FRESH THINKING COULD START A VIRTUOUS CIRCLE

ISSUE NUMBER: TT141

By 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, worth a cumulative £12bn by 2020. LEPs were thus put in the position of deciding which of numerous competing proposals for investment should get the go-ahead...


BIG CHALLENGES AHEAD FOR METRO-MAYORS

ISSUE NUMBER: TT141

By Andrew Carter, Chief Executive, Centre for Cities

In May, new metro mayors will take office in some of England's biggest city regions – including Greater Manchester, West Midlands and the West of England – armed with the largest personal mandates in UK politics aside from Sadiq Khan's...


REPAYMENTS TO RAIL USERS REMAIN SUBJECT TO DELAY

ISSUE NUMBER: TT141

By Louise Ellman MP, Chair, Transport Select Committee

There have long been concerns about compensation for rail passengers who experience delays and poor service. These were brought into sharp focus last year by Which?'s "super-complaint" about the ineffectiveness of Delay Repay compensation schemes...


A EUROPEAN VIEWPOINT

ISSUE NUMBER: TT141

By David Fowler, Editor, Transport Times

At February's UK Bus Summit there was much debate about the factors behind declining bus patronage. Was the biggest threat congestion, Uber, internet shopping, low prices on the filling station forecourt? Arriva chief executive Dr Manfred Rudhart has an alternative take on the problem. "We shouldn't spend too much time on forensics," he argues. "I'd rather think about how we can make ourselves more attractive to our customers."


CONGESTION REMAINS A PERVASIVE THREAT

ISSUE NUMBER: TT140

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.


THRIVING ON COMPLEXITY

ISSUE NUMBER: TT140

Since December, contractor Ferrovial Agroman and BAM-Morgan Sindall, as part of the Fusion joint venture, have been planning the enabling works for the central section of High Speed 2.


THE RAIL INDUSTRY MUST REDISCOVER INNOVATION

ISSUE NUMBER: TT140

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. There are times when this is what happens, but not often enough.


A REVOLUTION IN TICKET SELLING COULD BE HERE SOON

ISSUE NUMBER: TT140

Buying a ticket is the first way that a passenger interacts with the rail industry. The process can shape their attitudes to it, and they should have confidence that they are getting the right ticket for their needs. Now the Government, the industry, ourselves at Transport Focus and other consumer groups have committed ourselves to the Action Plan for Information on Rail Fares and Ticketing. 


CONGESTION CHARGE OR CONNECTED CARS?

ISSUE NUMBER: TT139

The London Assembly transport committee's dramatic intervention this week looks 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.


WANTED: A WAY TO MANAGE FREIGHT TRAFFIC GROWTH

ISSUE NUMBER: TT139

Road traffic just keeps on growing, just like in the cheap oil price years before 2006. Then fuel prices rose, demand levels stayed down, and the hot topic became "peak car". But now there is a turnaround.


THE DIGITAL RAILWAY DEBATE MUST WIDEN ITS HORIZONS

ISSUE NUMBER: TT139

Over the past few years the idea of a digital railway has become voguish in the upper echelons of the British rail industry. Senior managers at Network Rail, among others, have spent a lot of time enthusing about a world in which trains, tracks, signals and stations are transformed in a better digital future.


RAIL SKILLS RETURN

ISSUE NUMBER: TT139

Hitachi's roll-out in December of the first train for the Intercity Express Programme to be produced in its Newton Aycliffe plant in County Durham was an important milestone in the regeneration of rail manufacturing in north-east England – a region that was instrumental in giving railways to the world. Now it appears the process is being reciprocated, as Hitachi couples Japanese bullet train engineering with British manufacturing.


COMMONS MUST IRON OUT BUSES BILL FLAWS

ISSUE NUMBER: TT138

Bus services have rarely received the attention they deserve. Bus services are vital for a vast number of people, connecting them with education, jobs, their local communities. But it's clear that broadly, outside London, deregulation of bus services has not worked well for many passengers and communities.


POWERHOUSE PRIORITIES

ISSUE NUMBER: TT138

Last week's North of England Transport Summit took an in-depth look at priorities for infrastructure investment and its role in bridging the productivity gap between the north and south of England. Over 160 delegates heard a range of speakers discuss priorities for investment in the north of England, transport's role in boosting the economy, and how subnational and devolved bodies were changing the landscape for planning and constructing transport infrastructure.


NEW AWARD IN TRIBUTE TO TFL'S STUART ROSS

ISSUE NUMBER: TT138

Transport Times launches a new category at the 2017 London Transport Awards, in association with Transport for London. The Stuart Ross Young Transport Communications Professional of the Year award will be open to young communications professionals involved in the transport industry. The award commemorates the life and achievements of Stuart, Transport for London's director of news, who died this year. 


