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.

2020

May

  • 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.

April

  • 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.

March

  • 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! 

February

  • 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.”

January

  • 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.

2019

October

July

  • CTS' research office has left the fourth floor of Q block and relocated to room 3Q83 (UWE Bristol Frenchay Campus).
  • Professor 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 UTSG, 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 affectpublished 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.

June

May

  • Professor Graham Parkhurst, Dr Juliet Jain and Dr Daniela 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. Dr Anna 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 Lyons.
  • The findings from the Commuting & Wellbeing study led by Dr Kiron Chatterjee and Dr Ben Clark have recently been published in an open access open access journal article. The study revealed that shorter commute times improve leisure time and job satisfaction and 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 on 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 advice. 
  • 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. 

April

  • 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. 

March

  • 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. 

February

January

  • Dr Miriam Ricci was invited to present her award-winning research project Days Out by Train as part of the Chartered Institution of Highways & Transportation (CIHT) South West Seminar Series. 

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