Smart Transport

VIDEO: Virtual Smart Transport Conference June 2021 presentations

Virtual Smart Transport Conference logo

Smart Transport held a virtual conference in June 2021. Here you can view presentations from the majority of transport experts who took part.

Among the high-profile plenary speakers at the conference were: 

  • Kwasi Kwarteng, secretary of state at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on BEIS’s approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry
  • Rachel Maclean, parliamentary under-secretary of state at the Department for Transport, discussed the industry’s future and its pivotal role in a ‘green recovery’ from the pandemic
  • Keith Williams, author of the Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail, on rail’s role in integrated transport, decarbonisation and innovation.

Huw Merriman, chair of the Transport Select Committee, outlined the steps the committee believes the Government should take to address transport decarbonisation

The conference also included sessions on a range of topics: addressing urban air quality; place-based solutions to decarbonise transport; switching to electric; achieving modal shift; decarbonising freight; transport outside cities; data and new mobility trends; and universal and inclusive transport.

Smart Transport would like to thank its headline strategic partners for their support with this virtual event including ABB, Centrica, Daf Trucks, Enterprise, FedEx, Geotab, LeasePlan, Liberty Charge, Macquarie, Raleigh, Renault and Worldline.

Conference presentations

Plenary session 1

  • Kwasi Kwarteng MP, secretary of state, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), gives an insight into BEIS’s approach to decarbonising transport, particularly the electrification of the vehicle industry, ahead of the Government's 2030 ban on the sale of new diesel and petrol cars and vans. 

  • Anthony Smith, chief executive, Transport Focus, gives an overview of travel trends post-Covid-19, drawing on insights from the organisation's weekly travel surveys. 

  • Keith Williams, independent chair of the Williams Rail Review. The recently published Williams-Shapps Plan for Rail is billed as ‘the biggest change to the railways in 25 years’. Report author Keith Williams discusses the need for more joined-up transport, rail’s role within that and decarbonisation and innovation in the rail sector. 

  • Huw Merriman MP, chair, Transport Select Committee, discusses what the committee believes the Government needs to do to address transport decarbonisation in the UK. 

  • Rachel Maclean MP, parliamentary under secretary of state, discusses the industry's future and its pivotal role in a 'green recovery' from the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Beth Osborne, director, Transportation for America, provides a US perspective on transport, outlining the challenges and opportunities she sees within the US transport policy. 

  • Ruth Cadbury MP, co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Cycling and Walking, gives the AAPG’s perspective on the challenges and opportunities presented by active travel. She will also share reflections on low traffic neighbourhoods and how they can be taken forward in cities across the UK. As Labour’s shadow planning minister, she will also discuss the planning whitepaper and its implications for transport.

Place-based solutions to decarbonise transport

  • Mike Axon, consultant, explains why traditional ‘predict and provide’ transport models don't work for new developments and ‘vision and validate’ should be adopted instead and outline the importance of community hubs.

  • Sam Li, senior innovation officer, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM), shares how Greater Manchester is introducing 15-minute neighbourhoods and the implications of doing that for freight and distribution networks. He will also give an update on TfGM's mobility hubs project.

  • Oliver Johnson, UK lead electrification, ABB, explains how ABB can support cities with placebased solutions.

Addressing urban air quality

  • Cathryn Brown, Clean Air Zone manager, Bath and Northeast Somerset Council. Following the launch of Bath Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in March, she shares the council learnings and experience from its four-year project to introduce the scheme. She will also discuss other initiatives to address urban air quality. 

  • Alfonso Martinez Cordero, managing director, LeasePlan UK, outlines the challenges LeasePlan's customers who operate in urban areas face and how it is working with them to lower emissions. He will also give a view on future solutions.

  • Mark Dickens, managing director, Elexent, Groupe Renault, explains how the brand is working with cities and businesses within those cities to address air quality.

Switching to electric

  • Greg Archer, UK director, Transport and Environment (T&E), examines the trajectory of the 2030 ban on the sale of the new petrol and diesel cars and vans, and the issues standing in the way of progress.

  • Jason Simpson, board director, Liberty Charge, focusses on the UK’s charging infrastructure requirements and challenges to achieve the shift to electric vehicles, and other forms of e-mobility. 

  • Anant Prakash, division director, Macquarie, explains how finance will play a vital role in successfully underpinning the 2030 ban and the electrification of all modes of road transport. 

