Regional UK cities lagged behind London in global rankings for transport infrastructure, a report has found.
London’s transport network ranked ahead of competitors such as Tokyo, New York and Milan, according to the Arcadis Sustainable Cities Mobility Index, however regional cities failed to feature in the top quartile.
Leeds has the fewest bus and metro stops per square mile in the UK and Manchester has some of the longest commuting times outside of London, according to the report, which said poor transport could be a barrier to economic growth.
However Edinburgh and Birmingham were praised for being able to fund transport through revenue, while London’s transport system was marked down for being among the most expensive in Europe.
Arcadis UK cities director Peter Hogg said: “The UK needs to up its transport game. Although there is undoubtedly a lot we’re getting right, a truly sustainable transport system isn’t just about enabling mobility, it also needs to create major economic opportunity and improve the lives of those who rely on it every day.
“London, with its well-established infrastructure, efficient tube system and low private vehicle use, ranks highly but, as with all cities, alleviating pressure at peak times remains a concern.
“And our regional cities urgently need to catch up. Central government, devolved administrations and city leaders all around the country are embarking on ambitious plans to upgrade our networks and redress decades of previous underinvestment, but it will take time for these cities to move up the rankings.”
The capital was judged to have the seventh most sustainable transport network in the world by ranking the “three pillars of transport of sustainability” which were people, planet and profit.g
“Regional connectivity has to be a key. But this isn’t just about links between cities. Digital connectivity is also important and, when it comes to mobility, embracing new technology will massively improve a city’s potential.
“From smart ticketing options to considering the potential impact of both electric and autonomous vehicles, changes in the way we design, build and operate our transport infrastructure will play a key part in improving mobility across the UK.
“Increasingly, the highest performing global cities will be those who can embrace and harness digital disruption in mobility. The UK has to ask itself; are our cities really ready?”
The research examined 100 cities across 23 indicators to rank the mobility and sustainability of each system, and were selected to provide geographical coverage and a variety of economic development.
Hong Kong, Zurich, Paris, Seoul and Hong Kong were the highest ranking cities globally, while Hanoi, Kuwait City, Riyadh, Amman and Jeddah scored lowest.