RUNWAY CAPACITY: IT’S TIME TO DECIDE
18 July 2016 | Author: Louise Ellman MP, Chair, Transport Select Committee
A decision on whether to accept the Airports Commission's recommendation on capacity in the South East has been postponed once again. The lack of a decision will only add to the eventual costs.
Almost exactly a year ago the Airports Commission published its final report and recommendations. The preceding decades were littered with prevarication and procrastination by successive governments on the absolutely crucial question of where to expand the South East's bursting airport capacity...
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: THE KEY TO CAPACITY?
11 July 2016 | Author: David Fowler, Editor, Transport Times
Britain urgently needs new rail capacity. The rail industry must be bold in its vision for the digital railway and install it on a busy main line, where its benefits would be most visible. Because the UK has the most pressing capacity problems, it should not shrink from taking the lead. Those were the views of a recent Transport Times business breakfast organised in association with Thales, on the subject.
The digital railway is shorthand for the introduction of advanced signalling: European Train Control System levels two or three plus traffic management, all enabled though Network Rail's telecoms system, and linking to existing systems such as C-DAS...
POWERHOUSE ‘MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER’ FOLLOWING REFERENDUM RESULT SAY NORTHERN LEADERS
4 July 2016 | Author: Jeanette Bowden, Correspondent, Transport Times
Industry leaders and politicians spoke with one voice at the launch of the Northern Powerhouse Independent Economic Review in Liverpool on Thursday, endorsing continued momentum behind the North's plans for a cohesive programme of economic expansion.
Commissioned by Transport for the North and launched to business leaders and public officials from across the UK during Liverpool's International Festival for Business, the Northern Powerhouse Economic Review...
THE SCOTTISH TRANSPORT AWARDS 2016 WINNERS ANNOUNCED
17 June 2016 | Author: Grant Poulton, Managing Director, Transport Times
The best of Scotland's transport industry were honoured last night at the 14th Annual Scottish Transport Awards, with 400 industry professionals in attendance. Hosted by comedian and presenter Fred MacAulay, the ceremony was held at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow. Now in their fourteenth year the Awards recognise excellence, innovation and progress across all areas of transport in Scotland.
HOW TO BUILD TRUST? MAKE PASSENGERS FEEL VALUED
31 May 2016 | Author: Anthony Smith, Chief Executive, Transport Focus
The latest Transport Focus research offers insight into how bus operators can build better relationships with their passengers, at a time when overall satisfaction has fallen on average.
Does it really matter if bus passengers trust the industry and local authorities to provide the service they need? Transport Focus thinks it does, as trust forms the keystone of any commercial or personal relationship. Trust helps keep existing passengers happy and forms the basis for attracting new passengers...
DELAYS AND COMPENSATION: ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT
23 May 2016 | Author: Louise Ellman MP, Chair, House of Commons Transport Select Committee
Passengers' levels of satisfaction with rail fares and services vary widely, and information on claiming compensation is patchy. The Transport Select Committee will be looking into the issue.
The UK has some of the highest railway season ticket prices in Europe. Many passengers spend up to 13% of their monthly salary just to get to work. Fares have risen three times as fast as wages over the last five years.
GIVE LEPS THE TOOLS THEY NEED TO DO THE JOB
9 May 2016 | Author: Claire Haigh, Chief Executive, Greener Journeys
Local enterprise partnerships have the potential to play a pivotal role in stimulating economic growth as local devolution progresses. But crucial elements of the strategy are missing
Centralisation has for too long been choking off growth. There is a clear consensus across the political spectrum that power and decision-making need to be devolved, and that local people are best placed to drive local economic growth...
THE DIGITAL RAILWAY: A CASE OF WHEN, NOT IF
18 April 2016 | Author: Alistair Gordon, Chief Executive Officer, Keolis UK
Thirty years ago, had you asked the board of British Rail for their vision of the railways in 2016, I don't know whether they would have predicted the huge passenger growth we've seen. However, I am certain they wouldn't have dreamt that we would be using the same technology to signal and operate our trains. As it stands, the network can hardly meet existing passenger demand, much less cope with sustained growth, and our existing signalling is part of the problem....
