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Transport

Following my post-graduate work and employment as a researcher at the International Monetary Fund I realised that the social aspect of transport was (and still is) a relatively unrealised subject. While this situation has improved it is still the case that the links between health, employment, education and community cohesion are under-researched yet crucial for maintaining quality of life.

 

These issues are the core of my work as an academic and consultant for over 30 years and I have a huge legacy of research, conference papers, articles and activities. My highlights are:

 

• Being appointed as an Advisor to the House of Commons Transport Committee (for example on road safety, and taxi policy)

• Served on the Disabled Persons Transport Advisory Board (and was awarded an OBE for services to disability with emphasis on improving accessibility to public transport).

Examples of this research are studies of coach commuting, unlicensed driving, the link between transport and employment, reactions of motorists to bus travel, how people on low incomes can afford driving lessons and deterrents to walking and cycling.

An exciting current project co-led by myself as a Commissioner for the Independent Transport Commission is the joint editing of a book “Why Travel: Understanding our Need to Move and How It Shapes Our Lives” which provides answers from the perspective of different disciplines including biology, economics, psychology, anthropology and many others. The aim and ongoing work is to instigate a national debate to better understand the motivational forces that dictate our need to travel and the benefits resulting. For more information visit the project website found at www.whytravel.org.

 

A second theme follows from a major study of Transport Related Social Exclusion for Transport for the North which has led to a wider national debate about policy to address the estimated 20% experiencing such exclusion.. To explore the impact further I am leading a current ITC project exploring the impacts of various decarbonisation policies on people dependent on old non-compliant cars. Another initiative is working with the National Women’s Aid Federation to evaluate the benefits of giving women in Refuges free bus passes.

 

Other recent or ongoing projects include taxi policy, rural transport accessibility, the transport needs of equality groups and the challenges for pedestrians of shared use of road space.

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