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Building the business case for mobility hubs

England’s Economic Heartland develops practical advice for local authorities

13 April 2023


Detailed guidance on how to develop business cases for mobility hubs has been published by England’s Economic Heartland (EEH), the sub-national transport body for the region stretching from Swindon across to Cambridgeshire and from Northamptonshire down to Hertfordshire.

England’s Economic Heartland helps local authorities realise the ambitions for their places. It develops tools and facilitates shared learning and best practice which allows them to understand how the strategic challenges relate to their local areas and to identify the potential solutions. EEH also advises central government on the transport infrastructure, services and policy framework which will realise its region’s economic potential while supporting the journey to net zero.

The Mobility Hubs Business Case Guidance will support local authorities in the region, and potentially across the country, as they plan visible, safe and accessible spaces where public, shared and active travel modes are co-located. The document has received positive feedback from the Department or Transport, reports EEH.

The guidance has been commissioned by England’s Economic Heartland and developed by consultant WSP and collaborative mobility charity CoMoUK. Support was provided by partner authorities at Milton Keynes Council, Oxfordshire County Council and Hertfordshire County Council.

The document provides practical advice on developing the strategic, economic and financial cases for mobility hubs, including consideration of optioneering, appraisal and logic mapping. The guidance is framed throughout by three scenarios in which mobility hubs could be created – rural village, rural station and a peri-urban environment.

On 3 March EEH’s strategic transport leadership board agreed the next phase of work, working with local authorities to identify potential locations for mobility hubs in the region. This includes development of an assessment tool which will consider locations based on factors such as potential demand and benefits, likely costs and links to public transport.

Cllr Richard Wenham, chair of EEH, said: “Mobility hubs offer an exciting opportunity to increase uptake of sustainable travel modes while also improving community spaces and facilities. However, up until now there has not been a comprehensive, single source of information for local authorities on how to develop business cases for mobility hubs – particularly those in less populated areas. This guidance will be used by our partners in the region but its advice will be helpful to local authorities right across the country.

“Realising the potential of mobility hubs is a key policy in our transport strategy. The guidance and the next phase of work will look at potential locations for mobility hubs and more examples of how EEH is getting on and supporting our local authorities with the tools they need to deliver our shared priorities.”

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