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Greenfield Every Time

Green belts are much in the news at the moment as campaigners all over the country strive to protect them from the tsunami of unwanted and unnecessary low-density development being forced on them. But despite this gathering tide of public opinion, you still see Sprawl Lobby practitioners moaning tha...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 13 March 2017

The Fourteen Year Itch

There is quite an irony in the decision to call the housing white paper Fixing Our Broken Housing Market. It was with that very objective in mind that HM Treasury, no less than 14 years ago, began its assault on the planning system and the environment that has so damaged our land. The Treasury-apos-...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 24 February 2017

Petrolhead Paradise

Almost five years ago, the then deputy prime minister Nick Clegg offered a conference three alternative ways of meeting housing shortages. We could, he said, either condemn ourselves to damaging the countryside by haphazard urban sprawl, we could cram ever more people into cities, concreting over ga...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 16 February 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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