Technology and transport

I was pleased to see the government announce major steps forward in introducing digital signalling systems to the English railways. It is a classic example of how the digital revolution can solve major problems we currently have on our congested and inadequate railway network.

I have long argued we have enough track in most places,  but need to use it more intensively. Network Rail tell me they can only run 20 trains an hour on a piece of track, despite the trains all going in the same direction on it and despite usually good visibility along lines that are mainly straight. As a result the rail track we see around is empty most of the time. The old fashioned signals we have often fail, leading to extra delays as safety rules understandably make it difficult to override signals even where the driver can see the track is clear.

Digital technology will allow each train to have full visibility of the track ahead and know in detail its own position and the speed it can travel forwards. The early adoption will allow safe passage of 24 trains an hour, an increase of 20% in track capacity, with the possibility of going higher than this as the technology and its use matures. It could mean both more trains on  track  and safer trains if applied well.

We need the similar adoption of better technology for traffic lights. Junctions with a clear main road and side roads or a lesser road intersecting should revert to main road green at all times when the feeder roads have  no traffic, with sensors informing the system. For more complex junctions with two or more busy roads, sensors could do a better job equalising the misery of waiting times by offering green light phases proportionate to  the flows.

I have recently written about how technology could also eliminate the stack of aircraft waiting to land at a busy airport for much of the time. Predictably there were the usual pessimists here telling me it cannot work. I take heart from the fact that the last meeting I held on it with the government was positive, with systems now in development.

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  1. duncan
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 5:22 am | Permalink


    Stop avoiding the issue fella. Just say what needs to be said. We all know the trades unions oppose any method that improves delivery of service.

    Whenever unions are present they impose their controlling instinct to ensure failure of any program that aims to improve efficiency and better service for the customer. It’s what unions do. Political control is everything for the unions

    The customer should be the main priority not the continual pandering the RMS, ASLEF and all the other Marxist infected unions

    Impose technology without union agreement. The unions don’t union the railways nor do they manage the railways and yet the State and management pander to them. Just stop it

    • Bryan Harris
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      It is time the unions were cut down in size – they are an unnecessary layer of complication, and what’s worse, they keep the labour party solvent

      • APL
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

        Bryan Harris: “It is time the unions were cut down in size ..”

        There is no justification for Unionised public service.

        Unionised public services are simply a means to extort money from the tax payer.

    • Adam
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Whereas some unions tend needlessly to restrict progress, the Thatcher Govt reversed earlier extreme negativity, resulting in common sense to protect service purchasers today. However, rail users are less protected from hostile acts than they should be.

      • mancunius
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 12:43 pm | Permalink

        And no-strike agreements do not solve the problem, as mobile messaging now allows staff to throw strategic mass sickies to bring the service to its knees.
        The cost to industrial output and the stress on commuters is too great to tolerate this further.
        Ban unions by law from all transport services and introduce strict absence management, or pay staff per hour worked.

        • Lifelogic
          Posted May 15, 2018 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          You certainly need something to stop the unions hold certain assets to ransom while treating the customers & tax payers who pay their wages with total contempt. This is another advantage of private cars.

        • 37/6
          Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

          That sort of action needs no union.

    • a-tracy
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      Couldn’t the Rail companies just make it a safety issue? To put extra protections for Train drivers then how can the Unions argue against that. Before driverless car technology was created you’d have thought, braking technology for trains to ensure they don’t go too fast around corners or smash into another train because of side signalling failings or human error just couldn’t happen.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:59 am | Permalink

      Indeed but apart from a few ministers or elected MPs near elections (who are largely powerless or incompetent) the state & bureaucrat have no interest in efficient public services either. So we have generally appalling public services. Ones that the public have little choice over like the NHS. This as they have paid for them already through taxation and can thus not afford to pay again.

      Efficient public services would mean far fewer bureaucrats that last thing these over paid & mainly parasitic people want to see.

    • 37/6
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 11:07 am | Permalink

      So how is ERTMS being introduced ?

      DOO is here already.

      • 37/6
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        Unions cannot stop any viable automation. Digital signalling is but the latest railway example. RMT signallers have faced mass redundancy in recent decades. Very many railway jobs have been automated and outsourced to private contractors and agencies.

    • Peter
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      The late Bob Crow did very well by the members of his rail union. I salute him. They are comparatively well paid and any threats to their terms and conditions are fiercely resisted.

      Of course you cannot outsource a rail job to the third world, but his members could still be bought off with cash payments to remove their jobs entirely.

      Crow certainly made the best of the power of his position.

      This might upset the Sir Herbert Gussett types on here, but a strong union fighting your corner does no harm to a workers wage packet or terms and conditions.

      Contrast that with zero hours contracts, internships and all the aspects of the modern workplace.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 16, 2018 at 5:59 am | Permalink

        “Aspects of the modern workplace”
        Like contracts of employment, unfair dismissal laws, health and safety legislation, equality and discrimination laws, workplace pensions, maternity and paternity rights, holiday pay, sick pay, rights to belong to a union, minimum wage legislation and many more things.

  2. Peter
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Rail franchises are not concerned about running more trains. Bus replacement services are cheaper. Government subsidies are more important to the franchises than extra fares that incur extra expenditure.

  3. Peter Wood
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 5:41 am | Permalink

    Dr. Redwood, ask this of your experts; if there are more trains or airplanes travelling between any 2 points, is there adequate infrastructure at the destination to handle the increased arrivals and departures.
    A bit of joined-up thinking..

    • Peter
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:43 am | Permalink

      “Joined-up thinking”? Like trains actually running into Gatwick station on a Bank Holiday?