REPORT ON UK TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE SUMMIT
14 April 2016 | Author: David Fowler, Editor, Transport Times
Investment in transport infrastructure is higher on the political agenda than it has been for decades. The National Infrastructure Commission has been created to develop long-term plans and encourage political consensus. The Government has pressed ahead with plans for High Speed 2; with last month's Budget it accepted the NIC's recommendations to press ahead with developing plans for improved transport links in the north of England and for Crossrail 2. Highways England has been created, with a five-year investment plan to match that of Network Rail.
So it was entirely appropriate that NIC chair Lord Adonis delivered the keynote speech to the Transport Times UK Transport Infrastructure Summit, hosted by KPMG in London this week...
LET’S CREATE VIRTUOUS CIRCLES IN TRANSPORT FUNDING
11 April 2016 | Author: James Stamp, UK Head of Transport, Global Head of Aviation & Richard Threlfall, Sector Head for Infrastructure, Building & Construction, KPMG LLP
In advance of tomorrow's UK Transport Infrastructure Summit, experts from KPMG set the scene by looking at key issues.
After decades of underinvestment, the UK has grasped the importance of infrastructure investment to our economic future. This government has big plans to expand our road and rail networks, and the new National Infrastructure Commission consultation proposes setting a target for the proportion of GDP invested in infrastructure. But while our ambitions on transport capital spending are growing, our ability to pay for them is not...
REVOLUTION IN THE NORTH
4 April 2016 | Author: Jeanette Bowden, Correspondent, Transport Times
Rail North is set to become the franchising arm of Transport for the North. Director David Hoggarth tells Jeanette Bowden about the "transformational" changes about to be introduced across the northern rail network
Rail services across the North of England will be "unrecognisable",says Rail North director David Hoggarth, as he sets out the strategic vision of the Leeds-based organisation. And the change begins on 1 April, with the start of the new Northern and TransPennine Express franchises.
GREATER DEVOLUTION - BUT SHAW AVOIDS MAJOR UPHEAVAL
21 March 2016 | Author: Jim Steer, Director, Steer Davies Gleave
Published as the Chancellor completed delivery of his 2016 budget speech, the Shaw Review addressed questions of funding and organisational arrangements at Network Rail (disclaimer: Steer Davies Gleave acted as advisers to the Shaw Report Team). It will be seen as the report that didn't privatise Network Rail – an issue made critical by its re-classification on September 2014 onto the government books.
To many observers, the unwritten purpose of the review was to find a path to re-privatisation, given the £40bn+ hit on the Government's debt account...
REACTION TO THE CHANCELLOR'S BUDGET - BCC
17 March 2016 | Author: Adam Marshall, Acting Director General, British Chambers of Commerce
Business wanted a steady, workmanlike Budget, and that's what we got. The Chancellor listened to our calls to avoid higher business taxes and costs – and indeed moved to lower them in a number of areas. He has finally taken real action to lessen the crushing burden of business rates, and sharpened incentives for entrepreneurship and investment.
REACTION TO THE CHANCELLOR'S BUDGET - RAC
17 March 2016 | Author: Steve Gooding, Director, RAC Foundation
Motorists might be forgiven for heaving a sigh of relief yesterday after the Chancellor resisted the siren calls to hike fuel duty and limited the increase in insurance tax to a modest 0.5 %, and those who regularly cross the Bristol Channel will welcome the Government commitment to halve the tolls on the Severn Crossing when it reverts to public ownership in a couple of years. On balance, then, not a bad outcome.
But even as the spectre of a fuel duty hike was fading the same motorists might remember that as a consequence of this largesse the Chancellor is still set to do very well out of motoring taxes. Fuel duty income was more than £27 billion in the 2015 calendar year and expected to be similar in 2016...
