Letting Jim steer
On 26 January 2015 the Campaign for Better Transport published ‘new research’ revealing how ‘investing in the north of England’s rail services is essential to tackling the north – south divide’.
[Campaign for Better Transport news release, 26 Jan 2015]
The new research, Stepping Stones to a rebalanced Britain, was commissioned by Campaign for Better Transport and reveals how investing in new trains, improved stations and better services as part of the new Northern Rail franchise would provide essential infrastructure for growing cities and maximise the benefits from billions of pounds of investment due as part of the Northern Powerhouse.
[…] Stepping Stones was commissioned by Campaign for Better Transport and written by research group Greengauge 21. Greengauge 21 is a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee, with a wide aim of helping to shape tomorrow’s railway. The company was founded by Jim Steer, one of the UK’s leading transport sector specialists. Initially conceived as a means to promote a debate on the case for high-speed rail in Britain, it has established a broad research base to foster and guide high-speed rail planning. Its remit now extends into all aspects of the national rail system and its wider benefits.
It’s curious that the Campaign for ‘Better’ Transport has chosen to let Greengauge 21 steer so much of its ‘research’ and policy-making activity. After all, the CBT claims its vision is for “a country where communities have affordable transport that improves quality of life and protects the environment”.
[CBT, ‘About Us’]
In recent decades we’ve helped to change the Government’s transport policy radically, away from building big roads and expanding airports and towards much more recognition of environmental and social impacts”.
But as early as 2006, the CBT had commissioned Greengauge 21 to write a report tacitly supporting the expansion of Heathrow Airport. CBT is also a tacit supporter of the environmentally damaging HS2 rail project.
The CBT is blind to the fact that the best opportunity to improve rail in the north of England would come from cancelling HS2, and reallocating funds to the classic railway.