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  • TWSW Members Zoom Mtg 1: May 08, 2020
  • TWSW meeting - ONLINE: May 15, 2020
  • TWSW Health+Transport ONLINE: May 22, 2020
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Author Topic: TravelWatch SouthWest online member meetings - Friday afternoons  (Read 5346 times)
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« Reply #15 on: May 22, 2020, 03:18:16 pm »

Thanks grahame - Its just appeared in my inbox now  Grin

Can you share the link URL with me I've registered but nowt yet.
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« Reply #16 on: May 22, 2020, 03:22:52 pm »

Thanks grahame - Its just appeared in my inbox now  Grin

Can you share the link URL with me I've registered but nowt yet.

Best to check with Bryony - secretary -at- travelwatchsouthwest . org ;  she's around doing the setup.

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« Reply #17 on: May 22, 2020, 06:32:36 pm »

Interesting session - I will write up tomorrow morning.   Saw a number of members there - you are very welcome to comment too.

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« Reply #18 on: May 23, 2020, 09:31:22 am »

Friday 22nd May 2020 - my personal notes - errors and omissions excepted.  Please drop me a note of any errors.  Please feel free to follow up.

Background text to the event:

In this week’s webinar we focus on links between public transport and health, as we continue agenda building and aligning Users’ needs with Government Minister Grant Shapps MP (Member of Parliament)’s declared aspirations.

Dr Davies, Senior Fellow in Behaviour Change & Translational Research, UWE, will be kicking of the conversation and bringing broad and thorough expertise to fireside.

High concentrations of fine particulate matter pollutants have been called the greatest environmental risk to health by WHO. Although air quality might be an obvious consideration for those living on the side of major roads, air quality around homes and the places we connect to have devastating long-term impacts on health. Health risks mount with transport activity, most significantly caused by combustion engines.

"Air Pollution Kills 5 people in Bristol each week". This figure is just one example of the death and damage from pollution in the South West.
TWSW» (TravelWatch SouthWest - website) encourage you to submit questions in advance to for discussion on the day ahead of the webinar, e.g.:
impacts upon health from transport choices
the available timescale for action
the street scene which enables connectivity without pollution
the barriers, drivers, and incentives for change
1. Would less pollution benefit passengers.
2. Should joined-up pollution reduction be a priority?
3. How could we achieve less polluted urban areas and pollution generating journeys?
4. What are the barriers to less polluting journeys?
5. Where must the a) direction and b) leadership come from?
Could it be that one of the great causes of inertia is reluctance to take unpopular steps, and therefore the time to do it is when whatever offer given is better than the experience of now. Containment v. Freedom

Chris Irwin - chair's intro:

With the minister frightening people off and suggesting it is your civic duty to use public transport only if you have no alternative, passenger resistance is increasing according to Transport Focus fortnightly surveys - 31% -> 36% -> 41% not using [until / what?]. Drop from 24% to 18% who would be happy to use public transport as soon as it's available to them again - just one in nine in the South West.  [[Personal thought - how many of those would have used public transport in 'normal times' anyway - how was the sampling done?]] 54% saying they will walk or cycle more.

But minister Grant Shapps says "opportunity for once in a generation change". 

400k per annum respiratory deaths over the EU» (European Union - about) caused by dirty air / particulates and that's around 16 x the casualty rate in road accidents

Lancet articles - cyclists 20% less mortality and rail passengers 10% less than those of drivers from heart and circulation problems. Almost certainly the difference is due to the exercise / life style, with many rail passengers walking to the station.

Adrian Davies:

Mixed Government messages are confusing but "Go by car" is a real concern
Severe concern at urban gridlock to come

Habit changing - we have just one chance.
Opportunity to reduce mortality.
The human was "designed" to run after food and not to drive to Sainsburys

Big cities looking to reallocate space to allow travel on foot or by cycle
Caveat - can you live closer to or where you work - no need to travel?
How is that going to work for rural into urban journeys with just 10 on a bus?

Noting demand management for parking spaces at work. 
Staff guaranteed a parking space are 20 times more likely to drive that those who don't have a guaranteed space.

[[Personal thought - some stats quoted but need background checks - cause and effect etc ...]]

