Decarbonisation and Mobility as a Service

Here’s a recording of the recent, virtual Shared Transport Conference organised by
Collaborative Mobility UK, which is timed to start with the keynote speech by Trudy Harrison, the current Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport responsible for the decarbonisation of transport:

Trudy says a number of things of great interest to those of us that think that owning a car really should be a thing of the past for most residents of the United Kingdom. Take for example this from near the beginning:

We certainly need more voices such as [CoMoUK’s] so that we can design a transport system that is fit for the future and free of fossil fuels, which moves us away from the 20th century thinking centred around private vehicle ownership and towards greater flexibility, with personal choice and low carbon shared transport.

I think actually that the future is much closer than we may think. When you look at the progress that has been made in just a year, we’ve launched the Transport Decarbonisation plan, our Net Zero Strategy and of course we’ve hosted COP 26. And we’re trialling Future Transport Zones across the country, unleashing British innovation and transforming inner city journeys.

Fast forward to 5:05 and Trudy points out that:

According to Warwick Business School 78% of 18-24 year olds use a shared economy service, from Zipcar to Liftshare and Airbnb. These services are high convenience, and they can help people to manage the cost of travel flexibly, and in fact it’s becoming a lifestyle choice so transport must keep pace.

The Department for Transport’s “Decarbonising Transport” plan, published earlier this year, goes into much greater detail. For example the “Shared Mobility” section states that:

Shared mobility services can decarbonise and decongest our transport network, offer an alternative to traditional mass transit, and provide new forms of transport for the first and last mile connecting to public transport…

And outlines the following long list of “Commitments”:

  • We will take action to increase average road vehicle occupancy by 2030
  • We will publish guidance for local authorities on support for shared car ownership and shared occupancy schemes and services
  • We will support car clubs to go fully zero emission
  • We will consult on a Mobility as a Service Code of Practice
  • We will use national e-scooter trials to understand their environmental impact, safety, and mode shift potential to evaluate whether they should be legalised
  • We will reduce the barriers to data sharing across the transport sector
  • We have launched a new annual statistical release and guidance about transport’s impact on the environment and support its use by third parties
  • We will explore the introduction of a new sustainable travel reward scheme supported by businesses, community organisations and charities
  • We will support transport providers to develop communications campaigns that encourage mode-switch and sustainable transport behaviours
  • We will encourage and support UK businesses to lead the way in taking action to reduce emissions from their employees’ travel journeys through “Commute Zero”
  • We will identify specific opportunities for decarbonisation through innovation in rural areas in the upcoming Future of Transport: Rural Strategy
  • We will help build a skilled workforce for the future of transport

We at V2G UK cannot wait to see those commitments being put into practice. Especially the final two! As Trudy puts it at 9:00:

This is quite personal to me. These benefits should not be exclusive to city dwellers… I feel really strongly that this needs to be inclusive, and I also know that for many people in rural areas a car is a lifeline.

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