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Brian Edwards’s invitation is awaiting your response

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Brian Edwards would like to connect on LinkedIn. How would you like to respond?
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Brian Edwards
Senior Quantity Surveyor at Mott MacDonald
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Brian Edwards’s invitation is awaiting your response

November 19, 2013 Leave a comment
Brian Edwards would like to connect on LinkedIn. How would you like to respond?
Brian Edwards
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Invitation to connect on LinkedIn

November 15, 2013 Leave a comment
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From Brian Edwards

Senior Quantity Surveyor at Mott MacDonald
Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom

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I’d like to add you to my professional network on LinkedIn.

– Brian

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Advice for our bus operators

January 4, 2013 Leave a comment

Here’s a concept for you bus operators: If you have a consistently reliable timetable that passengers can rely on then they will choose to use your facilities more often.  I take no credit for this simple truism; almost every one of our continental neighbours have followed this dictum since the inception of public transport.

The impact of this is more significant on less busy routes where the frequency is less than 4 an hour.  If the service is unreliable, then potential passengers revert to their car or other alternatives which reflects on poor numbers for the operators.  Now here’s where they make the classic error:

They interpret these poor numbers as evidence that the route is not profitable and allow further deterioration of the frequency and reliability of the route.

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Engender National Identity

September 22, 2012 Leave a comment

I’m in Finland at the moment and noticed on the YLE (Finland’s BBC) TV schedules last night that the News was broadcast regionally in 10 minute slots sequentially covering all 7 or 8 regions.  This seems eminently better than our way of concurrently covering the UK regions. One may be working in London and our parents are in Wales for example, or we may be travelling home from one region to another and the local weather forecast is of interest to us. The formal scheduling also allows you to be selective if you wish.
I can’t really see any reason for not doing it this way in the UK and I’m sure it would help to create and foster a more positive national identity, which must be good all round.

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Slipstreaming Wiggo

July 23, 2012 Leave a comment

I enjoyed Jackie Ashley’s Guardian article today: http://goo.gl/LZNfd

The peleton in a mass road race like the Tour De France can reach speeds far in excess of single cyclists because it benefits from large numbers of people working together.  Can we use this weekend’s momentum to “slipstream Wiggo” and increase safe cycling in our cities? 

I wrote on the subject a couple of months ago about how the UK is struggling with making cycling in our metropolises safe enough to encourage more of us to do it. http://goo.gl/4Mq3N

One of the main problems, is motorists’ attitude to the cyclists “sharing” the roads with them. Compare UK cities to most continental cities and you’ll quickly see a cultural difference. The cause of this “us and them” attitude in the UK is, in my opinion, a vicious circle:

> Cycling in traffic is too dangerous to allow our kids to do it, therefore:

> Our motorists never cycled in traffic, therefore:

> They don’t know how to co-operate and “share” the roads safely.

I know this is an over-generalisation, but you get my point, I hope.

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“The Men Who Made Us Fat”

July 15, 2012 Leave a comment

The BBC documentary with this title which was broadcast in 3 episodes was the most “life style” changing TV I’ve ever seen.  The 3rd and final episode was delayed broadcast until this week due to Wimbledon and is still available on the iPlayer till Thursday: http://goo.gl/F8QE  Although it’s only 1 episode and not the full story, it is still worth watching.

The incentive to blog about this is because of the really depressing interview towards the end with the UK Government Minister with the relevant responsibility in this area.

The whole thrust of the programme is about how the “Food Industry” in, particularly, the UK and the US have maximised profits (as all good businesses should) by selling us, not only MORE food, but more unhealthy food to the serious detriment of our health. 

The programme is full of some very revealing examples of “clever marketing” and mis-direction, as well as, more worryingly, repression of warnings from the health and science fields. The documentary successfully makes the argument, IMHO, that because of it’s wealth and influence, the “Food Industry” has managed to prevent legislation that in any way hinders it. Not only that, but it has successfully silenced, or at least muted, any opposite voice. Until this documentary, that is.

The current argument put forward by the “Food Industry” and echoed (I chose this word carefully) by Government is that it is up to the individual to “control” his/her “input”.  The documentary successfully demonstrates that this is clearly not enough.

The analogy of the tobacco industry is appropriate here; would we be where we are in respect of the current smoking/health balance without legislation. The big difference is, however, that we can live without smoking, but we all have to eat.  It is possible that obesity will, if unchecked, be a much greater problem than smoking related diseases and be a much bigger burden financially on us all. 

What is clear and the documentary makes clear too, is that the Industries aren’t doing anything wrong; they’re doing what their shareholders insist on.

So, back to what made me so depressed about the interview with the Government Minister was her single-minded assertion that legislation was not required. She would not even consider any argument put to her. It sadly reinforced my view that big business rules. It certainly is not our elected “representatives”.

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