The Anonymous Widower

Huge Outlay On Motorways Despite Reduction In Traffic

The title of this post, is the same as a small news item in The Times on Friday.

According to the Commission on Travel Demand, individuals used cars and other vehicles fourteen percent less than they did in 2002.

Reasons given include internet shopping, Netflix and flexible working.

They also say that many in their teens and early twenties shunning car ownership altogether.

There is a graph in the article, which shows that the reduction has been largest in Greater London. That seems to fit with my observations.

  • I’ve chatted to several youngsters , who have no intention of learning to drive for some years. It’s all just too costlyin the Capital and there are few places to park securely.
  • I’m also sure, that my road which is wide and has cars parked on both sides, is less crowded than when I moved here nearly ten years ago. Now, when I get a parcel delivery, there is always space for the van outside.
  • In Dalston, we have also benefited from the Overground and lots of new buses, although the frequency of the latter hasn’t increased.
  • I wouldn’t underestimate the fact that those of a certain age, like myself, get free public transport in Greater London.
  • There has also been a tremendous increase in the use of bicycles for commuting.

I don’t think that all parts of London have seen as much reduction as the North and East.

It always seems that traffic is busy, when I go to Chelsea, Westminster or the West End. But I don’t think we can stop, those with large 4x4s going to the local Waitrose and Harrods.

I also think, that Crossrail will reduce traffic across a whole swathe of London from Ealing to Ilford via Paddington, the West End and the City.

It will be a well-designed stylist railway with trains every few minutes.

According to the article, Metropolitan areas are also seeing a reduction in car use.

Although, they haven’t got as comprehensive, a public transport network as London, over the last ten years, several large metropolitan areas have improved public transport considerably.

Traffic also seems to have reduced slightly in what the report calls shire towns, resort and rural.

I would put this down to the three factors said earlier by the article; internet shopping, Netflix and flexible working.

The only places not showing a less significant decline is districts with industry and new towns.

But a lot of these have been built for car use.

Conclusion

It is a thought-provoking article.

Given that Greater London has shown the biggest decline in traffic and it has the most comprehensive public transport system in the UK, the question has to be asked if more money is spent on public transport, could it reduce the amount of money spent on the roads!

I would do the following.

  • Build more welcoming new stations with adequate parking like, Apperley Bridge , Bromsgrove, Cambridge North, IlkestonKenilworth, Kirkstall Forge and Maghull North.
  • Update some of the worst stations in the country to a modern standard.
  • Put more seats on busy routes.
  • Increase train frequency where possible.
  • Make certain everybody who wants to, can work flexibly from home.
  • Use more sophisticated and better managed home delivery systems.
  • Build HS2 as fast as possible.
  • Develop more rail-based freight solutions.
  • Make it possible to get to most Airports by public transport.

Hopefully, with local mayors and other devolved bodies, we’ll see more areas of the country taking the decisions they need.

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Computing, Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

Constipation At Liverpool Street Station

My bus got struck in traffic at Liverpool Street station yesterday. So I walked.

Crossrail construction is the problem, so hopefully time will cure it.

December 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Government Delays Silvertown Tunnel By Six Months

This article on City AM is entitled Government Delays Silvertown Tunnel Decision By Another Six Months Over Air Quality Concerns.

The decision on the Silverton Tunnel will now be made in May 2018.

But surely this is too early.

  • The Elizabeth Line will open between Abbey Wood and Paddington stations in December 2018.
  • The Elizabeth Line will open between Shenfield and Paddington stations in May 2019.
  • Thameslink will open between Kent and Central London via London Bridge in May 2018.
  • The ULEZ becomes operational in April 2019.

I would have thought that the decision should be made after the effects of these changes have settled down.

This map shows the route of the tunnel.

Will any other public transport developments reduce the urgency for the tunnel?

London City Airport Crossrail Station

Under New Stations, the Wikipedia entry for Crossrail says this about a station at Silvertown close to the London City Airport.

