Tag Archive: research

  1. Drones to aid in dangerous traffic situations

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    Source: Fietsberaad Crow

    According to numerous Flemish pilot schemes, drones can be used to assess dangerous traffic conditions and aid cyclists on their journeys. The concept is accurate, cheap and fast and a notable step forward.

    The research was first reported upon by HLN’s daily newspaper, VeloVeilig Vlaanderen, in collaboration with VTM Nieuws. Their audiences were asked to supply information on dangerous cycling situations, and this was assessed in line with government directions into ways to tackle any problems. The Mobility Innovative Approach was introduced whereby drones were launched to map the problem areas.

    The drones took to the sky for an hour during the morning and evening rush hours, supplying images from a height of approximately 70 metres. Researchers have been able to accurately analyse the images from the drones, thanks to developed software that can distinguish between pedestrians, cyclists, cars, trucks and buses and determine their position and speed. Movements of each are relayed as coloured lines that supply accurate logistics data.

    Tom Brijs, traffic expert at Hasselt University and part of the research team, commented, “Thanks to the drone images, we discovered, among other things, that in the morning almost 40 percent of the drivers drove faster than the permitted speed of 30 kilometres per hour, in the afternoon this was even 63 percent. We could also see that a striking number of children run across the street in a place that is not actually a crossing, and that they cycle on the footpath.”

    This particular data led to changes in the crossing site for children and serves as a positive example of the research’s benefits.

  2. UK Transport Minister questioned on e-scooter legislation delay

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    Source: Zag Daily

    The regulation of private e-scooters continues to be a discussed topic, one on which UK Transport Minister Jesse Norman believes more data and public consultation is required.

    During a Transport Select Committee hearing, UK Transport Minister Jesse Norman was questioned by MPs about the next government steps. Norman’s response was that the department still requires, “non-pandemic large-scale e-scooter usage data” in addition to the public’s views on any legislation. Norman continued, “We need to talk to people and say, ‘Look, here are insurance alternatives. What do you think? Here’s the evidence on helmets. What do you think? Here’s the evidence on safety. What do you think? We certainly don’t have a consolidated basis of consultative evidence.”

    In response, opposing Labour MP for Exeter, Ben Bradshaw, commented that enough time has already been spent: “I think the government wants to regulate and agrees with us on this. I don’t think you’re getting a lot of opposition, so please just get on with it.”

    According to Norman, the decision on when to send the Transport Act to Parliament is currently being considered by MPs: “It wouldn’t be an immediate action even if there was time in Parliament now. But even if that were available, there are still several intermediate steps, potentially another round of consultation, an extension of some trial work, more focused trial work potentially, before we get to that stage.”

    Safety concerns are being considered alongside the benefits of e-scooters that include connecting communities hampered by public transport. Norman talked of a balance that was required, further commenting, “My goal is to continue to push ahead with this, pull out the lessons we’re getting on the issues I’ve raised and then try to put them in front of the public to have a proper conversation about it and take that debate forward another stage.”

    E-scooter legislation

    In May 2022, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State at the Department for Transport (DfT) Baroness Vere of Norbiton, announced that the UK Government would be creating a new low-speed zero-emission vehicle category and the bill would be submitted in the current parliamentary session. However, last December, the DfT postponed the Transport Bill details, part of the forthcoming Future of Transport legislation. Trials are now extended to May 2024.

  3. International Transport Forum publishes ITF Transport Outlook 2023

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    The ITF Transport Outlook 2023 was launched on 24 May 2023 at the ITF Summit in Leipzig, Germany. This edition of the ITF Transport Outlook examines the impacts of different policy measures on global transport demand and carbon dioxide emissions to 2050.

    Source: International Transport Forum

    The analysis covers the movement of passengers and freight across all transport modes. A particular focus is placed on transport policies that make cities more liveable. A second focus is on infrastructure investment decisions and what different policy scenarios mean for them. As a third focus, the report explores regional differences in policy impacts.