BETTER LINKS ARE NEEDED BETWEEN NETWORKS

ISSUE NUMBER: TT138

Throughout history, infrastructure connectivity has promoted economic activity, demonstrated by the rise of different transport modes, from the canals and ports that fuelled the industrial revolution to rail, roads and aviation. But given the present-day challenges facing the country, including population growth and climate change, improving connectivity between transport modes will be key to maintaining economic prosperity. 


PRESS RESET TO STEADY THE ECONOMY

ISSUE NUMBER: TT137

One of Philip Hammond's first pronouncements on being made Chancellor of the Exchequer in July was to signal that he was open to a "reset" of the economy if post EU referendum conditions demanded it. And if economic turbulence was feared after Brexit, expect even more of a rollercoaster ride as the markets react to Donald Trump's victory in the US presidential election.


TRANSPORT MUST EMBRACE THE DIGITAL FUTURE

ISSUE NUMBER: TT137

How can transport attract the investment it needs to provide smart, integrated efficient services? One of the debates at the Confederation of Passenger Transport Scottish conference last month was about how to get the investment and support needed to make these changes. Most operators want to provide faster, cheaper, more popular services, but most currently observe continuing trends for slower, more expensive, less popular services. Contrast this with the rapid growth of technology companies such as Uber and Deliveroo and it is no surprise that the smart money follows the growth of the companies able to make better use of existing resources.


TIME TO GET MOBILE

ISSUE NUMBER: TT137

A significant new ticketing trial is about to get under way in West Yorkshire, with the potential to allow passengers to use a mobile phone as an ITSO smartcard. If successful the technology could be introduced rapidly and could form one of the "quick wins" Transport for the North is seeking in fulfilling its brief to introduce smart ticketing across the north of England.


MAJOR ROAD NETWORK CONCEPT IS GAINING FAVOUR

ISSUE NUMBER: TT137

In Transport Times in June we set out why we believe that the 4,200 mile Strategic Road Network on its own – vitally important though it is – does not comprise all the significant roads needed to underpin and support the nation's economy, particularly at the regional level. We used objective criteria to designate a further 3,800 miles of local authority A-roads to create the 8,000 mile Major Road Network. This is a more logical, coherent and integrated network of national and regional roads for England, offering good geographical coverage and connectivity – an economic backbone for business across the regions.


MEMO TO THE TRANSPORT SECRETARY

ISSUE NUMBER: TT136

Dear Mr Grayling,

It's the party conference season and government will soon be back into full swing. It's a good time to take stock of what lies ahead. Congratulations on making an energetic start in your role as Secretary of State for Transport.


QUALITY BY DESIGN

ISSUE NUMBER: TT136

HS2 Ltd will be awarding its enabling works contracts later this autumn and main civil contracts early next year, following Royal Assent for the phase one hybrid bill. Many of those attending next week's Transport Times conference will be bidding for this work, and will play a role in helping to achieve high quality design as set out in the HS2 Design Vision.


STRIKES SIGNAL CONCERNS ABOUT HANGING ROLES

ISSUE NUMBER: TT136

The RMT union recently served notice that it is in a formal dispute with ferry operator CalMac over pay. This comes on the heels of a damaging summer of rail strikes across Scotland with a dispute affecting ScotRail train services run by Abellio. Both ferry and rail franchises have recently been renewed, so have the ingredients for failure inadvertently been built into the new contracts?


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?


AUTUMN HERALDS PIVOTAL CHOICES

ISSUE NUMBER: TT135

After the hiatus of the summer recess, Parliament is returning to work, and the priorities of Theresa May's new administration are becoming clearer.


CAPITALISING ON CONTACTLESS

ISSUE NUMBER: TT135

Open your wallet, and the chances are you will find a ticket to travel on public transport around London. Not an old paper ticket or even an Oyster card from your last trip to London, but your contactless bank card.


STRONGER TRANSPORT LINKS WILL SHOW THE UK'S CONFIDENCE

ISSUE NUMBER: TT135

After a summer of historic change for Britain and political change in Westminster, the August recess provided a welcome opportunity to focus on my new job. 


DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY WILL SHAPE THE FUTURE RAILWAY

ISSUE NUMBER: TT135

Digital technology has transformed our daily lives. A smartphone in your pocket can send and receive vast quantities of data at a few taps of your screen.


THERESA MAY HAS A JOB ON HER HANDS

ISSUE NUMBER: TT134

The three weeks following the EU referendum on 23 June have been characterised by an unprecedented vacuum in the leadership of the UK.


