If there is one thing free marketeers and large state socialists agree on, it would be the terrible state/private hybrid ownership structure of our railways currently supported by the government. While large state socialists won’t be happy until the private sector is squeezed out of the system, market liberals view the Conservative government’s actions as ... Continue reading
It was Winston Churchill who reputably first said, "never let a good crisis go to waste", this in relation to the Yalta conference towards the end of WW2. In tribute, London is currently attempting to use the coronavirus pandemic to advance plans to pedestrianise large parts of the city centre. Not quite Yalta, but in ... Continue reading
As part of the transition from VIRCON-4 (lock-down) to VIRCON-3 (loosening) the UK government has advised those that need to travel to work to walk, cycle or use private vehicles, not public transport. The rail unions have underwritten this guidance suggesting capacity on services with social distancing (two metres apart) is only 10% and their ... Continue reading
High Speed 2 is being sold to the public as a crucial part of the UK’s low-carbon transport future. It has been promoted as a project that would provide a greener alternative to travellers by linking northern England with London, helping to reduce the UK’s emissions. There is certainly a case for environmentally sustainable transportation. ... Continue reading
Economic Theory
The 2020s will see the introduction of one of the most profoundly transformative technologies for decades: the driverless car. In the world we have inhabited for the past 60 years, most adults own cars that they drive daily, which they then park in their garages, front yards or on the street, or in car parks ... Continue reading
The British public should be wary of the recent fad of lavish infrastructure spending as often they are little more than political enticements with flimsy economic foundations. Throughout the 2019 election, parties across the political spectrum have announced ambitious spending programs in a bid to garner support, especially in regions hurt by austerity. Infrastructure has ... Continue reading
Last weekend I had a boneshaking ride on one of Northern Rail’s notorious Pacers. These trains, dating from the mid-1980s, were built cheaply in the last days of British Rail. They are essentially buses on rails, using a Leyland Motors bus body mounted on a modified freight vehicle. They are often fitted out with the ... Continue reading

Mark Littlewood responds to the Chancellor's party conference speech

In his speech to Conservative Party Conference, Sajid Javid pledged to promote at "infrastructure revolution" but as long as HS2 remains on the government balance sheet "it is near-impossible justify any hike in transport spending”, says the IEA's Director-General Mark Littlewood. Read the full piece here. Read Mark's full response to the Chancellor's speech here.... Continue reading

Mark Littlewood writes for The Times Business

Mark Littlewood, Director General at the Institute of Economic Affairs, has written on the recent decision of the government to review the high speed railway HS2. "Douglas Oakervee and Lord Berkeley, civil engineers, have the task of seeking out the “facts”. If their analysis is even halfway to being objective, it must be a near ... Continue reading

Richard Wellings signs letter to Yorkshire Post

Richard Wellings, Acting Research Director & Head of Transport at the Institute of Economic Affairs, has written a letter to the Yorkshire Post. "HS2 was a flawed project from the start. The economic case for it never made much sense, which explains why the rationale for the rail project keeps changing." Read the full letter ... Continue reading