News that GNER are handing their franchise back, heard it first thing this morning on BBC – LTT/Transit had already hinted that all was not well, perhaps proving the point about how affordable the franchise process is? Christopher Garnett has gone and he was widely recognised as one of the few innovative railway leaders.
Expect the usual suspects to line up for the new tender, but would a European or Asian big player show their hand?
Eddington report finally released and initial reporting mixed – politicians generally supportive, the business community perhaps more positive than they expected to be, Roadblock was far from enraged – worth reprinting their comments:
The implications for those campaigning for less roadbuilding and more traffic reduction are great. This report will shape future transport policy for many years. The media spin on the report was that Eddington was recommending a national road pricing scheme, and not recommending a major roadbuilding programme. This is unfortunately only partially true.
What Eddington actually said was that the current roads programme is justified in the meantime (up to 2015), in the absence of road pricing. He also strongly said that without road pricing there was an economic case for roadbuilding even when the environmental impacts are costed, and specifically recommended another 2,900 – 3,500 lane kilometres of extra roadbuilding between 2015 and 2025. Only when road pricing is brought in, might the need for roadbuilding fall to around 500 – 850 lane kilometres (an 80 per cent reduction). However the report was very helpful in some respects as it also strongly supports and recognises the economic benefits of cycling and walking schemes.
However soon “experts” were being wheeled out to say that the detailed forecasting was flawed, etc. etc. (just like with the Stern report) While the academics will argue the Government is keen to build this and the Barker report (and of course Stern) into new legislation on planning and transport in spring 2007.
Shame this is the one and only episode of a Super Hero we can all hope to emulate!