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Issue 679 - 21 August 2015: Opinion

Slings and roundabouts
Local Transport Today

It is hard to argue with the basic premise of the Transport Systems Catapult – finding relatively small fish and helping them with funding and technical expertise to help them hopefully become big fish, one day. The... continue

In Passing

The Times made a bit of a muddle of its reporting that the Office of Rail and Road has approved Great North Western Railways’ application to run open access rail services between Blackpool and London. The trains will... continue

The facts are clear – life events change travel behaviour.  Policy-makers please take note

The facts are clear – life events change travel behaviour. Policy-makers please take note
Kiron Chatterjee & Ben Clark Centre for Transport and Society

In his most recent column, Phil Goodwin noted a “widely accepted” proposition that “it is around the point of transition from one stage in the lifecycle to another, that people are most prone to reconsider whole patterns of lifestyle and behaviour and [are] therefore open to trying out different travel choices and routines” (LTT 24 Jul). Phil also previously suggested (in LTT 502 in 2008) that this is not self-evident,... continue

Letters to the Editor

Tri-county transport plan: welcome, but not enough
Peter Headicar, Oxford OX1

I’m sure most residents and businesses in the three counties now branding themselves as ‘England’s Economic Heartland’ will... continue

Bus franchising: criticisms of TAS are inappropriate
Adrian Grant, Managing director, The TAS Partnership, Preston PR1

I write in response to Jonathan Bray’s letter published in LTT on 7 August. The letter presents a completely distorted picture of our Lessons from London report and, in doing so, attempts to undermine our business by... continue

Pteg and TAS are both missing the point on buses
Andrew Braddock, Yateley, Hampshire GU46

The predictable – and entertaining – spat between Jonathan Bray of Pteg and Adrian Grant of TAS seems to concentrate on whose predictions of the cost of ‘London-style franchising’ outside the capital... continue

Forget urban lorry bans, the solution for safe cycling is here
Nick O’Donnell, Assistant director – strategic transport, The London Borough of Ealing, Ealing W5

I read with interest Dave Holladay’s Viewpoint (‘Lorry bans to improve cycle safety make good headlines, but do they make good policy?’ LTT 07 Aug).  Dave makes some valid points, such as the fact that... continue

Turn-off headlights on streetlit roads to improve road safety
Keith Peat, Drivers Union, Sutton-on-Sea, Lincs LN12

In his letter, Morten Welde was talking about daytime running lights and not ‘headlights’ as your heading implied (Letters LTT 07 Aug).  While considering headlight use, I have long argued that we should not... continue

Do daylight running lights really make roads safer?
David Duckett, Transport & traffic liaison officer, Gosport Borough Council, Gosport PO12

In response to Morten Welde’s letter on daylight running lights (DRLs) I would note that, as a motorcyclist and cyclist, I hesitate to join him in advocating the compulsory use of such lights on all vehicles... continue

The chain gang: how much of an inconvenience to drivers?
Nick Gough, Highways development manager – SW Hertfordshire, Hertfordshire County Council, Hertford SG13

Phil Sulley was claiming to have coined the expression ‘chain’ for a line of cyclists (Letters LTT 24 Jul). I am afraid that he was beaten to it. Wikipedia reports that “a chain gang is a group of cyclists... continue

TfL needs to give cyclists green waves through junctions
James Barber, Liberal Democrat councillor for East Dulwich, London Borough of Southwark, London SE1

I was chuffed to read that TfL plans to procure an automated predictive signalling system to optimise automated predictive signalling system to smooth traffic flows (‘Short-term traffic forecasts to help TfL... continue

Bank cards and phones are no substitute for smartcards
Roger Sexton, Nottingham NG1

I do not think that Roger Sexton and/or smartphones are a substitute for smartcard Oyster-style ‘ticketing’ (“‘Are smartcards obsolete?’ asks Transport for Greater Manchester, as ticket contract... continue

Designated routes needed for longer HGVs in urban areas
Philippa Edmunds, Freight on Rail manager, Campaign for Better Transport, London N1

Running 7ft-longer HGVs is acceptable on the strategic road network but they are not safe on many urban roads due to their lack of manoeuvrability, longer blind spot and longer tail swing (‘Longer HGVs cut vehicle... continue

Light rail can’t deliver the flexibility of bus networks
Roger Davies, Kendal LA9

Your Media Monitor referring to the article by Steve Howell about the Cardiff Valleys rail network is slightly misleading (‘Return of trams to South Wales valleys advocated online’ LTT 07 Aug).  Steve is... continue