WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES!
21 September 2017 | Author: Mike Indian, Senior Political Analyst, DeHavilland
Last year's party conference season saw the Conservatives riding what many believed to be an insurmountable lead with a new Prime Minister in the form of Theresa May and a new mission to take the UK out of the European Union. Meanwhile, the Labour Party was emerging from its second divisive leadership election in two years with Jeremy Corbyn facing a daunting challenge of uniting it to fight a general election.
As we prepare to decamp from Westminster to Brighton and Manchester, the parties have switched position. Labour are buoyed by a better-than-expected performance on 8 June, whilst Mrs May faces questions of a divided Cabinet, a lost majority and an hour glass running down on her time in Downing Street.
WE MUSTN'T MAKE TRANSPORT INVESTMENT INTO A LONDON V THE NORTH BATTLE
20 September 2017 | Author: Prof. David Begg, Chief Executive, Transport Times
The recent criticism of the Government for not giving sufficient priority to the North of England on transport investment does not stand up to scrutiny either historically or on a regional basis.
It is has been a common occurrence for envious eyes to be cast at the scale of transport investment in London. The capital will always do well on a regional comparison as the rapidly growing level of demand for transport ensures that any new rail or underground capacity fills up within a few years. This invariably results in a compelling business case.
HOW DID PASSENGERS GET ON DURING THE WATERLOO UPGRADE WORK?
18 September 2017 | Author: Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus
How bad can the disruption be for passengers, when one of Britain's busiest railway stations is closed for more than three weeks?
Investment in Waterloo Station is welcome. But this major engineering work was a considerable challenge, particularly as the franchise was changing from South West Trains (SWT) to South Western Railway (SWR) during that time.
Our focus has been to ensure that the interests of passengers who use the service are at the core of the upgrade management. We conducted various research of passengers' views before, during and after the work. Our staff was also at the station during the work, monitoring the effects and social media. Any issues we identified to SWT, SWR and also Network Rail responded to issues we identified, resulting in improvements for passengers.
HS1 ADDS £72 MILLION TO KENT ECONOMY IN 2016 AS LEISURE JOURNEYS INCREASE NINE-FOLD
15 September 2017 | Author: Dyan Crowther, Chief Executive, High Speed 1 Ltd
Over half (54%) of tourism businesses in Kent believe that HS1 has specifically benefitted their own business. For every HS1 leisure journey made to Kent in 2016, £81 was added to Kent's local economy.
Almost 6,000 tourism sector jobs in Kent created and supported by HS1. The total economic contribution to Kent's visitor economy since domestic HS1 services began estimated at over £311 million.
IS FRANCHISING WORKING?
14 September 2017 | Author: David Fowler, Transport Writer
Speaking in the first session of yesterday's UK Rail Summit, entitled Is Franchising Working, FirstGroup chief executive Tim O'Toole said: "I represent the status quo. " Defending the current environment, he said its record on a range of statistics from passenger growth to customer satisfaction was "overwhelming".
In the franchises run by First, £1.2bn was being invested in new trains for South West Railway, and £1.5bn for Great Western. A universal ticketing system was being introduced along with improved wi-fi, as well as infotainment systems to reduce people's tendency to stream bandwidth hungry content. Capacity was being increased by 50% on many commuter lines. Overall capacity on services into Waterloo was increasing by a similar figure...
CHALLENGES FOR NETWORK RAIL
14 September 2017 | Author: David Fowler, Transport Writer
Network Rail chair Sir Peter Hendy opened the second session, on "The Challenges Facing Network Rail" by welcoming the secretary of state's remarks about better integration of track and train and said the organisation had been actively pursuing this aim.
"Under Mark Carne we have been actively trying to bring the various elements of the railway together so they can work better." Mr Grayling was right that "it can be done without structural change".
PRIORITIES FOR RAIL IN THE UK
14 September 2017 | Author: David Fowler, Transport Writer
London Transport Commissioner Mike Brown talked about priorities identified in the Mayor's Business Plan, covering five years, and Transport Strategy, looking 25 years ahead.
