On November 22nd we hosted TRANSPORT Smart Class, Midlands 2023 at Drapers’ Hall, Coventry. This recent Smart Class gave a fresh take on deploying digital technology-enabled solutions, data-driven strategies, policies and best practices to tackle transport and mobility challenges faced by burgeoning city-regions across Central England, and beyond, and deliver a transport system that will allow passengers and citizens to travel efficiently, safely and with minimal impact on the environment.
Our film maker captured the keynotes and innovator presentations for additional stakeholders to enjoy post-event!
If you satisfy our regular delegate qualification criteria but were unable to join us on the day, just complete the short application form below and we’ll grant you free access to the presentation videos, recordings and slides.
Our senior keynote speakers included: Transport for West Midlands’ Head of Network Transformation, Steve Hayes; Nottingham City Council’s Transport Strategy Manager, Tim Bellenger; and Head of New Technologies at Midlands Connect, Bharat Pathania. Steve, Tim and Bharat provided invaluable real-world insights into their transport and mobility strategies, ongoing programmes and challenges, digital visions, collaborative initiatives, adoptions of transformative technologies and data driven outcomes.
The Smart Class also featured innovator thought leadership presentations – on behalf of BT Active Intelligence, Sustrans and Marston Holdings – from Nathan Watt, Laura Smith, Martin Philpott, Paul Costello and Richard O’Malley, addressing priority smart transport and mobility themes and key areas of application. The innovators expert teams subsequently hosted confidential, deeper dive, roundtable discussions with all delegates in attendance. The live (in-person only) session also included thought provoking Q&As and further networking opportunities over breakfast, drinks and lunch.
Noteworthy contributions to these discussions were made by influencers and decision makers from the likes of Arup, Black Country Transport, Coventry City Council, Coventry University, Integrated Transport Planning, Jacobs, Lincolnshire County Council, Midlands Connect (MC), National Express, National Highways, Nottingham City Council, PJA, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, Skanska, Steer Group, Sustrans, Sustrans West Midlands, Transdev, Transport Nottingham, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), University of Wolverhampton, Walsall Council, Waterman Group, West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), WSP, and more!
Topic highlights included:
- Why do we need to reposition public transport in the West Midlands?
- Is there a future for bus and how do TfWM make buses more attractive for those who live and work in the region?
- Project Fuse – What do we mean by an ‘integrated’ transport system? What examples of best practice should be considered? How does West Midlands compare and what can be done to emulate the very best?
- What is in TfWM’s ambitious Bus Service Improvement Plan and how will it be delivered and planned to reverse years of patronage decline?
- Implementing Demand Responsive Transport – Operating a co-mingled DRT service (Ring & Ride and WM on Demand) to optimise fleets, complement regular services, add social value and make public transport a relevant choice for more people; Results and feedback from trialling/test phases in Coventry;
- What’s holding us back from from further transforming buses in the West Midlands? Considering funding, governance, mind set, staffing and reputation;
- Harnessing the power of mobile network data to understand transportation patterns in your region;
- How are the needs of the transport environment changing and what are the multitude of use cases for the data?
- EV road insights;
- Multimodal journey insights – How far will people travel to get to stations? Do people always use their closest stations? Uncovering localised patterns in North Warwickshire & Coventry; Understanding the impact of diversion routes;
- Moving away from fossil fuels for travel and transport – How is Nottingham City Council 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’s manifesto and multi-faceted programme of transport innovation – Becoming the first carbon neutral city by 2028; Filling 50,000 potholes/’Streets for People’; Greening highway spaces; Implementing a BSIP and introducing gas and electric buses; trialling e-scooters and e-bikes; High level data collection and analysis; A workplace travel service and parking levy; Contactless payments for bus and tram; Mobility as a Service hub; Car club; Electric vehicle charging; Upgrading the cycle network; Personalised travel planning through active travel social prescribing; Cargo bikes; Reducing energy consumption; V2G vehicle to grid;
- Air quality – Carbon reduction’s sibling;
- Midland main line electrification – decarbonising the local rail network;
- Creating places, enabling active travel – Sustrans’ innovative approach to developing and activating greenways;
- Paths for everyone – What makes a good greenway? Understanding the challenges – Water, structures, ecology and biodiversity, public access and experience, maintenance;
- Liveable towns and cities for everyone – Activation of infrastructure and engaging the local community to use their active travel network e.g. ‘The Cloud Trail’ and Wolverhampton project;
- The Midlands Connect strategic transport partnership – Technology and innovation program and technology gap analysis;
- Accelerating EV Charging in the Midlands – MC’s regional infrastructure strategy and EV & EVCP forecasts; Delivering requirements and tacking the challenge; LEVI pilot – Lead by Lincolnshire County Council in partnership with Stoke-on-Trent City Council, Herefordshire Council, Leicestershire County Council and Rutland Council; FBC and LEVI Tranches; Funding for 13 LAs to electrify EV charging network; Lessons learnt so far;
- Accelerating Smart Ticketing in the Midlands – ITSO, Swift and Robinhood schemes; MC vision; Challenges of contactless ticketing and seamless travel between different operators and modes; Broker solution – Development & implementation of broker in WMCA and NCC area, the national outline business case and preparing Midlands LTAs and other STBs;
- Applied for part 6 Traffic Management Act powers? What’s next?
- How a strategic partnership introduced borough wide moving traffic enforcement to improve road safety and improve air quality – Wokingham BC end to end case study: Site identification, surveys and data capture; Site review and application support; Procurement process; Camera enforcement, air quality monitoring and technology optimisation; Project management and mobilisation; Signs, lines and installation, Notice processing system; Data surfacing etc.
Those qualifying to receive the presentation videos and rich media 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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