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Driverless Cars...closer than you think

Driverless Cars…closer than you think

In October this year Volterra Partner Paul Buchanan spoke at the Urban Land Institute’s conference Driverless Cars and the City.  The conference explored the implications for cities, mobility and the possible changes to urban realm. It was aimed at complementing initiatives delivered by Greater London Authority and London Transport Museum across the following themes: Challenging the current thinking of how Driverless Cars will impact urban realm Future autonomous transport systems – will they make urban mobility better or worse? Emerging and anticipated technology – 3D movement modelling and city implications How Driverless Cars could reshape the city scape Precedents and city opportunities from current trials Real Estate and insurance implications Leading economist and transport specialist Paul Buchanan spoke about Economic, planning and investment policy implications. Paul’s priorities were managing road-space, the impact on Buses, Pedestrians and Cyclists and Legislation. In a lively discussion there was much debate about linking data, smart cities and systems and making them all work together. You can read a full report detailing what was discussed here.  Image: Red Line Metro in Dubai by Tim Adams is licensed under CC BY 2.0
Volterra part of Arriva’s successful rail franchise bid team

Volterra part of Arriva’s successful rail franchise bid team

The government announced today that it intends to award the Northern rail franchise to Arriva Rail North Ltd. This will see a transformation of rail travel in the North through a £1bn investment programme. The government announced today that it intends to award the Northern rail franchise to Arriva Rail North Ltd. This will see a transformation of rail travel in the North through a £1bn investment programme. Volterra provided ongoing economics support to Arriva throughout the bidding process. This included a comprehensive ‘backcasting’ review where we examined the suitability of standard industry tools in forecasting rail demand, and used research and statistical analysis to improve the approach. We also forecast the impact of many of Arriva’s proposed improvements on future demand and revenue, and developed a framework for demonstrating the socio-economic benefits of the franchise. Read more about it here. Image: DSCN2495 by Jeremy Segrott licensed under CC BY 2.0
Bridget Rosewell announced as Commissioner for National Infrastructure Commission

Bridget Rosewell announced as Commissioner for National Infrastructure Commission

Volterra partners Paul Ormerod, Paul Buchanan and Ellie Evans are delighted to announce Bridget Rosewell's appointment as Commissioner on the independent National Infrastructure Commission. On Friday 30th October at the National Railway Museum in York George Osborne announced Bridget Rosewell as one of the seven highly experienced Commissioners to work with Lord Andrew Adonis. The new National Infrastructure Commission has been set up by Chancellor George Osborne as an independent body to provide unbiased analysis of the UK’s long term infrastructure needs, with the goal of ensuring that the country invests more effectively and efficiently in infrastructure in the future. Volterra's extensive work furthering the debate supporting transport and city infrastructure to enable change and growth ensures that Bridget will make an invaluable contribution in this post. The Volterra partners would like to congratulate Bridget on this exciting appointment and look forward to continuing to make the case for effective investment in infrastructure, across the country, to support a much needed growing and balanced economy.
Building with Certainty: Volterra’s Ellie Evans presents on the macro economy and the outlook for property

Building with Certainty: Volterra’s Ellie Evans presents on the macro economy and the outlook for property

On 15th October Volterra partner Ellie Evans spoke at Strutt & Parker’s Development & Planning breakfast seminar ‘Building with Certainty’. The event was attended by over a hundred property professionals and covered a wide range of topics from political stability to development funding and city investment. Ellie opened the event giving a presentation on the economic outlook. Ellie explained that the UK economic outlook is very positive, with strong GDP growth, low unemployment and real wage growth finally returning. However she also discussed the risks to this including China’s recent stock market crash, and specifically in the context of property, the rising unaffordability of housing, particularly in London and the South East and whether this can continue.
Driverless Cars and the City. Volterra’s Paul Buchanan speaker at conference.

Driverless Cars and the City. Volterra’s Paul Buchanan speaker at conference.

