9 November 2023 | Collaboration

ITS UK welcomes self-driving vehicle and rail reform legislation to make transport future-ready

The King’s Speech earlier this week (Tuesday 7th November) has set out the legislative agenda for the Government over the coming year, with a proposed bill to move forward new regulations for self-driving vehicles. Following the King’s Speech, a briefing document has been published by the Government setting out the full list of bills they plan to take forward.

Max Sugarman, Chief Executive of Intelligent Transport Systems UK (ITS UK), the industry association for transport technology, responded: “It is great to see the Government set out plans for legislation on self-driving vehicles in the King’s Speech, allowing this emerging technology to be rolled out in a safe and secure way. The UK is already a world-leader in connected and autonomous vehicles, and legislation will help further support the growth of the transport technology sector, enabling the UK to develop a competitive advantage from which it can export its expertise abroad. The digitalisation of Traffic Regulation Orders, to be set out in the bill, is positive too, and will enable better use of our infrastructure assets.

“It also highly welcome to see a rail reform bill set out in the Government’s briefing document accompanying the Speech. Rail reform is vitally needed in order that the UK rail sector can roll out smart ticketing and fares reform, thereby encouraging passengers back to the railway post-pandemic. Reforms to the sector will enable our railway to become better integrated with the wider transport network, enabling more end-to-end journeys and better services for passengers.

“The UK’s intelligent transport sector is highly innovative, and has the opportunity to take advantage of a growing global market. However, to do so it needs the right regulatory and policy environment, so whilst it’s good to see many of these changes set out in the King’s Speech, we continue to urge Government to look at ways it can further support the industry, such as by placing shared micro-mobility schemes on a permanent footing, creating a regulatory framework for transport data services, such as Mobility as a Service and by changing VAT rules to support demand responsive transport. ITS UK and our members will continue to urge these Government’s to implement changes speedily, so our industry can further support an efficient, green and safe transport system.”