Look, no driver

THE Daily Telegraph’s Transport Editor, David Milward, travelling with Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin to Lille, in Northern France, reported the city has a driverless metro network.

It was “something that McLoughlin believes could be replicated in conurbations of a similar size in Britain,” wrote Milward.

Lille is twinned with Leeds in this country, where all attempts to launch any form of light ral or metro system have been rejected by the Department for Transport (although not in Patrick McLoughlin’s time, but when Labour’s Alistair Darling was Transport Secretary).

However, it is surprising that no one has apparently told the new Transport Secretary, nor the Telegraph’s Transport Editor, that there is already a very successful, booming driverless metro network in London. Continue reading

Road and rail – what does the future have in store?

THE Confederation of British Industry has proposed that road charging should be introduced on England’s motorways and trunk roads, now operated by the Highways Agency.

As the Strategic Road Network — amounting to some 6,500 miles (10,460km) — and the rail network in England are very similar in size, as is the geography they serve, the CBI’s call for road charging could put the two networks on a broadly similar — and competitive — basis for the first time for longer distance journeys. Continue reading