About

My name is Mark and this blog is my way of exploring how we can enable walking and cycling in the UK's urban areas (as well as moaning about other highways and transport-related things!)

For me, the little bits of infrastructure get on and do
the job day-in and day-out, but the politicians only 
seem to be interested in the grand photogenic major 
projects.
There are lots of ideas and designs I would love to try out, but we are often pushing against tired old ideas of highway network development. There is also the political inertia where solutions to congestion go no further than the end of a bonnet (except that the solutions are often traffic growth feedback loops).

As a professional engineer, I have a responsibility to promote engineering and to assist younger engineers in their own professional development. I hope that some of my technical posts help in this regard and I try and signpost references and other sources of information as I go along.

This blog allows me to be part of the debate which is showing that business as usual with unrestricted car use is not sustainable or desirable for our towns and cities and the communities living within. I am also a partially-reformed driver in that I cycle to and for work, but I do drive from time to time (car-light might be fair), as well as sometimes using public transport. I have even been known to drive a lorry!

I am very interested in how cycling conditions can be improved and maybe it is penance for my pre-cycling engineering days. I also walk a fair bit for the most local journeys and I so know only too well that pedestrians are under siege from traffic as well as those cycling, although the solutions will often be different. I have reached the view that 20mph should be the default speed limit for places where people are walking and cycling, but that it will only ever be a foundation for change.

I am happy to be challenged on anything I post and I welcome the debate the world of blogging brings. The only way we are going to ever change anything is to take on the decision-makers at their own game. I am not a campaigner, although I do support campaigns from time to time; but there needs to be some clear water between me and campaigners, but I hope I can give some insight into how my industry and the engineer's brain works.


Well-designed, consistent, safe (actually and 
subjectively) and convenient walking and cycling 
networks are the best way to solve so many 
issues in our towns and cities. 
As a professional, I am bound to give objective advice whether or not I personally agree with a policy or a scheme, but I do try and put forward the argument for walking, cycling and indeed public transport whenever possible - perhaps I can create a little change from within! I do tend to shy away from work-related posts for obvious reasons, but some will be "work inspired".

I am not an expert in walking and cycling matters by any means, but I am trying to improve my knowledge. So thank you for your interest and feel free to ask questions either within the posts, or on the questions tab. I may not have an answer, but I will always have an opinion. There is never such a thing as a stupid question and I bet you have things which will teach me. See you in the saddle!

Adventures In Time & Space?
My little in-joke. Many highway schemes are concerned with separating users in physical space (protection) and time (could be traffic signals). The allocation of time and space is the key political consideration after all.

Affiliations & Memberships
All posts are my own opinions, but I feel it is worth setting out my list of affiliations and memberships to maintain transparency as there is no doubt that I am influenced by them (or I wouldn't be affiliated!). In no particular order;

Professional
Other

Brewing
OK, this is not meant to be a CV, but one or two of you might be interested to know that I am an avid home-brewer, although as far as beer goes, it is not full-on home mashing! I make country wines and cider each year (from fruit scavenged in the far reaches of East London) and normally make loads of sloe and fennel vokda for Christmas - always happy to provide a bottle to a good home!

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