Streets paved with Silica: An Assessment of Solar Roadways

I woke up this morning to find a link to this video sitting on my facebook newsfeed:

The video promotes solar (freaking) roadways: octagonal road tiles topped with frosted glass that not only generate power, but can also use it to light up in different patterns to direct traffic, heat themselves up to melt snow, and communicate with each other to detect the presence of obstructions on the road. The technology is also proposed as a way or revolutionising outdoor public spaces such as parks and squares by allowing them to instantly transform themselves into basketball courts, children’s play areas, or anything else.

Solar roadways are a very intuitive concept. Solar power installations require a lot of space, while roads take up a lot of space, so why not combined the two? But the couple developing the technology have apparently gone way beyond this simple intuition. Not only have they built a prototype solar parking lot near their house, but they also have a lengthy FAQ on their website that answers a lot of pretty important and detailed technical questions. They’ve considered everything from traction to earthquake damage to what happens if people start stealing the tiles. They also have a very viable plan for expansion of the technology: They will start with parking lots, driveways and sidewalks before moving on to harder stuff like highways. And something definitely has to be said for their recent promotional efforts. The video seems destined to go viral, while the various images they have on their website seem like some pretty effective and attractive future visions. And above all that, they apparently have the backing of both Google and the Department of Highways. So that’s nice for them.

That being said, there is one gigantic red flag in both the videos and the website. They haven’t made any effort to price the technology. Not even a ballpark estimate. I can understand why this is the case. The technology is still at a very early phase of development, and they haven’t really had a chance to figure out the realistic production costs of the panels. But the entire premise of solar roadways seems to be that they can allow roads to pay for themselves by producing solar power-a promise which depends pretty heavily on whether the power generated by the panels over their average lifetime will be sufficient to pay for their production and replacement. So the cost question needs an answer, and quickly.

Of course, there are ways that the panels could be made a good deal cheaper. Maybe they can eventually be 3D printed. And it maybe by self-driving automated road maintenance robots could replace them. And maybe broken ones can be repaired in some centralized facility to keep replacement costs down. All of these seem like plausible ways that this system could in fact be affordable. But they are mere possibilities at this stage, and so we shouldn’t rely on them.

One of the proposals for this technology that I don’t like is snow clearing. The idea is that in the winter, heating elements installed in the tiles would maintain a temperature just warm enough to stop snow from collecting on the road, and that would mean no need to shovel snow. It sounds great, but some problems emerge as soon as you start to run the numbers. The website, to its credit, acknowledges that solar roadways would have to take power from the grid to melt snow. After doing a bit of math and wikipedia research, I was able to figure out that for a 3.7 meter wide highway lane, a one centimeter snowfall would require at least 85 megawatt-hours to melt. In Ontario, that would cost between $6000 and $11000. If the power came from natural gas, it would release 37 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere. If it came from coal, it would release 85 tons. And remember that this is just for one kilometer of road, with a measly one centimeter of snow. The financial and environmental costs of keeping the road clean all winter would be immense. So I’m not sure how suitable this technology would really be for some places. The snow-melting proposal doesn’t seem viable to me, and I don’t expect that solar roadways would do much good in, say, Manchester, where it’s always raining. You need sun to make solar panels work, even if those solar panels are cleverly integrated into roads.

There’s one other concern I have about this technology that I haven’t seen mentioned yet: surveillance. If the panels have pressure sensors in them, ostensibly to detect obstructions in the road, then it would be trivial to determine the mass of somebody’s car and use that information to track their movements. This would be handy in catching criminals or tracking stolen vehicles, of course, but I can think of a lot more nefarious uses for that capability and I don’t trust organisations like the NSA to avoid putting them into practice.

To conclude, then, I’m calling this project distinctly plausible. It has some interesting potential uses, a working prototype, a pretty good public relations campaign, and the backing of some big players. If these are rolled out strategically, starting with private driveways and then moving to public sidewalks and basketball courts and finally on to roads, then solar roadways could become a thing. And while I think the case for solar roadways is somewhat overstated (which is itself a strategic move), and there are issues with the costs of snow melting and surveillance, they do seem like a good idea on balance. So keep an eye on this, and maybe even go donate to their indiegogo campaign.

Wednesday Quickies

I really don’t want to see these become popular. Does that make me a curmudgeon? From discovery.com.