Achieving modal shift

  • Chris Lane, head of transport innovation, Transport for West Midlands (TfWM), explains how the business model for public transport needs to adapt post Covid-19, including flexible and smart ticketing, as well as how TfWM accessed funding to help trial new ideas. He also discusses how initiatives like how mobility credits can boost the switch away from private vehicles and how the region is using e-scooters, buses on demand, car clubs and short-term car rentals to create its Future Mobility Zone.

  • Kit Allwinter, active travel policy officer, West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA), provides its perspective on how to build on the uptake in walking and cycling since the Covid-19 pandemic, including the safety aspects that need to be considered to get more people walking and cycling.

  • Ed Pegram, commercial partnerships manager, Raleigh, gives a private sector take on achieving modal shift, explaining how Raleigh is engaging with trials of e-cargo bikes to offer ultra-low emission alternatives to electric vans and cars within city centres.

Transport outside cities

  • Silviya Barrett, head of policy, research and projects, Campaign for Better Transport, shares the organisation’s latest research on ‘left behind neighbourhoods’ where residents are more reliant on public transport due to low car ownership but public transport links are poorer. She highlights the need for more ‘hyper-local’ investment and for local authorities and communities to work together to address local needs.

  • Ben Lawson, vice-president strategy Europe, Enterprise Holdings, discusses the initiatives Enterprise has introduced outside cities to offer car clubs and demand responsive transport. He will look at how the business model can be made to work outside cities and share a case study of Enterprise’s work in the Highlands.

  • Tom Hart, head of portfolio – energy management & EV, British Gas, outlines the importance of home charging in the adoption of electric vehicles in rural and edge of city areas, issues that need to be overcome, and look at smart charging/energy management solutions. 

Universal and inclusive transport

  • Sonya Byers, chief executive, Women in Transport, explains the importance of considering gender, race and ethnicity in transport provision with best practice examples

  • Martin Howell, director, transport markets UK&I, Worldline, looks at the importance of considering wealth/economic factors in transport provision and avoiding digital exclusion in the new world of payment. 

  • Meera Rambissoon, fundraising communications officer, Lancashire Mind, outlines the importance of considering mental health in transport provision and how transport providers can better meet passengers’ needs.


  • Maggie Simpson, director general, Rail Freight Group (RFG), explains why freight distribution has to be considered as an integral part of urban transport planning and built into the thinking on how networks work.

  • Laurence Drake, managing director, DAF Trucks, gives a truck manufacturer perspective on how freight can be decarbonised.

  • Ed Clarke, vice-president ground operations UK, FedEx Express, discusses steps the industry is making towards the decarbonisation of freight and the need for public and private sector collaboration.

Data and new mobility trends

  • Neil Peachey, senior business architect, TfL, looks at the collaborative use of data and specifically the role of data in TfL's new e-scooter trials.

  • Martin Tugwell, programme director, England's Economic Heartland (EEH), explains the need for transport planners to better understand transport users and anticipate future need, and how this can be done through different data sets, not simply mobile phone data.

  • David Savage, associate vice-president, UK & Ireland, Geotab, looks at how consumer behaviour is changing and how this will impact transport provision, as well as lessons transport planners can learn from tech giants on using data to influence behaviour.

Smart Transport National Conference 2023

The UK’s largest two-day conference for senior private and public sector transport leaders and policymakers to work together to transform the UK’s transport network and achieve net zero will take place on 21 & 22 November 2023, The Eastside Rooms, Birmingham.

The high-level conference will bring together senior transport leaders who help shape transport policy and deliver its infrastructure.

It aims to promote best in class initiatives from the private and public sector and bring people together through networking, knowledge transfer and discussion and is seen as UK's largest, trusted and most credible transport conference to facilitate public and private sector collaboration.

The agenda will deliver a speaker faculty of 80+ expert speakers, including senior transport politicians, from the UK and beyond. And we expect an audience of 300+ delegates to attend. 

Speakers come from authorities and organisations such as: The Department for Transport, England’s Economic Heartland, Birmingham City Council, Transport for West Midlands, Midlands Connect, TIER Mobility, CoMoUK, Lambeth Council, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Combined Authority, Enterprise Holdings, FedEx, Worldline and Cornwall Council.

Find out more and book tickets

November 2022 conference video highlights

Book your one or two-day ticket now!

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