The 6th Annual Smarter Travel LIVE! Conference, hosted by Merseytravel & Liverpool City Region (LCR) on October 16 and 17, attracted more than 600 delegates from across the UK and beyond. Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor of Liverpool City Region, and Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor, both gave keynotes, stressing their commitment to ongoing devolution and the delivery of a fully integrated, accessible and clean transport network linking key towns and cities across the North (see news pages).
Steve Rotheram said: 'It was a pleasure to welcome Smarter Travel LIVE! delegates to the Liverpool City Region and to set out how we are working to deliver a fully integrated transport system that is fit for the 21st century. I was particularly proud to share our progress in becoming the first city region in the country to own its own trains, as we bring in our brand new £460m fleet for the Merseyrail network.
'As part of the Northern Powerhouse, we are already delivering a better, smarter transport offer for those who live and work here. And with more power and resource for our infrastructure, we can help rebalance the economy and boost UK productivity, while improving the life chances of those in the North.'
Initial feedback from the event has been extremely positive and the organisers are keen to bring a future Smarter Travel LIVE! conference to the region.
Smarter Travel LIVE! attracted more than 600 delegates from across the UK and beyond. More than 150 leading expert speakers explored future mobility options, for example demand responsive transport, networks of shared bikes, cargo bikes, scooters and 'mobility as a service' platforms (apps) to transform the way we move. And for today's traveller, the focus was on how existing travel options are being re-invented and improved: bus services, parking, optimum freight delivery and simpler ticketing/payment options for passengers. The event incorporated an exhibition of innovative mobility and services (including virtual reality simulation of the new rolling stock), and the annual Smarter Travel Awards Ceremony.
Steve Rotheram, LCR Metro Mayor and Andy Burnham, Greater Manchester Mayor, both gave keynotes, stressing their commitment to ongoing devolution and the delivery of a fully integrated, accessible and clean transport network linking key towns and cities across the North. Liam Robinson, LCR Transport Portfolio Holder and Chair of Transport Committee along with leaders from Transport for the North outlined how joined-up thinking between key stakeholders is helping to make this vision a reality.
Jane Kennedy, Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, outlined the new work being undertaken to make the region's roads safer for all, with Merseyside Road Safety Partnership demonstrating new technologies, for example ‘close passing’ of cyclists/horses, and a virtual reality simulation highlighting the consequences of not wearing seatbelts and of mobile phone use when driving. This area had not been specifically addressed in previous conferences and the joined up approach sparked a lot of interest from delegates.
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