Mobility hub trialled on West Midlands streets

13 September 2021

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:

  • Shared transport such as e-scooters, cargo bicycles, West Midlands Cycle Hire, bike loans, electric car club vehicles and charging points.
  • Active travel support including wayfinding maps, bike hangars, tool stations and digital public transport information and timetables.
  • Public space and community facilities, such as a shelter, seating,micro-parks, and parcel lockers.
  • Space for pop-up retail, food, public services and grassroots initiatives.

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 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 West Midlands mayor 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.”

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.

Pictured: WMG executive chair Margot James and Andy Street visit the mobility hub at the Micromobility UK event

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