Talk:Campaign for Better Transport (United Kingdom)

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Can we source Transport 2000 opposes all car use, calling car supporters 'wheel nuts'. They support a maximum speed of 20mph on most roads and 50mph on motorways. I find it hard to believe that anyobne would advocate such a stupid policy. Are they really opposed to the police using cars? etc etc, SqueakBox 20:00, 5 November 2005 (UTC)

"Oppose all car use" might be more accurately rephrased as "wish to severly limit car use".

As for the rest, it's true, have a look through their web site, particularly: 20's plenty Wheel nuts Page requesting drivers keep to 40 or 50 on motorways. Soundwave

What's so stupid about that? It's hardly mainstream, but it's not outright insane. --Saforrest 20:57, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

Opposing all vehicle use would be insane, not only because of the police but also deliveries. Trying to reduce the speed limit would enormously waste people's time and quickly reduce Britain to the state of a third world country while seriouslty stressing its people out. I am all for reducing vehicular transport but with sensible solutions. So much travel could be replaced by people working and receving education from home via computers, for instance, but just opposing all car use or trying to make all car journies unpleasant strikes me as the worst sort of political correctness rather than a viable, well thought out and realistic option, SqueakBox 21:27, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

I am now readin what they actually say. They don't say 20mph on most roads but yes in urban areas where kids are playing, which is an excellent idea. Indeed all their ideas seem sensible, leading me to conclude the insanity was here at wikipedia with (an activist?) editor exagerrating Transport 2000 claims. While keeping lorry speeds to 40-50mph may be uneconomic (you have to pay the driver for longer) all their other stuff looks okay and not how itt was described by the above editor and previously, bnut not curently, in the article, SqueakBox 21:35, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

The problem is the 20 limits, once in force, would apply at all times whether children are playing or not. I support 20mph limits on roads where the nature of the road clearly supports it, such as narrow streets or cul-de-sacs, but the majority of current 20 limits are on through roads and are clearly a political move to force cars away and increase congestion. Transport 2000 actively support the strict enforcement of such current limits (in 2000 they started a judicial review to attempt to remove any leeway in enforcement).[1]
And what's wrong with that? Why have limits if they're not enforced (though this logic escapes many motorists it seems). Most 20 limits round here apply only during school hours, when

lights are flashing. "political move to force cars away and increase congestion" - this statement makes no sense at all. If cars are forced away there won't be congestion.

Exile 10:55, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I suspect the gut reaction of most people, if asked, would be that 20 limits are sensible, but the trouble is nobody actually wants to keep to that speed themselves, they just want everyone else's car to slow down. People are often hypocrites and don't slow to 20 just because a child might potentially play on that road at some point, yet in the opinion surveys the same people claim to support a max speed of 20. Soundwave

I personally believe trying to restructure society so people need their cars less is a much better route to go than just making people's journies more painful but the governement is so addicted to oil revenues it doesn't actually want that, SqueakBox 23:08, 15 December 2005 (UTC)
Restructuring society is a tall order and a government would have to be verging on totalitarian to achieve it. The current policy is to try to limit congestion and pollution by "rationing by price" either through fuel duty, variable vehicle duty, and congestion charges. Is this sensible or desirable? A good question - but one for a different article.

Exile 10:55, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Neutrality Dispute[edit]

I removed the POV warning because it's been there for months and no one has raised any neutrality issues here on the discussion page. If people aren't going to back up their claims of POV then the label should be removed. --Corinthian 16:01, 20 February 2006 (UTC)

I've put POV tag on one of the sections (March 2006), where it describes the purpose of cycle-friendly city design as "making driving as unpleasant as possible", describes toll roads as "penalising motorists", uses quotation marks to imply that "traffic reduction" is a joke, and describes the main purpose of traffic calming measures as being to "make driving as unpleasant as possible.
These are not neutrally-written statements, and they severely misrepresent the purpose and effect of such schemes. Ojw 11:44, 12 March 2006 (UTC)
Quotation marks indicate, not surprisingly, a quote from the T2000 site. Besides, "Traffic calming" is a loaded term, and should certainly not be used as though it is neutral word - it is a euphemism for speed humps, width restrictions, and chicanes. All of which are designed to make the driver - the person who actually pays for the road through his endless taxes (on the car purchase, on annual road tax, on fuel...) - play second fiddle to non-tax-paying road users like cyclists and pedestrians.--Corinthian 17:03, 13 March 2006 (UTC)
The Quotation marks page mentions that "Ironic quotes should be used with care... they could be eaily confused with quotations." Ojw 17:07, 19 March 2006 (UTC)
The disputed section needs to be written neither from the point of view of environmental nutters nor petrolheads. That is, even if it is written BY someone who might be regarded as one or other it should read as if written from a Neutral Point of View (NPOV). A good start is

- if allegations are made, they should be supported. That is, if some pro-car organisation accuses T2000 of anti-car bias, give the quote, plus any response to this from T2000. - avoid adjectives! - avoid stating opinion as if it is accepted fact.