Improving suburban rail services would play a key part, he said. Concerning the argument for TfL taking responsibility for these, he said, "My premise is that for metro style services around a city like London it shouldn't be a one size fits all approach," he said. "Devolving to TfL is a better model – the success of London Overground demonstrates what can be achieved." A 268% increase in passenger numbers on the North London Line had come about through significant investment in rolling stock and infrastructure after it came under TfL control, but he said this would never have been a priority for Network Rail or a franchised train operator.
TIME FOR PUBLIC TRANSPORT TO TAKE PRIORITY
11 September 2017 | Author: Jamie Wylie, Communications and Public Affairs, Transform Scotland
The Scottish media has been dominated by one story in recent weeks: The Queensferry Crossing. Whilst undoubtedly an amazing engineering feat, the bridge represents a worrying trend in Scottish transport of increasing priority for private cars ahead of public transport.
Public transport spending still comes a distant second to private cars
Successive Scottish Budgets have seen investment prioritised in trunk roads and motorways, in turn promoting the use of private vehicles over public transport. Indeed, the 2017/18 Budget saw an increase in spending on roads of 18% compared to the previous year, whilst support for buses fell by 3%. This current trend of investment is in direct conflict with the Government's policy on sustainable transport and is stopping the Government meeting its own targets on issues such as congestion and a modal shift to sustainable modes of transport.
DESIGNING FOR RESILIENCE NEEDS A STRONGER SOCIAL DIMENSION
6 September 2017 | Author: Derek Halden, Director of Transport Data and Technology Business, DHC Loop Connections
Securing a resilient road crossing of the Forth has been a political tightrope for 25 years so there are big celebrations about the opening of the iconic new Queensferry Crossing. The opening of the new bridge to traffic will provide some well-earned accolades for all involved in the construction, but much more remains to be done to ensure a resilient crossing of the Forth into the future.
At the opening, Infrastructure minister Keith Brown was keen to emphasise that the Queensferry crossing should be able to remain open in all weathers and has a maintenance plan to allow every part of the bridge to be replaced. Emphasising these resilience benefits should certainly help Transport Scotland to navigate the challenges ahead...
SAVING THE RAIL INVESTMENT PROGRAMME
4 September 2017 | Author: Jim Steer, Director, Steer Davies Gleave
When not just one project, but a whole programme runs late and way beyond budget, there is only one option: blow the whistle and have a stand-still period. The Secretary of State was right to be shrill in the case of rail electrification.
But how should confidence – vanished from paymasters in the Treasury, and in short supply at DfT – be rebuilt? We need to find the right rail investment projects again for a sector that is still growing strongly (in the intercity sector and on peak services into the major Northern cities especially)...
THE NORTH/SOUTH DIVIDE?
24 August 2017 | Author: Paul Hirst, Head of Transport, Addleshaw Goddard
There has been a lot of comment in the press over recent announcements from the Department of Transport. Firstly, and positively, the Transport Secretary Chris Grayling confirmed the HS2 Phase 2b routes from Crewe to Manchester, and from the West Midlands to Leeds.
Three days later, announcements in relation to the imminent introduction of new bi-mode trains in Wales and the Midlands in place of proposed full electrification of the routes, caused concern about the Government's commitment to the rail electrification programme generally and in particular the much needed Transpennine electrification programme, a key plank of the Northern Powerhouse...
WHAT CAN PUBLIC TRANSPORT DO TO LIFT ITS POOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE PERCEPTION?
21 August 2017 | Author: Joe Heapy, Co-founder, Engine
For the third consecutive year of our annual report on customer service and experience, public transport operators have come out as providing the worst customer experience.
Nearly four in 10 (38%) respondents cited public transport & train operators as one of the worst three sectors – narrowly ahead of utilities (37%). This represents a four percentage point rise in citations over the last three years, the second biggest jump of the 14 sectors covered in the study behind broadband/pay-TV companies (who've seen a 7-point rise to 33%)...
