Declan’s Blog: Latest transport forum & all aboard our Etruria Valley Station event

Transport Forum Graphic

Last week’s Chamber Transport forum had a packed agenda of guest speakers, with updates on ambitious proposals to link Hanley and Stoke-on-Trent Station, improvements to local bus services and developments by Midlands Net Zero Hub.

Did you know that some 3.1 million passengers pass through Stoke-on-Trent Station each year?  The city enjoys good rail connectivity with Manchester, Birmingham and London. When visitors arrive in Stoke-on-Trent and walk outside the station, they are often faced with a very busy and congested Station Road, with cars weaving in and out of a limited number of parking spaces.

Stoke-on -Trent City Council has been awarded funding through the Transforming Cities Fund (TCF).  Funding will be used to enhance links between Stoke-on-Trent Station and the city centre (Hanley). College Road is seen as a key route connecting both points and planned improvements will include wider pavements for increased pedestrian priority and segregated cycle routes. College Road is just to the west of Hanley Park and pedestrians and cyclists will enjoy a pleasant walk or cycle ride. Improvements to bus services will aim to speed up journey times and get more of us using public transport and active transport, from start to finish.

Bus passenger numbers have not fully recovered from a cliff-edge decline during the pandemic. Stoke-on-Trent City Council is delivering a Bus Service Improvement Plan (BSIP), which aims to :

  • Increase passenger numbers.
  • Improve journey times.
  • Improve reliability.
  • Increase passenger satisfaction.

Traffic signal upgrades with enhanced bus priority measures will help to speed up journey times and improve service reliability.  Passengers will have better information available at bus stops, with real time passenger information and improved lighting/CCTV. Affordable bus fares will be actively promoted through ongoing marketing activity.   A Stakeholder Forum is being launched and passengers from a diverse mix of backgrounds will have the chance to join and feed in their views about bus services across Stoke-on-Trent.

Midlands Net Zero Hub (MNZH) is one of five national NZH and aims to support local decarbonisation and clean growth, as well as increase the number, quality and scale of net zero projects.  North Staffordshire Low Emission Taxi Charging Infrastructure Scheme (LETIS) is led by Stoke-on-Trent City Council and funded by OLEV. This aims to increase the number of low-emission taxis. It will include the delivery and operation of rapid charge points for taxis across Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle-under- Lyme and Stafford, with engagement with licensed private hire and hackney carriage operators to inform selection of the best possible locations for the EV infrastructure.   Getting more low emission taxis on our local roads will help to improve air quality.

The Local Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (LEVI) Capital Fund is supporting Midlands Connect and the consortiums of local authorities to expand the region’s electric vehicle (EV) infrastructure.bIf drivers are to switch to electric vehicles, they need to have confidence in an expansive choice and reliability of electric vehicle charging structure in our local area.

Finally, and staying with the transport theme, make sure you get your (free!) ticket for our Etruria Valley Station event. We want to develop a proposal to open a new rail station at Etruria Valley, close to the new Etruria Valley Link Road (EVLR). The area is home to a diverse mix of businesses, including Bet365, DPD, Doubletree Hilton, Vodafone and Waterworld. A new rail station would unlock access into this thriving area, getting people to and from work by train and removing the familiar sight of queuing cars on the A53 and A500. Why not join us and find out more.  Click here to book your place: Etruria Valley Rail Station – tickets please! – Staffordshire Chambers

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