News from the Centre for Transport and Society (CTS)
The Centre for Transport and Society (CTS) is regularly involved in policy shaping research and important events.
Read the latest news and activities from our members.
- The exciting new interactive CAPRI Virtual Museum that charts the achievements and findings of the recently completed CAPRI research project will feature contributions from CTS and the Bristol Robotics Laboratory (BRL). CAPRI was a practical, evidence-led research project that has broadened the UK’s knowledge of the impacts of connected and autonomous vehicles (CAV). Read about this in our new blog post and, for more information, contact Dr Daniela Paddeu or Dr Ian Shergold.
- Professor Glenn Lyons, in collaboration with PTRC, has organised a series of ‘Fireside Chats’ – 90-minute panel sessions on the implications of COVID-19 for transport. The next event on 15 October, 'Reflections from emerging and established transport professionals', will focus on the voices of young professionals in looking at future transport. View this PTRC Fireside Chat event live.
|The write-ups and YouTube recordings of past events are freely available:|
|As we face the greatest fight of our professional lives, we need transport planners with super powers (23 April)|
|Public transport: Overcoming social distancing to help ensure people are not socially excluded (18 June)|
|Never waste a crisis: Rethinking what we want our roads to do for us (16 July)|
|And don’t forget walking: taking steps out of the pandemic (17 September)|
- A new member has joined the CTS family on 1 September, Dr Sarah Collings. Sarah is our 'Senior Research Fellow for Young People, Transport and Health’ to work on the Health Foundation funded project to make the case for better transport for young people. We are jointly conducting this project with Sustrans. Sarah's previous positions include overseeing UK-wide schools campaigns (at Sustrans), and working in sustainable transport consultancy during which she designed, managed and delivered a range of behaviour change interventions for government funders including personalised travel planning in communities across north England and Scotland. Before working in transport, Sarah completed a doctorate modelling Antarctic food webs for the British Antarctic Survey and University of York.
- Much of the focus of research and innovation in the transport sector has been on motorised transport (including driverless cars). In Professor Glenn Lyons' newly published open access paper, Walking as a service – Does it have legs? , he highlights how, far from being dull, walking is at the heart of mobility innovation. The paper sets out how Google Maps Navigation could represent a win-win-win for promoting walking, helping (local) businesses and (of course) generating profit for Google. See also Glenn’s LinkedIn article which summarises the paper.
- CTS is recruiting a Senior Research Fellow for Young People, Transport and Health. This is an exciting and unusual opportunity to work at the interface between research and policy in a role aiming to use high quality evidence to influence transport policies and bring about better transport for young people. Take a look at the full job description and the information for applicants. The application closing date is 16 June 2020.
- On 23 April, Professor Glenn Lyons chaired a PTRC ‘fireside chat’ on the topic of “The Global Shock of COVID-19 – Will it jolt the transport sector into significant change?”. This talk attracted 1,200 registrations and nearly 600 people joined the event. With the climate crisis still facing us, hope rests upon a silver lining to the COVID-19 being a change to how, and how much, we use the transport system.
- When it comes to driverless cars, there are lovers and haters – they are like oil and water, they don’t generally mix. To address this, Professor Glenn Lyons took forward the Driverless Cars Emulsion initiative. Involving over 100 people in six UK cities, he ran workshops to bring the lovers and haters together to creatively explore whether or not driverless cars were a great opportunity for society. The final report for the Driverless Cars Emulsion initiative was published at the beginning of April with key insights for the future of mobility.
- CTS is part of a consortium led by Mott MacDonald that is in its second year of providing futures support to the UK Department for Transport. The consortium has just completed a major piece of work to develop a series of technology roadmaps for reducing and removing ‘tailpipe’ emissions from across UK domestic transport – the sector with the greatest single contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. The work is a key pillar within the Government’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan currently under development. Read the Decarbonising Transport: Setting the Challenge report. Professor Glenn Lyons is technical lead for the work and can be contacted for further information.
- Dr Juliet Jain of the CTS was interviewed for an article published by the BBC online, drawing on research about how people use their travel time to work.
- Sarah Caughey, UWE Bristol Geography graduate, won first prize and Becky Cox, runner up prize, were awarded the best dissertations on the Masters programmes in transport by the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT). Sarah presented her topic "Digital distraction: An investigation into the distracted behaviour of pedestrians in Bristol." Becky’s topic was "How accessible is the Swindon cycle network to disabled cyclists?”. Jozef Denby, also a UWE Bristol Civil Engineering graduate, was awarded the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) prize for best overall performance on the Masters degrees. The prizes were awarded by David Coombes of CILT, and Tony Sharp, of the CIHT. Afterwards, Andrew Hemmings, the Chair of the CILT rail forum gave a talk on sustainability in the rail freight sector. A good evening was had by all!
