The Prize judges meet with 50 potential entrants

January 22, 2017

Road transport policy requires a practical and imaginative solution that must be readily understood by the public, according to the judges of the 2017 Wolfson Economics Prize.

They were speaking at a panel discussion for potential Prize entrants, held with Policy Exchange. With six weeks left until the deadline for entries to the Prize, the judges met with 50 potential entrants to outline what a winning entry looks like.

Prize Director Julian Glover was joined by judges Sir John Kingman, Alistair Darling, Bridget Rosewell and Isabel Dedring, as well as Patricia Hayes, Director General for Road, Motoring and Devolution at the Department for Transport.

Judges used the event to outline what they expect from entries and highlight some of the issues surrounding the Prize question: “How can we pay for better, safer, more reliable roads in a way that is fair to road users and good for the economy and the environment?”

Prize Chair, Sir John Kingman declared that judges will be looking for imaginative ideas that embrace new technology and practical financial considerations, acknowledging that the Prize was a “classic challenge of political economy.” Bridget Rosewell agreed, adding that “the purpose of transport and infrastructure is to generate economic activity” and potential entrants should consider why people are using the road network and how it can make sense for them to pay for and maintain the road systems.

Lord Darling and Patricia Hayes both observed that understanding our relationship with vehicles and the road would be crucial, pointing to the different experiences of people in and out of cities.

Other issues that will inform the entries include renewed focus on air quality, which Isabel Dedring, former Deputy Mayor for Transport and now a director at Arup said would encourage behavioural change and increased investment in the roads, and the need for a solution that is “deliverable in our lifetimes” for all road users, according to Julian Glover.

More information about the Prize can be found here:

Watch the event, and a summary of the event:

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