Skip to main content

Supporting People, Places and Movements: Why partnerships are key to shaping the future of sustainable travel in Liverpool

There is significant value in bringing stakeholders, representing different issues or sectors, with a common goal or outcome in mind, together for idea sharing and collaborative work. Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, like other Chambers of Commerce, works so effectively because although its membership spans the breadth of industry – from health, to energy, to manufacturing, to transport – it is brought together with the purpose of enhancing local industry in Liverpool.

In a similar manner, we founded the Urban Mobility Partnership, a policy forum made up of mobility and sustainable transport operators across the breadth of the transport sector, in 2018 with a common goal of decreasing private car usage, and encouraging a modal shift towards multi-modal, shared, public and active transport solutions.

Our membership works closely with each other, local and national government, to develop and implement effective policy solutions to support sustainable transport goals. We were delighted, therefore, to host a roundtable with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce in November 2023. Liverpool City Region are in the process of updating the new Local Transport Plan (LTP), People, Places and Movements, which will shape Liverpool’s transport system until 2040.

Almost two thirds of all journeys in the city are still single car journeys, which generate almost half a million tonnes of CO₂ emissions each year. The roundtable, which was jointly chaired by Councillor Steve Foulkes, Chair of the Transport Committee at Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, and by UMP member Conduent, focused on practical solutions to some of Liverpool’s transport questions. Bringing together UMP members, councillors, transport Officers at Liverpool City Region, and local Chambers of Commerce – including representation from Knowsley Chamber of Commerce – served as an important opportunity to highlight some of the key transport challenges in Liverpool, such as the significant use of single car journeys, and some of the innovative and multi-modal solutions which can be used to ensure an effective and sustainable transport system. This discussion also offered the chance for local industry, such as representatives from Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Trinity Logistics, to speak with local decision makers and industry experts about how to ensure sustainability and accessibility are at the heart of different mobility sectors across the city.

For example, our members in the micromobility space – Dott and Brompton Bike Hire – gave short presentations on their initiatives which have helped to increase active travel across the UK, as a sustainable and effective alternative to private car usage. There was also discussion on corporate travel, with a particular focus on shift workers and the requirements for different types of innovative transport models, which reflect the need for sustainable mobility solutions outside of peak working hours. Liftango, UMP’s member specialising in Demand-Responsive Transport, were able to offer expertise on how to effectively integrate DRT into multi-modal travel for workers, based off successful examples around the country.

One of the key themes of the discussion around local transport infrastructure and developing new transport modes which support, connect and enhance the existing local transport network, particularly local transport, was the requirement of long-term and committed investment, rather than the patchwork arrangement of funding pots which currently exist. This type of investment can help the development of innovative and multi-modal transport solutions and can help support the City Region’s transport and decarbonisation aims.

The roundtable highlighted the value of forming partnerships between the public and private sector, and between local industries, including Chambers of Commerce. As the City Region work to finalise their Local Transport Plan, we at UMP are delighted to continue lending our expertise and support to local authorities and Chambers of Commerce across the country.

Our work over the past few years has shown the immense importance of forming these sorts of partnerships, with the same common goal in mind: a modal shift towards a more sustainable, accessible and effective future of mobility.