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Reports Of The Death Of Dr Beeching Have Been Exaggerated

Headlines about the new national strategic vision for rail concentrated on an alleged Government plan to reverse Beeching, which must have been a relief to ministers given that the document looks like making our dysfunctional franchising system even worse and more expensive to the taxpayer. Reversin...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 07 December 2017

Be Careful What You Wish For

There has been much understandable relief that chancellor Philip Hammond ignored calls from flaky think-tanks for wholesale releases of land in green belts for housing. But his Budget was very far from good news in many other ways. There were a few good things in it on the brownfield housing front a...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 November 2017

Predict And Arrive

I was recently challenged to produce a plan for building five million homes in over the next 50 years. My initial reaction was to react like the apocryphal bloke in deepest rural Ireland who, asked by a passing motorist the way to Limerick, replied that if he were going to Limerick, he wouldn-apos-t...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 20 November 2017

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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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