The Transport Planning Society’s bursary scheme encourages Young Professional members of TPS to produce a piece of structured thought on a topic of current relevance to transport planning, supported by a mentor who will be a senior member of the profession. The value of each bursary is £500.

The bursaries provide a great opportunity to expand your knowledge of your chosen topic, raise your profile within the profession, promote your career development and to benefit from your mentor’s experience and advice. For those participating in the Professional Development Scheme it also counts towards satisfying relevant proficiency and experience requirements.

Participation in the competition, especially winning the “Bursary of the Year” award, has helped previous Bursarians to attract the interest of their employer, to gain promotion, to be offered new jobs, and even to be invited to chair a conference session related to their paper. It can give your career a real lift.

Previous bursarians have been enthusiastic about their experience 

“It has been a very worthwhile process in terms of writing and practising presentation, and I am pleased that other transport professionals have been able to hear my views”

“It is important for the industry to facilitate engagement between its junior professionals and those at the top. The Bursary process has been excellent in this regard. Long may it continue.”

It has been a great opportunity and it was very enjoyable having the chance to dive into such an exciting area of transport research. Thank you to the whole Board for running the competition and for their time; it has been a great experience.” 


The Transport Planning Society Board is delighted to announce the six finalists for the 2021 TPS Bursary Competition.

The 2021 competition on the topic of 'Scenario planning – how can Transport Planners best plan for the new normal?’, was a great success attracting a number of extremely thoughtful and intelligent responses.

The finalists for this year are:

  • Liani Baglietto Castellares – Arup 
  • Julia Coonan – PJA 
  • Lucy Prismall – Reading Borough Council



The Transport Planning Society Board is delighted to announce the six finalists in the 2020 TPS Bursary Competition.

The 2020 competition on the topic of 'A transport system that is accessible for everyone – how do we make this happen?' attracted the highest number of applicants to date; indicating what an important topic this is.
The judges spent a lovely afternoon listening to the finalists present their papers and they along with the Board of the Transport Planning Society were delighted to announce that all of the six finalists would be  awarded a bursary of £500 for their work.

The successful Bursarians (pictured below with TPS Board Member Jo Ward) for this year are:

Presentation Afternoon 1

Victoria Heald – Atkins - Building barriers through bias? Establishing measures to tackle unconscious bias in transport planning.

Rachel Kirby – Jacobs - Could a more accessible transport system be a by-product of the Covid-19 pandemic? A case study of Leeds.

Ruth Carr-Gomm – Jacobs - Making Glasgow’s Transport System Accessible for All – The Role of Driverless Pods.

Lauren James – Sustrans - Paving the road to accessibility: A growing need for more inclusive transport policy to enable cycling accessibility for all, no matter of ability, or disability. A case study of London.

Anna Newey – Mott Macdonald - How the use of symbol systems and nudge theory instead of written language can increase equality in our transport systems.

Ruby Stringer – ITP - Putting our best foot forward – achieving true accessibility for everyone by prioritising walking in low-income countries.

At the AGM is March the TPS Board was  delighted to announce  Victoria Heald  as the winner of the TPS Bursary Competition 2020 (pictured below). She receives an additional £250 to be presented in the summer. 

victoria Heald


Jo Ward Board member responsible for organising the annual competition said 'Its great to see the competition go  from strength to strength and the response to the topic just proves what an important time it is to be a Transport Planner'.   



The Transport Planning Society Board is delighted to announce that five Young Professionals were shortlisted for Bursaries in the 2019 TPS Bursary Competition.

Each  conducted research on their chosen topic fitting with the overall theme of

‘Climate Crisis - what more can Transport Planners do to address the climate emergency?'

The successful Bursarians for this year are :

Alistair Baldwin, Newcastle City Council -  Climate Ethics in Transport Planning: A far away country of which we know nothing? Read paper here.

Georgia Corr, Ealing Council - Food for thought: The rise of on-demand food delivery services and growing need to switch these journeys from motors to muscle, a case study of London. Read paper here

Kitti Zsobrak, AECOM - Is sustainable air travel an illusion? Searching for ways to reduce car travel to Manchester Airport by adopting successful surface access design elements from the world’s most environmentally friendly airports. Read paper here 

Rose Yorke Barber, Islington Council - Towards a framework for estimating the carbon emissions impact of individual modal shift projects using historical data from London. Read paper here

Liz Irvin, Atkins (SNC Lavalin)- Positive Visions of a Low Carbon Future. Read paper here

Each Bursarian will receive £500 on producing a satisfactory paper and presenting to the TPS Board.

