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A women sitting at desk with architect drawings with the caption 'New figures from the Office for National Statistics show the number of working women in the UK has now reached 15.7 million, a rise of 2 million since 2010.'

A look at the transport industry in July

The government announced its Jet Zero strategy this month setting out a timeline and plan to reach net zero domestic aviation emissions by 2040. The strategy, launched at the Farnborough Air Show, relies heavily on innovation such as sustainable aviation fuels rather than changing the behaviour of customers. It remains to be seen if this approach, which is in keeping with the Transport Decarbonisation Plan published last year, will prove successful. 

HS2 celebrated its first tunnelling breakthrough as Dorothy completed its one mile dig under Long Itchington Wood in Warwickshire. The tunnel boring machine is named after Dorothy Hodgkin who became the first British women to win the Nobel prize in chemistry in 1964. The breakthrough marks an historic milestone in the completion of Britain’s new zero carbon railway. 

The rail strikes continued this month with ASLEF, the union for train drivers, joining the RMT in pursuing industrial action. A new law passed by the Department for Transport (DfT) and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy BEIS looks to alleviate the pressures on the transport network by enabling businesses impacted by industrial action to hire agency workers as a temporary measure. But with the unions not backing down, there appears to be no end in sight to the summer of discontent.

Below we take a look in more detail at what’s been happening in our core policy areas of transport, decarbonisation 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
Air Quality
Roads
Aviation
Maritime
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

Active travel

  • New research from insurer, Direct Line, shows a link between cyclist safety on the roads, and recent cycling infrastructure investments. Analysis of DfT road safety data published in November 2021, reveals road traffic accidents involving cyclists and motorists have come down by 10% from 2019. Analysis of the location of collisions revealed only 3% occurred in a cycle lane. The decrease in the number of collisions comes as local authorities have added 554 new cycle lanes over the past three years. 
  • New YouGov research has found that over one in four British people (26%) would walk more if their streets were clutter-free. The research also revealed cars (56%), poorly placed bins (41%) and badly placed lampposts and signs (17%) were the three most common obstructions.
  • Speed limits in built-up areas of Wales will be reduced from 30mph to 20mph in Wales from next year. Ministers have said a 20mph speed limit will lower road collisions and noise, and encourage people to walk or cycle. Scotland is set to follow suit in 2025.
  • According to the latest data from Transport for London, the number of Londoners cycling is almost 25% higher than pre-pandemic levels. Roadside counts between March and mid-June were an average of 24% higher than the same period in 2019.

Public transport

  • According to a survey by Startline Motor Finance, more than a third of motorists (35%) will switch to public transport if fuel prices continue to rise. Around four out of ten say fuel costs have already made them use public transport instead of their car, while just 23% say they will carry on using their car as usual even if fuel prices continue to rise. 
  • According by YouGov for IPPR Scotland, 66% of people in low-income households in Scotland don’t believe they are being listened to in decisions about transport where they live. Just over 3 in 5 people surveyed worry about being able to afford transport.

Elsewhere in public transport this month:

Buses 

  • Oxfordshire County Council has launched campaign to encourage people to travel by bus in Oxfordshire, to help combat the cost-of-living crisis. As part of the campaign, delivered in partnership with Oxford Bus Company, Thames Travel and Stagecoach, data collected by bus operators has revealed annual savings of up to £2,318.23 which can be made when travelling by bus instead of private vehicle.
  • At least 135 bus routes across England have been lined up for cutbacks or closures this summer as councils and bus operators grapple with falling customer numbers, staff shortages and funding constraints. Changes to services include reduced frequency, fewer stops and some routes being cancelled.
  • Bus company, Go North West is the first in the Go-Ahead Group’s UK wide network to hit pre-pandemic passenger levels. The company is now operating 9 out of every 10 buses that ran pre-Covid, and over the last few months passenger levels per bus have equalled 2019 figures. 

