How transport infrastructure can unlock regeneration and levelling up

Sheffield train tram Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

Regional and local transport planning in the UK has been boosted through the award of long-term funding to city regions and by aligning mobility to levelling up

Sheffield train tram Shutterstock

Source: Shutterstock

The Sheffield train tram is the first of its kind in the UK. It operates on Sheffield’s Supertram tracks and also on railway lines going to Rotherham. The journey from Sheffield cathedral to Rotherham Parkgate takes 27 minutes

01 / Introduction

Although the UK’s transport mega-schemes such as HS2 continue to grab the headlines, there has also been a subtle shift in transport planning towards local regeneration and levelling up. Transport has an insatiable appetite for capital spend, and not even the £96bn investment implied by the Union Connectivity Review satisfied all its stakeholders.

An alternative and complementary approach focused on smaller-scale investment is taking shape. The objective is to make towns and cities work better for citizens and visitors alike. In April 2022, seven of England’s eight devolved city-regions received details of their city-region sustainable transport settlements (CRSTSs), with about 65% of the value of proposed programmes securing support. Ultimately, additional funding totalling £4.2bn will be provided over the period 2022 to 2027 to support devolved and consolidated transport investment programmes. A further £8.8bn funding for the five-year period to 2032 was announced in the 2023 spring Budget.

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