Network Rail explores three rail arcs for central southern England

Network Rail is exploring the merits of three new east-west rail arcs in central southern England. They are: Northern arc: linking north Oxfordshire (Banbury) with Northampton and Peterborough Central arc: the Oxford to Cambridge East West Rail alignment but potentially extended to Swindon and Reading in the west and to Ipswich and Norwich in the…

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Bus operators blast pedestrianisation projects

Deansgate in Manchester

Bus operators have lashed out at pedestrianisation schemes that exclude buses from key corridors in Manchester and Aberdeen. Governments across Great Britain are backing the rapid implementation of wider pavements and pop-up bike lanes to enable social distancing as lockdown restrictions are eased. But there are fears that bus services, and the people who depend…

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E-scooters are dangerous and will undermine active travel – PACTS

The Government’s plan to fast-track rental e-scooter trials across the UK will undermine active travel and may increase road casualties, the Parliamentary Advisory Council for Transport Safety (PACTS) has warned. Trials of e-scooter are due to commence later this month. PACTS says: “From evidence and experience around the world, it is now very clear that…

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Bus operators unveil tools to help with social distancing

Photo by Elvert Barnes

The past week has seen bus operators Go-Ahead Group, First Bus and Transdev all unveil new tools in that help passengers find out how busy their services are likely to be. The companies have independently developed their own solutions, each drawing on different sources of data. However, the aim is consistent: to reassure bus users…

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Covid-19 casts uncertainty over CAZ programme

NO2 Pollution

Uncertainty surrounds the future of England’s clean air zone programme because of the impact of Covid-19 on travel behaviour and the economy. A Local Government Association officer report says the current crisis “may have an impact on the legal basis for any [CAZ] proposals as well as the policy direction the Government decides to take…

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Further £283m for buses and trams in England

A big week for the Bus Services Bill

An additional £283m has been made available to increase the number of bus and light rail services in England “as quickly as possible” so that people who need to travel can do so safely. Announced by the transport secretary Grant Shapps on Saturday, the funding amounts to £254m for buses and £29m for trams and…

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Active travel commissioner and inspectorate for England

The Government is to appoint a national walking and cycling commissioner and an active travel inspectorate for England. A long-term active travel budget similar to the five-year budget for Highways England will also be created. The news comes alongside the announcement of a £250m fund for active travel projects in 2020/21. Meanwhile, new statutory guidance…

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Rapid reallocation of roadspace will favour cyclists and pedestrians

The government is proposing to reallocate roadspace to cyclists and pedestrians within weeks as the country prepares to emerge from lockdown. While addressing immediate challenges posed by the coronavirus pandemic, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps also sees “an opportunity to make lasting changes”. With public transport capacity severely constrained by the need to maintain social distancing,…

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Bus industry in talks about new grant for Covid recovery stage

The bus industry is in talks with the Government about a new round of funding to support the sector as Covid-19 travel restrictions start to be eased. Bus operators and the Government are wrestling with how to maintain social distancing on board vehicles as passenger numbers start to climb. Options being studied range from seating…

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