Rail

  • Network Rail will invest more than £120m of Scottish Government funding in the next three years to boost the electricity power supply into Scotland’s railway network. The investment will see six new feeder stations across the network and a further nine sites upgraded to allow for the increase of electrically powered passenger and freight traffic.
  • HS2 has reached an important milestone by funding over 200 projects through the Community Environment Fund and Business & Local Economy Fund Since 2017, the programmes have provided over £12m in funding to community groups and organisations impacted by the construction of HS2. These include funding new skills training programmes, community facility refurbishments and establishing new natural environments.
  • The first miles of new electric overhead wires on a mainline in Yorkshire for over 25 years are now up. The scheme, part of the TransPennine Route Upgrade, is set to re-energise train travel across the north of England, and is the first step towards a fully electrified railway between York, Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester.
  • HS2 has confirmed that more than a million tonnes of construction material have now been delivered by rail to its work sites across Buckinghamshire, taking the equivalent of 100,096 HGV journeys off local roads.
  • Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps, has announced an increase in funding for TransPennine route upgrades. The increase in funding, from £2.9m to more than £9m will be spent on digital signalling technology, electrifying the full route and building additional tracks for passenger and freight services.
  • The DfT has released its latest figures on the post-pandemic use of transport. The average figures for w/c 11thJuly were recorded at 81-82% of pre-Covid numbers. The numbers are a rolling seven-day average compared with the equivalent period of 2019.
  • Network Rail has announced the launch of a new taskforce led by independent experts to investigate and make recommendations on how the railway can develop its approach to resilience during hot weather. The review, as a result of July’s unprecedented heatwave, will mostly focus on gathering insights from and making comparisons with other countries that are more used to dealing with extreme heat and fluctuations in temperature.
  • An HS2 construction site in London has held successful trials for two zero-emissions hydrogen fuel cell-based electricity generators. The two hydrogen power units were trialled over the last year, as a direct replacement for diesel generators to power machinery on site. The trial shows the products are capable of producing the required energy to power equipment required for site operations.
  • Dorothy, HS2’s 2000-tonne custom-made tunnel boring machine, has completed her first tunnel breakthrough along the London to Birmingham route. This is the first of 64 miles of tunnels set to make up Europe’s largest infrastructure project.

E-Mobility

E-Vehicles

  • Rail passengers with electric vehicles will now be able to charge while they travel, thanks to the introduction of 450 new electric vehicle charging points at Network Rail managed car parks at railway stations. In this phase, Network Rail has powered 160 charging points in Reading, 111 in Manchester, 84 in Edinburgh, 56 in Leeds and 41 in Welwyn Garden City.
  • Electric motorbikes and mopeds will soon be the norm on UK roads as the government has launched a new public consultation to accelerate the transition to zero emission travel by phasing out the sale of new fossil-fuelled motorbikes and mopeds by 2035, or even earlier for some vehicles.
  • Oxford City Council has officially opened Europe’s most powerful electric vehicle charging hub. The hub will initially offer fast and ultra-rapid charging for 42 vehicles at once at Oxford’s Redbridge Park and Ride. The hub can scale up as more people use electric vehicles and will be able to provide charging for 400 vehicles, helping to support the estimated 36million EVs expected on UK roads by 2040.

E-Scooters

  • Transport Minister, Trudy Harrison, has announced that English local authorities will have the option to continue pilot schemes for rental e-scooters until May 2024. This will allow the government to gather further evidence where gaps are identified, building on the findings of the current evaluation. Rental e-scooters are currently being trialled in 30 different areas across England, including parts of London.
  • Riders of Voi e-scooters in Portsmouth will see more places to park after the company announced the fitting of 32 new racks over the last six months across the city. The move will increase parking capacity by nearly a third, meaning 900 spaces will now be users.

Air Quality

  • According to new analysis by Clean Cities Campaign, levels of nitrogen dioxide breached legal limits across London in 2021, with pollution hotspots recording air pollution levels 50% higher than the legal limits. The analysis found 15 out of 73 air pollution monitors in London recorded levels above legal limits, and none of the monitors met the latest World Health Organisation guidelines.
  • Bristol Mayor, Marvin Rees, has confirmed the city’s Clean Air Zone will start charging older and more polluting vehicles from Monday 28thNovember 2022. The Mayor has also highlighted there is still time to apply for financial support to replace vehicles that don’t meet the zone’s emission standards.
  • A new report from the UK100 network analyses the progress made on delivering clean air in the past year, calling for more policy levers and support to enable local authorities to improve air quality. The report also notes some positive steps made in tackling air pollution – including government commitment to setting PM2.5 targets and more Clean Air Zones introduced.
  • A new campaign will teach children and their families about air pollution, focusing on raising awareness of the impact of leaving a car’s engine running when parked. Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council, Public Health Dorset and active travel charity Sustrans are working together to improve local air quality and raise awareness of the causes of dirty air and how to reduce it.

