Tag Archive: london

  1. Registration open for TRL’s Discover:Innovation Day 2024

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    Source: TRL

    TRL’s world-leading Smart Mobility Living Lab in London will host Discover: Innovation Day on Wednesday, 17th July. The event promises a day filled with exciting innovations in transport mobility.

    Attendees will have the opportunity to experience the latest advancements in transportation technology from TRL and its partners. The event will bring together industry leaders, visionary entrepreneurs, and cutting-edge innovators.

    Reasons to Attend:

    • Discover the Future: Explore the latest trends and technologies transforming the mobility landscape, from electric and autonomous vehicles to smart city infrastructure and sustainable transportation solutions.
    • Network with Visionaries: Connect with key players in the industry, expand professional networks, and forge valuable partnerships.
    • Experience Innovation: Engage with interactive exhibits, live demonstrations, and thought-provoking insights.

    Click here to register.

  2. 2024 City Rating reveals cycling disparities across England

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    Source: BikeBiz

    The latest City Ratings, a data analysis tool assessing the bike-friendliness of global cities and towns, has been released. The new annual data reveals that while London leads in England, the country as a whole lags significantly behind other European nations.

    This information is concerning for cyclists and transport advocates, four years after the launch of Gear Change, the outgoing government’s flagship cycling initiative. Gear Change aimed for 50% of urban journeys to be made by walking or cycling by 2030, yet PeopleForBikes’ data highlights the continued lack of safe cycling infrastructure.

    The City Ratings, calculated annually since 2017 by the US advocacy group PeopleForBikes, evaluate cities’ bike network quality and connectivity, including protected bike lanes, bike paths, low speed limits, and safe crossings. This year, the data for England covers London, Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Yorkshire, Surrey, Cheshire, Oxford, Cambridge, and more.

    London leads the way

    London leads England in cycling amenities, with 16 of the 20 highest-rated boroughs. Cambridge holds the top spot with a score of 84 out of 100, followed by Hackney and Islington, both scoring 82. These areas have fewer “high stress” roads and feature low-speed limits (20 mph). On average, London scores 69, Greater Manchester 49, and the West Midlands 46.

    The aim of the data is to highlight the best cities and towns for cycling and provide city leaders and campaigners with actionable insights to improve cycling in their communities. This release coincides with political parties making transport commitments and outlining their visions for Active Travel.

    In London, the lowest-rated boroughs are Bromley (52), Harrow (51), and Barnet (50), illustrating the significant variation within the city.

    England continues to lag behind other European countries

    Compared to Europe, England lags behind, with the Netherlands dominating the top 10 with five cities: The Hague (89), Utrecht (86), Almere (85), Eindhoven (85), and Amsterdam (85). France, Belgium, and Germany also feature in the top 10. Paris ranks second overall with a score of 87. Internationally, three London boroughs rank among the top 20: Hackney (13th, 82), Islington (15th, 82), and Southwark (19th, 80).

    The West Midlands and Greater Manchester

    The West Midlands and Greater Manchester have shown significant commitments to cycling. Greater Manchester’s Mayor Andy Burnham launched the Bee Network, integrating transport and cycling, though he faced criticism for rejecting a Clean Air Zone. Greater Manchester’s average rating of 49 lags behind London. The West Midlands, including Birmingham, aims to establish itself as the UK’s second city but falls behind Manchester in the 2024 ratings. Investments and progress under outgoing mayor Andy Street are noted, with campaigners urging similar ambition from the new Labour mayor Richard Parker.

    Amid a general election, campaigners and local authorities seek clarity on the incoming government’s approach to Active Travel. PeopleForBikes hopes this data will empower activists and stakeholders to advocate for safer cycling infrastructure and its benefits.

    Jenn Dice, PeopleForBikes’ president and CEO, stated, “The data for England clearly shows not only a divide between London and other cities but also between England and other European countries. We hope this data provides valuable insights for local authorities, campaigners, and everyone advocating for better cycling infrastructure.

    These ratings highlight the progress and ongoing challenges for UK cycling infrastructure. Cambridge’s top ranking and the strong performance of several London boroughs demonstrate what is possible with committed leadership and investment in safe, accessible cycling. Our goal with this data is to celebrate successes and provide actionable steps for city leaders and campaigners to improve cycling infrastructure in their communities. As political parties outline their transportation visions, they must prioritize active transportation to create healthier, more sustainable cities.

