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A man and women standing in front of white board talking. With the caption 'Research released by not for profit, EngineeringUK, has found the number of women in engineering roles in the UK has increased from 562,000 in 2010, to 936,000 in 2021.'

A look at the transport industry in March

In March we’ve seen a focus on buses with the recent £200 million funding from the ZEBRA (Zero Emission Bus Regional Areas) scheme, Transport for London’s Bus Action Plan and Transport for Greater Manchester’s landmark announcement about the franchising of its bus system. It’s clear one year on from the National Bus Strategy, both national government and sub-regional transport bodies understand the important role buses will play in improving and decarbonising our transport networks. 

International Women’s Day took place on 8th March with a flurry of announcements from the government including a new pay transparency pilot where employees will no longer be asked to disclose information about salary history when looking for employment. Studies show this puts all employees, especially women, on better footing to negotiate pay. This is one part of a wider comprehensive strategy that will help reduce pay inequality. 

We also helped Women in Transport host a successful International Women’s Day event with Minister of State for Transport, Wendy Morton MP, Shadow Rail Minister, Tan Dhesi MP, and industry leaders. Speakers highlighted the importance of improving women’s representation in the transport sector to ensure the industry’s sustainable future. 

The Secretary of State for Transport introduced several new aviation and shipping restrictions on Russia throughout March in response to its invasion of Ukraine. The measures are an attempt to exacerbate the economic pressures on Russia. Make sure you look out for our Senior Account Manager, Becky Franklin’s upcoming blog providing further analysis on this issue.

Below we take a look in more detail at what’s been happening in our core policy areas of transport and Equality, Diversity and Inclusion. Follow us on twitter and LinkedIn or sign up to our mailing list to keep up to date with our analysis of key industry topics. If you need help with any of these policy areas, or anything else, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Active travel 
Public transport
Buses
Rail
E-Mobility
E-Vehicles
E-Scooters
E-Bikes
Air Quality
Equality, Diversity & Inclusion

Active travel

  • Bikeability cycling training for children and families has received a record investment of £20m from the Department for Transport. Bikeability has trained over 3.6m children through its cycle training programme since 2007 and this new funding has the potential to deliver half a million training places for children and their families.
  • The Scottish Government has outlined its latest actions in its commitment to put active travel at the heart of transport policy:
    • Increasing the Cycling, Walking and Safer Routes budget for local authorities from £24m to nearly £35m for 2022/23.
    • More than doubling funding for the National Cycle Network to over £10m for 2022/23.
    • Allocating over £300,000 in road safety framework funding to develop a National Dashcam Safety Portal with Police Scotland.
    • Continuing to pilot the provision of free bikes for all children of school age who cannot afford them.
    • Launching a new £1.5m walking fund.
  • A new ‘Walking for Everyone’ report, produced by Arup, Living Streets and Sustrans, makes recommendations to ensure pavement space is ‘reserved and maintained for people walking and wheeling’, including:
    • National governments should prohibit pavement parking across the UK.
    • Standards should be developed where all cycle and e-scooter parking, and electric vehicle charging points are accessible but located on the carriageway.
  • Northern Ireland Infrastructure Minister, Nichola Mallon has launched plans for a Belfast Cycling Network, aiming to encourage more people to cycle and walk. More than 50 cycling schemes have been planned as part of the network, including the development of safe routes.
  • Newham Council’s Healthy School Streets programme is being extended to cover more schools following the success of Phases 1 and 2 of the scheme. The first two phases, introduced in 2019 and 2021, saw a successful reduction of dangerous air pollution, with an average of 32% drop in nitrogen dioxide in the mornings and 16% drop in the afternoons.
  • Data published in Scottish Transport Statistics covering 2020/21 when there was a huge drop in traffic due to Covid-19 restrictions, show a 63.5% increase in cycling in Scotland, while all other forms of transport showed marked reductions.

Public transport

  • Bus and light rail operators across England will benefit from over £150m of government support, ensuring services will continue to run as the country emerges from the pandemic. 

