Friday, March 29, 2013

Free bus travel for London youth has many social benefits

A social network for young Londoners on the buses: "Free bus travel has improved the social lives and independence of 12-18 year olds in London, according to research published today in the journal Mobilities.

Researchers from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and UCL (University College London) found that free bus travel – which all young Londoners are entitled to by registering for a Zip Oyster Card – increased young people's ability to travel independently and extended their opportunities through facilitating extra trips, trips further afield and/or exploratory trips with friends.

Travelling together was reported to be a key feature for young people. Researchers discovered that a 'code of honour' for bus travel has developed: travelling as a group is seen as a sign of loyalty and getting on a bus without friends or leaving them on the bus alone seen as a betrayal. While many adult travellers use a range of strategies to avoid others in shared space, young Londoners are embracing free bus travel as a site of sociability.

First author Dr Anna Goodman, Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said: "Free bus travel has improved independent mobility by giving young people the freedom to get about without always having to ask their parents for money. This made a particular difference for social or recreational trips, which even more affluent parents might not always be willing to pay for. But to the young people these trips were important, a way to gain travel skills, spend time with friends, and come to feel more 'like a Londoner'.

"One key factor in realising these benefits was the fact that free travel is universally available, rather than means tested. Not only did this ensure free travel was not stigmatised, but it also meant groups of friends could travel together without anyone being left out. As such, free travel increased the independent mobility for whole groups of young people, not just for individuals""

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cars choking Istanbul

Candidate Istanbul promises to tackle congestion - "“All over the world there is congestion in large cities. This is also a reality for Istanbul. The Olympic Games will happen in summer and in summer the number of cars is reduced by 20 percent.

“Our investment in public transportation will increase dramatically. This will be another plus,” Hacimustafaoglu said on the third day of a visit to the city by the International Olympic Committee’s bid evaluation commission."

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Cars choking UK suburbs

Local residents are urged to have their say about the need for more carparks at Springfield Train Station | News, events and sport for Brisbane South | The Courier-Mail: ""When I speak to locals the number one concern they raise with me is traffic congestion.''"

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Give kids free travel on public transport in Birmingham, says Bishop - Birmingham Mail

Give kids free travel on public transport in Birmingham, says Bishop - Birmingham Mail: "The Bishop of Birmingham has called on councils and transport authorities to offer free travel to children and young people as part of a bid to combat inequalities."

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Vienna - cars going out of style

Austrian Times Online News: "According to a survey of the Traffic Club Austria (VCÖ), the car is becoming less important to Viennese residents. In return, users of public transport and pedestrians have increased."

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Half-hour wait to park while visiting hospital [cars don't work]

Hospital car parks under pressure as JR visitors forced to queue (From The Oxford Times): "City councillor Colin Cook, executive board member for city development, said: “There needs to be greater encouragement for staff to use alternatives to the car, and to up the amount of spaces for the public and decrease those available to staff.”"

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BBC News - Charity claims elderly 'isolated' by poor public transport

BBC News - Charity claims elderly 'isolated' by poor public transport: "Thousands of elderly people in Scotland feel trapped in their own homes because of a lack of suitable public transport, a charity has claimed."

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

UK - cutting free school transport is penny wise and pound foolish

Putting more cars on the road is not "making savings." Make life harder for students is not "making savings."
Decision is due over free school transport for Leicester pupils | This is Leicestershire: "Councillor Vi Dempster, Leicester City Council's assistant mayor for schools, said: "Council budgets are being hit hard by government settlements and we've had to look closely at where we can make savings."

Monday, March 18, 2013

Traffic headache in Sliema -

Traffic headache in Sliema - "Unfortunately Malta’s approach to traffic and street design remains archaic. What faces us now is the result of half a century of short-sighted traffic planning that concentrated only on private vehicle movement. Improving public transport or providing for healthy mobility options was never on the agenda."

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Dublin built roads when times were good. Now there is the devil to pay

Local businesses accuse councils of penalising shoppers with parking fees - Environmental News | The Irish Times - Mon, Mar 18, 2013: "A better public transport system would improve things, he says, but “the investment over the good times wasn’t there, it was put into the roads."