London City Airport has proposed the re-opening of Silvertown railway station, in order to create an interchange between the rail line and the airport. The self-funded £50m station plan is supported ‘in principle’ by the London Borough of Newham. Provisions for re-opening of the station were made in 2012 by Crossrail. However, it is alleged by the airport that Transport for London is hostile to the idea of a station on the site, a claim disputed by TfL

This must surely cut down the traffic needing to cross the Thames in this area.

Gallions Reach Crossing And Thamesmead Extension Of The Docklands Light Railway

Wikipedia has a section, which says this about the extension.

The proposed Gallions Reach Crossing has been suggested by TfL as allowing a branch to leave the existing DLR network at Gallions Reach, and cross the river on the proposed tunnel/bridge and into Thamesmead. The new branch could then pass through Thamesmead and towards Abbey Wood, Woolwich, or northwards towards Barking. On 4 October 2016 the London Assembly approved the extension to Thamesmead.

Will this extension be a game-changer?

Extending The Gospel Oak To Barking Line From Barking Riverside To Thamesmead

This is definitely another rail extension that will be looked at.

The New Southeastern Franchise

The successor for the current Southeastern franchise will be announced in August 2018 and they will take over the franchise in December 2018.

If this award follows the pattern of others in recent time, there will be a lot of new services and trains promised.

Updating The Woolwich Ferry

Wikipedia has a Future section for the Woolwich Ferry, which says that two new diesel-electric hybrid vessels are on order.

Conclusion

We should wait until all related issues and projects are decided before making the decision on the Silvertown Tunnel.

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

Congestion Charge On Minicabs To Boost Buses

The title of this post is the same as an article in the Sunday Times.

As a non-driver, I don’t pay the Congestion Charge, but I do get fed up with both the mass of traffic and the pollution it causes in Central London. The former mainly for slowing the buses I use.

The article is saying the following.

  • The Charge will be levied on mini-cabs.
  • The Charge may be levied to 11 pm instead of 6 pm.
  • The Charge msy be levied on Saturdays.

Why not Sundays as well?

And surely the Western Extension should be reinstated!

October 29, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 1 Comment

Even Vauxhall Corsas Have 4G Wi-Fi

This is the case according to adverts at the side of the pitch in the England Slovakia game at Wembley tonight.

I don’t drive, so I don’t care, but it appears that this increasingly features on cars.

Bombardier have fitted this feature to Crossrail’s Class 345 trains, so will we see it increasingly fitted to all trains, taxis and buses?

It’ll certainly be something that passengers on public transport will expect.

September 4, 2017 Posted by | Computing, Travel | , , , , | Leave a comment

Improving The Wisley Interchange

It is probably nearly ten years since I drove through the Wisley interchange where the M25 and A3 meet.

The BBC this morning is discussing a proposal to improve this junction by taking some land from the RHS Wisley Garden.

This Google Map shows the area.

Note how close Wisley Garden is to the A3, which all proposals say should be widened from three lanes to four.

Two proposals have been put forward by Highways England.

This is Option 9, which is a four-level flyover.

And this is Option 14.

I suspect as far as Wisley Garden is concerned it’s a choice between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea!

Just out of curiosity, I looked up on the RHS Wisley Garden site, how I could get there easily by public transport.

Effectively, it means taking a train to Woking and a taxi!

Wisley Garden can’t have it both ways, as they encourage people to drive to the Garden and yet are objecting to widening of the A3.

A Wider Problem

Wisley Garden illustrates the wider problem, of how so many attractions are only easily accessible by car.

Some attractions like Brighton and Hove Albion’s new Falmer Stadium, have been built with decent public tyransport access, but others assume everybody comes by car.

Surely, in this age, where the environment matters, no development should be allowed without due consideration of well-thought out public transport.

 

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

‘Self-driving’ Lorries To Be Tested On UK Roads

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC. This is the first three paragraphs.

Small convoys of partially driverless lorries will be tried out on major British roads by the end of next year, the government has announced.

