Urban Transport Next events

Urban Transport Next is a series of one-hour, online events hosted by the Urban Transport Group.

Typically held at lunchtime, each event is a conversation about the future of urban transport, covering topics ranging from active travel and climate change to diversity and COVID-19.

The events are also made available on our podcast channels PodbeanAppleGoogle and Spotify, where you can subscribe. You can also play back the full videos on YouTube

The forthcoming event - Urban Transport Next 07: London Calling - a lunchtime conversation with Andy Byford, Commissioner of Transport for London - will take place on Thursday 8th July from 1pm - 2pm.

Last year, in the middle of a global pandemic Andy Byford stepped into a new role – which is at the best of times a big job. 

Jumping right in he’s steered his Transport for London team of 27 thousand direct employees, and another 60 thousand contracted employees through this difficult time. He’s earned their respect and trust as he talks to them honestly about what is going on, and what the future brings. 

In this special event, he’ll discuss how London’s public transport can bounce back from its largest peacetime crisis and what TfL will need to do to support a green and just recovery for the capital from COVID-19.

The event will see Andy interviewed by Jo Field, Managing Director JFG Communications and President, Women in Transport.

Click here for further information or register here.

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The first event - Urban Transport Next: 01 – The revolution will not be motorised… took place on Thursday 26 November 2020.

It featured:

  • Dame Sarah Storey, Sheffield City Region Active Travel Commissioner
  • Ben Still, Managing Director of West Yorkshire Combined Authority and the Urban Transport Group’s active travel lead, and
  • Xavier Brice, CEO of Sustrans (interviewer)

The conversation covered hot topics in active travel, from whether cycling is elitist, to how to maintain soaring cycling levels witnessed during the initial COVID-19 national lockdown.

You can watch the event or find out more information by clicking here

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The second event - Urban Transport Next: 02 – All on board? A lunchtime conversation on how to bring about a more diverse transport industry – took place on 28th January. It discussed how to bring about a more diverse transport industry that better reflects the people and places it serves.

It featured:

  • Staynton Brown, Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Talent at Transport for London
  • Joanna Ward, Women in Transport; Associate Transport Planner, Elliott Wood; Board Member, Transport Planning Society
  • Interviewer, Dr Clare Linton, Policy and Research Advisor, Urban Transport Group

You can watch the event or find out more information by clicking here

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The third event - Urban Transport Next 03: The Tyne and Wear Metro at 40 - A lunchtime conversation on what’s next for Britain’s innovation railway? - took place on 24th February. The episode celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Tyne and Wear Metro. The wide-ranging discussion took in the history of Metro, hearing how devolution was key in realising the initial vision and how the system has, and continues to be, a key part of the North East’s identity. The conversation also focused on how Metro has responded to the COVID-19 crisis and what its future will look like post-pandemic, with its new fleet of trains and potential extensions to the network. 

It featured:

  • Tobyn Hughes, Managing Director, Transport North East and Director General of Nexus
  • Huw Lewis, Customer Services Director at Nexus
  • Mike Parker, the former Director General of Nexus

You can watch the event or find out more information by clicking here

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The fourth event - Urban Transport Next 04: After the pandemic - A lunchtime conversation on what the future looks like for urban transport - took place on 25 March 2021. The episode explored what the landscape for public transport might look like post-pandemic. The conversation touched upon how taking both a rational and emotional approach could encourage people back to public transport; the use of technology and communications to manage returning commuter peaks, and the role of on-demand public transport services in this new, COVID-19 world.

It featured: 

  • Mohamed Mezghani, Secretary General, UITP (International Association of Public Transport)
  • Laura Shoaf, Managing Director, Transport for West Midlands and Chair, Urban Transport Group
  • Interviewer, Philipp Rode, Executive Director, LSE Cities

You can watch the event or find out more information by clicking here


The fifth event - Urban Transport Next 05: Sharing is caring - A lunchtime conversation on how shared mobility can play a bigger role in UK transport policy - took place on Thursday 29th April. The episode explored why the car is still king in the way that Britons get about. With car occupancy rates low and cars getting bigger (and spending most of their time doing nothing) the conversation looked at how we make far better use of the vehicles we have and the role of shared transport in meeting ambitious carbon targets.

It featured:

  • Richard Dilks, Chief Executive, CoMoUK
  • Greg Marsden, Professor of Transport Governance at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds
  • Interviewer, Jillian Anable, Professor of Transport and Energy at the Institute for Transport Studies, University of Leeds

You can watch the event or find out more information by clicking here


The sixth event - Urban Transport Next 06: Leading Northern Ireland's public transport transformation - took place on Thursday 3rd June. In this episode, we explored what has been behind Northern Ireland's transformation in public transport which, pre-pandemic, saw record passenger numbers on the network and - uniquely among the four nations of the UK -  growth in bus use. The conversation touched on the success of the Glider Bus Rapid Transit system, the modernised rail network and what the future holds for public transport in the wake of COVID-19.

It featured:

  • Chris Conway, CEO, Translink Group (Northern Ireland's main public transport provider)
  • Interviewer, Wendy Austin MBE, journalist, podcaster, presenter and moderator

You can watch the event or find out more information by clicking here.