Bright future for shared low-carbon transport in Norfolk
14 September 2020
A project has been launched that will pave the way for more shared transport in Norfolk in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.
MOBI-MIX is aimed at increasing the uptake of low-carbon transport in five areas across Europe, including Norfolk, by making it cheaper, more sustainable and more accessible.
As a project partner, Norfolk County Council is collaborating with the private sector to encourage more shared transport options in urban areas such as cars, bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters, all for hire.
The aim is to cut the number of cars on the road, thereby lowering CO2 levels and easing congestion. Transport is responsible for nearly 40% of Norfolk’s CO2 emissions*.
Councillor Andy Grant, Norfolk County Council's Cabinet Member for Environment and Waste, said: “There’s huge momentum at the moment for more sustainable forms of transport, and the new technologies for low-carbon transport are already out there.
“Through MOBI-MIX, we are opening up these opportunities in a considered way so that people in Norfolk have a greater choice of safe, sustainable transport than ever before.”
MOBI-MIX is €3m project co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg 2 Seas Programme, of which €400,000 is allocated to Norfolk.
The introduction of shared transport has seen rapid popularity but also presented unexpected problems in many countries.
MOBI-MIX will address these by working closely with the private sector and collaborating on cutting-edge research among its partner organisations from the UK, France, Belgium and The Netherlands. Partners include cities with experience of longer established shared transport schemes and experts on new technologies and the use of shared transport.
Although it will not buy vehicles, MOBI-MIX will also gather public feedback and evaluate schemes that encourage people to shift away from owned transport, including the Council’s e-scooter trial that was given the go-ahead by the Department for Transport recently.
The learning that comes out of MOBI-MIX will help shape local strategies on future transport schemes and the role of technology, such as apps that offer route planning, hiring and payment.
The e-scooters will join the fleet of bikes and e-bikes for hire that were recently introduced to Norwich by Beryl and are promoted as part of the Council’s Pushing Ahead programme, which is aimed at encouraging more people to walk, run, cycle or scoot.
Among other recent schemes to achieve its ambition to reduce carbon use, the Council opened an off-road cycle route between Wymondham and Norwich in July following a bid to the Department for Transport’s Transforming Cities Fund.
*All forms of transport in Norfolk made up 39.9% of CO2 emissions in 2018: Source - GOV.UK - 2005-2018 UK local and regional CO2 emissions