Featured researcher: Professor Jon Shaw

Professor Jon Shaw is the Associate Head of School (Geography) for the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences. Jon has a BSc (Hons) in Geography, a PG Dip in Social Science Research, a PhD in Human Geography and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

Jon has come full circle in his career – starting out gaining a BSc (Hons) in Geography from Plymouth University, he then spent time in America, Scotland, Australia and Germany, before returning to Plymouth in 2006 and gaining professor status in 2008.

Leading the way in transport policy

Professor Jon Shaw’s research work has a common thread of transport policy. Together with Dr Andrew Seedhouse from South West Smart Applications Ltd, they have been awarded more than £4 million of government funding for the nationwide introduction of smart ticketing (similar to the Oyster Card). 

Now almost all the buses in the South West England have been equipped with ticket machines compatible with smart ticketing, and an increasing number of smart ticketing options is starting to appear. This work was judged as a 4* Impact Case Study in the 2014 REF.

Find out more about South West Smart Applications Ltd

The transport debate

Jon’s latest book, The Transport Debate, written with Professor Iain Docherty of Glasgow University, takes a completely novel approach to analysing transport issues, taking as its starting point the journeys – the very aspects of the transport system with which we are all most familiar – made by ‘Motorway Man’ Paul Smith and his family. 

The Smiths’ experiences during the commute, the school run, the business trip, the family visit and the summer holiday, reveal the many shortcomings, occasional successes, and various opportunities for improvement evident in UK transport policy.

Rail line disruption set for dramatic increase as sea levels continue to rise

Billions of pounds have been committed to the HS2 rail link, but our predictions suggest that just eight years after its completion, rail users in the South West will be facing a situation where their only service cannot function for 40 days each year.

Jon is part of a team of researchers who look at the implications for vulnerable stretches of railway, including Dawlish to Teignmouth stretch.

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Research into society, culture and mobility

Jon is member of the society, culture and mobility research group at Plymouth University. The research in this group draws upon and contributes to geographical thinking to provide an understanding of issues affecting contemporary society. Their work is characterised by well-contextualised empirical studies that further geographical knowledge and are valuable to policy makers and practitioners.

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