The Real World is a coalition of 30 campaigning groups and charities aimed at ensuring that the issues that matter get on to the political agenda. Transport 2000 is one of its partners. Other groups involved in transport campaigning and T2000 affiliates include Alarm UK (the anti-roads campaign), Friends of the Earth, Sustrans, the Town & Country Planning Association and the World Wide Fund for Nature. Also included are well known anti-poverty campaigners, both in this country and internationally, such as Oxfam and Save the Children; and groups which aim to change our political culture such as Charter 88 and the New Economics Foundation.
The motivation behind the formation of the coalition is the recognition that all the aims are inter-related to some extent. They all reflect on the failings of an outlook that considers Gross National Product to be the aim of all political activity. If we can challenge that outlook, it will become much easier to solve the problems that beset our society. In particular, the Real World wants to ensure that social and environmental issues play a full part in the political debate prior to the next general election, and to avoid the fiasco in 1992 when the minutiae of taxation became the main preoccupation of the media to the exclusion of virtually all else.
The various problems are also inter-related in other ways. For example the car culture is a main cause of environmental destruction; but it is also related to the polarisation of wealth (the more people spend on cars the less they are prepared to contribute towards maintaining our social fabric); the distortion of democracy (the needs of people who don't have cars are marginalised); and the destruction of community life (because close-knit neighbourhoods have been replaced by amorphous suburbs).
The Real World has set out an action programme for the next government. Put this to your parliamentary candidates and ask them if they will endorse these aims, make them a feature of their campaigns, and press for them within their party, and within Parliament if elected. Parties are asked to commit themselves to implementing the action programme within their first term. The programme is as follows:
The Real World can be contacted via the Town & Country Planning Association's office at 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AS, tel. 0171 930 8903. They have published free leaflets ``Welcome to the Real World'' and ``Action Programme for Government'' (from which much of the above is summarised), together with a book ``The Politics of the Real World'' obtainable from the TCPA or other member organisations at the reduced price of GBP 5 + 50p p&p, compared with GBP 6.99 from bookshops. The book includes brief descriptions and contact addresses for each member organisation.
Transport 2000 HQ has sent us copies of a local groups handbook with the aim of encouraging local groups to be more active. If you want a copy, ring or write to Basil Bonner -- there's no charge to branch and national members. If you would like to volunteer yours services in any capacity, ring or write to Graham Hill. Addresses and phone numbers are at the head of this newsletter.
The time has come round again for renewing your membership. Unless you have already paid or are a national supporter, your 1996 subscription will be due before we issue our next newsletter. A renewal form is enclosed.
Members who wish to attend Cambridge Friends of the Earth Transport Campaign meetings should note that Cambridge FOE will be vacating their Bath House office at the end of this month. Contact David Earl for details of future meetings.
The Secretary will be away until the end of July. Correspondence about Transport 2000 should be addressed to Basil Bonner at the address at the head of this newsletter. The Secretary can be contacted as follows. Between 29 April and 22 May: send mail to the Department of Mathematics, University of Chicago, 5734 University Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA. Fax: 001 312 702 9787. Between 28 May (possibly later) and 28 July: send mail to Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Concordia University, 1455 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West, Montreal, Quebec H3G 1M8, Canada. Fax: 001 514 848 4511. Short messages can be transmitted by writing to or ringing Andrew Simpson at the Secretary's address and asking him to email them on.
Finally, Transport 2000 HQ has sent us a model constitution which we plan to discuss at an Extraordinary General Meeting in September, together with other business deferred from our AGM. Details of when and where will be in our next newsletter. We have made some amendments to the model; any comments on the following should be addressed to one of our Committee (Basil or Graham while the Secretary's away). A copy of the proposed constitution is enclosed with this newsletter. Note that, as stated therein, in future we plan to hold our AGM's in the autumn; this is to fit in with a requirement from Transport 2000 HQ for us to submit our financial statements to them at this time of year, as a condition for the receipt of ``kickbacks'' from National Supporters who live in our area.
The privatisation process continues to disadvantage rail users. It has been leaked to the press that the new all-line railway timetable will no longer include any details of bus services, and will also omit many connectional facilities. And ticketing regulations were changed in January; a key alteration is that one can no longer use more than one ticket to cover a given journey unless the train stops at the station where one is changing from one ticket to the other, or unless one ticket is a season ticket or both are zonal tickets. This would seem to mean, for example, that anyone wishing to use a London Travelcard to travel outside London will have to pay extra or use a train that stops at the boundary station.
