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Less than 200 years ago, the first commercial railway line was opened, from Stockton to Darlington. This ushered in the era of easy travel, greatly accelerated by the invention of the internal combustion engine and powered flight. We have moved from an era where every community was largely self-sufficient to one where everywhere is interconnected and the freedom to travel locally, nationally and internationally is taken for granted. Most of us make use of this freedom, whether to commute to work, visit friends or go on holiday. We also accept that our food and other goods come from far and wide. The downside of all this is increasing impact of transport infrastructure – roads, railways, airports etc – on our environment, and regular delays and congestion. The ability to separate where we live from where we work and where our food supply comes from has profoundly changed society and turning the clock back is not an option. Making sure we build urban areas which are good for people to live in, and provide as best as possible for people’s transport needs is a challenge which has to be met.

Space Cadets (May 14,2007)

Current Issues

To see UK electricity demand
and the contribution from
wind, see


What's New

The Scientific Alliance is pleased to publish and analyis of the intermittency of UK wind energy generation for 2013-14 by Derek Partington