Nov 292011

Greetings from the South,

As you northerners now enter your winter we are approaching summer.  Here Christmas is a time for summer holidays, going to beach and eating barbecued food outside with a beer.  However, many, if not most, of us trace at least some of our ethnic origins back to Europe and so we still have Santa Claus travelling in a sled towed by reindeer – someone may like to calculate his carbon footprint.

Our colleagues in Sweden are now well underway with the preparations for HVTT12 which will be held in Stockholm from September 16 – 19 next year.  The deadline for extended abstracts has been extended to Dec 1st, 2011 so you have just under two weeks to prepare your submission.  Full details on the conference and the abstract submission process can be found at the conference web-site

As you can see from the name this is the 12th conference in this series which began in Kelowna, Canada in 1987.  I have personally been to 10 of the 11 previous conferences and I have always come away enthused and inspired by new ideas and innovative approaches that have been applied in other countries.  Most of the issues we face in the transport industry are common around the world although often different countries will have different priorities and local factors will mean that solutions that are appropriate for one jurisdiction may not be suitable for another without being modified or adapted in some way.  Nevertheless, we can learn a lot from the innovations and the problems experienced by others.  The HVTT conferences have been a unique forum for bringing together researchers, government agencies including policymakers, regulators and infrastructure managers, vehicle manufacturers and transport operators from all parts of the globe.  For European subscribers to this newsletters, in particular, this is an opportunity that should not be missed.

Here in New Zealand, we are basking in the glory of having just (narrowly) won the Rugby World Cup.  We are currently in the middle of an election campaign which is also going a bit like the Rugby.  Four of five weeks ago the current government was looking like a certainty to be returned but increasingly it looks like it will be very close.  There are significant differences in the views of the different parties on the role of road transport relative to that of other transport modes, although in practical terms the effects are likely to be quite small.

Best wishes for the Christmas and remember to submit your abstract for HVTT12 ASAP.


John de Pont

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