World Transport Policy & Practice – Vol. 17, No. 1. May 2011

The Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice is the long-standing idea and print partner of World Streets and the New Mobility Agenda since 1995. The Spring edition appears today with articles by Ian Ker, Joshua Odeleye and Eric Britton. In the article that follows you will find the lead editorial by founding editor John Whitelegg. (For a more complete introduction to World Transport click here.)

– – – > To obtain your copy of WTPP 17/1 click here.


Editorial. John Whitelegg. 3

Abstracts & Keywords 4

Interventions to Reduce Car Use in Towns and Cities:
Call for Evidence: House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee Eric Britton. 6

Too True To Be Good? A response to Morton and Mees (2010). Ian Ker 14

Road Traffic Congestion Management and Parking Infrastructural Planning in Metropolitan Lagos: The Linkage. Joshua A. Odeleye, PhD 27


– John Whitelegg, Editor

Sustainable transport in the UK continues its steady decline into the dustbin of a mobility obsessed governmental agenda. The last few weeks have seen the abolition of Cycling England which made dramatic progress in giving cycling policies status, money and a bigger share of everyday trips. During the lifetime of Cycling England and its support of “Cycling Demonstration Towns” it became clear that focused action supported by a budget could actually work and that progress has now been swept away. It is very clear in the new world of 20% plus budget cuts that cycling will receive very little real cash with which to change our average 1% cycle modal shares in UK cities in the direction of Berlin (15%) or Freiburg (27%).

The demise of cycling support is happening at the same time as a £95 million cut in funding for local transport over the next 2 years. Bus services, especially in rural areas, are losing funding and at the same time as there would appear to be very large funds for high speed rail and bypasses. At a very conservative estimate the UK government has already agreed to spend about £20 billion on useless projects to make us all travel more often and further than we need to. An inspection of the current raft of budget cuts and budget increases across transport policy clearly indicate that we now have a national UK transport policy committed to 4 principles:

  • The encouragement of longer distance trips by faster modes of transport
  • The transfer of resources from the daily travel needs of the relatively poor and disadvantaged to the desires of the relatively wealthy
  • The entrenchment of disorganised, privatised, fragmented public transport systems so that there can be very little chance of producing the finely tuned co-ordinated system recommended by Mees in his book “Transport for Suburbia: beyond the automobile age”
  • The rejection of the role of planning in reducing the demand for transport and creating the “city of short distances” and the right conditions for the encouragement of walking and cycling

The four principles will be heavily disguised by exaggerated references to competiveness, low carbon economies and economic growth with dash of sustainability thrown in for good measure but the budgets tell the truth.

In this issue we carry a strong rebuttal of an earlier article on travel behaviour change (Morton and Mees in volume 16, 2 of this journal). Morton and Mees were very critical of the claims made by academics and others on the potential to deliver sustainable transport solutions within a behaviour change paradigm rather than a more fundamental restructuring of the ways in which we organise cities, public transport, funding and subsidy. Kerr in this issue rejects these arguments.

We are also delighted to publish the article by Joshua Odeleye on Lagos and the links between Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) and wider transport concerns. BRT like behaviour change can be seen as a magic bullet to solve transport problems but these problems will also require a highly co-ordinated approach across the whole range of spatial planning, budgets, investments in walking and cycling and the economics of transport supply in very large and very fast growing cities.

John Whitelegg

Reference: Mees, P (2010) Transport for suburbia: beyond the automobile age, Earthscan, London

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– – – > To obtain your copy of WTPP 17/1 click here.

About the editor:

Managing Director of Eco-Logica, John Whitelegg is Visiting Professor of Sustainable Transport at Liverpool John Moores University, Professor of Sustainable Development at the Stockholm Environment Institute, and founder and editor of the Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice. Research interests encompass transport and the environment, definition of sustainable transport systems and a sustainable built environment, development of transport in third world cities focusing on the relationships between sustainability and human health, implementation of environmental strategies within manufacturing and service industry and development of environmental management standards. He has published widely on these topics. John is active in the Green party of England and Wales and is the national spokesperson on sustainable development.

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