UK railways needs revolution not evolution, says Rail Review chair

This interim report promises to offer a route and branch re-organisation of UK railways but surprisingly it doesn’t mention the major effect which improved railways can have on tackling the climate change challenge. This is very surprising considering promises coming forward recently from the government to tackle climate change.

It’s disappointing to see that Mr Williams’ interim report assiduously avoids talking about the excessive rail ticket prices we have in the UK, and especially the automatic increases which are applied by the UK government each year to rail fares. The next increase is due in January 2020, and there seems to be no move to halt this unfair system which penalises rail passengers ensuring we have the highest rail fares in Europe!

However, it’s worth taking time to look at this forecast of what will be in the final report later on in the autumn as the changes predicted are potentially quite substantial.

Continue reading UK railways needs revolution not evolution, says Rail Review chair

On-line consultation – improving bus provision: A27 Falmer to Polgate

Consultation on improving bus facilities along the A27 between Falmer and Polegate

This survey seeks your views on the physical facilities and highway design aspect of bus provision.  Whether or not you can attend the event in Lewes on Friday 18th January  (See my blog of Jan 10th) please share your views in this survey:


More information:

Campaign for Better Transport is working with Transport Focus and Highways England to capture your views on bus provision on England’s motorways and major A roads – the strategic road network.

Your feedback will help Highways England, as part of its integration and accessibility strategy, investigate priorities for improving bus provision – whether that is about signage, junctions, bus stops, crossings, traffic management or any other aspect of the strategic road network which could affect bus provision. Transport consultants Pell Frischmann are working with Highways England to assess the potential for improvements in the case study areas, and also to produce a tool kit and best practice guide for bus provision on major roads, based on the findings of these case studies. Click here for more info.

David Cameron step forward!

From my wife (whom I fully support): “I’m calling for David Cameron to step forward and apologise to the nation for calling the referendum so casually and just to save the Conservative party from UKIP which was infiltrating their support.    He should apologise for not allowing the young people to vote for their future and for not allowing those who already live in Europe to vote. It takes two thirds majority for parliament to call a general election yet he thought it was acceptable for the referendum to be on a simple majority – that is only one vote could have swung it either way! This is not how serious matters are considered!  David Cameron should appear on television, in tears, to admit these shortcomings and beg the people of the UK to reconsider now that all the facts have been properly laid before them”.  #PeoplesVote #ExitFromBrexit #DavidCameron

Improving bus facilities along the A27 between Falmer and Polegate

Consultation on improving bus facilities along the A27 between Falmer and Polegate

To kick the consultations off a workshop style meeting has been set up for a public consultation  next Friday, 18 January, starting at 10 am. It will take place at Lewes town hall, and if you would like to attend please click on the link below.

If you can’t attend, contact the consultants directly on this link:

The consultation will last until early February.   

The Campaign for Better Transport are holding a consultation during January and early February 2019 to capture views on the physical facilities and highway design aspect of bus provision, looking at the A27 corridor, from Falmer to Polegate via Lewes. The feedback will help Highways England assess the need for bus infrastructure.  You can also right to me with your suggestions  of how bus infrastructure can be improved along the A27.  I will pass on the information. Please send emails and photographs to:

Buses and Highways England don’t seem to go together, but maybe that’s about to change!  It seems that at last some sensible projects are coming out from this multibillion pound road building government department.    Highways England have a series of ‘ring fenced’ funds designed to address a range of issues beyond the traditional focus of road investment. It seems that some money may be allocated to facilitating better bus services by improving and building bus lay-bys and other bus related infrastructure.

Info: The Campaign for Better Transport is working with Transport Focus and Highways England to understand stakeholders’ views on bus provision on England’s motorways and major A roads – the strategic road network.

Highways England and the C7 Lewes to Newhaven?

Is the government’s road building division constructing cycle paths?

Yes, it looks as though at last some sensible projects are coming out from this multibillion pound government department which is awash with money. Highways England have a series of ‘ring fenced’ funds designed to address a range of issues beyond the traditional focus of road investment including one for cycling and safety.

Over the last 4 years I have been trying to get ESCC to fund safety improvements for the C7 but as you will see from the background notes below the ESCC cuts have prevented the allocation of funds. However, I’ve been looking at alternative sources of funding and strangely enough there is a possibility of gaining significant funding from Highways England. They have ‘designated funds’ which are designed to provide landscaping, footpaths and cycle paths near trunk roads and motorways. In 2016 I attended a southeast regional Highways England workshop and asked them to allocate some of their designated funds to our local area. In 2017, I was contacted by Highways England who said they were looking at the possibility of providing a cycle route between Newhaven and Lewes. Of course, I suggested that such a provision could be made in conjunction with the safety and traffic calming proposals for the C7!  

Currently I understand there are internal negotiations going on in Highways England to select a few new cycle routes in this corner of the southeast. The C7 could be one of them. However HE requires the support of the County Council insofar as they would not object or obstruct a detailed engineering survey which is the forerunner to formal estimates being prepared for final approval. I have met with Nick Bennett, the Lead Member for Transport at the County Council, and I have asked him to ensure that his officers will not object to the preparation of these estimates and surveys.

Highways England has been allocated billions of pounds by the government to build motorways and dual carriageways. I’m hoping that a few crumbs will fall from the table to provide cycle and footpath provision near the A27 in our area in conjunction with their environmental fund. What happens next? I hope that Highways England will approve monies for our area and if you want to support this. Please contact them:

Highways England: Email:

Or write to:
Highways England
National Traffic Operations Centre
3 Ridgeway
Quin­ton Business Park
B32 1AF

Background notes:

No joy from ESCC

For some time a number of us have been trying to improve safety along the C7 between Lewes and Newhaven.  Shortly after I was elected in 2015 I was optimistic having had feedback from the County Council.   They seemed to be cooperating and were happy to work with myself and other volunteers in Polo (parishes of the Lower Ouse) to assemble a list of low cost to higher cost improvements for the C7 road.

The work continued into 2016 but then we were told that the officers working on this project with us would no longer be able to help us as they had to prioritise urgent road safety improvements elsewhere in the county where there had been recent deaths.  No doubt this decision was associated with County Council cuts.

Unfortunately, as many of us would have seen in the press, the County Council announced severe cuts in their services earlier in 2018. They have announced a regression to core services, in other words this means those that are the minimum that they would legally need to provide. All this is very depressing.

POLO initiative for the C7

Personally, I was very upset when we heard that the ESCC couldn’t provide funds for the C7  but luckily a new volunteer had appeared on the scene, Joe Atwood, and he was prepared to develop a ‘Vision for the C7’ for safety and traffic calming. He produced an excellent document which has been circulated to the parishes and it has been adopted as a POLO initiative. He has potentially secured a grant for turning out more detailed design work, which is excellent.

BBC – Can tech save the world?

Even if you are only mildly interested in what can be done about tackling #PlasticPollution and #PlasticOcean pollution this video broadcast is worth watching!  Click the image below  There are some fascinating solution! As the @UN Climate Conference #COP24 conference conclude in Poland BBC Click asks if policy or technology will save the world.

The BBC tech news programme, CLICK reviews the challenges faced by every country in the world in tackling everything from plastic pollution and recycling to pollution in the air we breath and plastic in the oceans. It reviews the desperate need to meet #ClimateChange targets to stop sea temperatures rising. It also shows the innovation in recycling and in floating solar energy generating stations! See the polar vehicle made from 100% recycled plastic and powered from 100% solar energy! Also have a look at the piece about the recycling plant – automated recycling of just about everything!