The Chief Executives’ Club at Queen’s, in association with the Wright Technology Centre at Queen’s, were delighted to host an evening keynote address by Mr Mike Brown MVO, Commissioner of Transport for London, in the University’s Canada Room and Council Chamber, on Thursday 24 August 2017.
After welcome remarks by Professor Su Taylor, Dean of Research for the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, Mark Nodder, Chairman and CEO of The Wrights Group introduced Mike Brown. A Graduate of Queen’s University, Mike was appointed Commissioner of Transport for London (TfL) in September 2015 overseeing the largest integrated Transport Authority in the world. As Commissioner, he is responsible for making sure TfL provides world-class transport services that keep London working, growing and make life in the Capital better. He oversees TfL’s investment programme, which includes some of the largest and most complex engineering projects in Europe.
The capacity room of guests at the evening event listened attentively as Mike Brown clearly outlined the key aims and future plans for the diverse range of services across London managed by Transport for London. These include London Underground, London Buses, Docklands Light Railway, London Overground, TfL Rail, and London River Services: in addition to on the roads regulating taxis, running the Congestion Charging scheme and managing the city’s 580km red route network – and more.
Mike Brown explained that transport is at the heart of the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s vision to create a city for all Londoners. He said that the Mayor's Transport Strategy, ‘A City for All Londoners’, sets out ambitious plans to transform London's streets, improve public transport and create opportunities for new homes and jobs, over the next 25 years in the city where the population is forecast to grow from 8.7 million today to an estimated 10.5 million. And that by 2041, the vision is that 80 per cent of all Londoners’ trips will be made on foot, by cycle or by public transport.
Mr Brown proceeded to share with the audience a few of the innovations being developed that will help to deliver fairer, greener and more efficient travel solutions for the UK capital.
Following his fascinating address, David Barnett, Business Development Director with Wrightbus Ltd, told guests about some of the exciting research projects being worked upon by both Wrightbus and the team at the new William Wright Technology Centre to help meet the current and future needs of public transport providers such as Transport for London. Professor Roy Douglas, of Queen’s provided an additional glimpse of the diverse range of research taking place across other areas at Queen’s, including at the Sustainable Energy Pioneer Research Programme, that contributes broadly to transport technology research at the University.
Earlier in the afternoon, Mr Brown had visited the innovative William Wright Technology Centre at its new home on the Malone Road. The research centre, named after Dr William Wright CBE, is part of Queen’s University’s School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The project is a joint venture between the Wrights Group, which has currently invested £300,000 in the centre - a figure which is also being matched by Queen’s University - and an upward potential investment figure of more than £6m. The Centre is being developed as a showpiece centre of excellence with world-leading research. Its key aim is to promote research and advanced engineering to facilitate the creation and development of technologies suitable for today’s bus industry, particularly as these needs become increasingly complex.