Campaigns blog

Photo: Big Ben

Our Campaigns blog covers our advocacy work with politicians and policy makers.

It's written by our campaigners joined by occasional guest bloggers.

European Union puts brakes on mega trucks

24 March 2014: Last week, MEPs in the EU Transport Committee voted to reject further cross-border use of so-called 'mega trucks'


Liverpool axes bus lanes – a dangerous experiment.

22 October 2013: Yesterday Liverpool began a 9 month ‘experiment’ and axed all 26 of its bus lanes across the city.


Third runway equals transport chaos

30 September 2013: One of the most pressing, but least considered, problems when proposals are made to expand Heathrow is that of surface transport to and from the airport.


Ed Balls and the politics of infrastructure

26 September 2013: This week Ed Balls appeared to backtrack on Labour’s support for HS2. The politics of the next election were probably uppermost in his mind despite his backing for calls to get politicians out of infrastructure planning.


Shh...the Government's just published its national transport strategy

5 August 2013: Last Friday, the Government slipped out what is effectively its national transport strategy. Big on the supply side, it misses out on influencing and managing demand.


EU bureaucrats paving the way for mega trucks

4 July 2013: Huge double-articulated 25 metre mega trucks could become a common sight on Europe's roads.


Five things to look out for in the spending review

26 June 2013: George Osborne announces the spending round for 2015/16 today. Here's our five things to look out for in it.


HS2 - does it meet the tests for greening transport?

24 June 2013: The House of Commons is debating the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill this Wednesday. So is HS2 meeting our tests for succcess?


SoFA, HLOS, CP5. ORR - what they mean for rail passengers

12 June 2013: The process of confirming the next round of investment for the railways is complex and drawn out but today sees another step forward.


What the spending review could mean for transport

29 May 2013:  In under a month, George Osborne will set out the next wave of cuts to spending. What will it mean for transport?


Young people get a bad deal in transport

28 May 2013: As in many other areas of life, - employment, housing, tax and pensions, environmental degradation - young people get a poor deal on transport.


Transport barriers to opportunities for young people

16 May 2013: We're holding an event today looking at young people's travel and how  transport can be a barrier to accessing employment and other opportunities.


Ups and downs of the football season

14 May 2013

Southampton fan, Matt Hemsley, on the ups and downs of the football season and the launch of our football research


How good buses can cut traffic from new housing

22 April 2013: Traffic from a new housing development is two thirds less than forecast thanks to getting the bus service running from the start.


Say no to the EU allowing in mega trucks

16 Apri 2013: EU rules could soon be changed to allow in mega trucks, with greater risks to cyclists and pedestrians and more carbon emissions.


Your views of heroes and villains since Beeching

10 April 2013: Two weeks ago, w published our top three heroes and villains of the railways in the past 50 years.


Transport is the Budget battleground

22 March: The Chancellor has delivered a Budget Statement which aside from the predicted freeze on fuel duty seemed to have precious little to say about transport.


A home win for Brighton and Hove?

12 March 2013: As part of our football travel project, guest blogger Becky Reynolds tells us about efforts to get more people going by bike to Brighton and Hove Albion.


A clear vision for cycling at last

8 March 2013: It’s rare that we get the chance to welcome something almost without reservation, but the new cycling strategy for London is full of initiatives and projects we can applaud.


Government fails to grasp Smart Growth

20 February 2013: The government has missed the opportunity to make growth smarter


Transport barriers to youth employment

31 December: New research shows how transport can be a barrier to finding employment.

Katy Jones

Why do so many football fans travel by car?

7 December 2012: As part of our football travel project, West Ham supporter Peter Caton writes about the problems faced by fans when going to matches by public transport.


What to expect on transport in the Autumn Statement

4 December 2012: The Chancellor makes his Autumn Statement on Wednesday. Here's what to look out for on transport.


Opening salvo in battle over mega trucks

14 November 2012: Fresh from apparently winning Government support for an increase in speed limits for larger HGVs, the road haulage industry is at it again.

Philippa Edmunds

What’s the real price of watching a football match?

25 October 2012: As part of our football travel project, Southampton fan Matt Hemsley writes about the challenges and cost of getting to matches without a car.


On a national transport strategy

24 October 2012: The Government plan to publish a national transport this Autumn. Here's what we think the strategy should look like.


Party conferences - the new dividing lines on transport

11 October 2012: The party conference season is over for another year. What will they mean for transport policy?


Rail franchises aren't working

3 October 2012: The Government's plans to relet the west coast mainline franchise collapsed today. Surely there's a better way to run the rail franchise process?


