University of Warwick: UK’s first live micromobility event takes place at WMG, University of Warwick

Micromobility refers to small lightweight efficient vehicles, which can be used to make short distance journeys.

Types of micromobility vehicles we could see in our communities include bikes, hover boards, e-bikes and e-scooters. They can be used to save time, avoid congestion, remove parking conundrums and most importantly they use much less energy than a car, therefore contributing towards the Government’s zero-carbon goals.Caption: From left to right: Professor Robin Clark, Dean of WMG at the University of Warwick, John Fox – Programme Director for Micromobility at WMG, Cllr Jim O’Boyle – cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change at Coventry City Council, Margot James- Executive Chair of WMG at the University of Warwick, Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street Credit: WMG, University of Warwick

The future of micromobility is incredibly topical, and to bring together all aspects of it WMG, at the University of Warwick, hosted the UK’s first live micromobility event, bringing together manufacturers in the micromobility sector, regional transport authorities; city councils and local authorities; Government agencies; research organisations and more.

The event not only saw the demonstration of many new exciting and existing micromobility vehicles from e-scooters to e-cargo bikes, but also outlined the opportunities for the UK to lead this sector in battery development and recycling, human factors and behavioural change, materials development and more.

It was also an opportunity to address the challenges the sector faces particularly around lack of infrastructure, policy and regulation.

Programme Director John Fox, from WMG, University of Warwick comments:Caption: People trialling some micromobility vehicles at the event Credit: WMG, University of Warwick
“Despite progress on electrification, transport emissions are actually increasing; Micromobility is essential if we are to achieve net zero emissions from this sector. With around 70% of journeys in the UK under 5 miles, Micromobility vehicles can have a huge impact on our emissions. They use typically 5% of the energy of an Electric vehicle to make trips, and their manufacture is also significantly less carbon-intensive.

“There are many other benefits Micromobility offers too, including air quality improvements, greater footfall in highstreets, and taking up much less space than a car to move the same number of people which releases more space in urban areas for other things.

“The conference touched on many of the key issues, including how to make Micromobility safe, accessible, integrated and attractive to new users, and highlighted the need for coordination between government, local authorities and industry. WMG announced our ‘UK Micromobility roadmap” to support this coordination, being developed with Cenex and being progressed through consultation and workshops sessions over the next six months, so watch this space!”

Margot James, Executive Chair of WMG, University of Warwick adds:Caption: People at a West Midlands Transport Hub with a West Midlands Cycle Hire bike and a VOI e-scooter Credit: WMG, University of Warwick
“As a leader in the electrification of transport, WMG, University of Warwick, is at the forefront in the development of high-quality, safe Micromobility vehicles. We are conducting trials with vehicle and infrastructure manufacturers on the Warwick campus, and supporting testing and development of new vehicles and systems in our labs. We’re also working closely with our local and regional authorities to make travel to and from our campus more sustainable, which includes supporting commutes by Micromobility with improved infrastructure and facilities on arrival.”

Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said:
“As the home of the green industrial revolution, micromobility has a key role to play in the West Midlands as we look to tackle air pollution to help us reach our #WM2041 climate goal. Earlier this year we launched West Midlands Cycle Hire across eight towns and city centre – with more than 100,000 journeys taken on the bikes in just a few months – and we are also trialling e-scooters across the region, with more than 550,000 trips taken in Birmingham alone over the past year. Margot James – Executive Chair of WMG, and Cllr Jim O’Boyle from Coventry City Council have a go in a Hail bike

“But despite this successful start of both schemes we are of course always open to more innovation and improvement. That’s why it has been brilliant to have the micromobility industry here in the West Midlands, and it has been eye-opening to see what the industry has to offer.”

Councillor Jim O’Boyle, cabinet member for jobs, regeneration and climate change said:
“The innovation shown at the event is a result of the incredible engineering and manufacturing talent that can only be found in Coventry. Our city is leading the green industrial revolution and is at the heart of developing new forms of transport, from the micromobility solutions we have seen at the event to the innovative Coventry Very Light Rail, set to transform how many of us travel.

“It’s great to be with our partners at WMG to raise awareness of the ground-breaking work our city is contributing to the future of clean, green transport.”

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