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3 takeaways from VRT Conference – Paris September 2021

It was great to attend the Ville Rails & Transport (VRT) conference in sunny Paris last Thursday. This conference hosted in Espace St Martin covered a debate discussing the new entrants to French railway and followed by an awards ceremony rewarding transport best practice in the past year. This was...

5 Ferries – September 2021

Almost 2 years ago, we tackled the 5 Ferries, an informal cycle route that involves island hopping on the West Coast of Scotland using 5 ferries with some stunning scenery.  Read below for a summary of our 2021 cycle. What is the 5 ferries? A 72.5 mile circular cycle route...
Social Value Infographic_Surbon Consulting September 2021

Social Value for public transport companies

Another month, another blog post on social value along with suggestions of how public transport companies can maximise social value. For a copy of the infographic please download it from here. What is Social Value? The Social Value Act (PPN 06/20) came into force on 1st January 2021, overshadowed by...

Social Value – The opportunity to do more

You would have been forgiven for missing the Procurement Policy Note  (PPN) 06/20 – taking account of social value in the award of central government contracts. This notice was released in September 2020 and came into effect on 1st January 2021.  Unfortunately, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and Brexit meant that...
Banksy Image

When is graffiti art?

When is graffiti art? An answer might be when the artist is one of Time Magazine's People of the Year as Banksy probably the world's most famous grafitti artist. Having worked on several projects to manage graffiti in the transport sector including costing up graffiti removal which is more expensive than...
Expo 2020

Expo 2020 – Sustainability Pavilion Preview

Ever since I first arrived in Dubai in 2017, I heard a lot of about Expo 2020, the biannual world fair taking place in Dubai in 2020. Unfortunately due to COVID it is now happening October 2021 to March 2022 but the name remains the same! Therefore, I was delighted to get...
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Jedi Polar Bear – A cold water swimming challenge

As an incentive to keep swimming over the winter I recently signed up the complete the Jedi Polar Bear Challenge along with my mother. This challenge is part of the Polar Bear challenge, a fantastic initiative from a Plymouth based cold water swimmer known as Mama Bear which runs annually...
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Canary Wharf Festival of Light encourages walking

Great to see the #canarywharf Art Festival on a recent government sanctioned trip to the osteopath. It definitely brightened up the winter evening and encouraged me to walk around Canary Wharf. It is worth a look if you are in the area as it is one of the few attractions that is...
Dubai Desing Festival

Dubai Design Festival

After a year full of COVID-19, lockdowns and innumerable video calls, I was delighted to attend the Dubai Design Festival while on a business trip to Dubai. In terms of COVID-19 precautions, everyone wore masks, security staff temperature checked people’s wrists to enter indoor areas along with limits of maximum...

Swimming 2 channels in 2 months – West Lothian Chamber of Commerce webinar

It was great to be asked to present to West Lothian Chamber of Commerce on 25th August via webinar summarising the lessons learnt from swimming 2 channels in 2 months in 2017. As part of Team MAD (which stood for mother and daughter and also a description of the challenge),...
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CILT Event – Community Rail Lancashire, Accrington, May 2022

Thanks to CILT (UK) and CMAC Group for the recent community rail event at Accrington and Blackburn. We learnt about the good work of Community Rail Lancashire, involving local schoolchildren and artists to brighten up Blackburn station and Accrington station. Artwork really does help to make an environment far more welcoming. A further example...
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Young Rail Professionals, Manchester, April 2022

It was great to have been invited to Young Rail Professionals dinner as a guest of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) table in Manchester last Thursday. It was the first time that this event has been held since before COVID-19. There were therefore 3 years of celebrations to...

UITP MENA, Dubai, Feb 2022

Thanks to  UITP MENA and RTA for hosting a fabulous 3 day conference in Dubai. Highlights for me were: Speaking about electric bus procurement as part of a sustainability session. Some photos are below of my presentation which focussed on the good, the bad and the ugly of electric bus procurement. With electric bus being classed...
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Travelling on an Electric Bus, Dubai, Feb 2022

While in Dubai for UITP MENA 2022 Congress, I took the opportunity to try out RTA's new electric bus which travels between La Mer South to Al Sufouh tram station. It's currently free and indeed there are no ticket validators on the bus. So if you are in Dubai and...
Rachel hughes at MTCE2022

MENA Transport Congress, Dubai, Feb 2022

February is going to be a busy month as I am also going to be speaking at MENA Transport Congress on procurement of electric buses. After almost 2 years of the pandemic, it will be great to attend an actual conference talking about all things public transport. Check out

UITP’s Integration of urban planning and public transport Course in Singapore, Feb 2022

Looking forward to delivering a talk on parking policy for UITP's course on Integration of Urban Planning and Public Transport in Singapore in February 2022. For more information about the course and to sign up please use this link:
Description of 12 Bays of Jersey swimming challenge 2021 and what3word locations

12 bays of Christmas, Jersey, Jan 2022

Another year another, cold water swimming challenge! Being an avid fan of swimming, on a recent trip on Christmas and New Year to the Channel island of Jersey, my mum and I took part in the 12 bays of Jersey challenge which involved swimming in 12 bays of Jersey in...

Expo 2020 Recommendations

After visiting Expo in Milan in 2015, I was intrigued to visit Expo in Dubai which is running between October 2021 and March 2022 and loved it. After two years of a global pandemic, it's great to see such a fascinating global exhibition. Read on for my recommendations to get...
CILT on a Chiltern Train

Fellowship of Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport

I was delighted to be awarded fellowship of the Chartered Logistics and Transport in September and celebrated by taking a photo of my certificate on a Chiltern train (as you do). Look forward to attending the events including the annual dinner at the end of November and getting involved in...
East West Mainline 30 September 2021

East West Main Line Conference, Oxford – September 2021

It was great to attend Peleton's conference about the progress on East West Main Line today at Oxford Town Hall. This was my second in person event in the same month, what a novelty post pandemic! Meeting people face to face is so much better than Teams. See below for...