What the Cabinet reshuffle means for sustainable transport

4 September: Greening is out and McLoughlin is in - are we set for more runways and roads?


How the NPPF can support smart growth (and stop bad development)

10 August 2012: When the NPPF was published earlier this year, many environmentalists were relieved it wasn't the complete disaster it might have been. In fact, there are even some good things in it...


Franchises fit for the future

27 July 2012: Passengers in the Great Western area could benefit from reopening two lines under the next franchise agreement. But we need to do more to make rail franchises work for passengers.


Transport cuts are hitting young people hard

13 July 2012: Young people are facing higher fares, fewer buses and less support. The Youth Select Committee inquiry into public transporrt must make politicians listen to their needs too.


Transport mustn't add to the poverty trap

10 July 2012: Today we're publishing three pieces of research which show much still needs to be done to make sure poor transport doesn't trap people in poverty.


Could your local authority make a better job of running trains?

29 June 2012: The Government is thinking about handing control over some of the railway to local authorities. This could benefit passengers but not if the real agenda is cost cutting.


Fuel duty: We need better options to get off oil, not knee jerk responses

27 June 2012: George Osborne's sudden announcement yesterday that August's fuel duty rise will be postponed was a knee jerk isolated response to a party political problem.


We've helped win 30 more green transport projects

24 May 2012: Today the Government has announced 30 more projects to be funded by the £560 million Local


Smoothing traffic flow - what our supporters think

27 April: Two weeks ago we published our report on the policy of smoothing traffic. We had a big response from supporters saying it's time to put pedestrians and cyclists first in the way we design and manage our streets.


Reviving the regions

10 April: Back in 2010 when newly elected, the Department for Communities and Local Government scrapped regional bodies. The Department for Transport didn't get much of a say in the matter and we've just responded to their latest attempt to try and create some sort of sub-national structure.


Smoothing traffic flow hasn't worked

10 April: Candidates for Mayor of London normally pay at least lip service to walking and cycling. But recently more and more people have been getting angry that London’s roads are not safe and attractive for pedestrians and cyclists.


Megatruck threat from Europe

The EU is set to change the rules prohibiting the movement of megatruck traffic across Europe, which could ultimately let these 25-metre-long, 60-tonne monsters onto UK roads.


Time to tap outer London's transport potential

23 February: Levels of walking, cycling and travel by public transport travel are all low in outer London. The mayoral election is a chance to do something about it.


Last chance to speak out for green transport in Scotland

17 January: Our sister organisation Transform Scotland has asked us to tell you about a serious threat to sustainable transport.


Government planning proposals take another knock

21 December: MPs today published a report that’s very critical of the proposed National Planning Policy Framework.


How to reduce the need to travel

13 December: Campaign for Better Transport has launched its Campaigner’s Guide to Reducing the Need to Travel just as the Government’s proposed planning changes would all but abandon this crucial planning principle.


Parking or decent shopping - what really matters for the high street

13 December: Mary Portas has today delivered her report to the government on how to save the high street. It's got lots of good ideas - but will ministers just focus on a mistaken belief that free car parking is all that matters?


So what did we learn from the Autumn Statement?

30 November: The Chancellor's Autumn Statement marks a shift in government policy. But what does it mean for efforts to make our transport system more sustainable?


Chancellor set to climb down over rail fare rises

27 November: The Chancellor seems certain to announce on Tuesday that the massive rail fare rises he announced as part of last year's Spending Review are to be scrapped.


We need affordable options for travel

15 November: No-one likes high prices and the price of fuel has gone up a lot in the last couple of years. We shouldn't be pricing people out of being able to get to work or get to the shops but we need to make sure that people have real options to get around.


MPs warn on HS2 as they back case for high speed rail

8 November: MPs on the transport select committee have just published a report backing HS2. But there's a big warning – it has to be part of a proper transport strategy if it's not to be a waste of money.


New transport secretary Justine Greening's first challenge

14 October: Philip Hammond has been replaced by Justine Greening as the new Secretary of State for Transport. She faces an early choice between modernising our transport system or locking us further into dependency on oil.


One week left to make your voice heard on planning reforms

10 October: There's just seven days left to let the government know what you think about planning. To make it easy, we've set up this simple action to give your views directly.


PM mustn't sacrifice sustainability in pursuit of short-term growth

23 September: The Government's changes to the planning system are in danger of causing long-term damage in pursuit of short-term economic growth. Together with other NGOs, we've been calling on the Prime Minister to make clear that the environment still matters in planning.


Planning reforms will mean bank holiday jams all year round

30 August: We've just published today new research which shows that the Government's plans to radically change the planning system could cost the economy rather than help growth, and make attempts to cut carbon much more difficult.


95% of areas could face "aggressive development"

8 August: The Government's plans for sweeping changes to the planning system are increasingly controversial. We're particularly worried that developers are saying that areas without an approved local plan could face "agressive development" - especially as that could mean 95% of areas.