The emergence of autonomous vehicles will have far reaching implications for cities, planners, real estate and the wider urban environment. Going beyond the technology, Urban Land Institute’s conference Driverless Cars and the City, explored the implications for cities, mobility and the possible changes to urban realm. It was aimed at complementing initiatives delivered by Greater London Authority and London Transport Museum across the following themes: Challenging the current thinking of how Driverless Cars will impact urban realm Future autonomous transport systems – will they make urban mobility better or worse? Emerging and anticipated technology – 3D movement modelling and city implications How Driverless Cars could reshape the city scape Precedents and city opportunities from current trials Real Estate and insurance implications Leading economist and transport specialist Paul Buchanan spoke about Economic, planning and investment policy implications. Paul’s priorities were managing road-space, the impact on Buses, Pedestrians and Cyclists and Legislation. In a lively discussion there was much debate about linking data, smart cities and systems and making them all work together.
Bridget Rosewell speaker at The Great Manchester Economics Conference

Bridget Rosewell speaker at The Great Manchester Economics Conference

On 2nd October Volterra’s leading Economist Bridget Rosewell spoke at The Great Manchester Economics Conference. An event organised by The Saturday Economist in association with pro-manchester, this top level conference bought together the best economic minds in the country. Over 300 of the region’s professionals, leading experts and influencers in the world of economics gathered together for a day of insight, analysis and debate in this fast paced news style event hosted by John Ashcroft. Discussing burning economic issues: China’s economy and its impact on UK markets, oil and commodity prices, interests and UK growth. You can see images of the event here.
Does behavioural economics pose as many questions as it answers?

Does behavioural economics pose as many questions as it answers?

In leading Economist Paul Ormerod’s recent article for EA magazine he discusses the merits and pitfalls of behavioural economics. It appears in EA Magazine’s Autumn Edition, a publication by the Institute of Economic Affairs, that is distributed to thousands of students throughout the UK studying either A Level or IB Economics or Business Studies. It features the work of eminent economists from around the world - including Nobel Prize winners and leading experts– and is getting rave reviews from students and teachers alike. Teachers have commented that the magazine provides great stimulus material and they regularly use the articles as the basis for schemes of work. You can read Paul’s fascinating article Best Behaviour: does behavioural economics pose as many questions as it answers? here. The full Autumn EA edition can be viewed here.
Bridget Rosewell speaks at RGS event: Is London too big to succeed?

Bridget Rosewell speaks at RGS event: Is London too big to succeed?

Last week leading Economist, Business Woman and Volterra’s Senior Advisor Bridget Rosewell spoke at the Royal Geographical Society’s 21st Century Challenges event titled ‘London: Too big to succeed?’. Chaired by City Hall Editor for London’s Evening Standard Pippa Crerar; Bridget Rosewell, Lord Adonis and Jules Pipe discussed London’s ever growing economy and population and the toll of this on its infrastructure. 250 attendees listened and participated in this lively discussion about the increasing pressure on housing, transport and public affairs in London; is it time to rethink growth in the capital? Bridget Rosewell commented that “The housing market and the labour market are linked and if the housing market problems are not fixed, London’s economy will experience neither flexibility nor growth”. Bridget’s opening speech and analysis of the situation received very positive feedback and were identified as contributing to the events success. You can read other comments from the discussion here. LONDON, UK - 15 SEPT: 21st Century Challenges lecture at the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG). In London, on 15 Sept 2015. Image © Nando Machado.
strong case for Light Rail integration with HS2

strong case for Light Rail integration with HS2

Volterra partner Paul Buchanan was invited to give a presentation during this year’s 10th Annual UK Light Rail Conference in Nottingham, discussing the opportunities for light rail integration with high-speed rail. Norman Baker, former light rail minister; David Ralph, chief executive of D2N2; and Martha Grekos, partner and head of the planning and infrastructure team in London at Irwin Mitchell were also on the panel. Paul Buchanan’s views were that whilst LRT would be a good way of linking an out of town station to a centre it was still a poor substitute for a city centre station location in the first place. The main market for HSR is city centre to city centre, saving cost by putting stations in outlying areas only undermines the case for HSR.  You can read more about the debate and Paul’s view on the subject here.
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