train tracks

Plans for the next phase of the £32bn HS2 high-speed rail network have been unveiled and it could be good news for Kent, says the School’s transport economics expert Professor Roger Vickerman.

Commenting on today’s government announcement, Professor Vickerman said: 'The Government’s announcement of the route for the northern extension of HS2 from Birmingham to Manchester and Leeds could be good news for Kent.

'Whilst much of the focus is on the possible environmental effects of the route, a key element of the plan is that it includes a link from the new HS2 route to HS1. In principle this could allow high-speed services to operate from Ashford to the Midlands and North, boosting even further the integration of Kent into the UK economy.

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Professor Roger VickermanThe School’s transport economist, Professor Roger Vickerman, presented his research on the wider economic benefits of high-speed rail in Europe on a recent visit to China.

Professor Vickerman, who is Dean of the University’s Brussels School of International Studies, was invited to talk at the prestigious Institute for Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research of the Chinese Academy Sciences in Beijing to discuss mutual research interests.

As well as presenting his research paper, The wider economic impacts of high-speed rail in Europe, based on his current research into methods of economic appraisal for major transport infrastructure projects, Professor Vickerman had a meeting with the Institute Director and participated in a seminar discussing current research projects with the Institute’s research staff.

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Rob Fraser, Professor of Agricultural Economics, has been appointed to a new national taskforce of experts looking at tree health and biosecurity. Rob is one of ten key academics making up the new independent Tree Health and Plant Biosecurity Expert Taskforce.

The Taskforce will bring a multi-disciplinary perspective to ensuring the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has 'access to the most up-to-date and robust evidence in support of decisions on dealing with tree and plant disease'.

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Professor Rob Fraser of the School of Economics has been appointed to sit on the newly formed Economic Advisory Panel to the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra). The panel will provide advice, support and new research insights to Defra’s economists and policymakers. Rob Fraser is Professor of Agricultural Economics and has an international research reputation as a policy economist, specialising in both agri-environmental and invasive species policy design and evaluation.

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Professor Miguel León-Ledesma, the School’s European economics expert, comments on the prospects for the single currency.

He said: ‘The euro project is at a crossroads and it won’t be long before we see some sort of resolution for good or bad. There are two relevant questions to pose at this stage: is saving the euro project a good thing? And, if so, are we taking the right steps?

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