  3. Research reveals low confidence in UK transport sector

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    Zag Daily reports that a recent study from the Institute for Public Policy and Research (IPPR) has unveiled a significant trust deficit in the British public towards the national government when it comes to making local transport decisions. Only 13% of Britons most trust the national government with this responsibility, while local councils command the confidence of 37% of the populace.

    Source: Zag Daily

    Regarding political parties’ trustworthiness on improving public transport, 33% of the public trust the Labour Party, contrasting with just 13% who trust the Conservative Party. This information emerges in a context marked by increasing political debate around transport issues, including Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s remarks about a “war on motorists”, the polarizing implementation of low-traffic neighborhoods, and the Mayor of London’s extension of the ULEZ to encompass all London boroughs.

    IPPR Senior Research Fellow and co-author of the report, Dr. Maya Singer Hobbs, provided her insights to Zag Daily, critiquing the governmental rhetoric. “Westminster has attempted to divide people into ‘drivers’ and everyone else, but this is not reflective of how people think of themselves,” she said. “Most people who drive will also walk and take the bus or train, or cycle. This also ignores the fact that the transport system as a whole is failing people.”

    The report titled ‘Who Gets a Good Deal? Revealing Public Attitudes to Transport In Great Britain’ also highlights that one in five individuals are concerned about affording necessary transport. Moreover, in the past two years, 71% have modified their travel habits to decrease expenses. It identifies that individuals living in rural areas and those on lower incomes are disproportionately affected by the inefficiencies of the UK transport system, whereas those on higher incomes tend to fare better.

    Dr. Hobbs expressed the public’s dissatisfaction with the transport system and their high valuation of public transportation: “People agree that transport isn’t working for them, but the solution to this can be found in how highly people rate public transport,” she explained.

    The study also reveals that 53% of the population views public transport as essential for getting to work, significantly more than the 20% who consider car ownership necessary. Furthermore, nearly half of the respondents prioritize public transport over having a phone, and 43% rate it as more crucial than internet access.

    In light of these findings, as the UK approaches a general election, the IPPR has proposed six transportation priorities for the next government. These include implementing a comprehensive, shared multimodal transport strategy for England and allocating 10% of the transport budget to active travel by 2029. Additionally, the report calls for all buses in urban areas to be electric by 2030 and for a fully zero-emission bus fleet by 2035.

    Dr. Hobbs advocates for a shift in funding strategies: “We would like to see an end to competitive short-term funding and move to longer-term, strategic, single-pot funding which in conjunction with greater devolution will allow mayoralties and local authorities to deliver ambitious transport networks,” she stated. “This funding will help ensure a wider network coverage and maintain an affordable bus fare cap. We would like to see greater powers for local transport authorities to franchise bus networks or deliver municipally owned fleets.”

    This comprehensive analysis by the IPPR clearly signals a call for sweeping changes in how transport policies are formulated and implemented, aiming for a system that better reflects and serves the needs of all citizens.

  4. London’s ULEZ subsidies could contribute to increased LEV use in excluded groups

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    Source: Cycling Industry News, M. Sutton

    Subsidies available through the ‘Ultra Low Emission Zone’ scrappage scheme have been confirmed to be valid for the purchase of e-bikes, cargo bikes, and e-scooters.

    London’s ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) was designed to reduce the use of the most polluting vehicles in the city centre. Thus far, the ULEZ has helped to reduce roadside pollution levels by 44% in central London and 20% in inner London. Hence, the scheme is going London-wide from August 2023, aiming to improve air quality for an additional 5 million residents, trigger a 2% reduction in car use, and cut further into PM2.5 exhaust emissions.

    A key factor in the ULEZ expansion is the associated £110 million ‘scrappage scheme’; the full details of this can be found here. Transport for London shared, “Following the success of our last scrappage scheme, which saw the removal of more than 15,000 polluting vehicles from London’s roads, our new scrappage scheme will support Londoners on certain low income or disability benefits, and eligible micro-businesses (up to 10 employees), sole traders and charities with a registered address in London. Only eligible applicants with vehicles that do not meet the ULEZ emissions standard will qualify for our new scrappage scheme.

    It is excellent to hear that scrappage subsidies can be applied to the purchase of e-bikes, e-scooters, and cargo bikes. This massively improves the accessibility of LEVs and green mobility to many Londoners who may have been priced out until now.

  5. Zero-emission cargo bike trader’s market sees successful trial in the UK

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    Source: Cycling Industry News, M. Sutton

    The ‘Cleaner Air Markets’ report from Fare City reveals that using cargo bikes and electric vehicles for the delivery of goods to local trader’s markets may reduce CO2 emissions by 67.5 times compared to use of conventional diesel vans.

