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Viewpoint as published i Local Trasnport Today of  15th April 2016.  The strange busness of the Northern power house.  This paper provides teh bacgourd to the Viewpoint" above along with a map
Viewpoint  -  In Local Transport Today,  number 695, 15th April 2-016; " Rational decision-making in the Nothern Powerhouse? Sadly not". The strange business of the Northern Powerhouse.  A paper  supporting "Viewpoint" above; providing a map and data on the amazing disconnect between investment and reality.
The Labour Government’s 10-year plan has, as a key feature, the transfer of people from cars to public transport. The targets for passengers were to increase bus use by 10% and passenger rail use by 50%. What effect can that have? The figures are as follows: Car use is forecast to rise by between 12% and 20% over the decade ending 2010 (National Travel growth forecasts) Bus/coach travel accounts for 10...
Addendum (August 2013) The text under the heading below was produced in 2003, and is therefore out of date.  However, the strategic conclusions will not change.  Pending a larger update we have annotated the original text slightly. We add that it costs the Government five to seven times as much to move a passenger or tonne of freight by rail as it does by the motorway and trunk road system.  The...
Essential reading for decision makers and transport correspondents See also our chapter from page 170 in the Institute of Economic Affairs publication "the New Rural Economy" The SRA's data Depite the £300 million per year that the taxpayer contributes to Community Rail, astonishingly little useful data is available from the SRA's February 2004 consultation paper or the Development...
The maps below show the extent of the main road network in Great Britain along with the rail network pre-Beeching. The road network was 28,000 miles long and the rail network 19,000 miles. Now the rail network is a mere 10,000 miles long. The average leveled width of double track rail was 28 feet ( 8.5 metres) although the distance between the stantions carrying electrification is now commonly 10...
The advertisement appeared in ‘The New Statesman’ of 3rd and 10th December 2004 and 21st January 2005 and in ‘Private Eye’ of 7th and 21st January and 4th February 2005 and in ‘The Week’ on 5th February and on either 29th January or 12th February 2005 There were objections from members of the public, the Railway Forum and the Rail Development Society Ltd trading as Railfuture....
4th April 2005 Amended March 2009 – see end note The Case for Rail, published in 2004,  is a booklet used by the Rail lobby in its continuous campaign to have taxpayers subsidise the railways to the tune of billions of pounds annually. The booklet is available at £2.50 from Norman Bradbury, Railfuture Book Sales, 30 The Mount, Worcester Park , Surrey , KT4 8UD . Tel: (020) 8394 0675 . The Item...
The railway Conversion League was founded following the seminal paper at 1 in the table below.  It was renamed the Railway Conversion Campaign and ceased operations in 1994 with the death of the Chairman, Major Angus Dalgleish.  The following lists some of the archive documents and makes them available to a wider public.............................................. 1 The...
Updated November 2006 Wp Ref website. Topic 8 Rt Systems 02 Note: this is an interim update as it stood in 2004/5. It awaits latest TSGB data for it to be fully up to date but that is unlikely to change any conclusion. ..................................... The systems for which data is here presented are Docklands, Strathclyde, Manchester, Tyne and Wear, Sheffield, Centro (West Midlands) and Croydon....
Updated June 2016 Wp Ref Website/TOPIC 9 JUNCTION DELAYSb This updates and replaces the previous note produced for 2009. Over the past decade the traffic engineers have restricted capacity at the most critical points in the road network, namely the junctions. They have done that by a series of minor, almost insignificant, measures e.g.. Arranging matters so that all the traffic lights show red long after...
Congestion Charging The theory of Congestion Charging has a long and distinguished history starting with the late Professor Smeed in the 1960s. The advantage of charging is illustrated by the following example. Consider a journey to work of 5 miles. The COBA manual, used by the Government to evaluate road schemes, sets the value of time associated with the average car at £6.73 per hour at 1994 prices. In this...
We saw under the section on Transport Policy that the Government’s intention of increasing bus use by 10% and rail use by 50% would, if successful, reduce car use over 10 years from perhaps 120% of the value in 2000 to 118%. A change so trivial as to pass unnoticed. In contrast a 20% rise in car occupancy may reduce car traffic by up to 20%. Of course it would take time to effect changes in insurance policies...
Wp Ref. Speedc/speed and policy 02 For effect of 20 mph in Portsmouth see http://www.fightbackwithfacts.com/portsmouths-20mph-area/ For effect of speed cameras in Thames Valley see http://www.speedcamerareport.co.uk/   Targets and reporting. The Government set a target of reducing the Killed and Seriously injured, KSI, by 40 % by 2010 compared with the average for the years 1994 to 1998. ...
Heathrow - note on effects of noise ........................... Transport Watch canvasses for three areas of research:   1 The land take per passenger-km. E.g., (a) the areas of the airports themselves plus (b) other areas affected by noise (suitably weighted). Those areas divided by the passenger-km generated could be compared with the same data for roads and rail. 2 The need to...
