United Kingdom

Market Fact

Main issues: The United Kingdom is trying to revolutionise public transport—combining digital payment and planning systems and autonomous driving and demand-responsive transport service design—and this could have implications for cities everywhere.

Location: of fact eg City / Reg on to be provided  

Main facts/points :

  1. The decline of the bus sector in the UK, marked by reduced government funding, service cuts, and decreasing usage, poses significant challenges for public transportation.
  2. New technologies and services showing promise:
    1. ​​​​​​​The emergence of trackless trams, incorporating GPS and Lidar technology, presents a promising alternative to traditional tram systems, offering cost-effective and efficient solutions.
    2. Self-driving public transport prototypes, such as the CAVForth and Mi-Link services in the UK, aim to integrate autonomous technology within the existing transport infrastructure, addressing issues related to operational costs and efficiency.
    3. The success of the demand-responsive transport (DRT) service, MK Connect, in Milton Keynes, reflects the need for adaptable and responsive transport systems, catering to evolving travel requirements.
  3. Challenges in innovation:
    1. The introduction of the HertsLynx service in Hertfordshire highlights the challenges in implementing effective DRT solutions, emphasizing the need for further development and refinement in the context of rural transportation.
    2. It's important to continuously reevalaute public transport systems and digital planning can help.

Key statistics:

  • England witnessed a 15% drop in bus use outside London between 2010-11 and 2018-19.
  • Scotland experienced a 22% decline in bus use since 2007-08.
  • MK Connect manages approximately 40,000 trips each month in Milton Keynes.
  • HertsLynx operates about 2,600 passenger trips per month.

Original link / source / date of update:​​​​​​​

The Conversation​​​​​​​, theconversation.com/self-driving-buses-that-go-wherever-you-want-how-the-uk-is-trying-to-revolutionise-public-transport-214323, 29.09.2023