- Beck Collins – Senior Sustainability Adviser at Sustainability West Midlands
- Andy Page – Future Mobility Lead at Transport for West Midlands
- Philip Edwards – Assistant Director Transport & Connectivity at Birmingham City Council
- Hannah Byk – Partnership Manager at Better Points
- Prabhjot Johal – Transport for West Midlands (bringing together tech [Better Points] and infrastructure to drive positive behaviour change)
Sustainability West Midlands, in partnership with the Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands, convenes the Innovative Zero Carbon Working Group (IZCWG) and its associated quarterly meetings, where a cross-sector of stakeholders come together to share good practice and build cross-sector collaborative opportunities around low carbon innovation. Innovation Alliance also coordinate two similar working groups, Innovative Transport and Smart Places, to facilitate networking and discussions in these areas. These three working groups came together in October of 2022 for a Joint Meeting aiming to kickstart conversations around multi-modal travel in the West Midlands. Bringing the three working groups together aimed to facilitate a discussion of this topic from three different perspectives: mobility, net zero, and digital connectivity. The meeting sought to uncover basic assumptions from each sector, to expose and discuss tensions between them, and explore how to work collaboratively to resolve these issues.
Speakers gave examples of good and bad multi-modal journeys to set the scene for the meeting, and the concept of mobility hubs (an initiative by TfWM to facilitate multi-modal transport) was introduced. The speakers then contributed to a panel which gave each of them the opportunity to set out their particular perspective on multi-modal transport, before engaging in a wider debate around the issues. This debate covered examples of driving transport behaviour change, such as the Influencing Transport Lab; how local authorities, businesses and universities can work together to change mindsets away from cars; about the importance for the transport industry of fully understanding the problems people face in moving about before rushing to deliver particular solutions, and the role of businesses and the wider public in being more open to change and in driving that change.
Attendees then engaged in a series of breakout discussions. A number of themes emerged from these discussions, and both the challenges, opportunities and potential solutions were discussed at length:
- The role of local authorities in supporting viable alternatives to carbon intensive transport
- Governance and funding
- The role of business in supporting sustainable transport
- Communications for behaviour change
- ‘The Stick’ – disrupting the car
- Data and connectivity
- Safety and accessibility
- The impact of wider economic trends on transport
If you are interested the Innovative Zero Carbon Working Group, you can learn more, see our current members, and sign up through our IZCWG page. Further information on the Innovative Transport and Smart Places Working Groups can be found on the Innovative Alliance website.