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Free concessionary bus travel - Welsh roads - Campaign for Better TransportIn passing,

22 June 2018

The benefits of free concessionary bus travel are many and varied, but little did LTT suspect before last week that increased participation in chess was among them. One respondent to the Welsh Government’s consultation on the future sustainability of free travel observed that membership of the chess club in his city declined through the 1980s and 1990s but had picked up in recent years. “The consultation document mentions the advantages of old people keeping mentally active,” wrote the anonymous respondent. He helpfully showed that the uplift in chess also has an economic benefit: “We meet in a pub, and they sell us beer.”

Welsh Assembly Members are indebted to a professor from an English university (names withheld, but the University of the Bleedin’ Obvious may be apposite) who told an inquiry into the state of Welsh roads that statistics on winter service costs from 2003 to 2017 showed that annual maintenance expenditure doubled in some years compared with others. “It would appear that winter service costs which are significantly higher than average coincide with winters that are significantly colder or wetter than average,” reported the insightful academic. AMs may have been disappointed that he didn’t go on to provide evidence of the Pope’s adherence to the Catholic faith.

LTT bumped into the Campaign for Better Transport’s outgoing chief executive Stephen Joseph at an event last week. Having been with the organisation since 1988, Joseph has been spending some of his final few months clearing out the organisation’s archive to allow the new (yet to be named) chief to start with, if not a clean sheet of paper, then at least a less cluttered office. The CBT archives are going to a good home: the National Railway Museum at York. Joseph, meanwhile, is looking ahead to exciting new ventures; details remain a bit sketchy but one thing he wants to get his teeth into is helping England’s Metro mayors make strides in transport.  

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