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  • Rail privatisation failed to benefit passengers

    The privatisation of the railways had nothing to do with trying to make them better. It was driven by the ideological fervour of a few Tory MPs and attracted the support of the privatisation unit in the Treasury led by Steve (later Sir Steve) Robson who loathed British Rail with a passion and later was a non-executive director of RBS during its worst excesses. British Rail was almost the...

  • The driverless car hype must be countered or lives will be lost

    Here we go yet again. The Guardian today reports that Addison Lee ‘aims to deploy driverless cars on London’s streets’ by 2021. The Evening Standard all but reproduces the press release and concludes ‘the future is definitely autonomous’. The implication is that there will be fully autonomous vehicles speeding round the capital within three years. Well there won’t be. I can say that unequivocally. It is just another example of...

  • Rail 864: How about a transport strategy?

    A couple of years ago I wrote a short book entitled ‘Are Trams Socialist?’. Spoiler alert, but the answer was no as the book was really not about trams but about the failure of transport policy ever since the first minister for transport was appointed just after the first world war. In truth, the notion of transport policy has been an oxymoron. In other words, there never has been...

  • Rail 863: Will review really be root and branch?

    So the review is going to be a ‘root and branch’ examination of the state of the railways and what to do about the structure of the industry. While I give my full support to Keith Williams who is carrying out the review, it does seem strange that someone with limited experience of the industry – he does have some transport knowledge but has never worked in the railways...

  • Labour must not swallow the driverless car con

    Anna Turley’s recent LabourList article about automation rightly extols the virtues of new technology while warning of its potential to cause “mass misery as well as glittering prizes”. There is a tendency to think technology is able to solve all problems, even when a cursory examination of the issue suggests otherwise – and nowhere is this more true than in relation to driverless cars. Shaun Bailey, the Tory candidate for London mayor,...


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About Christian Wolmar

Christian Wolmar is an award winning writer and broadcaster specialising in transport and is the author of a series of books on railway history. He was Labour's candidate for the 2016 Richmond Park & North Kingston by-election and also ran to be Labour's candidate in the last London mayoral election. Read more >>

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  • Mitcham and Morden CLP: Transport: getting better? at London SW19 on Thursday, November 22 2018

  • The Crossrail story at taunton on Saturday, November 24 2018

 • More engagements... >>