Jasper Selwyn:
habit change necessary, but people will if they are told to.
Noting changes of habits when smoking ban came in and at start of lockdown

Claire Walters:
Bus users - regional / regular public transport.
The importance of interchange including intermodal.
Green lobby really don't want to support the bus - prefer walk and cycle. However, walk and cycle not always practical and their next best is public transport
Common enemy is private car use
We focus (too much?) on towns and cities

David Redgewell:
More cars make it worse
Need to throw more [resource?] to public transport
A lot more will be done in the EU

John Hamley:
Seeing a lot of leisure cycles out, but not expecting them to be used to get to work.
Reality is that people will go back to cars.
Only way to get them away from cars is to changes cost and / or ease [[ratios]]

Graham Parkhurst:
Erosion of space arguments.
Particular care - Northern Italy model
[[Sorry Graham - messed up my notes]

Paul Johnson:
Problem of what to do with cycle when you get to work. My daughter taken to cycling (West London to near Victoria) but then what do do with a good (not cheap) cycle at work?  Can't take it up in lift.  Suggest cycle parks - perhaps at main line station?
Hydrogen and electrification will change metrics
Rail into London has become an intercity commuter network - based on cost of living need to travel
Although many can work from home, many people still need the social interaction of working in an office

Stuart Phelps:
Beware - transport only accounts for 13% of the bigger particles - majority is domestic heating which has risen with work-at-home
NO2 has hugely dropped though
Particles come from tyres, brakes and clutches - so that's all cars, and first two rise on faster rural roads rather than in cities

Mark Lambden:
Estonia free public transport. Big notable change is people walking not driving to the bus [[go figure?]]

Ian Harrison:
Workplace parking levy - interesting to see it introduced in law but then lots of hurdles put in to make it hard to implement.

All of the above my understanding / paraphrasing from what was said (call it "Draft Minutes" if you like).  Please get in touch or follow up with any amendments and note it's "Errors and Omissions Excepted".   All the above based on public statements and Chris Irwin noted at the start that the session was being recorded.

Next week - Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol. See .

To follow - some points made in public chat yesterday

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« Reply #19 on: May 23, 2020, 09:57:24 am »

Oh HELP! .... so many knowledgeable and thoughtful people at yesterday's fireside chat ... I have tried to filter out the key public comments people added to the "chat" log during the meeting ...