Transport Watch will sponsor and encourage research into transport issues at a range of universities. E.g: 1. To Cranfield (a) Development of an airport land productivity index: Namely passenger-km and tonne-km per hectare of land. Land to include surrounding areas suitably weighted. The project would provide a data base for UK airports enabling the user to find the productivity index for any airport or...
London - A map and a few words London’s (surface) Rail network, illustrated below, is superbly engineered, often grade separated and often wide enough for dual 2 or 3-lane motorways. It overlays the road network, which is, for the most part, a collection of tarmacked access roads. Half a million surface rail passengers enter central London in the three hours 7 am to 10 am (Transport Statistics Great...
Illustrations Costs of actual conversions are here along with those from the Hall Smith Better Use of Railways, Comments and Rejoinders.  Those are all in costs.  They suggest a target price of circa £100 per sq metre all-in.  Applying that the the network's length of circa 16,000 km and assuming a genrouse width of 10 metres paved provdes an all-in cost of £16bn - at 2011...
  ITEM (20) Open letter to Chancellor Philip Hammond (19) Open letter to Sir David Higgins 3rd February 2017 (18)  Open letter to Sir David Higgins 23 Jan 2017 (17) Use of business time 16) Passenger forecasts; Government's response to the House of Lord's Economic Affairs Committee. (15) Evidence to the House of Lords' Economic Affairs Committee, 2014 (14) The HS2 disaster: a summary for MPs...
We have given written evidence to the following inquires. We also gave aural evidence at the fourth in that list: Click the titles to see the evidence. The entire reports of inquiry are available on the Transport Committee’s web site along with our aural evidence for item 4.   Description HTML Web Page PDF Document 1: The Future of the Railway; (Session 2002...
The Campaign for Better Transport, previously known as Transport 2000, was formed in 1972 by various railway workers' unions and environmental pressure groups as a reaction to a newspaper disclosure that one of the options in a report for the Department of the Environment was the possible closure of a large part of the rail network. The National Union of Railway men instigated a meeting with other concerned...
Guided bus– extract from Better use of Railways Part 1 A bus lane or guided bus facility used by one vehicle every ten minutes or even two minutes is an affront to those who want to see the nation’s assets utilised.  Fixed track of any sort guarantees minimal use as evidenced by the railways and by tram.  Guided bus is no better. The rationale behind the technology is that guidance...
Extract from Better use of Railways Part 1 A bus lane or guided bus facility used by one vehicle every ten minutes or even two minutes is an affront to those who want to see the nation’s assets utilised.  Fixed track of any sort guarantees minimal use as evidenced by the railways and by tram.  Guided bus is no better. The rationale behind the technology is that guidance systems allow relatively high-...
November 2006 Wp Ref Climateweb We do not pretend to expertise in this area but, since the fear of global warming is driving many policies, we feel some comment is appropriate.  The following is by way of generating discussion.  We welcome contributions particularly from those who believe that Global Warming is largely man-made so as to redress the balance in this note. All, scientists acknowledge that...
This topic is devoted to giving air space to those who prefer mud pies to reasoned debate  Currently there is just one entry but we look to more of the same.  Meanwhile elsewhere there is fun to be had with the Campaign for better Transport, and with The Borders proposal A leading  light among our crtics is E A Gibbins.  We have before us an extract from his book “Railway Conversion...
Sample of letters sent to The Times . Most of those were not published.  All by Paul F Withrington See also High Speed Rail correspondence Ref. times/cyclists 04 31st May 2012 Cyclists. I write as the proud owner of an eight speed Sturmey-Archer hub gear affixed to an ancient touring bike complete with drop handlebars and iron hard tyres.  Whereas many may applaud the notion that tougher...
Amended May 2010 NATA, the New Approach to Transport Appraisal, has recently been refreshed. The Cost Benefit analysis for public transport schemes that is advocated compares net costs with the cash values of social benefits such as time and accident savings etc.  The net costs are the resource costs of building and running the proposal minus the (incremental) fares. However, that approach leads to the...
27th March 2008 updatee 18th June 2009  The New Approach to Transport Appraisal (NATA) is absurd in that (a) if a public transport proposal leads to less tax then that was viewed as a cost** (b) “incremental fares” are deducted from scheme costs.  That has arisen because the DfT has confused economic evaluation with financial analysis.  To elaborate: It is clearly absurd that...
  A Sample - mostly published All by Paul Withrington BSc MSc MICE C.Eng Ref A point of view Local Transport Today. Published 8th January 2016, Issue 688 Magazine heading "Yes, be angry with VW - but governments play games too". The Letter is to do with the VW emissions scandal, speed cameras, electric cars and HS2. It was originally submitted as a "Point of view".  ...
