Roddy Graham's Blog: 19 March 2009 - Joined up transport
19 March 2009
When will this government ever learn? It seems that despite the economic spiral, it is hell-bent on spending money as if it was going out of fashion.
The latest example is a £7.75m UK Transport Research Centre. Hold your breath - it's going to shape the future of the UK transport industry! Actually, thinking about it, don't bother, otherwise you'll soon be dead.
UKTRC, unveiled by transport minister, Andrew Adonis, is based in three places - Imperial College London, University College London and the University of Leeds. That's a great start - a centre in three places. Now that's what I call really joined up thinking but then again Government is notorious for chalking up expenses, so why make any exception?
Apparently, the UKTRC will draw on scientific advisers from across the UK to develop a sustainable transport future. How many times have we been promised that one?
Now I may be accused of prejudice but our neighbours here in Wokingham, TRL, seem to have an unbelievable wealth of expertise in the field of transportation. TRL, Mr Adonis, stands for Transport Research Laboratory. Pay them a visit. We've also got MIRA. Why the need for yet another think-tank? Now's the time to economise and make use of the resources we already have at our disposal.
And, as I've stated many times before, we don't want promises but action. Time to 'walk the talk' Government. We are still waiting for that integrated transport policy promised so long ago.
While I'm on my soap box we also need less degrees in kite flying and more degrees in what will help drive this country forward. So when will Government stop trying to get everyone into higher education and concentrate on delivering degree courses that matter to students with the necessary academic qualifications at prices they can afford? We're in an economic downturn and the talk this week is of course fees doubling! Our students are debt-ridden enough without setting them the fine example of loading them with even more debt or turning them off a university education for good. The future of our country seems to be darker by the day.
Sounds to me that on various fronts we need to get back to basics.