    The new UK-based report examines how the traders of a working market were enabled to switch from their polluting internal combustion engine vehicles to trial zero tailpipe emission modes of transport, such as cargo bikes and electric vehicles. Report publisher, Fare City shares, “There is an exciting opportunity to reconsider how we service our public markets. At present, traders use polluting vans and cars to bring goods to and from markets in towns and cities across the UK. For years, this practice of driving goods into the heart of communities has contributed to local air pollution, congestion, and carbon emissions, adversely impacting the very people such markets aim to serve.”

    Find the full report via the Fare City website.

    In its inaugural effort to develop one London marketplace, Fare City reports that if all traders within the trial were to permanently switch to zero-emission modes, annual CO2 emissions would drop by 1,175kg. This, of course, is due to the substituted transport methods such as cargo bikes and e-bikes producing 67.5 times less CO2 pollution than diesel vans in the same scenario.

    Mark Sutton’s write-up of the report describes a carbon reduction of 99% over journeys of 5km. He shares, “Assessment of a typical 5km journey returned the finding that a trader travelling 5km each way in a diesel van will produce 2.65kg CO2e. This will reduce to 0.77kg CO2e if using an electric van, a 71% reduction, while if the diesel van was replaced by an electric cargo bike the carbon emissions would drop from 2.65kg to 0.04kg CO2e, a reduction of 99%

    A secondary finding highlights the warm reception of market traders to alternative transportation methods – 90% of all market traders and 57% of all market businesses engaged with the project. From the user-base 80% of participants stated that they were ‘likely’ or ‘very likely’ to use a zero-emission device again thanks to the benefits they experienced.

  6. TfL and London Councils to extend London’s trial of rental e-scooters following national trial extensions

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    Source: Transport for London

    Transport for London has announced it will extend the trial of e-scooter rentals in London, ahead of the Government’s planned legalisation of private-use scooters.

    In an announcement this week, Transport for London (TfL) and London Councils confirmed that e-scooter schemes in the capital run by Dott, Lime and Tier will be temporarily extended to allow authorities to collect more data on this developing mode of transport.

    TfL has also launched a competitive procurement process for operators to run the next phase of London’s rental e-scooter trials.

    The Department for Transport recently updated its guidance to allow rental e-scooter trials to run until 31st May, 2024. London’s schemes will now run until at least September 2023, when the procurement process is completed.

    Will Norman, London’s Walking and Cycling Commissioner, said: “I’m pleased that TfL and London Councils have been able to extend the country’s largest rental e-scooter trial. The Mayor and I are determined to continue building a cleaner, greener and more prosperous London for everyone, and e-scooters can play a useful role in our city’s transport network by offering alternatives to car use. Through the trial, we are also helping to inform future Government legislation on these vehicles to ensure they are safe for all riders and other road users.

    The e-scooter trial has proven to be popular, with more than two million trips already taken, and this next phase of the trial will build upon this, replicating the high safety requirements and high operating standards, and continuing to learn through testing newer technology to ensure that these vehicles work for everybody. With the right regulations that prioritise safety, rental e-scooters can help ensure a green, sustainable future for London.”

    London’s e-scooter trials launched in June last year, with 10 London boroughs initially joining the schemes, with almost two million journeys made and 4,425 e-scooters currently available to hire.

    A competitive procurement for operators to run the next phase of London’s rental e-scooter trial has now launched and operators will be chosen on their ability to meet strict safety requirements and high operating standards, TfL said. 

    It is currently illegal to ride scooters on the road outside of these nationwide rental trials, but the Government has instigated plans to introduce a new low-speed, low-emission vehicle category, paving the way for the legalisation of privately-owned scooters. While there is no definite date for when e-scooters will be legalised, the new legislation could be introduced by summer 2023.

    The contracts let under the new procurement may run for longer than the DfT national trial term (which ends on 31st May 2024) in anticipation of new legislation being passed. To ensure there is a continuation of service in London, the current trial contracts operated by Dott, Lime and Tier, which expire this year, will be extended temporarily until the procurement is complete.  

    Helen Sharp, TfL’s e-scooter trial lead, said: “E-scooters could play an important role in ensuring a green and sustainable future for London, which is why we’re really pleased to be able to extend the e-scooter trial. We’re working closely with London Councils on our plans for the next phase of the trial, which will help us build on its successes so far. We hope Londoners can continue to benefit from the trial and we will continue to use its data to learn more about the role e-scooters could play in helping people move around London sustainably.”   

