Comment
Reaching behind the rhetoric on rail fares

Reaching behind the rhetoric on rail fares

The responses to this year’s annual rail fares increase were all too predictable. The industry should consider some different tactics   Rail passengers have faced years of above inflation fare increases   Another January, another in the relentless sequence of fare rises on our trains. And another set of all too predictable responses. So first...
How can we move buses up the agenda?

How can we move buses up the agenda?

Should CPT abandon its steady National Trust-style lobbying and move towards a more vigorous and confrontational approach?   The excellent work done by Claire Haigh for Greener Journeys has demonstrated very clearly the huge economic significance of the bus   All change. This version of the Confederation of Passenger Transport terminates here. At least, it...
The impact of new ways of working

The impact of new ways of working

The culture of working nine-to-five, five days a week at the same desk in the same building is in retreat, and transport must adapt   A WeWork office in central London   My 25 years in the transport industry have been based on assumptions about the need for the mass movement of people, and goods,...
The best transport secretary we’ve had?

The best transport secretary we’ve had?

Half a century after Barbara Castle’s landmark 1968 Transport Act received Royal Assent, it’s a good time to examine her legacy   Barbara Castle served as minister for transport from December 1965 until April 1968   Barbara Castle was the first woman to be secretary of state for transport, but was she also the best...
Hammond bankrolls roads to ruin

Hammond bankrolls roads to ruin

Chancellor Philip Hammond earmarked £28.8bn for new and upgraded roads in last week’s budget. It’s a policy with many flaws   The budget earmarked almost £30bn for new and upgraded roads   So roads, roads and lots more roads. In his budget speech, Philip Hammond did not quite evoke the idea from John Major’s government...
It’s late, but that will soon be forgotten

It’s late, but that will soon be forgotten

Crossrail is delayed, but this is not surprising give the complexity of the project – but when it arrives we will all be impressed     There’s been a lot of fuss about the delay and the extra cost of Crossrail in recent weeks, but overall the project has escaped the sort of negative publicity...
Can HS2 be saved from itself - before it is too late?

Can HS2 be saved from itself – before it is too late?

As one of the first politicians to champion High Speed 2, I have watched with dismay the warning lights flash one after the other   An artist’s impression of Birmingham’s Curzon Street station   It has the support of the three main political parties. It has made good progress through parliament, passing its Commons stage...
What I found on the conference circuit

What I found on the conference circuit

In this time of seismic political shifts, the party conferences have become more interesting. New ideas for transport are emerging     After a long period of the ‘narcissism of small differences’ in politics, with major parties clustered around a post-Thatcher, free trade settlement, suddenly everything has busted open in a delayed reaction to the...
Yet another review - will this be different?

Yet another review – will this be different?

‘A once-in-a-generation opportunity?’ Not quite, we’ve had more rail reviews than we have had failed franchises on the East Coast   Confidence in the captain of the ship, bumbling Chris Grayling, is in rather short supply   It was no surprise to have details of the much-trailed rail review announced on the same day as...
We need a choice of cross-Channel trains

We need a choice of cross-Channel trains

I am a regular and largely satisified Eurostar user, but we haven’t yet fulfilled the potential of rail travel via the Channel Tunnel   Deutsche Bahn’s plans for cross-Channel services have not progressed far beyond a 2010 photoshoot     Travel between Britain and continental Europe has been revolutionised over the last 24 years as...
Orange revolution held at red signal

Orange revolution held at red signal

London mayor Sadiq Khan’s desire to extend the Overground is matched by transport secretary Chris Grayling’s desire to stop him   Investment: new Overground trains at Bombardier’s Derby site     It was no surprise to see the mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, recently renew his calls for more suburban rail services to be transferred...
Grayling - ‘He’s King Midas In Reverse’

Grayling – ‘He’s King Midas In Reverse’

Chris Grayling has shamelessly blamed others and he is always reacting to events, not leading them. It’s time he was moved on   Chris Grayling was made transport secretary in July 2016     I have always liked that old 1967 Hollies song, King Midas In Reverse. Here’s a couple of verses: It’s plain to...