      You would need to build up to that.

      Maybe a joined-up railway would be a start, like in the days of yore when a company ran the whole shooting match for their particular lines (and not for a limited period of time either). No other company was in charge of the railway tracks and infrastructure.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 11:02 am | Permalink

      One thing that would help transport hugely is to move to a more 24 hour society and away from the standard 9-5 rush hours in and out of town. Also abolish the absurd stamp duty rates – so people can move closer to work more easily and without being mugged for £100K+ by Hammond.

    • NickC
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

      We need undergrounds in the major cities. This will relieve congestion on the main rail lines as well as on the roads.

  4. Mark B
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    Great news. But do we have any solutions the increased congestion this will undoubtedly cause at the other end ?

    For those that travel and work in London will undoubtedly know how difficult getting around is, especially during peak hours.

    There will come a point in time when no amount of money being thrown at a perceived problem will solve it. When we eventually reach gridlock government will begin to impose strict measures and increased costs on the user. One such area will be the use of personal transport.

    I think it is high time that we had limited terms in which politicians can stay in post. This will ensure a fresh supply of grey matter and will help tackle bubble / group think.

    Time to start living in the real world.

    • David Price
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

      A first step to damage limitation would be to restrict their sphere of influence – hence leave the EU. A next step would be for England to have devolved government.

      • Mark B
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 8:00 pm | Permalink


    • Peter
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      “For those that travel and work in London will undoubtedly know how difficult getting around is, especially during peak hours.”

      Yes. A few decades ago using back roads and free roadside parking made driving as far as the edge of Zone 1 feasible.

      In the centre it was usually more reliable to walk. The ‘drain’ from Bank to Waterloo was notoriously unreliable. Often closed for flooding, electrical faults etc. It was more sensible to head straight for Blackfriars bridge and walk down the side streets to Waterloo. The drain is much better now and even runs at weekends. I do note that Tubes are busy at all hours now, whereas at one time they were quiet outside the rush hour.

  5. Lifelogic.
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:03 am | Permalink

    Well the government are quite efficient at using technology to mug motorists – on parking, speeding, bus lanes, no right and left turns and the likes. But they have no incentive to use technology to improve journey times. The lefty/green crap belief system has been that cars and trucks are evil and should be mugged or deterred by creating congestion. They have intentionally caused congestion by blocking/constricting roads and redesigning junctions and not increasing capacity all over the place.

    It is all about giving the bureaucrats the right incentives. Are they there to provide a service of benefit to the public or merely to mug tax and inconvenience them. The latter clearly currently given all their actions.

    On train capacity, what would be the real demand for trains if cars and trains were taxes and subsidies on a fair level playing field basis or when driverless cars appear. It is already about 20 times more expensive to send seven people by train London to Manchester than by car. This despite very high tax on the car and car fuel and large subsidy for the train.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:11 am | Permalink

      Not only that but the train does not even go door to door, so you have taxis, bus and tube journeys at each end.

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        L/L There simple wouldn’t be enough public transport to cope if we all had to give up our cars. Of course, MP’s would carry on using cars and the rich while they tax the rest of us off the roads.

        • Lifelogic.
          Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

          Indeed doubtless with ZIL lanes only for politicians and bureaucrats.

    • NickC
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      Lifelogic, The lefty/green crap believers have indeed intentionally caused congestion; by “pavement bulging” among a number of other techniques. Oddly they seem to be the very same people who have an open door immigration policy.

      Now they intend to double our electrical energy production in 12 years or so due to the absurd government edict to stop selling new internal combustion engined cars by 2040 (who will buy an ice car after about 2030?). It won’t happen but it will cost a lot more than Brexit for it not to happen.

  6. margaret
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    I know you are talking about transport , but a very helpful technological advance is one where I visited my general practice yesterday and the book in system did not rely on the receptionist , instead the patients used a touch screen to add their own attendance time to the booking. This will save many arguments as to who was late and who was missed. The only problem I can see here is if a patient visits the loo in their allotted time but otherwise a great advance.

  7. Gofer
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Most previous employers required I made pretty useless journeys regularly. Why? I cannot give a satisfactory logical explanation. It seems in the nature of human alpha males and females to send people places.

  8. Original Richard
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    The obvious and biggest improvement would be the introduction of driverless trains.

    But any such increases in efficiency to improve our congested railways will eventually be swamped if our governments keep allowing mass migration into the country for a point will be reached when roads and railways will be taxed to curb use.

    • 37/6
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      Only maglev could bring this.

  9. Sakara Gold
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:33 am | Permalink

    I’m all for the application of new digital technology in transport – particularly electric vehicles which would give us all cleaner air and a substantial reduction in noise.

    I also live underneath the Heathrow/Gatwick aircraft stack system. I can affirm the infernal pulsating low frequency background hum is difficult to live with. I’ve discussed this with my (Conservative) councillors at both the ward and county level – neither of whom understood either the cause or John Redwood’s proposed solution.

    Our politicians spent years discussing and delaying new terminals at both airports. For once, I supported Boris Johnson and his proposal for a new, scaleable London airport on an island to be built in the Thames estuary. Unfortunately, as with most sensible solutions to intractable problems, his proposal was kicked out of touch by the Nimby faction in the south east.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Sakara Gold

      Why on earth did you move to live somewhere that you dont like and causes you problems? Most odd behaviour

      • Sakara Gold
        Posted May 16, 2018 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

        It’s was all to do with a woman. I was entranced by her good looks, blonde hair and greenish eyes. After 17 years of happy Co-habiting sadly she passed away and left me the property. For sentimental reasons I’ve stayed here.

