Diesel buses could be banned from using bus lanes in Cambridgeshire under a proposal announced by the county council.
Cambridgeshire intends to consult on allowing only electric buses to use bus lanes from the end of 2021 as part of wider efforts to improve air quality. Other types of electric vehicle could also be given access to bus lanes.
… as county urges city to end its road charging “fascination”
Cambridgeshire County Council has told Cambridge City and South Cambridgeshire district councils to “end their fascination with charging and punitive measures against motorists”.
The Greater Cambridge Partnership, which includes all three councils, currently has a major work programme exploring different forms of road charging, such as a clean air zone, a congestion charge, and a workplace parking levy.
But the Conservative-controlled county has told the Labour controlled city and Liberal Democrat-controlled South Cambridgeshire that charging solutions “alienate the public we were elected to serve and increase social inequality”.
Scrap HS2 and upgrade existing lines in North and Midlands, says Berkeley
The Government should scrap most of HS2 and bring forward a programme of upgrades to existing railway lines in the Midlands and north of England instead, according to Lord Berkeley, who served as deputy chair of the Government’s HS2 review panel.
Berkeley says the costs of HS2 are out of control, the benefits of the project are overstated, and the project will potentially not reach Leeds and Manchester for another 20 years.
He says his alternative investment package could save the Government £50bn and deliver benefits to the north and the Midlands more quickly.
Berkeley’s appointment as deputy chair of the HS2 review ended last autumn before the review’s final report was complete. It is still unclear if the review, led by Doug Oakervee, a former chair of HS2 Ltd, has been finished.
Charging based zero-emission zone proposed for Oxford
Oxfordshire County Council is consulting on introducing a road user charging-based zero emission zone in the core of Oxford city centre.
Drivers would have to pay £10 to enter a handful of streets that are currently open for access-only rather than as through streets. A number of exemptions would apply.
The council is considering implementing a similar scheme in the wider city centre from 2021/22.
NAO maps access to services by car and public transport
The National Audit Office is studying people’s access to public services across England by public and private transport.
The accessibility mapping project will assess access to both the nearest public service, such as a hospital or school, and to services that have a good or outstanding rating, using journey time data published by the DfT.
The NAO is also undertaking a value for money study of local bus services, exploring policies for bus services across Government.
The DfT has confirmed a £500m new fund to promote rail line re-openings. The funding will be used to “explore re-opening former routes which could benefit communities who lost vital transport connections”.
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.