Here’s an interesting idea: roads powered by solar panels. Collecting the energy of the sun, they can use heat to de-ice when they get snow or ice one & with LED lights they can signal to road users of dangers ahead. Genius.

More info including a video here:

I saw this brilliant idea by Sir Norman Foster recently, a man who knows a thing or two about architecture.
The idea is simply to use the space in the city vertically by putting cycle lanes above existing railway lines. With the recent spate of cyclists being killed on London’s overcrowded roads, this to me is the way forward. When I was growing up, this is how cities of the future looked like!

Sir Norman Foster Sky Cycle proposal

Proposed SkyCycle lanes

Related links

Well I never knew two way cycle lanes existing in the UK until now. This article on The new Royal College Street cycle tracks describes the route in Camden Town, London and a bit of the history behind it.

Personally I think it is necessary to separate cars and bikes completely as in this example from Barcelona:

Dual cycle lane in Barcelona

I think it is true to say that cyclists don’t like cars in the way and car drivers certainly don’t like cyclist cutting in front of them all the time, so come on councils, the future is dedicated cycle lanes!

Montague folding bike

Montague folding bike

I saw this cool bike on The Gadget Show a couple of years ago and was impressed. It looks and feels like a normal bike but folds down to a compact 35″ x 12″ x 28″. This means you can easily fit it into a car boot or on a train. Although I have a bike rack, I like the idea of this as it is quick and practical and doesn’t compromise on your choice of bike if you like something big with a 700c wheel. They even do mountain bikes.

More details:

Well it has been 50 years since Dr. Beeching’s report which lead to the closing of several branch lines all over Britain. Some stations closed on existing lines could be re-opened but the lines will never be recovered because they have since been turned into roads or housing. I’ve thought to myself, what if instead of cutting services, they had improved them by electrification. Most of Europe is electrified now and has efficient trains crossing international boundaries where as Britain (excluding money pot London) is only just starting to electrify more than just the main routes. Here are Network Rail’s current electrification plans.

I was recently in Manchester and rode the Metro link tram into town. We bought tickets via a ticket machine and what I found was a single was £3.50 and a return was £3.70. Why the prices are so similar I have no idea. For the sake of 20p I got a return even though the odds were that we would come back in a taxi.

I think this sort of pricing is fairly common although I haven’t seen this closer to where I live (West Yorkshire). But the other problem with buying tickets is when you decide what you want you are guessing what will happen in the future… Yesterday I bought a day rider bus ticket (same as a return costing £3.80). However, I got a lift back with a friend so I could have got away with just a single (£2.50). This is where the card payment system adopted by large cities wins in my opinion.

Just pay for what you use, when you use it!