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UK government's infrastructure spending plan unveiled

The government has unveiled its infrastructure spending plan for the next two decades, describing it as "a blueprint for Britain". The National Infrastructure Plan (NIP) includes the government selling off its 40% stake in the Eurostar rail service. About £375bn of investment in energy, transport, communications, and water projects is planned, although no new money will be forthcoming. The insurance industry also plans to spend £25bn over the next five years. Speaking at the Institute of Civil Engineers in Westminster, Danny Alexander, Chief Secretary to the Treasury, said...
20 January 2014
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HS2 bosses under fire over 'unforgivable' letters

Minister accuses project of causing panic as 15,000 wrongly told construction would mean compulsory purchase of homes  David Lidington (left) with French junior minister for European affairs Thierry Repentin last month. Photograph: John Thys/AFP/Getty Images    Transport chiefs are under fire after more than 15,000 households were sent a "misleading" letter suggesting their properties were at risk of being bulldozed to make way for the HS2 high-speed rail line. David Lidington, a Conservative Foreign Office minister, accused his own government's project of spreading...
20 January 2014
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PTRC Cycling News

Due to a successful first run PTRC is repeating the Cycling for Transport: A technical, society-focussed and policy based overview evening lecture series. The twelve week series will commence on the 4th February and will include interactive debates and case studies with each lecture covering a specific topic taught by experts in their field. For more information take a look at the programme.    PTRC successfully introduces new Cycling Infrastructure Design Course! Thursday 16th January saw the start of the new cycling course at PTRC. Kick-started by Prof John Parkin from the...
17 January 2014
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Developing the skills to improve cycling safety

Many transport professionals have made contributions to the Transport Select Committee's Follow-On Inquiry into Cycling Safety (visit: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/transport-committee/inquiries/parliament-2010/cycling-safety ). As its call for written submissions closes today, it is timely to consider how we can contribute to improving cycling safety. One answer is to redouble our efforts to design and build a safer environment for all road users, but especially to reduce the danger being experienced by vulnerable road users - pedestrians and...
17 January 2014
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New cycling safety devices cannot cure bad road design

Countries such as Denmark and the Netherlands have taken bold planning decisions over decades to achieve safe cycling for all Cyclists hold a 'die-In' protest at Vauxhall. Campaigners want greater awareness of cyclists at busy road junctions Photograph: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Sometimes the debate over urban cycling safety in the UK resembles one strand of thought concerning global warming: the fervent hope that new that technology could save governments from making low-tech but politically difficult decisions. There is nothing wrong with radar systems that warn road...
06 January 2014
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Rail fare rise of 2.8% comes into effect

An average 2.8% increase in rail fares comes into effect on Thursday, pushing the cost of some commuter travel to more than £5,000 a year. The increase is the smallest rise in four years, according to the pan-industry Rail Delivery Group. Chancellor George Osborne said in last month's Autumn Statement he would keep fares in line with July's Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation rate of 3.1%. But campaigners say that fares are rising three times faster than incomes. 'Concerns' recognised Some regulated tickets, including season tickets, anytime and off-peak tickets, have risen on average...
06 January 2014
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Norman Foster unveils plans for elevated 'SkyCycle' bike routes in London

Plan for 220km network of bike paths suspended above railway lines could see commuters gliding to work over rooftops  Gliding through the air on a bike might so far be confined to the fantasy realms of singing nannies and aliens in baskets, but riding over rooftops could one day form part of your regular commute to work, if Norman Foster has his way. Unveiled this week, in an appropriately light-headed vision for the holiday season, SkyCycle proposes a network of elevated bike paths hoisted aloft above railway lines, allowing you to zip through town blissfully liberated from the...
06 January 2014
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Funding of £4.2m to improve bus services across Scotland

Bus services are to be improved with £4.2m in funding, Transport Minister Keith Brown has announced. Transport Scotland's bus investment fund is to be split among 13 projects over three years. Successful bids include a better park and ride at Kingswells in Aberdeen, bus stop timetables in Fife, and extensions to a southern Highland rural service. Improvements are planned for the A81 in East Dunbartonshire, as well as rural services in Dumfries and Galloway. Mr Brown said: "This fund provides local authorities, regional transport partnerships and bus operators with the...
06 January 2014
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When will cycling be a ‘grown up’ mode?

I’ve also always spent some of my working week on development planning as well as cycling work. With a few honourable exceptions, the approach to cycling in new development is often pretty dismal. The private sector doesn’t really want to create ‘highway’ space that can’t be sold on, while local authorities don’t want to adopt high quality finishes with a future maintenance liability. Consequently public space, cycle routes and cycle parking in new development, where we have a chance to really do something good, is often shoe-horned into spaces that can’t be used for anything more...
10 December 2013
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Public Inquiries, EIP and Informal Hearings – the crucial role of training for success

As a professional who has been involved in a number of public inquiries, I’ve come to realise how crucial it is to road test ideas, skills and strategies. To be successful at inquiry, important skill sets are required to enable you to ‘know your story’, expand your story (in plain English) and be able to ‘recall the story’ when there are lots of different issues going on. On reflection, the journey from my first public inquiry back in 1998 and what I learnt from my peers and managers – and the experience since then – I realise the value of training and development in this area is...
08 November 2013
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