Traffic Management 'Shambolic' Government loses third air pollution case A senior MP has described the Government’s attempts to tackle illegal levels of air pollution as 'shambolic' after ministers were once again told by the courts to rewrite their plans. I get knocked down...bollard get up again A frequently AWOL concrete bollard in a Lancashire city is in line for a local business award after becoming a social media star. Abandoned cars have cost councils £1m over past two years Councils are being forced to remove an abandoned car every 30 minutes, according to a new investigation. AI to clear ambulance routes in Oxford An artificial intelligence system designed to help clear the best route for ambulances is set to have its first live trial in Oxford this year. Poll finds majority support for charging Clean Air Zones More than half of the British public supports charges for the most polluting vehicles to enter parts of towns and cities, according to a new survey. Leeds releases Clean Air Zone plans with equality in mind Leeds City Council has put forward plans to cut air pollution through a charging Clean Air Zone (CAZ) that excludes private cars. Where there's a customer, there's a solution Ashley Bijster of Imperial Civil Enforcement Solutions says customer experience and community outcomes are the drivers for transforming urban mobility. Burnham keeps a watching brief on transport overhaul Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has again ruled out a 'Congestion Charge' but says he is keeping his options open on bus reforms. Govt back in court over air quality as Leeds plans CAZ Ministers face yet another challenge to their plans to cut illegal levels of air pollution from road traffic after a judge ordered a High Court hearing in the new year. Khan's ULEZ extension 'needs to go further' London mayor Sadiq Khan has proposed extending the capital’s forthcoming Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in a move that would affect tens of thousands of Londoners. Local A roads feel the strain as traffic rises 2.2% An annual record 324 billion vehicle miles (bvm) were travelled on Great Britain’s roads in 2016, up 2.2% on the previous year, while people walked on average the distance from London to the Yorkshire Dales. NAO and MPs join up to highlight post-Brexit pollution fight It remains unclear how European air pollution limits, which are currently being breached in 37 of 43 zones within the UK, will be enforced after Britain leaves the EU, the National Audit Office (NAO) has said. Platooning trial 'must address truck performance differences' The body leading a Government-funded trial into truck platooning has acknowledged that addressing the different performances of vehicles from different operators will be essential to the future of the technique. Budget could see tax rises for diesels, despite sales fall Press reports say chancellor Philip Hammond is planning to put higher taxes on new diesel vehicles in this month’s Budget to tackle toxic air pollution. Govt challenged over VW scandal, with third of cars unfixed A senior MP has written to the roads minister to express concern about the lack of progress in applying fixes to Volkswagen Group cars affected by the emissions scandal, with one third of vehicles equipped with ‘defeat devices’ still unfixed. Guidance published on traffic orders on HS2 route The Government has published guidance for local authorities on making traffic regulation orders (TROs) along the HS2 Phase One route. Councils 'risk letting the side down' on digital highway innovation Local authorities need to take a proactive approach to avoid falling behind as potentially game-changing digital innovation is applied on the strategic road network (SRN) and in large smart cities, council directors have warned. Jams on major roads worsening, drivers say as phone worries rise More than half of drivers in a new survey felt that congestion on major roads has increased in the last year, while other drivers’ use of handheld phones has overtaken the condition of local roads as the top concern of motorists. £3.6m boost for traffic management tech in North East Councils in the North East of England are to spend £3.64m upgrading traffic management technology, backed by £2.8m from the Government’s National Productivity Investment Fund. Edinburgh considers parking surcharge for diesel cars A surcharge on parking permits for diesel cars is being considered by the City of Edinburgh Council. Khan's T-Charge gives London 'world's toughest emissions standard' London’s £10 Toxicity Charge (T-Charge), said to be the world’s toughest emission standard, came into force on Monday morning as part of mayor Sadiq Khan's plans to tackle air pollution. Report says pollution kills 9m a year worldwide The chair of a key committee of MPs has called on ministers to ‘use every tool in the box’ to improve the country’s air quality after a report said nine million early deaths a year worldwide are caused by air pollution. Govt asks Highways England to do more to get traffic moving A minister has asked Highways England to improve the speed at which it re-opens sections of the strategic road network after incidents as new data suggests traffic jams on motorways and A roads costs the economy £9bn a year. MPs' pollution probe looks at 'one of biggest issues of our time' The chair of the Commons Transport Committee has called for ministers to ‘lead from the front’ on the issue of toxic air pollution after four parliamentary committees relaunched their joint inquiry into the issue. Private cars could be included in Glasgow low emission zone next year Scotland’s first minister has announced that work is underway to implement the country’s first low emission zone (LEZ) – which could include private cars – in Glasgow by 2018. Council cracks down on illegally parked supercars Westminster City Council’s traffic marshals have been carrying out ‘special operations’ in a bid to crack down on illegally parked supercars. Uber CEO admits mistakes but promises appeal against TfL ban Uber’s chief executive has confirmed that the firm will appeal against Transport for London’s (TfL) decision not to renew its licence to operate in the capital but admitted that it has made mistakes. Help drivers understand smart motorways, watchdog says Drivers need more help to understand smart motorways, according to independent watchdog Transport Focus. Watchdog calls for 'urgent review' after motorway closures The head of the independent transport watchdog has called for an urgent review of the way drivers are kept informed and looked after during suspected terror incidents on motorways. 'Flawed' report hails benefits of longer lorries Campaigners have criticised a new report that claims that longer semi-trailers (LSTs) can reduce congestion, pollution and collisions. Uber set to lose London licence as TfL cracks down Transport for London (TfL) has announced that it will not be renewing Uber’s licence to operate in the capital – with the full backing of mayor Sadiq Khan. Police investigate council over manipulated air quality data Police in east Cheshire have launched an investigation into allegations that the council manipulated air quality data. TfL adds three noughts to Uber's licensing costs in revamp Transport for London (TfL) has confirmed that it will change the fees it charges private hire operators to register, in a move that will see Uber’s costs soar from under £3,000 to nearly £3m over five years. Traffic hits new high as ULEV registrations increase Traffic levels in Britain have reached a new record high, driven by increases in the number of vehicles licensed to drive on the country’s roads. Siemens bags new Northern Ireland deal The Northern Ireland Executive has awarded Siemens a new four-year contract to maintain traffic management equipment throughout the country. Siemens said the contract represents one of the largest of its kind placed with it as the main contractor. Scots push for the lead in low emissions and active travel The Scottish Government has launched a consultation on bringing in low emission zones (LEZs) as part of clean air plans that also include a target to phase out ‘the need for’ petrol and diesel vehicles by 2032. Don't panic! Oxford's self-driving cars unveiled The DRIVEN consortium has unveiled the first of the Level 4 self-driving cars that will be tested on the streets of Oxford next year and on journeys to and from London in 2019. Croydon trials £130 fines for cars at school gates Parents who drive their children to the school gates could face fines of up to £130 under a new scheme launched by Croydon Council. 'Design out hacking', smart vehicle developers told New Government guidance will require engineers developing the new generation of smart vehicles to toughen up cyber protection and ‘design out hacking’. Govt evidence on speed bumps and pollution questioned The Government's suggestion that councils could remove speed bumps to improve air quality is starting to unravel after it appeared unable to provide evidence that such a move will have overall benefits and the UK's leading transport research body questioned its rationale. Motorway pollution tunnels to absorb toxic fumes Motorway 'pollution tunnels' capable of capturing toxic fumes could be introduced by Highways England under plans to improve the nation's air quality. Council apologises over air quality ‘manipulation’ Cheshire East Council has apologised after admitting its air quality figures were deliberately tampered with for three years. £42m to take most polluting cabs off London streets London mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) have launched a £42m fund to encourage taxi owners to retire the oldest and most polluting diesel black cabs. New pollution plan piles more pressure on councils The Government’s revised air quality plan requires councils to draw up initial plans to tackle toxic air pollution within eight months and is set to impose extra taxes on diesel drivers. Latest air quality plan 'not ambitious or urgent enough', Govt told Respondents to ministers’ first attempt at a new plan to tackle toxic air pollution from road vehicles felt that central government should take ownership of the problem, rather than leaving local authorities to deal with it. Councils 'must tackle killer fumes in the North' A progressive think tank has called on councils to do more to tackle pollution as it warns that ‘killer fumes’ are blighting UK regional cities. MPs want mayors to get powers to tackle private hire explosion A group of MPs has backed calls for Sadiq Khan - and other mayors - to get new powers to cap the number of private hire drivers allowed to operate in their city. Government fights off new court challenge over air pollution plan Environmental campaign group ClientEarth has failed in its latest High Court challenge to ministers’ new plan to tackle illegal levels of air pollution. Guidance proposes ‘no idling’ zones to tackle air pollution Local authorities should introduce bylaws to enforce ‘no vehicle idling’ in areas where people particularly vulnerable to air pollution congregate, new guidance says. Khan seeks top smart city status Sadiq Khan has set out his vision for London to become the world’s leading smart city with a call for the global technology community to help tackle issues like air pollution, housing and the future of transport. Owners of ‘inconsiderately parked’ cars face £2,500 fine A council in Lincolnshire has said that vehicle owners who repeatedly block bin lorries will face prosecution and a fine that could run into the thousands. Diesel sales crash following 'war of words' Sales of diesel cars fell by a fifth last month, suggesting that negative publicity over pollution and threats of increased costs are already having a major effect. Traffic control is the last bastion of institutionalised inequality Those in favour of shared space have had a hard time of it of late, but Martin Cassini argues that calls for a moratorium miss the point, given that 'the current traffic system is based on inequality'. Campaigners to take Govt back to court over air quality Could it be three strikes and you are out for Defra over its air quality plans? Campaigners claim they have no choice but to go back to court to address 'major flaws' in the Government's approach. UK intends to be a frontrunner in the driverless car race The UK is set to be the first country to address how to best handle liability and insurance for autonomous vehicles. Late spring surge to see millions hit key holiday routes The RAC has warned of ‘bumber to bumper’ traffic from Friday lunchtime at the start of a bank holiday weekend that will see at least an extra million leisure journeys taken by car, the highest number in four years. Cardiff to double junction enforcement as offences fall The City of Cardiff Council is poised to almost double the number of junctions it will monitor for moving traffic offences (MTOs), following a fall in the number of tickets issued. Transport Systems Catapult 'to accelerate innovation' as Campion takes the wheel Transport Systems Catapult (TSC) board member Paul Campion will take over as CEO of the innovation centre from July. Pollution from diesel cars is 50% higher than originally thought, study claims Laboratory tests could be underestimating the amount of nitrogen oxide produced by diesel cars by as much as 50%, new research has claimed. Survey reveals majority support for car-free city centres Over half of all UK adults would be happy to tolerate only public transport being allowed in their nearest city if it meant air quality could be improved, research reveals. TfGM looks at Clean Air Zones but Burnham won't 'punish' diesel drivers New Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham has poured cold water on proposals to charge the most polluting vehicles to enter some areas in the region. ADEPT bemoans 'lack of clear strategy' in new pollution plan The Government should not expect local authorities to act in isolation over air pollution from traffic, council directors have said. 'Weak' air pollution plan 'passes buck to councils' Campaigners have criticised the Government’s new draft plan to tackle toxic air pollution, which puts the onus on councils to consider Clean Air Zones and take action to deal with high levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) outside towns and cities. No 10 says ministers will meet court deadline on air quality plan The Government will not appeal against last week’s court ruling requiring it to bring forward new proposals to tackle air pollution before the general election. RAC publishes Motoring Manifesto The RAC has published a Motoring Manifesto in the run up to the general election calling on the next government to tackle ‘unfair’ parking practices and implement an air quality plan that deals with buses, taxis and vans first. INRIX launches big data alerts to help drivers avoid hazards Transport analytics company INRIX has launched a new set of digital safety alerts that aim to use Big Data to improve road safety and help manage highway networks. Government seeks delay for air quality plan The Government is seeking to delay publication of its draft air quality plan, due on Monday (24 April), on the grounds that it is prevented from doing so by the general election. Traffic increasing twice as fast as previously thought The increase in traffic levels on Great Britain’s roads last year was nearly twice as high as previously estimated, with traffic at a new record high Govt must publish draft air quality plan by 9 May Ministers have failed in their attempt to delay publication of their new draft air quality plan until after the General Election. UPDATE: MPs criticise Govt over pollution plan delay MPs have criticised the Government for missing Monday’s High Court deadline for publishing draft plans to improve air quality. Higher fines for 'excessive speeders' reflect potential harm Higher penalties for drivers caught speeding excessively have come into effect. Bus retrofitting 'much better value than diesel scrappage' Fitting older bus engines with environmental filters is a better use of taxpayers’ money than a diesel car scrappage scheme, according to a new report. Driverless cars to test for potholes and clean streets Amey plans to develop a driverless car that can check for potholes, cut grass and clean streets, while driverless platooning trials are planned for Manchester streets. Jenoptik celebrates 100th SPECS camera system installation Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK is about to install its 100th SPECS average speed camera route system, with the deployment rate having grown rapidly in recent years as highways authorities and the public become more aware of the benefits. London ULEZ to start in 2019, Khan says London mayor Sadiq Khan wants to introduce an Ultra Low Emission Zone in April 2019. The widespread impact of autonomous vehicles We may have to wait until 2020 before autonomous vehicles are operated commercially, but when it happens the launch will signal the start of a paradigm shift that will revolutionise how we travel. Khan announces checker scheme to identify most polluting vehicles London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced plans for a new ‘checker scheme’ that will help motorists identify — and avoid — the most polluting vehicles. Uber suspends US self-driving programme after crash Uber suspended its pilot programme for driverless cars after an accident in the US at the weekend, it has been reported. Committees launch 'unprecedented' joint inquiry on air pollution MP’s from four parliamentary committees have joined forces to launch a new inquiry to scrutinise Government plans to tackle urban air pollution, including from transport. Councils call for powers to ban pavement parking Council chiefs have called for laws banning pavement parking in London to be rolled out across the country in order to crack down on motorists endangering lives. New £23m Govt fund to accelerate hydrogen vehicle take up Ministers have announced a new £23m fund to accelerate the take up of hydrogen vehicles and roll out more ‘cutting-edge infrastructure’. DfT report comes out against widening of M25 South West Quadrant An official Government report has come out against widening the South West Quadrant of the M25, backing measures such as developing alternatives to travel and moving traffic to ‘more sustainable modes’. Q & A: Lord Selborne: Driverless cars could be a nightmare Lord Selborne, chairman of the Lords Science and Technology Committee, talks to Transport Network about the issues that the development of connected and autonomous vehicles raise for central and local government. Govt should focus on real-world impacts of driverless cars, Lords say Driverless cars may have a more negative impact on congestion than is usually assumed, the chairman of a key Lords committee has told Transport Network. Congestion charge could be extended, deputy mayor hints London’s congestion charge could be extended to cover evenings and weekends and be applied to low emission vehicles to tackle rising congestion, the deputy mayor for transport has hinted. Uber loses challenge against TfL language test for drivers Uber has lost its legal challenge against Transport for London’s introduction of a written English test for private hire drivers. New signs for oversized vehicles cut bridge strikes by a third Six electronic warning signs have helped Network Rail and Transport for London (TfL) cut the number of oversized lorries hitting a notorious railway bridge on London’s South Circular Road by more than a third. 