What the changes to the planning system actually mean for sustainable transport

5 August: The Government has come under severe criticism for its changes to the planning system but has accused its critics of misleading the public. But there are very good reasons why we think the changes will lead to more sprawl and damage the environment.


New planning framework will mean more sprawl and congestion

25 July: The Government's new National Planning Policy Framework, which was published today, talks about sustainability but will just prevent communities from stopping damaging development.


New Clean Air Act needed

6 July: Last year the House of Commons Environment Audit Committee called on the Government to improve air quality and make a ‘dramatic change’ in transport policy. What’s happened since?


Leak shows that new planning policy will mean more sprawl and congestion

1 July: The Times reports today on a leak of the forthcoming National Planning Policy Framework. It seems that councils will be able to do little to stop damaging development in the Government's dash for economic growth at any cost.


Mayor's congestion policies fail to convince

22 June: London is already the most congested city in the UK and the third most congested city in Europe.


Sustainable development presumption needs defining

15 June: The Government has published today what it means by a "presumption in favour of sustainable development" in the planning system. But there's a fear that this could be used to allow pretty much any develoment in a short-term dash for jobs.


Finally, some practical help for sustainable transport

9 June: Within the next month, the first decisions on which transport authorities will get money from the Government’s Local Sustainable Transport Fund will be announced.


Our response to House of Commons inquiry on high speed rail

6 June: The Government's consultation on the proposals for HS2, the high speed line from Birmingham to London, ends in July. In the meantime, there's been another consultation on HS2 - this time from the Transport Select Committee in the House of Commons.


The end to speed limits . . . really?

Speed limits? Parking controls and enforcement? Limits on truck drivers’ hours? Controls on who can run bus services and where?

Stephen Joseph, Chief Executive

Philip Hammond's to-do list for fair fares

12 May: We're one year on from the new government promising us "fair pricing for rail". We told Philip Hammond today that we're getting tired of waiting.


London Plan: something to be pleased about

4 May: the report of the Inspectors into Boris Johnson’s draft London Plan has just been published. The report agrees with us that the Mayor had gone too far in trying to get rid of traffic reduction targets, abandon the hierarchy of road users and relax the standards for new roads in order to allow a new road crossing (or crossings) of the river in east London.


Transport one year on since the election

3 May: On Friday this week, it will be one year from the general election. So how much has changed for transport since Labour left office and the coalition parties took over?


Cable cars can kill off old road schemes

19 April: The London Mayor, Boris Johnson, has just announced that construction of a cable car across the Thames between Greenwich Peninsular and the Royal Docks will begin in the summer. We can claim some small credit for this as the scheme was first proposed by expert witnesses whom we had introduced to the public inquiry on the Thames Gateway Bridge.


Contentious claims on congestion

6 April: Transport for London, the Mayor’s agent, is now poo-pooing its own forecast, made only last year in the Mayor’s Transport Strategy, that congestion on the roads would grow 14% b


Budget won't help end dependence on oil

23 March: We knew that today's Budget would offer help for motorists with rising fuel costs but it's still a shock that there was so little on helping the UK move away from dependence on oil.


Budget must help public transport passengers - not just motorists

17 March: Next week's budget looks set to help motorists but rail and bus passengers look like losing out. We've set out three things the Chancellor should do to show that he does care about public transport users too.


Three things that we need from high speed rail plans

10 March: The plans for high speed rail continue to be controversial. We think the Government needs to do more to make sure it's going to be worth the expense.


Learning from Boris to improve transport and planning

1 March: The Government is scrapping all the current national planning guidance and replacing them with a short National Planning Policy Framework. Boris Johnson's London Plan and Transort Strategy could offer a model to avoid this ending up resulting in more traffic and bad developments.


Are ministers willing to listen to high speed rail debate?

28 February: The Government is today launching the consultation on its high speed rail proposals.


Don't trust the numbers on high speed rail

4 February: The Taxpayers' Alliance, not noted for its support for public transport, has weighed into the high speed rail debate with a broadside from former rail manager Chris Stokes criticising the Government’s plan and those supporting it.


Local transport can be sustainable transport

19 January: Transport minister Norman Baker will today publish guidance on the local sustainable transport fund and a new local transport white paper. These could make local transport choices into more sustainable transport choices. But wider cuts to transport funding mean that its impact will be much less than it could be.


"War on the motorist" is over - but who's celebrating?

3 January: The Government has (again) declared the war on the motorist over - this time with the end of national policies on parking. But leaving it up to local councils to decide on parking charges and spaces won't help tackle congestion, the biggest concern for many drivers.


2010 - good or bad for sustainable transport?

23 December: Campaign for Better Transport has had some big successes in 2010 but the scale of cuts to spending mean that we'll be stepping up our campaigning in 2011.