    The analysis is based on two distinct scenarios for the future of transport, simulated with the ITF’s in-house transport models. The Current Ambition scenario assumes policies to decarbonise transport continue along their current pathway and considers the implications for transport demand, carbon dioxide emissions and further aspects over the next three decades. The High Ambition scenario assumes policies focused on accelerating the decarbonisation of the transport sector and their impact.

    View the English pdf of the ITF Transport Outlook 2023 here

  4. TRA VISIONS 2024 contest registration opens to transport researchers

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    The Transport Research Awards offer accolades for young and senior researchers across 5 categories, plus an honorary award

    TRA 2024 (Transport Research Arena) will take place in Dublin, Ireland from the 15th – 18th of April and is the foremost European transport event covering all transport modes and aspects of mobility. The winners of two the two TRA Visions competitions will be announced at the 2024 event, along with an honorary awardee. The registrations are divided as follows:

    The TRA VISIONS 2024 young researcher competition: A young researcher competition seeking to stimulate interest among young researchers and students in sustainable transport. The registration period will be open until 30/06/2023.

    The TRA VISIONS 2024 senior researcher competition: A competition for senior researchers in the field of innovative transport concepts based on results only from EU-funded projects. The deadline for entry is 14th September 2023 23:59 CEST.

    In addition to the above, a “special honorary award” will honoring a “very” senior researcher who is about to complete or has already completed their career, and who has through the years made an outstanding and well-recognized contribution to transport-related research and innovation in their respective field.

    The organization explains,

    “Both competitions cover all transport modes (road, rail, waterborne, airborne and cross modality) in line with the EC policy objectives for smart, green and integrated transport. The S&T objectives are to nurture the best transport researchers in Europe, promote the alignment of their interests with those of transport stakeholders, encourage them to participate in the conference and celebrate their achievements. The process is two-way: students are inspired by the presentations at the main conference and mature researchers are inspired by the research and vision of the young.”

    The competitions are divided into five categories, each per transport mode, with participants being able to choose which of the ways they will submit their project:

    Road, Rail, Waterborne, Airborne, Cross-Modality

    Interested parties are invited to join a series of half-hour webinars which will detail the application process, timeline, and prize:


    8th, 13-13.30 CET
    17th, 13-13.30 CET
    24th, 13-13.30 CET


    1st, 13-13.30 CET
    8th, 13-13.30 CET
    14th, 13-13.30 CET

  5. Micro-mobility study 2023: High number of users in the countryside and among the elderly. Over 50% reduce trips by car

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    Cologne, May 25, 2023. BEM (Bundesverband eMobilität e.V.) presented its eMobility Micromobility Study 2023 at the polisMOBILITY trade fair in Cologne, together with the member companies, the market research company UScale, and the information portal for sustainable mobility, voylt. It examines the attitudes of owners, interested parties and non-owners of light electric vehicles towards micromobility in Germany and provides insight into the social behavior of the buyer groups.

    Light electric vehicles (LEVs) are considered the new vehicle alternative to the car and are technical vehicles in the drive for revolution. What the average consumer often associates solely with offers such as e-scooters and pedelecs, and which the regulator divides into several sub-groups, has meanwhile become a growing field of diverse vehicle innovations in micro-mobility. In addition to the vehicles of the Small Electric Vehicles Ordinance (eKFV) up to 20 km/h, they also include two-wheel, three-wheel or four-wheel motor vehicles from 25 km/h, which are intended for driving on public roads and which include both passenger and logistics vehicles. In order to cover the entire spectrum, micro electric vehicles without handlebars that are not registered in Germany were also included in the study.