'Cash bonanza' sees 4,000 a day fined for driving in bus lanes Nearly 4,000 drivers a day are fined for driving in bus lanes, with one enforcement camera making £6,000 every 24 hours. Exclusive: Siemens takes traffic control to the next level with Plus+ Exclusive: Transport Network can reveal that engineering giant Siemens will launch its transformative Plus+ traffic control system at Traffex. EC issues 'final warning' over UK air quality The European Commission has given the UK Government a two-month deadline to address repeated breaches of air pollution limits for nitrogen dioxide. Women more sceptical about driverless cars, survey finds Men are significantly more positive than women about the prospect of autonomous vehicles on British roads, although many people believe it unlikely that cars would ever be 100% driverless. New guidance on temporary traffic controls adds options on 'wicket' signs A new section of the Traffic Signs Manual (TSM) has been published, updating guidance relating to temporary traffic management measures. Jenoptik to launch 'innovative' traffic enforcement system at Traffex Jenoptik Traffic Solutions UK will introduce its new VECTOR SR speed and red light enforcement product at Traffex 2017 in April. SWARCO showcases ‘products for the connected world’ at Parkex SWARCO – Parking & eMobility UK will exhibit its range of solutions for the safe management and access of vehicles and people in SMART cities and environments at Parkex 2017 in April. Councils awarded £4m to develop road tech projects Nineteen councils across England will share £4m Government funding for technology projects that aim to cut congestion, speed up journeys and improve the environment. Council removes 'traffic calming' dummies on safety grounds A council has pledged to bring in new traffic calming measures after removing mannequins in high visibility jackets from the side of a road approaching a Scottish town. Birmingham emissions rules to cull 2,000 taxis Up to 2,000 taxis in Birmingham could fall foul of new rules introduced by the city council as part of its plans to tackle toxic air pollution. Up to 10,000 vehicles a day liable for London emissions charge London mayor Sadiq Khan has confirmed that his £10 surcharge on ‘the oldest, most polluting vehicles’ entering central London will begin in October. 3M to showcase 'revolutionary' ANPR camera at Traffex Technology firm 3M will unveil what it called a ‘revolutionary’ new Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) camera at Traffex 2017. New traffic peak frustrates motorists and campaigners Traffic volumes hit a new record high last year, the latest estimates suggest. TfL gives taxi drivers another six months to prove English skills The GMB union has claimed a ‘victory for common sense’ after Transport for London (TfL) put back a deadline for taxi drivers to prove they have adequate English skills. Ombudsman calls for ‘fairness’ over parking fines The Local Government Ombudsman has said councils in England need to do more to ensure parking fines are ‘fair to all'. Committee recalls VW over 'unfinished business' MPs have accused Volkswagen of leading UK consumers on ‘a merry dance’ over the emissions scandal. £127m London fines renew moving traffic violation controversy Transport for London and the capital’s boroughs issued nearly a million fines for moving traffic violations in a year, it has been reported, strengthening concerns about calls to extend enforcement powers beyond London. 'Groundbreaking' green driving app wins Govt cash A smartphone app that scores drivers on their ‘green’ driving style has won a share of £20m funding in a Government trial. Congestion and pollution concerns on the rise again A new survey suggests the public are becoming more concerned about congestion, environmental and road safety issues – and more willing to change their own behaviour. DfT seeks 'data revolution' from councils The Department for Transport (DfT) is hoping council officers can launch a data revolution through local initiatives such as hackathons, without the need for top-down political instruction. Replace congestion charge with road pricing, Khan told The congestion charge is no longer fit for purpose and should eventually be replaced by road pricing, a cross-party group of London Assembly Members has said. Parking concerns see drivers leave cars at home Car owners are leaving their vehicles at home due to the cost and availability of parking, a new report from the RAC claims. Authorities plan to tackle smart motorway confusion Police chiefs and Highways England are looking at new measures to address a lack of driver understanding of smart motorways, including offering retraining instead of a ticket to people who commit offences. Government still not grasping seriousness of pollution impacts, MPs say A committee of MPs has accused ministers of failing to grasp the serious impacts of poor air quality and demanded action to reduce pollution as soon as possible, including funding Clean Air Zones across the country. MP hits out at ministers as VW owners launch legal claim Lawyers have begun legal action on behalf of VW owners over the emissions scandal, which could see the carmaker paying out billions in compensation in the UK. Council companies launch new low emission buses Two publicly-owned transport providers have announced new lower emission bus services, cutting pollution and costs. Design streets and developments to tackle pollution, NICE says Speed bumps should be redesigned to prevent sharp braking and cycle routes moved from highly polluted roads to quieter streets, health experts have advised. DfT reassures MPs over removal of hard shoulder after safety row Ministers have tried to cool a row with MPs over the removal of hard shoulders on motorways after being accused of 'blatantly ignoring safety concerns'. London ULEZ to cost £610m, City Hall says London mayor Sadiq Khan plans to spend £875m over five years improving the quality of the capital’s air, including £610m on the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), and a further £200m boosting step-free access on the Tube. Councils go their separate ways on bus lanes Coventry City Council is set to suspend a number of bus lanes in a six month trial while nearby Leicester is stepping up enforcement. Khan promises to tackle capital congestion 'head-on' London mayor Sadiq Khan has announced measures aimed at tackling growing congestion on London’s roads, including doubling bus priority schemes. Greens back Khan's call for VW to repay £2.5m in lost C-charge The Green Party has backed London mayor Sadiq Khan’s demand that Volkswagen Group should pay Transport for London (TfL) compensation of up to £2.5m over the emissions scandal. County council moves towards workplace parking levy for Oxford Oxfordshire County Council is considering a workplace parking levy (WPL) for Oxford, which could see it become the second authority in the UK to run such a scheme. Cardiff launches banned turn camera enforcement A junction in central Cardiff has today become the first outside London to feature camera enforcement of a banned turn. 'Smart motorway' roll-out sees speeding fines soar The controversial rollout of ‘smart motorways’ and the use of gantry cameras has resulted in a huge rise in speeding fines, according to data obtained by the BBC, while safety concerns continue. High Court rules Government air quality plan illegal Campaigners ClientEarth have won their latest High Court case against the Government over the adequacy of its plans to tackle illegal levels of toxic air pollution. MPs criticise Government 'reluctance to close taxi loophole' The Government's reluctance to tackle a loophole in taxi licensing, which could leave children and vulnerable adults at risk of abuse, is ‘deeply concerning’, a senior MP has said. Cameron 'was warned there was no answer on Heathrow air quality' A senior aide warned David Cameron last autumn that the Government did not have an answer on the issue of air quality if it backed plans for a new runway at Heathrow, according to a document obtained by the Guardian. Siemens announces traffic business rebrand Siemens is renaming its UK traffic business Intelligent Traffic Systems (ITS) this month. Osborne watered down air quality plan, campaigners say Campaigners have blamed former chancellor George Osborne for blocking stronger plans to tackle toxic air pollution, including more Clean Air Zones (CAZ) and extending their remit to private cars. Clean Air Zone plans 'not enough to tackle pollution' Campaigners and council leaders have called for local authorities to be given more powers and funding to tackle toxic air pollution following Government proposals on the detail of Clean Air Zones (CAZs). Khan launches further consultation on air quality plans London mayor Sadiq Khan and Transport for London (TfL) have launched a second consultation on plans to tackle toxic air pollution, including implementing the Central London Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) a year ahead of schedule and a ‘T charge’ for older polluting vehicles. Khan gives green light to three new Thames river crossings London mayor Sadiq Khan has backed plans for a new road tunnel at Silvertown, East London, including a user charge that he once said could be seen as ‘a tax on East and South East Londoners’. Review and revise lucrative box junctions, IHE says Councils in London should carry out regular reviews of box junction enforcement where fines are bringing in large amounts of money, the chief executive of the Institute of Highway Engineers has told Transport Network. Stop 'gaming' air quality plans, ministers told A senior urban transport chief has called on the Government to stop ‘gaming’ its approach to air pollution and called for a more collaborative approach with local authorities. Newcastle good to go with traffic light countdown trial Newcastle City Council will shortly begin a pilot using new technology that will tell drivers approaching urban junctions how long a current traffic signal green phase will last, enabling them to adjust their driving patterns accordingly. Flintshire catches up on speed limits with single TRO Flintshire County Council officers are proposing to consolidate all the county’s speed limits into one Traffic Regulation Order (TRO), following difficulties implementing a review of limits dating back to 2009. Khan's air quality plans 'backed by Londoners' Sadiq Khan has claimed record, ‘overwhelming’ support for his package of measures to improve air quality in London, which include expanding the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and a crackdown on the most polluting vehicles. Ministers plan to expand longer lorry trial A trial using longer semi-trailers to transport goods between warehouses and depots has saved up to 10.6 million vehicle kilometres over four years, ministers have said. ULEV sales 'soar' to one in 80 registrations Sales of new ultra low emissions vehicles (ULEVs) are ‘soaring’, with record numbers of new ULEVs on Britain’s roads, ministers have said. Ellman says M4 decision 'could put lives at risk' Campaigners and a senior MP have criticised the transport secretary’s decision to allow Highways England to convert 32 miles of the M4 to all lane running. SICE commits to Humber Bridge toll maintenance Spanish tolling integrator SICE has confirmed a four-year contract with the Humber Bridge Board for the maintenance of the hybrid tolling system that it recently installed on the key east coast road link. Guidance wait sees Rhondda shared space project shelved Plans for Wales’ first shared space project at a major road junction are likely to be shelved this week amid uncertainty over new guidance. Eurocrats knew for years emissions tests were faulty A former european commissioner has told MEPs it was clear for many years emissions tests for road vehicles did not represent real driving conditions but no-one suspected manufacturers would employ sophisticated cheating methods. Councils not supported on environmental measures, MPs say Transport authorities have had problems developing sustainable transport projects because the Government places more importance on economic benefits than improving air quality, according to MPs. New diesels over emissions limit in real-world test - except VW Some new diesel vehicles are still emitting up to 12 times more toxic Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) on the road than is allowed in official laboratory tests, although emissions from a new Volkswagen model are within current limits. DfT offers £2m to fund emerging road technologies Ministers have launched a £2m fund to allow English councils to capitalise on emerging technologies on the roads. City of London stops buying diesel vehicles The City of London Corporation will no longer purchase diesel vehicles, to help cut toxic air pollution. Greater Manchester CA approves revised air pollution plans Council leaders in Greater Manchester have approved updated plans to improve air quality and help tackle thousands of premature deaths each year. Siemens delivers cloud-based solution for North Yorks Siemens has won a traffic signal contract with North Yorkshire County Council (NYCC), England's largest county. Councils and tech at heart of Europe's plans for low emission mobility Cities and local authorities, as well as new technology, are crucial for the delivery of a new European strategy for low-emission mobility, the European Commission (EC) has said. London diesel car ban 'needed within 10 years' A leading think tank has proposed a ban on diesel cars in London within ten years and giving local authorities new powers to set Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) rates, to bring air pollution within safe and legal levels. MPs call for tougher action over VW scandal Ministers should consider prosecutions against VW following the emissions scandal, MPs have said. DfT plans 'roadmap to fully automated vehicles' Ministers have launched a consultation on plans to pave the way for automated cars to be used on British roads. A capital plan? Tunnels, congestion and road charging Proposed new tunnels for the capital will not cause a net increase in traffic and could be paid for with the ring-fencing of stamp duty or London-wide road charging, Transport for London (TfL) has suggested. Truck platooning 'could put freight back on road' There are serious obstacles to HGV platooning in the UK and promoting the new technology could take freight off rail and onto the road, campaigners have said. Mayor targets vehicle pollution to tackle 'public health emergency' A £10 emissions surcharge on the most polluting vehicles entering central London, from as early as next year, is the centrepiece of Sadiq Khan’s plan to tackle the ‘life and death’ issue of air quality in the capital. Unmanned aircraft 'could cure vandemic' The potential for unmanned aircraft to halt the growth of van traffic on UK roads will be highlighted at a round table event next week. TfGM proposes to use mayor's 'devolution toolkit' to boost transport Bus franchising, better orbital links and ‘the next generation of rapid transport links’, including tram-train, are some of the highlights of Greater Manchester's 25-year transport plan. All lane running gets Red X from MPs The introduction of ‘all lane running’ on the motorway network presents ‘unacceptable’ risks and should be rolled back immediately, an influential committee of MPs has said. 'Catastrophe' warning over EU environment laws Campaigners have warned that a weakening of environment laws after Britain leaves the European Union (EU) could be a ‘catastrophe’. Khan plans new air quality warnings for London London mayor Sadiq Khan has directed Transport for London (TfL) urgently to develop a package of alerts to better inform people when air quality is at dangerous levels. Referendum warning as pollution case is fast-tracked Environmental group ClientEarth has stressed the importance of the EU in providing protection against toxic air pollution, just days before the referendum on Britain's membership. 