Over 120 entrants from 7 countries compete for £250,000 Wolfson Economics Prize

The deadline for the 2017 Wolfson Economics Prize closed today at 09:00hrs 2 March 2017, with over 120 entries from 7 countries competing for the £250,000 award to tackle issues facing Britain’s road network.

The 2017 Wolfson Economics Prize is calling for ideas to bring more investment and a better deal for road users as part of the big shift to digital technology, new forms of power and self-driving vehicles.

A recent study revealed Britain’s roads are the most congested in Europe, and a comparison of international road networks found that the current state of roads in the United Kingdom was worse than Oman, despite Britons paying the highest tax on fuel in the world.

The £250,000 prize question asks:
“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?”

The entries span an array of sectors across Infrastructure Planning, Engineering, Physics, Computer Science and Economics, with submissions from all over the world including the UK, US, Australia, Finland, Romania, Turkey and India.

Entrants will be judged by a panel of experts including Lord Darling (former Chancellor of the Exchequer), Sir John Kingman (Group Chairman, Legal & General and former Second Permanent Secretary at HM Treasury), Isabel Dedring (Global Transport Leader, Arup, and previously London Deputy Mayor for Transport), Lord Finkelstein (Associate Editor at The Times) and Bridget Rosewell OBE (leading economist and founder of Volterra Partners). A shortlist will be announced in April 2017, with the Prize being awarded at a ceremony in July 2017.

Lord Wolfson said:

“The crisis facing Britain’s roads may not be at the forefront of policymakers’ minds, but it should be.  Road congestion is a source of daily misery for millions of commuters, families and businesses: undermining our quality of life, environment and economy. The problems with our roads and how we pay for them, affect us all.

“This year’s Prize seeks that fresh thinking needed to tackle one of the great infrastructure challenges of modern times – to deliver a better way to pay for better roads.

“I’m delighted the Prize has attracted worldwide attention with such a variety of high quality submissions. I look forward to our panel of judges announcing the shortlist of finalists at the end of April.”

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