Local Transport Today is the authoritative, independent journal for transport decision makers. Analysis, Comment & News on Transport Policy, Planning, Finance and Delivery since 1989.
Surprise as traffic jumps 10% in year on M25 all-lane running

Surprise as traffic jumps 10% in year on M25 all-lane running

Highways England appears to have been caught by surprise at traffic growth of 10-13% in just one year on the first two sections of M25 smart motorway, where the hard shoulder has... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News
Mapping out a digital solution

Mapping out a digital solution

If you are under the impression that the digitisation of passenger transport planning, information and payment is still... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News
New Act lays foundations for sub-national transport bodies

New Act lays foundations for sub-national transport bodies

New powers allowing the Government to establish sub-national transport bodies (STBs) in England have received Royal Assent. The Cities and Local Government Devolution Act allows the Secretary of State for transport to create... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

BIS funds R&D to accelerate autonomous vehicle revolution
Andrew Forster

Eight research and development projects on autonomous vehicles have received a share of £20m, the first award from the £100m Intelligent Mobility Fund managed by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).   The projects are: 1. UK Connected Intelligent Transport... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News
HE’s tunnel vision presents a new route across Lower Thames estuary

HE’s tunnel vision presents a new route across Lower Thames estuary

Aproposed multi-billion pound road tunnel across the Thames, connecting Kent and Essex, will provide a valuable alternative to the existing congested Dartford Crossing and assist regeneration plans on both sides of the estuary, the DfT said this week. The proposal is... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News
Demand forecasts for cycling projects ‘are stabs in the dark’

Demand forecasts for cycling projects ‘are stabs in the dark’
Andrew Forster

Appraisals of cycling projects would be better off... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News
Centro pursues catenary-free operations on Midland Metro

Centro pursues catenary-free operations on Midland Metro
Andrew Forster

The West Midlands could become the first place in the... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Council rail plans frustrated by setback for ‘Electric Spine’
Andrew Forster

A number of sought-after local rail improvements are at risk because of uncertainty over the future of the ‘Electric Spine’ project to create an electrified railway between South Yorkshire and the Southampton.  Network Rail’s revised draft enhancement delivery plan, published... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News
Greater Bristol councils reveal operational plans for MetroBus

Greater Bristol councils reveal operational plans for MetroBus
Andrew Forster

Councils in the Bristol conurbation have published details of... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Lower speed limits and more cameras in Vision Zero charter
Andrew Forster

Lower limits and more speed cameras lie at the heart of a new environmental road safety campaign that aims to build on the momentum of the 20’s Plenty for Us campaign for 20mph speed limits. Vision Zero UK’s headline goal is the elimination of deaths from road accidents. The campaign... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Derbyshire plans withdrawal of all subsidised bus services
Andrew Forster

Derbyshire County Council is to consult on withdrawing almost all funding for subsidised bus services, as part of a programme of cuts.   The Labour-controlled council says the cuts are necessary because of the Government’s continuing reduction to council funding. Derbyshire received... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News
Hauliers unimpressed by new plan to cut cyclist collisions

Hauliers unimpressed by new plan to cut cyclist collisions
Andrew Forster

Road hauliers have questioned the legality of London... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News
Southerly rail access plan for Heathrow flawed, says TfL

Southerly rail access plan for Heathrow flawed, says TfL
Andrew Forster

Transport for London has questioned the merits of the... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Borders rail success puts spotlight on forecasts

Transport Scotland (TS) is being urged to review its rail demand forecasting methods in the wake of the runaway success of the Borders Railway.  The number of single trips on the £353m line from Edinburgh to Galashiels/Tweedbank in the first 20 weeks since opening last September was... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

New vehicle testing rules

The European Commission has proposed changes to the way national authorities certify that vehicles meet EU safety, environmental and production requirements, in an effort to prevent a repeat of the Volkswagen emissions scandal.  Under current arrangements, national type approval authorities,... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News
Big data can keep traffic flowing

Big data can keep traffic flowing

Real-time data from connected cars can help transport authorities to swiftly make informed decisions to alleviate congestion,... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Engineers want road pricing

The next mayor of London should launch a research programme into expanding road user charging in the capital, the Institution of Civil Engineers said this week. “We must open up the ‘user pays’ debate – a principle that is adopted across most infrastructure through utility... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Upgrade five corridors, say South Eastcouncils

Local authority leaders in South East England want the Government to commit to invest in five transport corridors.  They are: • the A34/M3 and rail links between Southampton/ Portsmouth and Oxford/West Midlands. The authorities suggest spending £750m-£1bn to improve the A34 in... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

£150m Leeds traffic plan has negative BCR

A £150m plan to remove through traffic from Leeds city centre will deliver huge economic disbenefits according to a conventional scheme appraisal because drivers will endure  longer journey times.  Leeds City Council’s city centre package aims to improve the public realm in... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

TfL prepares Silvertown Tunnel DCO application

Transport for London is to submit a development consent order (DCO) application to the Planning Inspectorate in April for powers to construct the Silvertown road tunnel in east London.  The twin bore tunnel would carry four lanes of traffic under the Thames, connecting the A102 on the... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Four cities win lion’s share of £40m EV grant