RAIL PASSENGER COMPLAINTS: GETTING IT RIGHT
14 August 2017 | Author: Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus
How a train company handles their contact with passengers when things can go wrong can cement their view of the company. This applies to how they handle complaints. Handling complaints well can inspire trust. Most passengers are pragmatic and accept that things will sometimes go wrong with their journey...
So, the age of the internal combustion engine is finally coming to a close: the game is up for diesel and petrol vehicles on British roads.
That's what the Government's new strategy for combatting air pollution would have you believe at any rate. The lead-in time is long - it will be 2040 before the ban on new petrol and diesel driven vehicles becomes absolute - but the intent is clear and the consequences potentially dramatic. A decisive move towards electric vehicles should transform air quality in towns and cities for the better.
UNITY IS THE ONLY REAL WAY FORWARD
31 July 2017 | Author: Dr. Stuart Thomson, Head of Public Affairs, Government + Infrastructure, Bircham Dyson Bell
The recent announcements from Chris Grayling on Crossrail 2 and rail electrification seem to have driven a divide between the North and South of England but if any investment is to be secured then unity needs to be the way forward.
The cities of the North, under the new Mayors and existing leaders, have taken offence at the Government's announcements. But these also play into a wider fear that the previous emphasis on balancing the economy of the UK is starting to slide and that the once ubiquitous #NorthernPowerhouse is being consigned to the dustbin of history.
PRICING FOR PROSPERITY
21 July 2017 | Author: Paul Buchanan, Partner, Volterra Partners
It is over 200 years since road pricing was first suggested but there are only three significant schemes in operation: London, Singapore & Stockholm. All are ongoing and popular, even though they cover only a small % of the city and levy a simple, and relatively ineffective, cordon charge.
A HEATHROW THAT MEETS ITS TARGETS
18 July 2017 | Author: Jim Steer, Director, Steer Davies Gleave
At last an agreement has been reached that will allow Elizabeth line (Crossrail) services to reach Heathrow's Terminal 5 from December 2019. The agreement the airport has reached with DfT and TfL will see two Elizabeth line trains an hour going to Terminal 5 – with 4/hour going to Terminal 4. Heathrow Express (Hex) will continue to offer a 15-minute fast service to the airport (with all trains going to T5).
WHY SHOULD ROADS BE FREE TO USE AT THE POINT OF USE?
14 July 2017 | Author: Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys
Why should roads be free to use at the point of use? We don't expect to use airports or railways without paying for them, but when we're on the roads we forget the cost of building and maintaining them – until we hit a pothole and wonder why the council hasn't done anything to fix it.
Roads are the most vital part of our transport network, and they are under serious strain. Congestion has reached crisis levels in urban centres across the country, 75% of it caused by too many vehicles on the road...
THE HARDEST FUTURE TRANSPORT STRATEGY TO DELIVER MIGHT JUST BE BUSINESS AS USUAL
10 July 2017 | Author: Derek Halden, Director of Transport Data and Technology Business, DHC Loop Connections
When things don't go to plan it is time for a new strategy. The realities of new technology, changing demography, rising fiscal stress, and evolving social attitudes are that most UK transport strategies need a fairly fundamental revamp. To create strategies relevant to uncertain and changing times, transport authorities need to extend their influence beyond traditional boundaries. How can transport authorities ensure that strategies are about what happens on the ground rather than what sits on a shelf?
THE BRUTAL SIMPLICITY OF DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
5 July 2017 | Author: Jim Steer, Director, Steer Davies Gleave
These are revolutionary times. The digital technology revolution is happening at break-neck speed, made possible only because those leading the charge are the millennial generation that grew up in a world mediated by mobile software systems, behind which the physical world of maps, routes and timetables are mere data sources.
CHANGING THE FACE OF ROADS DELIVERY
3 July 2017 | Author: Jim O’Sullivan, CEO, Highways England
It's just over two years since Highways England came into being and we are making good progress, delivering what we committed to in our delivery plan and making our contribution towards growing the country's economy.
We continue to focus on our established imperatives; safety, customer service and delivery.
