Arcadis has been appointed by Solihull Council to develop a research study to reimagine transport in the area.
The design and engineering consultancy is to deliver a low carbon future mobility behaviour change research study which will develop targeted, convenient, appealing, zero carbon mobility options which can ensure adequate connectivity to meet the expected growth of the borough over the next two decades.
Solihull’s increasing dependence on personally owned motorised vehicles for its transport needs is now undermining mobility, causing environmental and social challenges, conflicting with regional policy and will ultimately act as a limitation on growth.
Many of the highway systems are already operating at capacity, increasing journey times and adversely affecting communities with high levels of traffic and reduced air quality in residential areas.
The growth in the use of motorised vehicles is also undermining its ability to meet carbon reduction targets.
The research study, delivered in conjunction with Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), will review mobility trials previously implemented in Solihull, and run focus groups and online surveys with local residents to identify travel behaviour change insights.
The data will be analysed and Arcadis will provide recommendations to inform a business case for a large-scale low carbon future mobility scheme.
Tim Strong, project director at Arcadis, said: “We’re delighted to play a part in a scheme that enables Solihull Council to introduce alternative travel options to meet the needs of local people.
“This important project will address the transport challenges faced in the area, as well as reducing carbon emissions.”
Councillor Ken Hawkins, cabinet portfolio holder for environment and infrastructure, added: “Working closely with TfWM, our Low Carbon Future Mobility project seeks to respond to the challenges presented by our current dependency on privately owned motor vehicles for getting around.
“Recognising the productivity, health and environmental benefits of a modal shift away from single occupancy motor vehicles, the project is focused on identifying and addressing real-world transport challenges within the UK central Solihull area.
“We have already staged a number of really exciting and innovative trials and pilot schemes as part of this project including the use of our very own autonomous shuttlebus.
“By harnessing data collected across multiple sources and alongside partners, we hope to introduce, incubate and scale-up new and re-imagined mobility solutions, with a view to creating a compelling, reliable, efficient and affordable mobility eco-system that means the car can be left at home.”