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We have simply got to get to grip with the rail companies who are bleeding commuters dry with criminally high price increases.

On long journeys, the train is the only realistic (and safe - earlier states means less awake drivers) mode of transport, but where I am in Suffolk, more and more people are having to drive further down the line because they can no longer afford the fare from their nearest station.

I believe that at the current rate of price increases, this time next year a standard class ticket may cost the same as a first class ticket of just 3 years ago.

The company in charge put the prices up in Feb then again this month after a 'restrcture' delaying the increase until next year until after the next set of increases, which without intervention could hit commuters with a 'double' increases next year and force more onto the roads.

This is crippling transportation and shows that privatisation does not work when the industry itself operates without competition. Competition is the best regulator, but without it, other measures must be put in place to protect commuters.

putting cycle lanes on pavements where there is room

Mr Redwood should get on his bike a little more. His suggestion would work on open road, but in built-up areas it just doesn’t work. Eastleigh has spent a fortune on putting cycle lanes on pavements. To use one of those lanes a cyclist has a nightmare of leaving / rejoining / leaving / rejoining the highway plus, on the pavement, they have to contend with cars coming from all the side roads, driveways, business entrances, etc. The result is that cycles don't use the lanes but now get grief from car and lorry drivers who think that, with a perfectly good obstacle course to use instead, cycles should be out of their road.

The cause seems to be the Railways Act of 2005...
The poll coincides with the Government’s Railways Bill going to the House of Lords (second reading debate is Thursday 10 February). Opposition parties have expressed concern that the bill makes closing lines much easier while removing any duty on the Government to promote rail use or produce rail development strategies. There is also Labour backbench concern about the bill’s removal of local authority powers over rail services.

The problem is that the Government has undone the original concept of the privatised railways. No doubt to try to reduce accidents and bad PR, they decided to drive everyone off the railways.

"The Conservative Party is not obliged to embrace Mr Redwood's recommendations. All of the policy groups are only advisory."

Doesnt suprize me one bit. Cameron wont listen to advice and will go his merry own way. Ignored Associations, pre-empting the Policy Groups...

A-List is no longer compulsory according to Maude, James. Let's see if Cameron listens to Redwood or not.....let's give him the benefit of the doubt at this stage.

"US practice of turning left at a red traffic light".

Surely they turn right.


Redwood urges left turn - unexpected headline :-)

Interesting discussion piece.

I'm a driver, a cyclist (Cameron's got the wrong bike - he should follow Letwin's example and get a Brompton ;-) ), a pedestrian and a rail & sometimes Tube user - a fairly balanced mix really.

Unless clearly segregated, cycle lanes on pavements would be a real problem in urban/suburban areas - of all problems for cyclists, pedestrians are the least predictable ("cyclists" - well, mostly teenagers on bikes - on pavements are also a real problem for pedestrians as well). However, non-mandatory cycle lanes (by which I mean they can be parked in, cars have no prohibition from entering them, etc) are worse than useless and really ought to be removed. The vast proliferation of traffic lights is a constant struggle, especially the long-wait empty pedestrian crossings,this is why you often see cyclists breaking them (stopping & starting, esp uphill, isn't a matter of sticking your foot on the accelerator on a bike).

With cars the majority of problems aren't necessarily speed-related, but just bad driving. I reckon that the capacity of the UK motorways could be increased by perhaps 25-30% just if only people would stick to the left unless overtaking.

The proliferation of severe speed humps is an environmental disaster - in my area a lot of 30mph limit roads have humps on them that can only be (constantly) navigated without long-term vehicle damage at sub-10mph speeds - fuel economy drops through the floor, even if you are not heavy on the brakes/accelerator. The challenge has got to be to find a way to even out the vehicle speed - perhaps more frequent 20mph navigable humps instead...

Left turn on red? Perhaps, but I would forsee more accidents - cyclists, pedestrians and motorbikes especially. The presumption of blame would _have_ to fall with the driver going through the red for this to work. And left-turn only lanes would need to be marked far in advance. The other problem is that with a 2 lane junction then the other one would need to be a right-turn and straight ahead lane, which would probably lead to additional delays.

Taxis in bus lanes? I thought they already could do....

Would be interesting to see what the police make of a lot of these proposals.

Railways and tubes make my blood boil. I'm not going there!

Finally, I see a lot of bad, inconsiderate driving around the place. But if you spend a while driving in the Netherlands, or any time at all going through Belgium, then you'd come back & think we were all Police Class 1 certificate holders. It could be so much worse!

In US & Australia allowing filtering at traffic lights seems to work.

"This is crippling transportation and shows that privatisation does not work when the industry itself operates without competition. Competition is the best regulator, but without it, other measures must be put in place to protect commuters."