ONLY CONNECT

ISSUE NUMBER: TT134

If the North is a Powerhouse, then the Midlands is an Engine for Growth. The East and West Midlands together have embraced the idea of devolution and the opportunity to have greater influence over the region's strategic direction. And the region's equivalent of Transport for the North will be Midlands Connect.


GOVERNMENT'S COMMITMENT TO THE NORTH MUST NOT WAVER

ISSUE NUMBER: TT134

Whatever your take on the vote to leave the European Union it has happened, and we have to look calmly to the future. Cities like Manchester are working hard to send a clear message to investors, international or otherwise, that we remain very much open for business and that our long-term priorities are unchanged.


RUNWAY CAPACITY: IT'S TIME TO DECIDE

ISSUE NUMBER: TT134

Almost exactly a year ago the Airports Commission published its final report and recommendations. The independent commission was established to clear a way through a 25-year impasse, by taking a dispassionate and pragmatic look at the most viable options.


ACT NOW TO SAVE SNARLED-UP BUSES

ISSUE NUMBER: TT133

Congestion is the hidden danger which threatens to destroy the bus sector. It is a disease which is slowing up buses by around 10% every decade and reducing bus use by between 10% and 14%.


A ROAD NETWORK FOR THE WHOLE ECONOMY

ISSUE NUMBER: TT133

Highways England is a year old and is focusing on putting into practice the first five-year road investment strategy. Doubling expenditure by 2020 on the strategic road network of motorways and trunk roads is a cornerstone of the Government's ambitious infrastructure programme.


DIVERSITY: THE SMART WAY TO ATTRACT FUTURE LEADERS

ISSUE NUMBER: TT133

Too often, it seems to me that the rail industry is stuck in the past. One stark example is that the rail sector is not hiring or promoting enough women. As a result the industry is missing out on the skills and perspective of half the population.


MY TESTS FOR A SUSTAINABLE RAILWAY

ISSUE NUMBER: TT133

Britain's rail industry is complex. It is also rapidly changing, and it is important for all sides to keep exchanging ideas and collaborating.


TRANSPORT'S MISSING REVENUE STREAM

ISSUE NUMBER: TT132

The Government deserves credit for protecting capital investment in transport infrastructure during a period of economic austerity. On railways we have as close as you can get to "predict and provide", with an ambitious list of projects that Network Rail is grappling with, not to mention the exciting progress of HS2.


THE KEY TO MASTERING COMPLEXITY

ISSUE NUMBER: TT132

What does it take to deliver complex infrastructure projects successfully? For decades UK construction was plagued by an apparent inability to undertake flagship schemes without them being late or over budget. Recently, with projects such as the Olympics and High Speed 1, the industry has turned this around. But it's a reputation hard won and easily lost.


STAYING IN THE EU IS BEST FOR BUSINESS - AND TRANSPORT

ISSUE NUMBER: TT132

In less than two months, Britain will go to the polls once again. This time, it's not a general election. It's much more important than that. It's a historic vote that will radically shape this country's future, whether we decide to stay in the European Union or not.


HOW TO BUILD TRUST? MAKE PASSENGERS FEEL VALUES

ISSUE NUMBER: TT132

Does it really matter if bus passengers trust the industry and local authorities to provide the service they need? Transport Focus thinks it does, as trust forms the keystone of any commercial or personal relationship. Trust helps keep existing passengers happy and forms the basis for attracting new passengers. Major changes to how bus services are provided outside London are on the horizon.


A GREEN LIGHT - BUT MANY HURDLES REMAIN

ISSUE NUMBER: TT131

The Government deserves credit for protecting capital investment in transport infrastructure during a period of economic austerity. On railways we have as close as you can get to "predict and provide", with an ambitious list of projects that Network Rail is grappling with, not to mention the exciting progress of HS2. 


REVOLUTION IN THE NORTH

ISSUE NUMBER: TT131

Rail services across the North of England will be "unrecognisable", says Rail North director David Hoggarth, as he sets out the strategic vision of the Leeds-based organisation. And the change begins on 1 April, with the start of the new Northern and TransPennine Express franchises.


THE DIGITAL RAILWAY: A QUESTION OF WHEN NOT IF

ISSUE NUMBER: TT131

Thirty years ago, had you asked the board of British Rail for their vision of the railways in 2016, I don't know whether they would have predicted the huge passenger growth we've seen.


DON'T FORGET SHARED GOALS

ISSUE NUMBER: TT131

With congestion estimated to cost the UK £33bn a year by 2030, operating sustainable public transport solutions will become even more important to local authorities, communities and economies.


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