Green light for combined research

West Yorkshire Combined Authority (WYCA) has agreed a new research programme with the Institute for Transport Studies (ITS).

Over three years, the work with ITS will provide the Combined Authority with research into societal and technological developments that it can use to make better transport investment decisions around future demand for transport services. It can also ‘unlock’ other funds, such as support from the EU’s flagship Horizon 2020 project, which aim to secure Europe's global competitiveness.

WYCA and West Yorkshire’s district councils have a proven strong track record of working jointly with the Institute for Transport Studies on a range of projects including studies into carbon emissions and sustainable travel. The new programme formalises this positive relationship and provides up to £100,000 funding over an initial three years. 

WYCA Chair and Wakefield Council Leader, Cllr Peter Box said: “This agreement is in line with WYCA’s policy of working closely with West Yorkshire’s wide range of academic institutions and will help us develop a knowledge economy that helps us maximise the impact and value of our initiatives and policies.

“We will use this programme agreed with the University of Leeds today to explore further opportunities for collaboration with other academic institutions in our City Region.”

WYCA Transport Committee Chair, Councillor Keith Wakefield, said: “Developing a transport network for the Leeds City Region that supports strong economic growth, the creation of new jobs and widespread house building means us making decisions based on robust information.

“Working with the excellent Institute for Transport Studies through this programme will help us to develop a world class approach to planning for the future.”

Dr Karen Lucas, Director of Research at ITS said: “This is an important and exciting opportunity to translate the best evidence from our extensive scientific research into successful practical delivery on the ground.”

The programme will be jointly directed, managed and evaluated by WYCA and the Institute. WYCA will be making a contribution of around £100,000 over three years. The Institute for Transport Studies will commit £50k to the wider economic benefits aspects of the work by funding a postdoctoral researcher for a year as well as funding a one day a week secondment.