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In Passing

01 May 2020
 

  Some people are never happy.  As we report elsewhere, Swindon Borough Council has made changes to its town centre movement strategy after the draft document attractive a few brickbats during a consultation. But it’s all too little for one consultee who told the council, “You need to think bigger, demolish the town centre and start again.”


  One of the mild irritations that comes with this job is trying to make sense of projects that often go by vague names. Such as the ‘Western corridor smarter travel scheme’ or the ‘Making our healthy streets safer area-based phase 1 improvements’. It’s reassuring, however, to report that it’s not just hacks who get a little hacked off at this. Sub-national transport body Transport for the South East has been trying to fathom out how many of its trunk road priorities made it into Highways England’s new five-year plan, the Roads Investment Strategy 2 (RIS2) published in March. And the answer is, er, um, dunno. Three definitely made the grade, another five are in the pipeline for RIS3, and six didn’t make it. But TfSE is unclear about another four because “the titles used do not necessarily enable the scope of the schemes to be determined”. “The DfT have been asked to provide further clarity on exactly what has been included within the schemes set out in the RIS2 programme. A further update will be provided once that information is available.” 


  Boris Johnson’s idea of a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland has already morphed into a tunnel but things could yet get a whole lot more ambitious. Following a Freedom of Information request, the Scottish Government has released a 76-page file of correspondence about the link idea. Most of it comprises emails from members of the public and journalists, enquiring about the Scottish Government’s position on the project. To all, the Government responds with broadly the same bland lines – we have no plans blah blah blah. One of the final pieces of correspondence in the file adds a few extra whistles to BoJo’s plan. “I would like to submit to you the exciting Power Bridge in response to your desire to link Portpatrick [in Dumfries and Galloway] and Larne,” begins the unnamed Stockholm-based architectural office, showing it misunderstands who’s championing the project. “Our concept is to combine a complete transportation infrastructure with a wind turbine farm. The foundations of the bridge are extended upwards into pylons each supporting a 1,500 MW wind turbine. 140 of these pylons placed along the length of the bridge will carry an equal amount of turbines producing 210 000 kWh of electricity, about 1,800 million kW per year. Regarding transportation, the bridge will boast four car lanes on the upper level separated by a service lane dedicated to the wind turbines' maintenance as well as two train lanes on the lower level.” As they say, you read it here first. And quite possibly, last. 

 
 
Technical Officer
Oxfordshire County Council
Oxfordshire
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Technical Officer
Oxfordshire County Council
Oxfordshire
Competitive salary
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Oxfordshire County Council
Oxfordshire
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