Cost of new bus threatens London services

April 6th, 2014 Christian Says 9 comments
The huge extra cost to Londoners of the ‘new bus for London’ is posing a threat to bus services. The WolmarforLondon campaign has discovered that the cost has reached nearly £7m annually and is set to rise as more buses come on stream. These extra operating costs do not take account of the higher capital cost of the buses, reckoned to be around £50,000 for each bus, compared with ‘off ...

Tube strike is a lesson in transport economics

February 6th, 2014 Christian Says 4 comments
The chaos on the roads in London was worse than I have seen in many years. The hold-ups were much longer than anything I had seen in previous Tube strikes and there was pretty much gridlock not only in central London but even in outer areas such as Finsbury Park. TfL said that over a third (37-8 per cent) of the normal total of Tube journeys took place, rather surprisingly high ...

Where’s the enthusiasm for reprivatisation

January 17th, 2014 Christian Says 23 comments
The surprise announcement that there are only three bidders shortlisted for the controversial East Coast franchise suggests that the Department has been scratching around for bidders. The very fact that the government allowed Eurostar, which it partly  owns, to bid, in a joint effort with Keolis (partly owned by SNCF) when earlier it had intimated (through 'informed' newspaper articles) that it might block the idea smacks of desperation. So we have ...

First class distraction from fares rises

January 2nd, 2014 Christian Says 6 comments
The Daily Mail, the Tory house paper, splashes on plans by ministers to transform first class coaches into standard ones in order to accommodate more passengers. This is a very clever bit of PR as it enables the government to go on the attack on a day which normally would be focussed on the annual fares rises. First class is seen as a privilege for the rich and therefore suggesting that ...

Railways are back on the government’s books

December 30th, 2013 Christian Says 2 comments
      The news, slipped out just before Xmas, that Network Rail’s debt will simply be lumped in with the government’s in September 2014, is an occasion for a bit of gloating as well as of concern. This received surprisingly little attention even though my sources say that the Department for Transport was taken aback and is extremely discomfited by the decision. The arrangement by which the debt - now £30bn, soon to ...

Cycling tragedies require a rapid response

November 17th, 2013 Christian Says 11 comments
The spate of five cyclists being killed within the past fortnight on London's streets demands an urgent respone. As I have argued in the Observer in the piece posted on this site, the Cycling Vision set out by Andrew Gilligan,Boris Johnson's cycling tsar, is full of good ideas, but it is all too slow and cumbersome. In the Observer article, I mention that change must be brought about quickly and efficiently. ...
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