Policies need for the neglected periphery
ISSUE NUMBER: TT136

Early analysis of the Brexit vote pattern looked to a north-south explanation, but it turns out it is better understood as a divergence of opinion between the centre and periphery. Can we expect shifts in transport policy as a result?

Transport policy of the last 10 to 15 years was driven by a Treasury mindset that eschewed "picking winners" but wanted to "back success". That meant devolving powers to London, allowing it to plan and to borrow; later, a parallel was seen in the north of England. Investment in transport then fits the bill like nothing else, targeting where demand is greatest, supporting but not interfering with the market economy.

So to say now that the periphery – which has a geographic as well as a social dimension – should not be ignored poses a new question, because these places have been ignored. They are not where demand is highest, and they will not provide the much vaunted agglomeration benefits of major city-based development. What contribution can contemporary thinking on transport make to restoring a sense of wellbeing and of community to such places?

Full article available in the current issue of Transport Times

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