A contract has been awarded to the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to carry out the tests of vehicle “platoons”.

Up to three lorries will travel in formation, with acceleration and braking controlled by the lead vehicle.

It is a long time since I used to hitch-hike all over the UK in the 1960s and had many a ride in the front of a truck.

One of my memories is sitting there and watching how cars kept jumping into gaps between the truck I was riding in and the one in front.

I have a feeling that platooning is one of those automation ideas, that will work well in theory and practice to a certain degree, but that the behaviour of individuals will give it problems.

Generally, this idea hasn’t been well received, by commentators.

The Greener Alternative

I feel that overall we need to move freight from the roads onto the railways.

In The Go-Anywhere Express Parcel And Pallet Carrier, I proposed converting redundant four-car electric multiple units like the Class 321 trains into 100 mph bi-mode parcel and pallet carriers, which I dubbed High Speed Parcel Train or High Speed Pallet Train.

HSPTs would have the following advantages for parcel and pallet traffic.

  • Stations could be used as terminals, especially at night!
  • As they are 100 mph trains, they would probably be faster over long distances.
  • They would probably emit less carbon emissions.
  • Capacity per crew member would be higher.
  • There are few parts of the UK, the trains couldn’t go.
  • Class 321 trains are built from steel and are as tough as the proverbial brick outhouse.
  • The trains could carry a fork-lift if needed.
  • The trains could be wrapped in advertising.

The trains would be the ultimate green long-distance delivery truck.

  • Recycled trains.
  • Proven technology
  • Electrically-powered where possible.
  • ;Using existing infrastructure where possible.

They wouldn’t be the most expensive trains to create and run.

August 25, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments

Virtual Speed Bumps

This article on the Mail Online is entitled What do YOU see? Optical illusions of speed bumps are being used in London to trick drivers into slowing down.

It is an interesting idea!

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Travel | | Leave a comment

The Adverse Effects Of Electric Vehicles

This article in theMail OnLine has one of those titles which are all you need to read.

UK could need 20 more nuclear power stations if electric cars take over our roads and cause ‘massive strain’ on power network

There is also a similar article in The Times.

The articles are based on research by Transport for London.

The article has a point and TfL have done the sums.

Consider the future.

At present London doesn’t apply the full Congestion Charge for electric vehicles and they get other discounts. So as electric vehicles get more affordable and with a longer range, it will be sensible to purchase an electric vehicle and take advantage of using it at a discount in London.

So will London be grid-locked by electric vehicles?

We may get cleaner air, but how will all those, who depend on buses and taxis get through all this congestion?

Many of these new electric cars will be driverless, which will increase their attraction and just add to the congestion.

All of these vehicles will also need to be charged, so will we see every parking space fitted with a charging point.

Who is going to pay for these points?

And then as Transport for London say, just providing enough electricity for London’s transport, will require two nuclear power stations.

So how about using hydrogen fuel cells to power these vehicles?

But to create the hydrogen you need electricity to electrolyse water. So more nuclear power stations?

So what will we do?

London is lucky, in that compared to other cities in the UK, it has an extensive public transport network that works, that people like to use.

So Crossrail 2 and possibly 3 and 4, if properly designed can take the pressure off London, to allow space for driverless electric buses and taxis, and a severely restricted number of other vehicles.

Just as people are now complaining that they were told by the Government to buy a diesel car and now they are being abused as polluters, in a decade or so, those buying electric cars will be abused as congesters.

Owning a car in the future will become an increasingly expensive and annoying business.

 

February 12, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 1 Comment

Westminster Council To Trial Diesel Parking Charge

The title of this post is the title of an article on the BBC web site.

There will be a lot of complaints, but just as the Congestion Charge was accepted, this charge will be too!

And if it works for Westminster, how long before other Boroughs in London introduce it?

I do think though, that cities that cut pollution will benefit from the good publicity, that could generate extra visitors and increased business activity.

 

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments