Transport Policy

From WikiCorporates
(Redirected from Transport Infrastructure)
Jump to navigation Jump to search


The UK has to distinct bus markes:

  1. the regulated market in London, where operators contract with the city's transport authority, Transport for London. Contracts specify the required routes, vehicles and timetables, and are monitored to ensure quality services. TfL bears the revenue risk under gross cost contracts.
  2. the deregulated market outside the capital, where most routes are determined by the bus operators, who are largely free to operate routes and set fares.
Apr.2017Bus Services Act 2017 received Royal Assent and passed into law, complete with unchanged Clause 21.
Mar.2017Bus Services Bill 2016-17: During the Public Bill Committee debate, Daniel Zeichner said that his multiple written questions about the Dept of Transport's reasoning behind the ban on local authorities had been answered by "no analysis has been undertaken by the Dept for Transport to understand the potential benefits" of the municipal model for passengers". Andrew Jones defended the govt's position: "We have it simply because ... it could easily deter investment from the private sector". Daniel commented: "In our view, this is a piece of symbolic, ideological dogma". The govt is afraid of competition from LTAs.[1]
Conservatives (May)
Bus Services Bill 2016-17: Clause 21 was defeated in the House of Lords. The majority of MPs from all parties, campaigners, and the public vehemently opposed Clause 21.[2] Transport for Quality of Life's report " Building a World-class Bus System for Britain" was a damning indictment of Tory privatisation ideology. Bus deregulation in the 1980s was supposed to improve Britain’s bus services, but it made them worse. Deregulation has made it impossible to achieve many functions essential to a good bus network. Deregulation comes at a heavy financial cost: taxpayers fund 40% of bus operators' revenues, yet local authorities have no say in how the money is spent. Operators cherry-pick and cut routes to maximise profits.
Conservatives (Cameron)
Bus Services Bill 2016-17: Tariq Ahmad, supported by Chris Grayling, introduced the bill, which provided for local transport authorities to create partnership schemes to improve bus services in their areas, to introduce advanced ticketing schemes, and for mayoral combined authorities to partially re-regulate bus services by creating franchise schemes.[3] Controversially, Clause 21[4] of the bill expressly prohibited local authorities from forming a company for the purpose of providing local services. Clause 21 met with universal opprobrium; the general opinion was that it was a "nasty, mean-minded little clause", "a piece of political dogma", which "sticks out like a sore thumb".[5] 2,000 emails from citizens were ignored; but Go-Ahead Group's assertion that "LTAs did not have the skills and experience to run bus companies" was listened to.[6]


ToDo: link, link, link
  • 2014: A change in fuel subsidies (Bus Service Operator Grants; BSOG) also led to an increase in revenue. Increased franchise payments offset by increased sup-

port payments + structural changes in support payments. (Arriva AR-2014 excerpts)

  • Mar.2012: The DfT presented reforms for the improvement of bus transport services and regulations. By announcing these reforms, the DfT was reacting to the concluding report by the Competition Commission in Dec.2011 on its investigation on behalf of the govt into regional bus transport in Great Britain. The reforms were detailed in the publication “Green Light for Better Buses.”ref, p.79
  • Aug.2000: The Secretary of State for Trade and Industry announced a series of measures designed to restore confidence in the new car market. As a result, the scale of Arriva's operations allowed them to benefit from a level of bulk purchase discounts, which had previously only been avaiable to large fleet buyers.AR-Dec.2001, p.13]
  • Dec.1999: Harris Bus collapsed, leading to London Transport forming East Thames Buses as an arm's-length company to provide temporary operation of the routes. It was retained by the new Transport for London authority, to tender for routes itself until sold in Oct.2009 to the Go-Ahead Group.ref,ref
  • Sept.1994-Jan.1995: the separate London Buses business units were sold off. Competition rules restricted the number of units that could be bought by one group. All the units were sold either to their management or employees, or to one of the emerging national bus groups that had been growing through acquisition of deregulated companies in the rest of the UK. The exception was London Northern, which was bought by MTL, itself an expanding company formed from the privatisation of the Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive bus company.

