Too many Brits are forced to endure long, unreliable and expensive commutes. People are left with less time to do the things they value most, whether that’s spending time with their family or having a drink with friends after work. Our proud towns and cities are held back as a result.

Britain faces a unique challenge: workers in our major cities like Birmingham, Manchester, and Leeds are less productive than the national average. In most countries, people in larger cities typically earn more. However, outside London, Britain’s cities are struggling, with output per worker 30% lower than similar cities in Germany, 23% lower than France, and 18% lower than Italy. 

A significant cause of these challenges is that it is too hard for people to access the city centre, where the best-paying jobs are. For example, Birmingham and Munich are similar in size, as are Leeds and Marseille. Yet, during rush hour, only 34% of Birmingham’s residents and 38% of Leeds' residents can reach the city centre within 30 minutes by public transport. By contrast, 74% in Munich and 87% in Marseille can.

The problem goes beyond public transport. Most Brits commute by car, but roads in British cities are 48% more congested than roads in similar US cities, and 15% more congested than roads in similar European cities.

When commutes are long and unreliable, it means workers have access to fewer jobs and businesses are less likely to invest.
To close the gap and boost wages across the country, Britain needs to invest in new fast reliable transport links in places like Leeds, the largest city in Europe without a rapid transit system.

It doesn’t have to be this way

Britain Remade has a plan to get Britain moving again by building new fast, reliable transport links.

It isn’t right that places like Leeds, Bristol, and Cardiff don’t have fast, reliable transport systems while every city with at least 150,000 residents in France does. Nor is it right that only a third of Britain’s railways are electrified compared to more than half in France, Germany, and Spain.

Britain’s towns and cities deserve much better. Our transport network needs a major upgrade. All of Britain’s large cities should have a modern tram system. Slower, dirtier diesel trains should be replaced with faster, more reliable electrified railways. Traffic bottlenecks in our road network must be removed and the infrastructure put in place to make it ready for electric vehicles.

Towns and cities have been promised better transport before only to have vital projects delayed or even cancelled, but our plan is different. It targets the root causes of why nothing in this country seems to get built on-time and on-budget.

Our plan will deliver better transport by radically cutting construction costs, empowering towns and cities, and unlocking new sources of private funding.