The TPS Board is delighted to award Georgia Corr as the winner of the TPS Bursary Competition 2019 (pictured below). She receives an additional £250 to be presented in the summer. 



TPS  provided a mentor for each successful applicant to provide insight, guidance and assurance, and the completed papers will  be disseminated by the Society more widely.

TPS BURSARY COMPETITION 2018  – Transport Planners and other disciplines better together !

Three submissions were selected from entries for the 2018 competition to write up their papers and present to board members.

Jannat Alkhanizi and Juan Carlos del Rosario Grimon (both of Mott Macdonald) - Stakeholder Management in Heritage-Related Transportation Projects Planning to Fail or Failing to Plan. Read paper here

Sarah Harris (Mott MacDonald)- The Requirements for and Benefits of Inter-Discipline Collaboration for Displaying Transport Modelling Output. Read paper here

Natasha Smithson (Aecom) - Planning New Communities: Finding the balance between private car use and sustainable transport. Read paper here 

The judging panel (made up of senior TPS Board Members) deemed all the submissions worthy of the £500 prize money.

They were also delighted to award Natasha Smithson as the winner of the TPS Bursary competition 2018 pictured receiving the award from Stephen Bennett and Jo Ward, TPS Director responsible for Bursaries


Bursary winner with SB and JW


TPS BURSARY COMPETITION 2017 – Integrated Transport and Land-Use Planning 

Five papers  for the 2017 were competition submitted from :

Giulio Ferrini (Sustrans) - research into whether public transport–centric development risks suppressing more active travel, using Canary Wharf as an example. 

To download the paper click G Ferrini paper

Matthew Parker - research into the impacts of new rail stations on vehicle ownership in associated settlements. 

To download the paper click M Parker paper

Shona Rawlings (Peter Brett Associates) - research into the impact of Section 75 Planning Obligations on transport targets and objectives at Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, Glasgow. 

To download the paper click  S Rawlings paper

Elliott Read (Vectos) - research into the connectivity between existing local transport infrastructure and Manchester’s Home cultural centre.

To download the paper click E Read paper

Elliott Reid (Aecom) - research into the success of “Designing Streets” principles in encouraging walking and cycling.

To download the paper click  E Reid paper

The Bursary of the Year Award” has been made to Giulio Ferrini pictured below receiving his Award from TPS Director, Tim Morton

Giulio Ferrini Bursary winner 2017


The TPS Director responsible for the 2017 Bursary Competition, Tim Morton, commented :

“The Board were particularly impressed by the logic and innovative thinking of Giulio’s work, and his strongly evidence-based approach to supporting his conclusion.”


 TPS BURSARY COMPETITION 2016 – Technology in Transport 

The 2016 competition was held in collaboration with Transport Systems Catapult.

We asked Bursarians to research and analyse the outcomes of any one application of technology in transport terms. For example, has SATNAV reduced the distance people travel? Has Uber affected modal share? Are journey planners encouraging use of public transport? Is in-vehicle technology making the roads safer? And then to consider how the same technology may be improved and applied in the future – maybe enhancing the technology, using the same technology in a wholly different way, or developing a new technology drawn from past experience.

Five Bursary awards were made :

Clare Cornes – TfGM

Use of technology during Incident Response in Greater Manchester, to aid incident recovery and associated travel demand management

          To download the paper, click Clare Cornes.pdf

Rebecca Craig – LB Hounslow

The impact of technology as used by Transportation Network Companies such as Uber in Kampala, Uganda

To download the paper, click Rebecca Craig.pdf

Catherine Evans – Systra

Use of technology to inform purchasers and instil sustainable travel at the time of property purchase

            To download the paper, click Catherine Evans copy.pdf

Joely Hill – DHA Transport

Use of technology such as social media as an intrinsic part of Travel Plans

            To download the paper, click Joely Hill.pdf

Chris Small – TfGM

Use of technology to enhance bus priority at traffic signals in Greater Manchester

To download the paper, click Chris Small.pdf

Joint prizes for “Bursary of the Year” were also awarded to Rebecca Craig and Catherine Evans for the excellence of their papers. 

