North train, via Istock

TfN champions social inclusivity via Transport Strategy public consultation

Transport for the North (TfN) is currently consulting on the Socially Inclusive Transport Strategy (SITS), which provides a strong evidence-based policy agenda that strives to achieve the goal of an equal effective, and inclusive transport system that provides opportunities across the North.

This strategy is building upon the existing framework of research that was published by the TfN in September 2022, where it outlined that up to 3.3 million people from across the North of England are inhabiting areas at severe risk of transport related social exclusion. This has major detrimental consequences for individuals as people are losing access to key opportunities, valuable services and community expansion due to their social climate and transport limitations. These collective issues are affecting people from all walks of life but has significantly detrimental effects to those living with low incomes/insecure work situations, as well as 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 aims to combat the addressed problems via providing a clear pathway to a transport system that can serve and improve the lives of those within the North. A portion of this transformation will come from TfN’s work with a range of stakeholders to achieve this goal, providing a wider policy agenda necessary for considerable progress, and the data by which TfN will monitor progress towards this aim.

The consultation is running from November 7th to December 12th 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.”

Basing the strategy on cold, hard evidence, a data tool will be utilised to measure the ongoing risks of TRSE across England – analysing access to jobs, education, healthcare and key services, and the vulnerability of the population to social exclusion. This tool will also be used to monitor the progress and successes towards the end goal of an inclusive transport system, through analysing the size and distribution of the population that is at elevated risk of social exclusion because of transport issues.

The TfN are zealous to collaborate with integral local authorities, DfT, National Highways, Active Travel England, and Network Rail to share their evidence whilst providing statutory advice to government to achieve the socially inclusive network.

The TfN Board approved plans to consult on the new strategy at their Board meeting on September 29th 2022.

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