The transport sector is the fastest growing source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. European transport-related GHG emissions account currently for 25% of all European emissions and are expected to continue to rise at about 6% per year. Sustainable transport requires a radical shift in investment towards providing fast and efficient public transport systems.
The benefits of creating better integrated and connected cities include increased economic growth, improvements in the quality of life for residents and businesses, better visitor experience, and a reduced impact on the environment. Congestion and air quality represent the chief concerns for the City of Oxford.
The closure of the central Westgate car park in 2014, with the loss of 800 out of 2,000 existing car parking spaces, prompted a UK Government-funded collaborative project with Oxford Brookes University and Oxford University, Oxfordshire County Council, and a number of SMEs in a partnership called Mobility Oxford (MobOx).
MobOx (http://mobilityoxford.com/) will create a Living Laboratory in Oxford to assess, validate and prove the business cases of a variety of transport solutions. MobOx has the full support of the Oxfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership and other key stakeholders. MobOx has analysed data from park and rides and travel patterns, and has proposed a number of solutions to date:
- Creation of retail hubs at park and rides
- Park and rides to become multi-modal hubs where commuters can change transport modes
- Integrated ticketing to encourage use of alternative modes of transport
- Dynamic signage and information with journey planning and pricing
- More flexible bus interiors to accommodate push chairs and wheel chairs
- Shopping delivery to park and rides
- Electric bike and trike schemes for personal transport and last-mile delivery.
To reduce emissions, and improve fuel efficiency, a number of buses fitted with the F1-developed Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems (KERS) are now operating in the City. These are recognized mainly as the double-decker grey-coloured BrookesBus vehicles.