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On Our Line: The Rail and Transport Podcast

In-depth interviews and analysis of the engineering, politics and history of rail and transport systems across the UK and the world. Presented by Nicole Badstuber and John Bull from London Reconnections, each episode focuses on a single transport topic and features experts drawn from across the industry, academic and political spectrum.
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Now displaying: July, 2016
Jul 27, 2016

In episode three of our podcast Nicole discusses the history of British transport policy with Dr Geoff Dudley and Christian Wolmar. 

Dr Geoff Dudley is a Visiting Research Associate at Transport Studies Unit at the University of Oxford’s. His research interest focuses on dynamics and process of policy change. His work includes an investigation into how how policy communities and different interests steered British transport policy after the Second World War – published in his book Why Does Policy Change? Lessons from British Transport Policy 1945-99

Geoff has also been examining the decision-making processes for the High Speed Rail 2 project and this year, is set to start investigating the governance of Uber in London. 

Christian Wolmar is a journalist and author specialising in transport. Christian writes regularly for a wide range of national newspapers, is a frequent guest on the radio and has been a columnist for Rail magazine since 1994.

He is the author of many books on railway history including his latest book Are Trams Socialist? Why Britain Has No Transport Policy considers why there hasn’t been a coherent transport policy and why transport has never held the political importance it deserves. 

Together, Dudley and Wolmar look back at the last seven decades of transport policy since the Second World War. As well as discussing the shortcomings of current and past transport policy and they investigate drivers of policy change over time. 

How did the motorcar disrupt transport policy?

How have we ended up with the current institutions drafting transport policy?

Why do certain projects and policy gain momentum whilst others do not?

Why does Britain not have a coherent transport policy?

Are we in an era of a transport policy vacuum and how have we ended up in this state of affair?

Jul 1, 2016

Nicole talks to Dr Max Roberts, lecturer in Psychology at the University of Essex, and transport author and informational design expert Peter Lloyd.

Dr Max Roberts is an expert in transport schematics, effective design and how to evaluate them using an objective methodology. He has authored two books on metro maps and conducted design and usability studies for transport bodies including TfL. 

Peter Lloyd, meanwhile, has a background in information and software design. He is also currently documenting the complete history of the New York City subway map, with the first of nine volumes published in 2012. He us currently preparing ‘Diagram Decade,’ a trilogy of books on New York’s experiment with diagram maps which started in 1958.

Together, Roberts and Lloyd discuss the current crisis in metro map design.

As networks and their connections grow in size and complexity communicating this information effectively to the traveller becomes an increasingly complex challenge. The pair talk about the fragmentation of metro map design across the globe and the the falsehood of infinite mental capacity.

They also explore the history of metro map design and design elements in London, Paris, New York and beyond. And discuss the geographic and diagrammatic design schism and how this has manifested in various cities around the world.

 

Our thanks, as always, to our producer Josh

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