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A vision for the future of ‘Rail Cities’

A vision for the future of ‘Rail Cities’

The crisis on Northern and Thameslink shows how important rail is for cities – and opens up a space for some bigger thinking   The Tyne & Wear Metro   The recent meltdowns on Northern and Thameslink not only left many passengers beside themselves with frustration about not being able to get to work on...
Buses need long term investment strategy

Buses need long term investment strategy

As we celebrate Catch the Bus Week, a new report warns that buses are in crisis. With more cuts on the horizon, action is needed   Buses minister Nusrat Ghani and Transport Select Committee chair Lilian Greenwood joined Greener Journeys in Westminister on July 2 to launch this year’s annual Catch the Bus Week  ...
Our Brexit journey will be a rough ride

Our Brexit journey will be a rough ride

Two years on from the Brexit referendum, where have we got to? I revisit my eight initial predictions and offer some new ones     There have been plenty of transport metaphors to be found in the articles on Brexit that are now a regular feature of our daily newspapers, and none of them positive....
Safer transport and automation

Safer transport and automation

‘Safety & Security’ was the theme of last month’s International Transport Forum Summit in Leipzig. I was one of 1,200 visitors   A panel session during the International Transport Forum’s 2018 Summit   The Paris-based International Transport Forum, which is an associated agency of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), and based in...
So what’s this franchising for?

So what’s this franchising for?

Franchising is a ‘half-way house’ model that combines the public and private sector. But roles and risks must be carefully considered   The East Coast franchise tells us that the infinite suppressed demand actually isn’t there   It was the high-watermark of the Thatcher government that brought deregulation and privatisation into common usage – terms...
In the silence of my lonely room

In the silence of my lonely room

The government wants to tackle loneliness. Is this an opportunity for public transport to be part of the solution to another problem?   Gothenburg’s Vasttrafik makes its point, and says: ‘Thank you for travelling together!’   Follow social media and you follow corporations and government departments beating an infographic-rich path towards a series of worthwhile...
10 questions that must be answered

10 questions that must be answered

Stephen Glaister’s inquiry into the timetable fiasco at Northern and Thameslink must be genuine, with nothing off limits   In a move I have never seen before, 25 newspaper titles in the north have come together to demand the government “get a grip”   Back in 1985, following a short spell with British Rail, I...
The Holy Grail looks as far away as ever

The Holy Grail looks as far away as ever

The problems with the East Coast franchise go right to the heart of the franchising model. I predict more trouble ahead   LNER: Starting June 23, 2018   There was a pithy letter in The Guardian this week from one Bob Ward in Leeds. He wrote: “I’m concerned that the trains on the east coast...
The impact of an ageing society

The impact of an ageing society

Society is getting older and this will bring new expectations. What will it mean for the mobility industry and are we ready?     In a changing world where almost all businesses are facing multiple disruptions, new local, regional and even global competitors and the need to justify their continued role to public authorities, stakeholders,...
Here’s tae us; Wha’s like us?

Here’s tae us; Wha’s like us?

Scotland’s railway has become a symbol of the nation’s ambition and bigger thinking – it’s time that bus policy caught up   Electrification is not dead in Scotland   Someone senior in the transport sector in Scotland told me recently that they didn’t think that Scotland care that much about whether England is aware of...
Just the ticket - but this won’t be easy

Just the ticket – but this won’t be easy

I welcome the Rail Delivery Group’s root and branch review of ticketing – but a splash of healthy realism needs to be delivered   Buying tickets the old fashioned way – at the ticket office – can be more expensive   The initiative by the Rail Delivery Group, representing all the train operating companies, to...
We can’t afford to ignore bus stops

We can’t afford to ignore bus stops

It takes hard work and dedication to attract new customers on to buses. So why do we so often fail at the first hurdle, the bus stop?   Some bus operators see the value of bus stops and take responsibility for them – others don’t   If you had a shop and the council came...