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The Real (Sustainable) Superhighway?. What’s Sustainability? . Sustainability . Enviro- Economic . Environmental . Socio- Environmental. Economic. Social . Socio- Economic . Sustainability .

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The Real (Sustainable) Superhighway?

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The Real (Sustainable) Superhighway?

What’s Sustainability?









Socio- Economic


Continuation of recent trends (middle of band) leads by 2100 to temperatures not reached since the Eocene (25-35 million years ago), when sea level was 20-30 m higher.



Why is environmental sustainability important?

Source: Professor John Holdren, Harvard University

Finding the right balance



Source: DfT

Sustainability is complex!

Health Warning!

  • My (not so) secret weapon is ignorance

  • Accuracy has been sacrificed on the altar of simplicity

How do we measure sustainability?

  • Exergy is the part of energy that is useful to society

  • It is calculated from a knowledge of the chemical composition of compounds

  • Can be used to measure both resource consumption and the environmental impacts of emissions

  • Can add together the effects of different pollutants

Transport accounts for almost 40% of all UK exergy consumption

The consumption of exergy by air transport has increased by over 250% since 1970

Statistics are like a swimsuit:

what they reveal is suggestive, but what they conceal is vital

Road transport accounts for more than 70% of all transport exergy consumption

Road transport is more than fivetimes less efficient than rail transport

Transport accounts for more than 25% of all UK environmental impacts

Emissions from air transport have increased by more than 300% since 1970

Road transport accounts for more than 70% of all transport emissions

Road transport has 7½times greater impact on the environment than rail

What if we could travel by rail between

Edinburgh and Glasgow in 10 minutes

Dundee and Glasgow or Edinburgh in 20 minutes

Aberdeen and Edinburgh or Glasgow in 35 minutes

Edinburgh or Glasgow and London in 1½ hours?

Connectivity the economic and social key?

Edinburgh and Glasgow would be a single city

Dundee would be a suburb of Gladinburgh or Edingow

The travel to work region of Aberdeen would encompass 4m people

Commuters could live in Gladinburgh and work in London

Connectivity the economic key?

The City of Scotland would be the second largest in the UK and the fourth largest in Europe

It would have a tourist industry twice the size of London

It would have the second largest life sciences cluster in the UK

There would be a need for only one international airport

The UK centre of financial services might move to the City of Scotland

Connectivity the economic key?

Biting the Chinese Bullet

What if we could

step off a bus at every railway station in the City of Scotland

step off a train at the City of Scotland’s international airport

transfer freight directly from ships to trains?

Connectivity the economic and environmental key?

We would

reduce the amount of road traffic

increase our exports

reduce journey times

increase the number of tourists

reduce the amount of carbon emissions

Connectivity the economic and environmental key?

What ifwe:

made everyone pay the full cost of travel, including the cost of damage to the environment

made all public transport free

made it illegal to carry freight long-distance by road?

Transport, the environmental key?

We would:

reduce carbon emissions at a stroke

need no new roads (or bridges!)

save enormous sums on road maintenance

reduce the need for petrol stations

make more friends?

Transport the environmental key?

If we always do what we always did, we’ll always get what we always got

The best way to create the future is to invent it

[email protected]

With thanks to:

And especially to the Dundee team:

Alex Gasparatos

Doug Forbes

Mohamed El-Haram

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