Transport

Fiscal rules: outdated and self-defeating

Recent alarm about the level of debt held by Network Rail has highlighted how the Treasury’s archaic fiscal rules put artificial restrictions on the UK’s infrastructure investment Read more

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In a hole, by Judy Hirst

Unfilled potholes. Crumbling schools and community centres. Is this an overly alarmist vision of the future state of public infrastructure? Read more...

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Road signs: better safe than scenic? By Andrew Jepp

This week’s calls from ministers to reduce unnecessary street signs, railings and advertising hoardings, the latest in a wealth of cost-saving announcements, reveal a potentially short-sighted approach to the management of our public spaces. Read more...

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Green light for road pricing, by Stephen Glaister

On the face of it, when it comes to the roads, Pay as You Go is not a phrase to be mentioned in polite company. It is guaranteed to raise the ire of motorists across the nation. After all, didn’t almost two million people sign a Downing Street petition against road pricing back in 2007? And didn’t that petition result in road pricing being dropped as official policy by the Labour Government? Read more...

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Taking charge, by Jon Sibson

Top-up fees have worked in other countries and must be considered as an alternative way of raising revenue Read more...

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When the ice melts, by Tony Travers

The weather has once again generated ‘Britain in crisis’ headlines, particularly in relation to the suggestion that some councils were running out of salt. Read more...

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Crisis, what crisis? By Christian Wolmar

train_woolmarAlmost unnoticed, the railways are enjoying an investment boom. Major projects, such as Crossrail, Thameslink and the East London Line extension are under construction while electrification of the Great Western line to Bristol and South Wales and the Liverpool to Manchester route has been promised. There is even talk of building a North to South high-speed line but that will take years to even get on to the drawing board, although the idea has cross-party support. Read more...

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Ill-advised plans will take their toll

The cover story ‘Capital punishment’ (June 5–11) included the assertion: ‘It is widely believed that the capital schemes most likely to go ahead are transport programmes, such as toll roads.’ Read more...

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Getting there? By Mike Thatcher

It was a good week for those who prefer their public services to be run by the state. Not only did the government announce it was taking over the East Coast Main Line rail franchise, but ministers also stepped back from their plans to part-privatise the Royal Mail. Read more...

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The Adonis alternative

Long-term projects can grind to a halt when a government runs out of steam. A new approach, pioneered by the transport secretary, might be the way forward Read more

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