Worried that people are not returning to public transport as Covid-19 restrictions ease, Cambridgeshire and Peterborough mayor James Palmer boarded a park-and-ride bus to show his support for the industry. And he was clearly impressed with the operator’s efforts to make the vehicle interior as virus-free as possible. Reporting his experience in a blog, the mayor writes: “My bus looked and smelled super hygienic and showed Covid such a clean pair of wheels that no self-respecting bug would want to go anywhere near it. If I hadn’t already made other plans, I’d have eaten lunch off any part of it.” Anyone wanna share a pizza on the back seat?
Ministers have invited people to submit evidence about how to decarbonise transport and their thoughts the DfT’s Decarbonising transport: setting the challenge report published in March. In it, the Department painted a rosy picture of how the bus industry was doing its bit. “The Confederation for Passenger Transport set a target in their recently published bus strategy for all buses to be ultra-low or zero emission by 2025 (2023 in some urban areas).” Oh no it didn’t. As Transport for Greater Manchester has just pointed out to the DfT, the CPT’s commitment was that, from 2025, operators would only purchase next generation ultra-low or zero emission buses. Which is a rather different thing entirely.
The fingerprints of Boris Johnson and his transport adviser Andrew Gilligan are all over the DfT’s new Changing Gear plan for cycling and walking. But they should have paid more attention to the accompanying cycle infrastructure design advice. When Bo-Jo and Gilligan were turning London’s streets into cycling heaven in the 2010s their cycle superhighways were painted Tory blue. The DfT’s new cycle infrastructure design guide is distinctly off-message on this point, saying: “The choice of colour is a matter for the local highway authority but, in the interests of consistency and simplifying maintenance, a single colour should be used for cycle infrastructure within a highway authority’s area. Green and red surfaces are most commonly used.” Green and red? Come on Boris, are you up for leading this revolution or not?
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