The new not-for-profit organisation has announced its formation and said it will address transport and mobility challenges beyond major cities.
The Project Beyond Consortium will focus on collaborative research and innovation projects to make a difference.
The founding members of the consortium are:
- Alexander Dennis
- Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP)
- Hampshire County Council
- Stagecoach Group
- The Go-Ahead Group
- Underwriters Laboratories (UL)
- University of Surrey, 5G Innovation Centre
Edward Hodgson managing director at Stagecoach South said, ‘delivering effective transport for rural and less densely populated areas presents some very real challenges and its only by working together that we can solve some of the complex issues facing these areas. We are excited to be working as part of the Project Beyond Consortium which brings together key stakeholders which we hope will help unlock the potential solutions.’
The project said that the local authority with the highest traffic level in Britain is Hampshire, with 9.87 billion vehicle miles. Councillor Rob Humby, Deputy Leader and Executive Member for Economy, Transport and Environment at Hampshire County Council, said, ‘Hampshire is a large and rural county and ensuring residents have access to areas of education and employment is a key priority for the County Council. By working with our partners in Project Beyond, we can investigate new opportunities to make it easier for people across Hampshire to get around, supporting communities and promoting continued economic prosperity.’
Professor Rahim Tafazolli, founder and director of the University of Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre (5GIC) said, ‘5G represents a fundamental transformation of the role mobile technology plays in the economy and society, enabling and delivering rich new services in transport and mobility to improve productivity. The 5G Innovation Centre is proud to be playing a leading part in supporting the DCMS UK 5G testbeds and trials programme and welcomes the opportunity to work with the Project Beyond Consortium members.’
Consortium Director Mark Selby said, ‘The geographic areas addressed by Project Beyond face complex technical and commercial challenges for infrastructure and operations. We believe multi-sector collaborations focusing on the movement of people and goods will have a positive impact on productivity.’
The Project Beyond Consortium has said it is focusing on specific transport and mobility challenges. They include:
• The sustainability of public transport service delivery in less-densely populated areas when public sector budgets are declining and transport costs are increasing.
• Addressing the costs of last mile deliveries as online retail continues to grow.
• The lack of connectivity to support Connected Vehicles and the economic viability of building a suitable communications infrastructure.
• Reducing congestion and emissions in areas where people have a high dependency on car use.
• Exploring the suitability of current multi-modal transport innovations from city transit systems to areas with multiple service providers and regulators.