Jump to section: 

The Transport and Distribution sector is in critical shock, its primary focus is keeping Plymouth moving and enabling the visitor economy.  

FTE jobs
(5% of PLY employment)
Productivity 87%
of city average and 93% of GB average
GVA output of
(4% of Plymouth GVA)
Opportunities/Challenges to address
  • Drastic fall in demand effects viability of services and transport companies 

  • Many workers still need to travel on public transport

  • ‘Do not leave home’ messaging during lockdown may have lasting damage to perception of safety in using public transport

  • Acceleration of previous long term trends towards on-line retail and working from home is having a profound impact on traditional travel patterns and public transport markets

  • Disadvantaged young people cannot afford travel costs to travel to employment and training venues

  • Lockdown has visibly shown everyone how reduced traffic congestion can improve environment, nature and air quality. However cannot go back or above traffic levels pre-Covid as infrastructure cannot cope.

  • Need to change travel behaviour longer term to avoid a car based economic recovery

  • Increase walking exercise as part of the bus journey making bus a key part of the network of walking and cycling, and reduce the number of premature deaths arising poor air quality each year.

Identified courses of action

Create and launch campaign to rebuild ‘Covid Secure’ confidence in public transport. The message is sanitise hands, wear a face covering and avoid travel at busy times of the day, possibly as part of wider ‘Welcome Back’ city wide campaign. 

Outcome: Get people back using bus, rail and local ferry transport to reverse rising traffic congestion, reverse worsening air quality and reduce the amount of public funding required to prop-up public transport services.

Reconfiguration of Royal Parade through Transforming Cities Fund and Emergency Active Travel Fund Tranche 2 (awaiting confirmation of funding from Government)

Outcome: Improve service reliability, improve air quality, improve access to buses for the mobility impaired, improve public realm to support city centre economic recovery

Create and launch ‘discounted fares’ campaign targeted at young people

Outcome: Assist disadvantaged young people to access employment and training opportunities

Longer term, develop and deliver Transport Capital Programme (using Transforming Cities Fund) to create Mobility Hubs that complement public transport. Implement bus priority. 

Outcome: Encourage new additional users of public transport especially bus. Reduce traffic congestion and reduce negative environmental impacts. 

Find resource capacity to undertake campaigns and community engagement to support public transport usage and other active travel modes. 

Outcome: Change travel behaviours. Reduce emissions and improve air quality.

Create joined up evidence based lobbying for sustained government support as necessary

Outcome: Sustain local transport services throughout pandemic impacts 

Find an alternative to bus operator capital expenditure, which is now limited with continuing financial losses during COVID, to invest in zero emission vehicles.  A new leasing model is needed to increase the fleet of zero emission buses as part of a green economic recovery. Need to drive passenger growth through bus priority and demand management. 

Outcome: Avoid clean congestion by increasing bus passengers travelling on zero emission buses instead of clogging our roads with electric cars

Successes/Results to date
NHS 234.jpeg


Continued to provide a service throughout the lockdown for key workers and those needing to use the bus for essential shopping.