A new report looking at the future of the transport sector suggests there is a desire to ‘challenge the dogma inherent in our current system of decision making’ as transport professionals strive to adapt to changing times.
Published on 23 August, the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation’s (CIHT) ‘FUTURES’ report draws upon insights gathered by engaging with industry representatives at 11 workshops over a 12-month period.
A registered charity, CIHT is a membership organisation for professionals in the transportation industry. With more than 13,000 members, it aims to promote the exchange of knowledge, improve policy formulation and stimulate debate on transportation issues.
Produced by Professor Glenn Lyons, the report will act as a catalyst for further work by CIHT.
The report calls on the Transport Select Committee to hold an inquiry into the processes that inform and influence transport policy and investment, in ‘the face of deep uncertainty about the future’.
Referring to current decision-making, the report criticises ‘the regime-compliant pathway’ which it says ‘suits politicians who need to project an air of confidence in the investment decisions being made’.
The report adds that transport professionals ‘do not necessarily believe in the approaches they follow’ but feel ‘compelled to follow nevertheless’.
The report also recommends that key organisations in the transport sector join forces to establish a leadership development programme that focuses on ‘changing practices for changing times’.
In a podcast on the CIHT website, Professor Lyons said: “The historic and inexorable growth in road traffic has come to a halt. Road traffic in total appears to have flat-lined since about 2004 through the period up until at least 2014.
“And indeed during that period and preceding it what had once been a historic coupling between road traffic activity and economic activity seems to have weakened.
“It clearly raises an uncomfortable question when our transport models and forecasts, in an official capacity in many countries, continue to suggest an upward trend in road traffic.”