Are we on a path to a brighter transport future?

 

The transport industry has certainly seen its fair share of disruption over the past decade. Ride-hailing apps and new technologies have massively changed how we travel and pressured traditional players into innovating to keep up.

While technological ‘disruption’ has been a driving force in transforming our infrastructure, we should also recognise the journey that we need to go on to change public attitudes. With the movement towards Mobility as a Service, we’ll eventually rely on both public and private services to get us around.

”Local

We’re not going to encourage modal shift overnight – it will take time to get people on board with a new transport model.

We seem to be reaching a watershed moment in 2019 though, with attitudinal shifts and Government commitments promising a bright future.

Smart, on-demand travel is now closer to reality than pipe dream. Here are just a handful of trends which suggest we are moving in the right direction:

Less private, more public

We’re all aware of how expensive it has become to privately own a car. Not only are fuel costs rising, but drivers must add several other fees to the list including insurance costs, road tax and vehicle maintenance.

This financial burden is reflected in driving licence trends. In 2018, the Department for Transport reported that there were 40% fewer teenagers with a licence in the UK than two decades previously. Similar attitudes are developing around the world – in China, for example, fewer people now view their car as a status symbol.

The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) recently came into action in central London, with non-compliant cars required to pay £12.50 a day to enter the zone. Similarly, in Paris, ‘car-free days’ have been organised to encourage positive change.

Beyond the capital, there are other examples of a changing approach. Coventry City Council, for example, recently announced that it is paying 100 car owners £3,000 to leave their vehicles at home.

Having such incentives in place alongside further investment in our infrastructure should act as the encouragement we need to ditch the car and take to public transport.

Testing, testing

It’s fair to say that the development of autonomous vehicles has had its ups and downs. Accidents during trials and a general anxiety around taking our hands off the wheel mean that plenty more testing needs to be undertaken before exponential change happens.

In accordance with this, the UK has put itself in pole position with a huge investment of £500m committed to the research and design of autonomous vehicles. The number of companies working in this area is ever-increasing.

Top universities and manufacturers are making rapid advancements - Oxbotica, a company launched by The University of Oxford, began trialling the use of autonomous vehicles for retailer Ocado.

With stronger commitment and investment, we should be on track to run autonomous transport safely on our roads in the future and start tapping into its great potential.

Data-driven decisions

Data has become key in driving business decisions across so many industries – transport isn’t exempt from its influence either. Information gathered by vehicles can provide fantastic insight into how, where and when we travel.

We can expect these data collection capabilities to filter through the whole transport network in years to come, boosted by the global roll-out of 5G.

According to the European Commission, 5G implementation in major cities will start in 2019/20, with full coverage of major roads and train stations expected in Europe by 2025. With this connectivity, we’ll be able to put information to use at a much faster pace – reacting to any delays, re-routing services and updating passengers accordingly.

Developments in these areas will undoubtedly lead to big shifts in transport use and habits. For operators, it’s vital they continue to think at a macro-level – using a combination of data, research and legislation to build an exciting future of travel.

Register now for full access


Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Senior Clerk of Works

Bedford Borough Council
£27,905 - £30,507 + market rate supplement £2,630 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Service Manager – Network Management

Somerset County Council
£46,122 per annum
A number of exciting permanent opportunities have arisen to drive forward further improvements to our traffic related services. Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Principal Traffic Control Engineer

Somerset County Council
£33,799 to £37,849 per annum
A number of exciting permanent opportunities have arisen to drive forward further improvements to our traffic related services. Somerset
Recuriter: Somerset County Council

Assistant Engineer

Bedford Borough Council
£31,371 - £32,878 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Technician

Bedford Borough Council
£27,905 - £30,507 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Engineering Technician

Bedford Borough Council
£24,313 - £26,999 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Engineer – Multiple disciplines

Bedford Borough Council
£33,799 - £36,876 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure.  Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Trainee Engineering Technician

Bedford Borough Council
£21,589 - £23,836 per annum
Bedford is growing at a fast pace and we are investing heavily in our highways infrastructure. Bedford, Bedfordshire
Recuriter: Bedford Borough Council

Senior Asset Engineer

Isle of Man Government
£47,064 - £54,805
The Isle of Man is a special place to live and work! Isle of Man (GB) (IM)
Recuriter: Isle of Man Government

Commercial Services Officer - Funerals

Brent Council
£33,291 - £35,724 p.a. inc. plus Standby Allowance
The post will be involved in all aspects of the funeral service Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Transportation Planning Officer x2

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
Band F, SCP 26-31 (£29,636 – £33,799 per annum) (£15.36 - £17.52 per hour)
The post holders will be part of a team developing transport policy encompassing all modes of travel Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Highway Asset Engineer

Lambeth Council
£38,403 pa rising in annual increments to £41,466 pa incl LW
Lambeth is a vibrant place with a diverse population and an exciting cultural scene. Lambeth, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Lambeth Council

Senior Traffic Engineer

East Riding of Yorkshire Council
£32.029 - £34.788 career grade
We need an enthusiastic and experienced traffic engineer to manage our Traffic Team. East Riding of Yorkshire
Recuriter: East Riding of Yorkshire Council

Senior Community Infrastructure Levy Administration Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643 - £44,373
The successful candidate will play a key role in ensuring Richmond and Wandsworth Councils mitigate the... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Principal Information and Monitoring Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£40,183-£47,274 (Grade PO5)
Opportunity has arisen within the Spatial and Transport Planning service for a team leader with demonstrable practical experience of... London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Senior Community Infrastructure Levy Administration Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£32,643-£44,373 (Linked Grade PO2- PO4)
There has never been a more challenging – or rewarding – time to work for Richmond and Wandsworth.  London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Senior Engineer – Highways Development Service (HDS)

North Yorkshire County Council
£38,813 - £42,683 pa
We are looking for someone to join the Development Management Team in a new post. Northallerton, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: North Yorkshire County Council

Senior Development Management Engineer – Section 38

Warwickshire County Council
£37,849 - £39,782
Due to the nature of the role the ability to travel effectively throughout Warwickshire is essential. Warwick, Warwickshire
Recuriter: Warwickshire County Council

Partnerships & Activities Manager

London Borough of Bexley
£31,353 - £36,876
Currently seeking an experienced manager to work in the Parks and Open Spaces Team of Bexley Council’s Communities Department. Bexley (City/Town), London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Bexley

Chartered Environmental Health Traineeships– 3 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
National Minimum Wage (Age appropriate) plus enhancements for night time working
This traineeship opportunity is for graduates to undertake the new Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH)... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council