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Professional Standards And Advocacy

The blog by Nigel Pearce yesterday, see below, has created something of a Twitter storm around the issue of just how objective should a planning consultant be when working for a client in support of scheme. Well, it would be easy to say that you never hear of a consultant telling a client their sche...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 18 June 2018

Structural Dishonesty In The Planning System

Underneath the topsoil of local councils and developers in England, and presumably elsewhere in the UK, lies a substratum of consultants, both national and international, who are making a great deal of money out of the planning system. When developers employ consultants to carry out sustainability ...

Posted by Nigel Pearce on 17 June 2018

Why Land Squandering Goes On And On And On

One of the great mysteries of planning in this country is why the most densely populated country in Europe goes on squandering its land with the lowest residential density development in Europe. I must apologise to readers outwith England here, as it-apos-s England I-apos-m referring to, though land...

Posted by Jon Reeds on 02 June 2018

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Metro expansion for North East proposed

Added on 29 July 2016

The North East Combined Authority has published plans for significant expansion of local rail passenger services in the region over the next 20 years.

The plans envisage replacement of rolling stock on the Tyne & Wear Metro and the obsolete mainline Pacer trains.

They also propose a limited expansion of services including reopening of a few routes like the mothballed Leamside Line.

“We are building a business case for major investment in Metro and local rail to improve journeys for passengers and provide cleaner, greener and attractive travel choices,” said lead member for transport Nick Forbes.

Central to the proposal is a take-over of parts of the infrastructure from Network Rail and integrated Metro and mainline services.

The Metro is part-way through a major refurbishment including station improvements, track renewal and infrastructure replacement. New trains are part of the latest plans.

The plans for new services are cautious and recognise major funding would be needed, as well as agreement with existing rail operators.

Plans to expand the Metro include new services to Newcastle Airport. The disused Leamside Line would see the previously proposed Newcastle-Sunderland via Washington loop, a new link to the east of the city of Durham and Ferryhill and potential reuse for high-speed inter-city services.

The long-cherished ambition of a Metro service to Blyth and Ashington is also included, as are a number of other smaller extensions and heavy rail improvements.

Large parts of the North East would see little benefit, however. These include the populous parts of western and southern County Durham and Teesside and other possible opportunities in north-east and east Durham on rail alignments have been ignored.

Earlier proposals such as the Derwent Valley line to Consett have not been included.

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