Sunday, June 26, 2022

£100,000 funding awarded to supercharge sustainable travel around Derbyshire

Independent research consultancy Cenex, in partnership with Derbyshire County Council, has been announced as the winner of Midlands Connect’s rural mobility competition, receiving £100,000 of funding to develop its proposal for an online Electric Vehicle (EV) charging and car sharing platform.

Once developed, the online platform will allow EV users across Derbyshire to ‘rent out’ their private charge points, giving motorists access to more chargers to power up their vehicles. The platform will also promote car sharing by providing opportunities for people to rent out their cars when they’re not using them, meaning that residents without their own private vehicle can get around more easily.

The project will encourage sustainable travel and open up opportunities for EV ownership to groups who may not have benefitted from access to local charging points before, particularly households without off-street parking.

The online platform will initially be targeted towards residents and local businesses, with hopes to expand to tourists in time.

Cenex and Derbyshire County Council will now use the prize money of £100,000 to further develop, test and trial the platform. Following the trial phase, should it be successful, it can then seek funding from either public or private sector sources for its widespread rollout.

Midlands Connect’s future of rural mobility competition received submissions from businesses which were asked to present new ideas that could help solve the social, environmental, and economic issues caused by poor connectivity in rural areas.

The winner was announced today at Midlands Connect’s Rural Mobility Conference in Melton Mowbray. The conference included panels from competition winners and runners up, as well as the Department for Transport, senior politicians and transport experts.

Midlands Connect CEO Maria Machancoses said: “Poor transport connectivity can be a challenge for rural communities, with residents often experiencing worse access to amenities and services such as schools, workplaces or hospitals. Our rural mobility competition was created to address these challenges and create innovative solutions that would enhance transport connectivity in isolated communities.

It’s great to see how many people have come together to challenge poorer connectivity at our conference today, particularly those from the Department for Transport, senior leaders and decision makers.

All our finalists for the rural mobility competition produced innovative solutions to tackle rural mobility – picking one winner was very challenging. We would like to congratulate our competition winner Cenex and look forward to seeing the idea developed in further detail.

Although there could only be one winner, we will be sharing all information and experience with our partners so that they can set up similar pilot schemes if they wish to do so.

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