The Anonymous Widower

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

A Tour Of Gran Canaria

I don’t usually take tours, but I took this one around the island of Gran Canaria.


  • It was a good tour, even if a bit cold.
  • But then we were 2,000 metres up.
  • We all visited a restaurant on the way down. I think, I was mildly glutened.

Next time, I go, I’ll go with someone who can drive and a quality road map, as there are lots of worhwhile places to visit.

November 9, 2016 Posted by | World | , | 1 Comment

Did The Project Management Go Wrong On The Holloway Road Bridge?

It was originally planned that the bridge decking where Holloway Road crosses the Gospel Oak to Barking Line (GOBlin) at Upper Holloway station would be replaced over Christmas this year.

But plans were obviously changed.

This article in the Islington Gazette is entitled Holloway Road closures: Islington Council threatens to sue TfL over ‘last-minute’ plans.

This is said.

TfL says work to transfer underground pipes and cables from the old bridge to another specially-made bridge has proved problematic because of their “complex layout, poor condition and a leaking water main”.

But Cllr Webbe was having none of it. She said: “This section of Holloway Road will be closed in at least one direction for nearly three months, including over half term, Christmas and New Year.

It looks like the water main is the problem and perhaps this didn’t show up until they started to move everything.

But whatever the problem was, it looks to me like there has been a cock-up by someone.

Was it the surveyor, who looked at the moving of the cables and the water main and didn’t quantify the task properly?

Surely though, the big problem now is that if this bridge problem delays the rebuilding of the trac for the GOBlink, which is needed for the electrification.

It’s a mess!


I took these pictures of the area today.

I walked down from Archway station and then caught a free bus to Holloway Road. At least TfL had got the buses right.

But except for Junction Road from Archway to Kentish Town, which was blocked solid, the traffic levels were very low.


October 24, 2016 Posted by | Travel, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment

Meet Coventry’s Battery Boffin Taking On Tesla

This is the title on an article in the Business section of The Sunday Times.

Read it, but if you can’t here’s a quick summary.

  • Professor David Greenwood at the Warwick Manufacturing Group is developing a battery for Jaguar and Land Rover.
  • Plans are afoot to build a massive battery factory in Coventry.
  • Greenwood and his team are working to give the Nissan Leaf more range and a more affordable battery.

I don’t believe that the team in Coventry are the only group in the world with similar aims.

Note that in How Big Would The Batteries Need To Be On A Train For Regenerative Braking?, I reckoned that one battery from a Nissan Leaf could handle the regenerative braking energy of a four-car Class 710 train, running between Gospel Oak and Barking.

We are approaching the era of battery transportation at a fast pace.

October 23, 2016 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment