Carplus welcomes new Transport Minister Chris Grayling MP

“It is an exciting time in the transport world. How people choose to travel is changing rapidly. This is providing incredible opportunities for changing how Government and the private sector re-configure their roles to make sure that Britain leads the world in the development of a modern transport system.”

Carplus and Bikeplus welcomed the new Minister for Transport, Chris Grayling MP with this summary of the role and development of shared transport.

“Whilst major infrastructure developments loom large, it is the not-yet-in-focus transport innovations which are seen as defining the future of travel and are crystallising under the banner of Mobility as a Service. On demand services such as car sharing, bike sharing and car clubs mixed with public transport, walking and cycling are increasingly seen as the lifestyle choice for more and more people.

The private sector is leading both sector development and investment in the shared transport sector. For instance, the automotive industry is reshaping its business models to provide mobility services rather than just selling cars. At least five major car manufacturers are partnering with or developing their own car club or car share offers. Furthermore, global car hire operations have acquired or developed car clubs in major metropolitan areas, anticipating that this modal shift will become mainstream within ten years.

Meanwhile, London has shown the enormous benefits that a city-wide bike share scheme can bring, facilitating quick and convenient personal travel whilst easing the load on public transport at peak times, requiring a fraction of the road space and parking of cars and helping tackle air quality and carbon emissions. Ridesharing is becoming a norm in people’s choices for travelling – especially to and for work.

The beauty of shared transport is in its broad popularity: it is not anti-car, but through enabling people to pick and mix their travel needs, leads to significant environmental, social and economic benefits.

Carplus and Bikeplus are the lead bodies nationally that provide impartial research on the impacts of shared transport. Car clubs, bike share and ridesharing have significant impacts on mileage driven, carbon emissions and road space requirements, and have shown their cost-effectiveness in delivering these outcomes.

A broad coalition of stakeholders in London have predicted 1 million car club users by 2025; an extension of this analysis suggests that up to 3.3 million people will be using car clubs across the UK by 2025.

While the sector is booming – with big global players getting involved – the opportunities and challenges for Government are to make sure that:

  1. Success is accelerated – by removing barriers to investment in delivery and expansion of services that deliver policy benefits.
  2. Opportunities for innovation in the sector are identified and realised. This is to ensure that the benefits of shared transport reach all types of community as well as to nurture new types of businesses.

Both of these require continuation of the development of DfT policy support, but relatively trivial amounts of funding; the private sector is poised to invest but requires conditions creating to provide confidence. Most companies are currently weighing up which countries across Europe, North America and (increasingly) Asia to invest in.”

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