Elsewhere in public transport this month:

Buses

  • The government has announced nearly £200m of funding for the roll-out of almost 1,000 zero-emission buses across 12 areas in England, as part of the Zero Emission Bus Regional Area (ZEBRA) scheme.
  • Bus fares in Greater Manchester will cost no more than £2 per journey. Mayor, Andy Burnham, has promised to deliver a low-carbon, ‘London-Style’ fully-integrated public transport system across bus, tram, train and bike, call the Bee Network.
  • Transport for London has published its long-term plan for buses, which aims to see the network attract more customers and help the capital become net zero by 2030. The Bus Action Plan will focus on five areas – An inclusive customer experience, safety and security, faster journeys, improved connections and decarbonisation and climate resilience.
  • More than £60m of public cash is being made available in Scotland to replace almost 300 old diesel buses with new electric models. The funding is being made available through the Scottish Government’s Zero Emission Bus Challenge Fund.
  • Women in Transport’s Diversity and Inclusion Bus Group is launching a new online resource designed to aid employment in the bus and coach sector. The Inclusive Employment Journey will cover every step of employment, from community engagement and recruitment, to support with life after a career in bus and coach.
  • London bus firm, RATP Dev Transit London, has secured a £30m green finance package from HSBC Equipment Finance for investment in electric buses to decarbonise its fleet as part of its greener transport strategy. The support has enabled the company to continue expanding its electric bus fleet with the addition of 75 new buses, including 54 double-decker buses and 21 single-deck buses.

Rail

  • Passengers across the North-West are set to benefit from an £84m government investment to cut delays and improve the reliability of trains across the region. The works will deliver trackside upgrades, platform extensions for longer trains and bigger depots and begin a decade’s worth of investment.
  • An overhead electrification system that could allow diesel freight trains to be phased out has been trialled earlier this month. The Moveable Overhead Conductor system, designed by Furrer+Frey GB, safely moves away overhead equipment supplying electricity to freight trains, allowing them to be unloaded once they are in the depot. This is a major step forward in electrification of rail freight and the journey to net zero. 

E-Mobility

E-Vehicles

  • The Department for Transport has unveiled its EV Infrastructure Plan to advance the rollout of public charge points for electric cars, including a £450m fund that local authorities can use to expand chargepoint provision in their areas.
  • The government has unveiled plans to support the UK market to reach 300,000 public electric vehicle chargepoints by 2030. £1.6bn has been committed to expand the UK charging network.
  • Latest figures on sales of new plug-in vehicles from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders shows new plug-in vehicle registrations accounted for more than a quarter of overall vehicle sales in February. 
  • New figures from vehicle part provider, PartCatalog, shows there were more than 1.75m EVs sold in the UK since 2010, putting the country second in the world only to China in the number of battery-powered cars bought.
  • According to data from charging point mapping service, Zap Map, the cost of charging an electric car on the street has climbed to a record high. The cost of rapid charging has risen from 35p per kilowatt-hour in December to 44p, while slower charging speeds climbed from 24p per kilowatt-hour to 30p.
  • New analysis by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders has revealed £10.8bn has been dedicated to UK electric vehicle production and gigafactories since 2011.

E-Scooters

  • The Urban Transport Group is calling for a new national enabling framework to give locally accountable transport authorities the option to regulate key aspects of micromobility rental services in line with local needs and circumstances. The new powers would give authorities the option to regulate the number of operators, the size of their fleets, their geographical coverage, the location of their parking, as well as to recover reasonable costs from operators who use their roads and infrastructure.
  • Figures released from Transport for London show a total of 98 people were badly hurt riding e-scooters in London in 2021, and three people were killed. Injuries from e-scooter usage now account for 3% of all people seriously injured or killed on the capital’s roads.
  • E-scooter rental firm, Voi, has reached a landmark of 100m rides on its devices across Europe since its launch in 2018.

