With the UK seen to be at the start of the road of a transport revolution, ministers are keen to accelerate the progress of innovation and explore regulations around new types of vehicles like electric scooters.
In what is being described as the biggest review into transport in a generation, the Future of mobility: urban strategy wants to pave the way for transforming the way people and goods move around cities.
The review will explore regulations around new types of vehicles including e-scooters and e-cargo bike trailers, how sharing data can improve services by reducing congestion, and how journey planning and payment can be made more simple.
As part of plans to explore how transport in the UK can modernise, a competition will run parallel to the review with £90m up for grabs for cities to test innovative ideas on possible improvements.
This Future Mobility Zones Fund aims to support local leaders and industry to trial new mobility services, modes and models through the creation of up to four future mobility zones.
The zones will focus on significantly improving mobility for consumers by combining new and traditional modes of transport. It follows £60m awarded to 10 cities across the UK via the Transforming Cities Fund
Future of Mobility minister Jesse Norman believes the UK transport network is at a “potentially pivotal moment” with revolutionary technologies creating huge opportunities for cleaner, cheaper, safer and more reliable journeys.
The regulatory review will have four new areas of focus:
- Micro-mobility vehicles and how to trial them
- Mobility as a service
- Transport data
- Modernising bus, taxis and private hire vehicles legislation
The review has been largely welcomed by industry with Future Mobility seen as the best way to create better places, improve lives and provide better access to opportunities.
Rachel Skinner, executive director and UK head of Transport for WSP, said: “We would wholeheartedly agree that the creation of urban mobility zones offer some of the best potential to create visible, positive change that makes the best of a new transport strategy and technologies to create better places where many of us will choose to live, work and socialise in the future. The concept of focusing on a specific zone is one that we’ve advocated over the past few years and allows forward thinking local authorities such as Birmingham to give people a high quality transport solution at their front door.”
Vernon Everitt, managing director of customers, communication and technology for Transport for London, and who leads on Smart Futures for the Urban Transport Group, added: “The Urban Transport Group welcomes the Government’s strategy on the future of mobility in urban areas to focus our collective efforts on harnessing new technologies to improve connectivity and make transport safer, easier to use and more affordable and sustainable.”