Paul Withrington was one of transport’s visionaries. His ideas promised a transformation in connectivity, with rapid, low-cost journeys right into the heart of the largest cities. The vast subsidies pumped into public transport would be consigned to history. And commuters could all be comfortably seated, ending the ordeal of standing cheek by jowl on railway ... Continue reading
Today marks the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Reshaping of British Railways, better known as the Beeching Report. Dr Beeching pointed out that 30 per cent of route miles carried only 1 per cent of passenger-miles and 1 per cent of tonne-miles. He recommended closures in the vain hope that the remaining network ... Continue reading
Decades of propaganda have established the myth that railways cost much less, are far safer, have much more capacity, use less fuel, less manpower and are far kinder to the environment than road transport ever can be. Surprisingly the myth turns out to have no basis in fact.  Indeed the reality is so different from ... Continue reading
The cost of reducing speed is of particular interest since ‘speed’ is said to be a factor in a high proportion (30%) of road accidents. Consequently motorists have been subjected to ever lower speed limits and a punitive speed camera regime. For example, the current advice (DfT Circular 01/2006), is that speed limits should be ... Continue reading
Over the past decade vast sums have been spent on public transport despite the fact that nearly 90% of passenger miles are by car and to places that are difficult or impossible to serve by bus, let alone by train. For example, government expenditure on rail over the last decade amounts to c. £50 billion, ... Continue reading
The last government’s Ten Year Plan envisaged that congestion could be greatly reduced by increasing rail use by 50% and bus use by 10%. Consequently vast sums have been spent on public transport. However, the policy was, at its inception, deeply flawed. Firstly, it was always obvious that, since rail accounted for only 2% of ... Continue reading