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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...
Rail replacement is just not working

Rail replacement is just not working

  That such little progress has been made in the management of engineering works suggests the solution is complex. It is not   This recent tweet from LBC’s James O’Brien sums up how many of us feel about rail replacement services   There are a few phrases in life that trigger a heart-sinking, soul-sapping feeling....
Will we build back better - or worse?

Will we build back better – or worse?

  The government has bought itself breathing space over the past six months. It’s time for big decisions that will shape the future   The planned National Bus Strategy is also now more relevant than ever   If a week is a long time in politics, then the last six months have been a lifetime....
Recovery? I don’t see much sign of that

Recovery? I don’t see much sign of that

  Our Whitehall insider imagines what’s going on inside the minds of the mandarins at Great Minster House, home of the DfT   So we’ve put in place new Emergency Recovery Management Agreements (ERMAs) for the train operators to replace the initial Emergency Management Agreements (EMAs). Do we have a secret committee tasked with dreaming...
Achieving better air quality

Achieving better air quality

  Poor air quality is recognised as a widespread problem but attempts to deal it with are failing     The air we breathe in many places is unacceptably polluted. We live with it because we have to but there is increasing recognition of the harmful effects of poor air quality. There have been huge...
Why are we arguing?

Why are we arguing?

  There are extremes on both sides of the face covering debate   The only people who have the power to challenge someone not wearing a face covering are the police   We seem to have become a nation divided into ‘pro’ and ‘anti’ face coverings, with both sides unwilling to let others make their...