My Trip
Comment
Barbara Castle showed how to get things done

Barbara Castle showed how to get things done

  Harold Wilson said he wanted a ‘tiger in the tank’ of his transport policy when he appointed Barbara Castle – and that’s what he got   Barbara Castle showed us that you need to go out there and relentlessly sell radical change   On September 8th more than 350 people took part in the first...
Don’t get complacent about punctuality

Don’t get complacent about punctuality

  Punctuality and reliability soared when lockdown took rail users away. We must not now regard the return of delays as inevitable   Unless we’re all over the detail, a trend of worsening punctuality could become a crisis in a few months’ time   “The problem with you is that you are always looking for...
Rethinking the railway for a post-Covid world

Rethinking the railway for a post-Covid world

  We have an opportunity to fundamentally reconsider how we use space on trains as well as the role of the national rail network   Before the pandemic, Dutch railway NS worked on train designs that enhance the experience for customers   The last 18 months have been a time of unparalleled change and disruption...
A27 - a billion pound act of vandalism

A27 – a billion pound act of vandalism

  The proposed new dual carriageway between Lewes and Polegate reveals the flaws in the government’s £27bn road building plan   View of the A27 from Mount Caburn   As the COP 26 event in Glasgow approaches, greater scrutiny than usual is rightly being paid to the government’s environmental promises and, more pertinently, their actions....
It’s time to swap Teams for trains

It’s time to swap Teams for trains

  The rail industry must radically rethink its proposition to business customers in order to lure them out of their online bunkers   A radical reinvention is needed   What’s strange is how quickly people have changed! I’ve noticed a few times recently some bemused looks from industry folk when I’ve explained, often as a...
Be like Rotterdam and ‘make it happen’

Be like Rotterdam and ‘make it happen’

  The planet is in danger. The trouble is that all too often targets and declarations can become ‘sign and forget’ – we need to act now   Rotterdam Centraal station   “The frequency and intensity of heavy precipitation events have increased since the 1950s over most land area for which observational data are sufficient...
We want to truly transform rail travel

We want to truly transform rail travel

With commuting patterns probably changed forever, many more train journeys now involve an active choice. We need to adapt – wrtes LNER boss David Horne   David Horne   Data released earlier this month by the Department for Transport shows that use of the National Rail network in Great Britain is back up to 55%...
Jam tomorrow - we need a plan for 2021

Jam tomorrow – we need a plan for 2021

  In many ways the Transport Decarbonisation Plan is ambitious – but promises for 2050 are easier to make than immediate actions   Huw Merriman, chair of the Transport Select Committee, pictured in May at the launch of a campaign to get more people back on public transport. Let us see some ministers visibly on...
From Point A to B, with a bit of poetry

From Point A to B, with a bit of poetry

  Transport authorities fought hard to bring trams back to our cities. How can we insulate light rail against Whitehall’s mood swings?   The caff sits in the centre of the turning circle outside the station. A tram moves forward to pick up passengers heading into Lviv’s centre   Leeds 1953 Leeds was one of...
What my transport journey taught me

What my transport journey taught me

  After nine enjoyable and rewarding years in the transport industry, I’m moving on. But before I go, I want to offer some observations   We must persuade more people to leave their cars at home   As I prepare to bid farewell to The Go-Ahead Group, this month marks the end of a stint...
Root and branch? This is twig and leaf

Root and branch? This is twig and leaf

  This week’s announcement on flexi-tickets for rail travel falls short of what is required. We must continue to press for reform   The key test is whether what has been put in place will encourage more people back onto the train   We’ve all been waiting on the platform for ages – years in...
I tried to stop a rail privatisation

I tried to stop a rail privatisation

  Our high profile campaign failed to prevent rail privatisation. In the end it collapsed under the weight of its own contradictions   I was the coordinator of the ‘Save our Railways’ campaign   Since the Williams-Shapps rail plan was published it seems like everybody has been telling their story of rail privatisation. So I’m...