It wasn’t long before a number of groupings started to form. One of these emergent new groups became British Bus plc.

  • Consolidation set in, with some of the newly-privatised bus companies acquiring other operators; others changed hands.

  • Apr.1989: London Buses was divided into 12 business units, in preparation for sell-off. The companies were created along geographic lines, with all except Westlink having routes running into Central London. The separate business units created were: See Break-up of London Buses
    • CentreWest → CentreWest London Buses Ltd[8]; MBO, sold to FirstGroup in Mar.1997 and rebranded as First CentreWest and later as First London; sold to Metroline & Tower Transit in Jun.2013
    • East London → East London Bus & Coach Company Ltd[9]; Stagecoach, rebranded as Stagecoach London in Nov.2000; sold to Macquarie Bank in Aug.2006; re-acquired by Stagecoach in Oct.2010
    • Leaside → Leaside Bus Company Ltd[10]; Cowie Group, rebranded as Arriva London North in Apr.1998
    • London Central → London Central Bus Company Ltd[11]; Go-Ahead Group
    • London Forest → London Forest Travel Ltd[12]; ??
    • London General → London General Transport Services Ltd[13]; MBO; sold to Go-Ahead Group in May.1996
    • London Northern → London Northern Bus Company Ltd[14]; MTL; sold to Metroline in Jul.1998; sold to ComfortDelGro in Mar.2000
    • London United → London United Busways Ltd[15]; MBO; sold to Transdev in Jul.1997, later rebranded as Transdev London; sold to RATP Group in Mar.2011 and resumed London United identity
    • Metroline → Metroline Travel Ltd[16]; MBO; sold to ComfortDelGro in Mar.2000
    • Selkent → South East London & Kent Bus Company Ltd[17]; Stagecoach; rebranded as Stagecoach London in Nov.2000; sold to Macquarie Bank in Aug.2006; re-acquired by Stagecoach in Oct.2010
    • South London → South London Transport Ltd[18]; Cowie Group; rebranded as Arriva London South in Apr.1998
    • Westlink → Stanwell Buses Ltd[19]; Employees; sold to West Midlands Travel in 1994; sold to London United in Sept.1995
    • London Coaches → London Coaches Ltd[20]; MBO; sold to Arriva in 1997, rebranded as The Original Tour.
  • Sept.1986: London Country was sub-divided for privatisation. Four companies now provided Green Line services, with Green Line Travel Ltd offering marketing and support services. The new management teams concentrated on privatisation and local bus service deregulation. Went through a series of ownership changes. (Transport Act 1985)
  • 1985: Privatisation: the National Bus Company was broken up and privatised, one subsidiary at a time. Some companies were sold to their management teams or employees, whilst others were bought by entrepreneurs. (The foll. taken from here Transport Act 1985 ToDo
    • North East: United Automobile Services. Tthe huge area covered by United was split in two. The northern part was sold to its management team as Northumbria Motor Services. Its management-owned holding company, Proudmutual, was sold to British Bus in 1994.
      • Operations in County Durham, Teesside and North Yorkshire were sold initially to Caldaire Holdings in 1987. This had been formed by the West Riding management team to buy its own company. What had become North East Bus passed to the Westcourt Group in 1992 after some local reorganisations. In 1995 this passed to National Express Group plc and then to British Bus in 1996.
    • Yorkshire: Yorkshire (West Riding) Electric Tramways began tram services in the Wakefield area in 1904. Operations in the Castleford area followed in 1906. The West Riding Automobile Company was formed in Nov.1923 to run motorbus services. West Riding almost doubled in size in 1950 when it bought out a local rival operator J Bullock and Sons.
      The Yorkshire Woollen District Transport company developed bus services centred on the Dewsbury area. Both West Riding and Yorkshire Woollen became nationalised, latterly under common management. When the National Bus Company was privatised, the management team, as Caldaire, bought West Riding and Yorkshire Woollen. Separate identities were maintained for the two operations and routes in Selby.
      The long-established independent operator South Yorkshire Road Transport of Pontefract was acquired in 1994. The group was sold to British Bus in 1995.
    • North West: National Bus Company subsidiary Ribble Motor Services was divided into smaller units in readiness for privatisation. A new operation comprising Ribble’s routes in Merseyside, West Lancashire and Wigan revived the old North Western name. This was bought by Drawlane, the predecessor of British Bus, in 1988. Drawlane merged the operation with its Bee Line Buzz business in Greater Manchester.
      Arriva North West acquired the operations of Merseyside Transport in Feb.2000. These had originated as municipal operations in Liverpool, Wallasey, Birkenhead, St Helens and Southport, which had merged to form the former Passenger Transport Executive business.
