Transport governance and spending priorities – a European perspective
Iain Docherty BSc PhD CMILT is Professor of Public Policy and Management at the University of Glasgow Business School delivered a lively presentation to a well-attended joint AECOM / CILTA breakfast briefing in Sydney.
Iain’s key theme was that transport is too often treated as an end in itself. Government does not ask what strategic outcomes do you want transport to help achieve. When transport is an end in itself you get pet projects, sometimes secured through the electoral process (in UK, Humber Bridge), sometimes by luck – a proposal being in the right place at the right time (High speed rail in UK was his example). Transport can contribute to higher level strategic objectives but needs to do so within a coherent economic and spatial strategy. This is because transport affects economic performance health, environmental sustainability, quality of life and the enjoyment of space.
Governments and policy makers must be clear about the intended outcomes and gain a better understanding of the value of investment: Iain suggested that transport policy in England outside London is challenged. Government is sometimes reluctant to tackle sustainability, reducing the need to travel is a marginal objective and further work needs to be undertaken on defining the relationship between transport and land use. France in contrast has clear strategic aims and better governance structures. London and Scotland were noted as combining clarity of aims, good governance and institutions and leadership. Iain challenged how the UK undertakes appraisal and highlighted the issue that technology is radically changing how people use travel time, which should be reflected in the value of time. He concluded that there is a danger of building projects designed for problems of 20 years ago based on outmoded notions of how to assess transport benefits.
Discussions afterwards suggested he had highlighted a number of issues which resonated with the planning and delivery of transport projects here in NSW.
Please visit the following links to view Prof Iain Docherty's Notes and Presentation Materials.
Presentation: Transport governance and spending priorities – a European perspective
Paper: The transformation of transport policy in Great Britain? `New Realism' and New Labour's decade of displacement activity
More about our Guest Speaker: Prof Iain Docherty
Iain Docherty BSc PhD CMILT is Professor of Public Policy and Management at the University of Glasgow Business School. Iain’s research and teaching addresses the interconnecting issues of public administration, institutional change and city and regional competitiveness, with particular emphasis on the structures and processes of local and regional governance, policies for delivering improved economic performance and environmental sustainability, and the development and implementation of strategic planning and transport policies.
He is currently Co-Investigator on two major UK Research Council projects on sustainable transport and low carbon transitions. Iain also works with and acts as an advisor on strategic policy issues to a range of private sector, governmental and other organisations including several in the UK, US, Canada and Sweden.
He served as Non-Executive director of Transport Scotland, the national transport agency for Scotland, from 2006 – 2010, and his other recent external appointments include membership of the UK Government Commission for Integrated Transport’s Expert Academic Panel, Expert Advisor to the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee of the Scottish Parliament, Member of the Advisory Boards for the Scottish Government’s National Planning Framework and National Transport Strategy, and Advisor to the Glasgow and Clyde Valley Structure Plan Joint Committee.
Recent publications include:
- Disruption: a useful metaphor for transport policy change? World Conference on Transport Research. March 2012, Vienna, Austria
- The transformation of transport policy in Great Britain? 'New Realism' and New Labour's decade of displacement activity.
-The Governance of Transport Policy; A socio-technical analysis of sustainable transport.
-Transport in a Sustainable Urban Future.