Future Transport Zones are a trial programme funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) to help make journeys easier, smarter and greener.

The Solent Future Transport Zone provides real-world testing for experts, allowing them to work with a range of local organisations such as councils, hospitals, airports and universities to test and trial innovative ways to transport people and goods. The FTZ works alongside other local authority led schemes.

The Solent Future Transport Zone has been awarded £28.8m from the DfT to run numerous tests and trials of innovative approaches to transport across the Solent
region. As these tests and trials take place, we’re conducting research, capturing data and inviting feedback to understand whether these innovations are improving your transport options and the way you travel.

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E-scooter trials (Theme 1)

Three trials of rental e-scooters are running in the Solent region: on the Isle of Wight (since November 2020) and in Portsmouth and Southampton (since March 2021) as part of a national trial for the Department for Transport.

The focus of the trials is on safety, giving people new travel options, and learning lessons for the future; including possible changes to the law around e-scooters. During the trial, it remains illegal to ride a private e-scooter on any public land: either the road or footway. Only rental e-scooters provided by the operators in the Solent (Voi or Beryl), can be used.

Recent updates:

The trials have been well received. By September 2022, more than 139,000 users had ridden a total of 1.37 million trips. All three trials have been extended to November 2024 and continue to expand.

Find out more in our 2022 factsheet here.

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Breeze mobile app (Mobility-as-a-Service)
(Theme 1)

A revolutionary new super-app to plan, book and pay for journeys across all public transport modes plus cycling, walking, driving, car clubs and e-scooters. Breeze is the UK’s first multi-city app of its kind.

Breeze will allow you to travel around the Solent region with nothing more than your phone. It will unlock e-scooters for rent, let you buy and scan tickets for the trains, buses and ferries, and even rent cars from car clubs. It also provides information about how busy services are and suggest the greenest way to travel.

Recent updates:

The Breeze app soft launched as a micromobility app in October 2022, enabling users to hire bikes and e-scooters and plan bus and rail journeys across the Solent region in a single, convenient app.

Work continues to integrate multiple transport providers and set up a CRM system to support behaviour change. More features including the ability to buy bus, rail and ferry tickets through app will become available in 2023.

Breeze is live on social media. Follow @_breezeuk on Instagram and Twitter and @BreezeAppUK on Facebook.

Visit the Breeze website

Beryl Bikes by Breeze (Theme 1)

Beryl Bikes by Breeze provides bikes and e-bikes to hire, giving you better access to transport and inspiring even more people to take up sustainable travel, helping to improve air quality and public health.

Starting with an initial pool of 200 pedal bikes and 235 e-bikes across Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight, the fleet will increase to more than 1,000 bikes across the region in 2023.

Both pedal bikes and e-bikes are available for everyone aged 16 and above. As the scheme expands, most people living in the operating area will be within a five-minute walk of a hire bike.

Recent updates:

Beryl Bikes by Breeze launched in October 2022 with bikes and e-bikes installed in more than 100 locations across Portsmouth, Southampton and the Isle of Wight. The bikes can be hired through the Breeze app.

Work continues to prepare for expanding the scheme, engaging businesses to sign up to corporate memberships and working with Beryl in delivering on-street engagement and training sessions.

 

 

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Drones for medical deliveries (Theme 2)

Using drones for delivery has the potential to substantially reduce the time it takes to get crucial medical test results for hospital patients, or deliver life saving medicines to remote parts of the country.

Working with the universities of Southampton and King’s College London, this project is developing the systems required to manage the flight paths of drones and test the types of drones best suited for making deliveries beyond the visual range of the pilot. It involves some of the most complex flying in some of the most complex airspace in the UK.

Recent updates:

Reports and recommendations following completion of summer flying activity are being finalised. New procurement activity is underway to enable new trials throughout 2023.

Plans are in place for temporary airspace changes in 2023 to allow further flying and testing of drones with differing capabilities, in order to best assess the most appropriate drones for logistics usage.

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Macro Consolidation (Theme 2)

Macro Consolidation is where lots of individual deliveries are sent to a central place – a regional distribution centre – to be packaged up into a single load that is delivered to nearby businesses. This creates efficiencies, helps to reduce traffic congestion and reduce CO2 emissions, improving air quality.

This project will review the use of the existing Southampton Sustainable Distribution Centre (SDC) operated by Meachers Global Logistics and look to maximise its potential and the opportunities for macro consolidation elsewhere in the region.

Recent updates:

We are working with Meachers, who run the Southampton SDC, to understand which sectors will benefit the most from consolidating their deliveries.

We are also studying delivery data from across the region to understand major commodity flows and where else consolidation could be trialled.

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Micro Consolidation (Theme 2)

Micro consolidation is where many individual deliveries are combined at a local logistics hub for delivery to residents and nearby businesses by transport with lower emissions e.g. electric van or cargobike.

The project will examine how changing the vehicle making deliveries for the first and last mile affects the cost, speed and ease of delivery.

By trialling new ways of doing deliveries and returns, we can help make them easier and greener for all.

Recent updates:

We are working with local universities, councils, stakeholders and delivery companies to research how deliveries are currently made in the region and expand the range of potential micro consolidation trials.

We are also looking into alternative transport methods like cargo-bikes and small electric vans, and exploring whether micro consolidation can be expanded into other areas outside of big cities and towns.

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Direct Demand Responsive Transport (DDRT):
(Theme 1)

This project is transforming existing Dial-A-Ride and community bus services by giving customers the option to book and track the service through an app. We are working closely with Community Transport Operators and the local community throughout this project.

Recent updates:

We are working to procure a back-office system to support the project along with other activities required to launch two pilot projects in Southampton and on the Isle of Wight.

In future, the intention is to make this service available through the Breeze app.

 

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Key Trip Generators (formerly Lift Share):
(Theme 1)

It seems a simple thing to do, but encouraging commuters to share the journey to work in the same vehicle has the potential to have a huge impact.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a big impact on the way that people choose to travel and the project has been carefully reviewed and reshaped in light of this.

We are working with large and medium employers, major events centres and regional festivals across the Solent region to understand how transport services can be better organised to support their activities. The project aims to create behaviour change, encouraging people to move away from single occupancy car trips.

Recent updates:

The project is focusing on businesses in hotspot locations like entertainment venues, universities and colleges, large supermarkets and shopping centres, business parks and hospitals.

We have researched best practice from other sustainable transport projects that focus on working with
businesses and used this to inform a preferred approach.

The new Breeze app will be a key tool to help manage and support this project.

Mobility Credits (Theme 1)

This project is trialling offering travel credits to under 30s who are on low incomes or looking for work. As part of this, we will carry out research to see what effect offering credits has on the method of transport people choose to use.

Recent updates:

The project has been reviewed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, as people’s travel patterns have changed. The trial is now planned to run for 18 months.

We’re reviewing the funding for providing mobility credits and are currently focused on project planning and development.

Solent Go (Theme 1)

Solent Go is a well-established set of tickets to use across all the region’s bus operators, as well as some of the key ferry routes.

You can buy Solent Go tickets from all main bus operators, both in-person and via their apps, and from the Gosport and Hythe Ferries.

Recent updates:

The Solent Future Transport Zone has allowed for the creation of the new ‘Saver 5’ ticket and will be bringing you new products to make using the buses even easier.

All products are being integrated into the Breeze app to make buying and using tickets even easier.

We are working to make new bus tickets in Portsmouth available through Solent Go which will especially help families, groups and young people.

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