1) There’s a bit of hype emerging about some Chinese researchers who are working on a “super-maglevtrain, which would supposedly be capable of speeds of up to 1,800 miles per hour. They’ve even made a prototype! Unsurprisingly, it’s being framed as competition for the hyperloop, but that doesn’t seem very plausible to me. The super-maglev is a full vacuum system; basically the same kind of vacuum tube transport system that has been a pipe dream (heh) for over a century now.

The super maglev has the same problem as all the other vacuum train proposals: It’s really bloody difficult to maintain a vacuum in a tube that stretches for hundreds or thousands of kilometers. Musk’s proposal is neat because it proposes a way around that. The super maglev proposes no such thing. Still, it’s neat that this kind of thing is getting media attention.

2) The pace of self-driving car development has really accelerated in the last few weeks. Google is looking to commercialize them, and now there’s a proposed amendment in the United Nations Convention on Road Traffic that would legalize them. The amendment was put forward by a collection of European countries: Germany, France, Belgium, Austria, and Italy. This suggests that they might be changing their domestic laws soon as well.

If Europe becomes a hotbed for the commercialization of autonomous vehicles, then Volvo might be poised to benefit. They have just released 100 self-driving cars into Gotheburg traffic, and made a shiny video demonstrating how self-driving cars could free up road space and reduce congestion. This is a pretty clear example of socio-technical visions at work, and such a public relations effort suggests that Volvo is getting serious about autonomous vehicles. It looks like the race might be on to actually start selling these things.

3) Also on the subject of transport, a few people are getting excited about this ridiculous flying bike thing. I’ll admit it looks like it might be fun, but I can’t see it having any value as anything other than a very expensive toy. And do we really need any more very expensive, carbon emitting motorized toys for grown men? Furthermore, do we want to see these things flying freely over national parks? I think maybe we should push for some pretty strict regulation if they actually start selling these. Otherwise we risk giving those jerks who floor it down city streets on their motorcycles the power of flight.

4) Lastly, YouTube is going to buy Twitch! In case you haven’t heard of it, Twitch is an internet video site designed specifically to allow people to watch and comment on video games. A few months ago, I was an avid follower of an ingenious Twitch channel called Twitch Plays Pokemon, in which the chat stream could be used to control a game of pokemon. The result was as hilarious as it was chaotic.

But Twitch is also well-known for the considerably more serious phenomenon of e-sports, and the initial bid on the site of over $1 billion suggests that YouTube has big plans for the purchase. With google’s financial muscle behind them, e-sports could become a lot more important. If e-sports start to compete for viewers with traditional physical sports, then we’re probably in for another annoying round of moral panic about how video games are making people sedentary and obese.

A few thoughts on HS2

High-speed 2 certainly looks cool. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best way to improve the rail network.

Whenever a fellow academic hears that I’m studying British railway history, they almost invariably ask me my opinion on HS2. For those of you who are not familiar with British transport politics and related acronyms, HS2 stands for “High Speed 2”: A planned extension of high-speed railway track from London to Manchester and Leeds. (High Speed 1 refers to the only high-speed track that currently exists in the United Kingdom, linking London with the Chunnel). The plans are controversial, and in addition to the predictable NIMBYs, HS2 is opposed by a large coalition of environmentalists, public spending critics, and at least one one prominent railway journalist turned Mayoral candidate for London. I’m not going to try and critique the cost-benefit analyses offered by either side of the debate. I just don’t have the expertise (Though, as I argued in Manchester Policy Blogs, a cost-benefit analysis is not necessarily a useful approach when considering transport infrastructure that will last for decades). But there is an interesting discussion to be had about why, of all possible rail investment schemes, HS2 was chosen. I’m going to tackle that in this post.

High speed rail gets a lot of attention all over the world because it’s fascinating. It’s big, fast and futuristic. That makes it a very tempting project for any government that can pony up the cash and weather the inevitable storm of objections. But a more sober assessment suggests that it might not actually be as revolutionary as is commonly suggested. Anybody with a web browser can confirm that the railways in Britain are already considerably faster than the roads. In fact, all you need is a web browser. Google maps suggests that the fastest route from, say, Edinburgh to London by car will get you there in just under 7 hours. If you then have a look at the same journey by rail, the average time is about five hours, with some trips taking as little as four and a half. So trains are already a good deal faster than cars. And yet, people still generally prefer to travel by car. HS2 will only affect two routes in England, and on a trip to Manchester-its furthest destination-it will decrease journey times by about an hour-about a 50% cut in the time it takes. That is certainly useful for business travellers from Manchester who want to make a morning meeting in London, but does it really make rail that much more attractive to driving, which currently takes three and a half hours without traffic? I think that maybe if we could bring people onto the rails by making them faster than cars, the existing lines would have already accomplished that.

