Transport and Infrastructure Short Courses

Past courses

Policy Transfer: Lessons from Europe

1 August 2014

It is common practice to look elsewhere for new policy approaches, technologies and implementation methods. However, whilst looking elsewhere can be productive it is also time consuming and risky. Where is it most appropriate to look for lessons? What types of learning are most likely to be productive? How do you get behind the celebration of success to the real story? Ultimately the question to be answered is "Will it work here?" This workshop explores what we know about effective policy transfer and, through the use of practical examples in the fields of travel demand management, behaviour change and local transport policy implementation from Europe will help attendees consider how best to translate lessons from other contexts to tackle their own problems. Participants are encouraged to bring real policy or implementation problems to the event to discuss in the workshops.


Session 1. Professor Stephen Ison

What is meant by Policy Transfer?

Policy transfer relates to a process where knowledge relating to policy, administrative arrangements, and institutions to be found in one location or time period is used so as to develop policies, administrative arrangements and institutions in another location or time period. This session will set the scene in terms of Policy Transfer exploring issues such as drawing on examples; whether copying is likely to succeed; the role of policy champions; the transfer between countries that are culturally similar; institutional framework and timing. 

Session 2. Professor Greg Marsden

When is an innovation a good innovation? Questions of policy fit

This session will explore why some policies seem to spread rapidly and to be adopted almost universally whilst others spread slowly. Two key concepts are considered here: 1) The diffusion of innovations and the importance of the socio-political environment and 2) policy fit and the extent to which apparently great new policies may or may not resonate with an area. The session draws on work for the UK Department for Transport on examining how it incentivises the roll out of good practice and why some mechanisms (e.g. regulation or ring-fenced funding) work better than others for different types of policy. Examples will include Safe Routes to School, School Travel Plans and Target Setting and Performance Management in local transport planning.

Session 3. Professor Stephen Ison and Dr Michael Bounds

Policy Transfer and Transport Demand Management (TDM) measures

This session seeks to shed light on the transfer of TDM measures most notably road pricing and parking policies, drawing on the workplace parking levy which was recently introduced in Nottingham in the UK. How can parking space levies be made to work to explicitly address travel demand measures. In addition, reference will be made to Travel Plans which can form part of a TDM package and is a measure which has been extensively introduced in recent years. From a planning perspective, international policy transfer in the context of housing and planning will be addressed.

Session 4. Professor Greg Marsden

Making it happen

This session will primarily be a group work learning exercise over some of the examples which participants bring to the event. It will draw on Richard Rose's work on the processes of policy learning and help participants build up a project or action plan to help tackle a key policy transfer problem they are facing or considering confronting. The session will bring together the key learning points from across the day.

Greg Marsden is Professor of Transport Governance at the Institute for Transport Studies at the University of Leeds, UK. His research interests relate to understanding decision-making processes within local and national government, performance management, governance reform processes, policy transfer and citizen participation. He is currently working on issues relating to carbon governance, disruptions, resilience and energy demand reduction. He has acted as specialist adviser to the UK Parliamentary Transport scrutiny committee and is an Editor for the Journal of Transport Policy.

Stephen Ison is Professor of Transport Policy in the Transport Studies Group, School of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, UK. He has published widely in the area of transport demand management and parking in particular. He has guest edited a number of Journal special issues including 'Transferability of Urban Transport Policy' with Greg Marsden for the Journal of Transport Policy, May 2011. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the World Conference of Transport Research, Edited of the Journal of Research in Transportation Business and Management [Elsevier], Book Series Editor of Transport and Sustainability [Emerald Group Publishing] and has edited, authored or co-authored 7 books.

Dr Michael Bounds is the author of Urban Social Theory (OUP 2004) and is co-ordinator of the Practitioner in Residence Program of the Henry Halloran Trust at The University of Sydney. He was previously Associate Professor in The School of Social Science and Director of the AHURI node at the University of Western Sydney. His recent research has focused on governance in multiple-occupancy residential developments. He is a full member of the Planning Institute of Australia and a Director of Australian Research and Testing Services Pty Ltd. He is the author of a number of articles and reports on housing and urban development. 

Certificate of Railway Planning and Operations

14-16 July 2014

The Certificate of Railway Planning and Operations is a professional development course for staff in the railway industry including policy-makers, operators, suppliers and consultants. It is designed to provide knowledge and skills in planning, policy and management areas that are central to the success of this industry.There has been increasing interest in railways in recent years as a transport solution for both passengers and freight, and rail's modal share has been rising in many key markets. Problems of inadequate capacity and financial self-sufficiency are arising, and these problems require a good understanding of what solutions are available and why and where these solutions might be appropriate.

