Micromobility must be prioritized over cars, says International Transport Forum report

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The International Transport Forum (ITF) has released a report detailing how governments should be encouraging people to leave their cars at home and use more sustainable transport alternatives.

The report stresses that reducing our dependence on cars is vital for improving our lives, and cutting down on the environmental and social costs linked with private car use. Especially if we, as a society, are to meet critical sustainability objectives.

The number one recommendation from the ITF is to cut back on how much space is allocated to road infrastructure and car parking, which takes up disproportionally more space than their modal share.

TSpace should instead be reallocated to public transport, pedestrians and micromobility. The ITF writes that “the emergence of shared micromobility has increased demands for redistributing space” and that “expanding dedicated cycling lanes to accommodate e-scooters, e-bikes and similar micro-vehicles will do much to make these safer, and also perceived as safe, thus making micromobility a much more attractive alternative to cars.”

The message that streets in cities would be safer with a modal shift away from cars echoes a report on Safe Micromobility, which the ITF published in February 2020. A special Eurobarometer on mobility and transport from last summer indicates that the lack of dedicated lanes to use e-scooters is a significant factor contributing to a perception among many European citizens that e-scooters are unsafe for riders and other road users. A user survey Voi carried out in October supports the fact that the lack of dedicated road infrastructure is a cause for safety concern among scooter riders.

“This report echoes our mission statement and recommends causes we’ve been championing since launch. It’s a significant and positive step towards a cleaner, safer, more sustainable future to see such a well-regarded think tank, associated with a highly influential group of 37 countries, make such recommendations,” says Richard Corbett, regional general manager of Voi Technology.

“We believe it’s crucial to reallocate space in cities and build better lanes for all lightweight travellers,” he continues. “This will make our streets safer and offer more space for the local community to thrive. By sharing data with cities, we help with improving the understanding of traffic flows. And by integrating with public transport in many cities, we further improve the accessibility and flexibility of urban transport, presenting a viable alternative to short car rides. We’re confident that these recommendations and this report will kickstart the next stage towards reclaiming our cities.”

The ITF is a think tank associated with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development –  an intergovernmental economic organisation with 37 member countries formed in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade.

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International magazine and the Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs in charge of public agencies around the world as well as chairmen and CEOs of multinational transportation technology corporations. Tom's early career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).