New plans place active travel at the forefront of Transport for the North’s agenda

Active travel and multimodal hubs have been highlighted as two important strands of future transport policy by Transport for the North (TfN).

As part of plans to update the 2019 Strategic Transport Plan, TfN published two documents which support the need for integrated active travel and multimodal hubs across the northern region.

The documents – which highlight the importance of enabling travel by foot and bicycle, and the need to join-up transport options across different modes – will help shape future statutory advice the Sub-national Transport Body provides to Government, and further embed the “one voice” approach to strategic transport investment and policy-making in the North of England.

Councillor Daren Hale, leader of Hull City Council and the city’s representative on the TfN board, said: “Active travel has now become a core part of Hull’s transport infrastructure following the installation of safer cycle lanes and walking routes, however improved walking and cycling facilities must also be complemented by efficient public transport.

“As we work towards developing a walking and cycling friendly city, buses and trains will also need to play their part and provide sustainable and effective transport for longer journeys.

“This multimodal approach is something which needs to be implemented across the north to ensure that active and sustainable journeys are the easiest choice for most people, and this can only be achieved through a combined working from all the relevant transport partners across the board.”

On active travel, the policy position highlights four key roles that TfN can play to proactively support ambitions to make cycling and walking a natural choice for shorter journeys:

  • Promote and support sustained investment in active travel at local level, enabling partners to plan and implement more ambitious and longer-term schemes
  • Support partners in their development of proposals as appropriate and continue to raise the profile of active travel generally
  • Collate and promote examples of ‘best practice’ and innovation across the North
  • Outline how the TfN Analytical Framework can support partners with analysis of active travel and make these tools and data available to partners where possible.

And on multimodal hubs, five key roles for TfN are identified:

  • Make the strategic case for investment in multimodal hubs in the North.
  • Support partners in the development of their proposals by providing access to the expertise within TfN.
  • Provide partners with access to the regional evidence base to support the identification of potential multimodal hub demand.
  • Collate best practice for partners to apply to their areas.
  • Undertake work in support of partners to identify multimodal hub locations which would benefit from improved passenger information and marketing.

Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive of Transport for the North, said: “Our 2019 Strategic Transport Plan contains a wide range of policy positions on key factors, outlining how TfN works with partners and stakeholders and ensuring we take a consistent approach across our activities in the region.

“These additional positions are part of the work to publish a revised STP in 2024, which will update the original document in terms of the challenges and opportunities ahead, and ensure our ambitions are aligned to the North’s needs and the changes in travel behaviour we have recently seen, and those we can expect in the future.

“Getting around by more active means such as walking and cycling, and being able to switch between modes of travel, such as cycling to the station and hopping on a train, can be a real game-changer for people, and also supports our ambitious decarbonisation goals.

“Having been approved by TfN’s Members these positions will now form our evidence base and rationale, strengthening our joined-up working and helping us turn our policies into action.”

Further policy positions are now in development to be published in spring/summer 2022, including on spatial planning and rural mobility.

To find out more about the policy positions and Strategic Transport Plan visit the website.

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