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Williams - on the right track?

Williams – on the right track?

  The world which the railway faces today is very different to the one that Keith Williams saw when he began his review   Okehampton: an early win   One of the more dispiriting experiences in life is waiting on a station platform, only to see on the information display the expected arrival time of...
Plenty of ambition, but ambiguity also

Plenty of ambition, but ambiguity also

  The National Bus Strategy sets out an attractive vision for the future of buses, but questions remain over how it will be achieved     For years we have been arguing that passengers in our areas don’t want on-street competition and private companies determining this key public service that they rely on. Instead they...
Curtain comes down on bus deregulation

Curtain comes down on bus deregulation

  Our Whitehall insider imagines what’s going on inside the minds of the mandarins at Great Minster House, home of the DfT     Finally, we’ve published the National Bus Strategy. As ever when new “strategies” get published governments love to describe them as revolutionary or ambitious. The National Bus Strategy is no exception, with...
Happy birthday, Passenger Transport!

Happy birthday, Passenger Transport!

  It’s hard to believe that this great magazine has been around for 10 years. It’s been part of my development, and perhaps yours too   How time flies! 10 years ago, I was privileged to be selected by the founders of this great mag, Robert Jack and Andrew Garnett, to spend their very first...
Brutally clear messaging for public transport

Brutally clear messaging for public transport

  Recent government advice has been ill-advised   The messaging for passenger transport users has been brutally clear   Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the UK government has managed to undermine everyone who deals with passenger transport. This has taken the form of an instruction – do not use public transport – rather than informed advice....
What will the post-Covid railway look like?

What will the post-Covid railway look like?

John Nelson and Richard Davies consider what the future patterns of rail demand might look like in the mid 2020s – and pose a number of questions about the rail industry’s future     The pandemic has been with us now for just over nine months. Its impact on the country’s economy and social life...
Bus services shouldn’t be a secret

Bus services shouldn’t be a secret

  If bus operators want customers, then they need to provide the right information     This not a new topic but one that remains resolute despite being a basic requirement – the lack of reliable information about bus services. Getting it right is not a technical challenge given the digitisation of data but the...
Raising the bar

Raising the bar

  Let’s reshape the public transport experience for the benefit of all   There is still no guarantee a wheelchair user will actually be able to make the journeys they want   The deadline to end the sale of polluting cars has been brought forward to 2030. With the cost of electric vehicles still huge,...
Achieving a step change in mobility

Achieving a step change in mobility

  A step change in mobility is required but it won’t be easy to deliver. It should deliver a multiplicity of transport modes and solutions with a clear focus on sustainable choices for a range of trip purposes and types   In many ways the history of the 20th century has been the recreation of...
Good riddance 2020, but what will 2021 bring?

Good riddance 2020, but what will 2021 bring?

  Few will be sad to see the back of 2020. Here are my hopes and fears for the New Year   Normally time flies when you’re having fun and my traditional ‘Hopes and Fears’ for the year ahead comes round as rapidly as Boris changing his mind, but these last 12 months of unrelenting...
What's in a name?

What’s in a name?

  Avoiding ambiguities in common transport parlance   George Shillibeer provided the first omnibus service in London in 1829   We still create confusion about some of the key means of transport simply because of the nomenclature we use. Everyday descriptions such as ‘bus’ conjure up different images to different people, some of which may...
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...