   Ref. Lidington02 3rd October 2012 Dear David Lidington HIGH SPEED RAIL Thank you for yours of 2nd October. I have asked, under FoI legislation, for the costs to the taxpayer of the studies and promotional work for HS2 and the wider HSR network to the north.  I suspect the cost is now well over a billion pounds. My view is that the whole of it is a scandal.  Here is why: The January...
Wp Waverley/NOTES 2009 Members of the Scottish parliament seem determined to spend one third of a billion pounds opening the railway from Edinburgh southwards to Tweedbank, see map also see schematic. That is known as the Borders line or the Waverley line. Here is the story. The Edinburgh to Carlisle line via Galashiels was closed by British Rail in the 1960s. The following is from a debate in the Lords in 1968...
Updated October  2015 File Ref. The Great Dirty Diesel Scare 03g PARTICULATES The Media headline, that man-made air pollution causes “29,000 premature deaths” in the UK is from a report, dated 2010, by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, COMEAP.  The snazzy title is The Mortality Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution in the United Kingdom....
Updated  October 2015 File Ref. The Great Dirty Diesel Scare 03g PARTICULATES The Media headline, that man-made air pollution causes “29,000 premature deaths” in the UK is from a report, dated 2010, by the Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, COMEAP.  The snazzy title is The Mortality Effects of Long-Term Exposure to Particulate Air Pollution in the United Kingdom.  The...
In Britain we often look with envy to the French SNCF.  We should not do so.  It costs the French a fortune, actually very much more than one of those.   Professor Rémy Prud'homme of University Paris XII provided a short paper dated 17.11.2000 entitled Tales from the SNCF.  He pointed out that, whereas the authorities and media claimed that the SNCF was returning to profit, the...
July 2009 Nick Squires of the Telegraph reported in the week prior to 16 Jan 2004 that the Adelaide to Darwin rail link aims to capture £350,000 tonnes per year initially and double that thereafter. …….. Chris Corrigan (of a large stevedoring company) was quoted as saying that the returns would be “smaller than a tick’s testicles”. Tom Ryke, Manager, FreightLink Services...
NORTHAMPTONSHIRE – LETTERS TO CHRONICLE AND ECHO. NOT A PEEP FROM THE AUTHORITIES. (NOTE: The letters and headings are as submitted, not as published.  However the diferences are usually minor) HIGH SPEED RAIL IS A BLACK HOLE FOR THE TAXAYERS                          ...
The Renault Zoe "zero emission" electric car advert A peculiar tale enabling nonsense to be advertised. We complained to the advertising standard's Authority about a an advert claiming that the Renault Zoe range of electric cars emitted zero carbon dioxide.  Our complaint was rejected.  Our letter, published by Local Transport Today, issue 655 (Sept 5th 2014) provides a...
Wp ref website/topic 33 freight stats Minor text changes 4th April 2013 Updated May 24th 2013 (UK replaced by Great Britain and 10.9  repLAced by 9.1 under the hading The Prpblem) Abreviations Data in this note refers to the year 2010 except where stated.  RTS denotes Road Traffic Stats FS denotes Freight Stats CSRGT denotes the Continuous Survey of Roads Goods Traffic....
Modenisation of the West Coast Main Line.  Inquiry held in 2000/2001. Railtrack's closing statement Transport-watch's closing statement Chiltern: Bicester to Oxford scheme, The Inquiry held in 2010/11.  In summary the propsal was to add a track to the single tarck line between Oxford and Bicester Summary points Chiltern's proof of evidence, CRCL /P/1/A, containing the...
  Institute of Economic Affairs Better use of Railways Part 1: The numbers; (the Background to the IEA paper Paving over the tracks, February 2015) Better use of railways Part 2: Snapshots from the past. Reigniting the Railway Conversion Debate: Journal of the Institute of Economic Affairs volume 24 No 2 July 2004 The New Rural Economy – Chapter on Rural Rail See page 170 onwards...
TIME TO CHANGE GEAR “He who refuses to do arithmetic is doomed to talk nonsense.” John McCarthy (computer pioneer, Stanford University).   This note is in response to the CBI paper with the above title published in February 2009. .......................................................................................................... Over the past decade the traffic engineers have restricted...
Dr David MacKay: Sustainable Energy without the hot air: Wp ref Technical/fuel and emissions/MacKay notes Chapter 20 of Dr MacKay’s celebrated book, “Sustainable Energy without the hot air”,originally at http://www.withouthotair.com/, deals with transport. We believe that the element in that chapter dealing with cars, electric cars, passenger trains, buses and trams is misleading. Electricity Dr...
Jasper Tomlinson, one of our supporters, calls for a public meeting.  He writes: I am old enough to remember Brigadier Lloyd’s paper ‘Potentialities of the British Railways system as a reserved road system’, which he read to the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1955. The Government subsequently asked Dr Beeching to tell us how to make railways profitable - a financial issue. The better...


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