From  Claire Walters : We need to make sure public transport is seen alongside cycling and walking, rather than in competition, as not everyone will be able to walk or cycle for all journeys.
From  Jasper Selwyn : Somehow we have to raise the profile of public transport before everyone gets back in their cars.
From  Jasper Selwyn : We have changed our behaviour because of health risks from tobacco and Covid-19.  How about pollution?
From  David Redgewell : we need to keep cars out of city and town centre s except for disabled access. crovid19 is  illnesses in the lungs. poor air quality  will  make crovid19  out breaks worse .in urban areas.
From  Catherine Mack : The rising mistrust in public transport can be directly linked to the speech by the PM 12 days ago: despite the clear awareness of the transport authorities to the contrary.  Surely the only solution is fro Adrian to give a talk to the PM?
(( Todays new links diabetes with COVID and this leads to futures outbreak cost avoidance and leads into particulate point ))
From  David Redgewell : Bristol city council is closing parts of the city centre to walking and cycling and public transport.
From  Dick Daniel : As David Redgewell says keeping cars out of towns & cities. Here is a great video of a whole city spacial plan in Ghent.
From  Bryony Chetwode : Of course frequency can improve if congestion is reduced
From  Mike Lambden : The person who has really led the don't use public transport message is Sadiq Kahn and the PM followed his line. He keeps making this message.
From  Catherine Mack : James Freeman (First Group)has asked our local bus users group to get together with his team to discuss a proposal for the LAuthority. Meeting next week. Will report back
From  Claire Walters : Private cars are the "enemy" of congestion measures and clean air, as well as frequency and reliability but there is political fear about upsetting drivers.
From  David Redgewell : extra buses could run but needs department for transport money grant  and more drivers. David Redgewell.
From  Andrew.Ardley : Perhaps fewer seats longer term is an opportunity to make the remaining ones more comfortable and wider. Quality will be really important going forward.
From  Paul Johnson : Cycle parking. Is a problem, offices do not have storage space. Needs rethinking cycle parks in urban areas is this the station cycle hub?
From  peternickol : I agree with Cate about the PM’s speech putting people off public transport. Together with his encouragement to people to drive, even long distances, it leaves those of us without cars at a big disadvantage, especially for accessing the countryside.
From  Bryony Chetwode : enabling whole journeys so interchange between modes is manageable would assist uptake.  The barriers are very normal everyday concerns like bike theft, etc.
From  Catherine Mack : To add to the questions to ask but not necessarily be able to answer: the value put on public transport is based entirely on ticket numbers are price: there is no recognition/valuation oft he social and health benefits of its use. The whole system is out of date.
From  Lee Fletcher : Your 2 metre social distancing rule is your biggest barrier. Here in France, relaunching public transport after lockdown is proving more practical - allied with some control measures in the larger cities - because our social distancing is set at 1 metre
From  James Harkins : The simple fact of the matter is according to WHO and Defra report last year confirms that the Non Emmission Exhaust
From  DP : Whenever an article appears online advocating walking, cycling or PT, there is a widespread reaction along the line of "I need my car because....". Often the reasons are only true because the car has been allowed to become dominant and everything is planned around it. We need to be ready with answers to such arguments.
 From  Mike Reddaway : Very likely the car will be the principal means of transport in rural areas because of distance to bus routes. Buses usually unattractive due to low frequency.
From  James Harkins : NEE is dangerous and kill significantly in the Urban corridors
From  Mike Lambden : Trent Barton buses in the East Midlands have researched their customers and they reckon that they will get at least 80% passengers back once restrictions are over. Home working will lose some of their existing business
(( When I was back in Dundee 2 weeks ago, I noted a bike rack next to a bus stop in Invergowrie - a place I hadnt been to for 20 years! I wish we could mount bikes on the front like in the US ))
From  Ian Harrison : What are the public transport operators doing to push back on the 2m distancing, and to demonstrate that travel on buses and trains can be safe?
From  James Harkins : No the common enemy is the rubber road interface
From  Lee Fletcher : If 2 metre rule is enforced rigidly in UK (United Kingdom) across public transport, then I am afraid all you will manage is damage limitation until you can rebuild out of the debris at some unknown point in the future
From  Bryony Chetwode : Excellent point about comfort as we accept that useful workplaces do not need be retricted to offices.
From  Bryony Chetwode : Surely the government will have to avoid the consequences of COVID repeating
From  DP : Chances of tourism restart this summer? Distancing on PT looks different if family groups of 4 can travel in close proximity.
From  Paul Johnson : Surely electric cars/buses and hydrogen technology can help the particulate problem?
From  Andrew.Ardley : Ref Ian Harrison's point on pushing back on the 2m distance - I've heard Iain Duncan Smith pushing this but operators don't have access to any science to prove this to contradict PHE. The funding pressures on DfT» (Department for Transport - about) for rail's EMA will no doubt prompt a discussion with the industry on this - perhaps a staged reduction in distance but this is only a guess.
From  David Northey : I think the biggest challenge will be people switching to work more flexibility in future , such as home three or four days a week and into the office occaisonally
From  Andy Burkitt - SERA (Standardised European Rules of the Air) SW : We need clear Workplace Parking Levy and more realistic charging for fuel etc
From  Claire Walters : There's quite a lot of discussion going on presently with DfT and the wider government about the 2m social distance requirement. I have asked  without success what the 2m rule is based on, when WHO recommends 1m and most other countries except Spain, USA and Poland. If it's not safe inside 2m, that's fine but there ought to be evidence. If it's safe in countries which have lost far fewer people than the UK, there ought to be another look at why we're going further. Certainly it could be part of the road to lifting lockdown and that's what's being asked for by operators, as far as I'm aware.
From  David Northey : A survey undertaken by the TSSA» (Transport Salaried Staffs' Association - about) identified that 60% said they would like to work more flexibly in the future with a further 20% say they would consider it
From  Verona : I do agree with John. At present, petrol is cheaper than ever. Unless public transport is seen to be the 2cheaper" option, it will be very hard to change people's habits.
From  David Northey : Google and Twitter have already said that working from home becomes the default and travelling into an office is a choice
From  Bryony Chetwode : David Northey that is such an important point for this region.  It will require business collaboration but offers a much better spread of resource in terms of experience
From  Nick Thwaites : We must to forget It is not only the cost of driving it is also the availability of other forms of transport like buses
From  David Northey : How do we think about about what our new travel patterns will be in our regions
From  Andy Burkitt - SERA SW : Most of the WHO and other scientific research I have seen talk about 1m not 2m
From  Andrew.Ardley : Working at home more often might actually help - it makes the fixed costs of a car look more expensive whereas public transport per journey can be a marginal cost if priced correctly
From  David Redgewell : RMT (National Union of Rail, Maritime & Transport Workers) Tssa aslef and unite the  union please remember that 61 public transport workers  have died on the front line  social distancing is very  important to  public health director s in the south west  at a meeting today 
From  DP : Extremely difficult to provide a strongly-evidenced justification for 1m or 2m. There are just too many unknowns that affect the risk.
From  Graham Parkhurst : Free to access article on interactions between particulate matter and COVID-19 virus:
From  Graham Parkhurst : Agree that the 1m and 2m debate is important. Perhaps 1m if effective masks are worn by all?
From  Dick Daniel : Many cities in Europe, & even USA, have found that a backbone of trams carrying large volume of passengers, integrated with good quality buses networks.  Most of these cites have also restricted private vehicle access at the same time providing segregated continuous cycling routes.
From  Stuart Phelps : Only 13% of UK Particulate Matter [PM2.5/300 premature deaths per year are attributed to air pollution in Bristol. 168 of these are due to PM2.5, not Nox which is primarily due to transport. During lock down Nox has fallen, but PM2.5 has stayed the same/risen as more people are at home burning wood
From  David Redgewell : social distancing on tourist seaside town s countryside and our Historic cities  is  causing concern today  and the access to tourism hotspots  by cars .
From  Lee Fletcher : To answer David,s point, here in Brittany, both the trains and buses have buffer zones of seats locked out of use around the driver areas, and ticket checks on trains are currently suspended, so there are practical steps that can be taken at 1 metre that could also work in UK
From  Claire Walters : As a former electrician, I would caution that electric batteries are not " clean energy"  in themselves, depending on whether they use lithium, nickel etc and disposing of them is another issue that hasn't yet been given sufficient attention.
From  David Redgewell : each  council has responsibility with the bus operator s to plan bus network with crovid19 bus operators grant  Somerset county council are spending more money on buses on the grant. from dft .
From  Mike Lambden : Research from the free bus travel in Estonia shows that the biggest change is from walking to bus rather than from car. CILTUK magazine article this month.
From  James Harkins : The NEE 2.5 particulate from DEFRA shows that 70% comes from tyres etc only 30% comes from fires
From  David Redgewell : even  Dorset  the county  of my family  is improving  the rural bus service under  pressure from the department for transport. and public transport users group   users group s could learn a lot from Bridport.
From  Stuart Phelps : Sorry - the data in Bristol from the Lufdaten network clearly shows the problem of PM2.5 comes from domestic heating
From  David Redgewell : social distancing on local trains is only  45 passengers on 3 car local trains  on Bristol temple meads to Severn beach line 
From  Graham Parkhurst : EVs and particulates: the role of the driver is important - how smooth or aggressive and whether the regenerative braking rather than friction brakes are used. We need to know more from real-world.

