Analysis: campaigners argue that, as with Heathrow, climate obligations should make £27bn scheme unviable
Fiona Harvey Thu 11 Feb 2021
The first sign that the government was in serious trouble over the long-mooted expansion of Heathrow airport came in a little-noticed letter from the Department for Transport in May 2019. In it, a government official acknowledged for the first time that the UK’s obligations under the Paris agreement, and its carbon budgets, would have to be taken into account in infrastructure planning decisions.
Joe Dunkley February 8, 2021
Everyone on twitter is* dunking on embarrassingly bad road safety awareness campaign tweets. But we should abolish all social media-based road safety awareness campaigns — including the ones which target genuine causes of danger on the roads.
Kent County Council’s Road Safety Campaigns Team are the latest in a long line of road safety twitter campaigns queuing up to get ratioed:
Twitter now has a whole army ready to dunk on road safety awareness campaigns that are so incompetently designed they don’t even understand the road safety problem that they’re supposed to be addressing — that people get injured on the roads not because they aren’t visible, but because drivers don’t look properly, don’t pay attention, or don’t give a shit. They show up a lot on my feed when, in reply, they cite my own road safety campaign for greater visibility on the roads.
An experiment with the ‘one-minute city’ gives priority to pedestrians and cyclists
Richard OrangeMon 8 Feb 2021
It was a couple of parking spaces a few days ago. But now the area outside Malin Henriksson Talcoth’s gourmet sausage shop in Gothenburg has a bench, a picnic table and racks for cycles and e-scooters. It also has people talking, eating and enjoying themselves, despite subzero temperatures.
The workmen had arrived the previous week and built the wooden unit with benches facing, importantly, towards the pavement. “When the sun was out on Friday and Saturday, it was absolutely full of people, just having a takeaway coffee and a sausage,” Talcoth said.
The enforcement of traffic contraventions has evolved over the years. Once the preserve of traffic police, it has gradually moved over to local authorities, although it’s still not universally applicable because of government inertia on moving contravention enforcement being rolled out universally.
As I have mentioned in other posts, the basic UK approach to road rules is that you can do what you like unless there is a legal restriction which is either at the national level (or devolved nations level) such as defining the national speed limits or the local level with traffic orders.
D.C.’s New Vision Zero Law Could Be a Boon for Bike Lanes
In September 2020, Washington, D.C., lawmakers unanimously passed the Vision Zero Enhancement Omnibus Amendment Act of 2019, a bill that scales up a novel approach to building protected bike lanes that was first taken in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in 2019. The law, which went into effect at the end of December, promises to change the underlying DNA of the District’s streets with an ambitious, conditional if/then statement: If a road segment undergoing construction has been pre-identified as a candidate for a protected bike lane, bus-only lane or private-vehicle-free corridor, then it must be rebuilt with that new feature.
8 June 2017
Traffic in Dhaka: Pollution and congestion are two costly consequences of economic growth. joiseyshowaa/Flickr. Some rights reserved.In the 1970s, the emphasis was on resource limits. The French term décroissance (later translated into English as degrowth) was used for the first time by French intellectual André Gorz. In his book Ecology and Freedom, published in 1977, he wrote that “lack of realism consists in imagining that economic growth can still bring about increased human welfare, and indeed that it is still physically possible.” As the authors of the book “Degrowth: A Vocabulary for a New Era” explain, Gorz was inspired by the work of the intellectual pioneer of ecological economics Nicholas Georgescu-Roegen, who argued that all natural resources are irreversibly degraded when put to use in economic activity because of the entropy law. The discipline of ecological economics later went on to theorize that the economic system is embedded in the ecological system.
A brief history of degrowth
:excerptstart Jarrett Walker March 2, 2016 Each week, In Theory takes on a big idea in the news and explores it from a range of perspectives. This week, we’re talking about car-free cities. Need a primer? Catch up here. Jarrett Walker is a consultant in public transit planning and policy, based in Portland, Ore. He is… [Read More]
Even before Covid, four in 10 British adults were so immobile they risked their long-term health. But even small bursts of activity can bring huge benefits
Peter Walker 6/2/2021
There were times during the sunny lockdown last spring when you might have mistaken my local park for some sort of idealised Victorian sanatorium, filled with joggers, skippers, stretchers and barbell-raisers. On the deserted roads nearby, families cycled in liberated gaggles. Inside living rooms, children started the day by doing star-jumps with their parents. It felt like a new start.
There was only one problem: it was a mirage. Subsequent research by Sport England found that overall activity levels fell dramatically for both adults and children. During the pandemic, an ongoing crisis became even worse.
Joe Dunkley February 5, 2021
The Transport Secretary says the government “want half of all journeys in towns and cities to be cycled or walked by 2030.” But targets are useless if you don’t have a plan to make them happen.
In 1996 — 25 years ago this July — a tired Conservative government, wounded from a broad backlash against its road building programme and fearing a rejuvenated Labour party promising progressive transport policies, launched the National Cycling Strategy (NCS). It set a target for mode share: 10% of journeys in the UK would be cycled by 2012.
Perhaps the most appealing thing about this policy was that it didn’t need the government to do anything.
Carlton Reid Feb 3, 2021
“We want half of all journeys and towns and cities to be cycled or walked by 2030,” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps told the U.K. parliament’s transport committee in a remotely held meeting earlier today.
Yesterday the under Secretary of State Rachel Maclean said similar in a written answer, claiming the government had a “vision for half of all journeys in towns and cities to be cycled or walked by 2030.”
At the launch of the government’s Gear Change strategy, fronted in July last year by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, this goal was among many in the “revolutionary” £2 billion plan to increase cycling and walking.
“We want to see a future where half of all journeys in towns and cities are cycled or walked,” said the plan, with everyday transportation cyclist Johnson promising to “kick off the most radical change to our cities since the arrival of mass motoring.”
Meanwhile, the government is pressing ahead with its £27 billion road building program leading many active-travel advocates to express doubts that car use will be reduced any time soon.