- Dr Steve Melia of CTS gave an eight minute presentation to the UK Climate Assembly on Saturday 9 February. The citizens' assembly, representative of the UK population, was convened by six parliamentary committees to advise them and the government on how to decarbonise the UK to reach the legislated net zero requirement by 2050.
- CTS has received £117,000 from the Road Safety Trust to undertake research to assist in the design development of side road crossings. The team expects this well researched evidence base will underpin future design standards and guidance and help make roads safer for everyone. Professor John Parkin at UWE Bristol said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this Road Safety Trust grant which will allow us to explore in depth the issues linked to the design of side road layouts and the way priority is offered to different users. There are significant pressures to improve street environments for all users, and understanding user behaviour will allow us to provide recommendations for principles to be adopted for further developments in making streets more comfortable, attractive and safe for all users.”
- Dr Steve Melia from CTS has been selected as one of the expert speakers at the Climate Assembly in Birmingham on 8 February. The Assembly has been convened by six parliamentary committees to examine how the UK can reduce its carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 as required by law. It will be made up of citizens representative of the UK adult population. The citizens will hear presentations from invited experts and will then be able to question them.
- Dr Kiron Chatterjee and Dr Ben Clark from CTS were Guest Editors of the recently published issue of Built Environment on Changing Patterns of Commuting. The ten papers in the issue cover three continents and seven countries. Each paper offers new insights on how commuting journeys vary across space and how this is influenced by spatial development and economic, technological and cultural change. Read the summary of the special issue's highlights and key messages.
- Access to a car or good public transport is essential to
leading a fuller life – this is what was found in research by
Chatterjee and Dr Ben Clark of
CTS for the Department of Transport published on
29 October. They analysed how access to transport affects life
opportunities and wellbeing using two large, national longitudinal
data sets: Understanding Society
and the English
Longitudinal Study of Ageing. The study is the first of its
kind to look at the big picture for how transport affects lives
across the whole population. The findings will help inform
government decisions on public spending and transport
investment. Read more about the
Access to Transport and Life Opportunities research
- After identifying how transport barriers affect young people's
life prospects, Dr Kiron
Chatterjee and Dr Miriam Ricci
of CTS called for free/discounted
bus travel to be extended to all under 18 year olds as one of a
set of recommendations they made to improve the transport available
to young people aged 16 to 24. The research was commissioned by
independent charity, The
Health Foundation, which has conducted
a two-year inquiry to build an understanding of the influences
affecting the future health of young people. Kiron and Miriam
worked with walking and cycling charity, Sustrans, to investigate what
was known from data and previous studies about young people’s
access to transport and use of it and the impact this has on their
lives. Find out more about
The Role of Transport in Supporting a Healthy Future for Young
- What are liveable neighbourhoods and how can we make Bristol a
more liveable city? Our colleagues (Dr Steve Melia,
Danielle Sinnett and Mark Drane)
presented the evidence and discussed the Council’s policies with
Nicola Beech at the 2019 Festival of the Future
City on 18 October, at The Watershed, Bristol. This
event, organised in collaboration with Alan Morris
Society) and chaired by Dr Miriam Ricci,
was a huge success. View the
- The Institution of Municipal Engineers (ICE) awarded the James Hill Prize 2019 to a research team from CTS (Professor John Parkin, Dr Ben Clark, Dr William Clayton, Dr Miriam Ricci and Professor Graham Parkhurst) for the paper Autonomous vehicle interactions in the urban street environment: A research agenda (open access). John and Miriam were delighted to collect the prize on behalf of the team on 4 October at the ICE headquarters in London.
- CTS' research office has left the fourth floor of
Q block and relocated to room 3Q83 (UWE Bristol Frenchay
John Parkin became Chair, and Dr Fiona
Crawford became Secretary of the Universities’ Transport
Study Group (UTSG) at the annual conference at the University of
Leeds, 8-10 July. They will discharge these duties for a three year
period. CTS has always had a strong presence at
and the staff members presented thirteen papers. Dr Steve Melia was
invited to give the opening plenary titled Why Did UK
Governments Cut Road Building in the 1990s and Increase it After
2010?. Emeritus Professor Phil Goodwin gave the second plenary
titled Some aspects of the relationship between research and
policy in transport.
- Dr Tom Calvert, Dr Juliet Jain and Dr Kiron Chatterjee have had their paper, When urban environments meet pedestrian’s thoughts: Implications for pedestrian affect, published in Mobilities Journal. The paper argues that the thought life of pedestrians is an important, but previously under-examined, avenue through which urban walking influences well-being. Different relations between this thought life and the built environment are discussed.
