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Castle foundations


Stephen Joseph is absolutely right that most people do not just want more roads (NCE 16 May). David Bayliss highlights another key fallacy - integrated transport cannot be achieved by 'seamless' journeys.

Integration means making the seams work!

Integration cannot be achieved in Britain until it is understood that integration and deregulation are fundamentally incompatible. There is not a single example anywhere in the world of a fully integrated deregulated public transport system.

The only example in the UK was Tyne and Wear - very successful but short lived because of the 1985 Transport Act. All the benefits of light rail and guided busways are not being realised, except in London, because of bus competition.

It is sad that in all the tributes to Barbara Castle, one of her greatest achievements was little mentioned. She introduced the framework for properly integrated transport with her 1967 White Paper Public Transport and Traffic and the 1968 Transport Act, swept away by the 1985 Act.

If John Spellar and Tony Blair are serious about integrated transport they should follow Barbara's example now. Otherwise it will be another 20 or 30 years before we can experience truly integrated transport in Britain.

Tony Young, 12 The Circuit, Didsbury, Manchester M20 3RA

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