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Iain Docherty

Connected and Autonomous vehicles (CAVs) are championed by their advocates as a solution to many resilient problems of the current transport system. Whilst offering undoubted advantages, especially in terms of road safety, there are also many potential socio-economic risks to the widespread adoption of CAVs. These range from increased congestion to renewed urban sprawl and community dislocation. In considering how best to manage the transition to this new technology, governments will need to be focused on achieving genuine public value, and avoid the rush to embrace CAVs in such a way that undesirable policy path dependencies take hold.

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Iain Docherty and David Waite

The overall aim of this chapter is to identify the current state-of-the-art of our knowledge of the relationship between infrastructure and productivity. The chapter focuses on two particular forms of infrastructure, namely, transport infrastructure and digital/broadband infrastructure. The chapter reviews the long-standing debate about the links between transport infrastructure and the economy, and the recent debates about the impacts of transport infrastructure on economic agglomeration, which are seen as being key to productivity enhancement. The more limited research base on digital connectivity is also examined. The chapter also addresses the issue of the level of productivity within the infrastructure sector.

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Iain Docherty, Greg Marsden, Jillian Anable and Tom Forth

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought previously unimaginable change to the level of mobility in the economy almost overnight. People who have never before worked from home have had to do so almost immediately, and business travel has stopped almost completely in a matter of weeks. At the same time, the uncertainty about how long social distancing restrictions will have to be in place is already focusing attention on how long it will take for demand for public transport to recover. The pandemic has therefore brought into sharp focus questions about the level of mobility the economy actually needs to function, and by extension, whether COVID-19 is an opportunity to radically reformulate our assumptions about how to decarbonise economic activity. The chapter will cover specific issues including: To what extent could virtual economic activity be embedded in place of activities requiring physical mobility, and for what sorts of activities and sectors? What would need to happen to maintain this? • Has the reduction in activity frequency led to new ways of consolidating how things get done? For example, the food retailing sector has reorganised very quickly to accommodate much greater online ordering and home delivery • How will the phased nature of lifting of social distancing restrictions impact on the longer-term attractiveness of public transport, cycling and car use and how varied will this be between places? How will the revenue support for transport services, the economic case for future capital investment in transport infrastructure and the appraisal frameworks required to govern them adapt to the post-COVID19 world.

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Iain Docherty, Greg Marsden, Jillian Anable and Tom Forth

Nine months since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in Europe, it is startling to reflect on the profound changes to all aspects of daily life which have been necessary. Public policy has responded at a pace not seen for decades, and the general public has accepted restrictions to freedoms and changes to their everyday activities beyond what was thought acceptable before the pandemic. There have, of course, been hugely negative impacts of some of these changes to livelihoods, education and the mental and physical health and well-being for some. However, many of the adaptations we have seen in working and other practices such have shopping have shown the pandemic as an accelerant of trends that were already established. These changes have potentially profound effects on how we move about in the future and even where we live and work. This chapter critically reviews some of the big policy questions which we face as the prospect of an effective vaccine and planning for after the pandemic takes centre stage. Should we design for a morning peak or design out a morning peak? Should we encourage or challenge the flight to the suburbs and beyond? Can we maintain the momentum for reallocating space for people rather than vehicles which was brought into such sharp relief at the start of the crisis? All of these debates exist in the shadows of the climate crisis which points us in one direction. Whether they remain strong enough to withstand the calls to ‘get the economy moving’ remains to be seen.