Future mobility zone bid submitted to transform Leeds City Region's travel

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its partners have submitted a £27 million bid to the Government for Future Mobility Zone funding to transform the way people travel in Leeds City Region

The West Yorkshire Combined Authority and its partners have submitted a £27 million bid to the Government for Future Mobility Zone funding to transform the way people travel in Leeds City Region.

The Future Mobility Zone plans, aim to provide people with convenient, affordable and more sustainable alternatives to private cars, helping to reduce congestion and pollution.

If successful, the Combined Authority will create “mobility hubs” within communities across the City Region, including locations in Harrogate, Calderdale and Kirklees, enabling people to access a range of transport options – including e-bikes, car club vehicles, taxis and smaller responsive buses that will complement the existing bus and train network – on demand. These services will be provided in locations including Wakefield, Leeds and York. This will be supported by digital technology allowing people to plan, book and pay for their journey across the full range of transport options easily in one place.

It will also reduce the cost of travel through the creation of “mobility credits”, which will enable people on lower incomes and those with access requirements to pay for flexible transport options to suit their needs. Early roll out of the mobility credits will be across specific user groups in Bradford.

A decision by Government is expected in autumn 2019 and if successful, the Combined Authority and its partners will develop, test and evaluate world-leading new technologies to transform the way that transport is provided, with the aim of rolling these out more widely across the City Region.

Investing in these innovations will enable the Combined Authority to improve connections between disadvantaged communities and employment and training opportunities. It will also help to improve the affordability of public transport and encourage the transition to sustainable, low-carbon transport through these new technologies.

Cllr Kim Groves, Chair of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority Transport Committee, said:

“Our Future Mobility Zone bid sets out an innovative new approach to how transport in West Yorkshire is provided, giving people greater control and flexibility over how they travel around the region.

“If we’re successful, local people will be able to plan, book and pay for a range of travel options, including on-demand services, though a single source such as an app. Through the bid we also want to enable those on lower incomes or who face other barriers to using public transport to have access to flexible, affordable transport options that meet their needs.

“This is all about developing a transport network for the future, that helps people travel to work, education, leisure and other facilities in the easiest, most flexible and accessible way possible – rather than having to rely on services that don’t currently meet their needs.”

The programme of work included in the bid will help contribute to the Combined Authority’s priorities of supporting inclusive growth, boosting productivity, developing a 21st Century transport network and making the City Region net zero-carbon by 2038 at the latest. It will also help achieve targets set out in the Combined Authority’s West Yorkshire Transport Strategy, focused on increasing journeys by sustainable and active public transport and reducing car trips.

The Future Mobility Zones bid was submitted to Department for Transport (DfT) on 30 September 2019, a copy of the bid can be found here and full submission information can be found under the Transforming Cities Fund information.