A recent issue of the Railway Development Society newsletter highlighted the potential for integrating trams with conventional trains using the same stretches of track -- a system that has been perfected in the German city of Karlsruhe. A description of the system (in English) can be obtained from the RDS by sending a cheque for GBP 1 to Tony Smale (RDS Sales Officer), Broadheath, Fishers Hill, Catisfield, Fareham, Hants PO15 5QY. This handout describes the model as being suitable for city regions of at least 200,000 people -- and Cambridge falls into this category. A tramway might also help to solve the problem of providing the needed link between St Ives and Huntingdon.
The March issue of Travel Times contains details of the cuts agreed by the February meeting of the Traffic & Minor Improvements Committee, whose agenda we reported in the last newsletter. The main modifications are that Sunday route 336 is extend to March (and renumbered 337) to replace part of the 380, and that service 399 (Huntingdon to Littlehey Prison) has been reprieved pending its referral to the Transport Services Committee. We are continuing to press for extension of the new combined 473/7 (St Neots to St Ives) to Ely (linking with the 19 to Cambridge and 156 to Ipswich) and St Neots Tesco (linking with the X5 to Cambridge and Oxford), but have made some modifications to make it easier to amalgamate this route with the 399. Otherwise our comments on these changes are as in our last newsletter. Apart from the above there is little to say.
We understand that the Sunday Rover ticket mentioned in Travel Times (April) will cost GBP 5 adult with reductions for OAP's, children and families. There will be a network maps covering all participating counties. We have not yet seen any timetable publicity, though, and don't know to what extent people will find it easier to get network-wide timetables.
The following services have changed or will change soon:
We have some information on summer Sunday services in various counties:
The Herts school bus services referred to in the last issue serve St Edmunds College on the A10, providing links with Cheshunt, Bps Stortford, Hitchin (via Baldock) and Welwyn GC. These are in the current East Herts timetable which also shows the 446 route linking Saffron Walden and Brent Pelham. In the same area it is worthy of note that the last 331 (17.10 from Hertford) links with the 146 to Cambridge on Thursday and Friday. Cambridge Coach Services has started a new route 76 linking Heathrow and Stansted with Dunmow, Braintree, Colchester and Ipswich. Another new airport service is the Chiltern Rail Link, which from June will link Heathrow with Gerrards Cross. The 724 will no longer serve Stansted (as on Sundays). Route 290 (Oxford-London via High Wycombe) has been curtailed at Uxbridge.
Routes between Haverhill and Essex have seen minor changes. There have been major cuts to the 32 (Milton Keynes to Oxford), no doubt as a result of competition with Stagecoach Express X5. Residents of villages like Gawcott and Finmere will not be thanking bus deregulation ! Finally, a new postbus service has started linking Thetford with Watton and villages beyond, almost as far as the A47 (which has regular services between Norwich, Kings Lynn and Peterborough. Use this to visit the Peddars Way and other places of interest in the Watton area (Mon-Fri only).
General information about buses in Derbyshire, including recent changes, can be accessed through the World Wide Web on the following address: http://ourworld.compuserve.com/homepages/derbyshire_public_transport/
Bucks CC is planning to provide full timetable coverage (see link page).
Work on the Alconbury to Peterborough section of the planned A1 motorway, to which we objected and where we still have a complaint outstanding to the Parliamentary Ombudsman about the inquiry procedure, should have started by the time you get this newsletter. This is one of the DFBO (Design, Build, Finance and Operate) schemes whereby the Government can get new roads while shifting the liability to pay for them onto its successors. As with rail privatisation, it appears that one of its prime aims is to make it more difficult for its successors to pursue sustainable policies.
The next major road scheme in our area looks set to be the A428 between Cambridge and St Neots. We intend to object to this as it will encourage more traffic into Cambridge and enshrine the car dependence of the planned new settlement at Cambourne (which it is intended to serve). Instead we will argue for the development of a tramway or guided busway with park & ride facilities linking Cambridge with Bar Hill and Cambourne (which will also take traffic off the A14).
The inquiry into the A120 between the M11 and A12 has been reconvened. We would like to see this scheme replaced (at least in part) by a rail link between Stansted and Braintree.
Not much this time. We have objected to the proposal to close Lion Yard in Cambridge as a right of way, and have also commented on the plans for restraining traffic on certain polluted streets (Magdalene St, Parker St and Silver St). The first of these, Magdalene St, is espected to be implemented on an experimental basis in September.
Here is our list this time. As usual both items were discussed in greater detail in the main part of the newsletter.