Local Transport Today is the authoritative, independent journal for transport decision makers. Analysis, Comment & News on Transport Policy, Planning, Finance and Delivery since 1989.

In Passing

13 July 2020

  LTT has a recurring fear that the magazine is being read by a grammarian who one day will send in a long letter listing all our errors since the beginning of time. Perhaps that individual is Terri Eynon, the Labour Leicestershire county councillor for Coalville North. She has just written to the council, giving some feedback on its new Coalville transport strategy. “A-level English students will note the strange syntax and agentless passive construction in paragraph 49: ‘It was recognised that at the time of the policy’s adoption, it would unlikely be capable of funding the entirety of the transport infrastructure required to support growth in the area,’” she says. “An agentless passive is a neat way of hiding the identity of the persons doing the recognising,” adds Eynon, before reminding the council that it was Labour councillors who did the recognising. 

  A reader is less than impressed with an email received from Emovis, the operator of the electronic tolling system on the Dartford Crossing. The company informs our reader that their Dart Charge account has been inactive for 12 months and will be closed if it remains inactive for a further 90 days. “Emovis is threatening to close my DartTag account because I’ve been inactive! The whole country has been inactive for four months UNDER EXPLICIT GOVERNMENT INSTRUCTIONS!!!!” So what to do? “I can remedy the situation by making a crossing – despite the Government still issuing travel restrictions advice!”

  The DfT is casting the net far and wide for inspiration on decarbonising transport. It is, after all, a tricky subject. Unusually, its call for ideas published this week asks respondents to indicate their age last birthday and includes a category for people “less than 11 years old”. What flummoxed us, however, was the series of questions a little further on that ask: “Do you have a disability or other long-standing health problem that makes it impossible to ride a bicycle? Do you have a disability or other long-standing health problem that makes it difficult to ride a bicycle? Do you have no disability or other long-standing health problem that makes it difficult to ride a bicycle?” Pardon us for asking, but what exactly are they trying to get at?

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