Centre for Transport and Society news
The Centre for Transport and Society (CTS) is regularly involved in policy shaping research and important events.
This section presents an archive of stories that date back to the activity of the precursor to CTS, the Unit for Transport and Society, in 2002.
Commuting and mental wellbeing at work
Dr Ben Clark from the Centre for Transport and Society presented findings from the Commuting and Wellbeing study at the launch of Bristol City Council's Thriving at Work initiative on 17 April 2018; this is part of a 10 year programme to improve mental health across Bristol.
CTS secures two funds to research "disappearing traffic"
The Centre for Transport and Society has been awarded £20,000 by the Rees Jeffreys Road Fund, adding to £27,500 already secured from Taunton Deane Borough Council to evaluate a ‘natural experiment’, which will shed light on some unanswered questions around the curious phenomenon of “disappearing traffic”. We know, since this study in 2002, that when roads are closed, the traffic does not just move onto surrounding roads; some of it “disappears” but we don’t really know why. Do people change their mode of travel? Do they make fewer trips? Do they make entirely new journeys outside the area altogether?
The ‘natural experiment’ concerns a pedestrianisation scheme planned for Taunton town centre. The study will measure traffic flows over time and study the travel behaviour of individual households. The project will be led by Dr Steve Melia, who organised last year’s successful conference on traffic-free spaces. The team will include CTS researcher Dr Tom Calvert and Emeritus Professor Phil Goodwin, a co-author of the 2002 study, as project advisor.
CTS saves government £50 million
The Centre for Transport and Society has saved the government from spending £50m on rolling out fuel price signs. A team at UWE Bristol including Fiona Crawford and Professor John Parkin, undertook time series statistical analysis to demonstrate that the fuel price sign trial on the M5 over the last two years has had no effect on the price of fuel at motorway service areas relative to other outlets.
It seems as though motorway fuel stations can make more profit from selling small volumes of emergency fill ups with a high margin than they can by large volumes at a lower margin. This means the government will not be spending £50 million to try to ‘correct’ this apparent market failure by rolling out such signs across the motorway network.
Help us design a driverless pod service
UWE Bristol researchers are looking for people interested in exploring and helping to design how a Driverless Pod Service (CAPRI project) will play a role in our future. We would like FET staff to consider registering for this event and also pass on this call to friends or family who they think might be interested. Join us on Saturday 10 March 2018, 10:00 – 16:00 in central Bristol, where our technical team will open up the space to you for a day of hands-on, interactive and creative collaboration! You don’t need any prior knowledge related to transport or technology to take part. There will be the chance to win a VIP trial experience, when our first Pod trial (which you will have helped to design!) comes to Bristol in late 2018! Breakfast, lunch and refreshments will be provided at the design event, and we will give you a £20 shopping voucher to say thank you for participating. For more information, contact Dr Daniela Paddeu (Daniela.Paddeu@uwe.ac.uk or 0117 332 6652). CAPRI is a research project involving the Centre for Transport and Society and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL).
Getting the message out from the Commuting and Wellbeing Study
Dr Kiron Chatterjee and Dr Ben Clark have been presenting the findings from their ESRC Commuting and Wellbeing project to various organisations with the intention that it leads to action to improve the commuting experience of UK workers. They gave a lunchtime talk at Bristol County Council on 23 January 2018 to transport, planning and public health staff. Kiron presented the research to the UK Strategic Council for Wellbeing in Work (an initiative of the What Works Centre for Wellbeing) on 1 February. Kiron has offered advice to Happy City (based in Bristol) on how transport and commuting is incorporated in the Happy City Index that it is developing to monitor conditions for wellbeing at a city level across the UK.
CTS study reveals reasons behind big drop in young people driving
The report from a study led by Dr Kiron Chatterjee for the Department for Transport which investigated the travel behaviour of young people was published on 23 January 2018 and generated widespread coverage in the national media. The study combined a review of literature with new analysis of data and sought to find out reasons for the decline in driving by young people in the UK since the 1990s and implications for the future. It found that sweeping changes to social-economic conditions and living circumstances are the main factors behind a marked drop in car ownership among young people over the past 25 years. In addition to Kiron, the study involved contributions from Dr Ben Clark, Dr Juliet Jain and Dr Miriam Ricci (of the Centre for Transport and Society) and researchers at the University of Oxford.