Last Mile Mobility: In-depth Feasibility Study (Buckinghamshire ADEPT Live Lab)

Connected Places Catapult has delivered this Last Mile Mobility: In-depth Feasibility Study as part of the Smart Mobility theme of Buckinghamshire Council’s £4.5m ‘SMART Connected Community: Live Labs’ project. It is part of a £23m programme, funded by the Department for Transport, and led by the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transport (ADEPT).

Innovative last mile mobility solutions present an opportunity to transform the mobility landscape and offer sustainable options in line with strategic aspirations for improving air quality and reducing the overreliance on private vehicles and delivery vans for short journeys. Connected Places Catapult explored the opportunities for positive change in Buckinghamshire and similar authorities through the following deliverables.

  • Literature Review: explores the existing, emerging and future last mile mobility solutions for moving people and goods.
  • Problem Definition: uses interviews with key stakeholders to define a set of targeted problem statements.
  • Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis: evaluates the different last mile options against a defined set of criteria and identifies a short-list of solutions that satisfy defined needs.
  • High Level Pilot Specifications: outlines options for piloting the shortlisted last mile solutions in a sub-urban setting.
  • Roadmap Report: defines the evolutionary path for realising the full potential of last mile solutions and identifies the associated infrastructure and technology requirements.

Our In-depth Feasibility Study was conducted between August 2020 to May 2021 amid changing restrictions to prevent the spread of Covid-19. To explore the short-term impacts and longstanding effects of the pandemic we conducted an additional study into the ‘Impacts of Covid-19 on Local Transport’.

Through stakeholder engagement with Buckinghamshire and neighbouring councils along with research into our national and the global response and best practice to Covid. We were able to make key recommendations for building a more resilient local transport network. Our recommendations have three focus areas of diversification, digitalisation and equalisation.