  10. acorn
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Is this another Smart Border 2.0? Which by the way, was never an EU report, it was a blog sent to an EU committee that got conned by it. This digital answer to life the universe and everything has yet to be invented.

    Let’s hope that Option B on the railways, is less of a fantasy than Option B in Ireland.

    • mancunius
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

      “was never an EU report” –

      Well well: as so often, you are being extremely econmical with the vérité 🙂

      and begins with the words:
      “This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for
      Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the AFCO [=Constitutional Affairs] Committee…”

      The ‘research administrator’ is “Eeva ERIKSSON Eeva
      Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs
      European Parliamen, B-1047 Brussels

      The author is Lars KARLSSON, the former Director of the World Customs
      Organization, and Deputy Director General of Swedish Customs.

      Freight-transporting professionals in the industry, such as the MD at Europa Worldwide Group, described the report as ‘sensible and positive progress on Brexit.’

      But for you it’s a mere ‘blog’. Here it is, to give everyone the chance to make up their minds about whether your opinion should be trusted:

      Naturally, the Commission, alarmed that it might present a solution to a problem they are determined to make insoluble, have ignored and downplayed the report.

      • acorn
        Posted May 16, 2018 at 6:39 am | Permalink

        Karlsson is campaigning to become the next Secretary General of the WCO. The “paper” was more of a campaign leaflet than a factual account.

        He is now the EU commission’s official candidate for the WCO election this summer.

    • NickC
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

      Acorn, The UK does not want or need a “hard” border between us and Eire. It’s the EU that has a massive all encompassing tariff wall, or hard border.

  11. Bryan Harris
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    As well as better traffic management, we clearly need to be better at people and queue management – Computerisation can certainly help there – but barriers that allow one person through at a time will only continue to aggravate a poor streaming of passengers – Any security or ticket checking should be done on the plane or train – so that people can just get off the plane/train and move on to wherever they are going without hinderance..

  12. Transporter
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    When I was in UKIP before I had my head repaired, I met an ex-Labour Party guy who was “representing” somehow his trade union members by regular rail trips to Europe to converse with others from here and from other nation states. Of course 99% of their members did not know who they were or what they were doing. He confessed, his journeys were useless. He got paid plus expenses. Trades Union members could do more in freeing up rail seats after 29th March 2019. Stop paying your union subs!

  13. Anthony Harrison
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:48 am | Permalink

    Let us not forget the abysmal quality of our track and rolling stock. Returning to England from France by train (which I do once or twice a year) is a revelation: the French TGV and the Eurostar are excellent, but then one has the distinctly Third World experience of the FGW trains to the Westcountry – cramped, uncomfortable, very rough ride, grimy, primitive by comparison.

  14. Newmania
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:50 am | Permalink

    I`ll say one thing for John Redwood, at least he got the trains running on time ………

  15. Adam
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Those who claim that something cannot work, or is impossible, are merely revealing they are unaware of solutions that exist.

    Those, such as JR, who envision solutions spur achievement.

  16. The Prangwizard
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Let’s not be churlish. This is welcome but please don’t let anyone in authority think this will allow them to delay the decisions again on building wider roads, more rail track and more runways.

    • NickC
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      We need more undergrounds in the bigger English cities.

  17. Iain Gill
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    On the road system junctions and traffic lights are mostly intentionally setup to cause congestion. There is no tech solution to the fact the road planners, designers, and their political masters actively want to cause congestion as a way of supposedly encouraging people to not use cars. It is the political fashions which are dominant in the engineering consultancies used for road design, and the councils, and the highways agency, and the wider political bubble that are the problem and not a lack of tech.

  18. Ian wragg
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:44 am | Permalink

    I’m pleased that there are some sensible voices now driverless technology is proving unreliable.
    It is obvious that the computer can’t interact with humans so testing driverless cars on public highway was always stupid.
    Unless the road network is remade specifically for driverless cars it is certain to fail.
    I hear the Irish government is warming to the Customs Partnership now everyone says that it is a stupid idea. Start something that won’t work and 5 years down the line cancel it and hey ho we’re still in the EU.
    May must think we are all thick.

    • Richard
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

      More ‘extend & pretend’ from Mrs May today:

      “Tuesday 15 May: Cabinet sub-committee meeting. Decision now expected “next week”. What will they tell us next week?

      And this is without mentioning that Number 10 is considering delaying the Commons vote on the customs union until the autumn, which would wreck our negotiating hand. And appears to be considering extending the transition period for customs, which would further delay Brexit. C’mon Theresa, get on with it…”

  19. Ian wragg
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    We didn’t vote for a new partnership. We voted OUT.

    • Chris
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      D Telegraph Letters today have a pretty clear view of the Brexit disaster:
      “Letters: Michel Barnier drinks champagne as British negotiators sign cheques and box us in”.

      The EU negotiators are making complete fools of Theresa May and her negotiating team. What a disgrace. The UK is being made to look weak and incompetent by a person who apparently is totally unqualified and unwilling to carry out Brexit. She should be removed and quickly if the UK is to have a future, let alone the “Conservative” Party.

  20. JimS
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Some traffic light schemes work very well, they are integrated and work on the principle of ‘flushing out the junction’, i.e. they let the traffic out before letting more in.

    Then there are those idiotic systems on roundabouts! Get rid of all the lights ON the roundabout and just control entry when it is busy. I believe there is/was a scheme in Australia that had red/amber lights with no green, normal traffic rules applying when no light is displayed. There are far too many schemes in this country where green lights release more traffic into streams held up by red lights ahead. The councils then paint yellow box junctions that often extend beyond a driver’s visibility, making it impossible to check if the exit is clear.

