Why are people making trips? What is changing? Where do people want to go? Where do goods and services need to be delivered? These are questions pertinent to any location be that in the UK or further afield, but more challenging to answer in rural areas. The terminology ‘Mobility as a Service’ has circled for several years and with various definitions and interpretations, but for clarity here we use the MaaS Alliance definition;
“Mobility as a Service (MaaS) is the integration of various forms of transport services into a single mobility service accessible on demand.”
This project, Cairngorm Connected, was founded in 2016 as a consortium of stakeholders to explore the concept of Mobility as a Service (MaaS) in the Cairngorm National Park, the largest national Park in the UK. The area has a population of 18,000 over a land area of 4500km2 (bigger than Luxembourg) with 1.2million visitors to the town of Aviemore alone each year. The challenge is not only the complex civic structure but the disconnect in transport for visitors and residents with car reliance critical with 96% of visitors arriving by car.
There are a large number of transport, business and community stakeholders around the table (3 Regional Transport Partnerships (RTPs), 5 local authorities, Community Transport, Business organisations, Network Rail, Transport Scotland and University of Aberdeen to name but a few) and historically these organisations have never worked together to deliver ‘joined-up’ transport for the Park. A pilot area was selected around Aviemore to the Cairngorm Mountain (11miles) and then along the road from Coylumbridge to Street of Kincardine, Boat of Garten and back to the A95.
The area of the pilot is included in the H2020 INCLUSION project and is also part of a newly created, fully funded PhD on Rural Mobility as A Service.
Further details on this project are available by emailing Jenny who is also undertaking the PhD on a part time basis and will provide updates on evidence, literature reviews and news throughout the coming months. As this is an ever evolving subject, it is hard to keep all communication portals current so if you have anything specific feel free to email Jenny or keep an eye on the blog or conference attendance.