Devolve commuter rail to metro mayors, says rail industry

The rail industry is calling for Transport for London-style rail concessions to replace franchising in the biggest urban areas of England.

The proposal features in the Rail Delivery Group’s submission to the Government’s Williams Review of the future of the rail industry.

On some mass commuter routes there would be democratically accountable, TfL-style single-branded concessions, where an integrated transport body is given more devolved control, and rail companies are better integrated to deliver services for passengers,” says the RDG.

Blueprint for distance-based road charging published

A proposed structure for a distance-based road user charging scheme in London has been published by a think tank.

The Centre for London proposal would see road user charges vary according to the emissions class of a vehicle, local congestion conditions, location and time of day. It would initially be introduced in inner and central London.

An advisory group for the report included senior officials from Transport for London, London Councils and business lobby group London First.

Stop citing single opening dates for major projects, says DfT

Promoters of major transport projects should stop citing a single date for the expected scheme opening and instead use date ranges of the earliest achievable date, the most likely and a backstop date, says a new report for the DfT.

A project planned on the basis of an unrealistic schedule is likely to be late, which will in turn breach the planned budget,” says the report. “Unnecessary cost may also be incurred in attempting to accelerate delivery against an unachievable deadline.”

LTT asked Government company HS2 Ltd if, in the context of the report’s findings, HS2 phase one from London to West Midlands would be completed in late-2026. It declined to say it would.

TfSE consults on new powers

Shadow sub-national transport body Transport for the South East is consulting on its plan to acquire wide-ranging transport powers when it becomes a statutory body.

TfSE wants the powers to set the area’s high level output specification (HLOS) for the railways and the road investment strategy (RIS) for trunk roads jointly with the secretary of state. It also wants powers to promote and deliver road schemes that cross local authority boundaries, powers to support bus services, and powers to enter into bus quality partnerships and deliver franchising.

Climate committee calls for zero emission Britain

The Committee on Climate Change is recommending that the Government adopt a net zero greenhouse gas emissions target for 2050, replacing the current Climate Change Act target for an 80 per cent reduction by then against 1990 levels.

The CCC says the Government should bring forward the date for banning new sales of petrol and diesel cars from 2040 to 2035 or, ideally, 2030.

Sectors such as aviation and rail freight would still be allowed to emit carbon dioxide in 2050 because there are no obvious alternatives to fossil fuels. Their emissions would be offset by other policies, such as planting millions of trees.

About the Author

This post was written by Andrew Forster. Andrew Forster edits the fortnightly magazine Local Transport Today, covering transport policy and practice from across the UK. To subscribe to Local Transport Today, click here.

Andrew Forster

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