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A Five Billion Pound National Disgrace

Having watched the progressive degradation of Government policy on planning and transport in England over the past 15 years, I thought I was beyond being shocked. But a quick analysis of the Government announcement on its five billion quid Housing Infrastructure Fund left me speechless. Well, almost...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 04 February 2018

Transformational Dreams

Thanks to a quirky coincidence, I was in a small town in the north of England when Transport for the North launched its Strategic Transport Plan, setting out its aspirations for what it grandly called transformational growth over the next third of a century. Well, quite a lot of the north is in need...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 January 2018

An Egregious Future

Few elephants live in this country and most of those that do live in zoos. So conservation of them is unlikely to figure in any 25-year environment strategy, which is a pity, as the Plan published by the Government yesterday must have had two very large pachyderms roaming silently around the launch ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 January 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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