  21. Know-Dice
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 8:01 am | Permalink

    “We need the similar adoption of better technology for traffic lights”

    Whilst you want traffic to flow cleanly, it is clear that Reading Council don’t. How often do you sit at a traffic light junction in the Reading area with no traffic moving and the junction empty!!!

    After spending a week in Norway, it is clear that parts of the UK are over populated…

    • Adam
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

      Overpopulation is the fundamental cause of many of the transport gripes expressed. There are far too many people competing for facilities that are too closely cramped together with others, & ever-scarcer space.

      Effective remedies prevent causes. Technology helps, but is more limited, such as relieving only symptoms.

  22. Ed Mahony
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

    I think the UK needs a couple of double-decker train lines (in particular, into Waterloo, and another, perhaps, connecting London to the Oxford-Cambridge High/Tech/Digital Corridor). I accept there are big difficulties and financial costs – so lots is not an option. But one or two lines is and should be, i think.

    Yes, to help over-crowding (for many commuters I know, the train is a killer) but also for aesthetic / Brand-Britain reasons.

    We could have beautiful-looking, iconic trains, inside and out (like the London Red Bus + the London Black Cab). The aesthetic value would also have a positive impact on Brand Britain (and British Patriotism). It would boost the Oxford-Cambridge High/Tech/Digital Corridor. And help hundreds of thousands / millions of commuters into Waterloo.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

      All it takes is one brilliant transport designer to design an iconic double-decker train (we’ve done it before in the UK with the London Red Bus and The London Black Cab – why not with a double-decker train – perfect material for). Just think how one building like the Gherkin (beautiful building, i think) has transformed the City of London – it’s iconic. (And look at how the London Eye has now become an icon for London – all good for the economy in general and tourism).

      I also like the idea of an iconic double-decker train linking other parts of the country to London.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

        But just one or two tracks to start off – expensive.

  23. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, I see the Telegraph is running with the front page headline:

    “Back to drawing board on customs”.

    and if that is true then it is good news, albeit that newspapers ran similar headlines two weeks ago, for example here on May 2nd:

    and all that happened was that Theresa May tried to impose her preferred design.

    However in line with my comment on Sunday here:

    I think it is vitally important to have at least two separate drawing boards, one for the Irish land border and at least one other for the remaining UK-EU borders.

    It has after all been acknowledged by all parties that the Irish situation is “unique”, and therefore it could be that the best post-Brexit arrangements will also be “unique”.

    For example, the government of France has not flatly ruled out any new infrastructure at or around its various borders with the UK, or hinted that if it doesn’t get its way then that could provoke a renewal of nationalist terrorism.

    The question that the UK government needs to ask, and which apparently has not been seriously asked so far even though the need became clear last autumn, is this:

    “When we leave the EU, precisely what will change to compel us to react with changes on our side of the land border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic?”

    Does the UK government believe, for example, that immediately after we have left the EU the Irish government will start to turn a blind eye to the production or importation of goods which contravene the EU regulations embedded in Irish law, provided that those illicit goods will all be sent across the border into the north?

    If not, why should we feel the need to start inspecting stuff as it crosses the land border into the north when we haven’t been inspecting that same kind of stuff for a quarter of a century, since the advent of the EU Single Market?

  24. agricola
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    Sounds like belated but good news. I would suggest we need more than electronic signalling to increase the frequency of trains. To improve safety we need a real time display in the drivers cab not only of where the train is on the track but where the earlier and later trains are too. We also need a speed control override to ensure safe spacing or halting in an emergency. The driver becomes a systems manager as do pilots in airliners, saving their hands on skills for emergencies.

    It is reported from Japan today that a train driver profusely apologised for departing 25 seconds early. This is not new, when I was there some twenty years ago apologies would be offered were the train more than ten seconds late in arriving. The system in operation then was that you bought a ticket which told you where to stand on the platform. The carriage door arrived in front of you. On entry you went to your reserved seat and enjoyed an air hostess type service for food , cigarettes etc., until you reached your destination. In the UK you would need to import even more Europeans to offer such because the Brits find good service demeaning.

    • Anonymous
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

      – monocultural
      – uncrowded
      – disciplined

      No nimbyism. The rail, towns and business districts are all planned and built together with no care for history or environment.

      I notice a large number of EU dialects making announcements on our trains btw.

    • 37/6
      Posted May 16, 2018 at 5:44 am | Permalink

      The powerful Japanese unions must be the reason why the Shinkansen route is not driverless. *sarcasm @ duncan above*

  25. Andy
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Technology like you suggest can help with these things at the margins – a few extra trains, shorter delays at lights – but the fundamental problem will remain. A huge lack of capacity on our railways and roads caused by decades of under-investment by parties of all colours.

    London finally gets Crossrail next year. We have only been talking about it for 30 years. Meanwhile Paris already has five such hybrid overground/underground lines. They didn’t magically appear – the French built them.

    We should already be working – and by that I mean actually constructing – Crossrails 2, 3 and 4 already. But we’ve still got decades more talk before anything happens on even the first of these.

    HS2 became a long running saga because the case for it was made about speed and not capacity. Now I think high speed rail is excellent – (we should be on high speed 7, 8 or 9 by now and if we were China we would be) – but the real benefit of new railways is the space it frees up on old ones. If it is done properly, HS2 will allow fast London to Birmingham and Manchester trains to be removed from other lines – freeing up much needed capacity for extra trains on commuter lines.