The problem is that even the fastest trains in the world don’t offer a solution to what transport scholars call the last mile problem. Before boarding a train, passengers must somehow get from their house to a station, and after arriving they will have to find a way from the station to their ultimate destination. These first and last legs of the journey can often be inconvenient, which is why a car, which completely eliminates the problem by providing door-to-door transportation, can be very attractive. In Britain, where many rural railways were gutted in the 1960s, the last mile is actually quite a bit longer than a mile. If you live in, say, Aberfeldy, then your nearest railway station is in Dunkeld, which is nearly 20 miles away. So the train is probably not much of an option to get from Aberfeldy to London, even if it is high-speed from Manchester onwards.

What this suggests to me is that a good way to encourage more use of the rail network is not to increase its speed, as HS2 proposes to do, but increase its coverage. Even after significant cost overruns, the reopening of the 100 mile Waverly Line from Edinburgh to Carlisle cost £348 million. At that price of between £30 and £40 million per mile, you could reopen somewhere around 1000 miles of more conventional railtrack to connect to regional centers in Britain with the £43 million estimated cost of HS2 (Some . That would mean fewer people with no choice but to lose their cars if they want to travel more than a few miles. There is an element of social justice to this as well. Rural communities without easy access to a rail network can suffer from social isolation, especially as fuel costs go up. From their perspective, then, a £40 billion government expenditure on a fancy high-speed rail network to connect England’s largest cities would not seem like much of a boon when they don’t even have a neighbourhood station. If the aforementioned business travellers are the ones who benefit most, then such a project seems decidedly contemptuous of both rural-dwellers and the poor.

But we’re not talking much about investment in local lines,  are we? High speed rail is big, flashy, and exciting, and the modest two-car trains that I take into the peak district are not. In democracies, then, projects like HS2 will always have a political advantage over their smaller counterparts. That’s a problem.  To solve it, maybe we should find a way to make regional transportation just as exciting as big and fast projects on the trunk routes. How? I don’t know. I’m not an engineer. But I do know that there are people out there who could come up with some neat ideas if they put their minds to it. We are on the verge of a transport future that involves self-driving cars, flying drones, and maybe even a hyperloop. Surely dreamers like Elon Musk can come up with something big and exciting to connect small villages to the transportation network, rather than merely speeding up travel between big cities which are already well-connected. Maybe it involves cheap comfortable, self-driving cabs. Maybe it involves laying some new light rail track through rural areas. Maybe it involves a new generation of buses designed to attract passengers who would normally shun bus travel.

People like big, flashy projects, and that means that they get funding. Rather than resisting that tendency, transport planners and environmentalists should take advantage of it! I keep coming back to the hyperloop on this blog, despite it’s fantastical nature, because it is an excellent example of how technological visions work. The Hyperloop captured the public imagination by releasing a single sixty page paper. So a new concept for regional transportation wouldn’t even have to be technically or economically likely. It would simply have to get the public excited about the idea of improving the transport links to small towns and villages. That would empower more pragmatic thinkers to find plausible ways to solve the problem. This doesn’t only apply in the United Kingdom, by the way. High-speed rail is a popular policy option among environmentalists in Canada and the United States, but that ignores the massive success enjoyed by, for example GO Transit, the Toronto commuter rail operator, in recent years. Places with GO lines tend to use them.

So is HS2 a good idea? I don’t know, although if it’s a choice between more rail infrastructure and more motorways, I’ll go with HS2 in a heartbeat. But maybe there are alternatives that would be more effective. And maybe we need to find a way to make those alternatives exciting. Somebody tell Elon Musk to get on it.

 

Wednesday Quickies

The coastline of Florida, as it will look sometime around 2200. This Antarctica thing is pretty serious.

I like to distract myself from my work by occasionally looking up what’s going on with some of the more exciting new technological initiatives, so I thought I’d start writing little digests of them in the middle of the week. Here goes.

First up this week is a whole series of stories about 3D printing. New uses for the technology keep cropping up. It’s been proposed for use in the decommissionning of nuclear plants, and it’s just been used in Haiti to make a prosthetic hand for a young boy. It’s also been proposed that it might be combined with drone technology to provide a quick and easy form of disaster relief. There’s not much to say here except that the technology seems to be coming into its own very quickly right now. I wonder when we’ll see the first major factory that uses it.

