Shaping the future of transport: the Government responds

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Shaping the future of transport: the Government responds

Published 17 diciembre 2020

The Government has now published the outcome and summary of responses to its Future of Transport regulatory review: call for evidence on micromobility vehicles, flexible bus services and Mobility-as-a-Service which includes “several immediate next steps”.

The consultation called for evidence in relation to:

  • whether certain micromobility vehicles (such as electric scooters) should be permitted on the road, and if so what vehicle and user requirements would be appropriate
  • how effective existing rules are around flexible bus services, and which other areas of the bus, taxi and private hire vehicle framework should be considered in the review
  • what the opportunities and risks of MaaS platforms might be, and what role central and local governments should play in their development

The call for evidence generated a significant response.

The key findings identified by the Government in the primary areas on the consultation and the intended next steps were:

Micromobility

There was widespread support for legalising some or all of the vehicles that had been the subject of the call for evidence and an overwhelming view that a clear set of regulations was required.

The Government will continue to engage with stakeholders on regulatory proposals.

Buses, Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles

There were mixed views on different regulatory approaches for different types of Flexible Bus Service. The majority view was that demand ought to determine the area of operation for Flexible Bus Services, and there was overall support for relaxing registration requirements and for changes to Bus Services Operator Grant.

The forthcoming National Bus Strategy will consider at issues at a sector wide level, and the Government will engage with operators of Demand Responsive Transport services.  In addition, findings from the Rural Mobility Fund schemes and from services deployed in response to the coronavirus pandemic will be collated.

Mobility as a Service

There were strongly held views that central Government ought to take the lead role in developing MaaS platforms, with trialling in local areas being led at local government level.

The Government will take forward a code of practice for MaaS and will continue its endeavours to improve the quality, accessibility and discoverability of transport related data

Ensuring inclusive future transport

Ways of improving awareness of the Equality Act 2010 will be investigated.  The Government will liaise with the Cabinet Office Disability Unit to ensure alignment with the National Strategy for Disabled People.

Enabling trials of new modes

A lack of flexibility within current regulations was identified as a barrier to trialling.

Government proposes to learn from ongoing trials to consider the development of guidance and approaches.

Local leadership of new transport services

There will be exploration of what approaches or guidance can be developed and steps will be taken it identify any scope to align with the upcoming Devolution and Local Recovery White Paper.

Further areas of focus for the Regulatory Review

The general view was that the current review was sufficiently broad to identify the major regulatory issues.  The Government has stated that it will maintain its engagement with stakeholders in order that it can understand the necessary regulatory changes that will be required to support innovation.

The Government has clearly signalled a commitment to development of micromobility vehicles, flexible bus services and Mobility-as-a-Service but has recognised the need for close cooperation with stakeholders, liaison between governmental bodies at both national and regional level and the importance of proper analysis of trialling results. 

Further consultations are to be expected and DAC Beachcroft will continue to monitor developments, informing and advising their clients and identifying any opportunities to assist in or comment on proposed developments in this fast moving area of transport and regulation.

Authors

Peter Allchorne

Peter Allchorne

Bristol

+44 (0) 117 918 2275

Michael McCabe

Michael McCabe

London - Walbrook

+44 (0) 20 7894 6315

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