I will have a go at drafting and will post here for comment/amendment

"The group’s independence could be disputed, given that several public transport unions and companies are members. It lists quotes from opponents of those aims under the heading “Mad quotes”, which could be seen as confrontational. "

unfortunately I haven't managed to avoid adjectives, but have put them in a conditional statement.

Exile 10:41, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I feel the Polices section is fine however the contravercy section has alot of POV. such as pseudo science that Ojw has talked about below. --Ehouk1 16:36, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

The policies sections has been mostly cleaned-up now, so maybe that tag can go be replaced with something more suitable? This is the edit that I originally marked as POV. Ojw 17:07, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

I agree the tag should be removed from the 'Policys' but I am going to put one on 'Contravercy' --Ehouk1 12:10, 21 March 2006 (UTC)

  • Why does the intro mention nothing about Transport 2000's anti-car agenda? Most of the organisation's work is devoted towards penalising the motorist in one way or another - every one of their major policies specifically attacks car usage - and it is misleading to suggest that their main aim is the promotion of walking, cycling and taking buses. Their main aim is to hinder the driver, and the advancement of the pedestrian etc. is merely a means to this end. This article is morphing into a hagiography of T2000's glorious left-wing transport vision. --Corinthian 02:31, 22 March 2006 (UTC)
That's your opinion. In this article, what we would need is quotes from other organisations (such as the ABM) supporting this allegation and labelled as such, not as established fact. Ie it is a fact that T2000 are accused of an anti-car agenda, not that they actually have one.

Of course to some extent promoting public transport is largely going to be at the expense of car use. And there may be good reasons for being anti-car (cars kill 3,000 a year and cause airborne pollution). The place for this sort of debate would be in a separate article on transport policy issues.

Exile 10:55, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

Which we must avoid, please edit boldly, SqueakBox 14:02, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

Could you provide a reference for what you claim is Transport2000's main aim? The material I've read all seems to indicate that their declared aim (safety, environmental quality, etc) is primary, and the reduction of car use is their suggestion for achieving that, rather than the other way around.
Indeed, a search for "transport 2000 anti-car" shows only the Association of British Motorists' comments, plus Corinthian's edits to an old version of this article reading "The group neither engages in nor encourages any discourse about transport issues, and focuses solely upon vilifying its opponents and prosecuting its radically anti-car agenda". Ojw 19:17, 22 March 2006 (UTC)

I've removed the tag from policy. Softgrow 12:21, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

- I have removed the tag from controversy, I feel that the concerns that led me to put it on have been addressed. However the sentence: "The group is closely identified with the green environmental movement." as this alone is not a criticism or belong under this section. --Ehouk1 19:55, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

Left-wing godless commie unionists?[edit]

This page talks at length about left-wing union politics to the point where someone reading this page might come away with the impression that Transport2000 comprises mostly trades unions. However, in the list of member organisations I can only find 2 trades unions out of 29 total member groups.

I'll put the full list on our page here, as it provides a useful indication of the sort of people contributing to this group, and many of the linked organisations are interesting articles in themselves. Ojw 12:36, 12 March 2006 (UTC)

Please source that Bush and Thatcher are hate figures for Transport 2000 (of course we all know the major active role Thatcher plays in promoting the car though we shouldn't forget her husband was a major shareholder in Halfords). Please source that Transport 2000 don't engage in discourse, only attacks, SqueakBox 16:58, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Pseudo science[edit]

Can anyone find a reference for the use of pseudo science by this group? Ojw 19:50, 13 March 2006 (UTC)


The wikilink to SERA in this article goes via a redirect to the article Southern Education and Research Alliance. Is this really where it should be going? If not then may be the SERA redirect page should become a disambiguation page giving the different options for the initials as there appears to be several around.