REACTION TO THE CHANCELLOR'S BUDGET - IPPR
17 March 2016 | Author: Ed Cox, Director, IPPR North Interim Director, IPPR
With so little strategic planning for transport in the North for years, suddenly, like buses, three reports come along at once.
Transport for the North's spring update to the Northern Transport Strategy provides plenty more detail on its main priorities and some vital work on how transport supports the North's economic strengths. The National Infrastructure Commission's High Speed North report makes a powerful case for a so-called HS3 network linking up Manchester, Leeds and other major cities. And on Wednesday, the Chancellor was quick to respond with Budget promises of over £300 million to 'kick-start' Trans-Pennine connections...
REACTION TO THE CHANCELLOR'S BUDGET - ALSTOM
17 March 2016 | Author: Terence Watson, Country President, Alstom
This Budget wasn't focussed on big giveaways, but it contained some clear and important commitments on transport.
At Alstom we warmly welcome the Chancellor using this opportunity to back both Crossrail 2 and HS3. These are important projects, supported by the National Infrastructure Commission, and vital for UK growth.
Already, Alstom is a key part of the team building Crossrail 1 under London....
REACTION TO THE CHANCELLOR'S BUDGET - LONDON FIRST
17 March 2016 | Author: David Leam, Infrastructure Director, London First
Green light for Crossrail 2
This was the week that the rookie National Infrastructure Commission earned its spurs. The Chancellor embraced the NIC's reports on Crossrail 2 and transport in the north, and so Andrew Adonis has succeeded in making more progress with government in one week than Sir Howard Davies managed in almost a year.
But while a decision on airports continues to languish with No 10, Crossrail 2 has acquired what looks like unstoppable momentum. The Chancellor's decision to apply his personal seal of approval to the scheme – courtesy of a pre-Budget visit to the Tottenham Court Road interchange of Crossrail 1 with Crossrail 2 – is particularly crucial, as this will electrify civil servants who require strong political leadership for a project of such magnitude...
REACTION TO THE CHANCELLOR'S BUDGET - STEER DAVIES GLEAVE
17 March 2016 | Author: Jim Steer, Director, Steer Davies Gleave
Transport investment continued to be blessed in the Spring 2016 budget, with development funds for Crossrail 2 and rail & highway schemes in the north. Both had just received the thumbs up from Lord Adonis' National Infrastructure Commission.
With £300m going to Transport for The North (half of which is to accelerate the upgrade to the M62 around Manchester) this leaves a significant fund available for the design and feasibility studies that are essential for HS3, the proposed Manchester – Sheffield road tunnel and the rest. While Lord Adonis talks of 'kick-starting' these projects, the reality is they are only loosely defined as yet. TfN needs time to do the necessary work...
REACTION TO THE CHANCELLOR'S BUDGET - CAMPAIGN FOR BETTER TRANSPORT
17 March 2016 | Author: Stephen Joseph OBE, Executive Director, Campaign for Better Transport
The most important transport announcement in the Budget was arguably what the Chancellor chose not to do - raise fuel tax. In so doing, he failed to make the cost of driving more representative of the costs in imposes, or to tackle the air pollution which kills tens of thousands each year.
He further hampered local authority's ability to do things like mend potholes and support buses by cutting a significant source of their revenue - business rates. And he again promised large sums for big new roads like the £75m that will go to developing the idea of a trans-Pennine tunnel, which would swallow huge sums of money and in return probably just add to congestion...
WILL OSBORNE'S BUDGET KEEP BRITAIN MOVING?
14 March 2016 | Author: Mike Indian, Senior Political Analyst, DeHavilland
The chancellor is due to address an unusually large number of transport issues in this week's Budget, from priorities for the north of England to the future of Network Rail, says Mike Indian
When George Osborne leaves 11 Downing Street on Budget day, he will be carried by a special convoy of ministerial cars to the Palace of Westminster. During his short journey, the chancellor will be surrounded by reminders of one of his key goals: keeping the UK moving.
