Newcastle University hosted a workshop for the ITS (UK) Young Professionals group on 25 November. The workshop was led by the Department for Transport Chief Scientific Adviser, Professor Phil Blythe, and about 25 students and young professionals attended.
Professor Blythe asked the participants to consider what the main drivers for transport change will be over the next twenty years. The young ITS specialists came up with a range of suggestions, but agreed that intelligent transport systems technologies will play a major part. Policy will be more important than technical capability, but the latter will definitely be important in delivering the former.
The participants also had to come up with visions of what transport services would look like in 2036. Again, opinions were varied, but there were common threads such as believing that models of owning and paying for modes of transport would be different to today. Different approaches to land use planning may even mean fewer or at least shorter trips than undertaken today.
Professor Blythe commented: “ To have the opportunity to brainstorm with the ITS young professionals who will ultimately become the next generation of leaders in transport and consider the impact technology will have on how we do transport in the future was a refreshingly thought-provoking day”
Martyn Minear of Arup, who is an Honorary Secretary of the ITS (UK) Young Professionals Group, chaired the day and said: “The event was an excellent opportunity for younger professionals to hear from Professor Blythe about the work being carried out by the Department for Transport and the future of ITS. The workshop discussions showed that younger professionals can have differing priorities from the policy makers, with drivers such as increasing public expectations through social media being highlighted as a future drivers of change in transport.”
Jennie Martin, Secretary General of ITS (UK), noted: “ITS (UK) is very grateful to Newcastle University and to Professor Blythe for supporting this workshop. For our young professionals and student members to be able to spend an afternoon working with one of the most senior ITS practitioners in the UK is a real milestone. This proves how seriously we take our commitment to supporting new entrants to the ITS sector. We also recognise that we can learn from them. The benefit is not all one way.”