    Boston dug up all its main roads and buried them. The project was badly run – but the actual idea is very neat. Why don’t we do this? Two giant tunnels through London – one north/south the other east/west. We have long since known that the M4 flyover into London will need replacing soon – where are the spades digging the eight lane tunnel?

    I am all for making the best use of what we have. An extra 4 trains an hour will help. Smart traffic lights will help. But we need game changers. We need Victorian style ambition – and we have no one to provide such leadership. And a simple reason is that the Department for Transport is usually considered an afterthought – and is usually run by a minister either with no interest in transport or with little competence. Usually both.

  26. Bob
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

    So what is the position on Galileo.
    Will the EU try to block Britain from using the system it helped to develop?

    • Richard1
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

      it is very absurd. with these kind of antics anyone who was a floating voter in the referendum would welcome a chance to give a definitive gesture of defiance to the dysfunctional aggression of these bureaucrats.

      I assume at some point the national leaders will stop this nonsense.

    • LukeM
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 9:49 am | Permalink

      We’ll have to develop our own GPS system..Galileo is EU and Out is Out and that’s what the divorce talks are supposed to be about

      • Edward2
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

        Not correct.
        The technology, IT security, technology and investment is mainly UK based.

      • libertarian
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        Luke M

        We developed most of Galileo , oh and its run from Portsmouth . Galileo is a European Space Agency venture and both Switzerland and Canada are members so the EU it is not. However we are already building our own system as we own most of the technology. The EU is going to face a massive bill if they kick us out of the project as well as huge delays

      • Ki
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

        We are developing our own system with Canada and New Zealand. Galileo is behind schedule, much of it was done by us, we wrote encryption & the system won’t work that well without our ground antennas on Falklands & Ascension Island. We also have one of the best satellite manufacturing units in Portsmouth. EU are full of hot air, they can’t operate it effectively without Russian help.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink


      No development rebate and charge for finding new “partner”…

      I guess the EU countries don’t want any security support from the UK.

    • Ian wragg
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:02 am | Permalink

      Seeing how most of the encryption is being done by UK companies I’m sure we could hack it or disable it. Then we have May grovelling at every turn conceding everything.

    • MikeP
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      It’s reported that Barnier says he’s been misunderstood on this and that the UK’s ongoing involvement is assured providing the right controls are in place for a “Third Country”

    • Andy
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Brexiteers voted out of Galileo.

      The ultimate arbiter of disputes involving countries, companies or contractors working on Galileo is the European Court of Justice.

      And that crosses a Tory Brexiteer red line.

      Ironic that these people are angry at the impact of the red lines that they themselves have set.

      • Anonymous
        Posted May 16, 2018 at 5:49 am | Permalink

        We didn’t doubt for a minute that tough hands would need to be played by the British government.

        As it is we have an upper house working for the EU with even less chance of that happening.

      • libertarian
        Posted May 16, 2018 at 12:45 pm | Permalink


        As always you display an alarming lack of detachment from reality. The final arbiter of whether we continue to put our technology & money into Galileo is US, the UK government and the individual companies working on the technology. At the moment we have already made the decision to start work on our own system…

  27. Cynic
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    Traffic lights often don’t change for cyclists, and one has to wait for a car or other vehicle to trigger them. Perhaps a button for cyclists to press would solve the problem where there is little other traffic on the cyclists’ road.

    • agricola
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      My experience is that cyclists do not stop for traffic lights, pedestrian crossings , and have a contempt for one way streets and pedestrians on pavements. Cyclists are a menace.

      • hefner
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

        All cyclists? Ridiculous!!!

        • Edward2
          Posted May 15, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

          Only the ones in lycra

        • The Prangwizard
          Posted May 15, 2018 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

          Yes, I’d say all cyclists. Even in my small village they weave about the road and ride on the pavements.

        • Lifelogic.
          Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

          Not all, but a rather high proportion. Mainly a menace to themselves.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 9:50 am | Permalink

      Cyclist rarely take any notice of red traffic lights in London anyway. They do not like to slow down if they can possibly avoid it. Doubtless this contributes to the fact that cycling in London is circa 25 times more dangerous per mile than driving a car.

      No the Lord want to kill a free press too I see.

    • Know-Dice
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      True and dedicated cycle lanes fully separated from other traffic not just a white line separator.

      On the other hand certainly in London, cyclist just ignore traffic lights 🙁

    • MikeP
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink

      Don’t many cyclists just ignore the lights ?

    • ferdinand
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      Traffic lights shoal operate the same for every type of ‘vehicle’ but cyclists should not be able to jump queues. They should take their turn in a line of cars. At present when they go to the front they then hold up all the cars behind who often cannot overtake. Simple – cyclists should not overtake vehicle queues.

    • forthurst
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 11:25 am | Permalink

      Traffic signals do not apply to cyclists.

      • Lifelogic.
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        No, because they think they are saving the World! Dressed it their Lycra. Actually running transport on a fuel system of perhaps steak pie, chips and beer is usually rather less energy efficient than running a small car or motor bike on petrol or diesel. If not perhaps we should go back to horses and hay or design a steak and chip fuelled car?

        • hefner
          Posted May 15, 2018 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

          It needs much effort to beat such a ridiculous comment: do you not think that the various courier and Deliveroo riders are likely to be much more sporty (and potentially more health conscious) than one whose main exercise seems to be moving his fingers to write this type of rather stupid comments. Get a life!

    • Driver
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 12:34 pm | Permalink

      Anyone with a car or truck driving licence found riding a bicycle should have their licence revoked. They have not learned by experience…or they could very well have severely impaired eyesight.

