions in the UK and beyond have the opportunity to address the escalating climate crisis whilst creating healthier and more liveable cities, by making connections between the transport, energy and built environment sectors.

Critical challenges and solutions to improving transport in city regions identified ahead of party conferences

What next for urban transport? cover
The challenges to improving transport in the UK’s city regions and the solutions needed to overcome them have been set out by the Urban Transport Group today.

City transport bodies call on Government to make practical policy changes to improve air quality

Birmingham skyline
A coalition of city region transport authorities have today called on Government to make five practical policy changes to help assist them in improving air quality in their areas.

Investing in ‘right’ transport policies key to achieving UK’s net zero goal

London skyline
The Urban Transport Group has today responded to the UK’s move to legislate for net zero carbon emissions.

MPs are right to call for urgent action to tackle bus decline, says Urban Transport Group

Woman boarding bus
MPs on the Transport Select Committee are “absolutely right” to call for urgent action to tackle bus decline in their new report into the health of the bus market in England.

National Infrastructure Commission is right to make devolved transport funding for cities a key test for Government’s future infrastructure plan

Bus
The National Infrastructure Commission’s call for Government to make devolved funding for urban transport to cities a key test of the Government’s forthcoming National Infrastructure Strategy is hugely welcome, says the Urban Transport Group.

Climate advisors’ ‘clear route map’ for tackling transport emissions welcomed by city region transport authorities

Electric car
The Urban Transport Group - the UK's network of city region transport authorities - has today welcomed the Committee on Climate Change’s new advice for Government to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050, and specifically its recommendations for the transport sector.

Supporting bus services key to achieving policy goals of Government departments, report shows

Woman on bus
Investing in bus services is key to achieving a wide range of policy objectives across Government, a new report from the Urban Transport Group has shown.

Urban Transport Group strengthened as Northern Ireland’s public transport provider joins up

Jonathan Bray with Translink staff
Membership of the Urban Transport Group has received a significant boost today as Translink, Northern Ireland’s main public transport provider, has joined as an Associate Member.

South Yorkshire transport chief is new Chair of Urban Transport Group

Stephen Edwards
Stephen Edwards, the Executive Director of South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE), is the new Chair of the Urban Transport Group.

‘Transit oriented development’ can help meet housing demand and reduce car-based urban sprawl, says report

The place to be visual
Placing transport at the heart of new building developments will help the UK to meet its demand for new homes and prevent car-based urban sprawl, a report from the Urban Transport Group says today.

Transport crucial to achieving Government’s ‘Prevention is better than cure’ vision

Cyclist
The Urban Transport Group has today welcomed the Department of Health and Social Care’s ‘Prevention is better than cure’ vision, whilst also highlighting the crucial role that transport will play in achieving it.

New deal on funding and powers essential to keep cities moving forward, stresses Urban Transport Group

Walking blur
Further devolution of rail services, greater funding for buses and reform of taxi and Private Hire Vehicle legislation – these are just three parts of a new deal on funding and powers that is required to keep the UK’s cities moving forward.

Urban Transport Group launches ‘Healthy Streets for All’ programme with public health expert Lucy Saunders

Lucy Saunders
Healthy Streets for All, a new programme to raise awareness and support UK cities in shaping urban environments around people and their health, has been launched today by the Urban Transport Group in collaboration with renowned public health expert Lucy Saunders.

Government’s Clean Air Strategy ‘lacks coherence’ on tackling transport emissions

Exhaust
The Government’s new Clean Air Strategy lacks coherence and a truly joined up approach for reducing emissions from transport, the Urban Transport Group has warned today.

Select Committees’ report is “wake-up call” for government on air quality, says Urban Transport Group

Traffic
The Urban Transport Group has today welcomed an unprecedented joint inquiry by four House of Commons Select Committees on the Government’s failure to improve air quality in the UK.

UK's largest urban transport authorities set out vision for future of transport in the city regions

Policy Futures

Following on from the EU referendum, the formation of a new Government and with the start of the party conference season, the Urban Transport Group has set out a vision for how UK transport policy could unfold in a way that will enable the nation’s largest urban areas to deliver inclusive growth in a smart and sustainable way.

New ‘Horizon Scan’ report sets out how forward thinking cities can respond to rapid technological and social change

Horizon Scan cityscape
A new report from pteg aims to provide city decision makers with a guide to the implications for urban transport of transformative social and technological change and how they can best respond. 

pteg welcomes Government decision to keep consulting PTEs on national infrastructure projects

Close up of city centre map
pteg today welcomed the Government’s decision to abandon its proposal to remove Integrated Transport Authorities (ITAs) and Passenger Transport Executives (PTEs), (the strategic transport bodies for the main city regions in the North of England and West Midlands), as statutory consultees for Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects (NSIP). 

Thriving Cities? - New report sets out stark choices on transport and land use planning

The skyline of the city of Manchester
A report to be launched today at an event in London, sets out the stark choices ahead in new planning reforms on whether transport and land use planning will be integrated or fragmented.

'A green traffic jam is still a traffic jam'

Traffic
pteg Chair, Geoff Inskip, has called on the EU to make urban traffic restraint a key theme in its new forty year transport policy.

Green transport is working

ecolink bus close-up Nottingham
A new report, launched today (Monday July 19th) shows there are now over 450,000 jobs in sustainable transport industries in the UK.

Greening big city bus fleets - new report sets out the options

Press release
A new report for pteg on scenarios for greening bus fleets in the city regions has found that the two biggest priorities should be reducing pollution by eliminating or modifying the oldest most polluting buses - and reducing carbon through more hybrid buses (which are dual diesel/battery powered) and the wider use of sustainable biofuels.

Briefing

Climate emergency declarations - briefing note

This document provides a summary of which authorities have declared a climate emergency and what targets they are committing to. It does not cover all authorities but focuses primarily in those in the city regions, with some additional key urban areas included for interest. This document represents a snapshot in December 2019, as authorities are continuing to declare climate emergencies and set targets.

Read more about Climate emergency declarations - briefing note Download file

Briefing

Air quality

Working to improve air quality is a key challenge and priority across our members. Here are our five operational asks of Government which would help us to achieve this aim.

Read more about Air quality Download file