    The main results of the study are:

    1. Micromobility is not a big city phenomenon. In rural areas, LEVs are used even more frequently than in the city.
    2. All age groups drive light vehicles equally. Older people in particular are discovering these vehicles for themselves in order to remain mobile, for example because of health restrictions.
    3. LEVs are currently used by people who tend to be higher earners.
    4. The majority of those who have property are well connected to public transport. So LEVs do not compete with local public transport.
    5. 53% of owners state that they use the car less, 6% even reported that they have given up their own car.

    In the representative survey of 1,110 people in Germany, the attitude of the respondents to micromobility or LEVs was surveyed. In addition, around 800 other owners and interested parties were interviewed for more in-depth analysis of their experiences in the purchasing process and use. The total sample of the study conducted in April 2023 was 1,890 participants.

    Since light electric vehicles are significantly smaller and lighter than an average car, they make an important contribution to climate protection and resource conservation. Due to their size advantage, they take up less space in stationary and moving traffic, reduce noise, and consume less CO2 and primary energy over their life cycle.

    Further evaluation of the data revealed:

    1. Buyers have a great need for information on technical and regulatory issues. They do most of their research online. However, the majority buys from specialist dealers (46%).
    2. 20% of owners have had prior experience of sharing LEVs. Half of them state that these experiences encouraged them to buy an LEV.
    3. In addition to the price, the range and the technical equipment are the most important factors in the purchase decision.
    4. 31% of non-owners are generally interested in a purchase, another 10% at least certify that LEVs have a great future and for another 36% LEVs occasionally make sense. Only 5% of non-haves are opposed to LEVs in principle.
    5. The uninterested recognize that LEVs are more than just a fad. However, they would like stricter regulation to make it safer for LEVs to participate in traffic.

    Dr. Axel Sprenger, Founder and Managing Director of UScale said (translated from release in German):

    “We don’t see a culture war between the vehicles among those surveyed, but rather a search for the optimal, personal use. Since the market is very young and there is a lack of information in many places, people are groping their way forward. We, as market analysts, are finally getting closer to this area, which is so important for the mobility transition, and we are glad that we can now present a major study on this important topic for the first time.”

    Johannes Haas, Founder and Managing Director of voylt commented (translated from release in German):

    “For us, the results show that the tiresome discussion about shared e-scooters in poorly regulated cities is obscuring the opportunities for micromobility. In reality, the increase in personal comfort through electric light vehicles is confirmed in highly individualized mobility: employees who commute 20 km to their place of work in the neighboring town every day with an e-moped; retirees using an electric tricycle for shopping trips; entrepreneurs who are increasingly using electric vans, or singles who can fit into any parking space in the big city with an electric MicroCar – there are great and convenient ways today to protect the environment in everyday life and still be mobile.”

    Christian Heep, Vice-President BEM | Bundesverband eMobilität e.V. shared (translated from release in German):

    “Anyone who wants to rethink mobility cannot avoid individualization through the use of micromobility and light electric vehicles. The fact that this area in Germany – in contrast to many of our European neighbors – is not subsidized by the state makes it clear how many options for reducing CO2 emissions are still unused.”

    In the Bundesverband eMobilität e.V., the BEM working group 1 deals with this market segment.
    The Bundesverband eMobilität (BEM) is an association of companies, institutions, scientists and users from the field of electromobility who are committed to converting mobility in Germany to electromobility based on renewable energies. The tasks of the BEM include the active networking of economic actors for the development of sustainable and intermodal mobility solutions, the improvement of the legal framework for the expansion of e-mobility, and the enforcement of more equal opportunities when converting to low-emission drive concepts. The association was founded in 2009. It organizes 450 member companies with an annual turnover of over 100 billion euros who employ over one million people worldwide. More than 2,000 registered participants work in 19 working groups on the entire range of e-mobility.

    UScale advises car manufacturers, utilities and service providers on the customer-oriented design of offers and the development of KPI systems for customer perception. UScale’s work is based on customer insight studies on all aspects of e-mobility and an evaluation process for the acceptance of digital services from the customer’s point of view. UScale is the only provider of a panel specializing in e-mobility, with over 7000 panelists in German-speaking countries.

    voylt is a European portal for sustainable e-mobility, which offers interested parties a wide range of information and intuitive purchase advice. The name is a combination of voyage and volt – it stands for an exciting journey into the electric future.

