A new book examined sustainable development policies that had arisen in London across a range of policy areas (including transport, housing, property development, and education), and their impacts and effects.
Source: Rob Imrie and Loretta Lees, Sustainable London? The future of a global city, Policy Press
A report by a committee of MPs said that crime on Britain's railways had decreased over the past decade. It said that this demonstrated the effectiveness of the specialist rail policing provided by the British Transport Police (BTP) and, although there were areas where the BTP could improve its performance, the overall model might be applied to other transport modes, such as aviation. The enquiry had highlighted that there were often vulnerable children and young people in and around railway stations, but the BTP currently had no targets in relation to child protection. The committee said that relevant bodies should work together to review existing practice in this area.
Source: Security on the Railway, Fifth Report (Session 201415), HC 428, House of Commons Transport Select Committee, TSO
An article examined the political barriers surrounding climate policy for passenger transportation. It said that significant mitigation policies for transport were held back in the European Union because of a range of interlinked issues ('transport taboos') that created a degree of political risk.
Source: Stefan Gossling and Scott Cohen, 'Why sustainable transport policies will fail: EU climate policy in the light of transport taboos', Journal of Transport Geography, Volume 39
A report said that individual cities needed the freedom to operate as whole systems, rather than relying upon national government's centralized decisions on infrastructure investment, but also to be able to work together, enabling pan-regional investment. The report made recommendations, including for the prioritization of better connectivity between northern cities, and for a review of competition in the high-speed broadband market.
Source: Connected Cities: The link to growth, RSA City Growth Commission
The government began consultation on proposals for two new compensation policies for owner-occupiers of properties close to the HS2 rail route from London to the West Midlands. The 'alternative cash offer' would give owner-occupiers within the Rural Support Zone (the zone within which the voluntary purchase scheme would apply) a payment of 10 per cent of what would have been the un-blighted open market value of their property, capped at between £30,000 and £100,000. The 'home-owner payment' scheme would share the benefits of the railway with rural owner-occupiers outside the Rural Support Zone but within 300m of the line, by means of a cash payment. The consultation would close on 30 September 2014.
Source: Property Consultation 2014: For the London-West Midlands HS2 route, Cm 8894, Department for Transport/High Speed Two (HS2) Limited
A report by a committee of MPs said that the Crossrail programme to deliver a new rail service in London and the south east of England was proceeding well and was on course to deliver value for money to the taxpayer. It said that the programme provided an opportunity for the government to learn valuable lessons about delivering major projects, such as the importance of careful early preparation, but raised questions about how government compared different transport projects when making investment decisions. The committee noted that, with work ongoing, considerable risks remained in delivering the programme by 2019.
Source: Crossrail, Eighth Report (Session 201415), HC 574, House of Commons Transport Select Committee, TSO
A special issue of a journal examined privatization of provision across a range of policy areas.
Source: Economic Affairs, Volume 34 Issue 2
Links: Table of contents
Notes: Articles included:
Peter Zweifel, 'Does privatisation contribute to the performance of a health care system?'
Richard Wellings, 'The privatisation of the UK railway industry: an experiment in railway structure'
Guy Opperman, 'Change your prison, change your outcomes, change your community'
An article examined the role of the European Union in major infrastructure policies in the fields of transport and energy. It discussed major proposals for cross-European transport, and regional schemas for energy, noting the significance for spatial planners, the impact on future infrastructure networks, and the impact on the rescaling and re-ordering of government and decision-making. It made suggestions for national and regional governments, and for the creation of spatial planning analytical capability at the European Union level.
Source: Tim Marshall, 'The European Union and major infrastructure policies: the reforms of the trans-European networks programmes and the implications for spatial planning', European Planning Studies, Volume 22 Issue 7
The Queen's Speech set out the United Kingdom coalition government's legislative programme for 2014-15. It included plans for an Infrastructure Bill to include provisions to: change the Highways Agency into a government-owned company; simplify processes relating to nationally significant infrastructure projects; allow for deemed discharge on certain types of planning conditions if local planning authorities had delayed decisions; change regulations regarding the transfer of public sector land assets; pass responsibility for the local land charges register to the land registry; make changes regarding underground access to gas and oil from shale and geothermal energy, subject to ongoing consultation; and make changes to building regulations to improve energy performance standards for new homes, including off-site carbon abatement measures ('allowable solutions').
Source: Queen's Speech, 4 June 2014, columns 1-4, House of Commons Hansard, TSO
Links: Hansard | Prime Ministers Office briefing | Cabinet Office guidance | PMO/DPMO press release | NI Office press release | Scotland Office press release | Wales Office press release | BCC press release | CPRE press release | Countryside Alliance press release | Green Party press release 1 | Green Party press release 2 | National Trust press release | PwC press release | RICS press release | Scottish Government press release | BBC report | Guardian report 1 | Guardian report 2 | Inside Housing report | Telegraph report
The Infrastructure Bill was published. The Bill was designed to: transfer the functions of the Highways Agency into a government-owned strategic highways company; simplify processes relating to nationally significant infrastructure projects (including gas, oil and other energy, transport, water, waste water, and waste projects); make changes to planning provisions, including allowing deemed discharge on certain types of planning conditions if local planning authorities had delayed decisions; change regulations regarding the transfer of public sector land assets, including provisions regarding the Homes and Communities Agency, Greater London Authority, and Mayoral development corporations; pass responsibility for the local land charges register to the land registry; and give members of communities the right to buy stake in local renewable electricity generation facilities.
Source: Infrastructure Bill, Department for Transport, TSO
The government published further reports from its ongoing review of the European Union's competences, and how they affected the United Kingdom, which the Foreign Secretary had launched in July 2012.
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Single Market – Free movement of goods, HM Revenue & Customs
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Asylum and non-EU migration, Home Office
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Trade and investment, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Environment and climate change, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Transport, Department for Transport
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Research and development, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Culture, tourism and sport, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Source: Review of the Balance of Competences between the United Kingdom and the European Union: Civil judicial cooperation, Ministry of Justice
An article examined how user satisfaction correlated with alternative organizational models of local public transport provision in 33 European cities. The highest levels of satisfaction correlated with the presence of a single provider, as opposed to an industry structure in which multiple providers operated in the same market area.
Source: Carlo Fiorio, Massimo Florio, and Giovanni Perucca, 'User satisfaction and the organization of local public transport: evidence from European cities', Transport Policy, Volume 29
A report examined the impact on public health of a policy, introduced in London in 2005, of granting young people access to free bus and tram travel. It said that the scheme had benefits for social determinants of health, such as the normalization of bus travel, greater social inclusion, and opportunities for independent travel, and that it appeared to be a cost-effective means of contributing to social inclusion. It recommended further research.
Source: Judith Green, Rebecca Steinbach, Alasdair Jones, Phil Edwards, Charlotte Kelly, John Nellthorp, Anna Goodman, Helen Roberts, Mark Petticrew, and Paul Wilkinson, 'On the buses: a mixed-method evaluation of the impact of free bus travel for young people on the public health', Public Health Research, Volume 2 Issue 1
A report said that there was a lack of understanding in the United Kingdom of the role of transport infrastructure in opening up new locations for employment and housing. The report argued for greater use of strategic and integrated planning when making decisions on transport infrastructure. It examined the key challenges for government and other stakeholders and made recommendations.
Source: Transport Infrastructure Investment: Capturing the wider benefits of investment in transport infrastructure, Royal Town Planning Institute