Not sure what / how to follow up on all of these - I could spend all weekend at it.

So good - though - to be questioning as we move forward. 
* Why 2 metres?
* What do family groups do to transport capacity when we leave assumption of everyone travelling alone behind us?
* Diabetes, heart disease, Asthma and dirty air issues - quantify and balance?
* What to do with your cycle when you get to work
* Living near where you work ...
... the list is endless!

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« Reply #20 on: May 23, 2020, 10:42:40 am »

Not sure what / how to follow up on all of these - I could spend all weekend at it.

So good - though - to be questioning as we move forward. 
* Why 2 metres?
* What do family groups do to transport capacity when we leave assumption of everyone travelling alone behind us?
* Diabetes, heart disease, Asthma and dirty air issues - quantify and balance?
* What to do with your cycle when you get to work
* Living near where you work ...
... the list is endless!

We'll follow up on some of these on Tuesday - link to that Coffee Shop members' meeting at
If you're not a Coffee Shop member you can sign up (free) - see

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« Reply #21 on: May 23, 2020, 11:36:40 am »

* Living near where you work ...

A veritable can of worms this one.  It is what most people used to do except perhaps around big cities and even then they probably travelled less than their equivalents do today. People used to move when they changed jobs so what has changed?

1) When a job was for life - many people stayed in the same job for most of their career then it was easy.  The culture has changed to encourage people to change careers during their life - job insecurity.  Part of being a flexible workforce, but not always good as leads to too few experts (whether in professional or manual jobs).

2) In most couples/families both partners work out of necessity (due to housing costs) so changing jobs would have to be synchronized - just makes it too complicated for many especially if they do specialist jobs.

3) When people buy a house - moving is expensive - solicitors, surveys, estate agents fees - costs £'000s. If people are changing jobs more often this becomes very expensive, particularly if people are already stretched financially to buy a house. Why move if the job is not that secure?

4) House price variations.  Housing may just not be affordable anywhere near to work. Despite the cost of travel it may still be cheaper than trying to rent or buy a house nearer to work. Alternatively if someone has been able to buy a house in an expensive area they may worry that they may not be able to move back there if the difference in prices increase.     

There are other things that have not changed - like children changing schools, moving away from friends and family. 
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