The Role of Sub-Regional Partnerships in Delivering Future Mobility: TRANSPORT Smart Class, London & South East England 2022 Retrospective


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Richard Pemberton is Principal Transport Planner at Solent Transport, a partnership of four local transport authorities (Southampton City Council, Portsmouth City Council, Hampshire County Council and Isle of Wight Council) working to deliver improved transport infrastructure, networks and systems crucial to keeping the Solent region moving.

With 1.5 million people concentrated across two overlapping city regions, Solent – Richard highlighted at TRANSPORT Smart Class, London & South East England 2022 – is the largest UK urban area without a metro or tram system and approximately ten times more jobs are accessible by car than by public transport. Solent per capita earnings and GVA, moreover, are below the UK and South East region averages and there are significant areas of deprivation: Southampton, for example, has 19 LSOAs within the 10% most deprived in England and only one LSOA in the 10% least deprived – a higher level of deprivation than Leeds or Sheffield. Added to this, Solent is particularly vulnerable to climate change (sea level rises and flooding); harbours and rivers make many journeys across the region convoluted and hard to serve; and there are sensitive environmental sites to consider, including two national parks. Road traffic is a key cause of air quality breaches in various locations, especially Portsmouth, Southampton and Fareham. Furthermore, with a limited supply of unconstrained land  (even less of which is well-located for sustainable modes), the region is falling short of its 100,000 new homes target (2016 to 2036) and what is being delivered is often car-dependent.

Providing additional context to his keynote presentation, Richard pointed out that with 4 LTAs and 8 district councils there is “no single dominant political party” and “travel patterns of people and goods do not respect our complex local political boundaries”. Not covered by a PTE/ITA, “Solent Transport’s function is to enable and undertake strategic transport planning and delivery to help address some of these complexities”.

Solent Transport is the recipient of a Department for Transport Future Transport Zone grant which looks at developing innovative transport solutions and bringing them to fruition. Richard discussed the role local government partnerships can play in innovation and implementation of transport initiatives, with particular reference to the delivery of the Solent FTZ programme including the recent launch of “Breeze” – its Mobility as a Service (MaaS) app – and other projects.

Solent FTZ highlights range from escooter trials, bike share, smart bus ticketing, MaaS and revolutionary super-apps (e.g. Breeze micromobility) to mobility hubs, mobility credits, cargo bikes, drone medical logistics, and micro and macro consolidation. Richard provided a comprehensive overview of the programme and explained how it has responded to uncertainties arising from the Covid-19 pandemic, the sometimes unexpected challenges faced in delivering true innovation in local transport, and how Solent is working to overcome these within local government structures.

If you meet our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us at Browns Courtrooms, Covent Garden, for the live in-person event on October 6th, 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 Richard’s keynote).

Those qualifying to receive the rich presentation content from this event include commissioning, procurement, trialling and partnering 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, London & South East England 2022

On October 6th we will be casting a spotlight over London and South East England, hosting our speakers discussions on how the latest digital innovations can help overcome the transport and mobility challenges faced by the capital, it's hinterland, burgeoning smart city-regions of the South East and East Anglia, and beyond.


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