My Trip
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Party conferences and a crunch-point

Party conferences and a crunch-point

  The big issues were debated at this year’s lively party conferences, but there are huge questions to be answered on transport policy   A vision of Greater Manchester’s fully integrated network, championed by mayor Andy Burnham   It felt like the fallow Covid period has reinvigorated party conferences as institutions that previously felt like...
The final nail in the franchising coffin?

The final nail in the franchising coffin?

  Govia being stripped of Southeastern should bring the curtain down on franchising and hasten the introduction of concessions   A Southeastern 465 Unit at Gravesend   Shall we just knock it on the head now? I mean, franchising. With the demise of Southeastern, it’s tempting just to expedite the move towards National Rail Concessions...
We need radical actions, not hot air

We need radical actions, not hot air

  Lurid warnings and distant targets won’t avert climate change. Transport is a key battleground and we desperately need a plan   Boris Johnson last week told the assembly of world leaders at the United Nations in New York that COP26 had to be a “turning point for humanity”   I don’t know about you,...
Branding must not suffer during hiatus

Branding must not suffer during hiatus

  GB Railways may be two or three years away but it’s coming so many TOCs have given up on their brand. This should worry us all   The BR logo would appear to resonate with Joe and Joanna Public   I’ve been living the dream this last month and have travelled on every TOC...
We must get better to lure motorists

We must get better to lure motorists

  The sad truth is that too many bus services are at best tolerable. We need to make them desirable if we are to achieve modal shift   A welcoming sight?   Travelling on a number of local bus services in the south of England with some industry friends recently, I was, quite frankly, very...
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%...