Our Network Vision

By 2050

We have a vision for this region

We have set out a Network Vision for all our connectivity groups, which we'd like to meet by 2050, split into eight categories.

Fossil fuel alternatives and increasing capacity (A)

Policy 1: Every bus route should run with zero-carbon capability. Diesel buses should be eliminated in our operating region by 2050.

Policy 2: All passenger railways within our operating region should be electrified with OLE by 2050. Alternatively, battery or hydrogen-powered trains should operate on lesser used routes where electrification is not viable.

Policy 3: All local or suburban railway lines within our operating region should be capable of running 8tph each way by 2050.

Policy 4: All congested regional or Intercity routes within our operating region should be capable of running 16tph of various types (e.g. freight, Intercity passenger, local passenger) each way by 2050.

Policy 5: Where roads are known to be congested, Active Travel Corridors should be introduced, where buses, pedestrians, and cyclists can use a safe environment to travel.

Specific national projects (B)

Policy 1: East West Rail’s Aylesbury spur should be given authorisation, therefore deepening the potential for local and regional services, including out of Marylebone and into Old Oak Common. An extension of the spur northbound to Banbury via Buckingham and Brackley should also be authorised, which will allow services to operate to “South Midlands Interchange” - see below

Policy 2: A new HS2 and East West Rail Interchange known as “South Midlands Interchange” should be provided near Calvert, Buckinghamshire, allowing HS2 customers to interchange for Oxford, Milton Keynes, Northampton, Cambridge etc and vice-versa.

Policy 3: A new HS2 branch should be constructed between Birmingham Curzon Street Junction and West Yorkshire via the East Midlands and South Yorkshire.

Accessibility (C)

Policy 1: Every train and station in our operating region should support level boarding by 2050, and as a result make dwell times at stations shorter and increase the number of people that can use public transport in rural areas.

Policy 2: Every station in our operating region should be step-free from street to train (e.g. via a lift or ramp) by 2050.

Devolution (D)

Policy 1: Existing Combined Authorities within our operating region should gain powers to:
- Take bus and tram services into full public ownership and be supported financially by Central Government.
- Have a say on new rail franchises.
- Run public transport services where it is not financially viable for a private organisation to do so.
- Form Transport Authorities.

Policy 2: All cities with a population over 200,000 should have a dedicated Transport Authority, who will manage the overall operations, brand, and development of a public transport network as a whole. These may be managed by the Local Authority or Combined Authority (e.g. how TfWM is currently managed by WMCA).
Where there’s no eligible city within a county with a population of over 750,000, a dedicated Transport Authority should be put in place for the whole area instead, with varied roles.

Funding for transport development (E)

Policy 1: Sustainable transport funding bids should be prioritised by National and Regional Government, as well as STBs, over road improvements.

Policy 2: All competitions by Central Government for funding in relation to public transport should be terminated.

Policy 3: Central Government competitions should be replaced by a permanent “Transport Development Fund”, which can support the development of concepts for improving public and active transport.

Rural connectivity (F)

Policy 1: Where places have a population of 0-300, and already have a railway station, this should be converted to a request stop, or make services run through fast and replace with a DRT (Demand-Responsive Transit) system powered by an electric bus, with a wait time of no longer than twenty minutes.

Policy 2: Where places have a population of 300-1000, at least one of the following measures should be in place:
- A DRT (Demand-Responsive Transit) system powered by an electric bus should be provided, with a wait time of no longer than twenty minutes.
- Where places in this bracket already have a railway station, they should become request stops, with buttons at-platform to inform the driver to stop the service to allow customers to board. A similar system should be in place on-board to allow customers to alight.

Policy 3: Where places have a population of 1000-3000, at least one of the following measures should be in place:
- At least an hourly scheduled electrified bus or tram service, with the operating times being 6am to 11pm at a minimum (36bpd). The routes can vary, but must connect to at least two railway stations at a minimum.
- Where places in this bracket already have a railway station, they should become request stops, with buttons at-platform to inform the driver to stop the service to allow customers to board. A similar system should be in place on-board to allow customers to alight.

Connecting isolated communities and providing effective interchange (G)

Policy 1: Where places have a population of 3000-8000, at least one of the following measures should be in place:
- A half-hourly scheduled electrified bus or tram service, with the operating times being 6am to 11pm at a minimum (36bpd). The routes can vary, but must connect to at least two railway stations at a minimum.
- Where a classic railway line (e.g. not HS2) is nearby to a place within these population brackets, new stations should be built in these areas.

Policy 2: By 2050, we expect all places in our operating region with a population over 8,000 to have a National Rail or tram connection with electric services at least every 30 minutes in each direction. These services should operate with a 500-seat capacity per hour at a minimum.

Policy 3: By 2050, every place with a population over 15,000 should have a combined rail and bus interchange close to the centre of the urban area, providing an effective intermodal hub.

Policy 4: By 2050, we expect all places in our operating region with a population over 25,000 to have a National Rail or tram connection with electric services at least every 15 minutes in each direction, including access to all of the following:
- Another station with Intercity rail services to interchange to.
- The centre of a place with a population over 200,000.

Providing better services (H)

Policy 1: By 2050, all two-hourly buses in our operating regions should become hourly, and all hourly buses should become half-hourly.

Policy 2: By 2050, we expect all places in our operating region with a population over 75,000 to have the following:
- Direct rail links to two of the following at hourly frequencies: London, Birmingham, Manchester, Nottingham, Liverpool, Leeds, Sheffield
- Main stations to see a service every 10 minutes in each direction.
- A suburban bus network with stops no more than 400m from 90% of the population’s work and home. All suburban routes should operate at half-hourly frequencies at least.

Policy 3: By 2050, we expect all places in our operating region with a population over 200,000 to have the following:
- A mass transit network of one of the following forms: Light Rail system, Very Light Rail system
- Main stations to see a service every 10 minutes in each direction.

Policy 4: By 2050, we expect all places in our operating region with a population over 400,000 to have the following:
- A mass transit network of one of the following forms: Underground metro, Suburban heavy rail network, Light Rail system.
- Direct rail links to London at half-hourly frequencies.

Policy 5: By 2050, we expect all places in our operating region with a population over 600,000 to have the following:
- A mass transit network of at least one of the following forms: Underground/overground metro, Suburban heavy rail network, Light Rail system
- 90% of the population must be within 400m of a bus stop with services at least every 20 minutes in each direction.
- 80% of the population must be within 500m of one of a mass transit network stop/station.
- Direct rail links to London at least half-hourly frequencies.