Keith D 12:00, 10 October 2006 (UTC)

Spring Clean[edit]

I have given this article quite a comprehensive spring-clean (spring isn't really here yet in the UK but we can plan ahead!). I have removed some inuendo 'they claim that' etc. I have shoved lots of text around to get it to read better hopefully but have tried to not loosing significant points. I have change the 'opposition' heading to 'controversy' as this is a more general and a more conventional wikipedia heading for the purpose. I have removed any references to the RAC and AA as there were no citations for disagreements and if there are notable disagreements with these organisations it may be appropriate to accommodate them under a separate heading as I suspect their opinion will have significant differences from those of the ABD. I have moved the Michael Palin flying issue to the 'controversies' section (it is old and really not appropriate in the early sections). I have sorted the affiliates into categories which makes it more readable and informative. I have upgraded the references to the new format. I will add some more detail to their campaigns section in due course.PeterIto (talk) 23:49, 11 January 2008 (UTC)

Leader neutrality[edit]

The leader for any article is important and this one is no exception. Given that it is not realistic to reference every few words and argue over every work change I suggest that changes to the leader are discussed here first.

  • I am effectively reverting a recent change that seemed to imply that the campaign was an industry and trade union funded lobbying group, personally I don't see the evidence for that. The largest category of affiliates are environmental and conservation groups, the next largest are either the 'other' category or 'transport related', but the transport related organisations are not the big money makers (First, Stagecoach, National Express etc) and the 'other' group seems to be dominated by organisations like the Womens institute and the YHA so I don't think the emphasis is waranted.
  • The trade unions were emphasised, well again I don't see it, where is the evidence, it might have been true in the 1970's but there are only two unions in there now.
  • If one looks at the backgrounds of the management one finds them all to be environmental campaigners. Rebecca is a campaigner through and through with Road Block and Road Alert, Jason Torrance established Earth First! in the UK and Stephen Joseph was carried out of the Archway road enquiry when he was 21. These are greenies and there is no getting away from it, they are not industrial lobbyists and will never be so and these beliefs should come out in the leader.
  • I reverted the 'any' in disadvantages from a car based transport system because I don't believe they highlight 'all' of them so the precisions is inappropriate.PeterIto (talk) 23:16, 13 January 2008 (UTC)

The phrase "In campaigning for transport that improves our quality of life and reduces our environmental impact" has been added to the leader, however “transport that improves our quality of life” is a Point of View (because some people would argue that their quality of life would be improved by a big ig motorway between their home and their office). It is also not proved that public transport always "reduces our environmental impact" (think of empty buses running around the countryside). Given that a neutral leader for a campaigning organisation is of great importance I will remove these comments. PeterIto (talk) 16:31, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree with that. We should also be careful not to necessarily mirror what they, themselves, claim to stand for (or if we do, then to wrap it as "they claim to..."), but to state what the evidence shows that they actually do stand for. -- de Facto (talk). 18:07, 14 January 2008 (UTC)

Responded to another change to the leader:

  • Replaced "bus and rail services" with "public transport" so as to cover trams, metro etc. They do also have cycling organisations as affiliates, but are not very active at promoting them from what I have seen so I haven't included them in the leader.
  • Removed the phrase "highlights *only* the negative effects of cars" because they also highlight the negative aspects of trains and buses, including overcrowding, unreliability etc (ie they are not running a vendetta from my observation).
  • Removed the word "stiffle" which is loaded and in-appropriate. There are comments on the talk pages here back in 2005 about whether they oppose 'all' cars and no evidence was found (I can't follow the links, they are not live any more). They do want people to have the choice of a high quality public transport, so it is car dependent transport system at the expense of other modes that seems to be their angle.PeterIto (talk) 21:10, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
I will respond to each point in turn:
  • I replaced "public transport" with "bus and rail" because they do not promote "better use" of any other forms (trams and metro are basically bus or rail), they only specify bus and rail on the Campaigns + Public Transport section of their website, and one of their campaigns is actually against public transport by air.
  • For an easy life I will go with Bus and Rail (PeterIto)
  • I added the word only to the sentence "highlights only the negative effects of cars" because they never highlight the positive effects of car use.
  • The word 'only' is ambigous in the context and therefore is not appropriate (PeterIto)
  • I used the phrase "and attempts to stiffle their [cars] use", because they use the phrase "We need to reclaim our streets and communities from the car", which to me means stiffle car use. Perhaps you can think of a more neutral word for it.
  • Street is a term used by transport planners to mean local neigbourhood ones (see wikipedia article) which are different from roads, dual carriageway and motorways which are primarily for transport. By the phrase 'reclaim' they mean that pedestrians should not have to dive out of the way of cars, but that cars should respect pedestrian and childrens right to use to road space outside their homes as well, sometimes called 'shared use' (PeterIto).
  • I won't find the link now, but the RAC say that it is necessary to have good public transport to avoid gridlock on our roads (a negative effect of car based transport system). Would 'car dependent transport system' be approriate, which implies a transport system where the only mode available to many is the car leading to too many vehicles leading to gridlock etc etc (PeterIto)
I suggest that we reword the leader again, to better reflect what they actually stand for, rather than what, perhaps, they should stand for. We could add as another supporting reference their "campaigns" webpage [2].
  • I think we still have very different ideas of what they stand for. Why not propose new wording here and we can discuss it rather than messing with the article itself.(PeterIto)
-- de Facto (talk). 22:28, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
  • Comments in linePeterIto (talk) 22:48, 14 January 2008 (UTC)
We are making progress :-) I think we agree on the first sentence, up to the first comma: 'The Campaign for Better Transport (formerly "Transport 2000") promotes the provision of better bus and rail services within the UK,'. I'll edit it in. -- de Facto (talk). 09:37, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
Now for the next point. What is their policy on car use - a perfectly legitimate transport choice? They certainly highlight what they believe to be the negative effects of cars. Is there any trace of them promoting the positive aspects of them, or positive developments which make them cleaner, safer, or more sustainable. There certainly are positive developments in these areas, yet I can't find mention of them in their publications, which suggests that they do highlight only the negative things, and ignore the positive things about cars. I think that we need to point that out. I propose the addition of "... of car use they highlight only the negative effects" into the leader. -- de Facto (talk). 11:22, 15 January 2008 (UTC)
What about their support for increased car accessibility, efficiency, and use. They certainly seem to want those things for the transport modes of bus and rail. All I see on their website about car use are criticism of measures likely to increase the efficiency and accessibility of cars, and support for measures likely to make cars less efficient, and less accessible. In fact their intention appears to be to do everything possible to encourage the use of buses and trains, even if that means artificially decreasing the competiveness and efficiency of car use. Take a look at their attitude to the problem of congestion. They offer no support for measures designed to decrease congestion by increasing road capacity, whether it is by more efficient use of what we already have, or by building more, yet offer profuse support for any measures designed to tackle the problem by limiting car use. I think we need to note these anomalies. I propose the addition of "..., and support any measures designed to reduce their use, and criticize any measures designed to make their use more efficient." to the end of the above comment about cars. -- de Facto (talk). 12:25, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

I agree, we are making progress which is great, Advocacy is a good term and link. I think its worth digressing a little into why these people are doing what they are doing at CBT so as to give them the benefit of a 'positive spin'. Twyford Down has some good links, to quote from a couple of the key ones: "In 1989, the then Government was ready to re-embark on a large-scale roads programme. It's Roads to Prosperity White Paper promised 500 road schemes and was billed as “The biggest road-building programme since the Romans”. It came with a price-tag of £23 billion at 1989 prices (equivalent to about £40 billion today)"[3]. "2,700 miles of new roads (doubling Britain's trunk-road capacity), including 150 new bypasses, many destroying historic and protected sites. This, said the Tories, would give people what they wanted and the economy what it needed: more space for more cars, ad infinitum ... Roads for Prosperity was finally dealt a death blow in 1994, when a government committee concluded that what environmentalists had been saying for years was correct - building more roads encourages more traffic. The way to ease congestion and pollution was not to accommodate more of it, but to take measures to control car use[4]. Instead of predictand provide the new idea was Demand Management. In 2004 the government again proposed road building as the solution and Becca came out of 'retirement' to fight it. Even the motoring lobby agree that demand management is necessary[5]. Here is an academic comment on the governmnet's current 10 year plan[6]. The message from both is the same that you can't build your way out of congestion, the difference is that the RAC says you should try. I will add links to various useful wikipedia articles to the main page but demand management should appear in the leader (and possibly the demand management article should have some UK historical context. PeterIto (talk) 05:47, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

