Mind The Gap - Britain's Transport Divide


Buses2018070220180704 (R4)Mind The Gap: Britain's Transport Divide. For more than 30 years buses in the UK have run under two systems. In London, a powerful transport authority commissions and pays for bus routes it deems necessary. Outside the capital it is up to the bus companies which routes they run and to local authorities which gaps to fill, if they are able. In the first of two episodes on Britain's transport divide, public transport user and non-driver Lynsey Hanley rides the bus and speaks to bus users in one of the UK's most isolated communities- which is bounded by not one but two motorways- visits the English city least well served by public transport and hears from the local authority that tried and failed to regain control of its buses. She finds a country where in one corner there is a world class public bus system and the rest; where there isn't and concludes this is not merely a matter of inconvenience.

Buses, a decline and boom.

Series exploring the disparity between transport systems in different areas of the UK.

Rail2018070920180711 (R4)Railways connect communities, towns, cities and regions with each other. The railway allows us to follow work, educational opportunities, families, follies and dreams and helps a country become more productive. The railways were invented in the north of England and their rapid growth underpinned the UK economy in the 19th century but it has been downhill ever since , except for one corner of the country. In the 60's thousands of miles of track and hundreds of stations closed following Dr Beeching's infamous report. The promised dividend of privatisation in the 1990's was not spread equally. Today, London has a comprehensive, relatively affordable, world class rail system; the rest of the country does not. Lynsey Hanley, non-driver and public transport user, goes on the rails to examine the gap between London, where tens of billions of pounds have been invested in the capitals rail infrastructure since the millennium and the rest of the country where it has not. She examines the pros and cons of HS2, nationalisation, Crossrail one and two and discovers that for most of us the 'Age of the Train' remains in the past.

Presented by Lynsey Hanley. Produced by Kevin Mousley.

Second class service: how the nations and regions lost out to London in rail investment.

Series exploring the disparity between transport systems in different areas of the UK.