'Transformative' smartphone parking app comes to UK A smartphone app that promises to make life easier for motorists and provide ‘unprecedented’ traffic management and environmental benefits for councils and other car park operators has been launched in the UK. Ministers consider Škoda prosecution over defeat devices Ministers are considering prosecuting carmaker Škoda over the alleged use of defeat device software in models approved in the UK. Experts argue over benefits of speed bumps Scientists have disagreed as to whether road bumps are the best way of calming traffic outside schools. Scotland offers £7.8m in loans to cut transport emissions The Scottish Government has more than doubled a loan fund that aims to encouraging people to reduce their transport emissions, including switching to electric cars. McLoughlin hints at diesel tax rise and runway decision delay The transport secretary has hinted that duty on diesel may rise to combat the fuel’s contribution to toxic air pollution, while a decision on a new runway in south east England may be delayed again. Schemes like parking levies 'can help pay for public transport' Ministers should consider broadening the way public transport is financed and learn from innovative schemes like Nottingham’s workplace parking levy, campaigners have said. Monmouthshire pilots 'first everyday hydrogen cars' Monmouthshire CC has agreed to help an EU-funded consortium to run what is claimed to be Britain’s first deployment of a group of hydrogen cars for routine use in a community. Three trends revolutionising mobility, ITS congress told Three major, converging trends are revolutionising mobility in cities, delegates at the 11th ITS (intelligent transport solutions) European Congress have been told. Amey seeks expert views on autonomous vehicles Construction company Amey has announced a research project to explore what infrastructure experts think about autonomous vehicle technology. MPs challenge 'hasty' lorry park alternative to Operation Stack The case for building a vast lorry park costing £250m as an alternative to parking lorries on the M20 in Kent through Operation Stack, has not yet been made, according to MPs. Hampshire CC invites smaller councils to fund schemes Hampshire County Council has cut ‘non-safety related traffic management schemes’ and invited smaller authorities to fund such projects themselves. Khan backs pollution legal challenge New London mayor Sadiq Khan has backed environmental group ClientEarth in their High Court challenge to the Government’s plans to tackle toxic pollution. Average speed cameras on the rise with encouraging new figures Research has revealed that average speed cameras now cover over 250 miles of roads in Great Britain, as new statistics suggest they can reduce accidents by almost a third. Top 5: Bad ideas in transport Here in Britain, we can certainly devise some controversial transport schemes but when it comes to boondoggles, white elephants and generally bad ideas, we can’t really compete on a global level. Here are our top five. Queen's Speech: Bus franchising and driverless cars The much-anticipated Buses Bill will hand franchising powers to areas with directly elected mayors, while others will be able to apply for them. Legislation will also be introduced to facilitate autonomous and electric vehicles. London and Bristol lead first smart cities index London and Bristol are leading the field in the first-ever UK Smart Cities Index. Khan proposes major transport measures to tackle air pollution in capital New London mayor Sadiq Khan has put forward a package of transport measures to tackle toxic air pollution, including extending the Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and charging the most polluting vehicles more to enter the city centre. Britain 'a world leader' on autonomous vehicles The UK is a world leader in supporting the development of autonomous vehicles, according to a panel of experts. Minister defends smart motorways over safety concerns Transport minister Andrew Jones has denied accusations that the Government is rolling out what it calls smart motorways ‘on the cheap’ while overlooking safety concerns. Shapps MP backs IEA over 'congestion-causing' traffic management Traffic management is leading to costly delays for the UK taxpayer, according to a report by former Conservative minister Grant Shapps. Court grants new judicial review over air pollution A High Court judge has granted environmental campaigners permission to take the Government back to court over its approach to illegal air pollution. Children are 'neglected' in transport policy and provision Independent travel by children is falling and often actively discouraged, leaving children 'neglected in transport provision', a new report argues. £300m East Sussex deal outsources entire highways operation East Sussex CC will move to a ‘new era’ at the weekend as a consortium takes over its entire highways services operation in a £300m seven-year contract. MPs accuse minister of protecting VW over emissions MPs have accused ministers of complacency and being ‘concerned with protecting the reputation of VW’ in their response to the emissions scandal. MPs call for more Clean Air Zones Powers to improve air quality should be extended well beyond the clean air zones (CAZs) planned for five cities, MPs have said. Surface access costs for new Heathrow could be £18bn, TfL says The Government-commissioned report that recommended a new runway at Heathrow significantly underestimated the costs of improving surface transport access, which could exceed £18bn, according to Transport for London (TfL). Pollution limits breached in real world tests All makes of diesel cars tested by the Department for Transport (DfT) produced significantly higher emissions of toxic nitrogen oxide (NOx) in real world tests than in labs, it has emerged. M62 smart motorway fills up...as drivers forget to Drivers using a section of smart motorway on the M62 are saving up to half an hour each week although the number of people using it has increased, Highways England has claimed. Half of Londoners back diesel ban Over half of Londoners want diesel vehicles banned from central London in order to tackle air pollution, according to a survey carried out for environmental activists ClientEarth. Highway England unveils £150m innovation strategy Highways England has set out how it will spend £150m on ‘harnessing new technology’ to improve the experience of road users and help manage its assets. Cross border truck platoons a 'global first' Six convoys, or ‘platoons’ of semi-autonomous trucks arrived in Rotterdam harbour yesterday, having driven from a number of European cities. Twenty is still plenty, Croydon says Croydon Council will next week begin a survey to gauge support for a possible second 20mph zone. Boris: Next mayor must consider changes to C-charge London cycling Tsar Andrew Gilligan has said the public are likely to support congestion charge increases to deal with rising traffic levels, after outgoing mayor Boris Johnson mooted the idea. Minister 'not worried' about driverless congestion Transport Minister Andrew Jones has said he is ‘not worried’ about the possibility that electric vehicles and autonomous cars could lead to more car use. New legal action launched over air pollution Environmental campaigners have launched a new legal challenge against the Government over its 'insulting' plans to tackle illegal air pollution. Trials to use lasers to measure vehicle emissions Scientists plan to measure air pollution from vehicles on the road using laser-based pollution cameras in government funded trials. DfT refutes claims of 'Brussels meddling' on road charging The Department of Transport (DfT) has re-iterated that councils will not be able to charge private cars as part of Clean Air Zones to be introduced to five cities in England by 2020. 'Phase out human involvement in driving vehicles', engineers say Making all vehicles autonomous could prevent up to 95% of all traffic accidents, a new report claims. Scrap overzealous traffic management, government told The Government’s traffic management strategy should be replaced by policies that ‘harness voluntary cooperation among road-users’, a new report has argued. Empowering city mobility Simon Corbett of Siemens on how smart city ambitions can be a reality for councils even in times of austerity. ITS opportunities for UK authorities UK local authorities are being invited to apply to join a new European 'City Pool', set up to help them gain better understanding of emerging cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS). Government threatened with more legal action over pollution The Government is under threat of further court action over pollution levels after it emerged London breached its total annual emissions limit in the first week of 2016. EU funds two UK urban freight projects London and Southampton this year will be at the heart of two EU-funded projects aimed at achieving more efficient in-city freight deliveries. Durham to install £2.5m SCOOT traffic system Durham County Council has announced plans to install a £2.5m SCOOT (Split Cycle Offset Optimisation Technique) system that will improve traffic flow on the main route through Durham city. Highways England set for more local collaboration on data Highways England has announced plans to work more closely with local authorities and third parties to help integrate and develop its traffic information strategy. Cumbria flood recovery: Treacherous conditions, challenging landscapes An eye witness report on flood recovery work in Cumbria. Bristol opens up transport data with new online tool Bristol City Council has launched a new open data web tool that will provide free access to a wealth of transport information, including real-time feeds from buses and car parks. The Big Interview: Clearing the road Jon Masters talks to former transport minister, Stephen Ladyman, about the challenges in the new traffic technology sector. City Regions and transport growth Key cities are developing as engines of regional economic growth, but could they become victims of their own success when peak commuting capacity requires expensive investment? Rhodri Clark reports. Tackling congestion, the Danish way The average British driver spent 124 hours stuck in gridlock last year, according to research carried out by INRIX and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr). And the congestion problem is only set to get worse as populations continue to grow. Oxfordshire plans workplace parking levy Oxfordshire CC has announced plans for a Workplace Parking Levy, after recommendations from the national lobby group for councils that it should consider a congestion charge. Congestion Charge expansion 'must be considered' says TfL boss Congestion Charge increases to address traffic congestion should be considered, transport commissioner Mike Brown has said, after suggestions the capital is approaching a 'crisis'. Analysis: Forth Bridge closure - expecting the unexpected The Forth Road Bridge has closed and will not reopen until next year after the discovery of a crack in a steel component, prompting a large-scale mobilization of contingency plans. West Midlands leaders agree £1bn devolution deal Leaders in the West Midlands have signed a provisional £1bn devolution deal with government that brings a directly elected mayor to the region from 2017, responsible for a raft of new transport powers. Smart corridor trials open door to new world of transport Four 'smart corridor' transport trials are planned for Northampton next year, helping pave the way for driverless cars, greater use of technology-based solutions and responsive real-time networks. Tackling the Big Data problem Dan Saunders on how Basemap Ltd helped transport and highways authorities tackle Big Data issues. Comment: Dealing with the ‘van-demic’ Traffic analysts INRIX give their expert opinion on how to tackle the light goods invasion. Glasgow breathes sigh of clean air relief Glasgow City Council has announced it is ready to withdraw its city-wide air quality management plan after a decade of progress on bringing pollution levels down in Scotland’s biggest city. First minister takes charge of faltering Welsh Metro project The first minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, is now leading the South East Wales Metro programme, following complaints about slow progress and lack of clarity on delivery. Cardiff to start issuing fines for yellow box offences The City of Cardiff Council is ready to issue Penalty Charge Notices to drivers who stop illegally on yellow box junctions, making it the first council outside London to do so. Cities set to get tough in new push against pollution The Government stops short of enforcing action but puts more pressure on councils to introduce Clean Air Zones in latest bid to reduce nitrogen dioxide. London tops Europe's most congested cities London has become the most congested city in Europe with drivers losing 96 hours a year to gridlock, the equivalent of 12 working days. Building homes on green belt could add ‘7.5m extra car journeys’ Building homes on green belt land would result in a ‘huge’ increase in car journeys on roads already struggling with congestion, analysis suggests. County council's zero emission plans spark two-tier dispute A two-tier dispute has emerged over county council plans to introduce a zero emission zone in Oxford city centre, after the city council branded them ‘ridiculous’ and ‘undeliverable’. Scottish councils renew £15m joint traffic signal contract Two Scottish councils have jointly awarded a £15m traffic signal contract to industry heavyweight Siemens. Groundbreaking highways event granted CPD accreditation Surveyor magazine’s groundbreaking event this September Highways Management: Smarter roads for the future has been approved for Continuing Professional Development (CPD) accreditation. Innovative financing needed for smart city infrastructure, report finds Local authorities can achieve up to 20% greater traffic flow and 30% more rail capacity using smart city integrated solutions, but new finance models may be needed to obtain the right investment. Cameron under pressure as transport cost of Calais crisis stacks up The Government is under mounting pressure to ensure Britons affected by transport chaos at Calais receive compensation, after freight bosses blasted the ‘piecemeal’ solutions to the crisis. Siemens unveils new traffic service operation Engineering giant Siemens has opened a new regional traffic service operation in Enfield accommodating over 30 management and support staff with a team of around 50 field staff. Manchester and Highways England strategy board holds first meeting Local leaders and bosses from Manchester and Highways England have held the first meeting of a local strategy board to help define shared priorities for the region's key road network. Thousands of more deaths linked to London pollution, report reveals Almost 10,000 premature deaths could be linked to air pollution in London over a year according to a groundbreaking report that marks a dramatic increase on previous estimates. Making better use of data David Metz talks to Jon Masters about the need for a national policy on how to accommodate population and traffic growth and the battle against congestion. 'Main mode' travel policies outdated Official travel statistics and policies have ignored growing trends towards 'varimodal' journeys by often focusing on people's 'main mode', according to a new report. Exclusive: Seven councils piloting community involvement A total of seven councils are now piloting greater community and business involvement in highways and place management, including low-level road maintenance and infrastructure development, Transport Network can reveal. Edinburgh camera plan labelled 'chilling, undemocratic and unlawful' Edinburgh City Council plans to link its traffic monitoring, bus, tram and community safety CCTV cameras into a single network aimed at improving travel and increasing public security. City regions set out ‘route map’ for transport policy Policies to devolve transport powers and build links to the North must go ‘further and faster’ if cities are to support growth, a report has claimed. Google launches urban transport business Google has formed a new start-up company to tackle urban transport problems and improve infrastructure through technology. London set for £100m electric car transformation French firm Bolloré has announced a £100m investment plan to massively expand the capital’s electric car network along the lines of the Boris Bike scheme. Highways England starts local partnership programme Highways England and Kent CC have signed a partnership agreement to improve planning and communication between the two bodies. 'Local is where the action is' says Highways England chief Chief executive of Highways England, Graham Dalton, told Traffex delegates that local authorities would play a key role in medium and long-term planning on the strategic roads network. Traffex 2015: Siemens to unveil new operations centre World-leading engineering firm Siemens has announced it will unveil an array of new products and services at the combined Traffex and Parkex event in Birmingham – the UK’s most important traffic industry exhibition. Government in Supreme Court over ‘illegal’ air pollution levels The Government could be forced to launch new air pollution plans following a hearing in the UK’s highest court today. Better transport in the pipeline with innovation from underground Potential revolutions in transport appear to be everywhere nowadays – flying drones in the skies, driverless cars on the ground, and now a Cambridgeshire based company plans to take things underground. Report names top renewable investments to make cities ‘smarter’ Electric vehicle charging points, low emission public transport and LED lighting have been named some of the most ‘vital’ investments to help UK cities become smarter. Report calls for commuter railways to be converted into busways Is the politicisation of the transport sector preventing us from finding a much needed commuter capacity solution? London commits to creating 100 more taxi ranks The number of taxi ranks in London is to rise by 20% after a £600,000 commitment from the capital’s mayor Boris Johnson. We need proper highways engineering not road charging In the latest of a series of head-to-heads, highways engineer Chris Summers makes the case against road user charging. Driverless car trials begin in UK Prototype driverless cars that will be tested in four English cities were unveiled today, with ministers suggesting the £19m government seed funding for the schemes could help develop a £900bn industry by 2025. Traffic levels forecast to grow after multi-year plateau Traffic levels are set to grow again in the coming years following a decade of near flat-lining, with rural and strategic roads seeing the largest rise, according to Whitehall analysis. Council to launch £96 resident parking charge for diesel vehicles A north London borough will soon charge residents with diesel vehicles for parking permits in a bid to improve local air quality. New traffic control specification wins industry support Transport for London (TfL) has won ITS (intelligent transportation systems) industry support for its new technical specification for a management information base (MIB) covering remote monitoring of traffic control equipment. Roads of the future: self-healing, plastic or solar panels? Roads of the future could repair themselves, be made of plastic or solar panels, and could re-charge automated vehicles as they drive to automated car parks. In fact some of this is already happening. New payment system launched on Dartford Crossing This weekend saw the launch of the new Dart Charge payment system on the Dartford Crossing, removing the need for drivers to stop at a barrier. Experts outline vision for next generation Welsh transport Experts in Wales have outlined a vision of how the next generation’s transport systems could look, predicting that by 2035 driverless vehicles will be on the roads and road user charging could be taken forward under a new Welsh Highways Agency. Labour sees red over London traffic light switch off proposal A report encouraging London boroughs to turn off traffic lights in the early hours was today branded ‘reckless’. Road user charging 'could be race between Treasury and London' Road user charging could be back on the political agenda in London after the mayoral election in 2016 with the Greater London Authority in a potential race with the Treasury to introduce it first, the capital’s head of transport has said. Minister considers imposing 'weekly congestion reports' Local highway authorities could be required to publish weekly congestion reports under plans being considered by transport minister John Hayes. Enhancing public decision-making on local traffic management A comment piece on The challenges and opportunities of localism: