The Anonymous Widower

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

60 mph Limit And Fines To Cut M1 Pollution

This is a headline on an article in The Sunday Times.

It refers to a stretch of the M1 near Sheffield, where smart motorway technology will increase the number of vehicles passing through an area of housing and schools and probably breach legal pollution limits.

It sounds drastic, but then we need drastic measures to cut the level of pollution.

Perhaps, the simplest solution would be to assign all vehicles a pollution index.

Then assign all areas in the UK, a level of allowed pollution, which limited the vehicles that could drive in that area.

The trouble is, that this would be a vote loser, as it would mean that some drivers had just purchased a new vehicle, that they couldn’t even drive to their house.

The only safe way to be able to drive anywhere would be, by buying an electric or a very efficient hybrid vehicle.

A measure as harsh as this, must be paired with extensive public transport  with adequate Park-and -Ride facilities.

Solutions will have to be found for delivery vans, trucks and buses.

 

January 22, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

Why I’m In Favour Of Cycling Superhighways

Near me there is a junction, which drivers access, like Lewis Hamilton going into the pits at Silverstone.

It means they can get through to the City quicker.

But over the last few weeks, the number of drivers taking the bend quickly and putting pedestrians in danger has dropped significantly. I’ve also seen drivers go hurtling off doiwn the road only to come back a couple of minutes later, with faces like thunder.

I just give them a knowing look!

So why has a dangerous junction become a lot safer?

Cycling Superhighway 1, goes across the rat-run and it has been used to choke off the rats, as the pictures show.

I’m now very much in favour of the Cycling Superhughways despite being told by every taxi-driver I use, that they are a complete pain!

But then I don’t drive!

December 24, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

Road Improvements In Southgate Road

Southgate Road is just round the corner from where I live and it forms the boundary between the posh of Islington in the West and the plebs of Hackney in the East.

Over the last couple of weeks, the traffic lights, where Southgate Road and Balls Pond Road cross have been replaced and we now have Countdown, which makes crossing easier.

Now Islington want to put a box junction just to the South of the traffic lights, where Dove Road joins Southgate Road.

These pictures show the area.

I have a feeling that this scheme may be a little bit half-baked, as it appears to be an Islington-only scheme, when surely, it should be a scheme that is promoted by both Boroughs.

December 10, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , | Leave a comment

One Selfish Mercedes Driver Creates A Traffic Jam

It’s 08:30 on a Saturday morning, so what does this selfish Mercedes driver decide to do?

Create a traffic jam, whilst he goes and does his shopping opposite.

I suppose, if the driver had parked directly outside the shop on the other side of the road, they would have been parking at a bis stop in a bus lane, so they might have got a ticket.

Yesterday, outside Waitrose and Sainsbury’s in Islington, another Mercedes driver accelerated over the pedestrian crossing and sped away at a speed of at least sixty.

Why is it, when I see a case of bad driving, parking or using a mobile phone whilst driving, it is very likely to be a privately-owned and driven big Mercedes?

As an aside here, Transport for London are replacing the traffic lights at this junction. During the work, they have installed a set of temporary lights, which are some of the most professional, I’ve ever seen.

In fact they’re so clear and well setup, that walking around the junction has been a lot easier, since the work started.has been a lot easier. Traffic seems to be flowing well too!

I hope when the new lights are installed, that they work at least as well as the temporary lights!

November 21, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment