What should we prioritise to manage personal mobility effectively in
Tyne and Wear over the next twenty years?
Three engineers presented their answers to this question and discussed
and adapted those ideas with a public audience to find the best transport solutions.
The event used the
Crowd Wise process designed by new economics foundation
to seek a consensus.
Beginning with the open question above, participants (speakers and audience)
were invited to work together to create and refine possible answers.
This is a collaborative process, where answers can be merged, split or refined
by anyone, in order to create the most interesting, wide ranging and appealing
range of possibilities.
Then, instead of voting for their favourite, each participant is asked to
rank each answer from best to worst. Votes are then counted to establish which
option has the broadest support.
The initial vote in which options were ranked by the audience in order of
priority, and the opening presentations, were framed around the above question.
The initial options were:
Catering for car use
Socialised use of the car and multi-occupancy taxi journeys should be part
of an intelligent transport system. However, for some people the car is an
indispensable means of transport which cannot be replaced by public transport.
A realistic strategy must account for this.
Investment in public transport
The public transport system needs to be simplified to make it easier to
use in multiple ways; frequency and reliability of buses, trains and metros
has to be increased; and an emphasis on providing a service is needed –
possibly by putting public transport back into the public sector.
Improving infrastructure for cycling
Using the bicycle for a variety of types of journey purposes needs to be
made much easier – at present cycling can be difficult and dangerous.
Improvements should include separate cycle and bus lanes; the ability to
take cycles on buses, metros and trains.
Promotion of walking
Local shops and services in places that are attractive to walk lie at
the heart of strong and vibrant communities, and are what people really
want from where they live and work. Even so, to make walking the natural
choice will take a lot of investment and promotion, given all the forces
pushing in the opposite direction.
Electrification of transport
and Matteo Conti)
For both private and public transport electrification has the
potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions. However, major
investment in charging infrastructure for personalized transport is
needed and a number of other challenges affect its viability, including
the production of electricity, battery power and range improvement.
The result of the initial ballot (held before the presentations and discussions)
were as follows where the score for each option indicates the percentage of
its potential maximum achieved in the vote (100% if everyone who voted ranked that
Option B (Investment in public transport) was ranked highest by a clear margin,
scoring 87% of its potential maximum; Option C (Improving infrastructure for
cycling) came second with a score of 61%; Options D (Promotion of walking)
and E (Electrification of transport) were very close, scoring 52% and 51%
of their potential maxima respectively; and Option A (Catering for car
use) was ranked lowest priority, gaining 43% of its potential points.
The final vote showed
a strong consensus with investment in public transport combined with
electrification of transport clearly placed as highest priority,
infrastructure for cycling and promotion of walking and lifestyle changes
as equal second and catering for shared car use coming much lower in the
audience's priorities. The final options and scores were:
Catering for shared car use
This option scored 35% of its potential points in the final ranking -
this was even lower than its initial ranking despite adding the
'shared' element to car use.
B + E
Investment in public transport combined with electrification of transport
This option scored 81%, meaning that public transport remained the highest
ranked option with the audience, although it is also notable that
it shifted downwards slightly after the discussion in favour of other options
despite merging with electrification of transport.
C + D
Improving infrastructure for cycling and promotion of walking
This option scored 60%, making it the joint second highest in the final ranking.
Promoting lifestyle changes
This option also scored 60%.
None of the final options were the same as the initial options presented. The general
consensus was that all of the options deserved some investment (time, effort and money),
although the private car was clearly the least popular element of the transport mix
under discussion in this group. However, the question and the process meant that
it did not make sense to merge all the options together - the outcome was supposed to
indicate which options should have a higher priority.
Matteo Conti is a specialist in transportation design practice
and in the area of low carbon vehicles (LCVs). He is the Lead Design
for the High Value Low Carbon (HVLC) R&D unit at Northumbria University
where he has been a senior lecturer in Transportation Design and an
industrial placement tutor for the past ten years.
This Italian bi-lingual academic has forged a number of
successful industrial partnerships with
prestigious design consultancies (Concept Group International,
Drive, Iveco, Jaguar, Pininfarina, Stile Bertone, and Visteon)
over the years to carry out collaborative projects and secure student
His previous engineering background working in robotics is particularly
useful in the development of LCVs as he aims to produce proof of concepts,
prototypes and pre-production designs. HVLC’s operating model is enabling
Matteo’s development of ongoing industrial and academic collaboration,
new postgraduate curricula, and commercial value for business both
through contract research and CPD.
Katja Leyendecker is Programme manager at Environment Agency
delivering flood risk management programmes by training, guiding and
leading project engineers. She is a chartered engineer with
wide-ranging experience in water engineering, including
technical activities such as Computer Aided Design,
Geographical Information Systems and computerised hydraulic modelling
of gravity and pumped systems; drainage and treatment system design to
industry standards (for water, wastewater/sewage); and
flood risk management and singificant project management experience
and project and team leadership expertise.
Katja is also on the Management committee at
Newcastle Cycling Campaign,
helping to manage the campaign which provides a hub for
cyclists in Newcastle upon Tyne to improve cycling conditions
in the city centre.
Adriana Monroy-Olaya is an environmental engineer with an MSc and
PgD in Environmental Health and Safety. She initially gained experience
while working as an environmental consultant with various companies in
South America and later in the UK with institutions such as the
Health Protection Agency.
Adriana is currently undertaking a PhD with the
Transport Operation Research Group
(TORG) at Newcastle University.
Her research aims to develop a modelling framework for the installation
of a public charging infrastructure for electric vehicles in Tyne and Wear.
Adriana’s research interests include low carbon vehicles, alternative
fuels and sustainable transport.