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Event Organiser: Railway Civil Engineers’ Association

Is there a case for rail infrastructure investment after COVID? online

  • Webinar
  • Online
  • 23 September 2021
  • 17:30 - 19:00
Is there a case for rail infrastructure investment after COVID? online

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The pandemic has changed human behaviour across many facets of modern life. For some, technology has enabled a shifting trend towards working at home, whilst for others it remains a necessity to continue working at location for certain industries. As the UK unlocks the case for rail infrastructure spend needs to be considered. In such a shifting landscape, what is certain is that capital infrastructure schemes, plus the general operation of the railway, must have a greater resilience against change and unpredictability of ridership trends. To ensure schemes are adequately robust, their business case and design must have a greater degree of flexibility than ever before with focus on optioneering over granular detail.

In this expert panel discussion, Louise Coward from industry research group, Transport Focus, presents findings from its research on people’s travel behaviours and attitudes through the pandemic and presents the ‘user-perspective’ into the discussion. Mike Goggin, UK Managing Director for Steer, and technical advisor to the Williams Rail Review will explore what this may mean on future travel trends post Covid-19 and the demands and requirements that this may place on running a successful railway in the immediate future. Leading UK Economist, and Commissioner for the National Infrastructure Commission, Bridget Rosewell, explores what these trends may mean for the successful operation of the UK railway into the mid-21st century.

This lecture is hosted by the Department of Transport’s Chief Engineer, David Coles.


David Coles

Chief Engineer at the Department for Transport

David is responsible for ensuring the department's infrastructure projects are delivered effectively, working closely with Highways England, HS2 Ltd and Network Rail to deliver Project Speed - Faster, Better and Greener.

David began his career in British Rail as a permanent way engineer and spent 25 years in British Rail, Rail Track and Network Rail combined. David then went on to hold various technical and engineering leadership positions at engineering consultants, Scott Wilson and Amey, before joining the Department of Transport in 2016.

Louise Coward

Head of Insight, Transport Focus

Louise is responsible for the research and insight that Transport Focus undertakes, to ensure that the organisation fully understands the views of users of both public transport and of the road network. This includes both long term satisfaction tracking and ad hoc qualitative and quantitative projects. Recently the team’s work has been focussed on the pandemic and Transports Focus are now looking at how people feel about returning to transport and how sustainability fits in determining the choices people make.

Before joining Transport Focus in 2012, Louise worked in three research agencies leading projects in the public and private sectors, predominantly in education, nutrition, finance and telecoms after starting her career in banking.

Mike Goggin

UK Managing Director, Steer

Mike has over 25 years of professional transport experience split equally between periods of consulting in the UK and internationally and time on the UK railway.

Much of Mike’s career has been in railways where he led policy and strategy for the Britain’s railway stations as Network Rail’s Director of Stations & Customer Service. His experience includes high profile industry and strategic reviews (Williams Rail Review, Shaw Report, Mexican infrastructure development, Brazilian rail regulation), major programme assurance (HS2), supporting the design and execution of complex transactions (franchise bid direction and advice on UK Government’s replacement to the franchising system) and expert advice on station policy, strategy and operations (Haramain HSR in Saudi Arabia, RDG’s Vision for Stations and Amtrak’s Terminal Development Initiative).

As UK Managing Director of Steer, Mike is responsible for over 200 consultants providing advice to public and private clients involved with infrastructure, cities and transport.

Bridget Rosewell CBE

Commissioner, and various executive roles in public and private companies

Bridget Rosewell

Bridget is a leading director, policy maker and economist. She is a Commissioner of the National Infrastructure Commission, providing independent analysis and advice to the Government on meeting the UK’s long-term infrastructure needs.

She has a track record in advising public and private sector clients on key strategic issues and advising on projects in road and rail and on major property developments and regeneration. Bridget lectured at the University of Oxford and has founded several consultancy firms, plus held significant roles including, Chair of Audit for Network Rail and Atom Bank, and has sat on the boards of Britannia Building Society, Ulster Bank and the Department of Work and Pensions.

Between 2002 and 2012, she was the Chief Economist and Chief Economic Adviser to the Greater London Authority, and between 2017 and 2020 was a non-executive director of the Driving and Vehicles Standards Agency.

Event venue

United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Elira Alushi

e: [email protected]