THE NIC FINDS ITS VOICE
28 June 2017 | Author: David Leam, Infrastructure Director, London First
This was the week the NIC demonstrated it will be no docile pet of government, and unafraid to use its bark – and if necessary bite – to hold Ministers to account on infrastructure planning and delivery.
Coming after a Queen's Speech that set few pulses racing in the transport sector, the fact that five of the NIC's top twelve priorities for action were transport schemes was an unequivocal boost.
"MAYOR'S TRANSPORT STRATEGY A BREATH OF FRESH AIR”
21 June 2017 | Author: Prof. David Begg, Chief Executive, Transport Times
The Mayor's Transport strategy is a breath of fresh air-and not just in a metaphorical way. It is visionary and robust. It gets the balance right between enticing Londoners to continue the shift away from car travel to more sustainable modes (walking, cycling and public transport) with the essential, but politically more difficult stick measures. We need both if sustainable transports share of the market is to increase from 64% to 80% in 2041. This will put London right up with the best in the world in terms of sustainable transport market share -only just behind Hong Kong...
CONGESTION IS NOT JUST A DRAG ON THE ECONOMY: IT KILLS.
19 June 2017 | Author: Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys
The Government's new plan sidesteps charging in clean air zones and, by focusing on emissions per vehicle rather than per passenger, proposes targeting vehicles in reverse order of the pollution they cause.
THE SCOTTISH TRANSPORT AWARDS 2017 WINNERS ANNOUNCED
16 June 2017 | Author: Kirsty Walton, Events Coordinator, Transport Times
The best of Scotland's transport industry were honoured last night at the 15th Annual Scottish Transport Awards, with 370 industry professionals in attendance. Hosted by writer, presenter and actor Sanjeev Kohli, the ceremony was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow. Now in their fifteenth year the Awards recognise excellence, innovation and progress across all areas of transport in Scotland.
INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING MUST BE SEPARATED FROM ELECTIONEERING
7 June 2017 | Author: Ed Cox, Director, IPPR North
The publication of general election manifestos naturally had us all poring over their details hunting for mentions of our pet projects. This is understandable insofar as big schemes like Crossrail 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail have been pitched against one another in the national imagination, their huge price tags intending to persuade voters of their transformational effects or instead as evidence of a party's profligacy.
IMPLICATIONS OF BREXIT MUST BE THOUGHT THROUGH
5 June 2017 | Author: Jim Steer, Director, Steer Davies Gleave
The need to consider the implications of Brexit for the transport sector will be one of the first issues the new Secretary of State must get to grips with.
Over the last few weeks, DfT officials will have prepared for all eventualities, not knowing whether they will have the same ministerial team or new faces. Expect our civil service to focus on continuity, with no doubt some key early decisions, held back over the period of enforced hiatus since 21 April. At least part of the effort needs to go into the transport part of Brexit-planning.
TRANSPORT AND THE ELECTION: MOVING BEYOND 'ONE BIG PROJECT AT A TIME
30 May 2017 | Author: David Leam, Infrastructure Director, London First
One of the main questions I've been asked this past week is what the party manifestos mean for the next generation of major transport infrastructure schemes, and for Crossrail 2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail in particular.
Northern Powerhouse Rail has so far had a good election in that some version of it was positively name checked by each of the three main party manifestos. That said, the fact that the three parties each had a different name for it highlighted the work that still needs to be done on project definition.
TRANSPORT MATTERS IN THE GENERAL ELECTION
22 May 2017 | Author: Stephen Joseph, Executive Director, Campaign for Better Transport
In a Brexit-dominated election, issues like transport will struggle to get noticed. But the next Government of whatever shape will face a number of transport challenges which can't be ducked or ignored.
The first is air pollution: how to clean up air in cities without annoying motorists and their media friends. The risk is that the next Government will shy away from tackling polluting diesel cars and trucks or promoting modal shift, and instead will go for soft targets like buses...
TRANSPORT AND THE ELECTION: WHAT IS MAYISM?
15 May 2017 | Author: James Bethell, CEO, Westbourne Communications
What will the election mean for Transport?
With the election approaching and a Conservative victory widely predicted, it is a good time to wonder what a popular mandate for "Mayism", unfettered by a slender Commons majority, might mean for transport...
