Burges Salmon has been sponsoring the Big Thinking Channel at Highways UK 2020 all this week. Today Lucy Pegler and I were joined by Jessica Oppetit from ViaVan and John Bradburn from WSP for a panel session discussing the Future of Mobility and the role of Demand Responsive Transport (DRT).

The talk discussed the evolution of DRT and the increasing levels of interest we are all seeing from Local Authorities and Central Government in the benefits DRT can offer as an alternative or supporting transportation method.

There have been a number of successful trials here in the UK (and others around the world) that now provide statistical evidence to support the benefits DRT can bring with the right use case. The panel discussed some of those use cases: areas where bus subsidy is high, rural areas where services are further apart and DRT supporting other modes to provide an end to end low carbon transport. The panel session also discussed the role of the underlying software in encouraging passenger behaviours. For example, where there is a DRT service and the zone overlaps with traditional fixed line bus services, it is possible for the software to hide the DRT service where the alternative is a commercially viable bus service (to encourage users to take the most efficient, cost effective and lowest carbon option).

We expect to see and hear a lot more about DRT and the innovation it brings throughout this lockdown and into the New Year. If you would like to hear more about this, please do get in touch with me (Nicola.Kyle@burges-salmon.com) or Lucy Pegler (Lucy.Pegler@burges-salmon.com).