The West Midlands has been chosen as the UK’s first Future Mobility Area, laying the ground for a major investment in technology to support more efficient transport in the region.
It has been awarded £20 million by the Department for Transport (DfT) as the first of three regions to pioneer new schemes.
Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) said the funding will provide the basis for it to develop new services, apps and projects to improve mobility, and further develop a joined up transport network across the region.
It emphasised the use of data, including real time traffic information for commuters and access to the best fares through the Swift card.
The Future Mobility Area team will also work with companies to develop more car sharing and electric bike schemes, and to create more infrastructure for electric vehicles.
Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling said: “Thanks to the fantastic work of Mayor Andy Street, Birmingham is set to continue its upward trajectory as a cutting edge city that innovates and leads the world.
“We will create an environment where new technologies and services can be deployed, giving passengers more choice than ever before.”
The West Midlands has begun to emerge as a leading region for developing new approaches to transport: a trio of public sector organisations in the region, including TfWM, recently joined a consortium to test connected vehicles, and last month it announced plans to spend on technology to reduce traffic congestion.
The DfT is currently analysing feedback from its consultation on its Future of Urban Mobility strategy, which is looking at how technology can provide new ways of moving people around cities. It has said the outcome should be available soon.
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