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Technology and innovation

We’re harnessing the power of technology to change the way that we use and access transport across the Midlands. Our plans include a 'tap and cap' smart ticketing system, creating smarter roads and working to support local authorities as they accelerate the roll out of Electric Vehicle charging points.

Major road network technology strategy

Midlands Connect has been empowered by Government to work alongside its partner Local Authorities to shortlist and submit priority schemes for development and delivery on the Major Road Network, a new tier of economically-important local ‘A’ roads managed by Local Authorities.

We're investigating opportunities to maximise road connectivity, with projects including universal 5G coverage, Connected and Autonomous Vehicles (CAV), access to electric vehicle charging points and full integration with technological innovations on the Strategic Road Network (SRN).

Working closely with Midlands Connect stakeholders, we've identified quick win options as well as long-term planning solutions.

Smart ticketing

We've worked with Transport for West Midlands and Nottingham City Council to develop plans for a region wide, 'tap and cap' smart payment system for public transport.

Once delivered, it will allow passengers to travel seamlessly across multiple modes of transport including bus, tram and train, paying for travel via one smart device such as a debit card or mobile phone, with fares falling under a daily payment cap.

We're seeking £20million from Government to deliver this 'tap and cap' system.

Rural Mobility

Communities living in rural areas face a unique and varied set of challenges, many caused or exacerbated by poor access to transport. Our research has found that rural areas suffer from:

  • Poorer access to services via public transport, such as schools and healthcare facilities – average travel time to these amenities was almost twice as long as in urban areas
  • A lower concentration of social mobility ‘hotspots’ compared to the UK average
  • Worse productivity – economic contributions per job are 10% lower than in urban areas

In Spring 2022, Midlands Connect published The Future of Rural Mobility report, which made the case for rural communities and called for solutions to the challenges they face.

To facilitate solutions, we held a competition asking stakeholders to create solutions to transport challenges within rural areas. The winners were Derbyshire County Council in collaboration with Cenex, winning £100,000 to create a portal where residents could share their vehicles and EV charge points with other residents.

The portal was launched in July 2023 and is now live for public use.