WANTED: A BOLD RESPONSE TO AIR QUALITY THREAT
2 May 2017 | Author: Prof. David Begg, Chief Executive, Transport Times
The delay to the Government's response to the High Court ruling on air quality is a pity. Though the official line is that it has been delayed because of the election, it is a missed opportunity for the Government to take a firm stance on air quality and show leadership.
IMPROVING AIR QUALITY: WHAT’S THE PLAN?
14 April 2017 | Author: Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys
DEFRA is due this month to publish its new Air Quality Plan. Government has already lost two court cases on this issue, so the pressure is on.
Concern over air quality is no longer just the preserve of environmental groups and it is now widely recognized that we are facing a public health emergency. With air pollution causing 44,000 early deaths a year, the issue has attracted the attention of mainstream media, business, policy makers and the public at large.
A BILL TO PREPARE FOR A NEW TECHNOLOGICAL DAWN
10 April 2017 | Author: John Hayes, Minister of State for Transport
The Vehicle Technology and Aviation Bill seeks to prepare the ground for a future of driverless cars and electric vehicles as well as protecting pilots from the misuse of laser pointers, says John Hayes
Winston Churchill wrote that "the future is unknown, but the past should give us hope": words from which anyone who, like me, believes that where and how we travel all matter can take encouragement...
TRANSPORT TIMES LAUNCHES THE SCOTTISH TRANSPORT SUMMIT
6 April 2017 | Author: Grant Poulton
In association with Transport Scotland and the Scottish Government, Transport Times has launched the Scottish Transport Summit which will be held alongside the Scottish Transport Awards on 15th June in Glasgow.
The aim of the Summit is to bring together key decision-makers, practitioners and thinkers to discuss and debate Scotland's transport needs and future strategy. Transport Minister Humza Yousaf MSP will deliver the keynote address with a number of high profile speakers already confirmed.
FRESH THINKING CAN START A VIRTUOUS CIRCLE
31 March 2017 | Author: David Fowler, Editor, Transport Times
Local Enterprise Partnerships have a big task on their hands. The last government gave them responsibility for distributing the Local Growth Fund, which brought together a number of funding streams from several Whitehall departments – much of it from transport – worth a cumulative £12bn by 2020.
THE RAIL INDUSTRY MUST REDISCOVER INNOVATION
20 March 2017 | Author: Paul Maynard MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport
Rail privatisation led to an influx of new ideas. But the pace of progress has slowed. A return of the pioneering spirit is needed to meet the challenges the industry faces.
What is the future of transport? Is it Elon Musk's Hyperloop? Passenger drones, flying Segways, levitating bicycles? Perhaps, but my ambitions as rail minister are a little more modest. I want to see punctual trains, passengers receiving exemplary customer service, and stress-free journeys.
GIVE COMMUNITIES A CHANCE TO LEAD SERVICES
13 March 2017 | Author: Derek Halden, Director of transport data and technology business DHC Loop Connections
Current governance structures allow connectivity problems to be passed around rather than solved. Reforms to allow communities to take more control are overdue.
Connectivity is a widely stated goal, but not everyone is clear what connection they want. Electronic broadband connectivity is defined as anything from a 2MB/s connection upwards, since this allows practical internet use. Similarly transport connectivity is only meaningful if it makes possible some opportunity that would not otherwise have been accessible.
BUDGET GIVES COUNCILS CHANCE TO BID FOR £690M CONGESTION-BUSTING FUND
8 March 2017 | Author: Transport Times and Key Industry Figures
A £690m competitive fund for tackling congestion was a surprise but welcome announcement in chancellor Philip Hammond's first Budget today.
The fund was one of a number of allocations from the £23bn National Productivity Investment Fund set up in last year's autumn statement. English local authorities will be invited to bid for funding for schemes to tackle urban congestion, with details expected to be announced by transport secretary Chris Grayling on Friday...
