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Engineering and the Environment
Phone:
(023) 8059 4660
Email:
J.M.Preston@soton.ac.uk

Prof. John Preston BA MA PhD MCILT FRGS FCIHT

Professor of Rail Transport

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Prof. John Preston is Professor of Rail Transport within Engineering and the Environment at the University of Southampton.

Professor Preston is also the Head of the Transportation Research Group. He was previously Head of the Civil, Maritime and Environmental Engineering and Science Academic Unit (2011-2014), Director of the Transportation Research Group (2008-11) and Head of the School of Civil Engineering and the Environment (2010-11). He has over 30 years of experience in transport teaching and research, having previously held posts at the Universities of Leeds and Oxford. His research in transport covers demand and capacity modelling, regulatory studies, economic appraisal and land-use and environment interactions. His initial work concentrated on rail but subsequent work has covered all the major modes of transport. He has held over 130 research grants and contracts, worth over £10 million, and has published over 300 articles, book chapters, conference and working papers. 

His current work at Southampton includes leadership of the DITTO consortium, that is undertaking research to optimise rail operations, and of the University’s contribution to the Centre for Sustainable Travel Choices. He is also providing transport expertise to the Track to the Future and MISTRAL projects.  He previously led the iConnect consortium that undertook an evaluation of engineering interventions to promote walking and cycling, and contributed to the Track21 and Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium Programme Grants.

Can we make transport more sustainable?
Can transport be more sustainable?

Research

Responsibilities

Publications

Teaching

Contact

Research interests

Current research is focussed on two broad areas: demand, capacity and cost modelling for sustainable transport infrastructure (Track 21, Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium, Rail Capacity and Demand), with an emphasis on rail, and on the evaluation of transport interventions designed to promote sustainable choices (Centre for Sustainable Travel Choices, iConnect).

Research group(s)

Transportation Group

Research project(s)

iConnect (Impact of Constructing Non-Motorised Networks and Evaluating Changes in Travel)

Centre for Sustainable Travel Choices

Track 21 - Railway Track for the 21st Century

Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium (ITRC)

Rail Capacity and Demand

Research work in rail capacity at Southampton was initiated with the OCCASION project (2010-2012), followed-up with a Knowledge Transfer Secondment with Arup (2013-14) and continues with the DITTO project (2014-2017). Research work on rail demand forecasting at Southampton was initiated with Rail Research UK (2003-2010) and has continued with a series of grants, contracts and consultancy studies.

Doctoral Research Projects

Professor Preston is interested in supervising Doctoral Students in three broad areas: Transport Economics and Policy Transport, Energy and the Environment Project Economics and Management

OCCASION

OCCASION was funded by the RSSB, EPSRC and DfT and had objectives to identify and investigate innovative methods of increasing the capacity of nodes (i.e. junctions and stations) on the railway network, without substantial investment in additional infrastructure. To this end, a state-of-the-art review of recent and on-going work in this area was conducted, and tools were developed to (i) assess existing and predicted levels of capacity utilisation at nodes, thus filling a gap in the current assessment ‘toolbox’, and (ii) investigate improved options for re-routeing and re-scheduling trains, with a view to reducing capacity utilisation levels and making more use of the capacity potentially available, including consideration of the interactions between timetable changes at adjacent nodes. Using a case study of Peterborough and the East Coast Main Line, these tools provided solutions to deliver reduced levels of capacity utilisation, and thus increases in capacity and/or service reliability. Incremental changes to existing railway technologies (e.g. improved points) and operating practice (e.g. relaxations of the Timetable Planning Rules) were investigated, as were concepts from other modes (e.g. road and air transport) and sectors (e.g. production scheduling). The capacity utilisation analysis tools have since been used in collaboration with Arup in the Capacity Charge Recalibration for Network Rail.

Member of the Scientific Committee of the World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS).

Co-Chair of WCTRS Special Interest Group A3: Rail (see http://www.wctrs-society.com)

Board Member of the International Association of Rail Operations Research (IAROR) (http://www.iaror.org/board.html)

Steering Committee Member of the International Conference on Competition and Ownership of Land Passenger Transport (and Conference Organiser in 1997 and 2013) (http://thredbo-conference-series.org)

Member of the Netherlands Institute for Transport Policy Analysis.

Elected Fellow of the Transport Research Foundation.