      Arriva North West and Arriva Cymru, its Welsh neighbour, were merged in 2002, to form Arriva North West and Wales. Responsibility was taken for the Crewe, Winsford and Macclesfield operations of Arriva Midlands North in 2003. Blue Bus of Bolton was acquired in 2005, almost doubling our presence in Greater Manchester. The Welsh operations are trading under a separate ‘Arriva Buses Wales’ banner again from Jan.2009.
    • Wales: The former National Bus Company subsidiary Crosville provided services over a huge area of North and mid-Wales and Cheshire. It was split into smaller units in readiness for privatisation. Crosville Wales was bought by its management team in 1987. It passed to the National Express group in 1989. Drawlane, subsequently to become British Bus, bought it in 1991. The Oswestry depot and Abermule outstation were sold to Midland Red North in 1992. Arriva Cymru, as it had become, merged with Arriva North West in 2002, but is to be demerged again in Jan.2009 as Arriva Buses Wales.
    • Midlands: The Birmingham and Midland Motor Omnibus Company, better known as Midland Red, was split into smaller regional businesses prior to the privatisation of the National Bus Company. Midland Red East, based in Leicester, changed its name to Midland Fox in 1984. It was sold to its management team in 1987, with help from the directors of Stevensons of Uttoxeter who also bought operations in Swadlincote. Several smaller operators were taken over and, in 1989, the business was bought by British Bus predecessor Drawlane. It acquired the Loughborough Bus and Coach Company in the same year.
      Municipally-owned Derby City Transport was sold to its employees, with help from Luton and District Transport, in 1989. It passed to British Bus in 1994 with Luton and District Transport and the Clydeside operations in Scotland.
      Midland Red North, based in Cannock, was bought by Drawlane in 1988. Various reorganisations in the north of its territory saw depots exchanged between Crosville and North Western.
      Stevensons of Uttoxeter was a family business founded in 1926. It acquired a controlling interest in the East Staffordshire District Council’s operations in Burton-on-Trent in 1985. In 1987 it became involved in the management buy-out of Midland Red East. This included the purchase of Midland Red East’s depot in Swadlincote. Growth followed in the Potteries and the West Midlands. Stevenson passed to British Bus in 1995, and it subsequently came under the management of Midland Red North.
      In 2003, a reorganisation saw operations in Crewe, Macclesfield and Winsford pass to Arriva North West. Arriva Midlands North, Arriva Derby and Arriva Fox County merged to become Arriva Midlands. The purchase of Chase Coaches in 2007 reintroduced the company to Walsall.
    • South East: Arriva’s operations in the south east of England were grouped together in 2010, combining units previously known as "Arriva the Shires and Essex" and "Arriva Southern Counties". Both developed from an amalgamation of several sections of former National Bus Company subsidiaries, each with long and illustrious histories of their own.
      • Luton and District Transport was formed in 1986 from the Aylesbury, Luton and Hitchin depots of United Counties, formerly owned by Eastern National until 1952. The United Counties operation grew rapidly when the former Luton Corporation municipal operation was taken over in 1970. There was further growth when it took over the collapsed Court Line business in 1973.
        In 1987 Luton and District became the first National Bus Company subsidiary to be sold to its employees. A year later it acquired Red Rover in Aylesbury. Luton and District also assisted in employee buy-outs on Clydeside (which became Arriva Scotland West) and in Derby (now part of Arriva Midlands). Two significant additions in 1990 were two-thirds of the Stevenage operations of Sovereign and all of London Country North West.
      • London Country Bus Services was divided into smaller units in readiness for privatisation, just like United Counties. London Country was the former ‘country area’ operations of London Transport which formed a ring around central London. The western part of the North East sector of London Country became Sovereign. The former London Country North West Slough depot was sold to Bee Line in 1993.
        The Luton and District business was bought by British Bus in 1994. Further smaller acquisitions followed and in 1995 a new identity - The Shires - was introduced.
        The former North East sector of London Country was privatised as County Bus and Coach in a management buy-out in 1990. It was sold to what became part of the National Express group in 1998. This business passed to Cowies in 1996 as East Herts and Essex.
      • Arriva Southern Counties grew from a diverse background. The bulk of the former operations of Maidstone and District Motor Services were at its core. This former National Bus Company subsidiary was founded in 1911. Maidstone and District was sold to its management team in 1986. The business was expanded with the purchase of New Enterprise in Tonbridge (still operating under its separate identity) and Maidstone Boro’line, the former municipal operation in Maidstone. It was sold to British Bus in 1995.
        The south-eastern sector of the former London Country operation became Kentish Bus and Coach. It was based in Northfleet, and was sold to Proudmutual in 1988. Proudmutual was formed as the holding company for the Northumbria Motor Services buy-out (see also Arriva North East). Kentish Bus and Coach expanded successfully by providing tendered bus services in London, and passed to British Bus in 1994.
        London Country’s south-western sector, based in Reigate, became London & Country. This was bought by Drawlane at privatisation in 1988. It too expanded successfully into the London tendered market. It added the former Alder Valley operations in Guildford, Woking and Cranleigh in 1990. The municipal operations in Southend and Colchester were bought in 1993.
        There was significant reorganisation once all had come under British Bus ownership. The businesses were amalgamated as the Invictaway Group. Later this became Arriva Southern Counties, based at the former municipal bus operator offices in Maidstone.
        After Cowies’ transformation into Arriva a reorganisation took place. An Arriva the Shires and Essex management team took responsibility for the operations of The Shires, East Herts and Essex and the former municipal operations in Southend and Colchester. Those in Grays, Southend and Colchester passed to Southern Counties in 2003 and Colchester was subsequently sold. The Wycombe Bus operation of GoAhead Group was acquired in 2000. This was once been part of National Bus company subsidiary Alder Valley, an amalgamation of the former Thames Valley and Aldershot & District companies.
        MK Metro was acquired in 2006. This had once been the Milton Keynes section of the former United Counties company.
        The acquisition of the Tellings Golden Miller Group in 2008 brought the Colchester operation back into the Arriva fold, but this hasn’t been re-integrated into the Arriva South East operation.
  • Jun.1984: Privatisation: responsibility for running London bus services transferred from the Greater London Council (the last public body running London's buses) to London Regional Transport under the [London Regional Transport Act 1984]. The Act required arm's-length subsidiaries to be established to oversee operation of bus services and, on 29 March 1985, London Buses Ltd was incorporated. Under the Act, London bus services were to be tendered.
  • 1974: National Express: although the coach services continued to be operated by the individual companies.
  • 1972: National Travel: National Bus Company introduced a corporate livery of white.
  • 1970: National Bus Company acquired the country area buses of London Transport (London Country Bus Services), the bus operations of the county boroughs of Exeter and Luton, and the Gosport & Fareham Omnibus Company (t/a Provincial).ref
  • Jan.1970: London Country Bus Services Ltd: the Country Bus and Coach division of London Transport was transferred to the National Bus Company to form a new subsidiary, London Country Bus Services Ltd. The new company inherited a very elderly fleet and took several years to overcome resource shortages.
  • 1969-1988: National Bus Company operated in England and Wales through its regional subsidiary bus operating companies.
  • Jan.1969: The Transport Holding Company's road transport and shipping interests passed to the National Bus Company, the National Freight Corporation and the Scottish Transport Group. Its remaining assets were privatised, and the company was dissolved in the early 1970s. [Transport Act 1968] Transport Holding CompanyWikipedia-W.svg
  • Dec.1967: National Bus Company: the govt published a white paper proposing the merger of the Transport Holding Company and British Electric Traction subsidiaries into a single National Bus Company.
  • Nov.1967: British Electric Traction, with 25 provincial bus companies and 11,300 vehicles, sold its bus operations to the govt. The state or municipal bus operators now operated some 90% of scheduled bus services in England and Wales.
  • GE-1966: Barbara Castle was appointed Minister for Transport, and immediately ordered a public transport review, as buses were rapidly losing patronage and profitability due to the increased prevalence of private cars. Castle proposed forming regional transport authorities, which would take over the Transport Holding Company's subsidiaries and municipal transport undertakings in their area, and would also have the power to acquire private bus operators.
  • Jan.1963: Transport Holding Company: the British Transport Commission was abolished, and replaced by 5 successor bodies: [Transport Act 1962]
    • British Railways Board (railways, hotels and some shipping)
    • British Transport Docks Board (docks)
    • British Waterways Board (inland waterways)
    • London Transport Board (London buses and the London Underground)
    • Transport Holding Company (remaining interests in road transport, travel and engineering, and shipping). The THC's assets were varied, reflecting its role as the manager of those investments that did not fit elsewhere in the post-1962 structure of nationalised transport. There were essentially 6 areas of activity:
      • bus companies, some part-owned with the British Electric Traction Group, later acquired by the THC,
      • bus manufacturing companies (Bristol Commercial Vehicles and Eastern Coach Works)
      • travel agents (Thomas Cook and Son, to which Lunn Poly was later added)
      • road haulage companies, e.g. British Road Services (BRS) and Pickfords
      • shipping lines, e.g. the BTC's shares in Associated Humber Lines and the Atlantic Steam Navigation Company
      • miscellaneous (the BTC's shares in the Penarth Dock Engineering Company)
  • late.1950s: the BTC was in serious financial difficulties, largely due to the economic performance of the railways. It was criticised as an overly bureaucratic system of administering transport services and had failed to develop an integrated transport system (such as integrated ticketing and timetabling).
  • GE-1951: Labour lost power to the Conservatives, with the nationalisation programme unfinished.
  • 1948: The state owned a considerable proportion of scheduled bus operators outside the major cities, having obtained the Tilling Group companies as a byproduct of nationalising the railways.
  • 1950: ... Other bus companies voluntarily acquiesced, such as Red & White in 1950.
  • 1948: London Transport was nationalised.
  • Jan.1948: British Transport Commission was created to oversee railways, canals and road freight transport in Great Britain. Its general duty was to provide an efficient, adequate, economical and properly integrated system of public inland transport and port facilities for passengers and goods, excluding transport by air. [Transport Act 1947]
    BTC's main holdings were the networks and assets of the 4 national regional railway companies: the Great Western Railway, London and North Eastern Railway, London, Midland and Scottish Railway and the Southern Railway. It also took over 55 other railway undertakings, 19 canal undertakings and 246 road haulage firms, as well as the work of the London Passenger Transport Board, which was already publicly owned. The nationalisation package also included the fleets of 'private owner wagons', which industrial concerns had used to transport goods on the railway networks. Transport CommissionWikipedia-W.svg
    • The London Transport Executive replaced the London Passenger Transport Board.
  • Jul.1933: London Passenger Transport Board was responsible for local public transport in London and its environs between 1933 - 1948. The LPTB acquired the Railways, Tramways & Trolleybuses, and Buses and Coaches operating in the "London Passenger Transport Area". [London Passenger Transport Act 1933]
    • The Underground Group, including the LGOC, became part of the London Passenger Transport Board.
  • Jul.1930: Green Line Coaches Ltd was registered by the London General Omnibus Company. The brand was used for coach services linking central London with country towns within a 30-mile radius. There was a period of competition with a series of independent operators who either ceased or sold out to LGOC.
  • 1920s: Competition from small unregulated bus operators reduced the profitability of UERL's road transport operations, leading the UERL's directors to seek govt regulation. This led to the establishment of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933, which absorbed the UERL and all of the independent and municipally operated railway, bus and tram services in the London area.
  • 1912: Underground Group bought the London General Omnibus Company.
  • 1902: The Underground Electric Railways Company of London LtdWikipedia-W.svg ("Underground Group") was established as the holding company for the 3 deep-level tube underground railway lines opened in London between 1906-1907. The company came to operate the majority of the underground railway lines in and around London via acquissitions. It also controlled large bus and tram fleets, the profits from which subsidised the financially weaker railways. Underground Electric Railways Company of LondonWikipedia-W.svg
  • 1855: The London General Omnibus Company ("LGOC") was founded to amalgamate and regulate the many independent horse-drawn omnibus services that operated in London. It bought out hundreds of independently owned buses and established a consistent level of service for its fleet. Within a year, the LGOC controlled 600 of London's 810 omnibuses.ref London General Omnibus CompanyWikipedia-W.svg
Sources: History of Green Line, [Green Line.arch], [Original Tour.arch], Arriva: History


