Local Transport Plans (LTPs) are set to become the cornerstone of the dialogue between local and central government on local transport funding and investment strategy.

The DfT’s official guidance on the preparation of the next generation LTPs was due to be issued in 2023, but these have been delayed. We believe from DfT comments that the new era of LTPs will need to address a number of key themes:

  • Expert Insights

Mike SCOTT

Maximising Economic and Housing Growth

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  • Expert Insights

David CONNOLLY

A Decarbonisation Policy Playbook to support LTP4 development

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  • Expert Insights

Jorgen PEDERSEN

Delivering Sustainable Future Mobility & Transport Technologies

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  • services

Transport Planning

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Find out answers to our frequently asked questions about LTPs at the bottom of the page.

Local Transport Planning for the New Era of LTPs – Webinar Series

Local transport planning have been back in the spotlight as new guidance on preparation of LTPs was set to be issued in 2023 – this has been delayed. SYSTRA has been hosting a six-part webinar series in partnership with Landor LINKS on the theme of Local Transport Planning For The New Era of LTPs. Below are videos from the webinars.

THE FUTURE OF BUSES – 13 July 2023

The Bus Services Act 2017 was introduced in a bid to combat the perceived challenges faced by the bus industry following deregulation in the 1980s and to allow some local authorities greater control over the bus services being operated in their area.

Two new operating models were introduced: franchising and enhanced partnerships (EPs).
This webinar will explore the opportunities and challenges inherent in both approaches. In March 2021, the Government launched Bus Back Better: England National Bus Strategy, with local authorities requited to submit a Bus Service Improvement Plan to receive funding, with outcomes released in April 2022.

In May 2023, funding for Bus Service Improvement Plan Plus (BSIP+)and Bus Service Operators Grant Plus (BSOG+) schemes was announced. The £300 million of funding has been allocated to directly supporting bus services in England via the government’s longer-term approach. The Bus Fare Cap Grant – which will receive £200 million from the government’s £500 million package – will run to 30 November 2024, albeit with the cap rising to £2.50 from 1 November 2023.

Chair: Neill Birch, Project Director, SYSTRA

Speakers included:

  • Matthew Goggins, Assistant Director for Bus, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority
  • Andy Gibbons, Programme Manager (Buses), Transport Strategy and Programmes, Leicester City Council.
  • Graham Vidler Chief Executive for Campaign for Passenger Transport (CPT) and Bus Centre of Excellence Advisory Board member

MAXIMISING INTEGRATION AT RAIL STATIONS

Rail stations are changing in line with evolving travel, social and economic trends.

Towns and cities need to think beyond the ‘gate line’ and so support the creation of centres of activity, accessible by as many modes of travel as possible, that will attract people to places and support economic growth.

This webinar will explore:

  • How rail stations can unlock social, economic and environmental value for communities
  • Integration of non-car modes modes around stations to reduce car dependency
  • Better understanding local, regional and national spatial ambitions to support development around transport hubs
  • The design and management of the built environment in and around a station
  • Successful models for integrated rail-led development

The webinar was chaired by Ian Robinson, Director of Integrated Ticketing, SYSTRA UK

Speakers included:

  • Silka Kennedy-Todd, Integrated Transport Lead, Strategic Planning, Great British Railways Transitions Team
  • Matthew Ledbury, Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer, CoMoUK
  • Cathryn Jones, Director, SYSTRA

THE ROLE OF ROAD PRICING IN ACHIEVING NET ZERO

Road pricing has been a politically charged issue in the UK for decades. The ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles from 2030 upped the ante by raising the challenge of a corresponding decline in two significant sources of Treasury revenue – fuel duty and vehicle excise duty – but Government has recently said that, from 1 April 2025, all electric car owners will be required to pay the standard rate of road tax VED, which is currently £165 per year.

Advocates for road pricing suggest that a ’pay as you drive’ system Is revenue neutral, with most motorists paying the same or less than they do currently. Several recent studies, from all sides of the transport sector, have suggested that the public is minded to accept some form of road pricing in future.

The Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan commits to delivering a ’zero emission fleet of cars, vans, motorcycles, and scooters’. It also says that ’we will reform the way local transport infrastructure is funded to drive and deliver decarbonisation at a local level’. Road pricing is not mentioned. By law, the UK’s emissions must be net zero by 2050.

The webinar was chaired by Katie Hall, Business Director at SYSTRA.

Speakers included:

  • David Connolly, Director of Technical Development, SYSTRA
    Achieving carbon zero: why road user charging / pay as you go charging is required.
  • David Metz, honorary professor, Centre for Transport Studies, University College London
    Types of road pricing – overview of schemes throughout the world.
  • Trevor Ellis, Director, Trevor Ellis Consulting and ITS UK
    Demand management/road user pricing to fund future sustainable transport projects, plus the innovative use of capital budgets.
  • Silviya Barrett, Director of Policy, Research and Projects, Campaign for Better Transportar
    Impacts of charging on behavioural change.

FUTURE MOBILITY AND TRANSPORT TECHNOLOGIES

In this third webinar recorded on the 22nd November, our panel of speakers focused on Future Mobility and Transport Technologies.

  • What is MaaS in 2022, and what are the barriers to providing convenient and affordable mobility services for all?
  • Connected and Autonomous Vehicles – what does autonomy really mean?
  • How are human factors and ethics being considered?
  • Micromobility, sharing and Demand Responsive Transport – can they provide a reliable and realistic alternative to the private car?

