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

Lead Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£40,760 - £41,675 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Principal Engineer [Development]

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,788 - £35,934 per annum
Looking for an exciting new opportunity? Join us in Knowsley’s Major Development Team! Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Director of Neighbourhoods

Havering London Borough Council
c.£138,000
As Director of Neighbourhoods, you will provide strategic leadership for a full range of regulatory and non-regulatory services Romford, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Havering London Borough Council

Director of Economic Development & Planning

Wiltshire Council
£99,856 - £110,084 per annum
In this role you will have a key role in growing the local economy Wiltshire
Recuriter: Wiltshire Council

Executive Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£24,660 - £31,764
A new opportunity has arisen for an Executive Officer to join The Environment and Community Services Directorate Richmond upon Thames, London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Director, Governance and Improvement

City of York Council
£87,623 to £97,149
We are looking for an exceptional individual to be appointed to the position of Director of Governance and Improvement. York, North Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of York Council

Chief Fire Officer

West Sussex County Council
Competitive Salary plus Financial Support for Recruitment and Retention
We are looking for an exceptional individual who can lead our Fire & Rescue Service Chichester, West Sussex
Recuriter: West Sussex County Council

Inspector / Senior Inspector

City of Bradford MDC
£21,166 - £31,371 pa
This is an opportunity to join the Highway Maintenance team who have responsibility for maintenance of around 2,000km of adopted road network. Bradford, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: City of Bradford MDC

Traffic Management Operative/Foreman

Balfour Beatty
Competitive
Are you a Traffic Management Operative/Foreman with Highspeed (12AB) Qualifications, looking for a new and exciting opportunity? If so read on..... Leatherhead, Surrey
Recuriter: Balfour Beatty

Senior Team Leader

Redbridge London Borough Council
£35,992 to £38,994 per annum inclusive
Looking for individuals with initiative, evidence of experience in managing a street cleansing service and motivating... Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council

Road Safety Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,589 - £31,371
We are looking for a candidate who can participate in developing and delivering technically sound highway engineering solutions. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Information Management Officer x 2 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£24,799 - £26,317
Looking for better and smarter ways to operate and you will play a key role working across a broad range of service... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Graduate Engineer

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
This is an exciting new opportunity in the Highway Services team to play a pivotal role in creating a safe and... Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

School Crossing Patrol

Brent Council
£21,591 - £22,377 p.a. inc. pro rata.
Looking for someone that is friendly, has great communication skills and enjoys working with children. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Engineer (Highway Design)

Darlington Borough Council
£31,371 - £33,799
Looking to employ an experienced person within the Highway Design team to meet the challenge of enabling development... Darlington, Durham
Recuriter: Darlington Borough Council

Project Manager – Major Maintenance and Infrastructure Projects 

Liverpool City Council
£42,683 - £47,491 
The successful candidate will ensure that effective procurement and delivery of highways maintenance and improvement. Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Green Space Development Manager

Camden London Borough Council
£45,504 - £52,786
The successful candidate will join a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team and contribute to our commitment to deliver for... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Green Space Project Officer

Camden London Borough Council
£40,829 - £47,360
The successful candidate will join a dynamic, multi-disciplinary team and contribute to our commitment to deliver for the people of Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Senior Principal Planning Officer - Fixed Term

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£39.774 - £42.684
Looking for key members of the team that will be instrumental in transforming the Borough and opportunities available for residents.  Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Career Grade Planner

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£27228 - £36711
In this role you will deal primarily with small-scale planning applications covering a wide range of planning issues. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich