Jonathan Bray

The strange death (and rebirth) of trams in England and Scotland

Riding the tram as it rolled urbanely down the Leith Walk a few weeks back, on the new extension of the Edinburgh Tram, reminded me that this is what trams do at their best. They keep it simple (you know where you are going) and they keep it comfortable (ride quality matters). We didn’t stop […]

Transport and the politics of dignity

Public transport can bestow dignity on both a city and its citizens. Politics determines whether it does – and we need more of it December 1, 1955: Montgomery, Alabama, USA. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat for a white man on a bus in Montgomery and was arrested. This led to a year […]

Is rail’s recent golden age over?

‘…The debate and the railways have turned inward. You have the big railway desperate to get its train set back (whilst also arguing amongst themselves about who gets to be the fat controller); the Treasury, who no longer trust the big railway to run itself, and the rest of Government that isn’t clear about what […]

Fares fair?

Fares fair? That sound you hear is the sound of one of the core constructs of UK public transport policy being smashed. That construct being that if we want better public transport in the UK then the passenger has to pay through high fares. Now (as part of a wider trend in the western world) […]

Leadership and strategy

Wales is providing real leadership on transport for their best of the UK. From pulling the plug on most of its road building programme to getting behind 20 mph zones. And from transforming the nation’s rail network to bringing its buses back under public control. I’m delighted that I will be playing my part as […]

Why car-free leisure travel is the ultimate Good Journey

Is this the ultimate no brainer? Everyone agrees that leisure traffic is the growth market for public transport. So, how about the public transport sector works with visitor attractions to promote car-free travel? How hard can it be? Not so hard now we have the well-established non-profit company Good Journey to bridge the gap between the sectors. […]

The changing face of rail

Sam Sherwood-Hale, Editor of Rail Professional magazine, spoke to Jonathan Bray, outgoing Director at the Urban Transport Group, about how rail transport has changed throughout his career, the nature of public vs. private, and some of the issues that rail reform will encounter. Sam Sherwood-Hale: You joined the Urban Transport Group 20 years ago, when it was […]

Chisinau – ash grey days in a Mercedes Benz

‘Chained to the centre of the cross, at the meeting point of the mad ambitions of the East and West…an empty space geometrically defined, but with its meaning never clarified’ ‘The protagonist of the future should lose the narcissistic demeanours that ultimately lead to a lethargic state of being, a primordial, passive state. Instead of […]