Fiona Crawford attended the Chan Wui and Yunyin
Rising Star workshop in Bellagio (Italy). Fiona was one of
seven early career researchers from around the world selected to
participate in the prestigious workshop focusing on “The analytical
relationship between mobility and communications’. The
workshop was sponsored by the University of Arkansas at Little Rock
and included the development of research on the workshop theme as
well as mentoring and career development activities.
- Dr Fiona Crawford was awarded the European Friedrich List Prize 2019 for her PhD titled “Methods for analysing emerging data sources to understand variability in traveller behaviour on the road network”. The prize is awarded annually by the European Platform of Transport Sciences Foundation for the best thesis addressing topics in the transport field within a European context and from a European perspective.
- Professor Graham
Parkhurst, Dr Juliet Jain and
Paddeu from CTS all presented papers at the World
Conference on Transport Research (WCTR), 26-31 May. Graham
presented The potential for personalised public transport
solutions to enhance job seekers' access to employment
sites. Juliet presented The impact of free WiFi
on rail passengers time use. Daniela presented two papers on
the experience of using autonomous vehicles: Passengers’
perception on first-time use of a shared autonomous shuttle
vehicle: New insights for a user-oriented policy strategy for the
future of mobility and Passenger comfort and trust on
first-time use of a shared autonomous shuttle vehicle.
Bornioli (Faculty of Health and Applied Sciences, UWE Bristol),
a former CTS PhD student, also presented research on 20
mph zones in
Bristol. Graham and
Juliet attended a technical visit of the Mumbai One Metro line and
gained insights into public private partnerships, rail construction
under extreme constraints, and operational management. The CTS team
also tried out, but mostly observed, the different transport
options around the city! The conference also offered cultural
evenings of Indian music and dance, which included a performance
from a troupe called ‘V Unbeatables’ who had achieved third place
in America’s Got Talent.
- Registration is now
open for CTS' Spring Conference 2019 on Thursday 16 May at
UWE Bristol Frenchay Campus. This is a free all-day event, and
a chance to hear presentations that reflect the breadth of the
Centre's research activities. This year, we will have nine
separate presentations, covering our latest research and thinking
around future mobility services (Walking as a Service, Autonomous
Vehicles, On-Demand Shared-Ride services), transport policy (road
building and Clean Air Zones) and travel attitudes (at side road
junctions) and behaviours (commuters and young people). Finally,
the conference will also feature a debate on road traffic forecasts
between Dr Helen Bowkett (Arcadis) and Professor Glenn
- The findings from
& Wellbeing study led by Dr Kiron
Chatterjee and Dr Ben
recently been published in an open access open
access journal article. The study revealed that shorter
commute times improve leisure time and job
also reduce stress. Walking to
work improves leisure time satisfaction and reduces stress. Hence,
an important message for employers is that staff wellbeing can be
improved if workers have opportunities to reduce the time spent
commuting, and/or walk to work.
- The Shadow Cabinet has appointed two
members of CTS to advise them on the development of policy on
transport and planning, contributing to the Labour Party
manifesto. Shadow Transport Minister, Andy McDonald, has
appointed Emeritus Professor Phil Goodwin to write a report
a new social
contract for transport. Shadow Planning Minister,
Roberta Blackman-Woods, has appointed Dr Steve
Melia, Senior Lecturer in Transport
and Planning at UWE Bristol, to an academic panel advising the
party on its planning policy. Neither of them is a member of
the Labour Party but both have agreed to give independent
- CTS hosted a public engagement event Future Travel Choices: Electric cars and transport on demand? with the Bristol Civic Society on 15 May giving perspectives on future travel choices and the implications for Bristol and the West of England. It was a mixture of expert opinion, public experience and an opportunity to engage.
- Jonathan Flower delivered a morning of lectures for 40 ‘Landscape Engineering’ students from the ISA Graduate School in Lille (France) on sustainable transport and walking and cycling infrastructure. The students were on a field trip to Bristol.
- This event, which took place at UWE Bristol's Frenchay Campus , featured presentations by prize winning graduates of the MSc in Transport Planning and MSc Transport Engineering and Planning programmes (Onyeka Okeke and Alessandra Istrati), and a presentation by Christian Wolmar (Honorary President of Railfuture).
- Dr Daniela Paddeu engaged two groups of Polish students in a workshop on rail, in February and March. The groups, who were visiting Bristol as part of the Erasmus programme co-ordinated by the ENSO Group, hope to work in the rail industry and found this experience very useful. CTS also facilitated a visit to Parkway Rail Station led by independent rail consultant, Mr Nalin Parmar.
- As part of the UK government’s Foresight Future of Mobility project, the Government Office for Science has published an Evidence Review on New Technology and Automation in Freight Transport and Handling Systems [PDF], researched and written by Dr Daniela Paddeu and colleagues at CTS.