    Throughout the continuing trial, operators will be required to provide critical data for TfL and the participating boroughs to understand the impact of e-scooters on London’s transport goals, including the Vision Zero aim to eliminate death and serious injuries from London’s roads.   

    Mayor Phil Glanville, London Councils’ climate change, transport and environment lead, said: “I am pleased that London’s rental e-scooter trial is being extended to allow more people across our capital to take advantage of this sustainable mode of transport. Thanks to the boroughs taking part in the trial, London continues to be at the forefront of innovation when it comes to micro-mobility, transport and the journey to net zero.” 

    We look forward to working with TfL and stakeholders to make the next phase of the trial a success and we are confident that rental e-scooters will continue to provide an alternative to car-based travel in the capital. Safety remains our top priority and we will continue to look closely at data and insights to see how e-scooters can play a part in a more sustainable future for London.” 

  7. Veolia deploys fleet of street cleaning e-bikes across Westminster, London

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    Source: Future Transport News, T. May

    Launched in partnership with Westminster’s City Council, the e-bikes join the area’s expanding electric service fleet.

    The 14 new e-bikes are to be used for the fly-tip collection process, the delivery of commercial waste bags, and for monitoring hot spot littering areas. They join over 60 electric cleaning and collection vehicles that are already operating in the area in the council’s bid to reduce the number of diesel vehicles used in the sector.

    Helder Branco, General Manager for Veolia Westminster shared, “We’re very pleased to be operating with such a large electric fleet in Westminster. The new electric bikes not only lower emissions and contribute toward Westminster City Council’s target of net-zero emissions by 2040, but also allow us to offer a further improved and streamlined service for Westminster residents. We hope that our innovative approach to our operations across the borough will continue to set the standards for the future of sustainable operations.

    Of course, replacing diesel vehicles has extensive environmental benefits, including a significant reduction in noise pollution and a 100% reduction in operational nitrogen oxide emissions. Additionally, the bikes’ higher level of operational flexibility allows waste collection to continue during road closures and for services to be extended into pedestrianized areas. The e-bikes will contribute to the council’s 2040 net-zero commitment.

  8. Santander Cycles has launched e-bikes in London from September

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    Source: Transport for London

    Cycle hire scheme’s offering expanded, with 500 e-bikes added from 12 September

    Transport for London (TfL) and Santander have announced that e-bikes will be introduced to London’s record-breaking Santander Cycles scheme from 12 September.     

    In July, the scheme recorded its busiest month in its history, with more than 1.3 million hires across the month. To support the scheme’s continued success and financial sustainability, TfL and Santander are introducing 500 e-bikes to its fleet, which use an electric motor to assist riders as they pedal. The bikes are being introduced as part of a programme of work to modernise the cycle hire scheme, with funding agreed for the programme in 2020. The new e-bikes will be distributed across key central London locations and will enable even more Londoners to enjoy the benefits that cycling can bring, from improved health to cleaner air. The new bikes will help to break down the barriers that stop some people from cycling, including fitness, age, and journey length. E-bikes will be able to be docked at any of the scheme’s 800 docking stations, giving customers an easy and sustainable way of travelling across a large area of central and inner London.     

    TfL will also be making changes to the Santander Cycles fare tariff from 12 September, to support the introduction of e-bikes and to secure continued investment in cycle hire. The changes will make charges for access more flexible and easier to understand for everyone.      

    Feedback from customers has shown that the current tariff structure, which charges an annual membership fee or a daily access fee of £2, plus additional charges for rides longer than 30 minutes, is complex and inflexible. The changes, which are the first since 2013, include:          

    • A new flat rate of £1.65 per 30-minute ride. This will replace the existing daily access charge, which is £2 for unlimited rides of up to 30 minutes in a 24-hour period, with additional charges for rides over 30 minutes 
    • A new monthly membership option, costing £20 per month. The membership, which can be cancelled at any time, will allow customers unlimited 60-minute rides in the month and will improve the scheme’s offer to people who do not wish to commit to an annual membership           
    • The annual membership will now offer unlimited 60-minute rides, instead of the unlimited 30-minute rides currently offered. The price of an annual membership will increase to £120, reflecting increased running costs and inflation since it was last changed in 2013    
    • E-bikes will initially be available to registered users only, for a fare of £3.30 per 30-minute ride or an additional fare of £1 per 60 minutes for monthly and annual members  

    The £1.65 new flat rate for customers who are not Santander Cycles members matches the price of a bus fare, meaning that Santander Cycles will continue to offer one of the best value ways to get around London.    

