Urban Transport Infrastructure Most Conducive to Electric Micro-mobility

Lead Research Organisation: Newcastle University
Department Name: Sch of Engineering


Transport infrastructure is changing within cities. The UK Government has published documents such as the Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy that acknowledges the benefits of sustainable transport and the need to provide appropriate infrastructure to generate a shift towards sustainable modes. This had led to the creation of Government initiatives including the Transforming Cities Fund, which aims to reduce the dominance of cars within some of the biggest English city regions, favouring more sustainable public transport and active travel modes.

A mode of transport can generally be considered a form of "electric micro-mobility" if it uses a small, lightweight vehicle assisted by electric and primarily over short journeys. Research into E-Bikes, especially 'Sports Pedelecs' that typically possess motors with a greater output than 250w, is still in its infancy relative to conventional cycling. Despite the E-Bike market growing, little research has been carried out into their safe functioning on conventional cycling infrastructure. Due to their speed they present a real alternative to the private car. In addition, E-Scooters have risen in popularity with the creation of share schemes across the globe and is another form of transport that has little research published about it relative to more established modes.

Meanwhile, bike share schemes have reached their "fourth-generation" of existence, characterised by their utilisation of smartphones and ability to function dockless. Some of these schemes use E-bikes and more recently E-Scooters. It has been found that they have a positive impact on overall cycling advocacy within a city. This can lead to greater acceptance by the general public on further cycling infrastructure investment.

Electric micro-mobility has many potential barriers, ranging from the quality of the infrastructure to public perception, which leads to a low political will to embrace the mode as a significant contributor to future mobility. The aim of this research is to measure practices when designing infrastructure, identifying through cost benefit analysis which should be utilised to promote the growth in electric micro-mobility as a mode of transport. This will include charging points, integration with other modes and the wider cycling network.

The situation will be compared across case studies in England with cities throughout the world, learning from a range of cultures with various levels of cycling mode share, infrastructure provision and uptake of electric micro-mobility. This will be achieved through quantitative data and supplemented with qualitative data through focus groups. A range of people's opinions will be examined, such as engineers and infrastructure users. The conclusions drawn from the results will assist in the decision-making process for stakeholders such as policy makers and local councils.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509528/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2022
2281091 Studentship EP/N509528/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2023 Matthew Burke
EP/R51309X/1 01/10/2018 30/09/2023
2281091 Studentship EP/R51309X/1 01/10/2019 31/03/2023 Matthew Burke