New guidelines share mobility hub designs and costs to inform development

A shared transport charity has developed and costed plans for five types of mobility hubs to answer key questions about their design and delivery.

Collaborative Mobility UK (CoMoUK) has published guidelines showing how mobility hubs could be introduced in various settings across Scotland, with a feasibility study carried out for each.

Mobility hubs bring together shared, public and active modes of travel, as well as collective amenities, and rethink and reallocate space away from the private car. They are used in many cities in Europe and North America and are becoming increasingly popular in the UK.

Hubs can take many different forms, ranging from large interchanges in busy city centers to mini-stations suitable for suburban or rural areas.

The designers used real locations to create fictional but plausible settings for five different typologies. A city center inspired by the layout of Glasgow’s Trongate cost £631,277 and includes a bus interchange, electric car club, waiting area and bike-sharing scheme.

Separately, a transport corridor costing £499,699 has been designed with the city’s Sauchiehall Street in mind, showing how best to provide a mobility hub on a linear artery.
Meanwhile, a business park or housing development hub has been inspired by the Stirling Castle business park, the Milngavie station layout has been used to model a mini suburban hub, and a market town or tourist hub was hypothetically designed for Stonehaven station.

The examples shown by CoMoUK are all designed to form part of a network of hubs and provide practical and sustainable solutions to first and last mile connectivity, helping to reduce private car use in urban areas .

They also meet CoMoUK’s accreditation criteria for mobility hubs and act as an exemplary design standard for built environment professionals and organizations wishing to understand what this infrastructure could look like, relative to the cost.

The charity’s document, titled “The Design Process – Achieved Mobility Hubs; ‘Process, Illustrations and Costs’ is the first time an in-depth design process has been undertaken on mobility hubs in the UK.

It aims to answer questions from planners and built environment professionals about what mobility hubs should look like, how much they cost and what they should include.
Some local settings have been tweaked slightly to accommodate the exercise.

CoMoUK has also developed a consistent set of standards to assess the quality of mobility hubs. These focus on six key factors:

  • Visibility and accessibility – hubs must be identifiable as part of the transport network and accessible to all
  • Choice of sustainable modes – including public and shared modes, taking into account pedestrians
  • Ease of switching between modes – this link should apply in both physical and digital terms
  • Ensuring traveler safety is a top priority
  • The design should include practical non-transport related facilities
  • Visual, social and community attractiveness to enhance the territory

Mark Dowey, Senior Development Manager (Built Environment) at CoMoUK, said:

“Mobility hubs increase transport links, improve public health, bring economic benefits to the local community and save people money. They can help reduce congestion and enable the revitalization of cities and towns by reclaiming space from private care.

“Mobility hubs are already popular and offer tremendous benefits in countries like Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and the United States. They enhance the attractiveness of collective, shared and active modes of transport by facilitating their access to the “first and last kilometer” of people’s journeys.

“Advances in technology, commitments to tackle the climate crisis and changes in travel behavior caused by the Covid pandemic mean that the current political landscape in Scotland is rich in providing mobility hubs. It is important to note that there is no single design for a mobility hub.

“This new paper seeks to show how they might be implemented in real-world scenarios while answering questions about their look, cost, content and why people should use shared transport.

“Understanding the different typologies and components available for a mobility hub is crucial to their success.”

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