    TfL has also confirmed that a number of new docking stations are set to open in the London Borough of Southwark later this year, the scheme’s first expansion since it was introduced to Bermondsey and Rotherhithe in 2019. The new docking stations will be located at Burgess Park Albany Road, South Bermondsey station, Clements Road, Harris Academy, Brandon Street, Crimscott Street and The Blue. The new docking stations will be built with funding from Southwark Council.   

    The scheme has continued to break records for 11 record months in a row, with every month from September 2021 to July 2022 achieving the highest number of hires for that month since the scheme began. The scheme also experienced a historic year in 2021 with a record-breaking number of hires across the year as well as during several different months. 10.9 million hires took place in 2021, surpassing the previous best target set in 2018 by 371,000 hires. More than one million individual customers used the cycle hire scheme last year, the first time this milestone has been reached in a calendar year. 178,000 new members joined the scheme in 2021, a seven per cent increase on 2020 and more than double that of any year prior to 2020. 

    Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: I am delighted to be launching our first ever e-bikes for hire. Another first for London hot on the heels of another record-breaking month for Santander Cycles, which saw an incredible 1.3m journeys in July. It will be great to see these new e-bikes on London’s streets soon. 

    I’m determined to continue building a cleaner, greener London for everyone and this includes making cycling as accessible as possible. The new Santander Cycles e-bikes will play an important role in helping to break down some of the barriers that stop people from getting on a bike, including fitness, age and length of journey.” 

    David Eddington, TfL’s Head of Cycle Hire, said: “Santander Cycles is a vital part of London’s transport system and is more popular than ever, with the scheme seeing 11 record-breaking months in a row. We want to make sure that the scheme continues to be one of the easiest and most sustainable ways of travelling in the capital. The new bikes, alongside our simpler new tariff, will ensure that the scheme can build on this success and be financially sustainable, playing a full role in a green and healthy future for London.”     

    Dan Sherwood, Marketing Director, Santander UK: “Broadening out the appeal of Santander Cycles through the addition of the new e-bikes is great news for Londoners, meaning more people can take advantage of a sustainable and healthy way to travel. With popularity of the scheme at an all-time high, we hope the introduction of e-bikes, along with a simplified tariff structure, will ensure Santander Cycles continue to go from strength to strength.”  

    Cllr Catherine Rose, Southwark Council’s Cabinet Member for Parks, Streets and Clean Air, said: “We are delighted to be working with TfL to expand the Santander Cycle scheme further south in our borough and excited to welcome the first of these additional cycle hire docking stations at the junction next to Burgess Park.   
    “The more people who switch from their cars to a bike, especially for short local trips, the better our air quality will be. People who cycle or walk more can also see improvements in physical and mental health. If you’ve not yet tried one, now is the time! We want to see more Santander bikes in more places in Southwark.

    The scheme was temporarily closed between 2200 on Friday 9 September and 0600 on Monday 12 September to allow its systems to be upgraded in preparation for the changes. During this time bikes that were on hire could be returned, but no hires could be made. 

    Last year it was announced that Santander will continue to sponsor London’s flagship cycle hire scheme until May 2025. This will support TfL as it moves forward with planned investment in cycle hire, ensuring the scheme continues to grow and encourage more Londoners to get cycling.

  9. Transport for London will add an e-bike fleet to the city’s shared cycle scheme

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    Source: POLIS

    The TfL bike hire scheme’s pricing will now mirror that of London bus fares, with the addition of e-bike options.

    The transport scheme in London allows individuals to ride buses and trams in the city for 60 minutes, at a price of £1.65. From 12 September 2022, a fleet of 500 e-bikes will also become available for hire in 30-minute increments. Additionally, seven new docking stations will be opened in the Southwark neighborhood.

    Reaching more than 1.3 million bike rentals, July 2022 was the busiest month on record for the TfL Santander Cycles bike rental program. Since September 2021, each of the 11 months has surpassed the prior month’s record high, demonstrating a steady increase in usage. The extension is therefore predicted to be extremely well-received.

    The new pricing scheme is as follows:

    • A new flat rate of £1.65 per 30-minute ride, with the existing daily access fee to be eliminated.
    • A new and flexible monthly membership option for £20 per month, which will allow customers to take unlimited 60-minute rides per month.
    • An annual membership including unlimited 60-minute rides, which is double the current time limit, to be provided with an increased fee of £120, reflecting increased operating costs and inflation since the last change in 2013.
    • Kick-off booking is available to registered users for £3.30 per 30-minute ride or £1 per 60-minute ride for monthly and annual members.
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