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We must not repeat the SRA’s mistakes

We must not repeat the SRA’s mistakes

  It makes sense having a strategic body overseeing the rail industry. The concept should have worked last time, but it didn’t. Why?   Established in 1999, the SRA was placed on a formal legal basis in 2001. It was abolished in 2006   In early December, it will be the 20-year anniversary of the...
We must learn the art of seduction

We must learn the art of seduction

  When someone has paid to travel with us, they are not simply cargo. We must seduce them wickedly, devastatingly, completely   Seductive stunners: Have a gander at Transdev’s new double deckers just coming in on Witchway   Let’s talk about seduction. By and large, and increasingly over the years, the retail sector has really...
The world turned upside down?

The world turned upside down?

  What if the ‘normal’ we had before Covid isn’t there anymore? How will public transport respond to a fundamental realignment?   Mini-Switzerland: A visualisation of new Newport West railway station with bus and active travel interchange   There’s a risk that the short horizons of the Covid crisis, Zoom fatigue and the desire for...
Paris has witnessed a cycling revolution

Paris has witnessed a cycling revolution

  A remarkable thing has happened in Paris. What could its bold, strategic micro-mobility vision do for cities in the UK?   Dedicated cycle routes now seem to be a default option on any route in Paris   As the world grapples with lockdowns, economic disruption and public health challenges, there is a longing to...
How green is your government?

How green is your government?

  The prime minister has unveiled his new 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution, but do his actions really match the rhetoric?   The recently upgraded A14: You cannot build your way out of congestion   How green is your government? It is a timely question with the UK due to host the next...
How can we predict with any confidence?

How can we predict with any confidence?

  Our Whitehall insider imagines what’s going on inside the minds of the mandarins at Great Minster House, home of the DfT   A quick read of the recent letter from the chair of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC), Meg Hillier MP, to our permanent secretary will confirm to you, just in case you are...
Treasury must look beyond bottom line

Treasury must look beyond bottom line

  On too many occasions knee-jerk, prejudiced interventions from No 11 have had a negative and long lasting impact on transport     Follow the money. That is the guiding principle followed by the FBI, and doubtless other such agencies, when they try to unravel complex crime. Follow those who control the money might be...
Do we really want to take over TfL?

Do we really want to take over TfL?

  Our Whitehall insider imagines what’s going on inside the minds of the mandarins at Great Minster House, home of the DfT   Surely we aren’t really going to take over control of Transport for London? Sure, TfL is technically insolvent and had we not given that second tranche of money a couple for weeks...
This is not the new normal we hoped for

This is not the new normal we hoped for

  As we brace ourselves for a difficult period, we need to get a grip on face masks, bus-friendly active travel and collaborative working   TfL enforcement officers   September brought an abrupt end to the dreams of the summer of a linear recovery from Covid-19, where empty office blocks would spring back into strip-lit...
Home working will change our world

Home working will change our world

  Changes in how, where and when many of us work will challenge the assumptions upon which mobility for society is designed   Will Tube patronage ever fully recover?   As the world grapples with lockdowns, economic disruption and public health challenges there is a longing desire to return to a ‘normal’. But what does...
We must rise up and fight for our lives!

We must rise up and fight for our lives!

  Public transport faces a huge struggle to get back on its feet again. We know the future should be ours, but we will have to seize it   The car driver thinks ‘I won’t be long’, writes Ralph Roberts – meanwhile dozens of bus users are delayed   If nothing else, we should have...
Can better transport links save the union?

Can better transport links save the union?

  Our Whitehall insider imagines what’s going on inside the minds of the mandarins at Great Minster House, home of the DfT     So here we go with another transport review. This time we have a ‘Union Connectivity Review’ to be chaired by Sir Peter Hendy, the chairman of Network Rail. The review, we...