  6. Digitalisation and Europe’s sustainable transport economy

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    Source: European Environment Agency

    Digital technologies can offer scope to alleviate the impact that Europe’s mobility sector has on our everyday lives, be it damage to the environment from our vehicle emissions, or the unwavering time we spend in congestions. A new investigation by the European Environment Agency (EEA) has reported that any gains made are circumstantial to the employment of digital solutions and the demand of transport in more general.

    New report: Digitalisation and mobility

    The EEA’s Transport and Environment Report explores the impact of digitalisation on what is largely one of the most important facets of our lives and the EU economy: transport. Parameters have been set by the European Green Deal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 90% by 2050, but the process is not straightforward.

    Sustainability is strived for in the transport sector, and digital transformation can certainly help how it operates. According to the EEA, the effects are still unclear and depend on transport demands, something that has, until recently, off-balanced technological efficiency gains, such as lower fuel consumption.

    Perhaps the most effective consequence of digitalisation on our mobility sector is the new data that can be produced and used to create and meet targets that support a better, more objective mobility infrastructure. With the introduction of automated mobility, digitalisation will certainly be an influence, not least in terms of safety and passenger accessibility.

    The EEA report goes on to warn that automated technology might, in fact, have a detrimental effect and increase transport demands. Optimised journeys and an eventual reduction in costs will play a significant role.

    New briefing: Commuting or working from home?

    Teleworking, commonly known as working from home, generates more uncertainties for the mobility sector as it is still a relatively new concept. According to a new EEA briefing, ‘From the daily office commute to flexible working patterns — teleworking and sustainability’, these new-founded working patterns will have an effect on our car-commuting habits and be an influence on the way our towns and cities are developed. However, due to the aforementioned uncertainties, the EEA recommends supporting policies be put in place.

    The briefing on teleworking and sustainability is part of EEA’s foresight work that uses horizon scanning to identify emerging issues that can affect Europe’s sustainability efforts. 

  7. Sustainable mobility versus noise pollution

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    Although we might not realise, noise pollution is Europe’s second largest environmental health threat. A staggering one in every five Europeans is exposed to noise levels that are damaging their health.

    Perhaps expected, the majority of noise comes from transport pollution, namely roads, rail and air traffic. City dwellers suffer the most, with Paris cited by the European Environment Agency as one of Europe’s noisiest. Data reveals that 5.5 million people are exposed to noise levels exceeding 55 decibels, with 432,000 residents taking tranquillisers to combat their discomfort. London and Rome are also identified as problematic cities, with 2.6 million and 1.7 million people exposed respectively.

    Sustainable mobility and its minimal noise output offers a solution for the estimated 30 – 46 billion euros that society spends every year in overcoming the problem. The findings from CE Delf approximate this as 0.4% of total GDP, understandable when considering the long and short-term health risks that amalgamate, including cardiovascular, blood pressure and insomnia concerns.

    Other solutions to noise pollution are being explored. The European Environmental Noise Directive offers guidance, while appropriate authorities are encouraged to join the Green City Accord and address pollution-prevention laws. In addition, local and national governments are developing Noise Plans that include sustainable mobility solutions such as low-noise asphalt and the installation of sound barriers. Paris’ Plan Brut is one such example, that also recognises the need to reduce car traffic in city centres, expand cycling networks and ban polluting vehicles.

    Reducing car speeds is an effective way of reducing traffic noise. Thousands of towns and cities across Europe have implemented measures as part of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK, a campaign that has also implemented the construction of 3,600 green areas that aid in air pollution.

    Although largely invisible, noise pollution does have an impact on people’s everyday lives and welfare. Sustainable mobility options and swapping traditional transport norms for walking and cycling will create more comfortable environments for all of us to live, work and play in.

