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Project Four - Smart, Shared and Sustainable Mobility


Smart, Shared and Sustainable Mobility

The Commission was clear that for the city to be successful in the future, everyone who lives, works, studies or does business here must be able to move freely and on demand, and not be reliant on access to a private car.  The Smart, Shared, Sustainable Mobility project reflects the growing move towards ‘Mobility as a Service’ and the use of autonomous and electric vehicles, and the opportunities that these trends could create for Milton Keynes. 


This project is aligned with the preparation of a new Mobility Strategy to support Plan:MK, which will replace the existing Local Transport Plan 3.  It also links with the Strategy for 2050, to reflect how different forms of transport will change the way the city works and how land will be used. For example, if vehicles dropping workers off at offices or the station in CMK in the morning can drive themselves off be used for other journeys throughout the day, what opportunities could that create for the land currently used for car parking in the city centre?  Through this project, we are exploring issues such as this, and how we can put in place mechanisms and policies that mean we can take advantage of the opportunities that new technologies can bring.


Research to look at an Innovative Mobility Roadmap will take a longer-term view of the sorts of interventions and policies that might be needed to support future transport innovation.  The work on the First-Last Mile Strategy submitted to the NIC was co-ordinated with related work by Oxford and Cambridge and includes a shared focus on developing innovative mass transit solutions.  The three cities are requesting that Government funds a development programme for the new vehicle technology being proposed.   


The Go Ultra Low Carbon programme is making good progress.  The new Electric Vehicle Experience Centre in the Centre:MK ( was launched in July 2017.  Delivery of the extended electric charging infrastructure is underway including design work on rapid charging HUBS where vehicles can be fully charged in around 30 minutes. 


'Mobility as a Service' is the move away from personally owned modes of transport towards mobility solutions that are consumed as a service. This might mean users combine services from both public and private providers through a single gateway that creates and manages the trip (accessed through an app on a mobile phone or tablet), which users pay for with a single account rather than an account for each different mode or provider.  This payment could be on a pay as you go basis, or as a monthly subscription.



We are constantly looking at how transport could be used to reduce inequality in Milton Keynes and what it would look like to best serve our communities in the future. If you have specific thoughts or ideas about this project, please get in touch with us on the contact us page. 


In October 2018, to mark the conclusion of the UK Autodrive autonomous mobility project, Milton Keynes hosted one of the world’s most complex demonstrations of Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) at the Transport Systems Catapult.


The UK Autodrive project has also delivered the trialling of autonomous pods at Station Square and around Site B4 to test first and last mile services in an urban environment. There are plans for the pods to continue to operate in the city through Milton Keynes Council supported funding applications for UK AD 2 (Autodrive), with the aim to develop further a potential integrated pod service with on demand transport for residents.

Milton Keynes Council’s Electric Vehicle HUB expansion opened in December 2018. This section of the Go Ultra Low City scheme will contribute to the electric charging infrastructure and add greater capacity at these rapid charging stations where vehicles can be fully charged in around 30 minutes or less. 

Two major on demand services have been introduced in Milton Keynes over the autumn 2018. The first being Via Van, a joint venture between on demand shared transit specialists Via and Mercedes-Benz Vans which allows passengers to book a shared van through a phone App. MK is the fourth city in Europe to have ViaVan after Amsterdam, Berlin and London. The second service is Lime which is currently a test pilot of a dockless electric bike share scheme. This is the first dockless electric scheme in the UK.

In April 2019, the Starship Delivery Robot programme met a significant milestone in now serving 11 different locations around the borough following expansion to Shenley Brook End, Furzton and Tattenhoe. Other major milestones that have been achieved include the 50,000th commercial delivery for the service here in Milton Keynes. In addition to the customer benefit, the project has led to a considerable reduction in CO2 emissions - estimated to be over 17,000 kilograms.


In October, the UK Department for Transport's Office for Low Emission Vehicles provided Milton Keynes Council and partners ViaVan with a grant to convert existing transport into a fully electric fleet. This will lead to the conversion of the whole fleet (30 vehicles) by 2020.


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