The UK’s Intelligent Transport Society, ITS (UK) is introducing a new award for the Best Technical Initiative to Improve Inclusive Mobility and renaming its Young Professionals award after former Chair Eric Sampson CBE.
The Inclusive Mobility Award will recognise companies who have introduced a solution which helps disabled, young, old or otherwise disadvantaged people improve their travel experience. The inaugural award will be made at the ITS (UK) President’s Dinner at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on 16 October.
The prize for best ITS young professional will now be known as the Sampson Young Professionals Award in recognition of the former Department for Transport technology innovator’s work mentoring young people throughout his career.
“I was very pleasantly surprised by the Society’s decision,” Sampson says. “At the start of my career I was supported by some wise officials (and Ministers) who told me, ‘The only way to do something you haven’t done before is to do it for the first time’. I learnt a lot personally from that but also learned that you have to help the young professionals with these first steps so ever since I’ve tried to give those chances when I’ve been in a position to do so. I think it was Churchill who said, ‘There is no safer thing to do than take chances with youth’ – and I agree.”
ITS (UK) Secretary General Jennie Martin added, “We already have the Rees-Hills Award for Outstanding Personal Contribution in honour of two other industry stalwarts, and we’re delighted to honour Eric in the same way and to welcome him to our dinner in November. So many people in the industry owe thanks to Eric for giving them a helping hand at the start of their career, and there really is nobody better to name our Young Professional Award after.
“We are also very excited about recognising the work our members do to help inclusive mobility,” she continued. “Our Inclusive Mobility Forum does great work analysing promoting technology as a way to help people travel more easily and safer, and the well-attended debate at the recent Traffex conference confirmed the importance of the issue, so it is only right and proper that those who innovate get formal, high profile, recognition.”
The Awards take place the day before the 2019 ITS (UK) Summit which takes place at the same venue and again concentrates not on transport technology itself but on its implementation, policy, funding and outcomes. ITS (UK) is inviting its Executive Members to join a new Content Committee to make suggestions for key issues to be discussed at this event and in other ITS (UK) work.
ITS (UK) Chair, Ian Patey, explained, “Our Executive Members are recognised as Britain’s industry leaders and are therefore the right people to shape and contribute to the programme of our flagship event. I look forward to working with fellow members to craft another must-attend event to provide thought provoking and relevant content that we can all use to further the case for ITS investment and implementation and bring real benefits that improve our transport and society.”