Moving Away from Fossil Fuels for Travel & Transport: TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2023 Retrospective


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Tim Bellenger is the Transport Strategy Manager at Nottingham City Council, working on multi-disciplinary and multi-modal innovative transport projects.

In his keynote presentation at TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2023, Tim explained how Nottingham is tackling the challenge of climate change, whilst also supporting economic growth and the levelling up agenda to address issues of health inequality and community cohesion:

“Nottingham has a multi-faceted programme of transport innovation, through electrification of the vehicle fleet, introduction of e-bike and e-scooter hire, high level data collection and analysis, a Workplace Parking Levy, a Workplace Travel Service, extensive bus, cycle and walking investment, contactless payment options, a Mobility as a Service hub, car club and personalised travel planning through the TravelWell programme of Active Travel Social Prescribing.

This is against the backdrop of significant social inequality, low but rising car ownership, cash and resource constraints within the local authority, and the need for Air Quality Management in a number of locations, in a constrained city environment”.

Summary of presentation highlights:

  • Nottingham’s Manifesto (Together for Nottingham, Transforming cities) – “What we’re doing already”: Aiming to become the First Carbon Neutral City by 2028; Filling 50,000 potholes, replacing 250 pavements and resurfacing 100 roads citywide under Streets for People; Introduced contactless payments for bus and tram fares and city centre parking; Helping Nottingham people access jobs by promoting and building tram extensions; Further developing Nottingham’s cycle network by upgrading existing cycle routes to encourage more leisure and commuter cycling (Active Travel); Implementing Bus Service Improvement Plan/Introducing more Gas and Electric buses; Trialling e-scooter and e-bike rental schemes; Helping Nottingham businesses switch to electric vehicles; Street ecology tool for Highways, Planning and Design;
  • What’s Nottingham City’s Context? According to 2021 census – Low car ownership; Highest bus usage to place of work proportionately outside of London, reflecting high quality bus network and operations, but also low incomes; Significant usage of the tram network; High proportion of travel to work is within the Greater Nottingham urban area; Young population relative to surrounding areas; Significant areas of multiple deprivation and poor health outcomes; Significant proportion of city dwellers living in high-medium density social housing;
  • Nottingham’s Travel to Work Area – Operational and administrative boundaries/map;
  • Air Quality: Carbon Reduction’s Sibling – Nottingham has worked on improving air quality through electric vehicles, infrastructure schemes and encouraging walking and cycling; However, some sites within the City are still over the recommended limits for pollution; Electric and hybrid cars reduce tailpipe emissions but not dust from brake pads, tyres etc. Need to reduce or replace car/van journeys with other modes to tackle this;

  • The Lifecycle of Change – What’s relatively cost free? – How do you eat an elephant? Decision making at a point of change; We all make changes to our travel habits, when life changes (e.g. birth of a child, starting school, starting work, changing jobs, moving house, retirement); The same happens when in business; The ‘Bionic Duckweed’ metaphor; We don’t need to invent a new technology!; Have a plan; Transport Nottingham website is a free resource that gives options for any journey by road, bus, tram, train, cycling and walking; Workplace Travel Service (funded through the Workplace Parking Levy) is a free resource to help businesses – with tailoring to individual business needs;
  • The Lifecycle of Change – What would be modest cost? – Have a plan; Use an aggregator for corporate travel; Cargo bikes – “borrow one of our fleet to see how this works for you (Amin Charge); Robin Hood card for staff use;
  • The Lifecycle of Change – Substantive but worthwhile investment – EV charging point (see workplace travel service for potential grants); Solar power; Electric vans and cars; Bike storage/changing facilities in the workplace; Mobility as a Service – developing a multi modal proposition; Cultural change – TravelWell programme;

  • Recap – 1) Car, van, taxi and private hire usage: replacing it with public transport, cycling, walking and working from home. Where not possible, switching to electric power. 2) Information – enabling people to make a choice of how they travel; workplace travel service; travel planning 3) Infrastructure – bus priority, cycle and walking works on the highway; LEVI electric vehicle points, electric municipal fleets, electric and CNG powered buses 4) Alternative service provision – e-scooter and e-bike hire, e-van experience, active travel prescribing 5) Energy consumption by switching off unnecessary power, replacing with lower usage (and therefore lowering operating cost alternatives), insulation of homes and workplaces, installation of alternative power sources e.g. solar – installation at Eastcroft Depot;
  • Recap – Repurposing redundant equipment for a new use or life e.g. batteries from redundant electric vehicles reused as part of the V2G vehicle to grid project at Eastcroft Depot; Greening of highway spaces; Rainwater for vehicle screen wash/cleaning and gardening activity;
  • Supporting Roles – Completing Midland Main Line electrification – “this is key to decarbonising the rail network locally and improving air quality in and around Nottingham station”;
  • Useful Links (see slides) – Transport Nottingham – Let’s keep Nottingham Moving; Workplace Travel Service – Helping businesses make better travel choices; Robin Hood Card – Nottingham’s integrated ticket system; Enterprise Car Club – flexible car hire for occasional drivers; Electric Scooter rental trial; Lime e-bikes – short term bike hire in Nottingham; Cargo bike trial – Workplace Travel Service eCargo Bike Experience

If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at Drapers’ Hall, Coventry, for the live in-person event on November 22nd, CLICK HERE and complete the short “Download form” (located at the bottom of the post) to receive a unique link enabling free access to the presentation video recordings and slides (including the film footage and slides from Tim’s keynote).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling, partnering and policy leads, senior influencers, strategic decision makers and planners from local authorities (e.g. city, borough, metropolitan, district and county councils); public transport operators; regional transport partnerships, sub-regional transport bodies, combined authorities, integrated transport authorities and passenger transport executives; highways authorities and road operators; government and supporting national transport agencies; fleet operators, parking operators, prime contractors etc.

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TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2023

On November 22nd we will be casting a spotlight over Central England, hosting our speakers discussions on how the latest digital innovations can help overcome the transport and mobility challenges faced by the burgeoning city-regions of the West and East Midlands, and beyond.


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