    More details on the impact of EUROPEANMOBILITYWEEK and those towns and cities involved can be found here.

  8. UK public backs greener, safer streets but is being silenced by minority, research shows

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    Source: Bike Is Best

    • 77% of Brits support measures in their local area to encourage cycling and walking. Measures are supported by 6.5 people for every 1 against
    • 80% of Brits who expressed a preference want the UK’s streets redesigned to protect pedestrians and cyclists from motorists; 51% agree they would cycle more if these changes were made
    • But campaigners against the ‘green recovery’ have succeeded in forcing U-turns on initiatives to promote active travel
    • Analysis by prominent environmental psychologist claims data demonstrates people tend to overestimate other people’s opposition to cycling measures
    • #BikeIsBest spokesperson says “The small minority getting all revved up about their right to drive are having their voices heard through sheer volition. We need local leaders to be bold and secure a better future for the majority.”

    23/07/20, London, UK. Latest YouGov research shows the public is overwhelmingly in favour of measures to encourage walking and cycling with 6.5 people supporting changes to their local streets for every 1 person against.

    It shows that 70% believe more people cycling would reduce traffic congestion across the country and 65% of all Britons – rising to 80% of those with an opinion one way or the other – want to see British roads redesigned and changed to protect cyclists and pedestrians from cars. These responses are a clear indicator that there is overwhelming support across the country to bring about lasting changes to transport infrastructure which can tackle air pollution and climate change, as well as make streets more pleasant places to socialise and shop.

    So far, 89 different local authorities have implemented a total of 503 temporary schemes that make more space for pedestrians and cyclists, according to Sustrans. However, vocal residents and pro-motoring groups have been successful in forcing some local authorities to perform U-turns on their initiatives to enable active travel, despite £250m of funding and statutory guidance issued mandating them to make bold changes that challenge the status quo. For example, in Reigate, Surrey, a pop-up cycle lane, due to be trialled for 3 weeks, lasted just 3 days after pressure from local MP Crispin Blunt MP. Other measures due in Ealing, Wandsworth, South Gloucestershire, Trafford, Portsmouth and Surrey have been reportedly cancelled.

    Analysis of the YouGov data by Dr Ian Walker, a prominent Environmental Psychologist at the University of Bath, might even shed some light on why decision-makers are so open to heeding the vocal minority. This showed that people were clearly in support of more cycling in the UK, but at the same time they quite consistently overestimated other people’s opposition to this.

    Dr Ian Walker, Environmental Psychologist at the University of Bath, said: “Perhaps one reason negative voices find it so easy to sway things their way is that people have a tendency to misjudge public levels of support. The survey showed that, while most people think Britain would be a better place if more people cycled, they also guessed that other people were less supportive, and more hostile, to the idea than they were.”

    The data showed that 3.26 people support the view that “Britain would be better if more people cycled” for every 1 against. But when asked what they thought the opinion of their friends or the general public would be, many respondents drastically overestimated the negativity towards cycling.

    The YouGov survey of 2,010 people also showed:
    65% (rising to 79%, when people with no opinion are excluded) believe children should be able to play in the street without danger from cars cutting through. Many councils are planning “Low Traffic Neighbourhoods” to enable this, but these have started to run into exactly the sort of vocal local opposition described above.
    66% (rising to 83% of those with an opinion one way or the other) disagree that there is ‘nothing that can be done to stop people from being harmed by motor vehicles’, showing the public do not see the problems of motoring as a ‘done deal’.
    • Similarly, 71% (rising to 86% of those with an opinion) disagree that there is ‘nothing we can do to stop people being harmed by air pollution caused by motor vehicles’.
    33% – and 35% of regular car commuters – would use their car less if streets were designed to keep pedestrians and cyclists safe from motor traffic. These values rise to 47% and 46% when people with no opinion are put aside.
    10.6 people support local measures to encourage cycling and walking to each 1 opposed in the 18-24 age bracket, whereas in the 55+ bracket this falls to 4.56 people in favour to each 1 against.
    • Young people want a future cycling nation: 5.1 people think “Britain would be a better place if more people cycled” in the 18-24 age bracket, for every 1 person opposed.