E-Bikes

  • The Scottish Government has provided over £825,000 to support 36 e-bike projects across Scotland. The latest round of the eBike Grand Fund, delivered by Energy Saving Trust, has successfully delivered 215 eBikes, 56 e-cargo bikes and 34 adapted cycles to 36 projects across the country.
  • Research by cycling campaign, #BikeIsBest, and the University of Westminster’s Active Travel Academy, suggests a broad support for e-bikes as a means of reducing carbon, even among those who are not currently considering purchasing one. According to poll, one-fifth of adults who did not own an e-bike were considering purchasing one in the future, while 67% of participants stated cost was the biggest obstacle preventing them from making a purchase.

Air Quality

  • Local authorities across England have been granted more than £11 million in government funding to deliver projects to improve air quality. The money from the government’s Air Quality Grant, helps councils develop and implement measures to benefit schools, businesses and communities, and reduce the impact of dirty air on people’s health.
  • Britain’s first Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) has been launched in Oxford. The pilot will allow Oxfordshire County Council and Oxford City Council to gain useful insights before introducing a larger ZEZ, covering most of Oxford city centre next year. The ZEZ operates from 7am to 7pm all year round, with all petrol and diesel vehicles, including hybrids, incurring a daily charge unless eligible for a discount or exemption.
  • A study, commissioned by the Clean Air Fund and carried out by researchers from Imperial College London, found levels of pollution, known as PM2.5, could fall to within recommended interim limits for most of the UK by 2030, if environmental policies are delivered on.
  • The Mayor of London has announced plans to extend the city’s Ultra Low Emission Zone to the whole of Greater London, to help tackle the ‘triple challenge’ of air pollution, the climate emergency, and congestion.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

  • On International Women’s Day, the APPG for Women in Transport hosted an event to highlight the importance of improving women’s representation in the transport workforce for the industry’s sustainable future. Speakers included Wendy Morton MP, Minister for Transport, and Tan Dhesi MP, Shadow Minister for Railways.
  • The Women and Equalities Committee has published a report – Equality in the heart of democracy: A gender sensitive House of Commons, designed to look at how well women and other marginalised groups are represented in the House of Commons. It found 34% of MPs are women, and women from minority ethnic backgrounds make up 5.7% of all 650 MPs, placing Westminster behind devolved nations, and behind many other countries in Europe and the world. 
  • Professional services network, Grant Thornton International, has launched its 2022 Women in Business report, which shows the number of women in senior management positions in UK mid-sized businesses is at 32%, the highest level since the report began in 2004, and 1% higher than the global average.
  • New global research by Ipsos and the Global Institute for Women’s Leadership at King’s College London, reveals one in seven Briton’s think gender inequality doesn’t really exist, with men (19%) more likely than women (11%) to hold this view. One in five Britons also think feminism does more harm than good, while three in ten feel traditional masculinity is under threat today. 
  • Research released by not-for-profit, EngineeringUK, has found the number of women in engineering roles in the UK has increased from 562,000 in 2010, to 936,000 in 2021. The research also found female engineers are move likely to be in ‘related’ rather than ‘core’ engineering roles, and often work in industries outside of what is traditionally deemed to be the engineering sector.
  • Minister for Women, Baroness Stedman-Scott has launched two new initiatives to level unemployment opportunities for women as the country recovers from the Covid-19 pandemic. One new initiative will seek to improve pay transparency in the job application process and help businesses who want to go even further in attracting women to their positions. Alongside this, the government will launch a returners programme to help women back into STEM careers.
  • New research from financial services business, Aviva, has found the gender pension gap begins to widen significantly from the age of thirty-five. The research shows the gap between men and women’s pension contributions for 35 to 39 year olds is 18%. It then increases to 23% for 40-44 year olds and 29% for 45-49 year olds. It then stretches to 35% for 50 to 54 year olds.
  • The Mayor of London has launched a new campaign to tackle violence against women and girls. The campaign aims to challenge the sexist attitudes and inappropriate behaviours exhibited by some men. London’s top football and rugby clubs have pledged their support to the initiative.

We hope you found this roundup interesting and informative. 

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