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INSIDER - WHY TRANSPORT CHIEFS ARE FIGHTING COLLEAGUES FOR CASH

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Why transport chiefs are fighting colleagues for cash...
Why transport chiefs are fighting colleagues for cash

There's a hole in my budget

One transport officer took us by surprise this week by sounding strangely upbeat when giving us a piece of his mind for this column. He initially enthused: 'What an absolute thrill it was to read that local authorities had been hyper-efficient and exceeded central government's expectations about Gershon savings!'

Predictably though, he continued: 'I don't recall any of the cashable savings heading back to top up my highways budgets, which are so scarred they're starting to resemble the local potholed roads.'

Apparently in his neck of the woods a rumour is circulating that councillors are weighing up the needs of trading standards officers versus highways in terms of who gets what budgets next year.

He threatens: 'Things are getting so desperate, I might have to put trading standards team officers in the potholes themselves to overcome problems - sacrificial lambs that no one will check up on!'

Does this herald a disturbing trend in worsening officer relations?

Baffled? You will be

Last week's news was full of reports about road casualty reduction. Councils would love to get a better grip on this, but officers complain they can't because of poor casualty data they get from police, who really ought to know better than to flog dodgy wares.

Councils need the data to tailor their safety plans. One officer explains: 'In a local check by A&E specialists, up to 100% additional casualties to the police records are presenting at hospital with injuries related to road crashes. Is this real? Is it an insurance phenomenon?'

He adds: 'If we could involve insurance companies, hospitals and a police force over a year, maybe we could properly understand what statistics we should be considering and capturing, and thus better target our road safety efforts.' Seems fairly logical - even elementary.

Park and ride on the M4

Traffic congestion remains a hot potato, leading to some radical ideas. 'Is the time now ripe for us nationally to look to strategic 'park and ride' across the national motorway network?' ponders one officer.

'If we can replace car commuter flows with park and ride and high quality, high speed, low cost public transport running in high occupancy lanes, rather than convert hard shoulders to encourage yet more cars, would could perhaps delay the advent of road charging on the national network.'

Good luck with selling that to the man on the street, much in love with his BMW.

Views published anonymously. To join the transport Insider email: nina.lovelace @emap.com

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