Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has unveiled its new mini-transport hub which is designed to bring together eco-friendly travel options such as e-scooters, pedal bikes and electric vehicle charging points to neighbourhoods, and local centres.
This new mobility hub is made up of a collection of modular components which can be assembled to reinvent how we use parking bays and small public spaces to offer both better connections and shared facilities for the community.
The mobility hubs could include:
WMG executive chair Margot James and Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street visit the mobility hub at the Micromobility UK event
Mobility hubs are currently being rolled out in towns and cities across Europe and TfWM, is now trialling its own innovative hub concept here, as part of the £22 million Future Transport Zone programme.
TfWM, which is part of the West Midlands Combined Authority, worked with Warwick-based design and engineering consultancy CALLUM to develop the concept and manufacture the prototype in collaboration with partners including e-scooter hire company Voi, West Midlands Cycle Hire and electric mobility charging specialist LOCKEM.
Visitors to the Micromobility UK conference at the University of Warwick were able to view the prototype mobility hub on display. This autumn, the prototype will be used for a series of on-street trials in locations across the region.
The conference, which was opened by Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street, comes at a time when transport authorities and developers are looking to capitalise on a rise during the Covid 19 pandemic in the use of micromobilty transport such as bikes and e-bikes, scooters and e-scooters, cargo bikes and even walking.
The Mayor said: “As we plan for the future of transport in the West Midlands, we want people to have sustainable and affordable alternatives to the car. That’s why during the last year we’ve rolled out our cycle hire scheme and introduced e-scooter trials across the region, and now why we are looking to pilot mobility hubs.
“These hubs will be a way of bringing transport modes like bikes and e-scooters to our smaller local centres and neighbourhoods, giving people even more opportunities to try sustainable transport for their journeys.
“By helping give people genuine alternatives to their petrol and diesel cars, we can help tackle the region’s climate emergency and work towards our #WM2041 goal – as well as improving people’s physical health.”
Cllr Ian Ward, WMCA portfolio holder for transport and leader of Birmingham City Council said: "As we work to clean our region's air and tackle the climate emergency, we're keen to make it as easy as possible for people to make the switch to sustainable travel.
"Mobility hubs have proved effective across Europe and, with a focus on active travel support, we're hoping this pilot will help us showcase the alternatives to car travel across our region."
The Micromobility UK event, hosted by WMG, saw the demonstration of various micromobility vehicles including e-scooters and cargo bikes and outlined opportunities for the UK to lead in their development.