Transport Watch UK Focusing on UK's Traffic & Traffic Systems

Topic 14. University research

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Transport Watch will sponsor and encourage research into transport issues at a range of universities. E.g:

1. To Cranfield


Development of an airport land productivity index: Namely passenger-km and tonne-km per hectare of land. Land to include surrounding areas suitably weighted.

The project would provide a data base for UK airports enabling the user to find the productivity index for any airport or for any subset of airports or trips, e.g. domestic and European as opposed to trans-continental. In the longer term it may be possibly to establish a relationship with those producing the source data so as to enable rapid updating. The indecies could be compared with corresponding indecies for road and rail travel. The project could start as a pilot study aimed at a particular airport and end with a saleable database of national interest.

Preliminary estimates for the indecies for road and rail could be made fairly easily since network lengths are already known along with usage.

Evaluation: How should the time lost by people disturbed by aircraft noise be included when evaluating new airport proposals? E.g. if 300 people save 6 hours by air but disturb as few as 55,000 people on the ground for 2 minutes then the time lost will exceed the time gained. Should, or do, such calculations form part of the decision process? If so what is the value of time for air passengers and what is the value for those disturbed by the aircraft.
Joint use: The extent to which military airports in the UK could be used for joint military and civilian use and comparison with European practice.

2. To Portsmouth and Southampton Universities

We have proposed dissertations comparing the use made of the South Coast Railway with that made of the parallel road system. The project would include the dimensions of the rights of way, the passenger and freight flows and the fuel consumptions, and costs etc.

Additionally we have proposed a study of the use made of the rail terminals in Portsmouth and Southampton for comparison with bus or coach stations.

3. To University College London

We have proposed studies of main-line London rail terminals and their approaches to find the use made of the land compared with that possible from road transport.

4. To Napier University

We have proposed a study of the Forth road and rail bridges to find the comparative use and dimensions made of those great works.

5. Other

We plan to offer small grants to other universities prepared to undertake comparative studies particularly of road and rail infrastructure


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