Enterprise M3 is a founding member of a new organisation - Project Beyond Consortium - created to address transport and mobility challenges beyond major cities.
Established as a not-for-profit organisation, the Project Beyond Consortium is focusing on collaborative research and innovation projects to make a difference. The founding members of the consortium are:
• Alexander Dennis Ltd.
• Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
• Hampshire County Council
• Stagecoach Group
• The Go-Ahead Group
• Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
• University of Surrey, 5G Innovation Centre
Kathy Slack, Chief Executive of Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) said: “I am excited that Enterprise M3 LEP is involved with Project Beyond. Partnership working is at the very heart of everything we do and this is a fantastic opportunity to work with a range of industry leaders in the field of smart mobility.”
5G technology will also play a crucial role in the Consortium's work and the Local Industrial Strategy. Enterprise M3 is a partner in the University of Surrey, 5G Innovation Centre. The Centre's founder and director, Professor Rahim Tafazolli, said: “5G represents a fundamental transformation of the role mobile technology plays in the economy and society, enabling and delivering rich new services in transport and mobility to improve productivity. The 5G Innovation Centre is proud to be playing a leading part in supporting the DCMS UK 5G testbeds and trials programme and welcomes the opportunity to work with the Project Beyond Consortium members."
In the whole of England and Wales only 29.6% of people live in large towns and cities with over 200,000 residents but the primary emphasis of current transport innovation is on major urban conurbations and smart cities. Yet, over 65% of vehicle road miles take place outside large towns and cities. The local authority with the highest traffic level in Britain is Hampshire, with 9.87 billion vehicle miles.
Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “Hampshire is a large and rural county and ensuring residents have access to areas of education and employment is a key priority for the County Council. By working with our partners in Project Beyond, we can investigate new opportunities to make it easier for people across Hampshire to get around, supporting communities and promoting continued economic prosperity.”
The Project Beyond Consortium is focusing on specific transport and mobility challenges. They include:
• The sustainability of public transport service delivery in less-densely populated areas when public sector budgets are declining and transport costs are increasing.
• Addressing the costs of last mile deliveries as online retail continues to grow.
• The lack of connectivity to support Connected Vehicles and the economic viability of building a suitable communications infrastructure.
• Reducing congestion and emissions in areas where people have a high dependency on car use.
• Exploring the suitability of current multi-modal transport innovations from city transit systems to areas with multiple service providers and regulators.