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The Outer M25

I suppose one should be grateful for the candour of the National Infrastructure Commission when it admitted the purpose of its proposed Oxford-Cambridge Expressway is to facilitate car-dependent urban sprawl. In its proposal for the gherkin-shaped sprawl corridor last November, it said decisions on ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 21 May 2018

A Matter Of Principle

About a hundred years overdue, we could finally be seeing a serious national debate over whether garden cities are a good thing. This is an issue the planning profession has treated with kid gloves ever since its inception, thanks to the role garden city enthusiasts played in its foundation and the ...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 05 May 2018

Election Fever

You may not have noticed it, but this is local election time in large parts of England. Election fever, however, has been hard to spot. I visited my own local authority website a couple of days ago to find out who the candidates are in my ward. The council had not even bothered to upload them. It to...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 01 May 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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