The rail industry is heavily subsidised by the government. If it wasn't its fairs would probably be even higher. The problem is that the rail network as a whole is incapable of running at a profit without government support but because it's seen as a social necessity it's not allowed to go bust.

As for the idea that the railways are a free market: http://www.libertarian.co.uk/lapubs/econn/econn091.pdf

The comment about ignoring Associations wasnt so much about the A-List, as it was about general policy, like the CPF.

The idea of turning left during a red light is dangerous. Ive been campaigning for one junction to be made safer and the idea that cars can turn left when a red light is on is absolutely ridiculous. Red light means stop and should never mean anything else.

Although somewhat reluctant to comment as I haven't read the policy group's full report (is a link available?) if the media are accurately highlighting the main points then I can't help feeling that many are the sort of thing I would expect to find in a county council manifesto. Aren't there much bigger fish to fry?

I agree. I can't help feeling that John Redwood's abilities are being wasted here. There is clearly a vacancy for an economically literate Shadow Chancellor.

Plus this is surely something that should always be left to local councils? Or do we only believe in localism when it's convenient to do so?

John Redwood as Shadow Chancellor, the very thought brings me out in a cold sweat. If he was made shadow chancellor we would soon not be in front of the Liberals let alone Labour in the polls.
The new look Conservative Party needs to look and sound that its in this century not in the eighteenth.

"The new look Conservative Party needs to look and sound that its in this century not in the eighteenth."

John Redwood might be right-wing but he's hardly a crusty reactionary. Go back to your UKIP forum!

I like John Redwood too (nanu nanu, oh for goodness' sake). As someone who gets in a rage every weekday morning as the no.26 bus fails to turn quickly left onto (a near empty) Shoreditch High St off the Hackney Rd, I completely support this proposal & recommend we campaign on nothing else between now and the next election.

Sorry for the mild spot of cyber-staking Graham, but, millions of us are waiting elsewhere for your no doubt imminent explanation as to how Cornerstone lost us the last 3 general elections, and not, Michael Howard, William Hague, and, John Major.

And another thing! Bikers should be allowed into bus lanes & exempt from congestion charging. While you take your life in your hands on a motorbike due to the blindness many car drivers have for anything motorised on two wheels we should be able to take refuge in the relative calm of a bus lane.

The left turn proposal is something I cant support. A junction I work at is dangerous enough with people jumping red lights and soeeding. Pedestrians are worried. Allowing filter lights wont make them feel much safer. I doubt drivers can follow filter lights properly either. I dont have confidence in it.

Graeme - no way! having been run down by a bike using a bus lane (I was getting off a bus not jay walking) I think you cyclists should have to wear outrageously bright clothing and whistle loudly wherever you cycle (show tunes never the Happy Wanderer) perhaps wearing a flashing light (for hard of hearing) :-)

Having grown up in a town with an extensive network of off-road cycle lanes, I'm a big believer in them.

(It's a concept that really needs to be drummed into the urban planners responsible for designing modern housing estates and managing urban growth though.)

I'm not sure how much room there is for them in our crowded urban landscape though, so I don't know if this particular recommendation is feasible.

>>>>Unless clearly segregated, cycle lanes on pavements would be a real problem in urban/suburban areas<<<<
Actually I don't think they would make any difference, cyclists cycle on the pavements and across the crossings and will continue to do so so long as no action is taken against them, they will only use marked cycleways if they are bits that they would have used anyway so why bother.

I think that there is an argument for privatising the Highways Agency and for letting private operators set their own speed limits, perhaps abolishing National Speed Limits for Motorways and Dual Carriageways and having operators competing for custom - there are already Toll Motorways, technology will soon be available that will allow people's road use to be metered in a similar way to electricity.

In addition shouldn't all Civil Airports be privatised and the State withdraw from any involvement in regulation or strategic planning for anything other than safety and National Security functions in the air flight sector, special treatment for airlines with regard to diesel fuel should be ended as well.

Richard or should I say our resident parrot should really get it through his thick head that I have nothing whatsoever to do with UKIP.
You simply do what a lot do on this site time and time again you don`t answer the comments you just try to shoot down the messenger.

"You simply do what a lot do on this site time and time again you don`t answer the comments you just try to shoot down the messenger."

I have answered several of your comments over the past week or so, including that one in which I denied Redwood was a reactionary who wanted to take us back to the 18th century. You on the other hand are known for trotting out deliberately provocative statements and then not replying to any other the replies except very rarely.

Last week you suggested I wanted children sent back up the chimneys. How do you expect us to take you seriously or not think you're a troll?

"to any of the replies" that should read.

Where is this report? Does it really only contain those three or four recommendations listed above?

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