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More diversity urged in forecasts


27 April 2018

Too many future visions of transport are based on business as usual assumptions about mobility, says a new report. 

Noam Bergman, a research fellow at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand at the University of Sussex, examined 20 documents containing forecasts or other visions of UK transport from the period 2002 to 2015. They were prepared by bodies such as the DfT, Department of Energy and Climate Change, Committee on Climate Change, the RAC Foundation, National Grid and Foresight. Bergman was particularly interested in their coverage of car clubs and electric vehicles. 

“Most of the documents studied present a static future as an unbroken continuation of the present and recent past,” he says. “Commissioning forecasts and future projections from a broader set of actors, including those representing public transport, car clubs and slow modes, and sustainable transport promoters, as well as diverse transport researchers, could lead to visions that challenge assumptions of the current transport system.”

He adds: “It is important not only to have a variety of scenarios for the future, but that these scenarios include both successes and failures in meeting emission reduction targets and other policy goals. 

“Failure to think about failure means we could be left underprepared for the future.”

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