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Transport and connectivity

Transport hubs draw people and businesses into towns and cities and are often the first impression someone has when arriving

Improved transport hubs are needed in the UK to draw people and businesses into towns and cities. Often these hubs are the first impression someone has when arriving. Good connectivity also gives people better and wider access to a city’s services and amenities, enhancing their health and wellbeing, and helps reduce car use and road congestion, improving air quality and lowering carbon emissions.

Efficient infrastructure linking together different modes of transport is vital to 'joining the dots' to create a 'place' for new investment. Fast connectivity for journeys within urban act as a catalyst for business growth and access to broader skills markets and training. Ultimately, transportation sits at the heart of towns and cities.

In many large European cities, 67% of people can get to city centres by public transport in under 30 minutes, compared to just 40% in the UK - we still have a long way to go.

Read some of the examples of how we're helping to connect people and places, including:

Creating a new gateway to Lincoln through a £30m transport hub

Lincoln's Transport Hub has been hailed as a "catalyst for growth". It supports Lincolnshire's wider redevelopment work that has seen the introduction of new shops, restaurants and a cinema.

To help encourage visitors to use these new additions, we built a 1,000 space, multi-storey car park on the site. The car park will encourage more visitors to the city centre, and as a byproduct, is likely to encourage further development in the local area. On top of this, the car park provides parking for those travelling further afield using the nearby bus or train services.

The transport hub houses a bus station with a glass and timber roof, and glazed wall in the 590m2 concourse. The 14 bus bays see 650 buses depart every weekday, with technology incorporated to make travel as easy as possible. Interactive touchscreens show timetables and service information and there is a five-metre video wall. We also made improvements to the railway forecourt and created a pedestrian plaza to link streets to the city’s railway station.

An important, and sometimes challenging, part of this project was managing a huge range of stakeholders. Organisations with a vested interest in the project included the Department for Transport, the Greater Lincolnshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Lincolnshire Co-op, Network Rail, Lincolnshire County Council and East Midlands Trains.

We worked with all of the stakeholders to understand their drivers and requirements. This allowed us to ensure all of these opinions were taken into account and that the finished hub meets the needs of everyone.

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Building the UK's first net-zero carbon transport interchange in North Tyneside

In Summer 2023 we handed over North Tyneside Council's first net-zero building, and the UK's first net-zero carbon transport interchange. North Tyneside Transport Interchange forms part of the council’s Ambition for North Shields and the Fish Quay Masterplan.

The new hub unites three key transport options: bus services, Metro and taxis. It also links with cycling routes, providing people with easy access to a cleaner and greener mode of transport.

The new design for the transport hub is aiming for net-zero carbon in operation. To achieve this, designs include an enhanced building envelope to maximise airtightness and improve energy efficiency, coupled with an array of photovoltaic solar panels and a surface water management system.

Embodied carbon has also been considered through a Life Cycle Assessment. In undertaking this assessment, we were able to assess design choices at early stages and rework them to drive down embodied carbon emissions. By reviewing techniques, products and materials, we have reduced embodied carbon for the project by around 40%.


Stevenage Bus Interchange - helping to drive growth in the town centre

Stevenage is undergoing a lot of investment as part of a 20-year, £1bn regeneration programme. This project centred around upgrading the existing bus station to make it more modern and to help make it more efficient in the way it will be run. This includes speeding up connections and providing easier access to the nearby train station.

This access has been facilitated through a range of external works, including new pathways that link the bus interchange to the town square and train station. Work was also completed to link the interchange up with the existing cycle network. To make the most of the external spaces, we introduced additional seating areas which are surrounded by landscaped areas that not only look visually appealing but also increase biodiversity on the site and act as part of the sustainable drainage strategy.

The interchange itself includes an extensive canopy with a large glazed screen and automatic doors for easy passenger access. The facility very much focuses on giving passengers a great experience, with seating available in a climate-controlled waiting area, live passenger information boards, a fully accessible toilet and changing facilities, in addition to unisex toilets with baby changing facilities.

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Transforming Stockport Interchange into a mixed-use development

Stockport town centre is going through a major £1bn worth of investment. The Stockport Mayoral Development Corporation (MDC) is an innovative partnership that aims to set a new benchmark for town centre regeneration. Stockport Interchange is the largest new development being driven by the MDC.

The multi-million-pound project will create a new mixed-use development. The scheme includes public realm works, including a two-acre rooftop park that will improve leisure and recreation opportunities, cycle paths and a footbridge linking the development with the town’s famous railway station.

There is also a modern transport interchange being created, which will incorporate 18 bus stands and a fully accessible and covered passenger concourse with seated waiting areas. The designs for the interchange also make allowances for further growth in the future.

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