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Nathan Marsh

UK & Europe

Nathan Marsh is intelligent mobility lead director for UK & Europe. Nathan has over 20 years’ experience working in defence, capital markets and transportation infrastructure, while developing commercial structures, technology platforms and customer experience. Within iM, Nathan is leading sector growth across the UK and Europe, supporting clients to innovate and deliver major changes to the fabric of their transportation networks by providing relevant, accessible and commercially viable services.

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Part of the North’s current and future attractiveness, to live, work, visit and invest, lies within is its connectivity and mobility network. However, the existing transport network is complex: an interlinked set of travel modes, routes and technologies, underpinned by a broad range of commercial contracts and structures.

This matters, as a key characteristic of an effective and attractive region is its physical and digital connectivity, both between and within cities, regions and towns.  As the North continues to grow, pressures on its network, also grow.

To increase connectivity on a constrained network, we need to think and act differently.  This is where intelligent mobility – the connection of people, places and services through reimagined infrastructure across all transport modes and enabled by data, technology and innovative ideas – can revolutionise how we approach these challenges.

One intelligent mobility approach is known as Mobility as a Service (MaaS). 

MaaS encourages people to think about their journeys in the whole context of getting from A to B, rather than as a series of constituent parts.  It is tailor-made around their individual needs and preferences. For example, users can pay for multi-modal journeys with a single account, pay per trip or via a monthly subscription to cover end-to-end, integrated journeys making the most of all travel modes such as rail to bike, park and ride, bus and walking.

The development of a seamless MaaS offering can deliver greater network efficiencies and tackle existing transport challenges by:

  • positively changing the behaviours of commuters to address challenges such as urbanisation, population growth and expanding towns and cities
  • reducing congestion and journey times, improving health and wellbeing from safer travel and reducing noise and pollution exposure.
  • improving strategic insight and aiding decision-making so the transport network can meet customer needs and changing preferences and behaviours.

These digitally and commercially enabled approaches (such as MaaS) require us to be organised and to operate differently in the future, using our existing physical infrastructure in new, and in some cases, unprecedented ways.

The publication of the Vehicle, Technology and Aviation Bill includes key measures to support the next generation of transport in the UK, providing a real opportunity for the regional transport strategy for the North to respond.

By planning for both incremental and transformative change and progress, the region can plan to unlock digital capability and innovations alongside its existing physical and commercial infrastructure.

The North has the scale, vision, ambition and capability to lead the UK in an improved intelligent mobility network – to drive and attract economic activity and retain its attractiveness as a great place to live, work and invest – moving from delivering transport, to improving mobility for all.

UK & Europe,

Traditionally, the city’s connectivity has been based on a predominantly physical and modal transport network, with a digital network applied around existing physical infrastructure only recently. While this has created some flexibility in how the network can respond to newer, digitally based services, there are some fixed constraints to the existing physical network that have had to be worked around.

With the capital’s population set to reach 12 million by 2050 an enhanced transport network is essential, but improving the physical aspects will take time and investment. This has to happen, but in order to make London’s transport infrastructure fit for future purpose we need both the physical and the digital elements in place. If configured smartly, these can be mutually supportive and additive.

This is where London can be a global leader in Intelligent mobility, one of the areas we suggested as a key focus for the capital in our response to Sadiq Khan’s London Plan.

A core principle of intelligent mobility is to spot, align and leverage benefits of each improvement project and increase the extent to which they are additive or benefiting of cities, towns and users. For London the question isn’t, “Can London take a more intelligent approach to mobility,” but, “Can London afford not to embrace intelligent mobility, as it finds itself both causing and being impacted by some profound changes?” – changes that include demographic change, the need to improve air quality, ease congestion and meet the housing demand.

In order for London to remain globally competitive, it’s key that infrastructure investments deliver maximised benefits.  Intelligent mobility can help address this challenge and unlock London’s next wave of potential.

Will we ever see a single ‘intelligent mobility programme’ set up and run by the Greater London Authority or Transport for London?  It’s unlikely as we would need to wait for the appropriate conditions (like a single, mega data platform), substantial funding and extensive planning. A more agile approach is already being taken and if we look around we can already see intelligent mobility solutions in action, in London, now.

This includes initiatives such as Greenwich’s GATEway CAV (Connected Autonomous Vehicles) pilot; the innovation in automation by Volvo, Uber and others; the changes in approaches to digital and account based ticketing across Oyster (with handheld device and bank card functionality); Electric Vehicles (EVs) being implemented across the bus network (improving air quality); new approaches to vehicle charging (helping address congestion and air quality); plans for 5G roll out and innovation in promoting flexible working patterns (to help manage peak loading on the physical and digital transport network). 

These, and other similar projects, are and will continue to bring real improvements for the people of London, in all aspects of their lives. They are only a snapshot of current initiatives, so if we stand back and look at where we are, we should be encouraged and excited by the progress made, and the conditions and culture being created through these types of projects. London is ready and hungry for this kind of innovation.

It’s these intelligent mobility projects, within an intelligent mobility framework, that can go a long way towards unlocking the next generation of London’s potential and make it an ever more attractive, inclusive, sustainable and diverse city – a London enabled by intelligent mobility is a force for good not only for our capital, but for the progress of all cities.  

Read Atkins’ full response to Sadiq Khan’s ‘A Better City For All Londoners’ here.

To find out more about intelligent mobility from Atkins, visit our hub.

UK & Europe,