Switzerland is commonly regarded as the standard-setter for an integrated, high-quality public transport system. Its hallmarks are
* coordination between modes and among a multitude of operators;
* a simple fares system;
* common standards and good connectivity across the whole country; and
* an ethos of public service grounded in public approval in referendums and set in statute.
This contrasts sharply with policy and practice in Britain and thus sets an interesting and important agenda for exchanges between the two countries. Jonathan has worked with the Embassy of Switzerland in London for over ten years to organise visits and workshops. The most recent and most successful of these took place in November 2013. A brief report and the presentations can be accessed here, and a fuller report and articles will follow in 2014.
The material illustrates what Britain could learn from Switzerland but also shows that in some respects the Swiss are victims of their own success, since their policies appear to be promoting hyper-mobility: catering for peak volumes is becoming increasingly expensive and raises deep questions about its sustainability. Does Britain manage peak demand better ?
Swiss Embassy Workshop