Lunch with Leon episode 44 – Dr Matthew Niblett and Kris Beuret OBE

What is the importance for humanity for its ability to travel?

With contributions from many people and casting a totally refreshing view on people’s deep-seated desire to travel, is a new book – Why Travel? – edited by Dr Matthew Niblett and Kris Beuret OBE, of the Independent Transport Commission.

Leon Daniels OBE chats to them about editing the book, which has contributions from many people, not just in travel businesses, but beyond. 

In essence, it’s an anthology of travel by a range of people, that also takes in the social aspects to understand our need to move and how it shapes our lives.

Kris tells Leon that she was inspired to produce the book after being “fed up” with transport modelling “that assumes that travel is all about time saved.”

The range of contributors shed a different viewpoint from the popularly-presented one that travel is unpleasant and something to be avoided.

They mull over why commuting is beneficial, why an hour is the ideal commute and what we’ve done to replace it

They discuss how much travel we need for our wellbeing, our complicated needs to travel and whether technology is the enemy.

Considering transport policy, there’s a discussion about whether we should move away from thinking about restricting travel to better travel, that then moves onto why ‘slower travel’ can be better travel and the benefit of cheap travel. 

They conclude by examining what young people will do to change travel behaviours and how that fits with their generational view of the need to be ‘green’.

Kris Beuret

Kris Beuret OBE is the Director of Social Research Associates (SRA). She is a sociologist, previously an academic, and a member of the Independent Transport Commission and Highways England’s Research and Innovation Advisory Board. Kris has advised the House of Commons Transport Committee, TfL, the DfT and overseas governments on disability and diversity issues.

Matthew Niblett

Dr Matthew Niblett is Director of the Independent Transport Commission (ITC) and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He oversees the ITC’s research portfolio and has presented findings from this research to Ministers and Parliamentary Select Committee enquiries. Matthew holds a doctorate from the University of Oxford and was a Senior Research Associate at Oxford’s Transport Studies Unit.

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