UK government’s new strategy will explore regulation around new transport modes
This review will look into modernising laws from the 1800s that are providing a barrier to innovation with the transport sector.
In its ‘Future of mobility: urban strategy’, the government has announced a review into transport that will 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 payments can be made more simple.
Alongside this, the government is launching a competition for up to four new ‘future mobility zones’, backed by £90 million, to test ideas to improve journeys for people across the country. With 80 per cent of people in the UK now using smartphones, ideas will include smoother payment systems, better, more up-to-date travel information and the use of innovative forms of transport, making travel in towns and cities more convenient, more reliable and cheaper.
Future of Mobility Minister, Jesse Norman, said: “We are at a potentially pivotal moment for the future of transport, with revolutionary technologies creating huge opportunities for cleaner, cheaper, safer and more reliable journeys. Through this strategy the government aims to take advantage of these innovations; connecting more people and bringing big benefits we hope for both the economy and the environment.”
Mike Hawes, SMMT Chief Executive, said: “The automotive industry is responding to perhaps the most significant change since the invention of the car. Mobility as we know it is evolving, improving people’s day-to-day lives with implications for all of society. Today’s strategy offers important guidance on the objectives and principles underpinning the future of mobility in towns and cities, while giving industry scope to invest and innovate, developing exciting new services.”
Future of Mobility Grand Challenge Business Champion and former Board Member of BMW, Ian Robertson, said: “With a long history of transport innovation, a world-class research base and many established technology leaders, the UK is in prime position for a transport revolution.
“The government’s vision as set out in the Future of mobility: urban strategy will ensure that going forward, all businesses within the transport industry create technology that is accessible to everyone, environmentally friendly and economically worthwhile. In doing so, the industry can ensure it harnesses its domestic expertise to profit from a growing market for cleaner, safer and more efficient transport.”
The strategy, a key part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy, also sets out nine key principles that will guide government decision-making going forward, ensuring that emerging transport technologies are safe, accessible and green.
These include being safe, secure and guarded against cyber threats; accessible to older people and those with visible and non-visible disabilities; and in line with the government’s ambition for a zero-emission future.
Giles Perkins, WSP’s Head of Future Mobility, said: “The government clearly recognised the potential that Future Mobility has in creating better places, improved lives and better access to opportunities. Making transport easier for all is essential and the strategy has the potential to improve choice, reduce barriers and provide equity.
“The future of urban mobility zones provide a unique opportunity to deliver game-changing mobility, at scale, kickstarting what could be the biggest change transportation has seen for decades. WSP is committed to continue helping DfT and urban local authorities up and down the country drive forward this agenda.”