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The Certificate of Railway Planning and Operations is an important industry qualification for middle and senior management and is an excellent opportunity for career development. The three day program examines concepts relevant to railway management, economics and planning and explains how these are applied in practical situations. The course content is reinforced by three assignments completed as part of the course requirements.

The course is presented by Dr Nigel G Harris. Nigel is amongst Britain's leading railway planners, with a reputation based initially on technical advances in fares policy research (at Newcastle University) and network modelling (during eight years at London Underground). In addition, he has expertise in service planning, operational simulation, demand forecasting, scheme appraisal and railway business planning, making him a leader in the field of practical railway economics. Since 1995, he has managed The Railway Consultancy, and has undertaken projects on every continent except Antarctica. He has co-authored/edited key texts on 'The Privatisation of British Rail' and on both Planning Passenger Railways and Planning Freight Railways, as well as having published over 50 other papers. 

Understanding Public Transport Planning for Communities

15 February 2013

The aim of this one day course on network planning was to better understand the principles, guidelines and the trade-offs for public transport planning in NSW. The course was presented by Professor Corinne Mulley, NSW Chair in Public Transport, Dr Geoffrey Clifton and Clayton Davidson from Busways. The course benefited state and local government planners, community representatives and transport operators. The course was designed to assist participants to work with transport operators with a better understanding of how operators plan their services and what the trade-offs and constraints are in planning services. The course also benefited operators and their staff who are new to the industry in NSW or who have not recently undertaken professional development programs such as the Certificate of Transport Management.

Understanding Bus Network Planning

28 October 2011

The aim of this one-day course on network planning was to better understand the principles of bus network planning, guidelines for planning in NSW, and trade-offs in planning bus networks. The course benefited state government planners, local government, bus operators, and community representatives. The course was presented by Professor Corinne Mulley and Dr Rhonda Daniels from ITLS and Clayton Davidson from Busways.

Knowing Your Costs in Community Transport

22 August 2011

The aim of this one-day course was to help community transport operators to better understand the costs of providing community transport services and to better understand how to make financial decisions. Knowing their costs helps operators plan for the future. The course was of benefit to managers and other staff of community transport organisations who make decisions about vehicle purchases, user donations, and vehicle hire out rates to other organisations. The Board of Management of community transport organisations who make decisions about strategic directions would also have benefitted. The course is based on the Knowing your costs module in the long-running Certificate of Transport Management program for bus operators, but with content tailored to community transport operators. The course was presented by Professor Corinne Mulley and Professor David Hensher from ITLS, with industry input and support from Easy Transport Northern Sydney.

Innovations for Public Transport in Low Demand Areas

7 July 2011

ITLS Visiting Professor John Nelson and Professor Corinne Mulley (ITLS Chair in Public Transport) presented a one-day course on innovations for delivery of public transport in low demand areas, including the role of technology developments, with a focus on buses and community transport.The course was of benefit to operators, suppliers, and public transport planners and policy-makers who wished to gain a better understanding of the role of technology in delivering more efficient services which meet customer, operator and government needs.

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Bus Rapid Transit: State-of-the-art in Performance and Benefits

29 June 2011

BRT is delivering high quality public transport efficiently in cities around the world. How can Sydney benefit from this innovative form of public transport?

ITLS Visiting Professor John Nelson presented a half-day short course highlighting recent developments in BRT including state-of-the-art in performance and benefits. Professor David Hensher, Director of ITLS, introduced the short course by showcasing the Volvo Foundation Centre of Excellence for Bus Rapid Transit development, of which ITLS is a partner.

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Transport Investment Appraisal

16-17 February 2010

The aim of this short course was to give an overview of the application of cost benefit analysis to transport investment appraisal, drawing particularly on recent developments in European research and practice. Key topics covered were: Principles of project appraisal, financial appraisal and cost-benefit analysis; Decision criteria, choice of discount rate; choice between alternative options; capital rationing; deferment; Valuation of costs and benefits: travel time; user benefits; safety and environmental impacts; Wider economic benefits; Particular issues of public transport project appraisal.

Examples - urban rail; high speed rail; and Conclusions - key problems in appraisal and how to avoid them!