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‘Smart’ Motorways need proper scrutiny

Building roads increases traffic. We’ve known this since 1994 when the Government published the seminal SACTRA report, “Trunk Roads and the Generation of Traffic”, that proved the phenomena of “induced traffic”. Yet despite knowing that we cannot build our way out of congestion, the Government seems intent on attempting to do just this, throwing good money after bad. Its £27.4 billion RIS2 roads programme, which includes seven new ‘Smart’ Motorway schemes, is doomed ultimately to fail.  Converting the hard shoulder...

Grant Shapps undermines trust in planning

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps repeatedly overruling of independent planning inspectors and advisors is undermining trust in the planning system and democracy. This could have a corrosive effect, deterring people from...

Shrewsbury’s North West Road to Ruin

Guest blog by Emma Bullard of Better Shrewsbury Transport (BeST) Compared to bigger schemes – Silvertown Tunnel, the Wensum Link, A303 Stonehenge – the North West "Relief" Road proposed for Shrewsbury might not seem like a big deal. It is budgeted at about £100M, is just under 7 km long,...

Carbon and the strategic roads programme

Guest blog by Phil Goodwin (Emeritus Professor of Transport Policy, UCL and UWE; Senior Fellow, Foundation for Integrated Transport) I have been working for many years on problems in road appraisal, including on traffic forecasts, induced traffic, the treatment of alternatives, the value of time (and comfort and convenience) the...

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Putting buses on the map

Despite the title having the overtones of a pandemic slogan, the first ever national bus strategy for England (Bus Back Better) is a breath of fresh air, awash with high ambitions. It sets out that the Government wants to see: More services, serving more places and for longer hours More...

Regions lead the decarbonisation race

Something remarkable appears to be happening in the regions. As the Department for Transport drags its heels over tackling climate change (with its much trumpeted transport decarbonisation plan delayed yet again), the regions have taken up the challenge with a relish. Transport for the North is the first sub-national (regional)...

Shapps fails to halt killer motorways

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps is wrong to claim Smart Motorways cannot be stopped. He could cancel the seven new schemes right now if he wanted to, to save lives and prevent rising carbon emissions. He should start with the proposed M6 J21a-26 scheme, which Highways England are currently promoting, with...