63 percent of UK citizens are willing to limit car journeys to certain times in order to improve urban air quality. A vast majority of 81 percent are in favour of reducing traffic-related emissions by means of environment-friendly transport solutions. This was confirmed by the population-representative Kapsch TrafficCom Index 2020 survey in March of this year. But practice during the Corona crisis is proving to be at odds with expectations: Passenger numbers on local public transport have fallen dramatically and switching to electric cars remains the exception. On the other hand, we are seeing a sharp increase in switching to bicycles and e-bikes. Mobility experts advise exploiting this window of opportunity to achieve the climate goals of the Paris Agreement by means of specific action.
"Councils in at least 40 cities across the country have reacted swiftly during the pandemic and created more space for cyclists and pedestrians," says Steve Parsons, Head of UK Sales Kapsch TrafficCom. "Cycle lanes have been widened and even new cycle routes have been set up in order to maintain social distancing. This has been a real success story. And many people will continue to avoid public transport whenever they can because of the current COVID-19 situation." Digitally integrated systems have proven in practice to be very effective. Mobility can be managed throughout the year despite rising car traffic volumes and without letting CO2 emissions return to pre-crisis levels.
Smart city Madrid
Madrid has already demonstrated how this is possible. In order to fundamentally reduce traffic jams and airborne pollutants, the Spanish capital has implemented an intelligent mobility system developed by Kapsch. "A system of adaptive traffic light management which automatically adjusts to reflect the current traffic situation is an important component of this solution," explains Parsons. This alone has enabled jams to be reduced by approximately 20 percent and emissions by around ten percent.
Real-time traffic data
The Madrid authorities obtain an accurate overview of the current traffic situation based on comprehensive mobility data captured about pedestrians, cyclists, motorbike riders and car drivers. "These measurements are supplemented with data from other sources, such as local public transport providers and the police, before being integrated into and analysed by our EcoTrafiXtm software platform," Parsons adds.
For additional information: www.kapsch.net/ktc?lang=en-us
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