introducing evidence to enhance public decision-making on local traffic management schemes. UK set for Euro first in 'white space' infrastructure tech Urban and rural travellers and tourists, users of passenger ferries, and flood-prone communities are among likely beneficiaries of new ‘white space’ broadband technology in which the UK is taking a European lead. Autumn Statement to unveil new highways schemes under '900 mile road revolution' Road schemes designed to tackle some of the UK’s ‘most notorious and long-standing hotspots’ are likely to be announced later this year, ministers have revealed. Smart motorway scheme brings overnight M6 closures Sections of the M6 between junctions 10a and 13 will be closed at night for the next two weeks as part of the ongoing smart motorway upgrade near Birmingham. Essex calls for greater clarity on airport route changes Essex CC has called for communities to be given greater clarity over planned flight route changes at Stansted Airport. Wolverhampton to launch pedestrianisation scheme Wolverhampton city centre will undergo major pedestrianisation and traffic flow changes by the end of this month as part of a wider £1.6m project to upgrade the area by the city council. Scotland set for its lowest annual road casualty figures Scotland achieved its lowest number of road casualties last year according to figures released this week, as congestion also fell to its lowest level since 1999. Bexhill Hastings link road enjoys summer of progress East Sussex CC has celebrated progress on the new Bexhill to Hastings Link Road, despite major opposition and protests against its construction. DfT releases further £900k for sustainable schemes Transport minister Baroness Kramer has announced seven local authority sustainable transport schemes will benefit from share of a £9000,000 in the wake of last month’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) allocations. Birmingham reveals congestion charging 'a possibility' Birmingham City Council is considering congestion charging as part of a range of options to tackle poor air quality from toxic surface transport emissions. Herts in line for Crossrail extension Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin announces the DfT is considering plans to extend Crossrail to Hertfordshire. Tram could be solution to Welsh electrification row, says expert Expert calls for tram investment to end rail electrification row between Westminster and Cardiff. Smart motorway scheme pioneers continuous journey time info The Highways Agency's M1 J28-J31 smart motorway upgrade is pioneering the continuous deployment of a temporary journey time information (JTI) solution for drivers. Diesel drivers face extra charges under anti-pollution drive London and other regions are understood to be looking at ways to curb emissions from diesel cars, including introducing extra charges, in efforts to comply with clean air rules from Europe. Mayor's questions: Boris wants 'plethora' of new river crossings Mayor of London Boris Johnson has called for a ‘plethora’ of new river crossings in London following Transport for London’s (TfL) recently launched plans for new Thames crossings. Winning bids for Local Sustainable Transport Fund announced Council transport schemes up and down the country will benefit from a £440m investment following the latest allocations from the Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) announced today. Three major regions could fail to meet pollution targets until 2030 London, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire are unlikely to meet the Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) legal limit target before 2030, according to new projections from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. TfL unveils latest Thames crossing plans Latest plans for a new river crossing in east London have met with calls of concern from transport campaigners and local councils. York to refund more than £1m in motorist fines A reported £1.8m is to be paid back to motorists that were fined for driving over a city centre bridge in York, after an independent review found the council might have acted unlawfully. Local growth strategies must keep regional dimension, expert warns Approaches to growth must consider the importance of regional transport in supporting businesses, local government leaders have been told. TfL plans segregated cycle superhighway for central London Transport for London (TfL) has published plans for the first segregated cycle superhighway in the heart of the capital, giving cyclists better infrastructure at key black spots and opening up a ‘vital’ route to support cycling from south London residents. Defra launch £1m grant scheme to cut transport emissions The Government has launched a £1m grant programme for local authorities in England to tackle air pollution from road transport, after more than 30 projects benefited from the scheme last year. LGA conference: Councils 'can't see wood for trees' says AA chief Motorists are ‘losing the plot’ thanks to the ‘forest’ of varying local speed limits introduced by councils, a senior motoring representative has warned. Transport minister calls for 'car sharing revolution' Car sharing schemes could ‘revolutionise’ transport Baroness Kramer said today, although industry insiders suggest a range of policy initiatives are needed to help the concept move past the ‘early adopters stage’. McLoughlin pushes for smart motorway route from Cheshire to Kent Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin laid down three central planks to the Government’s £24bn strategic road network strategy in a speech to leading engineers today, suggesting new roads are not always the answer to congestion. 60mph limits rejected in bid for more smart motorways Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has rejected plans to limit speeds on key motorways to 60mph between 7am and 7pm seven days a week. Declining regional airports will 'damage local economies' Local economies will ‘suffer’ if the number of regional airports continues to fall, the government commission charged with managing runway capacity will hear. Analysis: A breath of fresh air? Will advanced satellite technology go some way towards improving air quality across the UK? David Crawford reports on local authority air quality projects around the country. Oxford Street has 'worst pollution in the world' Oxford Street has the highest levels of toxic nitrogen dioxide (NO2) emissions anywhere in the world, according to a new report. Uber taxi app given initial green light by TfL Controversial taxi smartphone app, Uber, has been cleared for use by Transport for London (TfL) despite mass protests by taxi drivers in the capital. DfT launches major transport appraisal study The Department for Transport (DfT) has appointed experts to support a major new study into improving our understanding of the economic and social benefits of transport schemes and bringing it into the digital age. EU plans 'major initiative' on integrated transport The European commissioner for transport Siim Kallas has announced major plans for ‘EU-wide multimodal travel information, planning and ticketing services’, while maintaining that the ‘market’ must lead the way on innovation. Minister hints CCTV parking reforms could be watered down Transport minister Robert Goodwill has strongly hinted at what local authorities can expect from planned parking reforms, following a major consultation on the issue and a war of words between ministers and councils. Portsmouth moves closer to a new £7m transport hub Planning permission has been granted for a major new £7m transport hub in Portsmouth’s The Hard area, a popular gateway to the city. Defence giant wins £7.5m Highways Agency IT contract The Highways Agency has awarded BAE Systems Applied Intelligence a £7.5m three-year contract to provide information and communication technology (ICT) services across the executive agency. TfL riding high with record results for 2013-14 Transport for London (TfL) has celebrated record results in its draft 2013-14 Annual Report, which shows customer satisfaction rising to an all time high despite more passengers than ever using the network. Siemens and South Yorkshire team up for integrated mobility study Siemens and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) have started a four-month study into the feasibility of the first full-scale UK deployment of the company’s Integrated Mobility Platform (IMP). Labour criticise the Government's 'short-termist' highways strategy A senior Labour Party figure has criticised the Coalition Government’s highways policy as part of a wider speech outlining his party’s commitment to deficit reduction through a ‘strategic long-term approach’. Camden unveils £26m redesign plans for Tottenham Court Road Camden LBC has outlined a £26m plan to transform the Tottenham Court Road area of the West End ahead of the new Crossrail station in 2018, when Tottenham Court Road station will be busier than Heathrow Airport. Bristol mayor facing ‘no confidence’ debate over parking plans Bristol mayor George Ferguson could face a ‘no confidence’ debate later this year over plans to introduce residents’ parking in areas of the city. TfL announces 15% Congestion Charge rise Transport for London (TfL) has announced a 15% price hike in London's Congestion Charge, a move branded by the Greens as an ‘inadequate’ deterrent to driving in the city centre. Google to start building driverless cars Google has revealed it will soon begin production on a prototype fleet of 100 driverless vehicles. Transport bosses should control driverless cars' speeds, says expert With the advent of driverless cars could transport authorities like Transport for London set speed limits by remote control? Make rich drivers pay more per mile, says leading think tank Motoring taxation should be radically reformed to establish a ‘progressive’ road user charging system that would make richer drivers pay more per mile, according to a leading think tank. Comment: The transport committee has put a bomb under Govt policy The House of Commons transport select committee has quietly put a bomb under key elements of the Government's transport policy. New funding must be found for roads, MPs say Investment in roads will have to ‘substantially’ increase over the next decade with the Government having to find 'new funding streams' to support increased demand, MPs have said. Boris plans £30bn underground ring road London mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled initial plans for a 22-mile £30bn underground ring road in London, dubbed the ‘Inner Orbital Tunnel’. DfT proposes 15mph 'cycle streets' and ban on overtaking bikes Cyclists could be granted priority over cars on many urban roads, with motorists banned from overtaking bikes along more popular routes. Heathrow plans £550m compensation fund and a congestion charge in third runway battle Homeowners located around Heathrow’s proposed third runway will be offered over half a billion pounds in compensation as part of a range of measures designed to win over local communities. MPs call for clarity on national transport plans Ministers should provide more specific examples of nationally important transport schemes and develop an integrated strategy reaching across national and local networks, an influential group of MPs said today. DfT unveils radical changes to traffic sign laws Roads minister Robert Goodwill has unveiled proposals for radical reforms to the nation’s key local highways traffic sign legislation, which has long been set for an overhaul from 2015. Commercial skills drive 'urgently' needed, DfT admits The Department for Transport (DfT) has released an improvement plan conceding an 'urgent need' to increase its commercial skills and vowing to develop a stronger integrated national strategy. Clegg outlines plans for £500m low emissions vehicles fund Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has outlined how a £500m fund will help boost the UK’s ultra low emission vehicle (ULEV) industry, which he says has the potential to be a ‘world leader’. Controversial one-way systems in Slough and Devon made permanent Slough BC has won a High Court battle with a local business over the introduction of a permanent one-way system in its area. 'Futile' carbon plan has left EU 'hostage' to Russian diesel Attempts to tackle global warming have backfired and made the European Union reliant on Russian diesel, warns an expert on low-emission vehicles. Long-awaited Govt traffic sign reforms 'weeks away' Planned Government reforms to key traffic sign regulations are due to be released for public consultation in the next few weeks the Department for Transport (DfT) has revealed. European Commission demands UK action plan on emissions The UK Government is under growing pressure from the European Commission (EC) to produce a ‘credible and workable plan’ for meeting European emission standards, Transport Network can reveal. Minister reveals what to expect in new signage laws Local transport minister Norman Baker has given the first major details of what local authority transport professionals can expect from the new legislation of signage coming into force from 2015. Analysis: A healthy start to transport planning Transport for London (TfL) has created the world’s first transport health action plan but what more can be done in local authorities to realise more cross-departmental working. MPs to launch inquiry into the 'killer' air pollution in London's streets The environmental audit committee has revealed it will launch a new inquiry into London’s air quality, as it warns thousands are dying prematurely because of pollution mainly caused by traffic fumes. The changing face of Imtech For Dr Daniel Ruiz, managing director of Imtech Traffic & Infra UK, the world of traffic and transport is changing rapidly and the industry must raise its game to keep up. Adrian Tatum reports. Shared transport is 'rising up the political agenda' Shared transport is now firmly on the national political agenda UK car club trade group Carplus CEO Chas Ball told its annual conference. Bristol launches new journey time monitoring system Bristol has launched a £500,000 journey time monitoring system (JTMS) designed to tackle congestion in the city, with the help of cross-departmental and cross-agency funding. Comment: The City of London Corporation on air pollution 'We all now recognise that there is a problem, and if we are to secure the improvements that are needed in London, we all need to play our part.' Comment: View of the Highways Agency from the district 'Highways investment planning could be integrated with growth plans so that they help facilitate and accelerate growth.' Three pedestrians killed or seriously injured every day in London On average three pedestrians a day were killed or seriously injured (KSI) on London’s roads in 2012, according to a report from the London Assembly transport committee. London reveals innovative technology trials in pedestrian safety plan Groundbreaking detection technology trials have been unveiled as part of Transport for London’s (TfL) draft Pedestrian Safety Action Plan. Freight chiefs slam lack of transport planning for Commonwealth Games Freight transport bosses have criticised the organisers of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow for a lack of information about transport planning. Boris announces £4bn roads programme for London Mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled the largest investment programme for London's road network in a generation, with £4bn planned for dozens of transformation projects. Transport Scotland speed up A9 dualling Transport Scotland chief executive David Middleton has announced plans to speed up the dualling of the A9 central spine route from Perth to Inverness to complete the project by 2025. Comment: Congestion is an issue even for car companies Car giant Ford has suggested simply providing more and more cars is not going to work. Will others join them? EXCLUSIVE Budget 2014: Council directors call for fiscal freedom Council directors have called on chancellor George Osborne to make financial devolution and local fiscal freedom a major plank of his Budget on 19 March, Transport Network can reveal. Winners of TfL's £100m 'mini-Holland' cycle fund announced Transport for London (TfL) has announced the winners of the £100m ‘mini Holland’ fund for councils to improve cycle safety and road-design across the capital. Northants to hire HS2 lobbyist to push Govt for new bypass Northamptonshire CC has agreed to spend up to £100,000 to hire a parliamentary specialist to lobby Westminster for the best deal over HS2, including a possible new by-pass for the county. Dawlish line to reopen in time for Easter Network Rail has announced that the storm-hit Dawlish line helping connect the south west to London will reopen earlier than planned on 4 April, in time for Easter. Comment: Stephen Joseph takes critical view of the Govt's transport priorities Tackling future congestion is a key justifications claimed by Government for its massive road building programme. But the Government's plans for new roads in the countryside ignore the fact that congestion is largely an urban problem. UK's most congested roads revealed The UK is ranked the sixth worst in Europe for traffic congestion with the average driver wasting around 30 hours a year in gridlock, according to a major annual report. Councils face 'significant' threat from u-turn high court case A High Court case could force councils to refund millions of pounds in driving fines, as one motorist argues that 'No u-turn' signs do not prohibit drivers from doing three point turns. Roads information ranked bottom in major survey of council websites A major annual survey of all local government websites has found the lowest resident satisfaction rating was for information about road closures and diversions, at just 14%. 