    Adam Tranter, a spokesperson for #BikeIsBest and an active travel campaigner, said: “The small minority getting all revved up about their right to drive are having their voices heard through sheer volition. If the silent majority want to see this new, greener, better Britain, they need to act now or face going back to the old normal, with polluted and dangerous streets.

    “When 20mph streets were first proposed, pro-motoring groups were whipped up into a frenzy, just as they are today. In 2017, data showed that the proportion opposed or strongly opposed to residential 20mph limits was just 10%. The same is happening here with measures to enable more people to switch their journeys to cycling and walking.”

    He added: “No-one is saying that all journeys can be cycled or walked but many of our towns and cities are experiencing congestion – not because of cycle lanes but because of people using their car for short journeys, often under 2 miles. Local authorities need to stand up and refuse to be bullied into a U-turn on plans to turn Britain into a better place. These are plans the public agree with, so people also need to speak up so their silence isn’t taken as consent to keep our streets dominated by motor vehicles.”

    To show local authorities the unmet demand for better cycling infrastructure, the #BikeIsBest campaign has set up an online petition for people to show their support for measures to enable cycling.

    The petition can be signed at https://www.bikeisbest.com/petition.

    Further statistics can be downloaded from here.

    All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2010 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 16th – 17th July 2020. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

    20mph source: British Social Attitudes Survey on public support for and opposition to 20mph limits for residential streets from 2004 to 2017 is available here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/724851/att0359.ods

    About #BikeIsBest

    BikeIsBest has united over 50 leading cycle brands, retailers and organisations into one powerful voice with a single mission – to get more people riding bikes more often.

    The #BikeIsBest campaign has been described as “the most extensive coordinated promotional campaign for cycling since the 1970s”, with #BikeIsBest unifying brands, retailers, organisations and influencers in order to actively promote cycling to a new demographic.

    The campaign is also backed by British Cycling, Cycling UK, London Cycling Campaign, Sustrans, The Association of Cycle Traders (ACT) and Wheels For Wellbeing.

  9. Allowing speed pedelecs on cycle paths does not appear to be less safe

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    Source: News Fietsberaad

    Speed Pedelec owners have been given a choice of riding on roads or cycle paths in a pilot scheme in the Netherlands

    Current laws in the Netherlands stipulate that Speed Pedelecs are not allowed to use cycle paths. However, riders may prefer to use these routes instead of joining a busy or fast road network, or when the cycle path gives a shorter route, or if parents are cycling with their children on the school commute, before continuing to their workplace. The main concern of such use however, would be safety.

    Data on Speed Pedelec speeds was compiled by DTV Consultants, commissioned by Tour de Force. The report was published in February this year and included information on Amersfoort and Rotterdam pilot schemes. Owners were able to apply for an exemption, allowing them to use the cycle paths in dense urban areas. The schemes were simple to create and didn’t cause any confrontation. Although faster than regular bikes, early data also showed no greater number of crashes than with regular cyclists. However, there was not enough data to make any conclusions on whether the cycle path option affects road safety for these users.

    Allowing Speed Pedelec riders to use roadways and cycle paths seems sensible. The high speed of such bikes means they can compete with vehicles on road networks, and appeal over long distances, in hopes of encouraging new users and aiding health and the environment. National agreements and regulations on road use by the Speed Pedelec are advocated for by Tour de Force. Until wider research is completed, they suggest that users in those pilot regions should be given the opportunity to ride on local cycle paths.

    Following completion of the aforementioned pilot schemes, a new, much larger trial is planned in Utrecht.

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