News from the Centre for Transport and Society (CTS)
Read the latest news and activities from our members.
Dr Amina Hamoud (Principal Investigator) with Professor Graham Parkhurst and Dr Muhammed Adeel (Co-Investigator) have been funded from the ‘CATE College-Building Research Fund 2022-23’ for the project ‘New opportunities for bus reliability monitoring and management in a connected vehicle data environment’. The project involves First Bus as a partner and promises a feasibility study of using new forms of real-time data to enhance the reliability of bus services.
Dr Tamara Bozovic (Principal Investigator) and Dr Miriam Ricci (Co-Investigator) have been awarded grant funding by the Volvo Research and Education Foundation to undertake the project “Mobile digital technology as a tool to study walkability to advance theory, policy, and practice of walking for transport”. The project also involves academics in New Zealand and Argentina, as well as two UK-based businesses (the walking app Go Jauntly and the environmental data company Tranquil City).
On 31 October 2022, Professor Glenn Lyons delivered a session "Putting road transport in the context of the climate crisis" to senior civil servants where he outlined the challenges posed by our changing climate to the UK Transport system and explored the solutions needed to make it more resilient. Watch the session recording.
Electrifying mobility: Realising a sustainable future for the car?, a new book edited by Professor Graham Parkhurst and Dr Billy Clayton tackles the critical question as to whether the rise of the electric car represents an important contribution to sustainable mobility. The multidisciplinary approach draws on authors and perspectives from sociology, social and environmental psychology, business studies, political studies, sociotechnical transition studies and environmental science, as well as transport planning and geography. Parkhurst, G, and Clayton, W (eds) (2022). Electrifying mobility: Realising a sustainable future for the car. Bingley: Emerald.
On 6 July 2022, Professor Graham Parkhurst delivered the final plenary paper at the 54th Universities’ Transport Study Group conference. The paper, titled “The future of mobility may have arrived, but who is going to deliver it?” was co-authored with Jonathan Flower, and considered local authority readiness in terms of capabilities and capacities to respond to the challenging transport policy implementation needs relating to climate change and other important policy ambitions.
A new policy briefing launched in July looks at what makes bus fares fair for supporting the life outcomes of young people aged 16-24. Recent policy developments in public transport across the UK mean that now is an important time to highlight what young people need from bus fares. The report, co-authored by Dr Sarah Collings and Professor Kiron Chatterjee, uses maps to highlight the variable support available for young people across the UK, outlines case studies of ambitious schemes, and concludes with a set of policy asks developed with young people. It was produced through a partnership project with Sustrans called Transport to Thrive.
‘Engaging young people through community rail’ is one of 12 projects being supported by the Department for Transport’s new Tackling Loneliness with Transport Fund. It will be led by the Community Rail Network with research partner, Dr Miriam Ricci, of CTS. The project will co-develop three pilot schemes in the South West and North of England with community rail partnerships and other youth and community organisations.
Professor Graham Parkhurst gave evidence along with Professor Barry (Cardiff University) to the Welsh Parliament Climate Change, Environment, and Infrastructure Committee in Session 1 of its consideration of "Bus and rail transport in Wales". Questions in the session considered decarbonisation of public transport, bus franchising, fostering innovation, recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic, and changing socioeconomic influences on travel demand. The session was broadcast on Senedd TV.
Dr Daniela Paddeu of CTS was commissioned by Local Government Association to research the perception of local authorities towards local freight (e.g., last-mile deliveries) challenges and solutions at a relatively early stage of the national debate. The results of the project provide a helpful summary of what councils’ awareness and understanding of last mile delivery challenges are, their preferences for policy solutions, and the practical and political issues these are likely to face. The results of this work will help inform future LGA discussions with Department for Transport and other stakeholders towards the UK Transport Decarbonisation Plan, as well as raising awareness and sharing learning across local authorities. The final report was presented by Dr Paddeu during an LGA webinar in front of 60 key LGA members in May and is available on the LGA website.
CTS is pleased to announce that Dr Tamara Bozovic has joined the research team as a Research Fellow in Transport Analysis. Tamara worked in Auckland, New Zealand, where she also completed her PhD titled “Non-walkability in the car-centric city”. Described as a ‘recovering transport engineer’, Tamara is interested in urban systems and ways they contribute to carbon neutrality, inclusion, public health, and wellbeing. Apart from New Zealand, Tamara has also worked in Switzerland and Argentina.
In April, Professor Glenn Lyons organised, chaired and wrote up the latest PTRC Fireside Chat event on the topic of road pricing. The headline message from the thought-provoking conversation was clear: “We need KISS road pricing or we can kiss road pricing goodbye”. National road pricing has been a possibility for 60 years. It needs serious consideration not only to address a £35 billion looming black hole in Treasury finances but also to help achieve the behaviour change needed to address transport decarbonisation. Keep It Simple Stupid. Watch the recording of the PTRC Fireside Chat event and read the writeup on LinkedIn.
Dr Kiron Chatterjee and Dr Fiona Crawford have been successful with an application for an EPSRC (OptiWaSP) with colleagues at the University of Leeds and Lancaster University. The objective of the project is to reverse the trend of the increasing use of private cars for taking children to school by developing systematic methods for designing and promoting the use of Walking School Buses. It will bring together different disciplines (mathematics, transport planning, behavioural sciences, social policy) to solve a real-world planning problem.
CTS has been awarded a grant by the West of England Combined Authority to complete a monitoring and evaluation study of the West of England e-scooter trial which started in October 2020 and will now continue until November 2022. The study will consider impacts on safety, travel behaviour, carbon and equalities and will look at the case for permitting e-scooters (privately owned or part of a rental scheme) to be used on public roads.
Jonathan Flower was a panellist for a webinar hosted by RICS on ‘Inclusivity in urban design: Five things we learnt about enhancing liveability for all’ on 17 February. The webinar was very well received. Read the write up and listen to the recording.
Professor John Parkin published a blog on 28 January via the Institution of Civil Engineers titled 'The new Highway Code: Further down the road, but not far enough?'. The changes are relatively modest, but are likely to create significant reaction from a subset of the population. John describes the changes, and their benefits for the full range of road users. He also outlines the methods that would be useful to embed wider knowledge about the Highway Code.
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