Engineers plan transport systems, people use them. But the ways in which an engineer measures success - speed, journey time, efficiency - are often not the way that passengers think about a good trip. We are not cargo. We choose how and when to travel, influenced not only by speed and time but by habit, status, comfort, variety - and many other factors that engineering equations don't capture at all.
As we near the practical, physical limits of speed, capacity and punctuality, the greatest hope for a brighter future lies in adapting transport to more human wants and needs. Behavioural science has immense potential to improve the design of roads, railways, planes and pavements - as well as the ways in which we use them - but only when we embrace the messier reality of transport for humans.
This is the moment. Climate change, the coronavirus pandemic and changing work-life priorities have shaken up long-held assumptions. There is a new way forward. This book maps out how to design transport for humans.
Publisher: London Publishing Partnership
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
"Impish yet wise, this book is packed with fresh ideas. Transport would be so much better if even half of them were embraced by planners, politicians and designers. Read, learn and laugh - I did." Tim Harford, author of How To Make the World Add Up; "This book makes a plea for the application of behavioural science (aka common sense) to transport planning. It offers a way out of two traps: the belief that speed is the only purpose of travel and that everyone is motivated in the same way. It is bursting with ideas to make transport work for real people, and while some of the ideas might prove unsuccessful, all of them are worth trying." Bridget Rosewell, Commissioner, National Infrastructure Commission; "A very welcome book that shows how the insights of behavioural science could allow for the range of human attributes to be encompassed by the transport system in the face of economists' and engineers' conventional utilitarian thinking." David Metz, honorary professor in the Centre for Transport Studies at UCL and former Chief Scientist at the Department for Transport; "Transport is desperately in need of good ideas and innovation. This highly original and entertaining book is filled with both." Christian Wolmar, award-winning writer and broadcaster specializing in transport.