Project: Transport Research Centre

Reference: SRT 16/9/1

Last update: 13/03/2013 14:57:51


The TRC will be expected to address a number of key research and policy questions facing transport in the UK across all modes where there is a need for significant new research-informed evidence. This evidence base will contribute to the development of policy across the broad spectrum of the Department's business.

Following consultation, review of evidence needs, other initiatives and current capacity the following priority research questions to be addressed by the Centre have been identified:

. Transport and Economic Competitiveness: What contribution does transport make to enhancing the UK's international competitiveness and to addressing differences in economic performance within the UK and how can this contribution be enhanced?

. Transport and the Environment: How can carbon emissions and other environmental impacts from transport be significantly reduced, mitigated or eliminated, whilst maintaining the transport sector's contribution to sustainable economic growth and social inclusion?

. Transport, Social Inclusion and Accessibility: How can we develop and use knowledge of attitudes and behaviour to achieve a sustainable transport system which delivers the social, economic, safety and environmental needs of all UK citizens? How can we ensure a transport system that works for everybody, including the disabled and vulnerable, and allows fully informed travel choice for all?

. Transport & Mobility: What are the most important drivers of increased mobility and how might these be shaped and transformed to produce more sustainable patterns of movement in the future?

. Transport & Technology: How can the potential of new technologies be most effectively mobilised to enhance efficiency within the transport system, tackle congestion, enhance safety and security, reduce the environmental impact of transport and promote social inclusion?

. Transport and Policy: What mix of mechanisms, technologies, regulations and policies is available to most effectively tackle the economic, environmental, social and political impacts of transport?

While, these questions will have a strong socio-economic dimension, contributions from other disciplines will be incorporated as appropriate.


TRC is being co-funded with the Economic and Social Research Council and the Scottish Executive. ESRC will be contributing £2,500,000 and Scottish Executive a further £250,000 over the five year life of the programme.

The TRC is to be run by a consortium of the leading academic research organisations in the UK. Where necessary, TRC will subcontract work to organisations agreed by the funders. The core programme, aimed at answering identified key policy questions, will be framed in detail by TRC itself subject to the agreement of a Steering Group. The research will be carried out using normal academic practices.

The aim of the initiative is to support top flight academic research aimed at developing the necessary evidence base with which to address the significant transport policy questions facing the UK. It will do this through innovative research and syntheses of existing knowledge and dissemination of policy relevant results and analysis

TRC will have a number of specific objectives, including:

. Carrying out short term analyses aimed at informing immediate policy questions often in response to immediate question set by Ministers. Work under this heading would be specified in close collaboration with the Department and other parts of government.

. Carrying out longer term in depth innovative research aimed at developing the evidence base informing key policy questions, and developing new and innovative methodologies with which to analyse and explore the policy options.

. Acting as a co-ordinating hub of a research network drawing together leading experts and stakeholders throughout the UK and beyond.

. Drawing together and disseminating research knowledge (within the UK and internationally) to strengthen the evidence base for transport policy and practice.

. Becoming a focus for stakeholder engagement, knowledge exchange and transfer, working closely with, and supporting the work of, local, regional and national organisations. Setting up a "meeting place" where these activities will routinely take place.

. Supporting the development of research capacity through the development and training of skilled individuals with expertise in transport policy-relevant analysis and research.

. Facilitating the access to and use of data and other resources required for high quality research

. Becoming a focus for cross-national and international networking and collaboration.

. Developing an understanding of policy and the political process.


No contractors specified.

Contract details

Cost to the Department: £2,575,000.00

Actual start date: 01 April 2009

Expected completion date: 30 September 2012