MORE flexible, pay-as-you-go motoring is critical to improving urban air quality.
And it needs Government support to to improve the urban environment and encourage people to walk, cycle and use more public transport.
That’s the view of a new report produced by the British Vehicle Rental & Leasing Association (BVRLA) and advisory firm Global Counsel, called Cars in the City.
“Most visions of future urban mobility show leafy, virtually car-free streets full of people walking, cycling and using public transport,” said BVRLA Chief Executive Gerry Keaney.
“This is an exciting future, but how do we get there from today’s situation, where, even in London, the car remains the most popular single mode of travel?”
“Our towns and cities need a more intelligent, sustainable use of the car. Promoting the use of car rental, car clubs and other flexible types of car use can make that happen.”
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has already introduced an Ultra Low Emission Zone to the capital city in a bid to cut life-threatening pollution. And is planning the largest Electric Vehicle (EV) charging hub to be operational by the end of this year.
The Mayor aims to encourage Londoners to cycle, walk and use public transport to help improve air pollution and reduce car emissions
Other cities are following suit in a bid to create better urban air quality with Clean Air Zones (CAZ).
The BVRLA says that a pay-as-you-go motoring can result in fewer vehicles sitting idle on the kerbside, more electric vehicles on the streets and more affordable transport options for families and businesses considering the impact of CAZ compliance.
And its Cars in the City report provides some practical recommendations that local and national policymakers can use to start driving this behaviour change. These include:
Providing more long-term certainty and financial support through transport funding and motoring taxation. These must give local authorities the budgets to invest in future mobility solutions and taxpayers the incentives to change their journey choices
Supporting the roll out of intelligent parking systems that can reduce congestion and provide more parking space for flexible car use providers
Promoting the roll-out of Mobility Credits in Clean Air Zone areas, which will drive behaviour change and support those hit hardest by the need to upgrade their vehicles
“Our towns and cities are the economic heartland of the UK and are experiencing rapid population growth, which is why policymakers have made future urban mobility such a priority,” added Keaney.
“All our research demonstrates that ultra-low emission cars, used intelligently, are a vital part of delivering this vision.”
Gary Smith, managing director of the Europcar Mobility Group in the UK added:
“As a multi-modal mobility provider, we believe working collaboratively with Government, local authorities and private organisations is essential to achieving sustainable mobility for the future. We think this is an issue that everyone must address collaboratively.
“In turn, it is vital for policy makers to consider the wider scope of flexible car use options available to them – from electric car clubs to rental – that will support the improvement of the urban environment. There is also a growing need for an improved Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure to support the adoption of EVs by local businesses, including car rental companies, who on their own cannot afford to subsidise developments to the local grid.”
The BVRLA launched its Cars in the City report at its Future Mobility Congress event in Birmingham today (July 04, 2019).