  28. duncan
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    Wanted – a Tory party and a Tory PM who will deliver on Brexit as opposed to this sham of a PM who continues her concerted attempts to circumvent the result of the EU referendum

    We even have the Labour party conspiring to destroy Brexit. Starmer and his grubby and treacherous actions in undermining our leaving of the EU

    There’s only solution to getting out of the EU and delivering the wishes of the 52% – GET RID OF MAY NOW

    We don’t want her
    She isn’t a Tory
    She’s an unprincipled and manipulative PM
    I blame my party’s MPs for undermining the UK with its decision to elect this charlatan of a politician as our leader
    (untrue allegation removed ed)
    Your actions will be challenged at the next GE

    • Jagman84
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 11:54 am | Permalink

      I am grateful that she called an unnecessary GE. Just think where we might be now without the influence of the DUP, especially with the Irish border ‘non-problem’.

    • graham1946
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      The big problem with getting rid of May is who would want to lead this rabble? Last time it came down to a coronation because in the end no-one really wanted the job.
      They fight like rats in a sack. Whether we leave the EU or not they will never settle down to responsible government, there are too many vested interests all trying to get their own way for their own purposes. The interests of the nation don’t come into it.

  29. Peter Martin
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Network Rail tell me they can only run 20 trains an hour on a piece of track

    It’s not just about the signalling. The stop time at stations has to be considered. If we allow 2 minutes per train at each platform and then a margin of 1 min between trains, we have 20 trains per hour. So to increase the throughput we have to design trains with more and wider doors so that passengers can exit and enter quicker. They have to become more like underground trains essentially.

    The easiest solution is to have longer trains on extended platforms.

  30. Lifelogic
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    Is it really sensible for Parliament to devote very expensive parliamentry time to the sad death of Tessa Jowell, whatever her merits. What is wrong with a memorial service? It is a total abuse of very large amount of tax payers money.

    Then again perhaps it stop MPs passing another idiotic law, tax increase or new damaging regulations.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      And traditional Christianity is NOT about destroying our material life (this is gnosticism – a heresy condemned by traditional Christianity) – but all it’s trying to do is that our approach to the material world is rightly ordered, and part of this is also to enjoy the spiritual life as well, during our earthly life, not just the material gifts which can be amazing too. And never turning any of these good things into icons before God, because then they become bad.

      • Ed Mahony
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

        Apologies – this proselytising.

    • Ed Mahony
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Apologies, Sir, for proselytising earlier on (about the benefit of traditional Christianity to individuals as opposed to discussing it in the context of public life).

  31. graham1946
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I hope digital signals work better than digital radio. The time signals are 5 seconds late, calls from a studio to a nearby location work like old fashioned trans Atlantic calls with time delays and there is hardly ever a news programme or phone in where the line does not break down at a critical moment. I used to like to watch a football match on telly with commentary from my am radio, but its impossible now. A goal can be scored on the radio whilst the ball is still at the other end of the pitch on the telly.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and I have noticed a deterioration in the FM signal in many areas as if they powers that be are reducing power so as to force people on to Digital Radio. Unfortunately digital radio is now already rather over taken by radio over wifi or mobile data. Then you can listen to anything when you want, when you want and pause it as needed. Or download in advance.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        Yes. I am sure I heard a week or two ago that the government have abandoned the idea of fm switch off now which was due about 2020 I think. About the only time when common sense has prevailed if so, although they want to sell off the bandwidth for the money so seems a bit unlikely. FM works perfectly well without the extra electricity consumption and battery munching of digital radios.

  32. Peter Martin
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    The speed limit on a road is a factor in its carrying capacity. If traffic is moving too quickly the capacity is reduced because the safe gap between vehicles has to increase. If the traffic is moving too slowly then it is also lower for more obvious reasons. I did a calculation a while ago, using data from the highway code on stopping distances, which suggested that the optimal speed was approx 25 mph but that may be too slow for many drivers to bear.

    This will also be a factor in optimal use of rail lines. Obviously, the faster the trains the fewer than can be safely running on any length of track at any one time. But I don’t have any data to hand on the stopping times of high speed trains.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      Stopping times do not always matter if you can ensure that trains never have to stop in an emergency! Or if all the cars/train in a row can all be slowed simultaneously when needed.

    • Mark
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      The optimal traffic speed with human drivers is said to be about 50mph, according to studies by ETH, Zürich, who are somewhat expert at traffic modelling. The problem with faster speeds at high density is that tailgating leads to reaction braking chains that cause traffic jams that can extend for miles. This can be solved with adaptive cruise control operating on about 1 vehicle in 4: ACC avoids sharp braking and reaction braking chains, and allows a closer vehicle spacing at higher speed with safety, because the system reacts in a millisecond, rather than the much slower reactions of humans.

      • Peter Martin
        Posted May 16, 2018 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

        According to the highway code the stopping distances at 10mph, 20mph and 30mph are 20 ft, 40ft and 75ft

        We can take a car to be about 15ft long

        So the throughput of a single carriage of vehicles travelling at 10mph and at the safe stopping distance = 5280 x 10 /(15+20) = 1508 vehicles per hour

        At 20 mph: 5280 x 20/(15 +40) = 1920 vehicles per hour

        At 30 mph: 5280 x 30/(15 +75) = 1760 vehicles per hour.

        So you can see that speeding the traffic up to 20mph from 10 mph increases the throughput. But if it is speeded up to 30 mph the throughput drops.

