Heathrow third runway hoo-ha misses the point

September 6th, 2012 Christian Says 3 comments
I wish the new transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, well and hope he is in post for rather longer than most of his predecessors. His appointment may owe more to Justine Greening's stance on Heathrow - did Cameron not realise, as I and many others did a year ago, that this problem might arise - and realpolitik than anything to do with their respective abilities, but Heathrow is actually the least of ...

Heathrow pods are an idea for the future

May 7th, 2012 Surveyor 30 comments
There is a constant search for innovation in transport. I’ve lost count of the number of new methods of transport which have been announced, only to never see the light of day or to be stuck at the stage of some sort of pilot study or trial which has never developed further. At various times I have been briefed by promoters of fast boats along the Thames, an industrial canal ...

Airport muddle highlights transport policy chaos

March 27th, 2012 Times 7 comments
The coalition seems to be on a kamikaze course when it comes to transport. Actually, that’s a tad unfair to those suicidal Japanese pilots, who at least knew where they were going. Like so many of its predecessors, this Government has failed to recognise that transport affects everyone, almost every day. It is not a secondary issue, of interest only to nerds and trainspotters. Big mistake — ...

Hello third runway, goodbye Ms Greening

March 26th, 2012 Christian Says 9 comments
The revival of interest in government circles on a third runway at Heathrow is fraught with difficulties for the Coalition. The notion that the Big Idea for transport would be High Speed Two which would obviate the need for a third runway was always nonsensical. I'm not for a moment suggesting that I believe the case for a third runway, but merely arguing that HS2 is a completely separate matter ...

Heathwick idea a sign of desperation

October 8th, 2011 Christian Says 12 comments
The Department for Transport has been leaking suggestions that a high speed rail link between Heathrow and Gatwick would improve services at both airports. This smacks of desperation. The government has been hoist by its own petard, having scrapped plans for the third runway, supported by many of  its members, as a short term vote gaining measure. The idea may seem superfically attractive, but the problems seem insuperable. First, who would ...

Rail 673: How Airtrack was derailed

July 1st, 2011 Rail Magazine 13 comments
On the one occasion I have had tea with Philip Hammond – an event unlikely to be repeated, I suspect - I was rather taken aback when he had a rant about level crossings. As I mentioned at the time, he was particularly exercised about the fact that trains always had priority even when they had few carriages and there were lots of fuming and fume-emitting motorists waiting for the ...

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