Nottingham, Bristol, Milton Keynes and London are to participate in a £40m Government programme to promote take-up of electric cars.  The cities are the main winners of the DfT’s Go Ultra Low City competition. Each will deliver measures such as rapid charging points and street... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Bankcard ticketing cuts TfL’s costs

The growing popularity of contactless payment cards (CPC) to pay for travel in the capital has substantially cut Transport for London’s revenue collection costs.   TfLsays more than 300 million journeys in London have been paid for using CPCcards since the option became available in... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Cycle City monitoring a challenge, says Sustrans

The DfT may struggle to demonstrate the impact its Cycling City Ambition grant has had on cycling levels in the eight cities because of data limitations, according to a report by Sustrans.  The DfT appointed Sustrans (and WSP) to review and provide advice on monitoring arrangements in each of... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

PTE closes in on Metro extensions alliance

Centro is close to selecting a preferred designer and contractor for a partnership to extend the conurbation’s Midland Metro light rail network. A preferred designer is due to be selected later this month and the shortlist of contractors will be narrowed down to two. Contracts are due to be... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Cardiff & DfT in dispute over cross-border rail

A row is brewing between the Welsh Government and the DfT over the possible removal of profitable cross-border services from the next Wales and Borders franchise, the management of which is to be devolved to Cardiff.  The Welsh Government is expected to become the franchising authority for the... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Swansea electrification axe ‘a false economy’

Using bi-modal Intercity Express Programme (IEP) trains instead of electrifying the line from Cardiff to Swansea could prove a false economy, an academic has suggested. It was reported last year that the DfT was considering altering the ratio of electric to bi-modal trains in the IEP order with... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Welsh council studies moving traffic enforcement

Vale of Glamorgan Council is considering whether to take on enforcement of moving traffic offences, possibly in partnership with neighbouring Cardiff, which recently became the first council outside London to undertake the activity. Vale of Glamorgan’s initial assessment is that the viability... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

‘Rip out traffic signals,' says Institute of Economic Affairs

Thousands of traffic signals, bus lanes, cycle lanes, speed cameras, and parking restrictions should be removed from Britain’s roads, according to right of centre think-tank the Institute of Economic Affairs.  “For large parts of the network and for much of the time, the benefits... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News
Scotland’s transport strategy ‘refreshed’

Scotland’s transport strategy ‘refreshed’

A full review of Scottish transport policy after May’s Scottish Parliament elections has been signalled by Transport Scotland. Scotland’s transport... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News
Service cutbacks are looming, warns Nexus

Service cutbacks are looming, warns Nexus

Public transport service cuts will have to be made in Tyne and Wear from 2017 as  councils cut expenditure, the North East Combined Authority (NECA) has... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Axe hangs over Oxon buses & real time info

All of Oxfordshire County Council’s supported bus routes look likely to be withdrawn as part of budget savings to be made this month. The county also plans to end funding for real-time information displays at bus stops. Oxfordshire’s cabinet has approved the withdrawal of support for... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Armitt leads inquiry into UK infrastructure

A team of business, industry, academic and environment leaders has been set up to advise the National Infrastructure Commission (NIC) on the country’s future infrastructure needs. NIC commissioner and Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) president Sir John Armitt will chair a group to conduct... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Six-point plan to improve capital’s bus safety

Transport for London has announced a programme to improve the capital’s bus safety record.  TfL publishes accident data involving London buses on a quarterly basis, broken down by route, bus company and borough. The most recent figures, covering July to September last year, shows there... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

TfL and regions lobby for HS2-HS1 link

Transport for London and conurbation transport authorities elsewhere in England  hope to persuade ministers to rethink their decision to drop plans to connect HS2 with HS1, the Channel Tunnel Rail Link. Last November the Government said it would not take an HS2-HS1 link forward because it had... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Diesel car emission limits relaxed

Nitrogen oxide limits from new diesel cars are to be relaxed under reforms approved this week by the European Parliament.  Brussels-based environmental transport campaign group Transport and Environment said the revised Euro 6 limit of 168mg of NOx per km approved by MEPs was more than double... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Archway gyratory removal begins

Transport for London has begun work on a £12.8m programme to remove the one-way gyratory at Archway in Islington, creating two-way traffic lanes around three sides of the island, installing segregated cycle lanes, improving pedestrian crossings, and creating a new public space outside Archway... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Clampdown on weekend road works

The DfT is considering introducing a system of charges for roadworks on local authority A roads in England that are left in place at weekends when no one takes place. Councils and utility companies could face charges of up to £5,000 a day. To avoid them, workers would either have to work over... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Westminster to trial residents-only EV charging points

Westminster City Council has identified three areas to pilot residents-only electric vehicle recharging points. Access to the charging points will be restricted to residents who are members of the residential recharging scheme; live within a residents’ parking zone; and hold a residential... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Norwich creates more car club bays

Norwich City Council is to expand the number of car club parking bays in the city to cope with growing demand. The city’s car club was launched in 2006 and is currently operated by community interest company Co-Wheels. The club has received £30,000 from the DfT’s Developing Car... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Cut bus lane hours, say city’s Tories

Bristol City Council’s Conservative opposition group wants the operating hours for the city’s bus lanes reduced. “One option to be seriously considered must be the possibility of permitting motorists to use the so-called dedicated bus corridors during off-peak hours,” said... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Caerphilly rejects council merger plan

Caerphilly County Borough Council has rejected Welsh Government proposals to merge it and four other neighbouring councils into a new unitary authority. The Government’s plans would see a unitary created covering Blaenau Gwent, Caerphilly, Torfaen, Monmouthsire, and Newport.... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

East Riding wins £16.9m for A roads

The DfT has awarded East Riding of Yorkshire Council £16.7m over five years for road maintenance on the council’s A roads. The funding from the Local Growth Fund, will contribute to the council’s £23.9m maintenance project. ... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

TfL seeks powers for Barking rail extension

Transport for London plans to submit a Transport and Works Act Order application to the Planning Inspectorate in mid-March for a new railway branch to serve Barking Riverside, a major development area in east London where 10,800 homes are planned. The Gospel Oak to Barking rail services would be... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

£200m upgrade for Aberdeen rail links

Faster rail journeys between Aberdeen and central Scotland will be the key outcome of a £250m infrastructure package for north-east Scotland announced by the Scottish Government. The Government has pledged £200m to help improve journey times and increase capacity on the route between... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

A9 average speed cameras praised

Deaths and serious injuries on the A9 between Dunblane and Inverness have fallen sharply in the first year since average speed cameras were introduced, according to figures released by the A9 Safety Group.  The cameras on the 136-mile section of road went live on 28 October 2014. There are... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Bedford cuts road safety budget

Bedford Borough Council is to stop changing speed limits and halt investment in further average speed cameras in order to save £20,000 a year from its revenue budget. Over the last five or so years the council has reviewed speed limits at over 100 sites and introduced average speed cameras at... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

TfGM cuts bus cash to fund franchising

Transport for Greater Manchester is to cut its budget for supported bus services next year by £720,000 from £27.8m to £27.1m, and ring-fence most of the savings to help fund implementation of its proposed bus franchising plans. Richard Paver, treasurer to Greater Manchester... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

West Mids ITA levy cut by 5%

Council leaders in the West Midlands conurbation are to cut the levy to the West Midlands Integrated Transport Authority by 5% in 2016/17 to £124.8m, down from £131.4m this year. WMITA will use almost £1m of reserves in 2016/17 to take total revenue expenditure up to... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Ipswich P&R under threat

Suffolk County Council will consider closing Ipswich’s bus-based park-and-ride operation unless its financial performance improves. The council currently contributes £700,000 a year to the running of the service, which features two park-and-ride sites. With Suffolk having to close a... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

MP criticises Kent lorry park spending

The Government’s plan to spend £250m creating a lorry park in Kent to accommodate vehicles during times of cross-Channel disruption is a poor use of public money, according to the chairman of the all-party parliamentary freight transport group. “Spending up to a quarter of a... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

TfL launches low emission freight plan

Transport for London has launched a programme to encourage low emission vans and lorries in the capital. The five-year LoCITY project will see TfL work with the freight industry, vehicle manufacturers, fuel providers and other public sector bodies to increase the availability and uptake of low... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

Ring road boundary for Clean Air Zone

Birmingham’s proposed clean air zone (CAZ) is likely to cover the area within the city’s A4540 ring road, formerly known as the Middle Ring Road. The Government plans to legislate to introduce a CAZ in the city from 2020, which will apply to buses, coaches, taxis, HGVs and light goods... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

20mph limits in Belfast city centre

A signed-only 20mph speed limit has been introduced on streets in Belfast city centre by Northern Ireland’s Department for Regional Development. The scheme is one of five pilots.... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

TfL consults on gyratory revamp

Transport for London has launched a consultation on plans to improve the safety of Hammersmith gyratory. The plans include a segregated two-way cycle track on the north side.... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

More lights on capital’s hire bikes

Additional safety lights are starting to be installed to all 11,500 bicycles in London’s bike hire scheme. The Blaze Laserlights project the symbol of a bicycle onto the ground six metres in front of the bike, helping to alert drivers and pedestrians to their approach. The lights are... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

TfL selects property developer partners

Transport for London has appointed 13 property development companies and consortiums to a development framework that will help deliver thousands of homes, offices and retail spaces across 50 TfL-owned sites in the capital. The 13 companies on the property partnership framework can bid for work on... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

TfL makes 20mph permanent on TLRN

Transport for London has made permanent two trial 20mph speed limits on sections of the Transport for London Road Network in the City of London. Eighteen month experimental traffic orders were used to introduce the 20mph limits in July 2014 on the Bishopsgate and Farringdon corridors. The trial... continue

5 Feb 2016Local Transport Today News

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