Manchester is the UK city with the most micromobility potential
Manchester in the UK leads the UK ranking of cities that stand to benefit the most from micromobility services, including shared bikes, e-bikes and e-scooters, according to a new study from mobility specialist INRIX. Birmingham, Glasgow, London, and Sheffield complete the top five ranked cities and, in all of these, microbility users would complete their journeys faster than – or equally fast as – using vehicles.
INRIX ranked the top five UK cities by analysing trillions of anonymous data points from hundreds of millions of connected devices to find where micromobility has the most potential to reduce motor vehicle trips and transport network congestion.
As the UK government calls for alternatives to traditional and private transportation, motivated by issues like climate change and air quality, micromobility stands to deliver substantial benefits to consumers and businesses around the country. As well as efficient and cost-effective journeys, the benefits include reduced traffic congestion (UK drivers lost 178 hours a year due to traffic last year), decreased emissions and a boost to the local economy.
Trevor Reed, transportation analyst at INRIX and author of the new report, said: “With an environmental crisis on our hands, governments and local authorities must act now to provide efficient and effective transportation options in UK cities. Our report indicates cities across the country can hugely benefit from solutions like e-scooters and e-bikes with Manchester leading the way. However, at present, legislation and public education does not do enough to encourage micromobility.
“The government should review options to legalize e-scooters and assess the current opportunities to increase road safety for all users. Simultaneously, it’s essential the wide-ranging benefits of micromobility and the cost of vandalism are clearly communicated to the public to ensure the technology is used sustainably. We urge authorities to use more data-based decision making to ensure the smart deployment of these services.”
United Kingdom Analysis and Ranking
Analysis of more than 30 million anonymous car trips in the UK, INRIX Research found that 67% of all car trips in the most congested U.K. urban areas are less than three miles (18% < 1 mile, 39% 1-2 miles and 10% 2-3 miles). Given scooters are frequently used for trips between a half-mile and a mile, whereas bike distances are typically between one mile and three miles, if a fraction of short vehicle trips were replaced with scooter and bike trips, cities could reap significant benefits.
With an average speed of 12mph, e-scooters and bikes complete the last mile of a journey quicker than vehicles in Glasgow (11 mph), Manchester (10 mph), Sheffield (10 mph) and London (7 mph). In Birmingham, the last mile is equally fast for vehicles and micromobility options.
|Rank||City||Trips 0-1 Mile||Trips 1-2 Miles||Trips 2-3 Miles||Combined|
Case study: London Micromobility Potential Analysis
To demonstrate a city’s potential benefit for shared micromobility, INRIX analysed and constructed heat maps to score and visualize results for London.
London exhibits a highly balanced distribution of short duration trips compared to Los Angeles and New York City. London’s unique form connected by public transport reduces the need for vehicle trips by providing services easily accessible by walking or public transport.
This means the potential is spread evenly over the Capital with West London having the highest potential for micromobility services based upon trip length data.
Additional city analyses for Los Angeles, New York and Munich are available in the full report.
U.K. analysis reveals a much higher proportion of short-distance vehicle trips compared to cities in the U.S., which is attributable to higher density levels than typically seen in the U.S. (e.g. U.K. drivers have shorter distances to travel to find the same goods).
The pattern of land use makes British cities, on average, more appealing for micromobility solutions due to the greater opportunity for car trip displacement.
The effect of density is reflected in the higher proportion of short trips than in the U.S. with 18% of trips being 0-1 mile, 39% 1-2 miles and 10 % 2-3 miles, versus 20%, 16% and 12% for the US. In total 19% more of vehicle trips in the UK are less than 3 miles compared to the US.
Leveraging Big Data to Plan for Micromobility Services
Micromobility faces a promising future by replacing short distance vehicle trips and providing currently underserved first- and last-mile solutions for public transit riders. The ultimate success of these new modes will be predicated on two key steps: cities having a clear understanding of where micromobility is best positioned to offset vehicle travel; and cities having the necessary tools to engage with and manage these services.
Leveraging trip data and insights can provide a foundational view of how people move through a city’s road networks.
In July, INRIX expanded its Road Rules platform to include support for rules and regulations for on the road, at the curb, and on the sidewalk for micromobility offerings, including features like bike lanes and pick-up/drop-off areas for dockless scooters or bikes.
By leveraging a common platform to manage diverse mobility modes, cities can ensure shared micromobility solves transportation problems and delivers on the promises of safety, efficiency and access.