The scandal of Osborne’s £22.5 billion giveaway to motorists

We have discussed this giveaway before, but it appears that we underestimated the extent of this additional subsidy to motoring. What makes it worse is the justification for this policy given by the Treasury (and HMRC) this week: Analysis of the dynamic effects of fuel duty reductions

This policy has been appalling for the prospects of sustainable transport in Britain. I list problems with  the report below: Continue reading

“Road danger reduction and road safety are not the same”

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Photo from Local Transport Today 644 (4th April 2014)

Below is the text of a letter published in Local Transport Today  644 in response to a long letter from Professor Oliver Carsten in the previous issue  showing how the UK’s “road safety record” is presented in an undeservedly “sunny” light. I state that the way he points this out is welcome, but needs to go a lot further… Continue reading

The silence over Osborne’s hand-out to motoring

Something didn’t happen in the wake of the Budget. There was practically no media response to the Chancellor’s continued refusal, yet again, to increase fuel tax duty. Below we put this in the context of continued discrimination against sustainable transport modes and support for a more car-based transport system, as well as showing how the costs of motoring stand in stark contrast to other expenditure. Continue reading

The AA’s “Think Bikes” campaign: What it tells us about “road safety”.

bicycle-sticker-440x           motorbike-sticker-440x 

Photos: AA Charitable Trust

 One million wing-mirror stickers are being sent out by the AA to remind drivers to watch out for two-wheelers on the road. The campaign is based on a poll for the AA showing that nine out of ten motorists admit that when driving, “it is sometimes hard to see cyclists”, with 55 percent of motorists claiming that they are often “surprised when a cyclist appears from nowhere.” It’s nice to see AA president Edmund King say that: “The AA Think Bikes campaign is definitely needed when half of drivers are often surprised when a cyclist or motorcyclist ‘appears from nowhere’. Those on two wheels never appear from nowhere (our emphasis) so as drivers we need to be more alert to other road users and this is where our stickers act as a daily reminder”.

So is this an unequivocal step forward? The main feature of this, as with so many other similar campaigns, is what it tells us about the beliefs underlying what passes for “road safety” – beliefs which we have to challenge.

So let’s take a look at the campaign and what underlies it in some detail: Continue reading

Reject a road building rampage!

TelegraphPhoto: Daily Telegraph

We borrow the phrase from the CPRE campaign and its opposition to the National Networks National Policy Statement  which is out to consultation. CPRE have a helpful page for those of you (like , regrettably, us) who have let this one slip by. Essentially the NNNP statement  is based on Department for Transport thinking which we commented on last year. Below is what we sent in – do try and send in a reply by the end of 26th February 2014. Continue reading