THOROUGH PREPARATION IS THE KEY TO SUCCESS
7 March 2016 | Author: Patrick McLoughlin, Secretary of State for Transport
Britain has a long history of rejecting plans for major new infrastructure. Intensive work from the outset is helping to minimise the risk of projects failing, says Patrick McLoughlin
Nine months into the new parliament, and the Department for Transport is busier than ever. The coalition years were about turning round our economy, and establishing a long-term transport plan to make Britain stronger, fairer and more prosperous. Now is when we start to deliver the infrastructure that will allow local economies to grow, by making it easier to get around and do business...
INSPIRING TRANSPORT PROJECTS REWARDED AT LONDON TRANSPORT AWARDS CEREMONY
4 March 2016 | Author: Kirsty Walton, Events Coordinator, Transport Times
The people and organisations that make a real difference to transport across London were recognised at the 13th annual London Transport Awards last night. The London Borough of Camden picked up the top award of the night for Transport Borough of the Year; London Overground (LOROL) took the Rail Operator of the Year title for the second year running while Metroline won Bus Operator of the Year.
Hosted by BBC Breakfast presenter Steph McGovern, the awards saw 500 transport professionals gather at the prestigious ceremony held at the Lancaster London Hotel...
STRATEGY REVIEW RAISES AS MANY QUESTIONS AS IT ANSWERS
29 February 2016 | Author: Derek Halden, Director, DHC
In January the Scottish Government published a "refresh" of the National Transport Strategy for Scotland. The big announcement was that the process had been more helpful in asking big questions than answering them. Minister for Transport and Islands Derek Mackay had concluded that a more fundamental review of the strategy was needed and commended "a fuller, collaborative review of the NTS to the next Scottish Government".
Cynics in the industry observe that a strategy review which simply promises another review kicks difficult transport choices into touch until after the May 2016 Scottish Parliament elections. However, the refresh also revealed evidence of a need for a change in strategy. The implicit suggestion in the minister's foreword that better progress is needed on the government's core goals of prosperity, fairness and participation could offer promise...
BUSES BILL 'AIMS TO ATTRACT MORE PASSENGERS'
12 February 2016 | Author: David Fowler, Editor, Transport Times
The overriding aim of the Buses Bill is to increase bus passenger numbers, transport minister Andrew Jones told yesterday's Transport Times UK Bus Summit 2016.
Mr Jones confirmed that the Bill, due to be introduced to Parliament in the near future, will give local areas the ability to introduce franchising, and well as the option of "enhanced partnerships" with bus operators. In an unexpected development he announced that operators will also be required to open up their data on routes, fares and times.
GREAT OPPORTUNITIES AHEAD FOR THE INDUSTRY
5 February 2016 | Author: Andrew Jones, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Transport
The Transport Times UK Bus Summit may only be in its second year, but it is already established as a key event in the transport calendar – and one the Department for Transport is delighted to support.
The bus industry today is experiencing sustained growth. 87 million more passenger journeys were taken on buses in England during the 12 months to September 2014 than the previous year. And that trend was seen around the country, not just in London...
GREEN BUSES ARE GO
25 January 2016 | Author: Andy Eastlake, Managing Director, Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership
The UK is in the vanguard of the manufacture and adoption of green buses.
In the past decade there has been a green revolution in the UK bus market. Lower carbon, low emission Euro VI buses are running in most of our cities and larger urban areas, their introduction encouraged by technical developments and a supportive policy environment.
The Green Bus Fund – which ran over four rounds from 2009 – has contributed to the introduction of 1,263 buses over five years. A similar mechanism operated in Scotland, where there have so far been six rounds, funding around 270 buses...
CHALLENGES FOR TRANSPORT INFRASTRUCTURE IN 2016
18 January 2016 | Author: Angus Walker, Partner, Bircham Dyson Bell
2016 will be a year of great opportunity for transport infrastructure but it will also be a year of great challenges. If it fails to make the most of the opportunities then it risks the major investment and projects that the country so desperately needs.
That means each part of the transport sector playing its full role from the very start of year. We cannot just expect others to pick up the burden. Let's just consider a few of those challenges...