Traffic reduction can work

22 December: We've probably all lost count of the number of times when talking about transport that someone has said to us "But people want to drive cars!". But are things so simple?


Localism Bill mustn't mean responsibility but no power to make transport better

13 December: Today's publication of the Localism Bill promises to herald a new era for local government, freed of the shackles of Whitehall. Transport will be top of many people's priorities for action by councils to improve local areas but the consequences of the Bill could mean the opposite.


Mega trucks on their way for the UK?

If the road haulage industry gets its way, the EU could give permission for 25 metre (82 feet) long HGVs weighing up to 60 tonnes on UK roads.


Philip Hammond has questions to answer on the Spending Review

23 November:  The House of Commons transport committee are holding a session with Transport Secretary Philip Hammond on the Spending Review on Wednesday. We think that he's got a few questions to answer...


Our initial reaction to spending review - hikes to fares and service cuts

20 October: The Chancellor has just revealed the extent of cuts to public spending. A few big projects have been announced but there are deep cuts to support for buses and massive train fare hikes.


One week to the spending review - our predictions...

13 October: In less than one week, George Osborne will announce major cuts to transport spending, with major consequences for people across the UK and our environment. We've set our predictions of what he'll say.


This week is LiftShare Week

5 October: This week is LiftShare Week, promoting the benefits of liftsharing to reduce the amount of car journeys people have to make.


Three weeks till we learn what's to be cut

29 September: In three weeks time we'll all learn what the cuts will be to public spending when the Government's spending review is published. We've written to George Osborne after we met with him to tell him what we think he needs to support and what can be cut.


Boris hopes to dump commitments to reduce traffic

23 September: Mayor Boris Johnson's London Plan is currently under examination in public. We've been putting the case to the planning inspector conducting the examination that the Plan has to do much much more to reduce traffic levels across London.


Cities' car dependency shows how much we need to improve transport

14 September: We've published today our report on how dependent on the car people are in English cities. It shows how much we still need to do to improve transport, but there's also a warning for the Government that spending cuts could threaten the progress there has been in recent years.


Car use down and bus use up - did Labour succeed after all?

29 July: Findings from 2009's National Travel Survey were announced today. They show that the distance travelled by car has continued to fall but that bus use across the UK is starting to pick up.


Investing in public transport supports more jobs

19 July: Investing in sustainable transport supports the creation of more jobs than spending on road building. That's the message of the report we've just published with Sustrans and pteg.


Eric Pickles won't stop Brent Cross congestion

17 June: We've been asking people to tell Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to call a halt to the expansion of Brent Cross and prevent the congestion caused by the way the scheme is planned. But we've just heard he's not going to act.


Cut the right things - not just the easy things

15 June: There's only one thing on politicians' minds at the moment - cutting the deficit. But there's a real danger that in their rush they'll make superficially easy cuts that are very damaging. We've published today how we think they can be smarter about cuts.

Richard Hebditch

We still need a transport challenge fund

7June: One of the last acts of the Labour Government was to start a discussion about a new Urban Challenge Fund. Despite the change of government and cuts to public spending, we still need the Fund to challenge local councils to make transport better.


A missed opportunity at Brent Cross

20 May: We need to start thinking about car dependent developments in the same way that many people think about new road schemes:  both generate traffic.


Heathrow dropped but battle continues

13 May: Great news: the new coalition Government has ruled out expansion at Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted. But airport expansion remains unsustainable, even at regional airports.


Our priorities for the new government

12 May: Conservative MP Philip Hammond has just been confirmed as the new Secretary of State for Transport, and we've just written to him to tell him what we think the priorities need to be for the new government on transport.


I agree with Boris (but not on congestion charge)

10 May: London Mayor Boris Johnson is today calling for the new Government to protect funding for London's public transport. We agree. But at the same time he's going ahead with a consultation to remove the western extension of the congestion charge which will cut vital income for London's transport.


The election's over - now politicians need to deliver

7 May: With no party winning enough seats to form a majority, a deal between parties now looks likely to form a government. Whether Conservative, Labour or Lib Dem, new ministers need urgently to set out a clear strategy for transport.


Traffic-busting success in Bedfordshire

21 April: Yesterday Stephen went to Leighton Buzzard to celebrate the launch of a very special bus service.


Green manifesto launched

19 April: Last week the Green Party launched their election manifesto, including proposals to change to the way that transport is run in the UK with the state running or directly regulating much more public transport.


Lib Dem manifesto launched

14 April: The last of the manifestos is launched today, with the Lib Dems setting out their proposals. The manifesto has their recent commitments to cut train fares by 1% below inflation each year and to grow the railways, as well as ambitions for road pricing in a second term.

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