The view from the Arc


Last week The Oxford University-led Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC) published a report on the Oxford-Milton Keynes-Cambridge arc based on modelling that explores how infrastructure can be provided ‘affordably, securely and sustainably’.

Transport Network spoke to Professor Jim Hall, director of the ITRC and professor of climate and environmental risks at the University of Oxford, about the modelling and the report’s findings.

Tell us about the modelling behind your report

Professor Hall

This modelling we’ve done is exploring a small number of scenarios – housing scenarios, a single route for East West Rail and different options for the expressway.

We are demonstrating the capability to look across infrastructure sectors at the implications of the arc and how it might be delivered. We are hoping this will provide information for the many stakeholders in the arc.

On transport it’s a quite simplified strategic transport model; it’s not local transport modelling.

Part of the beauty of it is that we can look at the implications of large numbers of scenarios, not only in the arc space but within the natural context. We can look at a number of different scenarios quite quickly.

What would happen if someone wanted to apply your modelling to a different large scale infrastructure programme? Would they come to you and ask you to do it, or could they use the technique themselves?

We are very much committed to open source. All models and code are online. But to be honest, you would need quite a lot of expertise in the first instance. It would involve someone getting in touch with us. We’d be happy to see it taken up.

We would talk about some combination of [us helping and a contractual arrangement]. We carry out government-funded research and work closely with the National Infrastructure Commission, the Department for Transport and the Environment Agency.

Is it the sort of thing that sub-national transport bodies could use?

Absolutely. What this is good for is looking at strategic infrastructure policies. It’s not for a local junction design.

In the arc you have the England’s Economic Heartland STB. They seem to be perhaps more engaged in looking at the wider infrastructure picture than some of the other STBs. Are they the organisation that should be looking at all this in relation to the arc?

England’s Economic Heartland is important but so are the LEPs. There are three LEPs in the arc and the local authorities have got together and created a local steering group.

The report states that local authorities and central government have lacked independent systemic analysis. In terms of ensuring that the shift from road to rail identified by the report happens, who should be responsible?

Partly that is down to the many stakeholders to self-organise and work together. They will need some analysis tools. They have had consultants doing scenarios. They have not done (or have not published) any modelling – that has been left under cover. What we are saying is, we need a more open conversation.

We need to look at specific scenarios - we need something all stakeholders can congregate around and explore options.

So the transport and development options are interconnected in terms of what needs to be done to meet demand?

If there is development and new demand, sooner or later that will lead to congestion. There is an opportunity to get people shifted onto rail. That, as we know involves planned development about where housing is developed, housing density and proximity and proximity to the station. That all needs to be planned in a joined up way.

There is an opportunity to get it right but it could be got wrong as an expressway and rail line are being planned at the same time.

Register now for full access

Register just once to get unrestricted, real-time coverage of the issues and challenges facing UK transport and highways engineers.

Full website content includes the latest news, exclusive commentary from leading industry figures and detailed topical analysis of the highways, transportation, environment and place-shaping sectors. Use the link below to register your details for full, free access.

Already a registered? Login

comments powered by Disqus
highways jobs

Waste Projects Officer

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£29,738 - £36,036 depending on skills
Do you have skills and experience relevant to local authorities, waste management and/or managing projects? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Senior Environmental Health Officer (Environmental Protection)

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£33,799 - £35,934
This role is in the Pollution and Noise Control team, leading the Majors and Project Support team... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Project/Programme Manager (Construction) - 4 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£42,683 - £44,632
This is an exciting and challenging time and we want to expand our team to manage and deliver construction related projects, to achieve... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Community Environmental Support Officer x 5 Jobs

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £21,166
You will work as part of a team tackling personal, nuisance and environmental anti-social behaviour to improve the quality of life for... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Environmental Health Officers within Environmental Protection, Health and Safety and Food Safety

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£30,507 - £32,878
We expect candidates to have expertise or qualifications in one or more of the relevant areas of Air Quality, Acoustics and/or Contaminated Land. Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Assistant Director

Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council
£92,826 - £111,231
This is an ideal opportunity for an expert waste management professional to make a real impact and to lead the service to outstanding. Fulham, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Hammersmith & Fulham London Borough Council

Environmental Health Officer and Grad EHO – Private Sector Housing with benefits*

Camden London Borough Council
£33,122 - £42,490
Exciting opportunity for a highly organised and enthusiastic Environment Health Officer or a newly qualified graduate working towards... Camden, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Camden London Borough Council

Director of Inclusive Growth and Public Sector Reform

West Midlands Combined Authority
The role requires someone with a talent for innovation and a passion for designing and implementing public services. West Midlands Region
Recuriter: West Midlands Combined Authority

Vehicle Technician x3

Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
£24,313 - £28,785 per annum
All Candidates must hold a clean category C driving licence (CPC not required). Sandwell, West Midlands
Recuriter: Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

Ugobus Driver (multiple positions)

Essex County Council
Up to £18938.0 per annum
Primary locations will include Clacton and Harlow only. Please note that we have permanent, fixed term and relief contract opportunities on a part tim England, Essex, Chelmsford
Recuriter: Essex County Council

Corporate Director of Neighbourhoods and Climate Change

Durham County Council
You will manage a range of front-line services including bins and waste, transport, environmental health, technical services, partnerships and... Durham (County)
Recuriter: Durham County Council

Tenancy Enforcement Assistant

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22.377 - £23.607
Looking for individuals who have an interest in the environment with good customer service skills, flexible approach to work and a good team player. Greenwich, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Head of Programme Management Office

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
As the Head of PMO, you will define and maintain standards for project management within the Highways Service. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Manchester City Council

Highways Development Specialist

Manchester City Council
£60,857 to £65,865
Seeking a highly capable strategic leader to join the team to develop our strategic pipeline of works and financial model. Manchester, Greater Manchester
Recuriter: Manchester City Council

Civil Engineering Technician Apprentice

London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth
£214 per week
Are you looking to gain vital work experience as an Apprentice? London (Greater)
Recuriter: London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and London Borough of Wandsworth

Assistant Planner/Planner

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£19,554 - £32,878
The ideal candidate will already have... Kirklees, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Principal Engineer

Liverpool City Council
£37,849 - £42,683
The successful candidate will... Liverpool, Merseyside
Recuriter: Liverpool City Council

Environmental Health Officer (Food, Health & Safety) & Environmental Health Technical Officer

Dacorum Borough Council
£24,710 to £39,034
You will be highly motivated and be expected to deliver against a challenging work plan. London (Greater)
Recuriter: Dacorum Borough Council

Director of Public Health

Worcestershire County Council
Competitive Salary
We’ll look to you to take responsibility for the high-calibre delivery of... Worcestershire
Recuriter: Worcestershire County Council

Street Cleansing Operative Driver (Large Goods Vehicles)

Redbridge London Borough Council
£22,377 to £23,607
We are looking to recruit staff for both our day service and evening service. Redbridge, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Redbridge London Borough Council