Investment models used in the energy sector to help limit risk and co-ordinated national policies could help lay the groundwork for a new era of mobility, according to a new report from Amey.
Entitled ‘Mobility - a future that is sustainable, delivers social value, and benefits SMEs and social enterprises’, the White Paper outlines the financial, technological and management reforms needed for the future.
It also highlights successful models from other industries on how to secure funding and adress the key issues of public policy, private investment, the use of public transport data and skills.
‘For new mobility infrastructure (i.e. EV charging, energy storage, hydrogen, etc.), we believe that government funding should be channelled differently,’ the report states.
The renewable sector is used as an example due to its use of Contracts for Difference (CfDs), which are seen as leading to lower sector risk and incentivising investment in nascent renewable energy schemes.
‘CfDs provide fixed price assurance and safeguard public funds from overcompensating when electricity prices are high,’ Amey states, and urges government to explore a similar model in order to unlock mass scale investment in mobility infrastructure.
The Government should also co-ordinate policy to support standards and avoid major cities producing mixed results, Amey argues, while adding that the private sector must work with the public sector to make the case for revenue-driven business models that also create social value.
‘Most of the funding that comes from central government is in the form of capital investment. However, for all this investment, what will really change mobility for communities is the creation of revenue-driven business models,’ the report states.
It recommended that private operators should take responsibility for creating a positive impact in the communities in which they operate and commit to publicly disclosing how they are delivering for the good of society.
Matt Vickerstaff, deputy chief executive officer at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, said: ‘More transparent, and just-in time performance linked data can be used to help move away from older inflexible contracts, with poor alignment of interests, towards something far more powerful and learning focused with better delivery outcomes.’
Embracing technology to boost whole-life mobility outcomes and assign greater value to data collection and use, could be key to future success the report argues.
It explains that if cities were to set up the right infrastructure to efficiently provide and share data with mobility operators, data-driven decisions could more readily be applied to services. Cities must also adopt policies and technologies that support home working and flexible hours.
‘Engaging with local people, to ask and answer the questions around what form of mobility they want and how they want it, will be increasingly important.’
Amey argues that the public sector has a responsibility to engage with the private sector to create a framework for outcome-based procurement.