Relatedly, there’s now a robotic pharmacist dispensing drugs in a British hospital. Pharmacies, where strict mechanical accuracy is literally a matter of life and death, are actually an ideal place for robots. I don’t think very many people (aside from a few pharmacists, possibly) will object. But this is just one more place where commercial robots can continue to develop, becoming more effective, and more visible to those who might use them in other roles. Also, Google is now trying to get their self-driving cars to market. Perhaps as early as 2017. The automation of society continues apace. We’d better get going on that universal basic income.

Speaking of automation, The United Nations is debating the legality of military drones. Skynet jokes aside, this is actually pretty important. Drones are a political technology that allows rich countries to declare war on poor countries without having to put any of their own skin in the game. Let’s hope the UN comes up with some rules that at least make it harder for drones to be used as flippantly as they have been used up to this point.

A recent court case in Europe has established what is being called a “right to be forgotten“. That means that you have the right to ask Google to delist information about your past that you don’t want seen. I need time to gather my thoughts on this one. On the one hand, I can understand why it would be desirable from a privacy perspective. On the other hand, it seems pretty open to abuse from those with things to hide from the public.

And speaking of Europe (I’ll get better at segues. I promise.), Putin is making the International Space Station a bargaining chip in the diplomatic struggle over Ukraine. Good news for SpaceX, I imagine, and also further confirmation that spaceflight is heavily susceptible to geopolitics.

And lastly, in case you haven’t heard, the Western Antarctic Ice Sheet is collapsing. That means a sea level rise of at least 3 meters is now guaranteed. So do us all a favour and try and reduce your carbon emissions a little bit more, okay?

 

The Case for a Truly Public Internet

Cable and Railway monopolies

On the left: G. Frederick Keller’s depiction of the railway monopoly in California, 1882. On the right: South Park’s depiction of the cable monopoly, 2013. Comedic style has changed, but the basic complaint about infrastructure monopolies is timeless.

Right now, the American Federal Communications Commission is considering new rules that would essentially destroy net neutrality by allowing Internet Service Providers to give preference to the data from companies that pay a premium rate. In practice, this means that that companies like Comcast and Time Warner (who, incidentally, are about to have a merger) would be able to make the internet look a little bit more like a cable TV network, where whoever has the deepest pockets gets the greatest access to an audience. Big corporate websites will pay for the fast-lane, meaning that their websites will load almost instantly, at the expense of smaller startups, nonprofits, and personal websites, which would have to be content with whatever bandwidth is left over. Companies like Netflix, which competes with the ISPs’ cable TV services, could also suffer. Netflix, in fact, already has.

This touches at least three important political issues that I can think of. Firstly, business and innovation: The erosion of net neutrality will reduce the revolutionary potential of the internet by allowing entrenched interests to curb the threat it poses. Second, free speech: Most political speech today happens via the internet, and this could take a big hit if corporate interests start to limit bandwidth to parties who are critical of them. Third, social justice. A huge amount of interpersonal communication today happens via services like facebook, twitter and instagram, and if these suddenly see their traffic curtailed, or are forced to charge fees for a premium, faster service, then it will hurt the ability of marginalized classes to make their voices heard.

We have seen all this before, and not just in debates over the internet. The current rage against the monopolistic ISPs in the United States is virtually identical to the rage that was directed against utilities providing gas, electricity and railway travel as early as the nineteenth century. Before that, people raged against private turnpike operators. This kind of rage actually played a big role in the switch to a car-dominated transport system. The railways were seen as monopolistic, and so they were saddled with restrictive regulations that made it hard for them to compete with motor vehicles, which were far more flexible.

This problem seems to crop up again and again with any private industry that provides any kind of infrastructure. When somebody invests money to connect cable, phone lines, electricity, or railways to an area, they immediately secure a massive advantage in serving that area. If a competitor tries to come in and build their own infrastructure (which is usually not a very profitable business decision), the result will be a messy tangle of wires, pipes or tracks, and a massive waste of resources and space. So through business deals, regulations, or simple economic rationale, people run infrastructures like the internet tend to become the sole provider to a given area. This, of course, makes them a monopoly and makes it very tempting to engage in profiteering. This, as South Park has ably demonstrated, is exactly what has happened in the cable industry:

To solve this, governments often regulate these industries. But regulation has its pitfalls. It can be too stringent, in which case the old infrastructure is hobbled when a new competitor comes along. Or lobbying can make it too lax, so that profiteering happens anyway. The internet is already regulated, such as by the FCC in the United States, but the constant attacks on net neutrality seem to suggest that this is not a good long-term option. This problem isn’t limited to the United States, either. If net neutrality falls in the USA, then expect the internet companies to try and lobby for similar changes in other countries.

