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Access all areas: Transport for the North launches Socially Inclusive Transport Strategy public consultation

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SITS sets out TfN’s vision for an effective & inclusive transport system, that meets the needs of the diverse places and populations of the North

Transport for the North (TfN) is consulting on its Socially Inclusive Transport Strategy (SITS). This strategy provides an evidence-based policy agenda for achieving a more equal, effective, and inclusive transport system across the North.

The strategy builds on the research that TfN published in September 2022. This research revealed that 3.3 million people from across the North of England live in areas where there is a significant risk of social exclusion because of transport issues. This means being unable to access opportunities, key services, and community life, and facing excessive time, monetary and wellbeing impacts from using the transport system. This issue can affect anyone, but particularly impacts those on low incomes and in insecure work, carers, and people with disabilities. Those living in smaller towns, on the edges of our major cities, and in coastal communities are also particularly likely to be affected.

The Socially Inclusive Transport Strategy provides a clear pathway to a transport system that works for all of the places and people of the North. This includes defining how TfN will work with a range of transport stakeholders to achieve this aim, the wider policy agenda necessary for significant progress, and the data by which TfN will monitor progress towards this aim.

The consultation is running from November 7 to December 12 2022. The strategy and details on how to respond are available here.

Martin Tugwell, Chief Executive of Transport for the North, said:

“Income, social, and health inequalities are widely seen as defining challenges of the 21st Century. As such, inclusive growth should be at the heart of public investment – delivering a transport network that works for all areas and communities.”

“Working with our partners, TfN’s Socially Inclusive Transport Strategy identifies transport interventions that can deliver inclusive economic growth, improve health and wellbeing, and benefit all communities. Only by investing now will we make it easier to connect people and places with services and opportunities and address the barriers within our transport system that create inequalities in society.”

The strategy is based on hard evidence. This includes a data tool to measure the risk of TRSE across England – analysing access to jobs, education, healthcare and key services, and the vulnerability of the population to social exclusion.

The data tool will be used to measure progress towards an inclusive transport system – including the size and distribution of the population that is at high risk of social exclusion because of transport issues.

TfN will work with local authorities, DfT, National Highways, Active Travel England, and Network Rail to share evidence and provide statutory advice to government to achieve a more socially inclusive system. By doing this, TfN intends that the social benefits of improving transport and infrastructure are fully considered when investment decisions are made.

It’s all part of a major push by the North’s transport body to make the region’s transport networks greener and more inclusive. The TfN Board approved plans to consult on the new strategy at their Board meeting on September 29 2022.

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