Tim Morton, TPS Director responsible for the Bursary competition, commented “All five Bursary papers were well researched and very thought provoking. The TPS Board particularly liked Rebecca’s and Catherine’s papers for their originality and the quality of data collection and analysis undertaken.”                                                         

James Gleave of TSC commented : “It was good to see so many Young Professionals in TPS interested in understanding the impacts of technology. It was also highly encouraging to see ideas that could potentially have a high impact on transport.”


For 2015, we asked applicants to consider how demand management could be achieved without full road user charging which has failed to gain public acceptance despite the potential benefits.  In this context, how do we influence and manage transport demand for the good of all?  Can smarter pricing approaches covering all modes provide a way forward?  Or can travel behaviour be changed in other ways, at a local or strategic level, using either carrot or stick?  Will new means of accessing travel options through mobile devices offer new options for transport planners? How can land use planning help reduce the demand for travel? And how do we evaluate the full and wider benefits of active travel to better justify their inclusion in transport planning?

Three winners were announced at the AGM on 3 March 2016.

Hannah Beaven (WSP|Parsons Brinckerhoff) – “Making the Case for Active Travel Initiatives as a Travel Demand Management Tool – Ways forward given Problems with Evaluation” . To download the paper click Hannah Bevan.pdf

Melina Christina (Atkins) – “Time to Spread the Peak!” To download the paper click Melina Christina.pdf

Tom Fleming (ITP) – “Travel Budgeting – the New Incentive-led Approach to an Integrated System of Travel Taxation”. To download the paper click Tom Fleming.pdf

Melina Christina was awarded the prize for Bursary of the Year at the TPS meeting on 3 March 2016.

Melina explained the potential benefits of peak spreading on London Underground. Through a literature review and a survey of central London employees, she identified the opportunities and constraints involved, and the incentives needed to achieve it, such as financial savings for travelling off-peak and realtime information about crowding. Case studies from overseas supported her conclusions.

bursary award compressed


For the 2014 Awards we asked applicants to  tell us what an incoming government should do to improve  planning for transport. With a General Election in 2015 and elections to the Scottish Government and Welsh and Northern Ireland Assemblies in 2016,  it’s a good time to consider what any future government’s  priorities should be. In the last few years, many experts have  questioned the current system of transport appraisal and theaccuracy of national road traffic forecasts. Other recent  developments with a potential impact on transport planning  include an increasing role for the private sector in local  decision making on transport and the return of theresponsibility for public health to local  authorities.Transport planning also needs to help meet the  challenges of climate change and poor air quality, and to secure transport system resilience to extreme weather events.
Bursaries for 2014 were awarded to:

Ward Alsafi (JMP Consultants - "Space and Flow: How can the Government better link Land Use and Transport Planning ?"

John Bradburn (Atkins) –"Planning our Nationally Significant Transport Infrastructure: time for a re-think or business as usual ?"

Stuart Northall (Mott MacDonald)- " Improving the political case for transport investment:: an  ex-post evaluation of the external benefits of the Nottingham Express Transit LRT Scheme"

James Rhodes (JMP Consultants) – "What should an Incoming Government do to improve Planning for Transport?  Include Local People" -  An investigation of the relationship between transport and health whilst examining the importance of local people and adopting a bottom-up approach to transport planning ploicies and procedures. 

Their papers are available for download by clicking on the above links.

Stuart Northall was awarded the prize for Bursary of the Year at the TPS meeting on 23 April 2015.