  33. MikeP
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    I don’t share many people’s negativity on this. I had 11 years of the 75-minute red-eye commute from JR’s constituency to London, not pleasant but had to be done. Now retired and stilla regular rail traveller I’m pleased to be able to do my bit for the TOCs’ load factors in off peak hours, particularly on the South Western Railway and GWR lines for our area which are undergoing huge change, all for a (generally) better and more frequent customer experience.

  34. mancunius
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    But John, ‘20% more trains’ will simply mean 20% more trains delayed or cancelled due to staff shortages/leaves on the line/signalling problems. And 20% more unhappy passengers.

    Until the structure of privatisation is reformed, franchises are brought to heel and transport is de-unionised, there will be no improvement.

  35. Mactheknife
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    As far as traffic lights go I think studies have shown that where you turn them off and let traffic flow normally, congestion significantly decreases. They are overused by local authorities and certainly in my area where they have been added to traffic islands the congestion has got much worse.
    They are as bad as so called ‘smart’ all lane running motorways that slow you down deliberately by switching on speed restrictions when there is light traffic, saying there is an incident when there is not, and this week alone I have had ‘Report of Animals’ and ‘Pedestrians in Carriageway’, where neither were there. The government then has the nerve to say that congestions costs the country billions. I suggest they look at their own policies first.

    • kzb
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      I think JR has completely missed the point with traffic lights. The whole point is not to speed up traffic it is to slow it down, and make the experience as miserable and slow as possible. This is justified on misrepresented safety figures, but the real agenda is to discourage travel by car.

      We need a complete clear-out of upper management layers in the Highways Agency and local authority transport departments. These people are hammering down the coffin lid on what is left of local economies.

  36. a-tracy
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Better technology for traffic lights is an excellent idea. In my town the High Street has two sets of traffic lights, it is impossible to get through the second set the High Street traffic is held up twice for five minutes instead of two/half which doesn’t sound much but it is unnecessary, the second set of lights could be recalibrated to go on green as the previously held up-set approached there is pressure balance traffic light technology already, to make things worse the first set of lights had a fortune spent on them making no change, no addional improvements for the High Street, weeks of disruption for nothing.

    The bypass has two new spurs added in recent years to accommodate new houses, giving priority to the housing estate so one car that pulls up at the lights triggers a light change affecting twenty cars in a matter of moments.

    The business park has no left turn light to get off during evening rush two hours and the road should have two lanes instead of one as people make two anyway with the left turn on when main road traffic is held up. Council road designers actually need decent mathematicians to calculate these things, when they changed the lights a few months ago it was taking 20 extra minutes to get off the park – it was just changing them on a whim – my husband worked out the mathematical calculation that was causing the problem and they changed it back much to everyone’s relief that works on the park, however, there are further improvements that could be made at low cost.

  37. 37/6
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    More trains and carriages.

    When ?

    • Jagman84
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      Being built and commissioned as we type! With even more to come. That’s without HS2.

  38. Denis Cooper
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 12:09 pm | Permalink

    Off topic again, but highly topical, I have just been notified about this new report:

    “Brexit: Customs and Regulatory Arrangements in the Future Partnership Agreement”

    I have not yet had a chance to read it all, but this stands out on page 15:

    “businesses who export to the EU tell us that it is strongly in their interest to have a single set of regulatory standards that mean they can sell into the UK and EU markets.”

    There in a nutshell is the fundamental philosophical fallacy which has underlain our mistaken involvement with the EU’s politically driven “single market” model right from the start, that because the 6% of UK businesses who export 12% of UK GDP to the EU want a single set of regulatory standards, the EU standards, that justifies the imposition of EU laws on the entire country and its economy and all its individual citizens.

    And now Theresa May and her Brexit negotiators are going beyond even that stupidity to suppose that the about 0.1% of UK GDP which is exported across the Irish land border in itself justifies complete EU compliance by the entire UK economy.

    • Chris
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      Big business and Remainers spotted a weak, dithering and uncommitted PM right from the beginning. The relentless challenges to Brexit almost look as thought they have followed a script to ensure that Theresa May ends up saying that she has no choice but to have some sort of customs union i.e. we have to have some fudged “Brexit” because of opposition and time pressures. Just think how President Trump would have dealt with Brexit. We’d have been out before the two years and starting to regain pride in our nation, regrow our entrepreneurial spirit, and would already be profiting hugely from our independence, both financially and psychologically. Instead we have to put up with what I consider to be an unprincipled bureaucrat with left liberal/cultural Marxist tendencies. May has no idea of what a true Conservative is, and she has no intention apparently of finding out. With her we are apparently condemned to a future with the stranglehold of the EU still firmly round and in us, with a population jaded and resigned to ever growing bureaucracy and taxes thought up by grey bureaucrats, and legislation focusing ever more on such things as body parts and identity, instead of things like jobs, controlling immigration, rebuilding infrastructure, lessening the stranglehold of red tape and taxes. Throw in massive social engineering, fracturing of society, communities and families; ever increasing costs of food and energy controlled by the globalists; and lack of hope and there you have it. Life under the Conservatives with Theresa May and the EU.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted May 16, 2018 at 7:02 am | Permalink

        Well, the result of the referendum is compelling the UK establishment to work against its own deep pro-EU grain and many of its members are clearly finding that very difficult even if they make sincere efforts. Which some of them are not, some of them are on the side of the EU. Then the pro-EU media start criticising politicians who were previously Remainers for failures over the withdrawal process and characterising them as useless “Brexiteers” even though they obviously were not.