The recent development of Google Fiber suggests an alternative solution: Competition against entrenched commercial interests through the development of new technology. People like Google Fiber because it is breaking up the ISP monopoly. But this only kicks the problem down the road. Can you assume that Google won’t adopt Comcast’s practices once they dominate the internet service market? No, you probably can’t.

Others have suggested taking the infrastructure into their own hands, through what has been called the DarkNetPlan, and maybe in Google’s Project Loon, depending on how you interpret it. But this is likely to be far less efficient than a dedicated infrastructure built by a centralized provider, and at this moment the technology is very uncertain. It’s an interesting idea to work towards, for sure, but we shouldn’t count on it.

So maybe we need to look back at the solutions that have already been used in many places to avoid the monopolies of the railways and the electricity companies. What if we saw the internet not as a private for-profit business like cable TV, but instead more like roads: a public resource essential for society to function effectively in the twenty-first century? In today’s connected society, the internet is probably at least as important as roads. It has become crucial for everything from business to education to health. So why, then, should we be content to make exploitative private companies responsible for the internet? An alternative would be to make the internet a truly public service, run by a government corporation responsible not to its shareholders but to the electorate. Such a company could still break even or even turn a profit, but would have far less temptation to gouge the public or mount attacks on net neutrality. This would ensure that our connectivity is secure, and that it can be taken advantage of by everybody. At the very least, people in very remote areas, where internet currently costs a fortune, would probably appreciate the pooling of resources.

This plan is not without its problems. A public corporation might be more vulnerable to spying by groups like the NSA, for example, although the current corporate internet seems to offer little help on that front.  And even the utopian project of a ground-up, distributed internet could probably be hacked in one way or another So do we really have very much to lose on this front? Another problem lies in the ability of a public internet company to take advantage of the latest in technology such as Google Fiber. But such a company would be responsible to politicians who are ultimately responsible to the electorate, the rolling out of high-speed internet nationwide could be a very popular campaign promise.

Public utilities are not a perfect solution, but they do provide probably the best solution to providing socially just infrastructure that we have discovered yet. If infrastructure companies are beholden first and foremost to their shareholders, as ISPs currently are, then the outcome will always be monopolism and abuse. So we need to find ways to make them accountable primarily to their users and to wider society. This means that perhaps they should be more than a common carrier. Maybe they should simply be a public good.

The Ideological Nature of Transportation

The British Public were so excited about the motorways in the 1960s that they printed postcards of service stations. The railways had a hard time competing in this modernist cultural environment.

Here’s an interesting  fact to mention next time you hear somebody railing against railway subsidies: During its entire history of operation since it was created in 1970, Amtrak, the American public passenger rail network, has received less in subsidies than the American highway network receives in a single year. Amtrak’s total subsidies since 1972 are estimated by the Cato institute (which has every reason to overestimate them) at around $13 billion, while the American Road and Transport Builders’ Association cites federal highway investment at around $40 billion per  year for at least the last few years.

This shouldn’t really be seen as paritcularly damning either of Amtrak or the highways, because it’s a pretty well-recognized fact that good transportation networks need subsidies. I have yet to encounter a single form of mass transportation that can be profitable on its own. Cars, trucks and buses need roads, and the various fuel taxes and fees paid for by drivers generally don’t cover the costs of building, maintaining and policing them. Trains are virtually always subsidized. Aviation is massively subsidized, with airlines receiving government bailouts fairly frequently. With the possible exception of active transportation such as walking and cycling (and even cyclists need roads), there are probably very few modern transportation networks don’t receive some money from the taxpayer.

One obvious implication of this is that we shouldn’t be pointing to subsidies to argue against the usefulness of particular modes of transport-something that critics of rail are particularly guilty of. But this has another important implication, namely that transportation infrastructures are inherently politicized. Regardless of your political position, you would have to be incredibly naive to believe that the government, in its benevolence, wisely considers the methods of transportation available to it and supports the most promising one. Subsidies are doled out at least partly due to political and ideological commitments. And this means that transportation networks are an inherently political and ideological entity.