The organisation was created to preserve and promote the rail industry - we musn't attempt to disguise that fact. We need to explore more about the motivation of the big bus and rail service providers for their continued support and sponsorship of the organisation, and explain how they hope to benefit from such an investment. We need to discover whether its research and lobbying activities are impartial, and whether they fully research and compare all the available alternatives. I don't think the article would benefit from content about what motivates individuals within the organisation, but more on what motivates the organisation to employ such individuals. The discussions on the best ways to reduce congestion and pollution are best left to the articles on those subjects. -- de Facto (talk). 11:33, 16 January 2008 (UTC)
It is fine to identify that it was created in response to proposed rail cuts, but it is broader now, so keep the strong rail brief in its historical context. I would say they show a much stronger road focus now. The 'emergencies' they are responding to now are to improve public transport, lower traffic congestion and avoid roads building/airport construction (although from my experience they rely on AirportWatch (which whom they share a chairman - John Stewart) to do most of the aviation work, so their focus is actually on surface transport.PeterIto (talk) 17:55, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Content of 'See also'[edit]

The 'See also' section is usually used for articles about a similar subject, or a part of the subject. In this case that would mean articles about groups advocating other transport modes, car, plane, bike, etc., or describing associated ideas. I'm not sure if we should also be including articles which are specifically anti one or other of those modes. We could get quite a long list of anti-train, anti-car, anti-plane, even anti-road type articles. -- de Facto (talk). 18:31, 16 January 2008 (UTC)

Palin and flying[edit]

The page notes that Michael Palin has recorded New Europe in which he travels by train. However, the original story related to the behind the scenes flying involved in his programmes - he didn't fly in Around the World in 80 Days either, but his crew presumably did. Is New Europe then really in contrast to his previous documentaries? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Billwilson5060 (talkcontribs) 12:14, 15 February 2008 (UTC)

Is Palin's flying really a controversy and if it is then is it notable in this context? There was one article in The Times about it in Jan 2006 based on a conversation by a journalist with people at their xmas party which indicated that there might be a bust up between them soon. No one has found any further evidence, he is still president and he has certainly reduced his flying recently. Is this not just an example of cheap journalism? I suggest that the section on Palin is removed entirely and I will do so in due course if there are no arguments put forward in this section for keeping it. PeterIto (talk) 06:27, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

“If a subject has met the general notability guideline, there is no need to show continual coverage or interest in the topic”, says WP:NOTE. The story made the Independent [7] and BBC online as well as the original Times article and the Telegraph. IIRC, the old website had a stament stating that the group was united and attacking The Times, but mentioning that some members at may have had other views. The article as it is answers any questions readers might have about a famous traveller heading an environmental group, including their response mentioning “a sense of proportion”. The one part that is perhaps not by the book is “he claimed…” – “claimed” usually is associated with cynicism about what is being said and is mentioned under WP:AVOID. Billwilson5060 (talk) 13:21, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Good answer, thanks. I have reworded the 'claimed' part. PeterIto (talk) 19:05, 21 April 2008 (UTC)


The Campaign for Better Transport does not categorically oppose car usage, it only opposes what it sees as inapproprate car usage. That's why the "anti-car" label is POV. Also, pro-public transport is not the same as anti-car. Cambrasaconfab 00:14, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

Agreed, but I don't really see them as supporting a strict 'car-free' agenda either, they are really about ensuring that the alternatives to cars are viable options for those who wish to use them PeterIto (talk) 07:33, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

ABD controvery[edit]

I'm wondering whether there's really a need for the ABD controversy section on this article. It doesn't seem to add any information which cannot be discerned from the organisations' views, and also seems somewhat out of place compared to other Wikipedia pages - i.e. there isn't really a trend towards stating that group X argues with group Y (if there was, some articles might be even longer!). Ceap (talk) 14:27, 25 September 2009 (UTC)

  • I have removed the section on the basis that no citation has been provided since April 2009 when a fact tag was placed against the main claim in the section. PeterEastern (talk) 09:43, 27 September 2009 (UTC)

Reorganising 'Controversy', 'See also' and 'Slower Speed initiative' content - added 'Other Activities' section[edit]

I have a moved the remaining content of the 'Controversy' section into the history section on the basis that the issue about Michael Palin's flying turned out to be a one-off story and not a continuing issue and that the 'CBT is a lobby group' complaint was also a one-off claim and because it isn't controvesial that an advocacy group lobbies for its aims - that is what it is supposed to do! I also moved the 'Slowed speed initiative' section into the history section because it is not an ongoing project. I have created a category for 'Transport advocacy groups of the United Kingdom' and added all the organisations listed as UK transport advocacy groups to this category and removed them from the See Also section. I also removed the other parts of the 'See Also' section that added little to the article. Finally I created an 'Other activities' section and moved the reference to the 'Freight on Rail' partnership to that section from External links - possibly there are other partnerships that could be added to that section. PeterEastern (talk) 02:02, 28 September 2009 (UTC)