  • Feb.03.2019: Economic benefits of local buses eclipse unrealistic HS2 target. Improving Birmingham’s buses would boost productivity more than cutting train time to London. The govt should think about scrapping HS2 and reallocating the £tens of billions it is going to cost to smaller-scale local projects. It would not be nearly as sexy but, £ for £, the benefits of improving the bus network in Birmingham or criss-crossing the West Midlands with trams would bring much more to the local economy than cutting the journey time to London on HS2. Larry Elliott, The Guardian.
  • Jun.07.2018: Britain’s bus services are in an abject state. We are urged to abandon cars and take public transport. But for many people outside London, this is an impossibility. This govt seems to have no policy at all on public transport. My MP, Amber Rudd, has campaigned vigorously for high-speed trains to Hastings and Rye, and road-widening on the A21, both things which benefit the better-off, but seems to have no interest at all in the need of her own constituents to be able to travel around the place where they live. Jo Hillier, The Guardian.


  • Jun.03.2018: Airlines plot to hijack Heathrow runway. British Airways and other airlines are plotting to take over building the proposed 3rd runway at Heathrow from the airport’s owner, because of fears that the costs will spiral to more than £20bn. Willie Walsh, chief executive of International Airlines Group, BA’s parent company, told a parliamentary inquiry in Feb. he had “zero” confidence that Heathrow’s operating company would deliver the project on time and on budget. MPs are due to vote in the next few weeks on the expansion plans, which were backed by the govt in Oct.2016. The Sunday Times has seen a document submitted to the Civil Aviation Authority by the International Air Transport Association and the Heathrow Airline Operators Committee, which proposes the formation of a special-purpose "buildco" company to deliver the project. Heathrow estimates that the bill will be ~£14bn, but there are fears the projected costs of the runway and related transport links would be overshot dramatically. The govt’s Airports Commission put infrastructure costs for the scheme at about £4bn, while Transport for London has said they could exceed £15bn. Jon Ungoed-Thomas, The Sunday Times.