24-hour 'hackathon' offers £7,500 prize pot for traffic innovation A 24-hour transport ‘hackathon’ is being held at Lancaster University next month, giving computer programmers exclusive access to key traffic data as part of a £7,500 give-away. Peterborough traffic wardens given body cameras after regular attacks Traffic wardens in Peterborough are to be fitted with body cameras to help keep them safe as officers report serious attacks of violent physical and verbal abuse on a regular basis. Cardiff cabinet approves £4bn regional transport network Cardiff City Council cabinet has approved plans for a £4bn regional transport system that could be built by 2030. UK taken to court over air pollution levels The European Commission has launched legal action against the UK for its failure to bring toxic gases from traffic fumes under control. Liverpool appoints operator for cycle hire scheme launch in April Liverpool City Council is set to launch a cycle hire scheme in April after appointing UK supplier HourBike Ltd to run the project. Scottish councils 'considering legal action' against police over traffic warden withdrawal Council chiefs have warned that legal action could be taken against Police Scotland over its decision to remove its national traffic warden service. Govt to review transport network's resilience to extreme weather Downing Street has vowed to review the resilience of the transport network as the prime minister sends out the first signals that Britain could emerge stronger after this catastrophic period of storms and flooding. Councils release flood-hit roads info on national web platform As the flooding crisis and severe storms continue to block roads, councils are responding to the emergency by publishing closures and diversions instantly on a national web platform for the first time. PM: 'We must fight on every front in the next 24 hours' David Cameron has warned ‘we have to fight on every front’ today as heavy rain and gale-force winds are predicted to sweep across southern Britain. Hammersmith 'flyunder' plans could be self-financing council claims Replacing the Hammersmith Flyover with a tunnel could take just three years and in theory might be self financing by releasing around £1bn worth of former highway land, according to the local council's latest study. Govt faces paying less than half of Crossrail 2 bill, report claims Less than half the cost of the proposed £12bn Crossrail 2 development might need to come from central government, meeting key Treasury demands. English councils call for moving traffic powers to protect cyclists Cyclists could be better protected if councils were granted stronger powers to target dangerous drivers, council leaders have said. Influential national freight council elects new chairman The Freight Transport Association (FTA) has elected the next chairman of its influential National Road Freight Council, which directs FTA policy in its representations to Government, Brussels and other authorities. A14: Consultation reveals depth of local anti-tolling feeling Road tolling to pay for an expansion of the A14 was ‘universally unpopular’ according to a public consultation undertaken by the Department for Transport (DfT). Comment: Smart cities - technology problem? In the latest in our series on Smart Cities, mobility expert Mike Schofield, discusses the key issues around the future of urban transport. Cardiff set to be first outside London to get moving traffic enforcement powers Cardiff looks set to be the first UK local authority outside of London to have the power to punish moving traffic violations such as making banned turns. Comment: David Willetts on the UK's 'smart cities' tradition In the first of our smarter cities series, David Willetts, minister of state for Universities and Science, talks about the UK’s tradition of innovation in the city space and its future in the growing smart city market. Oxford City Deal paves way for ‘major’ transport improvements A City Deal for Oxford and the surrounding area will provide £55m of government funding for projects including local road and transport improvements. Friday Thought: A right ol' Cornish pasty Most rural shires with summer tourism hotspots might feel a tinge of sympathy for Cornwall Council this week, after the authority was lambasted for installing 63 no parking signs along a one-mile country lane. Smarter travel is no pipe dream, says Stephen Joseph Traditionally, business group interventions into transport policy consist largely of demands for more infrastructure, especially big new roads. But it does not need to be this way. Surveyor Comment: Route to Smarter Cities conference asks the right questions What should your future transport strategies be and how can our transport systems be more effective and efficient? DfT plans to let councils cut parking charges The Government has put itself on a collision course with local authorities over parking policy, following the release of a damning report that calls for fines to be reduced. UK car production reaches highest level since economic crash Production of cars in the UK has reached its highest levels since the economic crash, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). Ofcom signs off rollout of new broadband tech to transport Telecoms industry regulator Ofcom has signed off on delivering new satellite-based broadband technology for transport including trains and aircraft. European Commission moves to scrap transport emission goals Transport emissions targets for the EU could be dropped in 2020 after Brussels failed to outline a future for greenhouse gas goals. New shared space schemes developed in south west More 'shared space' schemes are set to go ahead in the south west of England, while the debate rumbles on over safety concerns for the visually impaired and disabled. Plymouth City Deal to create new board for infrastructure needs Highways capacity will be a key focus of the new Plymouth City Deal, as part of efforts to tackle local growth barriers. Boris' £1bn homes plan raises congestion fears Mayor of London Boris Johnson's £1bn plans to build 420,000 new homes in the capital over the next decade have raised congestion and parking concerns. New London taxis to be zero emissions capable from 2018 New London taxis will need to be zero emission capable from 2018, mayor Boris Johnson is expected to confirm today. Edinburgh council approves 2014-19 transport strategy The City of Edinburgh Council has approved its local transport strategy for 2014-19 that could see emission control measures for surface transport employed in the city, as well as 20mph limits. Capita wins £145m of TfL contracts Congestion charge and Low Emission Zone (LEZ) operations in London will be passed back to Capita from next October alongside a bus lane enforcement contract. Work begins on £165m Metrolink upgrade Work has begun on a second Metrolink line through Manchester city centre in order to improve capacity across the network, Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM) has announced. New figures show air pollution ‘major cause of death’ in London New figures assembled by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) list the top ten categories of deaths in London boroughs for the first time, with air pollution a factor in a majority of cases according to clean air campaigners. Friday thought: Aide allegedly takes revenge ‘a bridge too far' Drivers caught in traffic chaos were revealed to be pawns in a political power struggle, as a revenge battle reaching as far as the White House took to the streets of New Jersey. Million pound transport improvements for top Midlands business site Wolverhampton City Council and West Midlands transport authority Centro are set to launch a £1.4m package of transport along Stafford Road between Wolverhampton city centre and i54 in South Staffordshire. Essex offers ‘amnesty’ on bus lane fines Essex CC has undertaken an ‘amnesty’ on bus lane penalty charge notices (PCNs) following their reintroduction in Colchester. £600m trunk road contract awarded in West Midlands Maintenance of major roads in the West Midlands will be passed to EM Highway Services from July this year, the Highways Agency (HA) has announced. Local authorities increase highways investment in run up to winter A new report shows councils have invested heavily in extra gritting salt, hardware and social media use this year, in order to keep the country's highways moving this winter. Highways Agency plans 60mph limit on section of M1 The Highways Agency has announced plans to reduce the speed limit of a 31-mile stretch of the M1 from 70mph to 60mph, in an attempt to cut air pollution. Leeds praised for clampdown on blue badge abuse Leeds City Council has been praised for cracking down on the misuse of disabled parking badges by deciding to prosecute those who abuse the blue badge scheme. Government's commission reveals airport expansion options The UK needs an extra airport runway in the South East by 2030 with another likely to be needed by 2050, the Government’s independent review into airport capacity has claimed. Congestion costs UK more than £4.4bn a year, study claims Congestion in the UK’s 18 largest urban zones is costing car commuting households £4.4bn a year, according to estimates from a new economic study. Transport and technology groups form Smarter Travel Forum An alliance of transport and technology experts have called on the Government to embrace more smart travel technology such as real time information, smartcards and data collection. M5 hard shoulder trial goes live The Highways Agency will open the hard shoulder on the M5 between Junctions 15 and 17 to live traffic from tomorrow, under a trial of its newly installed ‘smart motorway’ systems. Winners of latest round of local pinch point funding revealed Ministers have revealed the winners of the latest tranche of local pinch-point funding, releasing £49m for 25 schemes designed to tackle congestion hot spots, alongside announcing a raft of major road and rail works. Govt to complete national traffic courts roll-out by April 2014 Dedicated traffic courts handling cases including speeding and parking offences are set to be established across all 42 police-force areas by next April as part of the Government’s flagship justice policy for traffic. London boroughs hold on to £148m annual transport cash Mayor of London Boris Johnson has confirmed transport cash for the capital's councils will be spared cuts over the next three years, as the Local Implementation Fund (LIP) will be held at £148m a year up to 2016-17. Major storm leaves two dead and transport networks in disarray A violent storm has battered the UK leaving at least two dead, closing rail services across Scotland and hitting swathes of coastline with a tidal surge that forced thousands of residents to evacuate their homes. Autumn Statement:Osborne increases housing borrowing cap Chancellor George Osborne announced an increase in the Housing Revenue Account borrowing limit in today’s Autumn Statement. M6 toll road 'offers no benefit' The M6 toll road has provided little benefit to road users and caused irreversible environmental damage, a new report claims. Lead traffic commissioner reflects on lessons from Olympics The Olympic Games delivered many positives regarding logistics and transport management but more lessons can still be learnt from the experience, according to the lead traffic commissioner. RAC Foundation delivers transport poverty warning due to 'soaring costs' Transport experts have warned that many more households in England and Wales risk falling into transport poverty due to a combination of ‘soaring costs’ and a decline in real wages. Govt awards £1m to councils to reduce transport emissions The Government has announced the winners of the annual Air Quality Grant Programme, which this year awards £1m to local authority schemes tackling nitrogen dioxide levels normally associated with road transport. Rail 'super-hub' planned for north west London London mayor Boris Johnson has unveiled plans for a £6bn rail “super-hub” that would see links for Crossrail and High Speed Rail 2 converge on a proposed north west London development dubbed ‘mini-Manhattan’. Scottish public sector failing on sustainable transport, report finds More than 60% of public sector bodies in Scotland do not have plans to reduce their transport use and should be given a year to implement a Travel Plan, according to a new report. £18m boost for Merseyside congestion-busting scheme Transport minister Baroness Kramer today gave a final go-ahead to release funds for £18m worth of major roadworks on some of the busiest networks in Merseyside. Cold Comfort: Minister commits to 'substantial salt stocks' and praises new salt standard The Government has committed to maintaining a substantial national strategic salt reserve, local transport minister Norman Baker told Surveyor’s Cold Comfort 2013 event. Tube to go 24hr at the weekends but 750 jobs to be axed Radical plans to overhaul the London Underground (LU) network have been announced, including 24-hour weekend services and 750 job losses. Councils begin winter services in earnest as temperature drops Gritters have been out in force on roads across the country as temperatures dropped across the UK in the last week, council chiefs have said. Cycle counters arrive in Scotland Digital counters have been installed at nine sites across Scotland to monitor the number of cyclists passing through the area. Boris launches 'Stop and Shop' to increase free parking in London Mayor of London Boris Johnson today announced parking times are increasing at 600 bays across the capital, giving drivers an extra 10 minutes of free parking when shopping on the high street. London bucks national trend with fall in congestion London has shown a surprise fall in congestion on locally managed 'A' roads over the past year, as Government figures suggest national levels are rising. Highways Agency scraps M60 'smart motorway' plan on health grounds Campaigners have welcomed the decision by the Highways Agency that the expansion of the M60 to include active 'smart motorway' lanes would be too damaging to public health. It's been a long road: TN meets Aebi Schmidt UK's managing director Dominic Browne talks to Henk Landeweerd, managing director of Aebi Schmidt UK about that and the changing face of winter service. Vince Cable unveils £75m pot 'to build cars of the future' Business secretary Vince Cable has launched a £75m fund to help accelerate the development of green technologies for engines. Driverless vehicles to hit Milton Keynes by 2017 Plans to deploy one hundred driverless ‘pods’ in Milton Keynes by 2017 have been announced by the local authority. Council chiefs reject external scrutiny body for local roads Council chiefs have warned the Government against creating an external scrutiny system for local authority roads responsibilities, calling it ‘unnecessary and counterproductive’. Overwhelming local authority support for red diesel gritting concession Overwhelming parish council and local community support for the use of red diesel fuel in any vehicle gritting rural areas has resulted in the move being signed off by HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC). First UK trial of Siemens' new traffic management tool The first UK application of the new traffic management control system Stratos, has been launched at South Gloucester Council. London Gateway 'super-port' opens for business The UK’s first new deep-water port for more than two decades opens for business this week when the MOL Caledon, a 58,000-tonne container ship from South Africa, docks at the London Gateway. EXCLUSIVE: Council directors deliver message to Govt Get a first look at ADEPT's 2013 report on the Government's agenda, exclusive to Transport Network and our sister titles, The MJ and Local Government News. Telford set for £12m transport boost The expansion of Telford town centre has lead to £11.8m planned improvements to surrounding transport infrastructure to facilitate the increased capacity at key entry points. Councils have lost public trust on parking, MPs warn Councils have lost public trust on parking and must justify how the revenue is raised with mandatory annual reports, chair of the Commons transport committee Louise Ellman has warned. E-car club brings green transport to inner-London One of the UK’s first electric car clubs has been launched in Tower Hamlets LBC to offer a sustainable and cheap transport option to inner-London dwellers. Research suggests danger from HGVs is getting worse Transport campaigners have called on ministers to take drastic action to tackle the dangers of heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) after new research suggests lorries are involved in an increasing percentage of fatal road accidents in the UK. 'Boris Bikes' scheme attacked for dramatic fall in user numbers Concern has been raised about the long-term sustainability of London’s ‘Boris Bikes’ scheme after new figures show users have declined by almost a third. Councils have lost public trust on parking, MPs warn Councils have lost public trust on parking and must justify how the revenue is raised with mandatory annual reports, chair of the Commons transport committee Louise Ellman has warned. Kramer slams HS2 critics in first major speech Newly appointed transport minister Baroness Kramer has offered a ringing endorsement of High Speed Rail 2 (HS2), stating the economic case for the line ‘remains strong’. Major alliance of South East councils call for expansion at more than one airport An alliance of South East councils representing 9.5 million residents have called for a major expansion of more than one UK airport and connecting surface transport capacity to maintain global competitiveness. Suffolk councils join together to attack A14 toll plans The Government's proposals to pay for improvements to the A14 by introducing tolls would create unfair competition and impact on economic growth, according to two West Suffolk councils. Councils given power to destroy blue badges New legislation has granted parking enforcement officers powers formerly only available to the police over blue badge violations, including the power to retain and destroy badges. TfL to develop a freight strategy for London A new trial of out-of-hours deliveries has been unveiled by Transport for London (TfL), as part of the ongoing development of a London-wide strategy to reduce freight congestion. DfT and Lancashire win High Court legal battle over M6 link road The Government and Lancashire CC have won a High Court battle with a local campaigning group over a £124m planned link road between the M6 and the port of Heysham on Morecambe Bay. Clamping crackdown leads to more parking penalty charges Half-a-million more penalty charge notices (PCNs) have been issued on private land this year as a crackdown on clamping has lead to more ticketing. Pickles on full attack over parking at Tory conference Communities secretary Eric Pickles has repeated calls for councils to reduce parking charges in his speech to this year’s conservative party conference. Boost for free parking as local business districts' red tape slashed Government ministers have cut red tape surrounding the creation of local business improvement districts (BIDs), which support high street regeneration with the offer of free parking. Liverpool submits combined authority plans to Govt The creation of a combined authority in Liverpool with the ability to sign off transport and economic programmes moved a step closer this week with official plans submitted to Government. Croydon announces £20m transport investment Plans to invest more than £20m in transport throughout Croydon have been put forward by the London borough. Lack of transport could 'destroy' Cardiff as council plans major developments Local councillors have backed plans for the biggest