University high-speed rail expert takes part in Parliamentary seminar

The School’s Professor Roger Vickerman this week added his expertise on high-speed rail to a panel of academics taking part in a seminar on the subject at the House of Commons.

The panel including Professor Vickerman took part in a parliamentary seminar on Wednesday (1 February) to examine evidence from the social sciences that can contribute to the debate on the future of high-speed rail in the UK.

Chaired by Louise Ellman MP, Chair of the Transport Select Committee of the House of Commons, the seminar was attended by over 70 academics, policy makers and politicians.

Professor Vickerman, who is Professor of European Economics, said: ‘The main thrust of the seminar was the inadequacy of the research base for taking major investment decisions on projects costing in this case over £30 billion.

‘I focussed on bringing my experience of such projects in other European countries into the discussion. Recent research in France and Spain has shown that high-speed rail can have quite different impacts in different situations, with connectivity to the local and regional rail network and the extent of accompanying land use and planning measures being critical.’

Professor Vickerman, who is Dean of the University of Kent, Brussels, has also twice appeared recently before the Transport Select Committee of the House of Commons contributing to, and being widely quoted in, its Reports on Transport and the Economy and High Speed Rail.

He is also a member of the Analytical Challenge Panel of HS2 Ltd which provides advice on the economic analysis of the HS2 project and has worked with Kent County Council on a European project on the role of high-speed rail stations in regional development.