Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Road Safety: Follow the money

Of all the organisations controlling the global “road safety” programmes, the key player is the FIA Foundation for the Automobile and Society, a UK based charity set up with a basic donation of $300 million made by the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), the federation of motoring organisations and the governing body of world motor sport. This comes from FIA’s sale of the rights to ‘commercial exploitation’ of Formula One racing to Bernie Ecclestone and his bankers for about $350million plus an undisclosed annual fee. From this fund, itself derived from the advertisers in Formula One, comes the funding for WHO and World Bank “road safety” initiatives. Trustees include the former FIA President and representatives of national motoring organisations. Formula One, the international motoring organisations, the motor and associated industries literally drive initiatives such as the UN Decade for Road Safety, through bodies such as the Campaign for Global Road Safety, Global Road Safety Initiative, Global Road Safety Partnership, RoadSafe. Read on in the Road Danger Reduction Forum

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Car driving on the reverse in Britain

The decline of driving in Britain may have reached a tipping point. At least that's the idea behind the theory of 'peak car'. Something weird is happening," says Phil Goodwin, professor of transport policy at the University of the West of England. "Car use in Britain is on the decline, but no one is exactly sure why." Goodwin says we have reached "peak car". If he is right, this has important implications for how we design our towns and cities, and where public money gets allocated. Goodwin has been building his argument for peak car in a series of articles in Local Transport Today. His evidence includes that fewer young people are learning to drive. Between 1992 and 2007, the number of 17- to 20-year-olds who held licences fell from 48 per cent to 38 per cent, and for 21- to 29-year-olds, the number fell from 75 per cent to 66 per cent. Also, there has been a decline in private transport's share of trips from 50 per cent in 1993 to 41 per cent in 2008. And, according to Lynn Sloman, director of Transport for Quality of Life, between 2004 and 2008, car trips per person went down by 9 per cent. Of course, this doesn't amount to incontrovertible evidence of the beginning of the end for cars but it would be foolish not to have this debate now. Velo Mondial sees more evidence that the Holy Cow is on the way out. Read on in The Inependant.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Cycling promotion in Amsterdam

The Fietsbazaar project challenges entrepreneurs to make a plan to promote bicycle use among residents of Nieuw-West and simultaneously train youth as bicycle repair people . The project seems to be part of a small boom in social bicycle projects. The entrepreneur with the winning plan will receive 10,000 euro in seed money, plus coaching and affordable shop premises for one year. Bureau Beehive explains that the idea is not to pamper the entrepreneur: “The award is meant to give the entrepreneur an opportunity to develop under favourable conditions during the first year. However, candidates will eventually be judged by their expertise and sound plan, but of course also by their original plans for the (new) role of cycling within the district. The entrepreneur will have to manage on his own, and we’ll judge him on that.” The main objective is to get more people on bicycles in the district, where bicycle use is much lower than in the more centrally located districts. In addition, the entrepreneurs are expected to achieve social goals. The Fietsbazaar is not the only project that wants to combine bicycle services to social objectives. Read more in Nieuwsuitamsterdam

New Ways of Working

A revolution that is taking place in the way we work and commute. The very nature of work is changing: it is no longer a place we go to, it is something we do. For numerous knowledge workers in our society, the job can be done independently of time and place, thanks to modern communication technologies. Through measures like teleworking, flexible hours and tele- and videoconferencing, our need to travel and the moments we choose to travel can be radically influenced. This results in benefits for employees, employers and society, as the work-life balance improves, productivity increases and congestion is relieved. Communication technologies also make it easier for self-employed people to start up a business and work from their homes or from work-hubs close to their homes. Some regions explicitly try to attract these creative talents as a boost for their local economies. The EPOMM e-update is the monthly thematical newsletter of the European Platform on Mobility Management (EPOMM). It is available in EN, FR, DE and IT. Sign up here.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Smart measures in ITS

The latest edition of the EPOMM e-update focuses on Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS). Not only do these systems provide the means to monitor and manage motorised traffic, they also have several promising applications for the "smart measures" of Mobility Management. In the first place, the information gathered through ITS can feed directly into passenger information systems and multi-modal journey planners. In this way, travelers can choose the transport mode that best suits their needs. Also, sustainable modes obtain a level of convenience that allows them to compete with the car. Another major evolution is the development of e-tickets, smart-cards and mobile payment - an evolution that makes public transport meet modern passenger expectations. Did you know for instance that in some cities, you can pay your bus ticket by simply holding your cell phone against a sign at the bus stop? The e-update contains many good examples and web links on ITS. The EPOMM e-update is the monthly thematic newsletter of the European Platform on Mobility Management (EPOMM). It is available in EN, FR, DE and IT. Sign up here. (