Provision for electric scooters, bikes and other personal transport vehicles at stations and transport interchanges must be incorporated into future planning in London to help deliver more equitable, flexible and sustainable transport options, a joint research project by the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and integrated transport consultancy Momentum has found.
The research – ‘Investing in micromobility at stations: A London study of benefits and design options’ highlights how better passenger micromobility transport at stations could give passengers more options to complete their journeys without necessarily using buses or the Underground. This could make public transport more convenient by improving ‘first and last-mile’ connections and reduce pressure on existing public transport services by making it a realistic option to board and alight at less crowded stations.
Improved connectivity via these kind of personal transport vehicles would also increase the opportunity to develop at density in outer London and enable more new housing to come to market sooner. This would boost the regeneration of areas surrounding stations and offer land development opportunities to Network Rail and TfL to further diversify their revenue streams.
The study shows that major cities can successfully integrate shared micromobility at stations by: prioritizing dockless micromobility within designated parking areas; consistently signing micromobility parking bays across all London stations, whilst carrying station-specific branding; encouraging micromobility parking at destinations through co-operation with developers and incentives from local authorities; incorporating micromobility as a component of Public Transport Accessibility Levels (PTAL); and introducing integrated trip planning and payment so the first and last mile are considered part of a total journey.
The publication of the research follows a collaboration between the LSE’s Regional and Urban Planning Studies Masters programme, Masters student Max Meyers and Momentum Transport Consultancy to better understand the design and planning for micromobility at major London rail stations within the context of a need for a diverse offering of transport options in cities. It questions how micromobility can fit into this picture, how stakeholders might best coordinate with one another and what design and policy changes would best mitigate any potential issues of micromobility.
Alan Mace, associate professor of urban planning studies at LSE said: “Making public transport a positive choice over the private car depends on reducing the friction of the ‘last mile’, that inconvenient part between alighting from public transport and arriving at your destination. The burgeoning growth in micro-transport offers an exciting range of possibilities to address the challenge, but its potential will only be fully realised if we design an infrastructure to support it. This report contributes a range of innovative possibilities for the public and private sectors to plan for and build in that infrastructure.”
Roy McGowan, managing director at Momentum said: “The emergence of micromobility is providing an important opportunity for London to consider a more sustainable and equitable short-distance transport choice, when compared with using the car and private hire vehicles.
“With the ongoing trials of e-scooters for hire in several UK towns and cities, now is the time for key stakeholders to look closely at tackling operational, design and policy challenges – so that micromobility can achieve its potential as a highly-effective first and last-mile transport option, providing alternatives to London Underground usage and bus services, as well as potentially facilitating development at increased densities in outer London and contributing to improved human-scale public realm development.”
Notes to editor
Micromobility – the use of small, electric personal transport vehicles – is a new consideration for many cities. Its use has expanded globally in recent years, and with the UK Government bringing forward trials of the use of e-scooters for hire in the light of the pandemic, the use of micromobility vehicles in the UK has recently become legal.
Momentum Transport Consultancy partnered with the LSE’s Regional and Urban Planning Master’s course to support a dissertation exploring the proliferation and future of micromobility in London and considering its role around existing rail terminal infrastructure. The dissertation process involved interviews with planners and designers at Network Rail, micromobility operators and thought leaders, and consultants. The published report uses the dissertation (completed in August 2020) as a fundamental source.
The full report is available to download here.
Image shows: Render for potential micromobility hub location on the forecourt at Kings Cross Station.
Further imagery from the report is available on request.
Momentum is a leading integrated, people-first transport consultancy. Founded in 2012 the company creates transport strategies and solutions that inform, integrate with and are integral to every aspect of the built environment today and for the future. Focusing on the emerging, universal and critical issues facing development Momentum works with clients to address the multi-faceted challenges of the industry and to create forward-looking solutions.
The company’s three core areas of specialism in planning, insight & analytics and engineering are bound together by a shared vision to improve the environments we live, work and play in. The company works in markets including commercial, cultural and heritage, education, major events, masterplanning, public realm, residential, retail and stadia and venues.
For more information visit https://momentum-transport.com
The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) is an internationally renowned university specialising in the social sciences. Its expertise spans a wide range of disciplines from economics, politics and law, to sociology, health policy, accounting and finance.
As one of the most international universities in the world, the School’s diversity of people, ideas and interests make it an exciting centre for research, teaching and public engagement.
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