Roads

  • The Scottish Government is providing £28m across the next four years to accelerate the manufacturing and deployment of heavy duty zero emission vehicles. The Zero Emission Mobility Innovation Fund is delivered in partnership with Scottish Enterprise and has been developed in consultation with industry leaders in response to their call for innovative funding models to drive net zero transformation across Scotland’s heavy duty vehicle supply chains.

Aviation

  • The Summer Travel Outlook 2022 report, produced by travel intelligence specialist, ForwardKeys, reveals that in the third quarter of this year (July, August and September), global air travel is set to reach 65% of where it was before the pandemic. The region that is on course to recover most strongly is Africa and the Middle East, with arrivals in Q3 expected to reach 83% of 2019 levels. This is followed by the Americas, where summer arrivals are expected to reach 76% and then by Europe, 71%, and Asia Pacific, just 35%.
  • The Farnborough Airport Company is committing to be Net Zero across its controllable emissions by 2030 or sooner. Farnborough Airport’s Net Zero Roadmap outlines its pathway to becoming net zero and covers the reduction of emissions from buildings, the airfield and on-site operational vehicles. As part of the launch, Farnborough Airport will be the first airport in the world to Sustainable Aviation Fuel at the same price as standard Jet A1 fuel for a trial period.
  • The government’s new Jet Zero strategy has been launched, and sets ambitious green targets to ensure passengers will be able to fly guilt-free in the future. The strategy commits UK domestic aviation to achieving net zero emissions by 2040, and for all airports in England to be zero-emission by the same year. It also includes a plan for the industry to stay below pre-pandemic levels of carbon emissions through measures focused on everything from delivering system efficiencies to new technologies, with progress monitored annually.
  • The government is investing £1.5m to support recruitment into the aviation industry. As part of the funding, the government has confirmed £700,000 for a ‘Reach the Sky Challenge Fund’ which will fund outreach programmes and events to educate young people from all backgrounds on the opportunities on offer in aviation.

Maritime

  • The government has introduced new legislation to make sure seafarers get paid at least the equivalent of the UK National Minimum Wage. The Seafarers’ Wages Bill enables port authorities to deny access to services calling regularly at UK ports who do not pay their workers equivalent rate to the UK National Minimum Wage for time spent in UK waters.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

  • New laws have been introduced to ensure the 13.7m disabled people in England, Scotland and Wales receive the assistance they need and will not be charged over the odds when using taxis and private hire vehicles. The new Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles (Disabled Persons) Act 2022 came into force on 28thJune, and places duties on drivers so any disabled person has specific rights and protections to be transported and receive assistance without being charged extra.
  • The Railway Industry Association and Women in Rail have launched the first Annual Report for their Joint EDI Charter for Rail. The 2022 Annual report sets out examples of good practice and celebrates the very best work carried out by Charter signatories over the last year. The report showcases best practice in how to embed an inclusive culture in modern, dynamic rail organisations.
  • New figures from the Office for National Statistics shows the number of working women in the UK has now reached 15.7million, a rise of 2 million since 2010. The number of women in high-skilled jobs is up 38.5% since 2010, with the proportion of women progressing into top management roles growing by almost 25% over the last 12 years.
  • Women and Girls across England will benefit from improvement healthcare following the publication of the first ever government-led Women’s Health Strategy for England. The strategy includes key commitments around:
    • New research and data gathering
    • The expansion of women’s health focused education and training for incoming doctors
    • Improvements to fertility services
    • Ensuring women have access to high quality health information
    • Updating guidance for female-specific health conditions like endometriosis to ensure the latest evidence and advice is being used in treatment

We hope you found this roundup interesting and informative. 

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