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Minister to speak at Exchange conference

KEY GOVERNMENT power brokers will be speaking at the UK's first dedicated integrated transport show, it was confirmed this week.

Transport minister Lord Gus MacDonald, chairman of the Government's Commission for Integrated Transport David Begg and Local Government Association chair Sir Jeremy Beecham have all pledged support for the show. They will be keynote speakers on day one of the Interchange Exchange conference at the ExCel venue in London's Docklands on 3-5 April.

The conference will focus on how to realise the big ideas emerging from the debate. It will complement a major exhibition of products and services relating to interchanges including an interactive demonstration area known as Experience.

Delegates can 'interchange' themselves once at the conference because the event will be streamed into three sessions after the keynote speakers on the first morning.

Visitors can choose how they want the conference to go for them by stream changing between each 25 minute speaking slot. The conference programme has been decided after months of industry research and input from the 50-strong Interchange advisory board, which is made up of key figures in the transport industry including many civil engineers. The programme is now available on the Interchange website.

Walking, cycling, all modes of public transport and the car will each come under the spotlight in the quest for integration. Sessions are expected on designing the ideal interchange and how to use land use planning well to deliver good interchanges. The technical challenge to achieve one interoperable ticket for all modes of transport will be explored in depth.

Delegates will be briefed on progress of the Government's 10 year transport plan six months on, and the social trends likely to affect transport in the future. A view on financing integration will come from the chief executive of Abbey National Treasury Services, Gareth Jones, along with progress reports on how councils are raising cash themselves with congestion and workplace parking charging.

Real life case studies are expected to focus on Edinburgh, Nottingham, Bristol and Manchester while multi-modal studies across the UK to consider alternatives to proposed road schemes will be reviewed.

Exchange will be rounded off with a BBC style Question Time chaired by Julia Somerville.

Every delegate will have a chance to submit a question to the high profile panel.

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