There is still significant political and social resistance to losing the space which is currently allocated to private cars. One strategy to overcome such reluctance can be to provide enhancements to public space which offers immediate public gains.
Mobility hubs are a new tool for the streetscape to do this. They not only help to provide convenient and connected access to a range of sustainable modes of transport alongside public transport, walking and cycling but can also reprogramme space away from private car parking and towards the good of the local community.
Traffic volumes and air quality can be improved by offering quality and high profile cleaner, greener modes of transport. In addition, by enhancing the public realm, much needed green social space can be provided, along with safe streets and even the bonus to local businesses of higher footfall. Mobility Hubs are being built across Europe in a range of shapes and sizes to fit the local context.
New guidance published by the UK shared mobility charity CoMoUK brings together expertise from the SHARE-North EU Inter-reg project. It outlines ways in which Mobility Hubs can benefit different communities through a range of typologies, case lessons, and shares lessons learned from existing projects. The guidance defines a mobility hub as a space with three key characteristics:
- Co-location of public transport and shared mobility modes,
- The redesign of space to reduce private car parking and improve the surrounding public realm, and
- A pillar or sign which identifies the space as a mobility hub which is part of a wider network and ideally provides travel information.
Public transport and active modes will always be the cornerstone of any mobility hub, but the inclusion of shared cars is a key feature. Car clubs enable local residents to shift to low car lifestyles but still have access to cars for trips that suit the car. Shared cars are in use 25% of the time as opposed to 5% by privately owned, and each can remove the need for 10 other vehicles releasing valuable space for cycle parking, enhanced waiting areas, parklets and a whole host of other ideas. Getting the right combination of transport and non-transport elements will depend on the needs of the residents and travellers, the guidance creates a framework for categorising areas.
DOWNLOAD THE GUIDANCE.
The project team would be delighted to talk with anyone about this work and are actively looking to go beyond simple guidance to help turn mobility hubs into a reality in the UK and learn from sites that do come forward for the benefit of future mobility hubs.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org get in touch if you would like to receive hard copies of the Mobility Hub Guide.