17 August 2020


England's Economic Heartland has announced the winner of its Vision 2050 competition, which encouraged a fresh perspective on the future of the region's transport system from students, graduates, apprentices and others new to the sector.

Emily Seabrook, a graduate civil engineer at Skanska, was chosen by a renowned judging panel for her holistic approach to connectivity, focusing on better access and connectivity throughout the Heartland region, maximising and complementing the existing network.

Since being chosen by the panel prior to COVID-19 lockdown, Emily has been part of England's Economic Heartland's 'Influencers' Group', which has acted as a 'critical friend' during the development of EEH's Draft Transport Strategy, published for consultation on July 14th. She was on the panel for a webinar to mark the strategy's launch and will be presenting her vision at EEH's virtual annual conference on September 15. Emily has worked with spatial design agency 5th Studio to bring her vision to life in the form of an eye-catching infographic.

The judging panel was chaired by Professor Sadie Morgan OBE (co-founding director at RIBA Stirling Prize winning dRMM Architects), and also included Lynda Addison OBE (Chair of CIHT's Sustainable Transport Panel and former chair of the Transport Planning Society), Peter Stonham (founder of Landor LINKS, which publishes Local Transport Today) and Lucy Ellis (an apprentice at the East West Rail Alliance, who was shortlisted as an Apprentice & Graduate of the Year 2018 by Women in Rail).

Sadie said: "The finalists' enthusiasm bodes well for the future of transport planning. Emily's vision covered many different aspects of connectivity, considering both urban and rural needs, and those of freight as well as people. It contained a number of innovations and was an example of the type of forward-thinking approach we need to meet the challenges of the future."

Emily, who works in infrastructure services at Oxfordshire County Council, said: "The competition encouraged me to consider the tangible and intangible challenges faced to meet a net-zero emissions target. I enjoyed trying to piece together all the interconnected features of a transport system and the varying nature of its users. I am looking forward to speaking at the annual conference and hope to see forward thinking change in the infrastructure we use daily."

The other finalists were:

  • Ryan Cogan, Graduate Transport Planner, WSP
  • Ryan Curtis, Graduate Transport Planner, Ringway Jacobs
  • Deborah Keary, Graduate Transport Planner, WSP
  • Monty Harr, Solutions Engineer, Immense Simulations
  • Alex Dawn, Transport Modelling Consultant, City Science

All of the finalists' visions are available to read on our special competition microsite.