Surprising Things You Never Knew About Transport

This is the first in a series of four short films prepared by a faculty team  from the Centre for Transport and Society at the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol).  The four podcasts pose some interesting questions and give an insightful appraisal of what influences travel habits, delivered by nationally leading experts in the field of transport research: Professor Glenn Lyons, Dr Steve Melia, Professor Graham Parkhurst and Professor John Parkin. Today’s film is presented by Steve Melia and looks into some surprising questions from Steve’s forthcoming book ‘Urban Transport Without the Hot Air’. All  four films can be viewed on the UWE Bristol web pages.

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Traffic in Penang: High Level of Awareness

In an article entitled Traffic Congestion in Penang, published by the Penang penang transport councilTransport Council on 31 March 2010, we can see the high level of awareness shown by State government of traffic congestion issues and eventual solutions at the time. The only main missing piece of the puzzle in their overview is the lack of consideration of land use and related urban planning issues and measures.  Something which is very much in the hands of local government.  Many of these points come up again in the 2013 Transport Master Plan Strategy for the State of Penang.  And from this we can tell that the awareness is very much there.

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Designing cycling back in to the urban environment

France-paris-velib-tourTransport in cities is a steep uphill affair. If we ever are to transform the quality of the mobility arrangements in our cities, there are certain basic truths about it that need to be repeated again and again. By different people, in different places and in different ways.

Cycling in most cities:  You and I know it. It is broke. It cannot be “fixed”.  It needs to be reinvented from the street up. All of which is easy enough to say, but what in concrete terms does that mean? This article which appeared in the Guardian a few days back by Peter Walker,  reports on the testimony of Dave Horton a cycling sociologist who pounds the table on five basic truths of cycling in cities.

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Rethinking Car Free Days in Taipei City

Your editor was kindly invited by Mayor Hau Lung-pin to come to Taipei City this year to discuss preparations for the celebration of the city’s tenth successive Car Free Day — and as part of this collaborative brainstorming process to draw on my experience of some seventeen years working with this, one hopes, transformative transportation approach in different cities around the world. Continue reading

The Seven Simple Truths of Sustainable Mobility (Come argue with me)

Sometimes in life things can be simple. Let’s look at one case.

One of the problems with the hard up-hill fight for “sustainable transport” in cities and countries around the world is that so far everyone seems to have a different definition and a different agenda. True, there are an enormous range of interests and concerns. Among them such important things as :improving conditions for pedestrians and cycles, car access and parking control, more ridesharing, carsharing, taxisharing, more flexible and responsive public transport services, strategic deployment of economic instruments (to reflect full social costs), BRT, congestion charging, speed reductions, etc. The long list goes on. Continue reading

Testimony: Science and Technology Select Committee, UK House of Lords


In the last weeks I was asked to provide written testimony and evidence in answer to a “Call for Evidence” for the UK House of Lords Science and Technology Select Committee on the subject of “Behaviour Change —Travel-Mode Choice Interventions to Reduce Car Use in Towns and Cities”. As can happen in these things, in my remarks I moved away from the chosen topic (instruments for behaviour change), on the grounds that there was other more fundamental work that was needed to be done first. In the following you will find my submittal of last Monday to the committee, whom I thank for giving me this opportunity to share my views.
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Unfair, unsafe and unwise – a major crisis abuilding for sustainable transport in Britain

Dear British Friends and Colleagues,

Forgive me if I am being naïve, but based on what I am reading and hearing it strikes me that there is a major crisis abuilding for sustainable transport in Britain in the months immediately ahead — as a result of the coalition government withdrawing funding from a lot of mainly small and local (since they really have to be small and usually local and focused if they are to succeed) sustainable transport initiatives This strikes me as a caring observer as unfair, unsafe and unwise. Continue reading

“Carsharing is dead in France”

I intend to write a piece for World Streets in the coming several weeks under the title “Carsharing is dead in France”. The article will endeavor , with the aid of solid data and some good explanatory graphics and perhaps photos, provide an accurate, neutral and up to date view of the status of this new way of getting around in our cities here in the Hexagon. Continue reading

Dhaka city has its “own brain”.

To SAM Aminul Hoque:

Bingo! And thanks so much for expanding our brains a bit on this. .(Otherwise it’s a most unequal combat.)

Eric Britton

PS. I note that we thus far have one but only one great ‘social space’ image of a street scene in Dhaka. If you click to you can see some examples from other great cities around the world. If you or some of your friends in Dhaka want to go out camera in hand and show us more examples of how the “social space format” works in your city, it would be a great addition. It helps those of us who have not been there to better understand the realties of daily life of the street in getting around in your city. (At least that’s the idea.)

Dhaka city has its “own brain”.

On Behalf Of SAM Aminul Hoque
Sent: Friday, 24 December, 2010 02:24

Dhaka city has its “own brain”. Many transport system would not survive in most

of the other parts of the world but for Dhaka they are in operations. Traffic

are running there in a Mix traffic situation. Within Dhaka, the number of

transport mode in operation are not straight -like A) Bicycle & motorcycle, B)

Car, C) bus, D) Goods vehicle light & heavy E) Rail Continue reading

“Autolib’ – Paris bets big on new carshare technology “

Comment on

Author : Dave Brook (IP: , E-mail :

Paris is indeed betting big on Autolib. Much bigger than Vélib for 3 reasons:
– Politically – because the system is not going to be indirectly subsidized by advertising;
– Operationally – because they are bringing on line a lot of new technology quite rapidly and
– Policy – because it’s not clear (to me at least) that cars, even electric cars, will have some transformative effect than bicycles have. But I’d love to be proven wrong on all accounts. Continue reading

Beijing has become a city of the world

Subject: Leadership by example.

Dear Yan,

This is a particularly brilliant phrase you have chosen to stimulate those in BJ responsible for these decisions, and just the sort of thinking that we need to open the door to a great world-level transportation and mobility policy for Beijing. It will be very important that the city and national government understand that not only Beijing but the world needs new models of mobility — and I cannot think of any city in the world, or any country in the world, that is better prepared to move into a leadership position, if they can work out the policies and practices that will do the trick on their own streets. Continue reading

Beijing new measures drafted to ease congestion

Dear Mingming Liu(and Su Song, Thank you for asking us. And it is of course extremely delicate to make these kinds of comments in public in this manner. You have been asked to rally us on this, which I understand. And since you need our best feedback today, one only has to pick up pen and do ones best. Which now follows in very quick and concise form, point by point as you have asked. Continue reading