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Durham University

Research & business

Research lectures, seminars and events

The events listed in this area are research seminars, workshops and lectures hosted by Durham University departments and research institutes. If you are not a member of the University, but  wish to enquire about attending one of the events please contact the organiser or host department.


DEI Online Seminar Series: Can we Manage Travel to meet Air Quality and Carbon Targets?

28th October 2020, 13:00 to 14:00, Online over Zoom, Professor Margaret Bell, Newcastle University

This seminar is free to attend and open to all. To register visit EventBrite.

The ever increasing sophistication in technology and computational power has meant that engineers have been able to control and manage the traffic generated by the public’s desire to travel from and to where and when they wish. The policy adopted has always been to reduce delay to traffic which simply has resulted in increased car ownership, car use and for longer journeys. The consequence of this pro-car policy has been that recurrent traffic congestion remains a problem along.

As an unintended consequence, poor air quality, which is one of today’s major concerns along with carbon emissions has continuously increased since the mid-1990s.

This presentation will present short term traffic management measures to manage pollution hotspots and strategic traffic management to resolve pollution across Air Quality Management Areas.

The challenges faced in delivering win-win strategies for both health and climate change are discussed and evidence that electric vehicles will not deliver the mandatory 67% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions target by 2050 over 2010 levels will be presented. Solutions that rest with shift to sustainable modes and reducing the need to travel per se are evidenced.

Arguments will presented that not only is there a need for radical change in travel behaviour but also modifications in transport system design, land use; to education policies; delivery of goods, etc.

The presentation will reflect on the huge environmental benefits enjoyed during the lockdown and how we can turn these experiences into opportunity given the impact social distance rules have had on public transport which is at the core of future transport sustainability.

Honoured CBE for services to Sustainable Transport (2006); Chair of ITSUK Smart Environment Forum; Honorary Fellow of both the Institution of Civil Engineers (2012) and Institute of Highway Engineers (2015); TRL Personal Award for outstanding contributions to Air Quality field (2016) and ITSUK Rees-Hills Award for Outstanding Personal Contribution (2019). Member of UKRI Peer Review College, UGC Hong Kong and NCBR Poland; Expert Advisor UK and overseas; Honorary Editor in Chief of IET-ITS Journal. Since 1990, externally examined 43 PhDs in UK, Ireland, Sweden, Netherlands, Sicily, Australia and India.

Research spans 47 years embracing monitoring, modelling and management of traffic, emissions, air quality, noise and human exposure to evaluate health and climate change impacts. Instrumental in creating integrated research facilities including instrumented City in 1992. Managed large multidisciplinary research across faculties and Universities; creating solutions to achieve clean air and carbon targets through integrated policies and behavioural change embracing transport, urbanisation, ecosystems services and energy generation.

Currently, with IIT Madras, University of Northumbria and West of England designing intervention measures to improve air quality in India and with TUDelft characterising early adopters of shared electric mobility in Manchester and five European Cities; developing exposure models inside Metro, bus and car and developing evaluation metrics for Green Light Optimal Speed Advice.

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