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How To Ignore A Stampeding Elephant

Responding to the important Climate Change Committee report on reducing emissions from land use and preparing for climate change, I thought it best not to get too aeriated by the tweet from chief executive Chris Stark to the effect that now is the time to start thinking about how we use land. Just f...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 16 November 2018

Building Better, Building Controversially

I suppose inviting a controversialist to chair anything is a way of securing attention for it but, as a process, it is not without its pitfalls. It is, on the other hand, a good way of diverting attention from some other aspect of the process you wish people to ignore. Professor Sir Roger Scruton, n...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 November 2018

Connected Garden Suburbs

Population growth, housing challenges and climate change are all things we need to take very seriously, nowhere more so than in the location of new development. So it is really disappointing when a well-intentioned and carefully thought-out initiative intended to address these issues comes up with t...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 October 2018

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Fix local transport first urges Campaign

Added on 03 October 2016

The Campaign for Better Transport has called for any transport spending boost to prioritize fixing existing infrastructure and local schemes rather than the environmentally damaging mega-projects often favoured by politicians.

Its Fix it First campaign follows calls by chancellor Philip Hammond about the need to boost infrastructure in the Autumn Statement.

The Campaign criticises the current focus on a few large-scale projects requiring huge capital commitments which take a long time to deliver and offer very slow return on investment. Often they benefit few people.

"We want to see a shift in Government policy so that new infrastructure spending focuses on fixing what we already have, especially local roads and railways, and on smaller individual projects or packages of schemes to upgrade local transport and improve local transport services," said CBT chief executive Stephen Joseph.

"The previous chancellor′s focus on totemic infrastructure projects actually goes against evidence from the UK and elsewhere that shows local transport investment generates better and more timely results for the economy, employment and communities than spending on a few isolated large projects."

The Campaign advocates spending on local road maintenance, measures to support local economies, cycling, walking, public realm, small-scale rail schemes including reopened stations and lines and green and community buses.

The move mirrors concerns among Smart Growth practitioners in America where there has been considerable pressure to move transport spending to fixing the huge backlog in maintenance and to local projects.

"Smart, innovative investment in ambitious locally driven transportation plans is a key ingredient for economic prosperity," says Transportation for America.

"It determines whether opportunity grows or shrinks, for businesses large and small and for workers at all wage levels., including those who today are unemployed or struggling because of the cost or availability of transportation."

Campaign for Better Transport

Transportation for America

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