[London, 29 April 2019] Residents of the new Drummond Estate development in Leicestershire will have the added benefit of long term, sustainable public transport provision, thanks to the arrival of ArrivaClick - an innovative, on-demand bus service that can be called up within minutes via an app.
In a ground-breaking initiative, the partnership between Arriva and the Drummond Estate for New Lubbesthorpe, one of the largest new housing developments in the East Midlands, represents the first time in the UK that a Section 106 agreement has been used to fund a digitised Demand Responsive Transport (DRT) service.
Historically, funding has been used for fixed bus routes, whereas DRT services operate across a geographic area with routes scheduled automatically according to where passengers want to go. ArrivaClick will give residents of the development flexibility to work, learn and enjoy their leisure time. It will cover the area from Leicester Forest East in the north to Enderby in the south and includes new homes, schools, community facilities and the Meridian Business Park.
Operating in an area of 29 square kilometres for a population of 70,000, the new service will enable connections with existing bus and train networks and provide flexible connections to Leicester City Centre, major employers and hospitals.
Asiya Jelani, Business Development Director, ArrivaClick, said: “Customers want more convenient travel, so we need to apply innovative solutions to public transport problems and a realistic alternative to private car ownership if we are to tackle urban congestion and improve air quality.
“This pioneering approach means shorter end-to-end journey times and thousands of virtual bus stops. It presents a lower cost option that is easily flexible and has shown to be attractive to non-traditional bus users in other areas. Customers choose it because it is affordable and meets their needs.”
Passengers can book and track an ArrivaClick vehicle, pre-pay and reserve a space for a pram or wheelchair within the app, which then cleverly optimises the best route for the driver to take for all passengers. On board, there is Wi-Fi, extra legroom and high-backed comfortable seats for up to fifteen passengers per vehicle.
A first for a development of this type, ArrivaClick already successfully operates in Sittingbourne, Kent, and in Liverpool – where it operates the largest DRT of its type in the UK. Research carried out by Arriva has found that in these areas up to 40% of passengers are moving out of cars, younger passengers are more likely to adopt public transport, and up to 56% use the service so they don’t have to find a parking space at their destination.
Most use ArrivaClick for shopping and leisure trips, travelling to work or to visit friends or relatives.
New Lubbesthorpe is an initiative of the Drummond Estate. A new £15 million motorway bridge has already opened to provide greater connectivity and the first phase of 500 homes is well underway. The first primary school will be open for September 2019 intake.
Martin Ward on behalf of the Drummond Estate, explains: “This exciting development is delivering a new place to live, work, go to school and visit, with vibrant urban amenities, and it is important we provide sustainable transport options.
“This is just one of the initiatives we are delivering at New Lubbesthorpe to provide attractive and viable alternatives to using the car. An ‘on call’ service, it provides a high quality, easy and flexible solution to meet local travel needs and is one of the reasons this is such a pioneering development.”
The proposals will be built-out over the next two decades and will grow into a truly sustainable 21st century new community. New Lubbesthorpe promises to be one of the most attractive places to live in the region, also providing 325 acres of new parklands for local residents to enjoy.
Sustainable transport is a cornerstone of the New Lubbesthorpe development, which covers the area from Leicester Forest East in the north to Enderby in the south, straddling the M69.
By working together, the scheme has come to Leicestershire through collaborations between the Drummond Estate, Go Travel Solutions, Blaby District Council, Leicestershire County Council and Leicester City Council, and Arriva.
The service commenced on 29 April 2019.
The technology behind ArrivaClick is provided by ViaVan, a leading provider of innovative on-demand shared transit services in Europe.
Chris Snyder, CEO of ViaVan, said: “We are proud to grow our partnership with ArrivaClick. ViaVan’s powerful technology is redefining mobility across Europe, seamlessly integrating with public transit infrastructure to provide fully on-demand and dynamic transportation solutions.”