The future of mobility

WECA, the West of England Combined Authority, has submitted an application for the Department for Transport to fund a £28 million ‘Future Mobility Living Lab’

The aim of the West of England Future Mobility Zone is to co-design, trial and demonstrate replicable transport innovations that can improve connectivity, enhancing regional productivity, widening access to employment and creating a globally significant demonstrator to drive trade and inward investment.

WECA

Mobility as a Service

This scheme’s main components are a Data Hub and Mobility as a Service (MaaS), and covers four scheme areas: Central Bristol, Bath, the Northern Arc (Avonmouth, Severnside, Emerson’s Green and the North Fringe) and Bristol Airport.

The MaaS element incorporates micromobility services and dynamic demand responsive transport (DDRT), potentially using connected and autonomous vehicles. The micromobility project is ‘mode agnostic’ but, interestingly has this:

E-scooter trialWe will review the regulatory regime and aim to run a private-site trial, working with a mobility provider. In the long-term we aim to work with DfT to create an environment for public-road testing using potential routes/trial areas… …We will work with DfT, the market, stakeholders and local communities to ensure safe user-led trials.

E-scooters are currently banned from roads and pavements in Britain, so this would open up the possiblity of scooter hire schems as seen in other countries.

Mobility Hubs

There’s a lot of detail in the 88-page proposal.

A key element will be mobility hubs and points. These would typically be at places like hospitals and train stations. They will offer a range of options such as public transport services, EV charging (for shared or private vehicles), cycle parking, pick up/drop off points, cafe, freight consolidation etc.

The full proposal is at https://www.westofengland-ca.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/WECA-FMZ-Bid-Submission-Redaction-V2.pdf

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