expansion of Cardiff for more than 50 years but the scheme could still stumble over a lack of transport infrastructure critics say. Govt plans major parking reforms to slash number of fines Ministers have revealed plans for a major overhaul of town parking rules in a move set to slash the amount of revenue councils raise from fines. Local transport must engage with national plans, CBI says The CBI has called for local and national infrastructure plans to be ‘integrated’ and local transport teams to engage more with business as part of a series of measures designed to rejuvenate the high street. New analysis reveals local transport bodies' spending priorities Local transport bodies (LTB) are mainly spending cash on road schemes but are also investing significant amounts in sustainable transport programmes, according to new analysis. Highways and transport cash in on £1.3bn local charges Highways and transport services accounted for 17% of all local authority charging income last year, according to figures from the Audit Commission. HS2 confirms new chair The current chief executive of Network Rail has been confirmed as the new chair of High Speed Rail 2 (HS2). Minister says A14 tolls to act as pilot for future plans Chief secretary to the treasury, Douglas Alexander has told Transport Network that the Government’s A14 tolling plans could serve as a test case to base future tolling plans on. Boris' cable car falls short on passengers Passenger figures for the mayor of London’s flagship cable car crossing on the Greenwich peninsula have been criticised by the London Assembly. New amendments to Welsh Active Travel Bill welcomed New amendments to the Active Travel Bill in Wales have been welcomed by sustainable transport charity, Sustrans. Labour's transport leader backs HS2 in conference speech Shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle departed from the script of her speech to the Labour Party conference this year – appearing to back High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) in the process. Highways Agency launches new anti-congestion scheme using smartphone data The Highways Agency has launched a new initiative to cut congestion levels on UK roads using smartphone and sat-nav data to monitor traffic levels, it has emerged. Luton-Dunstable guided busway opens The Luton-Dunstable guided busway has been opened by local transport minister Norman Baker ahead of services commencing tomorrow (25 September). Labour to review A14 toll road plans Labour could reverse the Highway Agency’s £1.5bn plans to create a new toll road to ease congestion on the A14, shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle has revealed. Drivers charged £30m a month in parking fines Communities secretary Eric Pickles has accused councils of ‘ripping off’ motorists after new research reveals British motorists pay out over £30m each month in parking fines. Leeds applies for Trolleybus powers Leeds much-delayed £250m trolleybus project has moved a step closer as local authorities apply for the key powers to build project. Invest in pedestrians to save high street, charity says Public space campaigners have urged the Government to invest £500m in town centres and provide greater support for pedestrian shoppers. EXCLUSIVE: ADEPT president on what to expect at this year's annual conference In an exclusive piece for Transport Network, president Steve Kent takes us through what we can expect at this year's ADEPT conference. Lib Dems approve local congestion charging policy Plans to ‘decarbonise’ the transport sector have been signed off by the Liberal Democrats at the party’s annual conference in Glasgow. Powys CC's proposed 40% bus cuts could leave communities stranded Powys CC is considering cutting 40% of its tendered bus services, less than a year after awarding operators four-year contracts. TfL throws its doors open to the public Transport for London sites from Blackwell tunnel to Victoria station will take part in Open Doors and Open House this month, giving the public a further insight into transport the capital’s transport system. Transport centre-stage in north-west City Deal Local leaders in the north west have signed off on a City Deal to deliver growth to the region, with more than £200m worth of major transport projects planned. Comment: Stephen Joseph takes a closer look at the Gov's A14 plans Transport expert Stephen Joseph OBE looks at the Government's £1.5bn A14 plans and finds little to please him. HS2 'will add £15bn a year to economy' according to new report The High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) project will add £15bn a year to the national economy and have a particularly significant impact on northern city regions, according to new research. Nottingham to expand cycle hire scheme after summer success Nottingham City Council has hailed its CityCard Cycles bike hire scheme a success after seeing a summer rush, and has announced plans to expand the network. Parking controls are 'fatally flawed', says Portas Mary ‘Queen of shops’ Portas has launched a strident attack on the Government for failing UK high streets, stating systems such as parking controls and out-of-town planning are ‘fatally flawed’. New highways planning rules to boost local developments More new developments near motorways and trunk roads in England will be granted planning permission under new Government guidelines for the strategic roads network. Month of works on A46 to begin Resurfacing works on the A46 are due to be carried out over the next month in order to improve the general state of the carriageway. Bus operator First awaits no confidence vote in Bristol A motion has been tabled by Bristol City Council calling for a vote of no confidence in bus operator First, following alterations to services by the firm. Gov admits it got HS2 debate wrong, as MPs slam handling of the project Influential MPs have labelled the Government 'out of touch and out of date' on HS2, as transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin admits the focus on speed was a mistake. Mott MacDonald to design £24m A14 widening scheme Engineering consultant Mott MacDonald has been appointed to design the Highways Agency’s £24m 4km widening scheme on the A14 near Kettering. Boris Bike scheme prepares ground for expansion south and west Upgrades to the Barclays Cycle Hire system will take place this weekend, leading to the future expansion of the scheme to south and west London from December 2013. Highways Agency plans for £1.5bn A14 upgrade include local tolling The Highways Agency has published £1.5bn plans to upgrade the A14 between Cambridge and Huntingdon, including the possibility of local toll roads to ease congestion on the major route. End in sight for Edinburgh tram project The troubled Edinburgh tram project is pushing forward as works in the town centre are finished four months ahead of the revised programme. Clegg: London needs HS2 to compete with world's 'magacities' Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg has written in the Financial Times today to stress the importance of High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) for the nation, stating without it London risks losing its status as an ‘economic global powerhouse’. Tens of thousands of London school children put at risk by road pollution Tens of thousands of school children are being put at risk by road pollution in London as more than 1,000 schools are found to be within 150 metres of roads with such bad traffic emissions it could affect their health. Labour calls for infrastructure 'super-quango' An independent national infrastructure commission needs to be set-up to ensure continuity of major projects for the next 25 years, according to a Labour review on the issue. Mayor of London and DfT launch crackdown on dangerous HGV drivers The Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL) have announced major plans to improve cycle safety in London including a crackdown on dangerous Heavy Goods Vehicle (HGV) drivers. Church leaders in Scotland 'forced to act' over road safety concerns Scottish transport minister Keith Brown will meet with church leaders this week following their demands for urgent action to improve the safety of one of Scotland’s most dangerous roads. Boris announces shortlist for London's £100m 'mini-Holland' fund Mayor of London Boris Johnson has revealed the eight shortlisted boroughs hoping to win a share of a £100m ‘mini-Holland’ cash pot to help revolutionise the capital’s cycling infrastructure. Labour unveils eight-point cycling manifesto Labour has called for English councils to be legally obliged to plan fully integrated networks of cycle routes and footways under the party's new ‘cycling manifesto’. Swansea to consider bus Quality Contracts Swansea CC has been advised to consider a Quality Contract Scheme after an inquiry found ‘little or no competition’ in local bus service provision. Winter is coming...and the latest spreaders are ready Romaquip with the latest in our series of articles from winter service experts, looking ahead to Surveyor magazine's Cold Comfort conference on 17 -18 September. Derbyshire calls for Govt action to increase rail capacity Derbyshire CC has called on the Government to do more to increase rail capacity to help boost the UK economy. Council parking regimes 'increase revenue by 10% over five years' Payment by motorists for parking charges and fines has increased by 10% in the last five years, according to data obtained by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB). New best practice guidance for pothole repairs A leading highways sector body has released a new best practice guide for road maintenance and pothole repair patching systems. 1,200 children a month involved in road accidents near schools New research has highlighted worrying levels of road accidents in the vicinity of schools, with nearly 1,200 children a month involved in collisions within 500 metres of school gates. MeteoGroup expands weather services with company acquisition Europe’s largest private sector weather business MeteoGroup has reached an agreement to acquire Swiss-German company mminternational (Europe) AG. Winter is coming...but councils can stay ahead of the freeze Vaisala provides the latest in our series of articles from winter service experts, looking ahead to Surveyor magazine's Cold Comfort conference on 17 -18 September. 2013 NJUG Awards opens for entries Entries have now opened for the 2013 National Joint Utilities Group (NJUG) Awards, which rewards utility companies and contractors. Govt releases guidance to end councils' 'anti-car' planning measures Councils will be warned against introducing 'new parking taxes' or aggressive ‘anti-car’ measures under new proposals for national planning guidance released today. Hampshire opens consultation on traffic management policies Residents of Hampshire CC are being asked to voice their opinions on the town hall’s traffic management policy. UK streets face major overhaul as Govt commits to rivaling EU on cycling Ministers are considering major changes to traffic regulations to allow UK streets to undergo cycle-proof redesigns, the Government revealed today. New Govt guidance to warn councils against ‘anti-car dogma’ Councils have been pushed to support car drivers in town centres by creating more parking spaces and restricting use of road humps. HS2 'visual maps' show environmental impact Campaigners are developing a ‘visual map’ of the High Speed Rail 2 (HS2) line in order to illustrate the environmental impact of the scheme. London Councils appoints new transport boss London Councils - the umbrella body representing the capital's 33 local authorities - has appointed Spencer Palmer as its director of transport and mobility. Skills shortage 'top concern' for contractors Rising costs and skill shortages are the greatest challenge to the infrastructure sector, civils contractors have warned. Welsh councils to report on moving-traffic enforcement strategies Local authorities in Wales responsible for parking or moving-traffic enforcements will have to publish an annual report showing how actions have affected traffic flow. Edinburgh launches new transport body A new organisation called Transport for Edinburgh is being set up to integrate bus and tram services across the city. Radical new parking system comes to Bedford A ‘Park & Go’ system, which includes automatic number plate recognition, is being trialled in a Bedford car park by First Capital Connect (FCC). Councils fail to act on their own climate change strategies, research finds Research assessed 30 cities and found that while all of them recognised climate change was a serious threat, most were failing to implement policies that could reduce problems like transport-linked surface emissions. HGV drivers warned to finish training or lose licence Bus and coach drivers with acquired rights are being warned they only have a month to finish their training or risk losing their licence. Tories float plans for 'grace period' on double yellows Drivers could be given a 15-minute ‘grace period’ on double yellow lines under plans floated by the Conservatives today - allowing shoppers to park on high streets and quickly use shops without fear of being fined. Prime minister David Cameron unveils £150m boost for cycling Prime minister David Cameron today unveiled a £150m funding boost for cycling schemes across the country as part of a national drive to improve local infrastructure for bikes. Merseytravel ITA set to be replaced with committee Merseytravel looks set to be scrapped as an integrated transport authority under plans to create a new combined authority (CA) in the region. Switch London’s 28,000 diesel taxis and buses to electric power, Boris told Low uptake of electric vehicle charging points in London proves greater focus must be given to converting buses and taxis, a minister has said. 'Future of continental transport' unveiled A concept for a new type of transportation system has been unveiled by Paypal founder Elon Musk, who developed the idea for an 800mph, near-supersonic 'Hyperloop' system to link Los Angeles and San Francisco. All tube ticket offices 'could close' Every ticket office on the London Underground (LU) network could be closed by 2015, according to leaked documents. New CCTV code comes into force The new code of practice on CCTV and Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) systems to ensure ‘open and proportionate use by local authorities’ comes into practice today. Drivers misuse hard shoulder for flower picking and family photos Drivers in the Midlands are being asked to stop misusing the hard shoulder, after it was found hundreds illegally enter the lanes every day. DfT outlines national strategy behind Spending Review investment The Department for Transport (DfT) has set out the strategic platform behind the Spending Review’s major transport investment, designed to ‘help transport planners to make the case for joined-up planning’. Freight sector and cyclists at loggerheads over training exemptions for lorry drivers Freight drivers and cyclist groups are at loggerheads over a decision by roads minister Stephen Hammond to abolish compulsory training for people driving Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) for repair or testing. Watered-down Ultra Low Emission Zone plan to make London air ‘dirtier’ London’s air quality is set to worsen under mayor Boris Johnson’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, according to a member of the London Assembly. Traffic on the rise as light goods vehicles hit all time high Congestion on locally managed ‘A’ roads increased during peak hours this spring, with all motor vehicle traffic on all road types increasing and light vehicle miles reaching their highest since records began. Balfour Beatty lands £18m deal to extend Midland Metro Leading infrastructure group Balfour Beatty has been appointed to extend the Midland Metro through Birmingham’s city centre in a deal worth £18.6m. Devolve transport powers to boost growth, London Councils say Plans to create more prosperous high streets in London by devolving transport powers have been laid out in a new report. Govt's National Travel Survey shows car is still king New government figures have revealed the total number of UK transport trips across all modes has fallen by 12% since the mid-1990s - with car travel still the dominant mode. Comment: Stephen Joseph analyses the Govt's road strategy Slowly but surely, the Government's road building plans are taking shape. After a three-year phoney war over what they were planning and how they were going to pay for it, we are beginning to get an idea about what is really on the table. UPDATE: Barnet 'knew it would lose' landmark parking charges case Barnet LBC has been accused of knowing all along that it would lose the recent landmark legal challenge against its parking charges. 'No smoking gun on parking' says London Councils Local authorities in the capital do not run parking enforcement regimes with the sole purpose of being a revenue generator, London Councils has claimed. Surrey and East Sussex launch joint roadworks permit scheme Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has approved a joint roadworks permit scheme between Surrey and East Sussex county councils, which will ‘save millions by cutting traffic jams’ the authorities said. Council to nominate traffic noise 'hotspots' under new plans Ministers plan to create 'noise hotspots' with similar protections as local green spaces under plans to drive down transport noise pollution. Tyne tolls to be reclassified by height as prices set to rise The Tyne Tunnels' charging system is set for a major overhaul from 2014 with plans to reclassify vehicles by height rather than weight. Landmark case finds Barnet parking charges 'unlawful' Councils will not be able to use parking charges to raise revenue for other unrelated purposes, according to a judicial review against Barnet LBC. Gatwick's second runway plans unveiled Gatwick airport has unveiled proposals to expand its capacity with a £9bn second runway to the south of the current site, in its submission to the Airports (Davies) Commission. First road bridge over the Thames in 20 years opens to the public The first new road bridge over the River Thames in 20 years was opened to traffic this week, linking Walton-on-Thames and Shepperton in South West London. Surveyor's Cold Comfort 2013 conference awarded CPD status Surveyor's Cold Comfort 2013 conference and exhibition has been awarded Continued Professional Development (CPD) status by the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation for the first time. Transport sector reacts to Govt's new road strategy The Government's new command paper on roads has been welcomed and criticised in equal measure by the transport industry following the announcement of £28bn of highways investment. Public transport prepares for largest bike race since Olympics London’s public transport services have been called on to prepare for the largest cycling event since the Olympics. Freight Transport Association to hold party conference debates For the fourth consecutive year, Freight Transport Association (FTA) has brought together leading a varied voices from across the transport sector to host the Transport Hub events at the 2013 party conferences. 