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blog: UK cities ready for transformative investments in transport networks

Author: Neil Taylor

Warm congratulations are in order for the 10 UK city regions, whose share of £60m of the first tranche of Transforming Cities funding was recently announced by the Department for Transport (DfT).  The money is already paying for much-needed improvements to urban transport networks in the winning cities, with more to come for larger projects through a second tranche of funds to be awarded later in 2019.

Public Space Out Of Focus

Backing the bids 

On a personal note, ITP’s team was delighted to see the three East Midlands’ cities of Derby & Nottingham (bidding jointly) and Leicester secure 25% of the total funding available across their two proposals.  We advised the three Councils on their approach; working particularly closely with officers at Derby & Nottingham City Councils to prepare a HMT Green Book economic appraisal of the anticipated impact of their bids and helping to prepare the light-touch business case required by DfT.

Innovation + delivery 

The successful East Midlands’ bids will see over £16m of central government funding invested across the three cities, paying for additional capacity and sustainably-focused transport options intended to improve connectivity between new homes and new employment locations.  

Key measures include:

  • New public cycle hire services in Leicester and Nottingham, and the expansion of Derby's existing scheme to include a larger number of e-bikes.
  • New electric buses to serve Leicester’s Birstall Park & Ride route, and help improve city centre air quality.
  • Enhanced priority measures to enable bus services linking Nottingham and Derby to leapfrog peak-period traffic congestion along the A52.
  • Extended traffic-free and traffic-calmed urban walking and cycling routes into and through Leicester, Derby and Nottingham – with a key focus on linking new homes and jobs. 
  • Smart traffic cameras that will optimise traffic signals for more reliable journey times, while collecting data to inform future investments and traffic management.
  • Smartphone payment capability for Nottingham’s Robin Hood integrated fares and additional real-time information screens and fare payment machines across the city’s public transport network.

We can’t wait to see these improvements be delivered in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham, and congratulations again to all of the successful bidders.

Are you getting in the zone? 

The Transforming Cities news was also bolstered by DfT’s announcement of extra funding to develop and pilot a set of Future Mobility Zones over the next four years.  An additional £90m of capital funding is being made available in total to support local leaders and industry to trial new mobility services, integration techniques and business models through the creation of up to four such zones.  £20m of this has already been awarded to the West Midlands Combined Authority in 2018, to begin developing the concept, so a further £70m is currently ‘up for grabs’.

Bidding for the Future Mobility Zone money is limited to the six Mayoral areas and 12 Transforming Cities local authorities, and with a submission deadline of 24th May for an outline proposal interested parties will need to get their skates on through the Spring to develop a compelling proposition.  Look out for a follow-up blog over the next few weeks on what ITP would love to see in a Future Mobility Zone, and the role we think city and local authorities can play in helping to integrate exciting new mobility options and business models with existing travel options.  

In the meantime, please get in touch or contact Neil Taylor (0115 988 6905 / if you’d like to discuss how ITP’s experienced bidding team could help you shape your Transforming Cities tranche 2 bid, or your Future Mobility Zone proposal.

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