To take one example from my own research, consider the competition between road and rail transportation in the 1950s and 1960s in Britain. After the Second World War, the British government undertook several projects to repair and update its transport system. On the railways, this took the form of the modernisation plan, which was launched in 1955. The plan was intended to introduce improved signalling systems, electric traction, station refurbishments, and a whole host of other improvements to prepare the newly nationalised British Rail for the demands of the twentieth century. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transport was also beginning to build the country’s first motorways. Starting with the Preston Bypass and the M1, which ran from London to Birmingham, the country’s modern road network gradually began to take shape. This all happened in the cultural and ideological context of modernism. This was a period of high modernism, when visions of a Jetsons-like future of a rational, efficient, high-tech and technocratic society were extremely popular. This modernism, I believe, played a very important role in shaping the transportation system as it exists today in the United Kingdom.

If  you read discussions about these two programs in both parliament and the press, however, you realize that the public perception of a modernised railway system was not the same as it was for a modernised road system. On the one hand, newspaper columnists tended to aggressively support motorway construction. This support was often based on the idea that the promotion of cars, buses and trucks was an essential part of being a progressive nation in the later part of the Twentieth Century. The Daily Mail put it in 1953, “like it or not, we are in the motor age, and we must make the best use of it” [1]. When the motorway program suffered setbacks, the government weathered a storm of criticism in the press. The Daily Express’s motoring correspondent, apparently not one for subtlety, penned one article about the motorways whose headline was “DREADFUL, DREADFUL, DREADFUL” [2]. Nobody questioned the costs of the project, and almost everybody with a platform seems to have been pressuring the government to make it happen as quickly as possible. The motorways were seen as modern marvels inherently deserving of support and investment

The railway modernisation plan had a very different hearing. While it did get some tentative support in the press, there wasn’t anything near the same pressure to see it through to the end. There were, indeed, many questions as to whether it was worthwhile in the first place. The editor of The Guardian speculated that it would be “…an unfortunate economic waste if, for example, the modern diesel trains now coming into service should fail to pay by 1970 because people had taken to their cars” [3]. One phrase that comes up again and again in the discussions of railway modernisation is the phrase “nineteenth century”. Increasingly, the railways were seen as an obsolete nineteenth century transport system when measured against the motorways and the cars that drove on them. The result was that when the financial situation got a little bit tighter, the modernisation program was curtailed and eventually gave way to the Beeching cuts, which eliminated more than half of Britain’s railway network in an attempt to make it profitable. The cuts got more support in the press than the modernisation, and that the phrase “nineteenth century” continued to be repeated by journalists supporting Beeching’s plans. The Daily Mirror, for example, proclaimed that “The plan for making Britain’s 19th century railway system fit snugly into the second half of the 20th century will impress the travelling public by its inescapable logic—and shock them with its ruthlessness” [4]. Many people saw the railways as an old-fashioned system, a relic of the previous century. And this meant that it was only logical to dramatically scale it back while motorways were being built.

To put it more simply: The railways were an easy target, and the suffered financial cuts as a result. The public and the press insisted on having motorways, while they were much less enthusiastic about the supposedly old-fashioned railway network. The ideology of modernism played a big role in this. Whether they drive on the motorways or travel on the scaled back railways, Britons today are living out the legacy of 1950s and 1960s technological ideology.

What this says for the present day is that we need to be very explicitly conscious of the role of ideology in the present transportation system. Cars are seen as the embodiment of freedom, individuality, and masculinity, and that supports continued public investment in roads. But cars are also increasingly seen as dangerous, antisocial, polluting machines. The clash between these two understandings of today’s transportation system will have important implications not only for tomorrow’s transportation system, but also for the global environment.

Primary Sources

[1] The Daily Mail., 1953. “Money for the Jam.” The Daily Mail. 24 July 1953. P. 1.

[2] Cardew, Basil., 1956. “Look, Mr. Watkinson! Look at this!”. The Daily Express. 24 February, 1956. p. 4.

[3] Savage, C.I., 1958. “What future for the railways? Next Few Years Decisive.”. 29 April, 1958. P. 11

[4] Beechcroft, J., and Morton-Smith, 1963. “The Railway Revolution”. The Daily Mirror .28 March, 1963. p. 15