Memo to Government: invest in South Pennines green transport

Posted: 21.02.20

The chair of rural regeneration agency Pennine Prospects has urged the Government and local authorities to remember the South Pennines in the latest announcement of a £5 billion investment in buses and cycling.

Whilst welcoming the money pledged by Government, Pam Warhurst, CBE, warned against the cash going solely to city centres, neglecting areas like the proposed 460 square mile South Pennines Park, home to 600,000 residents.

“There’s a big opportunity here to make serious improvements in our green transport network in the South Pennines and we’d urge all local authorities in the park area to work together and think on a landscape scale. We rely heavily on public transport, with 53 train stations in our patch, and there’s huge scope to improve accessibility with bikes on buses and other upgrades. We need a transport infrastructure that make sense to the kinds of journeys people take, not just based on the boundaries they cross.”

The South Pennines is bounded by the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales, along with Nidderdale and the Forest of Bowland areas of outstanding natural beauty (AONB). Embracing parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire and Greater Manchester, it is the only upland landscape in England not designated as a national park or AONB. The creation of a South Pennine Park has the support of local authorities and the move was welcomed by the Glover Review into the future of designated landscapes in England and Wales. Pam Warhurst added:

“We are totally serious about creating a greener and more sustainable future for the South Pennines and that means investing in cycling, walking, trains and canals, and lessening dependence on cars. Our roads are congested enough and climate change is upon us. We also have eight million people living within an hour’s journey time. But we need to shout and make a case to ensure that we are not forgotten when projects are conceived and funding allocated.”

Media calls to Richard Darn on 0775 367 0038