• Research Briefing

    Nuisance from helicopters and light aircraft

    This short paper summarises the law in respect of helicopter and light aircraft noise; safety when flying low over built up areas; permitted development for landing sites and routes of complaint if an aircraft breaches those rules.

  • Research Briefing

    Aviation noise

    This paper briefly looks at the impacts of aviation noise on those who live underneath flight paths and close to airports and explains the various measures put forward to tackle noise pollution, including flight restrictions and charges; better airspace design, and quieter aircraft.

  • Research Briefing

    Driving with a medical condition

    This paper explains the legal framework within which medical conditions for fitness to drive are assessed. It includes information on changes made to the requirements related to diabetes, epilepsy and vision in 2011 and 2013.

  • Research Briefing

    Older drivers

    This paper describes the licencing and medical fitness rules for drivers over the age of 70, and summarises recent Government statements on older drivers and the recommendations of the Older Drivers Task Force.

  • Research Briefing

    Rail freight

    This paper describes the rail freight policies of successive UK Governments, which have sought to drive modal shift of freight from roads to rail. It also briefly looks at the plans to drive rail freight growth with HS2 and the policy of the EU in this area. It also sets out how track access charges work for freight and the grants and funding streams that are available.

  • Research Briefing

    Young and novice drivers

    This paper explains the car driver licensing and testing arrangements for new drivers and provides information on various initiatives – such as graduated driver licensing, post-test restrictions and ‘black box’ monitoring devices – which have been discussed as ways to help make these drivers safer.

  • Research Briefing

    Driving and mobile phones

    This short paper briefly summarises the introduction of a new offence in 2003 for driving whilst using a hand-held mobile phone or similar device, changes made to the penalties since then, future plans for further changes, and how effective the offence has been. It also sets out charging policy in this general area and briefly addresses the question of using a mobile phone while cycling.

  • Research Briefing

    The Northern Powerhouse

    This briefing paper provides a general overview of the UK Government’s plans for a “Northern Powerhouse”. It explains the origins of the Northern Powerhouse concept, the policy and funding commitments set out by Government, the implications for changes in governance and a look at the future in light of the policies of the new Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the UK’s decision to leave the European Union.