Policy Leader - Policy Leeds
I am Professor of Transport Governance at the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds. I am an expert in climate and energy policy in the transport sector and am the Transport Decarbonisation Champion for EPSRC.
I am currently the Principal Investigator on the DecarboN8 network where I am responsible for integrating a new place based approach to decarbonising transport. The network comprises academia, industry, government and third-sector groups in recognition of the need to deliver a massive societal change involving all actor groups. I also jointly coordinate a major study to understand the policy and behavioural response to COVID-19 in the transport sector. I have conducted research for the European Parliament, European Commission, Department for Transport, Local Government Association and a variety of local and regional government bodies.
I established and now co-chair the Commission on Travel Demand which has published influential studies on the future of travel demand and shared mobility, again operating at the nexus of research, industry and government. I am also co-chair of the World Conference on Transport Research Society Special Interest Group on Governance and Decision-Making.
Trained as a civil engineer, I completed my PhD in air quality pollution estimation at the University of Nottingham. During a research fellowship visit to Santiago, Chile, I experienced a range of radical interventions to cut dangerously high pollution levels including bans of all cars. None of the ideas had been seriously assessed before implementation and probably would have broken the models had anyone tried. This caused me to question the role of evidence in policy and start down a different research path.
I have now researched issues surrounding the design and implementation of new policies for over 20 years covering a range of areas. I spent two years working as a Specialist Advisor to the House of Commons Transport Select Committee informing the formal scrutiny of the expenditure and policies of the Department for Transport which was hugely formative in learning to write succinctly for policy audiences.
I have also held a variety of research grants for both the Economic and Social and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Councils where there has been a significant focus on inter-disciplinary work and on understanding the relationship between different types of knowledge and the policy process. I have a particular interest in the dynamics of decision-making across spatial scales.