A study by Peninsula Transport, the Sub-national Transport Body (STB) for Cornwall, Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay, has identified opportunities to revolutionise transport in the South West by using digital technology and Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEVs). The study highlights two imperatives that are essential to all forms of transport technology: a dependable energy supply and robust, all-inclusive digital communications. 

Peninsula Transport’s work on technology and ZEVs will focus on supporting these two imperatives, as well as on developing relationships with National Grid, UK power networks and private renewable energy generators and distributors to collaborate on ways to balance energy supply and demand. These partnerships could unlock transport benefits including electric vehicle charging, industrial decarbonisation and hydrogen production, storage and supply as well as rail electrification.

Working with public and commercial energy sector organisations will also help in the development of an energy supply roadmap for the peninsula, along with attracting investment and grant funding for future transport schemes in the South West. Another part of the collaboration will be to carry out joint technology pilots and trials, and to meet the government’s requirement for STBs to produce regional assessments to support the development of an electric vehicle charging network.

In addition, Peninsula Transport will develop its relationships with wired and wireless network operators, major transport operators, digital enablers and OFCOM. Working together will create a digital communications roadmap for the peninsula, and provide insights that will support improvements in the transport system.

Councillor Andrea Davis, Chairman of Peninsula Transport, said: “Good mobility is important for the social and economic life of the peninsula, allowing individuals, local communities, public bodies and businesses affordable access to the things they need. Technology is increasingly able to enhance mobility by using digital services and data, improved connectivity, automation and the electrification of vehicles.

“It is also important for us to consider how technology can create jobs, while delivering other social and economic benefits.

“This study outlines the potential for digital technology to make transport more efficient in the South West, while supporting our drive to cut carbon emissions. It contains important insights about the impact technology is having now and in the future.”  

The study will inform the STB’s Transport Strategy, which is expected to be published later this year.