The webinar was chaired by Malcom Calvert, Director of Digital Products and Services at SYSTRA Ltd.

Speakers included:

  • Jorgen Pedersen, Director of Transport Technology, SYSTRA. What are the key barriers to providing convenient and affordable new mobility services for all?
  • Steve Longman, Solent FTZ Project Manager (MaaS), Solent Transport. Delivering Solent’s MaaS solution, Beeeze: lessons learned
  • Nick Reed, Director, Reed Mobility. A safe, ethical and responsible transition towards connected and automated mobility
  • Beate Kubitz, New Mobility and Innovative Transport Consultant. How future mobility options can offer a reliable and realistic alternative to the private car

BENEFITS OF INTEGRATING LAND USE AND TRANSPORT PLANNING

Integrated land use and transport planning addresses a city or region’s longer-term challenges, working to a shared vision of what a city or region aspires to be in the future, and helps to coordinate investments and policy decisions to achieve that vision.

As set out in the Climate Change Committee’s advice, integrated land use and transport planning is now recognised as being a critically important part of reducing transport emissions.

The webinar was chaired by Emily Walsh, Associate Director at SYSTRA and Design Council Expert.

Speakers included:

  • Lynda Addison, Lead on planning and transport integration for Transport Planning Society and Design Council, and Chair, Sustainable Transport Panel, CIHT
  • Jon Sandford, Senior Manager in the Master Development and Design Team, Homes England
  • Darren Kirkman, Associate Director, SYSTRA
  • Niamh Hession, Director, Design, Turley

USING DATA TO PLAN FUTURE TRANSPORT NETWORKS

In this first webinar recorded on the 1st September, our panel of speakers focused on best practice uses of data to plan the transport networks of the future.

The webinar was chaired by Malcolm Calvert, Director of Digital Products and Services at SYSTRA

Speakers included:

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

As focus moves to updating existing LTPs in line with the new guidance, there is a range of questions relating to the requirements New Era LTPs and the development of policies, strategies and schemes to deliver the aspirations of central government. Our FAQs page provides some questions highlighted so far together with insights from experts in the transport planning community.

Should you wish to ask a question please email Mike Scott at mscott1@systra.com

  • What is a Local Transport Plan?
    The Transport Act 2020 requires all Local Authorities to publish statutory plans, known as Local Transport Plans or LTPs, for maintaining and improving all aspects of local transport over a five-year period.
  • When will the Local Transport Plan Guidance be issued?
    New government guidance on local transport plans is currently being drafted and was initially expected for release in the Spring of 2023 – this timescale has been delayed.
  • What is the target date for delivery of the new Local Transport Plans?
    It is still likely that the Government’s will require updated Plans to be produced by the end of this parliament (Spring 2024) so that they can provide a strong evidence base and case ahead of the next spending review.
  • Are there other Government Strategies that are related to Local Transport Plans?
    Some recently released central Government policies and strategies need to incorporate Local Transport Plans, these include:
    • Transport Decarbonisation Plan published in July 2021
    • Levelling Up Policy Paper published in February 2022
    • Bus Back Better published in March 2021.
    • Gear Change, published in July 2020
  • Will plans support different transport modes as an integral part of the new era of Local Transport Plans?
    It is likely that existing modal plans (Bus Service Improvement Plans (BSIP) and Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plans (LCWIP)) will become part of a suite of support documents to the LTP. Strategies developed will need to be fully aligned with these plans. In addition, an EV Charging Strategy is likely to be required as a detailed supporting document to help with the transition to zero emission vehicles [ZEVS].
  • Will there be funding for Local Authorities to assist with the preparation of Local Transport Plans?
    It is not currently clear whether funding will be made available for Local Authorities to undertake the research and development required to develop robust new era LTPs. However, the indications are that funding will be made available for all Local Transport Authorities to support implementing the Local Transport Plan guidance.
  • Will Local Transport Plans affect the level of funding that Local Authorities receive?
    Whilst the mechanism is not clear, the Government has indicated that in the future Local Transport Plans will become “the focus on transport funding discussions between central and local government” and that “future funding will be dependent on the delivery of these plans”.
  • Is there a requirement for consultation on the Local Transport Plans?
    There are likely to be a range of statutory organisations that will need to be consulted on the LTPs which may include National Highways, Environmental groups and local stakeholders and businesses and potentially the public.
  • How will Local Plans and Local Transport Plans be linked?
    Close integration between transport and spatial planning strategies is likely to be an important element of the new era of LTPs with the aim of encapsulating the wider economic and housing growth aims of central government.
  • Will there be a hierarchy of transport modes imposed by the guidance?
    A core aim of the Local Transport Plans is to provide plans to combat the climate emergency and achieve Net Zero carbon status by 2050 at the latest. It is therefore likely that measures promoting sustainable low/zero carbon transport will have a significant impact in reducing carbon emissions and will therefore be prioritised in the LTP guidance.
  • Although the core of a Local Transport Plan covers a five-year implementation period will there be a requirement to form a longer term strategy?
    The core costed proposals for the LTP will cover a five-year period and will be expected to be implemented within this timescale and in adherence with the programme identified. However, as these are likely to form part of longer-term strategies for decarbonisation, land development and economic growth it is likely that a longer-term strategy will also have to be identified with details of how the core 5-year strategy will lead to the realisation of these longer term aims.