  • Aug.16.2018: PollutionWatch: roads account for a lot of pollution so why do we need more? While citizens curb car use and get on their bike, infrastructure policy still backs building roads – a source of inescapable pollution. In the late 1990s a government report showed that new roads did not ease congestion; they encouraged more car use. Studies in the US have shown that doubling road capacity can double traffic. So why are we planning to build more roads? Gary Fuller, The Guardian.
  • Mar.2017: The Impact of Road Projects in England. This report finds any benefits of road schemes in terms of congestion relief are short-lived; environmental damage from road schemes is permanent; and there is very little evidence that road schemes deliver economic benefits. The present road-dominated approach to development leads to car-dependent sprawl which is environmentally damaging and afflicted by congestion. It recommends much tighter focusing of development at existing larger settlements that offer facilities close to hand and strong public transport hubs. The report also concludes that the official evaluation process is deeply flawed and recommends Highways England should no longer be evaluator of its own schemes. Lynn Sloman, Lisa Hopkinson, Ian Taylor, Transport for Quality of Life.


The UK rail industry was privatised in the mid-1990s, when the train operating companies and the rail network were separated. The Strategic Rail Authority awards passenger franchises to train operating companies on behalf of the govt, following a competitive bid process.

ToDo: go through this lot:

Since privatisation, the amount of govt subsidies to the rail industry has risen higher than it was in its state-run days. A yearly average of just over £1bn in the late 1980s rose to a high > £6bn in 2006-2007, according to a public spending report from the House of Commons. In 2011, then Conservative transport secretary, Philip Hammond, alluded to the sharp rise in ticket prices since privatisation when he described train travel in the UK as "a rich man's toy". Five years earlier, economists at UBS bank said train travel in the UK was the most expensive in the world.ref


  • Aug.01.2017: The car has a chokehold on Britain. It’s time to free ourselves. Our insanely inefficient transport system is in thrall to the metal god. Electric vehicles are not the answer. We tell ourselves that we cherish efficiency, yet we have created a transport system whose design principle is profligacy. But to contest this peculiar form of insanity is, as I know to my cost, to be widely declared insane. Look at how advertising is dominated by car companies, and you begin to understand the drive to ensure that this counter-ergonomic system persists. Look at the lobbying power of the motor industry and its support in the media, and you see why successive plans to address pollution seemed designed to fail. Suggest a neater system, and you will be shouted down by people insisting that they don’t want to live in a planned economy. The government’s new pollution plan notes that its actions will be limited, as “we must maintain discipline on public spending”. Yet it sustains what the Department for Transport boasts is the “biggest upgrade to roads in a generation”. Launched in 2014, at the height of David Cameron's austerity programme, this plan promised to “triple levels of spending by the end of the decade”, with £15bn for 100 new road schemes. New roads do not solve traffic congestion. They exacerbate it. It doesn’t matter how often and how powerfully the induction of traffic by roads is demonstrated (the first findings were published in 1937); the programme persists. A new subprime crisis, involving cars rather than houses, threatens to help catalyse another crash. But yet again the government avoids fundamental questions about how and why we use transport, and whether we could do it better, like the plague. Air Pollution, Electrics vehicles solve only part of the problem. While the total carbon emissions and air pollution caused by electric cars will be lower than those the fossil system produces, electricity use will have to rise. If you are among those who support electric cars but oppose nuclear power, you may have to reconsider one of your positions. Why not – through shifting road space from cars to bicycles in the form of safe cycle lanes – aim to make cycling the main form of urban transport? Why not launch a scrappage scheme that trades cars for public transport tokens? Why not implement the ingenious plan proposed by the economist Alan Storkey, for an upgraded intercity coach service that’s as fast and convenient as private transport, but uses a fraction of the road space? George Monbiot, The Guardian.
  • Apr.09.2018: Trams are great for city transport – why doesn't the UK have more? The UK used to be covered in trams, with networks in virtually every city and town, but now just 8 British metro areas use a light-rail system. The popularity of Edinburgh's trams suggest a renaissance in the making. Watchdog Transport Focus (Transport FocusWikipedia-W.svg) recorded a 99% satisfaction rating for Edinburgh’s system and 93% for trams across Britain. Buses offer better coverage, trains are faster, but trams offer speed and reliability, are cheaper (though not cheap), easier to install than rail, and offer side benefits like no emissions and can help underpin neighborhood regeneration projects. "Think of trams as an urban development project rather than a transport scheme," says Martin Wedderburn, Transport Planner and Associate for thinktank the Centre for London (Centre for LondonWikipedia-W.svg). Whydid Britain go from tram leaders to running to catch up? Blame cars. (...) Nicole Kobie, Wired.
  • Jan.16.2018: Lord Prescott storms out of launch of 30-year transport plan for the north shouting 'it's a bloody fraud'. Former Hull East MP and Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescottwas furious that the newly-created body will not have any statutory powers. "We have already been told it was promised to have statutory powers and let the north decide its powers. Now we know, and it's been confirmed in the government, it will have no powers." Angus Young, The Mirror.
  • Mar.2013: The govt spelled out its strategy for rail transport in England and Wales in its “Government Command Paper – Reforming Our Railways: Putting the Customer First,” published in Mar.2013. The findings of the McNulty study also served as a basis for the paper. Deutsche Bahn were involved in the development process as part of the Rail Delivery Group, established in May.2011 with one representative each from DB Arriva and DB Schenker Rail.ref, p.79
  • Oct.2012: Department for Transport stopped all ongoing bidding processes for rail transport licenses due to the flawed invitation to tender for the West Coast Main Line franchise. The DfT responded by launching two independent investigations. Laidlaw inquiry, Brown inquiry. The DfT plans to publish a program for future license tenders in early 2013 in due consideration of these recommendations.ref, p.79