In 2013, four bursarians produced papers for presentation to the Board early in 2014. The process involves the support of a mentor and bursarians gain useful experience in researching a topic and creating a paper that appeals to others plus £500 each. This year’s theme was ‘How can transport best support economic growth?’. The aim was to focus on issues surrounding  new transport infrastructure and if it is likely to guarantee economic growth. The papers produced in response were:

No train, no gain? Valuing the economic impact of a decade of transport investment in London's Docklands - Dave Arquati  (Docklands Light Railway)

"Let's Go Forward Together": Is it time for development planning stakeholders to declare war on the recession and plan a route to recovery as allies not enemies? The case of the transport sector – Emma Taylor (Integrated Transport Planning Ltd)

Will HS2 or a number of smaller rail improvements represent better value for money? - Nick Gammer (Hampshire County Council)

Is new High-Speed rail infrastructure the best method for boosting economic growth: Highly Supportive or Highly Suspicious? – Murray Stevenson (Systra)

Mentors John Rider, Howard Potter, Alina Tuerk and Tim Morton guided the production of the papers and the final papers were submitted at the end of 2013.  Bursarians then presented their papers to Board members in London and the Board’s response was based both on the written papers and the presentations. The Award for the Best Bursary of 2013 was given to Dave Arquati who produced a well-researched paper and an excellent presentation.


The Society focused the call for bursary applications on our theme for 2012:

‘A harder edge for soft measures: what can we do to encourage and accommodate all transport users?'

People who walk and cycle are often considered to be 'vulnerable'.  However smarter choices are not just about safety - it's also about policy and the legislative context.  We are inviting contributions to the soft measures debate on this theme with an emphasis on promoting smarter choices initiatives successfully.  There has been a lot of debate about soft measures in terms of their potential impacts and value for money, especially when compared with infrastructure schemes.  How can we address issues of ‘vulnerability’?  How can many more people overcome their perceptions and move towards smart choices for regular journeys?  Should initiatives include a mixture of infrastructure and empowerment?  Is the terminology correct?  How can a shift from car use be achieved and what measures are likely to be most effective?

Applicants were asked to frame a specific title and subject for their bursary paper, of their own choice, relevant to the theme and to transport planning in the UK. 

The finalists are listed below, their papers are available by clicking on the links:

Rebecca Fishburn won the 2012 bursary. Rebecca is pictured here receiving the award from Keith Buchan.



The Bursary Awards for 2011 were all centered on the theme of: 'How will localism affect the planning, co-ordination and delivery of land use and transport'.

Our five successful bursarians come from Somerset, Norwich, London, Nottingham and Birmingham. Their Bursary Papers can be read by using the links below.

The Bursary Award evening was held on 10th May 2012 in London, where two of the successful bursarians presented their papers and sparked a lively discussion into localism.

The 2011 'Bursary of the Year' prize was awarded during the evening to Stephen Walford for his paper ‘Bananas with Pickles: Does the localism menu risk creating the recipe for strategic malaise?’ Congratulations Stephen!

Keith Buchan, the Chair of TPS, seen here with Stephen, the Bursarian of the Year, and Alina who presented at the TPS Bursary Evening on 10th May 2012. 

Stephen Walford, Somerset County Council: Bananas with Pickles: Does the localism menu risk creating the recipe for strategic malaise?  To read Stephen’s Bursary Paper please click here.

Alina Tuerk, Mott MacDonald London: Power to the Cyclists: Opportunities for partnerships between transport planners and cycle campaigners.  To read Alina’s Bursary Paper please click here.

Emma Kinsey, Norfolk County Council: Delivering transport initiatives through the localism agenda; will it create a fairer society?  To read Emma’s Bursary Paper please click here.

Stephanie Norris, Integrated Transport Planning, Nottingham: Localism – Harmony or Conflict in Transport Planning.  To read Stephanie’s Bursary Paper please click here.

James Beard, Mott MacDonald Birmingham: ‘Their plans for their areas’: Flexible geographies and what ‘localism’ could mean in the context of transport planning.  To read James’ Bursary Paper please click here.


The Bursary Awards for 2010 were all centred on the theme of: 'Getting sustainable transport planning right into an age of public sector austerity'.

Our six successful bursarians come from Birmingham, Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Newcastle.  Their Bursary Papers can be found in our online library.

For the first time, the TPS awarded a prize for 'Bursary of the Year'. The standard of the papers was so high that it was decided to award a joint 'Bursary of the Year' to Graham Grant and Mark Powell.  Congratulations to you both!

 Our Winners of the Best Bursary Papers for 2010 

Victoria Hills, then Chair of TPS, seen here presenting the awards to Graham and Mark at the TPS AGM on 23rd February 2011.


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