Comment
£690m to ease congestion?

£690m to ease congestion?

BUDGET 2017   In 2010, Philip Hammond said the ‘war on the motorist’ had ended. Now he wants a war on congestion   By Robert Jack The launch of a £690m competition for local authorities across England to tackle urban congestion and “get local transport networks moving again” was a welcome surprise in chancellor Philip...
US cities are getting smart on growth

US cities are getting smart on growth

Experience in America has shown that smart growth can benefit public transport – but the trick is to help make great places   71% of voters backed LA’s ‘Measure M’   Regrettably the word ‘smart’ may not automatically be the first word that springs to all readers’ minds in relation to the United States at...
The damage is matched only by the futility

The damage is matched only by the futility

After a long period of relative calm, we are seeing again a labour dispute as bitter and futile as the ones fought out in the 1980s   Coverage of the 1982 train drivers’ dispute in the The Standard   Disputes over changes to working practices seem to generate extraordinary levels of intransigence quite unjustified by...
Failure is the route to innovation

Failure is the route to innovation

The bus industry must innovate or die. We just need someone to stop making excuses, take a chance and be prepared to fail   Some companies are offering a glimmer of hope with bold new innovations, like Slide from RATP Dev   By Mike Fletcher, mhd partnership In the previous edition of Passenger Transit (PT152), there...
Southern: Bring back the red lampposts

Southern: Bring back the red lampposts

There’s no way back for Southern, and DOO is not the problem. Why not gradually recreate the much missed Network Southeast?   Network SouthEast: much admired and much missed   ASLEF calling off this week’s three day drivers’ strike on Southern to allow for meaningful talks on DOO (driver only operation) is hugely welcome, but...
Leave the office and offer a ‘helping hand’

Leave the office and offer a ‘helping hand’

Professionalism isn’t imperiously poncing around in a suit, it’s understanding your product, your customers and your staff   Stagecoach chairman Sir Brian Souter could often be found behind the wheel of a bus, even when he was the group’s chief executive   You would have thought it was rather important to have a reasonable knowledge...
Is Maynard the man with the radical plan?

Is Maynard the man with the radical plan?

  Our Whitehall insider imagines what’s going on inside the minds of the mandarins at Great Minster House, home of the DfT   You’ve got to admire our secretary of state’s bravado! He has told the RMT to stop playing politics with the railways over their strike action on Southern. Yet that’s exactly what Chris...
Tyne & Wear Metro: urban rail unleashed

Tyne & Wear Metro: urban rail unleashed

The Metro is the bone structure of Tyne & Wear’s identity, economy and daily life – and it’s Britain’s innovation railway too     There’s two key elements to a successful urban rail network – best use of emerging technology and local decision makers who embody the spirit of civic entrepreneurialism. That is the capacity...
The strike is legal and EU law does not apply

The strike is legal and EU law does not apply

The High Court made it clear that the ASLEF action is legal under UK law and that EU freedom of movement principles do not apply.     I was in the High Court for most of the hearing into GTR’s application for a temporary injunction to stop the ASLEF strikes on Southern pending a full...
Hayes' nightmare vision of transport beauty

Hayes’ nightmare vision of transport beauty

John Hayes’ views on attractive transport infrastructure are incoherent and a prejudiced example of Modernism-bashing   Hoenheim-Nord tram terminus   By Daniel Wright The UK government has decided that transport infrastructure should look nice as well as working well, enhancing the built environment rather than detracting from it, as transport minister John Hayes explained in...
Brexit is reframing the transport debate

Brexit is reframing the transport debate

The party conference season offered an opportunity to survey the changing political landscape – and Brexit looms over everything     With the party conference season over we are now getting some clearer signals of what the priorities for the new government are and to what extent they dovetail with the transport priorities of the...
Such union hostility is poisonous

Such union hostility is poisonous

When Southern’s long running dispute with guards is over, it will be important to heal the wounds and get people pulling together   Heaven knows what the RMT is up to. Apparently, though I have not seen the letter, they have advised Southern guards to accept the ‘on board supervisor’ role when it begins in...