Blog ARCHIVE

Who will prioritise climate change?

TAN is shocked the High Court has ruled that it was lawful for the transport secretary, Grant Shapps, not to consider the impacts on climate change when he approved the £27 billion Road Investment Strategy (RIS2) roads programme . When our case was heard at the High Court in June,...
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Step forward as DfT agrees roads policy review

The Department for Transport has partially backed down in the face of our second legal challenge, agreeing to review its outdated roads policy which dismisses climate change (BUT see UPDATE below). Buried in the DfT’s Transport Decarbonisation Plan was a concession to review the National Policy Statement for National Networks...
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Road to climate chaos

Last week the Department for Transport’s (DfT) £27 billion RIS2 roads programme of 50 new road schemes and ‘Smart’ Motorways was in the dock at the High Court as our case against this profligate waste of money and highly damaging proposal was finally heard. Our legal team argued it was...
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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...
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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 participating in the planning system, if their opinion and evidence is going to be ignored.  In the last year Grant...
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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,...
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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...
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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)...
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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...
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Wrecking ball threatens future travel plans

Guest blog by Graeme Bickerdike, The Historical Railways Estate Group One of the positive realities to emerge from lockdown was the enthusiasm shown by the great British public to set out on foot or cycle when it’s safe to do so. Opportunities presented by empty roads were embraced wholeheartedly. For...
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Wales leads the way

The UK Government should study the Welsh Government’s draft transport strategy closely as it prepares to publish its own long-awaited Decarbonising Transport Plan in the Spring. The Welsh draft strategy lasts up to 2040, and is an excellent document - one of the best we’ve seen from a public body....
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Fix outdated roads rules

We’re challenging the Government again, this time on its outdated roads policy ("National Policy Statement for National Networks"). This sets out the Government’s view on road building and how major road schemes are judged in the planning system. It’s this policy that allows the Department for Transport (DfT) to approve...
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The electric fix?

Bringing forward the ban for selling petrol and diesel vehicles to 2030 will not get us to net zero carbon emissions quickly enough. We must also urgently and rapidly reduce traffic. Techno-fixes like electric vehicles (EVs) risk giving us the comforting but false illusion that we can carry on with...
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Precious landscapes under threat

Highways England wants to build a number of road schemes which would harm some of our finest countryside. National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB), supposedly given the highest level of protection for natural and cultural heritage, are all under threat. Even one of the most iconic World...
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