Transport Minister Trudy Harrison has said that shared mobility must become “the norm” across the UK as she outlined support for a system “fit for the future”.
Addressing the Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) annual shared transport conference this week, the minister said the country needs to move away from “20th-century thinking centred around private vehicle ownership” and introduce “greater flexibility, with personal choice and low carbon shared transport”.
She said it was “staggering” that nearly two-thirds of car trips are taken by lone drivers, and said the UK is at a “tipping point” where shared mobility will soon be a “realistic option for many of us to get around, where mobility hubs become a familiar part of our street architecture, and where all these options will be available to book and pay for at the touch of a smartphone”.
Shared transport includes bike-share schemes, car clubs, shared rides, e-scooters, and digital demand responsive transport (DDRT). CoMoUK is the national organisation for shared transport, a charity dedicated to its public benefit.
Videos of the conference sessions are available here with the keynote from Trudy Harrison here:
Harrison told the CoMoUK conference: “The challenge is to move further and faster to make shared mobility less of a novelty and increasing the norm to make it as easy, as convenient and as accessible as possible. We are reaching a tipping point where shared mobility in the form of car clubs, scooters and bike shares will soon be a realistic option for many of us to get around.
“Where mobility hubs become a familiar part of our street architecture and where all these options will be available to book and pay for at the touch of a smartphone. I think the benefits are really significant: from clean air to healthier populations to greater connectivity for more people, no matter where they live.”
Richard Dilks, chief executive of CoMoUK, said: “The Minister’s comments were very welcome and demonstrate that shared transport is firmly on the Government’s agenda.
“Shared transport is the key to a more sustainable future for the UK, enabling people to use transport without the need to own it – shifting to resources such as car clubs, bike share, shared rides and demand responsive transport – with a lower impact on the environment and transport infrastructure. By encouraging people to use public and active travel modes more, governments can help reduce the demand for privately owned cars and achieve the country’s net-zero strategy.”