Industry stakeholders have until 11:45pm on July 3 to add their responses to the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Future of Transport Regulatory Review.
The call for evidence seeks information and views on:
- Micromobility vehicles (e-scooters, e-cargo bikes- what the potential benefits and risks of micromobility vehicle use could be, and how their use might affect other modes of transport)
- Flexible bus services (how effective existing rules are around flexible bus services, and which other areas of the bus, taxi and private hire vehicle framework should be considered in this review)
- Mobility as a Service (what the opportunities and risks of MaaS platforms might be, and what role central and local governments should play in their development)
- Ensuring inclusive future transport (improving access to transport for people with protected characteristics)
- Enabling trials of new modes (statutory exemption powers included to help support safe trials of transport technologies?)
- Local leadership of new transport services (Should certain regulatory powers be devolved? How should local and national governments manage the balance of regulatory responsibility?)
Rachel Maclean, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport, said: "We need to try to understand the true benefits, and costs, of each new technology or service.
"How, for instance, can e-scooters make life cheaper, more convenient, and maybe a bit more exciting?
"But also: how safe are they, for their riders and for other road users, and how sustainable? Will they really reduce traffic, or will they reduce walking and cycling more?
"How can self-driving cars open up new travel possibilities? But also: what do they mean for road space and congestion in our cities if people switch en masse from buses and trains?
"Should the rules about micromobility and new car-based services be the same in congested city centres as they are in low-density suburbs?"
..."Technology and innovation are already blurring the lines between different transport modes..."
Maclean said the way forward could be a series of trials, both regulatory and real world, to help businesses prove the commercial case for their innovations, but also to identify that each one can deliver the social, economic and environmental benefits the UK wants to see, and manage the risks that should be avoided.
She added: "Technology and innovation are already blurring the lines between different transport modes, and the increasing automation of transport will drive this further.
"Our regulatory frameworks for licensing, ticketing, payment and consumer protection need to be more responsive to this, and to single-priced journeys on multiple types of transport becoming the norm.
"Collaboration between different transport regulators will be critical. And just as in other areas where technology companies have grown powerful, we want to ensure that they understand their responsibility to meet democratic norms and rules.
"To make the UK a world leader in the movement of people, goods and services we need a world-leading regulatory framework for transport.
"Please take this opportunity to share your views and join with us in making regulation for transport innovation a reality."