Led by CIHT South West. Join us for a presentation from Dr Steve Melia who will provide an overview of his research findings around transport protests.
From the anti-roads protests of the 1990s to HS2 and Extinction Rebellion, conflict and protest have shaped the politics of transport. In 1989, Margaret Thatcher's government announced 'the biggest road-building programme since the Romans.' This is the inside story of the thirty tumultuous years that have followed.
Roads, Runways and Resistance draws on over 50 interviews with government ministers, advisors, and protestors - many of whom, including 'Swampy', speak here for the first time about the events they describe. It is a story of transport ministers undermined by their own Prime Ministers, protestors attacked or quietly supported by the police, and smartly dressed protestors who found a way onto the roof of the Houses of Parliament.
Today, as a new wave of road building and airport expansion threatens to bust Britain's carbon budgets, climate change protestors find themselves on a collision course with the government. Melia asks, what difference did the protests of the past make? And what impacts might today's protest movements have on the transport of the future?
This event is aimed at anyone with an interest in transport and the politics surrounding it.
The presentation will be relevant to any transportation professionals looking to further their interest and knowledge in the impact of protest on shaping the discourse around transport schemes, and the political background against which protestors often come up against.
Members and non-members are welcome (charge for non-members).
Steve Melia is a Senior Lecturer in Transport and Planning at the University of the West of England. His research focuses on policies and practices designed to achieve (or frustrate) more sustainable transport and development. He has advised government departments, local authorities, political parties and was a speaker at the UK Climate Assembly in February 2020. Before starting an academic career, he was a parliamentary candidate, environmental campaigner and freelance journalist.
In early 2019, frustrated by lack of progress on climate change, he joined Extinction Rebellion and was arrested for obstructing the road in London. Following this, he was fined £500 and blacklisted from government research projects. A selection of his writing for professional and general media is on: www.stevemelia.co.uk