Article(s)

Book(s)

Book Section(s)

  • Transport Systems Assessment - Blainey, Simon P. and Preston, John M.. In The Future of National Infrastructure: a System-of-Systems Approach - Hall, Jim W., Tran, Martino, Hickford, Adrian J. and Nicholls, Robert J. (eds.)
    Published:
    2016
    Published by:
    Cambridge, GB
    Page Range:
    88-113
  • Public transport demand - Preston, John. In Handbook of Research Methods and Applications in Transport Economics and Policy - Nash, Chris (ed.)
    Published:
    2014
    Page Range:
    192-211
    doi:
    10.4337/9780857937933.00018
  • Public transport - Preston, J.M.. In International Encyclopedia of Human Geography - Kitchin, Rob and Thrift, Nigel (eds.)
    Published:
    2009
    Page Range:
    452-459
  • Public transport subsidisation - Preston, John. In The Implementation and Effectiveness of Transport Demand Management Measures: An International Perspective - Ison, Stephen and Rye, Tom (eds.)
    Published:
    2008
    Published by:
    Aldershot, UK
    Page Range:
    189-209
  • Is Labour delivering a sustainable railway? - Preston, J.M.. In Traffic Jam: Ten Years of 'Sustainable' Transport in the UK - Docherty, Iain and Shaw, Jon (eds.)
    Published:
    2008
    Published by:
    Bristol, UK
    Page Range:
    75-96
  • Revitalised transport geographies - Preston, J.M. and O'Connor, K.. In Transport Geographies: Mobilities, Flows and Spaces - Knowles, R., Shaw, J. and Docherty, I. (eds.)
    Published:
    2008
    Page Range:
    227-237
  • Transport: The movement of goods and people - Preston, J.M.. In Companion Encyclopedia of Geography - The Environment and Humankind: Revised Edition - Douglas, Ian, Huggett, Richard and Robinson, Mike (eds.)
    Published:
    2007
    Published by:
    London, UK
    Volume:
    1
    Page Range:
    199-212
  • Contracting-out public transport planning: options and prospects - Preston, J. M.. In Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport: Selected Papers from the 8th International Conference - Rosario, M., Viegas, J. and Hensher, D.A. (eds.)
    Published:
    2007
    Published by:
    USA
    Page Range:
    171-188
  • Key performance indicators and data for monitoring and auditing: theme C - Preston, J.M. and Cowrie, J.. In Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport - Hensher, David A. (ed.)
    Published:
    2005
    At event:
    8th International Conference on Competition and Ownership in Land Passenger Transport (Thredbo 8)
    Published by:
    Oxford, UK
    Page Range:
    549-560
  • Tendering of Services - Preston, J.M., Button, K. and Hensher, D.. In Handbook of Transport Strategy, Policy and Institutions - Button, K. and Hensher, D. (eds.)
    Published:
    2005
    Page Range:
    65-82
  • Determining optimal bus service provision: the role of quality in the service mix - Preston, J.M., Huang, B. and Whelan, G.. In Competition and ownership in land passenger transport: selected papers from the 8th International Conference - Hensher, D.A. (ed.)
    Published:
    2005
    Published by:
    USA
    Series:
    THREDBO
    Page Range:
    177-194
  • The road to Rio: a brief history of the international conferences on competition and ownership in land passenger transport. - Preston, J. M.. In Competition and ownership in land passenger transport: selected papers from the 8th International Conference - Macario, R., Viegas, J. and Hensher, D.A. (eds.)
    Published:
    2005
    Published by:
    USA
    Page Range:
    7-20
  • Transport - Preston, J.M., Hayes, G. and Lehmkuhl, D.. In Handbook of Public Policy in Europe: Britain, France and Germany - Compston, H. (ed.)
    Published:
    2004
    Published by:
    Basingstoke, UK
    Page Range:
    205-216
  • Moving Transport Geography Forward - Preston, J.M.. In Brian Hoyle Lecture in Transport Geography
    Published:
    2004
    At event:
    International Geographical Union Conference
  • The transport problem: some solutions - Preston, J.M. and Havinden, M.. In Visions for Oxford in the 21st century. - Havinden, M. (ed.)
    Published:
    2003
    Published by:
    Oxford, UK
    Page Range:
    136-144
  • A thoroughbred in the making?: The bus industry under Labour. - Preston, J.M.. In A New Deal for Transport? - Docherty, I. and Shaw, J. (eds.)
    Published:
    2003
    Published by:
    Oxford, UK
    Series:
    RGS-IBG Book Series
    Page Range:
    158-177
  • Bus service regulation and competition - Preston, J.M.. In Any More Fares? Delivering Better Bus Services - Grayling, T. (ed.)
    Published:
    2001
    Page Range:
    40-54

Conference(s)

Monograph(s)

Code Title Role
CENV6044  RESEARCH PROJECT: TRANSPORTATION PLANNING AND ENGINEERING Lecturer
CENV6112  TRANSPORT, ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT Coordinator
CENV6152  PROJECT ECONOMICS AND MANAGEMENT Coordinator
CENV6153  TRANSPORT MODELLING Lecturer
CENV6016  TRANSPORT ECONOMICS Coordinator
CENV6101  PASSENGER AND FREIGHT TRANSPORT Lecturer

Prof. John Preston
Engineering and the Environment University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 176/4003

Telephone: (023) 8059 4660
Email: J.M.Preston@soton.ac.uk

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