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The Right Homes In The Right Places

Six days of debate were promised on the Government programme set out in the Queens Speech and, out of a sense of duty, I read through the discussions of housing and social care on 22 June. I hope I saved you the trouble, because little of it was very edifying. Despite a background of near-zero socia...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 23 June 2017

The Times Have Become Interesting

Just when you thought that politics had become predictable, even a first-past-the-post electoral system manages to throw up a result to surprise everyone. Interesting times indeed. And even though the new Government looks superficially like the old, despite the addition of Democratic Unionist Party ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 12 June 2017

Corridor Vision

One of the oddities of the garden city movement is its obsession with the northern Home Counties and the south-east Midlands. Perhaps this is because the area was the location of its only two garden cities and the first of the new towns they spawned, at Stevenage. Or perhaps it-apos-s because the mo...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 May 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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