  39. agricola
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

    As soon as possible would you be kind enough to produce a diary entry on the options for a trade deal currently being considered by government. Here in the wilderness we are told that there are two. I won’t give them names, but hope you can identify each. The first is the one that Boris described as “Crazy”. It does not seem too promising. The second I have heard described as impractical without years of investment in a new electronic internet scheme. This I find hard to believe baring in mind we must already have such a scheme in place for trade with the EU and for that matter the rest of the World.

    I trust the Irish border problem is manufactured politicking by the Taoiseach and Barnier to please their own ends.

    Is it too simplistic to say we require a zero tariff trade treaty on goods and financial services or should this prove impossible a reversion to WTO rules. Either way we must already have electronic systems in place as this is what we are currently doing with the EU and the rest of the World.

    I have read that on reversion to WTO rules, it can be insisted that current trade arrangements continue for a period of up to ten years. Is this written into WTO rules as a fact or is it a bit of a political smoke screen. It may have been Jacob Rees- Mogg who drew my attention to it.

    Reply I have set out my views many times on this issue. Check with my last piece on the subject.

    • Sir Joe Soap
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      It would be interesting to know your views as to a realistic deadline for T May to reach the conclusion that most others have now reached-that the EU won’t do a deal. Presumably she can’t still be prevaricating into next April? Or can she? What actually happens if nothing happens, so to speak?

    • Andy
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

      There is a solution which deals with the Irish border, which makes customs a non-issue, which solves citizens rights, which removes Open Skies and medicine regulation as a problem, will see our economy immediately boom, which will restore our country’s diplomatic standing and which solve the issues for Gibraltar, the Falklands and elsewhere.

      That solution is to ditch the failed Tory Brexit. To respect the CURRENT will of her people – which is narrowly to remain. To respect the future wishes of the people which will be overwhelmingly to remain.

      Indeed the only problem this will create is that there will be a bunch of angry pensioners around for a while – but you’ll have have that with Brexit anyway.

      Problem all sorted.

      • Edward2
        Posted May 16, 2018 at 6:06 am | Permalink

        I expect the House of Commons will have another vote soon.
        Like previous votes it will vote to leave the EU.

        It seems it is remainers like you, who are all angry Andy.

      • graham1946
        Posted May 16, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

        The simplest of all is a simple FTA which the EU will come round to in the end. All the Customs and Northern Ireland nonsense will then be irrelevant.

        Where are your figures for the ‘current’ will of the people and of course you know exactly what the future wishes of the people will be. Any idea of next weeks winning lottery numbers?? Just another middle aged keyboard warrior who has leaned nothing in his 44 years on this earth and expects people to take his views seriously.

      • libertarian
        Posted May 16, 2018 at 12:48 pm | Permalink


        Its ok everyone we can scrap democracy gypsy rose Andy can see the future so no need to vote he can tell the result from the as yet unborn

        If you want help saving your business Andy give me a shout

  40. mancunius
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    Why is so much presenteeism still required in Central London offices? A friend who’s in advertising was telling me recently that he has to attend ‘face-to-face client meetings’.
    So he spends the day travelling up and back from the south coast, and his client travels in from East Anglia …Hours of travel time on Network Rail for a one-hour sales pitch that could be done on Skype.
    Surely if we put more UK resources into ultra high-speed broadband this would all be unnecessary. I have clients in the USA, France, Germany and Italy, with whom I converse and deliver work, info and discussions via swift email exchange, phone discussion, and skype. Nobody ever demands my physical presence in Rome, Paris, Berlin, Munich or Los Angeles. We all have too much to do.
    If I want to eat lunch, I do it in my own time and at my own expense. Having done so much of it in the past, on the organizational treadmill, I know for certain that a ‘working lunch’ is a snare and a delusion.

    • libertarian
      Posted May 15, 2018 at 5:11 pm | Permalink


      Totally agree , you are right. This is yet another indication of our political class being way behind the curve. How about tax breaks for working at home too?

      This week I conducted very in depth business meetings in Pakistan and Turkey, both from my office at home , if my broadband was better it would have been easier still

  41. a-tracy
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    The politically biased balance in the Lords is going to have to be sorted out soon.

  42. mancunius
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

    Off-Topic, but Barnier has just pointed out to the EU that it is unnecessary for the Cabinet to argue between a customs ‘partnership’ and MaxFac, as neither will be accepted by the EU.
    Unless May is terminally stupid, she must have understood this this – so what is she up to?

  43. Raymond
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

    ‘We need the similar adoption of better technology for traffic lights.’ There are systems used such as MOVA, SCOOT, and varius methods of Urban Traffic Control.

  44. DrakeB
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    So instead of east europeans we’re going to have millions of turks migrating here instead..all courtesy of Mrs May’s new relationship with Erdogan..crazy stuff

  45. Eh?
    Posted May 15, 2018 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    Is Theresa May Scottish?

  46. Atlas
    Posted May 16, 2018 at 12:13 pm | Permalink


    Digital signalling is something that I would support, provided the ability of a train to brake in a sufficiently short distance to avoid a ‘shunt’ collision with a halted train in front is assured. Sometimes obstructions on the line cause emergency braking, so any system has to allow for a sufficient gap between trains so as not to make a crisis out of a drama.

  47. Andy
    Posted May 16, 2018 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

    Talking of digital, back in the real world where government IT fumbles are never ending, HMRC has basically canned a lot of the Making Tax Digital (MTD) projects to focus on Brexit (see recent FT/Accountancy Age articles).

    What I hear from people involved is that HMRC didn’t have the management capability or the developer capacity to successfully deploy the long-delayed MTD anyway, so this is a useful political fudge to spend time on Brexit related projects, which will do doubt also be inadequate (if ever delivered…)

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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