How we travel is changing fast. The next 5 –10 years may see a wholesale change in what we expect from transport and how we use it. There are early indications of a shift to greater transport choice and a change in mind-set in traveller’s needs.
The industry is responding by bringing out new solutions at an unprecedented rate with dynamic systems such as Uber and “Mobility as a Service”, and innovation in the way transport requirements are met from joint ticketing, to the procurement of a new metro franchise for Cardiff and integrated transport planning under Transport for the North.
Large scale investment into transport infrastructure is also beginning to make itself felt (new trains and major new road projects will appear in 2017) while everyone knows about the future potential of electric vehicles and potentially driverless cars.
Some things to look out for in 2017 and the coming years are:
- Further trials of second generation connected and autonomous vehicles in projects in Bristol, Greenwich and Milton Keynes.
- Ever more apps and smartphone dynamic purchasing options giving alternative travel solutions (ultimately Mobility as a Service?).
- Transport for the North becoming an independent entity and sparking the approval of other regional transport bodies.
- Procurement of a new rail franchise for Wales, centred on the policies of the Welsh Government and incorporating an innovative metro system for Cardiff.
- HS2 construction getting under way?
- New trains for Crossrail (TfL Rail) and the completion of further stations.
- Steps towards delivering airport needs and capacity and perhaps even the start of construction plans?
Overall, this is an exciting time for movement.