Smart Transport

Inspirational women speaking at Smart Transport Conference

Cllr Louise Gittins, Vice Chair, Transport for the North and Leader of the Council, Cheshire West and Chester Council

Smart Transport is marking International Women’s Day by highlighting the influential and inspirational speakers that will lead presentations across the one-day event at The Queens Hotel in Leeds on 10 May.

The conference brings together senior public and private sector transport leaders from across the UK and will feature keynote presentations, as well as eight breakout sessions covering active travel, confidence in public transport, funding, electric vehicle and alternative fuel infrastructure, transport data, rural transport solutions and much more.

Being held in Leeds will also give a special North of England focus to the conference, particularly in the context of the region’s long-term target to reduce surface transport emissions to be near-zero by 2045.

Cllr Louise Gittins, vice chair, Transport for the North and leader of the council, Cheshire West and Chester Council (pictured), will deliver a keynote presentation that give an overview of how Transport for the North’s work on decarbonisation is relevant to Cheshire as well as the big cities across the region and will address the Government’s plans to devolve more transport powers as part of its Levelling Up agenda.

Gittins said: “Our vision is to see a system where every person and business has access to high quality, accessible and affordable zero carbon transport.

"Transport plays a huge role in our daily lives, and we are committed to creating a system that provides high quality mobility solutions and addresses long-standing barriers to accessibility.

“Transport for the North will be advocating on behalf of the region, and working with Government to provide strategic leadership and support for the delivery of an integrated and sustainable transport system."

Professor Sarah Sharples, chief scientific adviser, Department for Transport (DfT) is also confirmed to deliver a keynote that show how the Government is looking to leverage the UK's world leading record in data analytics and management to unlock a new way to meet the challenges facing transport innovation.

Sharples will provide an overview of the DfT’s approach to data and the key priorities with her team’s research agenda.

Breakout sessions

As part of the varied range of breakout sessions at the event, Silviya Barratt, Campaign for Better Transport (CfBT) head of policy, research and projects, will look at strategies to help boost confidence in public transport as operators look to recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Barratt will look at how best to underpin policy with solid research and data and will join a panel of experts to discuss how local transport authorities and bus operators can work together to improve services.

Clare Linton, Urban Transport Group policy and research advisor, will take part in a session looking at how rail freight could help reduce HGV distribution in cities as part of a wider decarbonisation strategy.

Network Rail figures estimate that each freight train takes about 76 HGVs off the roads and in total rail freight removes seven million lorry journeys each year.

Rosslyn Colderley, director (England North), Sustrans, will also look at the challenges facing active travel initiatives across the North.

The Government has a £2 billion budget to overhaul walking and cycling across the UK and Colderley will look at how this relates to the North, where investment is most needed and highlight some of the most innovative developments that are helping to boost active travel and reduce dependency on private car use.

Each breakout session will be followed by a panel discussion to prompt debate and galvanise ideas to drive future policy decisions.

Advance rate tickets are available to book now.

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