Stephen Potter is Professor of Transport Strategy, undertaking work on the design processes involved for the diffusion of cleaner transport technologies, cleaner vehicle technologies (including participation in the Milton Keynes electric vehicle project) and more sustainable travel behaviour. This also includes work on specific topics such as travel plans and the design of transport environmental taxation. As well as transport research, Stephen also undertakes studies in other sustainable design issues.
Stephen works in both the Design Innovation Group and in the Energy and Environment Research Unit (EERU). Stephen is active in postgraduate training work and from 2007-10 was Chair of the Research Degrees Committee.
Phone: +44 (0)1908 652634/ 652103
Fax: +44 (0)1908 654052
Room: N2007, Venables Building
For media enquiries you can also contact a member of The Open University's Media Relations team.
Current and Recent Research Projects
Innovations in Transport Systems and Services: This includes research into Travel Plans, supervising projects on Evaluating Alternative LRT designs, and participation in the CEC U-STIR project on user-led innovation of sustainable transport innovations.He has also contributing to projects on Demand Responsive Transport Systems [see DTR Intermode Report and Publicly-funded DRT Schemes. He also contributed to a Carbon Connections project led by the University of East Anglia on broadening participation in car Liftshare schemes.
Low Carbon Vehicles
Co-ordinates the University's contribution as a partner in the Milton Keynes Electric Vehicle project that successfully bid for a grant under the Plugged in Places programme to develop public electric car charging infrastructure (see project Newsletter). Also academic advisor to the Clean Drive project. An interview with Stephen on electric vehicles featured in the January 2011 Euronews programme on Energy and the City. A longer interview is also available on the Euronews Bonus Video site.
See also the evidence submitted for the Milton Keynes Transport Vision consultation.
People-centred Ecodesign: a DIG programme with Professor Robin Roy and Dr Sally Caird on factors influencing the adoption and useof low carbon products and systems. This includes work funded under the Carbon Connections research programme in partnership with the Energy Savings Trust. For further details and publications see the DIG page.
Project Falcon: This project is linked to smart grids development and is to explore methods to manage new patterns of electricity demand and local generation. The OU are working with Western Power Distribution and the University of Bath on the knowledge dissemination and user engagement aspects of this major four year project. For details see the Low Carbon UK website and also the introductory podcast we have produced for the project.
Taxation Futures for Sustainable Mobility: Work includes a project in the ESRC Environment and Human Behaviour New Opportunities Programme 2003-4 that explored strategic options to reform the road taxation regime to address modern environmental and transport policy objectives. For a copy of the final report, click here.
For details of the project see its EHB website page.
This research has continued, including a Parliamentary presentation in 2008, a chapter in a major new book [pdf of book chapter] and a presentation to the 2008 Global Conference on Environmental Taxation. Work continued via membership of the Green Fiscal Commission and work on tax measures to support travel plans, including research for the National Business Travel Network. Invited in 2011 as an expert contributor to the Green Budget Europe Workshop on Company Car Tax. This was developed into a UTSG paper in 2012 [pdf of UTSG paper]
Delivering Sustainable Waste Management: (Co-applicant with Professor David Wield and principal applicant Dr. Jim Frederickson) ESRC STS programme, 2003-5 [details]
Recent teaching work includes:
T213 Energy and sustainability
Research training work includes being joint chair and author of the OU's new U501 Doing Postgraduate Research (right), a co-published book with Sage. [link to book's website]
The 2012 OUSA Conference presentation is available here.