THE UNWRITTEN RULES THAT UNDERMINE RAIL EFFICIENCY
6 March 2017 | Author: Jim Steer, Director, Steer Davies Gleave
An incremental approach holds sway in investment decisions when a bolder approach such as total route modernisation would allow improvements to be introduced faster and more cost-effectively.
Like it or not, the rail sector is going to have to use the next control period (2019-2024) to complete late running projects from the current one. The scope for new projects, to be determined later this year, is clearly limited (although it wouldn't be unprecedented to have late entries, arriving say around 2019, in the run up to election time).
INSPIRING TRANSPORT PROJECTS REWARDED AT LONDON TRANSPORT AWARDS CEREMONY
3 March 2017 | Author: Kirsty Walton, Events Coordinator, Transport Times
The best of London's transport industry were honoured last night at the 14th Annual London Transport Awards with 400 industry professionals in attendance. Hosted by Channel 4 News Presenter Cathy Newman the ceremony was held at the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel. Now in their fourteenth year the Awards recognise the people and organisations that make a real difference to transport across London.
CONGESTION REMAINS A PERVASIVE THREAT
27 February 2017 | Author: David Fowler, Editor, Transport Times
The third UK Bus Summit earlier this month wavered between optimism and pessimism. There was confidence that features such as free Wi-Fi, USB chargers, real-time information and better-appointed interiors, together with bus priority measures, have the potential to attract new passengers, and there are numerous well-rehearsed examples of areas where patronage is increasing, usually based on effective partnerships between operators and local authorities.
WANTED: A WAY TO MANAGE GROWTH IN FREIGHT TRAFFIC
13 February 2017 | Author: Jim Steer, Director, Steer Davies Gleave
Traffic is rising fastest among lorries and vans rather than private cars, a result of retail and consumer trends. The challenge is to limit the increase without harming productivity.
Road traffic just keeps on growing, just like in the cheap oil price years before 2006. Then it reached what looked like a limit and several years of decline followed. Fuel prices rose, and demand levels stayed down...
CONGESTION REMAINS KEY CONCERN FOR BUS SERVICES
9 February 2017 | Author: David Fowler, Editor, Transport Times
Progress of the Bus Services Bill has been slower than expected, but the Government is committed to it becoming law before the mayoral elections in May, bus minister Andrew Jones told the third UK Bus Summit today.
But the Government would seek to overturn amendments made in the House of Lords, particularly to allow all local authorities to adopt franchising. "We will be working hard to return the bill largely to its original form," he said.
PARTNERSHIP: THE ROUTE TO A THRIVING INDUSTRY
6 February 2017 | Author: Andrew Jones, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport
Buses are England's most used form of public transport, accounting for over 4.5 billion passenger journeys a year. Buses support our economy and connect our communities to the workplace, as well as to vital public services such as healthcare and education.
CONGESTION CHARGE OR CONNECTED CARS?
30 January 2017 | Author: David Fowler, Editor, Transport Times
The London Assembly transport commitee's dramatic intervention last week looked set to reignite the congestion charging debate.
Congestion has been rising again on the streets of the capital, fuelled by increasing numbers of delivery vans and private hire vehicles, and reallocation of road space for bus services, cycling and walking.
SERVICES THAT VALUE THE CUSTOMER
23 January 2017 | Author: Leon Daniels, Managing Director, Surface Transport, TfL
Transport for London is addressing demands from users for buses that are greener, more reliable, affordable and convenient.
London's bus network is crucial to how our capital city functions. It carries almost 2.4 billion passengers a year – more than all the other bus journeys in England combined. The city's 9,300 buses provide a vital daily service, linking homes to jobs, schools, hospitals and leisure, as well as providing a frequent, step-free lifeline for many.
BETTER LINKS ARE NEEDED BETWEEN NETWORKS
16 January 2017 | Author: Derek Holden, Business Development Director for Transportation, Europe, AECOM
Planning for the UK's long-term growth and prosperity will need an integrated approach to infrastructure, connecting railways with roads, ports, airports and freight depots
By setting out its preferred route for the second phase of HS2 earlier this month, the Government has reaffirmed its commitment to building much-needed capacity and connectivity on the UK's rail network...