Economic and social benefits are being lost in new housing developments due to a lack of sustainable transport funding, according to a new report for the Transport Knowledge Hub.
The report, written by KPMG, found that ‘siloed transport and planning decision-making’ and ‘fragmented and short-term public sector funding’ are some of the key barriers to integrating sustainable transport and housing.
It says a lack of sustainable transport within new housing sites risks creating car-dependent development and isolated communities.
The report says local areas must capture a greater share of the increased land value resulting from new housing and public investment in ‘high-quality’ sustainable transport.
In return, the report says that local areas should offer decision making that prioritises investment against economic and social objectives, as well as offering integrated spatial plans that cover transport, housing and employment land.
They say this would help develop a ‘clear local vision’ for sustainable growth.
Claire Haigh, executive director of the Transport Knowledge Hub, said: ‘There is widespread consensus that as a country we need to build significantly more homes if we are going to address the national housing crisis. Yet, in the rush to build new homes, we must make sure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the past by failing to align housing with sustainable transport planning.
‘This research perfectly captures the important role that sustainable transport can have in unlocking the economic and social benefits of new housing. We must ensure that local planning for housing and transport infrastructure is better integrated so that housing developments across the country are properly supported to delivering the economic and social benefits to local communities’
A poll of council transport heads, conducted by the LGA last year, revealed the main barrier preventing councils from investing more in sustainable travel was a lack of revenue funding (87% for cycling/walking and 82% for public transport).
The poll also credited uncertainty over levels of funding (74% for cycling/walking and 79% for public transport) and a lack of capital funding (68% for cycling/walking and for public transport) for poor levels of investment into sustainable travel.