Ubbels, Barry, Enoch, Marcus, Potter, Stephen and Nijkamp, Peter (2004):Unfare solutions .. local earmarked charges to fund public transport, Taylor and Francis, London
Potter, Stephen (2004): Transport Energy and Emissions: Urban Public Transport, Chapter 13, pp 247-262 of Hensher, David and Button, Kenneth (Eds) Handbook of Transport and the Environment, Volume 4, Pergamon/Elsevier [text of chapter] [link to book's website]
Potter, Stephen, Parkhurst, Graham and Lane, Ben (2005): European perspectives on a new fiscal framework for transport, Chapter 16 (pp 319-333) in Reggiani, A and Schintler, L (Eds): Methods and Models in Transport and Telecommunications: Cross Atlantic Perspectives. Springer, Berlin and New York. [text of chapter] [link to book's website]
Potter, Stephen and Parkhurst, Graham (2005) Transport Policy and Taxation Reform Public Money and Management Vol 25, No 3, June pp171-178. [pdf]
Roy, R., Potter, S. and Yarrow, K (2008): Designing low carbon higher education systems: environmental impacts of campus and distance learning systems. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education Vol. 9 No. 2, 2008 pp. 116-130 [pdf]
Roy, R., Caird, S., and Potter, S. (2006): People Centred Eco-Design: Consumer Adoption and use of Low and Zero Carbon Products and Systems, pp 41-62 of: Murphy, J (Ed) Governing Technology for Sustainability, London, Earthscan [ORO link with pdf]
Potter, S and Bailey (2008): Transport and the Environment. Chapter 3, pp 29-48 of Knowles, R., Shaw, J., and Docherty, I (2008): Transport Geographies, Oxford, Blackwell [ORO link]
Potter, S (2008): Purchase, Circulation and Fuel Taxation. Chapter 2 (pp 13- 27) of Ison, Stephen and Rye, Tom (Eds) (2008): The Implementation and Effectiveness of Transport Demand Management measures: An International Perspective, London, Ashgate. [pdf]
Laws, R., Enoch, M., Ison, S. and Potter, S (2009): Demand responsive transport: a review of schemes in England and Wales. Journal of Public Transportation, Vol 12, No 1, pp 19-37. [pdf copy]
Potter, S Roby, H Cook, M and Langendahl, P (2011) Transport and Environmental Innovation. Sustainable Innovation 11 'State of the Art in Sustainable Innovation and Design'. 24-25 October 2011, University of Surrey, Farnham. [pdf of paper]
Potter, S and Atchulo, A (2012): The role of company car taxation to promote low carbon vehicle technologies, Universities Transport Study Group Conference, University of Aberdeen, January. [pdf of paper]
Caird, S, Roy, R and Potter, S (2012): Domestic heat pumps in the UK: user behaviour, satisfaction and performance. Energy Efficiency, Vol 5 No 3, pp 283-301. [pdf of paper]
Other publications (including downloads of some) are available at Full List of Publications
and recent publications are also on my section of Open Research Online
Education and Career
BSc (Econ) joint honours degree (Class 2-1), Economics and Geography, (1974) University College London
PhD ('The Transport Assumptions Underlying the Design of Britain's New Towns, 1898-1976'), 1977, The Open University
1976-1984: Research Fellow and Lecturer in Social Sciences Faculty, The Open University
1985-87 Researcher at the Federation of London Dial-a-Rides
1987 - 1997 Research Fellow in Department of Design and Innovation, Technology Faculty, The Open University
1997-2005 Senior Research Fellow in Department of Design and Innovation, Technology Faculty, The Open University
2005 Appointed Professor of Transport Strategy, Department of Design and Innovation, Technology Faculty, The Open University
Membership of professional bodies
Transport Planning Society (conferring Associate Membership of the Institution of Civil Engineers)
Government and Public Committees
Member of the External Research Advisors for the Department for Transport's Cleaner Fuels and Vehicles and Environment and Taxation divisions 2000-06.
Member of the Advisory Group for the Office of Science and Technology’s programme: Knowledge Transfer Funding for Universities & Research Institutes 2001
Member of the Milton Keynes Sustainable Transport Working Group, (joint Milton Keynes Council and MK Economic Partnership) 2001 -
Member of Energy Savings Trust Transport Advisory Committee, 2006 - 2007
Member of the Green Fiscal Commission 2007 - 2010
Reviewer and Expert Advisor Work
Reviewer of articles for academic journals in the UK, Europe and USA, including Technology Assessment and Strategic Management, Design Studies, Design Journal, Research Policy, Transport Policy, Transport Reviews, Resaerch in Transport Management , European Journal on Transport and Infrastructure and Transportation, Transportation Planning and Technology, Journal of Transport Geography, Journal of Transport and Land Use.
Reviewer of book proposal for Cambridge University Press and book chapters for Elsevier
Reviewer of research grant applications for the ESRC, AHRC, EPSRC and Leverhulme Foundation.
Referee for World Conference on Transport, 2004.
Member of the Editorial Board of Town and Country Planning.
External Examiner for PhD theses for Lund University (Sweden), University of Oxford, University of Manchester, University of Leeds, University of the West of England, Brunel University, London Metropolitan University, University of Glamorgan, University of Central England, De Montfort University, Cranfield University, Napier University and University of East London.
Internal PhD examiner for OUAB Rennes Business School, France. Also internal examiner of PhD and Masters Thesis for the OU.
External Examiner for: De Montford University’s BA in Design Management and Innovation 2001-04; Napier University’s MSc Transport Planning and Engineering, 2002–07; Cranfield University’s MSc Environmental Management for Business 2005-08; Imperial College and University College London's MSc Transport from 2011
Page Last Updated: 20 August, 2012