'Driverless' car tests given go-ahead for this year The Government has announced plans to allow a ‘driverless’ car to be tested on public highways later this year by a team of scientists. Govt to legislate for roads action plan Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has outlined plans to legislate for an overhaul of the Highways Agency (HA) and the delivery of extensive roads investment Govt traffic modelling: HS2 'does not affect' figures as congestion grows Traffic will grow by fifth over the next decade as England comes out of recession and greater fuel efficiencies reduce the cost of road travel. Commuters put pressure on train stations' bike provisions Commuters are being held responsible for a rise in cycling to rail stations, as journeys this year reach 39 million. Eight million parking tickets issued last year, figures show Eight million parking tickets were issued last year, generating around £270m for councils across the country. 'Emergency measures' needed to tackle London's pollution Emergency measures including traffic restrictions are needed to tackle air pollution in the capital opposition members of the London Assembly claimed, as they slammed Boris Johnson for not taking the issues seriously enough. M4 improvements would be 'financed by Severn Crossing tolls' says Welsh Govt Improvements to the M4 and possibly a £1bn relief road for the motorway could be financed by tolls on the Severn crossings if the bridges are devolved to the Welsh Government, Welsh finance minister Jane Hutt has revealed. Each Boris Bike costs taxpayers £4,000 London mayor Boris Johnson's eponymous Boris Bikes scheme has been slammed after figures show sponsor Barclays only pays a sixth of the annual £11m costs leaving taxpayers with the tab. Councils' reaction to road user charging plans revealed Local authority responses to proposals for free-flow road user charging regimes - which operate without barriers or booths - have been revealed by the Department for Transport (DfT) today. Industry broadly welcome London roads strategy Responses to the mayor of London’s roads task force are broadly positive as the industry offers its opinion on the future of the capital’s network. Roads strategy for London unveiled Plans for the future of London’s roads include the possibility of roofing arterial roads, tolling new infrastructure and enhancing place-making opportunities in the capital, the Mayor’s roads task force (RTF) announced today. 40,000 fewer parking tickets for Westminster Westminster City Council has praised drivers in the city after seeing 40,000 fewer traffic tickets given out by civil enforcement officers in the last financial year. Cardiff plans enforcement of moving traffic Cameras on buses could be involved in Cardiff CC’s plan to become the first council outside London to enforce moving-traffic rules. Government gives £12m to Nottingham Ring Road improvements The Government is to invest £12.8m into improvements on Nottingham Ring Road, after granting final approval to the scheme today. LGA: Whitehall needs a 'Department for England' A new department in Whitehall should be set-up to deliver better services - including transportation - for English local authorities, council chiefs have said. HS2 cost-benefit ‘did not account for technology’ The cost-benefit analysis of the High Speed Rail 2 project has been revised downwards after modelling did not take into account modern technology, it has been revealed. M62 managed motorway scheme goes live A managed motorways scheme on the M62 is due to go live next month, removing the hard shoulder to create four lanes of traffic. Preferred bidder confirmed for £600m Mersey Gateway Project Halton BC has announced Merseylink as preferred bidder for the Mersey Gateway Project, which will deliver a new £600m toll bridge to the region. Portsmouth agrees parking fine amnesty after 'appalling' weekend traffic Portsmouth City Council has agreed to cancel all parking fines issue on 29 July after traffic chaos engulfed the city. Motorway traffic on the rise Vehicle numbers on the Strategic Route Network increased by 1% during 2012 to carry almost a third of motor traffic last year, according to the latest government figures. Spending Review: Welfare Coalition ministers plan to build on the estimated £18bn welfare savings achieved over the current Spending Review period through three new reforms, chancellor George Osborne announced today. Kent first county council to launch lane rental scheme Kent has become the first county council to implement lane rental charging legislation, in a bid to promote less disruptive road works. M6 Toll operator offers Govt deal on free use Owner of the M6 toll road have offered the Government a deal to allow free use of the motorway at times of peak congestion, in exchange for the firm being released from an obligation to part-finance a link road, it has emerged. Home sick ex-pats logging on to live traffic cameras The number of ex-pats checking out live images from UK traffic cameras has risen by up to 4,000% over the past few months. London councils get £5.4m to tackle air pollution Mayor of London Boris Johnson has awarded £5.4m to London boroughs and partners to work on new measures to tackle air pollution. LGA: Care funding squeeze will hit highways Streetlights may be turned off and parks closed to pay for social care, according to council chiefs. DfT releases highways stopping up guidance Guidance relating to stopping up orders for highways has been released by the Department for Transport (DfT). 'City Deal' plan for South Wales Local authorities have endorsed proposals for a South Wales Public Transport Fund, similar to England’s City Deals. IBM: Govt is focused on public transport, not pay-as-you-drive Computer giant IBM is not developing technology for Governments to support pay-as-you-go driving, despite the company becoming a world leader in traffic and transport technology. 2013 CIHT awards winners Highways and transportation professionals celebrated the best of this year’s outstanding achievements last night at the annual Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT) awards. Drivers call for greater tax spend on highways Drivers have called for a greater share of the motoring tax they pay to be re-invested in improving and maintaining the highways network, a major motorist survey claims. Journey reliability increases on strategic road network The reliability of journeys on motorways and ‘A’ roads managed by the Highways Agency increased in the year ending April 2013, official statistics revealed today. Mayor outlines vision for future of London transport Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, has unveiled major investment plans for transport infrastructure in his new 2020 Vision document outlining future challenges and spending areas for the capital. Green light for London's Cycle Superhighway 5 Work on the latest Cycle Superhighway in London is due to begin this summer, Transport for London (TfL) has announced. MPs warned over lack of local parking monitoring Concern has been raised about current parking enforcement laws following the first oral evidence session to the transport committee on the issue. West Yorkshire to publish plans for a combined authority Plans to establish a West Yorkshire Combined Authority to manage a £1.5bn transport and economic infrastructure fund will be released tomorrow. Leeds set to extend pedestrian hours Leeds City Council is considering extending the hours that the city’ core shopping area is pedestrianised. TfL unveils plans to reduce KSIs by 40% Major plans to reduce the number of deaths and injuries on London roads have been released by Transport for London (TfL). Pressure grows on DfT over LSTF evaluation The first annual report into the success of Local Sustainable Transport Fund (LSTF) schemes has failed to quash concerns over the evaluation process behind the fund, Transport Network can reveal. Britain rides into top ten EU cycling countries Britain is ranked in the top ten 'best countries' for cycling in the European Union, new statistics have revealed. Careless drivers face £100 on-the-spot fines Motorway tailgaters and middle-lane hoggers will face on-the-spot fixed penalties of £100 under new measures announced by the Government. DfT leaves the door open to further local pinch point cash The Department for Transport (DfT) has left the door open to providing further local pinch point cash after exhausting the current £190m fund on some 72 congestion-busting projects. Denmark backs Parliament's calls on cycling The key to increasing cycling levels is to focus on the younger generation and getting more children to ride to school, according to Denmark’s transport minister. Govt infrastructure efficiency savings revealed Whitehall departments made £10bn in efficiency savings last year, including £145m saved from Crossrail, ministers have announced. London's bus services could be swamped, say AMs The future of London's bus services could be under threat as the rapid population expansion in the capital is swamping the service, according to London Assembly members. OECD: Up infrastructure spend for growth The Organisation for Economic Cooperation Development (OECD) has claimed the UK should invest more in infrastructure for growth. BPF: Ensure CIL regimes are pro-growth Reform of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) should focus on economic growth and introduce financial certainty to the sector if it is to be successful, according to the British Property Federation (BPF). Gov 'undermines its own infrastructure agenda' Council chiefs have accused the Government of jeopardising its own infrastructure and flood defences agenda by pushing ahead with plans to tighten financial regulations on integrated transport authorities. Integrated transport plan for Wales outlined Westminster must devolve a range of powers to the Welsh Government including greater control of rail franchising and bus regulation in order to support an integrated public transport in the devolved nation, influential Welsh Assembly members warned. Global survey reveals hunger for 'smart' public transport A global transport survey covering some for the world’s major cities including London has revealed 90% of urban residents regularly use public transport and are willing to pay more for technological improvements. Update: Government unveils its first route-based strategies The Highways Agency has today published three route-based transport strategies as the first step in a major shake-up of service delivery on the nation's strategic highways network. 'Build it they will come’ may not work for cyclists Carlton Reid, executive editor of BikeBiz.com and the author of forthcoming book ‘Roads Were Not Built For Cars’, takes a look at how to make cycling infrastructure work in the UK. London's £1bn cycle funding 'stands' despite potential cuts Transport for London (TfL) has said funding for the mayor’s £1bn Vision for Cycling still stands, despite reports of upcoming spending cuts. Joint venture appointed for £160m A63 scheme A joint venture has been appointed to develop proposals for the £160m upgrade of A63 Castle Street in Hull. UKIP councillors: Use miles not km 'to continue being English' UKIP councillors at East Sussex CC have called on officers to use miles not kilometres in documentation and signage in a bid ‘to continue being English’. Haulage chiefs: New driver tests 'unreasonable' Concern has been raised by the Freight Transport Association (FTA) and Road Haulage Association (RHA) about recent Department for Transport (DfT) advice on annual statutory tests for garage technicians and mechanics driving HGVs. Cambs reveals transport plan to avoid gridlock Major new transport infrastructure has been proposed in Cambridgeshire to prevent congestion issues in the next decade. Harnessing the power of big data for transportation Fresh from launching a new data analysis system for the City of Chicago, leading software expert Matt Asay, VP of Corporate Strategy at 10gen, explains the potential of Big Data. Olympic cycle safety plan should be 'permanent' Efforts to boost cycle safety in London during last summer’s Olympics could be bring wider environmental benefits and protect vulnerable road users if adopted permanently, according to a new report. Traffic levels fall to 20-year low This first quarter of this year showed some of the lowest traffic levels in 20 years, due mainly to icy weather and stagnant economic growth according to the latest Government analysis. Let councils create regional transport strategies Local government must be given more control of its budgets to break down silo working and create regional strategies in policy areas such as transport, a new report has urged. UN road safety week focuses on pedestrians With the second annual UN road safety week (6-12 May) underway, James Evison takes a look at how 20mph road safety policies are progressing in the UK. Rogue taxis clampdown New rules proposed by the Government’s advisory body, the Law Commission, could see local authorities handed the power to stop licensed vehicles, impound cars and impose fixed penalty notices for taxi companies flouting the law. EXCLUSIVE: New TAG president calls for 'grand union' The new president of the Local Government Technical Advisers Group (TAG) has called for TAG, ADEPT and the LGA to join forces and form one body to represent local government. Cities show cycle ambition Plans for a cycle superhighway linking Bradford with Leeds and Continental-style segregated bike lanes across Manchester featured in bids made to the Government’s cycle city ambition fund. London set for new 'cycle roundabouts' London cycling commissioner Andrew Gilligan has claimed a new roundabout layout currently being tested in laboratory conditions could be applied to the capital’s roads within a year, despite not conforming to government regulations. Roadworks website includes major agency alerts Real-time incident and accident alerts from four national agencies has been implemented into the roadworks.org platform for the first time. PM: More needed from councils on cycling David Cameron has supported a parliamentary report aimed at boosting cycling rates to achieve a 10% share of UK journeys by 2025, and suggested local authorities must take the lead. RAC backs calls for tough emissions targets Leading motorist group, the RAC Foundation, has backed calls for the European Commission (EC) to consider tough CO2 emissions targets for 2025 when the issue is put out to consultation this year. Edinburgh's historic St Andrew's Square re-opened The historic St Andrew’s Square in Edinburgh was returned to public use today after the completion of all nearby road and track works for the city’s tram project. South West united over 'scandalous' transport links Councils in the south west of England are set to lobby government to end the ‘scandalous’ state of the region’s transport links. Mayor unveils 'greener' congestion charge for London A series of changes to London's congestion charge were announced today, as mayor Boris Johnson aims to make the scheme greener. Centro unveils Midland Metro extension plans Plans to extend the Midland Metro through Wolverhampton city centre have gone on display as the region's transport authority, Centro, launches a six-week consultation on the route. MPs call for £600m cycling investment At least £600m a year should be dedicated to boosting cycling rates in Britain to achieve a 10% share of journeys by 2025, a group of MPs and peers said today. Northern Ireland councils handed roads powers The Northern Ireland executive will devolve responsibility for roads and off-street parking to councils as part of a package of reforms announced by ministers this week. Caerphilly slammed for lack of transport access Sustrans has criticised Caerphilly CBC for relocating scores of housing staff to an office that is difficult to reach by public transport or bicycle. LAs should be 'required to promote active travel' Welsh local authorities should be required to promote active travel as well as improving cycling and walking facilities, Wales’ new environmental agency has argued. Government must regulate for 'talking buses' The Government must regulate to make audio, visual announcements mandatory on all UK buses to support disabled passengers, a leading charity has warned. City Deals 'preferred route' says Cable Business secretary Vince Cable has championed City Deals paving the way for more local transport funds, while suggesting the Government’s single growth pot is unlikely to be as large as originally recommended. Plymouth councillors demand end to 'scandalous' transport links Plans to try and end the ‘scandalous’ state of Plymouth’s transport links by calling for extra government investment will be considered by the full city council today. Birmingham plans £17m bid for ‘cycling revolution’ A bid for £17m of Government funding to transform cycling provision in Birmingham is being put before the city council’s cabinet today. Plymouth councillors demand end to 'scandalous' transport links Plans to try and end the ‘scandalous’ state of Plymouth’s transport links by calling for extra government investment will be considered by the full city council today. Traffex round up: All the top news from the DfT Visitors to Traffex this week heard from the Government about how it is using the transport sector to push for economic growth, consulting on proposals to overhaul traffic sign legislation, and creating more sustainable travel.. Cycle alert satnav could save lives The lives of cyclists could be saved by a ground-breaking satnav programmed to alert lorry drivers to the risk of collisions, its developers claimed today. HA defends controversial managed motorways policy The Highways Agency has defended its controversial policy to allow traffic to use the hard shoulder on busy stretches of motorway, as it pushes ahead with efforts to reduce congestion on the strategic road network. ATCM: Crowdfunding could be the future of urban parking Parking is intrinsic to a successful town centre and digital technology can revolutionise how it is paid for, according to Guy Douglas of the Association of Town Centre Management (ATCM). Traffic sign legislation set for 'radical' overhaul The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced plans to radically overhaul the central legislation governing traffic sign design and use, with a revised version of the law planned for March 2015. Extra