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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...
Public transport can’t be complacent

Public transport can’t be complacent

A trip to San Francisco, a global showcase of mobility innovation, demonstrated that ‘classic’ public transport needs to raise its game   San Francisco seems to be at the epicentre of every new transport innovation being discussed on a global scale     Disruption continues in the world of mobility. Opportunities are leading to new...
In celebration of celebrating diversity

In celebration of celebrating diversity

It’s amazing that public transport providers openly support gay events in their localities. Love is all around. But it wasn’t always   It’s a credit to our industry that public transport providers openly support gay events in their localities   Quite rightly, we hear an awful lot about diversity and celebrating diversity in public transport....
Corbyn wrong to cry ‘Take back control!’

Corbyn wrong to cry ‘Take back control!’

The grievances of rail users may be well grounded, but the Labour leader’s leap to renationalisation is not. It is a knee-jerk reaction   The world has moved on, but Jeremy Corbyn has not   Goodbye Lenin was a wonderfully endearing and funny film. Released in 2003, it tells the story of a staunch supporter...