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Saturday, March 16, 2013

Auto system does not work. Admit it. Does. Not. Work.

Transport call for A303 dualling after weather costs £167m | This is Somerset: "Two respondents said disruption had cost their businesses more than £500,000, with one saying that none of their employees had been able to get to work at one point because of problems on the road network."

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The auto-system does not work. Especially so in bad weather.

Al Jazeera - One of the worst snow storms of the season swept through Belarus on Friday. This is just one of the many accidents that occured on the highways. [AFP]

Friday, March 15, 2013

Transport for London commissioner warns of 'calamitous' impacts if government funding stalls "Conjuring a vision of waste and inefficiency borne of the financial uncertainty that characterised the defunct, pre-TfL London transport authority he'd joined 37 years ago, Hendy underlined the implications of London's rapid population growth. "We're building up to a population of nine million by 2020. All of the networks that we manage and that local authorities manage will be under increasing strain," he said. "I predict that when Crossrail opens in 2018 it will be immediately full. The people who predicted that it will take all the traffic out of Oxford Street or that we'll be able to sit down on the Central Line in the rush hour will be wrong. It will just be full up with people.""

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Problems mount for alternative energy sources

The quickest energy gain is to stop wasting energy via the autosprawl system. Increasing supply from whatever source is the wrong direction. Some of the alternatives are not even alternatives.
Wind Farms Are Net Carbon Dioxide Emitters | "Large British wind farms will actually release as much carbon dioxide as fossil-fuel power plants, according to a study conducted by researchers from Aberdeen University and published in the journal Nature."

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Road-deaths a slow holocaust

We need a shift in behaviour on roads - Cape Argus | "Far more disturbing and horrific is the fact that during those same 100 years, more than 100 million people died on the world’s roads. More than 100 million in 100 years, climbing each year as more cars were manufactured. There are now more than one billion cars on the planet. How easily do we look back on all the road death statistics and simply brush them off? Mobility is an act of travel from origin to destination, not an effort to destroy, maim or kill others. Or is it?"

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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Electric cars not an energy or climate solution

Norway shows the way with electric cars, but at what cost? | Reuters: "But the factors that have made the car sell in Norway show how hard it would be to make the proposition work anywhere else: the car can't go long distances and isn't economical unless the government kicks in hefty incentives like tax breaks, free road tolls and free parking.

Ironically, experts say, electric cars may not even be helping the environment."

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Ministers' oil industry ties prop up high-carbon policy, report alleges | Business | The Guardian

Ministers' oil industry ties prop up high-carbon policy, report alleges | Business | The Guardian: "Close links between senior government ministers and the oil industry risk perpetuating dependence on a high carbon energy policy which is pushing the planet to the brink of climate catastrophe, a report has warned."

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Friday, March 8, 2013

Developed countries exporting pollution by importing palm oil

Deforestation in Borneo for palm oil production.
Despite deforestation worries, U.K. approves palm oil for power production: "In a vote held yesterday, Parliament approved a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) proposal to allow the burning of palm oil and wood pellets for power production. "


Wednesday, March 6, 2013

If you live in a city, you don't need a car | Joanna Moorhead | Comment is free |

If you live in a city, you don't need a car | Joanna Moorhead | Comment is free | "Eight months on, I wonder whether we'll ever own a car again. The idea that you "have" to own a car, especially if you live in a city, is all in the mind. I live – and many other city-dwellers do too – in a community that has never been better served by public transport, and yet car ownership has never been higher. We wring our hands, as the RAC is doing today, over rising car costs, but we'd be better off asking something much more basic. Do I really need a car? The answer, for me, turned out to be no, and I'm a lot richer because I dared to ask the question."

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Saturday, March 2, 2013

Cheap travel for jobless - Local - Hartlepool Mail

Cheap travel for jobless - Local - Hartlepool Mail: "Holders of a Jobcentreplus travel discount card will qualify for half-price single and return tickets on Stagecoach’s buses."

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