  1. ^ Bus Services Bill (Lords) (Second sitting). Public Bill Committee debate, Hansard, House of Commons, Mar.14.2017.
  2. ^ Bus services under privatisation have been a failure say campaigners. On the 30th anniversary of bus deregulation, MPs are urged to act to stop government banning councils from running their own services. Mark Ellis, The Mirror, Oct.26.2016.
  3. ^ Bus Services Act 2017.
  4. ^ Bus Services Bill (HL Bill 2).
  5. ^ The bus bill could rob communities of high quality, affordable bus travel. The bill aims to improve services and devolve power, but includes a clause that stops councils setting up companies to run bus services - it doesn’t make sense. The bus services bill was debated in the House of Lords, and Labour and LibDem peers had strong words about one "nasty mean-minded little clause" in particular. The proposed legislation has some good points, but in among the sensible policy there’s Clause 21, which bans local authorities from setting up bus companies to run bus services. In the Lords it was deemed "a piece of political dogma", which "sticks out like a sore thumb". Given that the bus services bill is intended to increase passenger numbers, improve services and devolve power, Clause 21 doesn’t make sense. It potentially robs communities in England of opportunities to access high quality, low cost bus travel, which Nottingham, Reading and others already provide. The clause means councils are no longer involved in the day-to-day running of the buses. The local authority-run bus companies that still exist – there are just 12 – provide some of the best bus services in the country. Local authority-run bus companies, like Reading Buses and Nottingham City Transport, have won bus operator of the year in 4 of the last 5 years. Research by Transport for Quality of Life looked at 16 essential attributes of a world-class bus system (such as coordinated timetables and simple area-wide fares) and found that deregulation – transfer from public bodies to private companies – is a major obstacle to achieving 13 of them. Matthew Bramall, The Guardian, Aug.03.2016.
  6. ^ Partnerships, franchising and ownership: Prohibition on municipal bus operators., Nov.22.2016.