cash not needed to declutter streets, says former TfL chief Additional cash is not required to declutter streets, the former head of design at Transport for London (TfL) has stated. Yorkshire set for £1bn transport overhaul Yorkshire is set for a £1bn plus overhaul of its transport network as six of its councils prepare to vote for a ground-breaking package of new roads, railways and other key infrastructure. TfL has eye on move to cashless buses Transport for London (TfL) has denied reports it plans to completely phase out cash payments on the capital’s buses this year, but a spokesman told Transport Network the situation was being monitored. Strategic road network reliability at 'lowest point' The reliability of journeys on the Highways Agency's strategic road network - motorways and ‘A’ roads - has fallen to its lowest level since the annual measure was introduced in 2010/11. New signage to be unveiled at Traffex 2013 The first of a new range of national traffic signs will be launched at this year’s Traffex event at Birmingham NEC on 16 to 18 April. Thatcher's transport legacy Margaret Thatcher left her mark on all aspects of British political life and transport was no exception, James Evison writes. Fund Barking electrification this year or risk spiralling costs, Treasury told The Treasury must confirm funding for the £90m electrification of the Gospel Oak-Barking railway line in June’s spending review or risk spiralling costs, the London Assembly has warned. England's first 'TIF' scheme is 'hell of a risk' for GLA Using tax increment financing (TIF) to fund a major infrastructure project in the Battersea area has been described as ‘a hell of a risk’ by the Greater London Authority’s (GLA) chief of staff. Final stage of Highways Agency's £300m pinch-point programme announced The Highways Agency has unveiled 58 schemes it will deliver as part of the third and final stage of its £317m pinch-point programme – 26 of which have been developed with local authorities. Boris Ban: Mayor to outlaw HGVs without cycle-sensors Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, aims to ban Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) from the capital, unless they are fitted with sensory equipment to detect cyclists in blind spots. EXCLUSIVE: Elderly woman arrested in protest at DfT building An elderly woman has been arrested during two days of protests against the Bexhill-Hastings Link Road outside the Department for Transport (DfT) headquarters in Westminster. Serco enters parking enforcement with London contract Services giant, Serco, has been awarded a £30m parking enforcement contract by the West London Alliance of Hounslow, Ealing and Brent LBCs. Boost public transport as petrol sales fall, ministers told The Government must act to provide ‘real transport alternatives’ a leading charity has warned following claims forecourt petrol sales have fallen by more than 20% in the last five years. Norfolk CC set for battle with May Gurney over highways contract May Gurney plans to appeal against a decision by Norfolk CC not to renew its 10-year highways contract. Brighton goes 20mph A 20mph speed limit has been introduced to a number of central roads in Brighton and Hove under the first phase of wider implementation. Bus lanes labelled a 'cash-cow' for struggling Scottish councils Councils in Scotland have been accused of using bus lanes as a 'cash-cow', after raking in millions of pounds in motorist fines. West England authorities present united front on delayed BRT scheme West England authorities have presented a united front following delays to the £200m Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) scheme for the Bristol City region, stating lessons have been learned from the Edinburgh tram project. Welsh national party calls for £1.5bn Metro guarantee The national party of Wales has called for the UK government to provide a loan guarantee for the proposed £1.5bn Metro public transport system for the Cardiff city region. Councils 'struggle' with transport in local plans Councils are struggling with the transport aspect of local plans according to the author of a new report revealing councils have been pushed into extra house building under the new system. First tranche of pinch point cash announced Cash for improving congestion at 10 sites across the UK has been announced by the Department for Transport (DfT) as part of its Local Pinch Point Fund. Browne report: 'Worryingly poor' management of major projects Whitehall management of major infrastructure projects, including transport schemes, has been described as ‘worryingly poor’ by a senior government adviser, following the release of a new report focusing on the issue. Cap Aberdeen bypass costs for councils, Scottish government told Scottish local politicians have called on Holyrood to cap the amount councils have to spend on the £653m Aberdeen bypass scheme, for fear it may lead to unfair additional cost burdens. Highways Agency tasked with 20% cost and carbon reductions Ministers have set the Highways Agency a range of challenging performance targets, including making 20% savings on major schemes and carbon emissions by 2015. Embattled Bexhill-Hastings scheme gets £57m from DfT The Department for Transport (DfT) is facing national protests after transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin today approved £57m of government funding for the controversial £90m Bexhill–Hastings Link Road. Osborne's plans for second toll motorway 'unworkable' Chancellor George Osborne is set for conflict with the Welsh Government over plans for the construction of Britain’s second toll motorway to relieve the M4. £2bn plus highways works begin in London Highways work under Transport for London’s (TfL’s) groundbreaking London Highways Alliance Contracts (LoHAC) framework will start this week, potentially delivering schemes worth more than £2bn over the next eight years. Focus on roads to get Britain moving, ministers told Manufacturing chiefs have called on ministers to prioritise roads spending over rail, as they warn transport infrastructure has become a critical issue for the sector. Leeds Council takes transport lead on development plans Leeds City Council will take a lead role in delivering local transport infrastructure to pave the way for major development projects, councillors have revealed. Easter weekend: Traffic round-up Up to 17 million people are expected to take to the roads this Easter weekend, creating congestion on trunk roads and main routes including the M25, M1 and M4. Beeching at 50: An axe blunted with time On the 50th anniversary of the Beeching report the Department for Transport has told Transport Network the ‘tide has turned’ and many of the local lines that were closed in the wake of that explosive publication are set to be re-opened. New congestion-busting bus route planned for Cardiff Bay A study has been launched into whether travel times could be slashed between Cardiff city centre and Penarth by operating a bus service across the Cardiff Bay barrage, offering some of the most scenic views in south Wales. Debate over £1.5bn Metro network plans for south Wales Plans for a £1.5bn Metro-style train system covering the Cardiff city region in south Wales demand a new arms-length delivery authority to make the project a reality, a report has warned. Record gritting levels as winter rolls on Record gritting levels have been reported by several county councils in the last week, as a late severe weather spell grips the UK. Local winter service teams on full alert Heavy snow and rain forecasts for the next few days have local authority winter service teams on full alert, council chiefs have announced. Smart parking comes to Manchester Motorists in Manchester could soon find vacant car parking spaces using their mobile phone, thanks to technology being trialled by the city council. 20 is plenty for Brighton and Hove Brighton and Hove City Council has revealed 20pmh speed limits for its city centre will be introduced from 8 April. UK's most congested roads revealed Nine out of ten of the nation’s most congested roads are in London, according to new research. Massive roads investment planned after Hinkley Point green light The Government has given the green light to two nuclear reactors at Hinkley Point in Somerset, paving the way for millions of pounds worth of local roads investment. Osborne approves single pot growth fund Chancellor George Osborne today announced plans to create a single pot of local government growth funding, to drive areas including transport. Councillors shut out of Forth Road Bridges management Excluding councillors from the management of the Forth Road Bridges in Scotland is the right decision, influential MSPs have said. Surveyor announces free winter service roadshows Winter service engineers have been given the chance to learn how to deliver a strategy that is more effective and efficient at a series of roadshows organised by Surveyor. Resist cuts and restrict cars, TfL told London risks losing its ‘world class’ transport system without sustained funding and restrictions on car journeys, a major report has warned. New award for tackling street clutter Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin has unveiled a new award to celebrate councils’ action on reducing traffic signs, in partnership with the Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT). Pickles hits out at ‘over-zealous’ parking rules Traffic wardens should be more lenient to motorists in a bid to boost local trade, according to communities secretary Eric Pickles. Transport the focus of two major regional growth plans Two major groups of local authorities have unveiled regional growth plans – with a strong emphasis on transport - building on the recommendations made by Lord Heseltine in his report to government No stone unturned. Govt ‘will not scrap’ street works qualifications The Government will not change or amend current street work qualifications following consultation on the issue as part of its Red Tape Challenge. £15m for Loughborough traffic scheme Local transport minister Norman Baker has approved nearly £15m of government funding for congestion relief work in Loughborough town centre that will move traffic onto a new inner relief road. Take our pre-Budget survey The chancellor will deliver his 2013 Budget on 20th March - but what will it mean for local government? EXCLUSIVE East Sussex: Joint comms crucial for winter service Creating ‘joint communication’ on winter services between various agencies is crucial if local authorities are to learn from issues raised this season, according to a local highways chief. Friday Thought: Is Big Data analysis the future of transport? ‘Big data’ analysis software - allowing public sector bodies to cross-reference a vast wealth of different information sets - is the future of local government transport, according to senior figures in the industry. Safety to cross? This week news has spread of some unusual road safety practices at one school crossing. Man wins estimated £1m payout for pothole fall Following five years of negotiations, a man has won a substantial payout from a London council after suffering brain damage from tripping over a street pothole - some reports put the final damages at around £1 million. Ministers unveil ‘joined-up, sustainable' transport strategy Transport ministers unveiled the Government’s vision for a ‘joined-up, sustainable transport system’ today, through its Door to door strategy. Council backs 'de-pedestrianisation' plans Plans in Paisley to remove a 15 year old pedestrianised zone and re-instate vehicle access have been approved by councillors. £800,000 loss sparks parking fine reform in Devon Devon’s district councils are set to lose responsibility for issuing parking fines after an independent report found the authorities were making an annual £800,000 loss on the service. Software upgrades provide 'significant' highways efficiency gains Highways inspectors in Rochdale BC are achieving ‘significant gains’ in efficiency following upgrades to their mobile working software. Council gritting teams hit back at criticism Council gritting teams have hit back at criticism over the state of local highways after a cold snap plunged the south of England under heavy snow from 9 to 11 March. Crossrail paves the way for Whitechapel transformation Tower Hamlets LBC this week launched a major regeneration project for its historic Whitechapel area, made possible by Transport for London’s (TfL) £14.8bn Crossrail project. LGA targets transport emissions Council chiefs have called on local authorities to reduce surface transport emissions in a new report designed to embed best practice on green initiatives. DfT ‘must give more powers to councils’ The Department for Transport (DfT) needs to give councils more control over refranchising local schemes, a report on Whitehall decentralisation has claimed. Ensuring better ITS investments David Crawford welcomes fresh decision-making aids for more effective ITS and transport investment. Government invests in 93 flood defence projects Over £290m will be invested in 93 newly green-lit flood defence projects this year, potentially protecting an additional 64,000 homes from water damage. Ultra-low emission zone for the capital London could become the world’s first ultra-low emission zone by 2020 under air quality improvement proposals from mayor Boris Johnson. Rainfall slows ‘A’ road transit The Department for Transport has attributed an increase in congestion on local authority ‘A’ roads last year to the heavy rainfall across the country. Calls grow for rail devolution A leading transport charity has joined the calls for the Department for Transport to devolve more control of rail services to local authorities. Low-paid drivers 'mired in transport poverty' More than 80,000 homes are ‘mired in transport poverty’ due to their car use, as research suggests the poorest 10% of car-owning households are spending 27% of their disposable income on buying and running their vehicles. Freedom the key to greater transport returns The Government could more than double its return on transport investments if local authorities were given more freedom to drive projects, ministers were told this week. SRN traffic rules revision branded rash by IHE Government plans to revise traffic impact assessment rules for new developments affecting the strategic route network (SRN) could be short-sighted, the Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE) has warned. Serco told to 'raise game' on cycle hire Serco has been warned to ‘raise its game’ regarding management of the London cycle hire scheme, following an investigation by a local paper. Deal or no deal? Dominic Browne looks at what City Deals mean for the future of local transport. TFL announce £148m pot for local transport Nearly £150m has been set aside by Transport for London (TfL) for councils in the capital to undertake local transport schemes, it has been announced. Pensions could be pooled to kick-start stalled infrastructure projects The Local Government Association (LGA) is assessing plans to pool town hall pension funds, to kick-start the country’s 500 stalled priority infrastructure projects. The path ahead? What impact will the Autumn Statement have on local government funding? ‘Deals’ could bring DfT closer to councils The Department for Transport (DfT) is open to bespoke ‘transport deals’ to devolve more power over local networks to individual councils, transport minister Norman Baker has revealed. LGA: councils 'essential' to invest in transport infrastructure Councils are ‘essential’ to successful investment in transport infrastructure, the Local Government Association (LGA) claimed in a briefing released this week outlining future financing and management options for the UK road network. Adept: Flexible funding key to devolved transport success The Department for Transport must give councils ‘the freedom to fail’ when funding for major local transport schemes is devolved from 2015, the president of Adept has told Surveyor. Bristol won’t bend to buses Plans to run bendy buses on the proposed rapid-transit routes through Bristol have been scrapped by the city’s Liberal Democrat-run authority. City Deals set for major expansion More regional City Deals designed to improve strategic area-based transport links, similar to the Leeds City region deal, could be on their way, according to cities minister Greg Clark. Brentford un-locks waterside potential Planning permission has been granted by Hounslow LBC’s sustainable development committee for the regeneration of Brentford lock west Councils vie for share of sustainable travel funds The bidding process for two major funds designed to support sustainable transport projects closed today (24 February) Compost as catalyst? Compost is not only for domestic and agricultural use. WRAP’s Landscape and Regeneration programme has been applying compost with recycled materials t UK records increase in CO2 Greenhouse gas emissions across the UK rose by 3.1% in 2010, suggesting the 8.7% fall in emissions in 2009 was caused by the recession. Catapult ready to propel sustainable travel Developing technologies to improve end-to-end journey planning and accessibility to sustainable transport will form a vital part of the newly-formed t Wolmar Says: Heathrow Pods - a genuine innovation? Christian Wolmar went to take a ride in one of the new urban light transit pods at Heathrow Airport - and was impressed at the scheme Mobility for the old is a challenge - but can be a medicine Supporting mobility for the growing ‘older old’ demographic is already a challenge for local authorities, and the demands are likely to increase as health and social services increasingly regard active lifestyles as preventative medicine. Rhodri Clark reports. The ‘over 65’ category still appears sometimes Mixed welcome for UK infrastructure boost The Government vowed to overhaul the nation’s infrastructure this week, as scores of trunk road and rail schemes were approved. But critics have attacked ministers’ lack of support for local highways and public transport projects. Delivering his Autumn Statement to MPs on Tuesday 29 November, the chancell ‘Use pension cash’ for infrastructure Chancellor George Osborne has been urged to use next month’s Budget to ‘translate plans into outcomes’, and persuade pension funds to invest a planned £20bn in UK infrastructure. The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) welcomed the National Infrastructure Plan, which Mr Osborne hopes will dri It only rains when it pours Normal 0 It is amazingly to reflect back only 6 months ago in the Spring that large swathes of the Country TfL clashes with taxi boss over bus lanes Transport for London (TfL) and the capital’s biggest taxi company are at loggerheads after the company chairman instructed his 4,000 drivers to defy the current law and use the city’s bus lanes.