The Anonymous Widower

‘Grave Concern’ As Sales Of Low Emission Cars Fall

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first two paragraphs.

Sales of low emission cars in the UK have fallen for the first time in more than two years, the industry has said.

The decline comes as overall sales of new cars continued to fall, dropping 4.9% in June from the year before.

Confusing policies and the end of subsidies are being blamed by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.

Many of the reasons given in the article are probably valid, but I think there could be two main types of car owner.

  • Those who care about the environment and would be happy to buy a low emission car. Many have probably bought one already!
  • Those who say, I’m not being told by the government what type of car to buy.

The second group will have lots of reasons.

  • I’m not buying a low performance car.
  • When China, India and the United States stops burning coal, I’ll think about it.
  • My last car lasted twenty years and my current on is only four years old.
  • I live in Surrey and it will be a pain driving to Manchester to see United play!

I also suspect that many hope that the new Tory Prime Minister might change the rules to get votes at the next General Election.

Conclusion

As a non-driver, I don’t care!

 

 

July 4, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Does Boris Need To Be Prime Minister For The Flat And The Money?

According to Camilla long in The Sunday Times, Boris is living n a flat in Camberwell and outside is his 1995 Toyota people carrier, sdorned with a few parking tickets.

It sounds to me, like the lifestyle of a loser, not that of someone, who aspires to lead the country.

Jeremy Hunt is shown on the Internet driving a clean Volkswagen estate, that appears to be a few years old.

So is Boris short of money, as he strives to win the most important election of his life?

There is also the small matter of his divorce from the barrister; Marina Wheeler.

Even if she is not a divorce specialist, then one of her friends will be an expert is making sure the wayward Boris is strewed, glued and tattooed.

Conclusion

Winning the election and the free flat and increased salary would do Boris just fine.

June 23, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | 5 Comments

Airport Plans World’s Biggest Car Parks For 50,000 Cars

The title of this post, is the same as that of an asricle in Wednesday’s copy of The Times.

This is the first two paragraphs.

The biggest car parks in the world will be built as part of a £14 billion expansion of Heathrow amid fresh claims that the scheme will be an “environmental disaster”.

Parking for almost 53,000 vehicles will be built as part of a 30-year masterplan, even though the airport insists that expansion can be achieved without any extra cars on the road.

This sounds to be contradictory, as why would you need to build extra car parking, if there were no more extra cars on the road?

Perhaps there is a clue later in the article, where this is is a paragraph.

Heathrow said that the overall number of parking spaces would “not change materially from today”, insisting that spaces were simply being consolidated on bigger sites. It pointed out that car parks would allow for 100 per cent electric vehicle usage in the future. In total, the number of parking spaces, including those for staff and spaces at nearby offices, will grow from 64,000 today to 67,000.

Admittedly, it only says allow, but Heathrow are future-proofing themselves for the day when everyone is driving electric cars.

Heathrow and others are also planning to do the following.

  • Charge a congestion charge of up to £15 a day will be imposed by 2026 to dissuade passengers from travelling to the airport by car.
  • A “green loop” — a 12-mile pedestrian and cycle network — will also circle the airport.
  • Finish Crossrail.
  • Improve Heathrow Express.
  • There will be a rail link to Reading.
  • There will be a second rail link to Waterloo via Clapham Junction.
  • There will be a rail link to Basingstoke, Guildford and Woking, possibly by extending Heathrow Express.

Will these measures nudge travellers in one of two positive directions?

  • Using public transport to get to the Airport.
  • Cycling or working to the airport.
  • Using an electric car to get to and from the Airport.

I am a Control Engineer, who spent a working life of nearly fifty years analysing data and doing mathematical calculations, hopefully to improve little bits of the world.

So what would I do?

It is absolutely essential that it is known, where all the vehicles to the airport are travelling to and from.

No-one is going to get out of their car, if there is no creditable alternative

The ultimate aim must be that, all transport within a certain distance of the Airport must be zero carbon.

  • All vehicles used by travellers and workers to get to and from the Airport.
  • All vehicles bringing supplies to the Airport.
  • All airside vehicles.

What will happen to those that lived in the zone?

This Google Map shows Hanwell Village to the South-West of the Airport.

Will all those residents pay the congestion charge?

But suppose Heathrow could get ninety percent of all cars travelling to  the Airport and using the car parks, to be electric vehicles.

This would be 45,000 vehicles, each with a battery of between 40-60 kWh. Let’s call it, 50 kWh.

This would mean that the total of energy storage on a typical day at the Airport would be 2.25 GWh.

Compare that to the 9.1 GWh capacity of Electric Mountain.

Electric Mountain would be bigger, but intelligent control of the batteries of these electric cars could create a massive electricity storage resource at the Airport.

  • Cars would be connected to a two-way charger, when the driver went about their business at the Airport, after telling the car when they would return.
  • On return to the car, it would have enough charge for the next journey.
  • The driver would also have an app on their phone, so they could alter their return times.
  • Whilst the driver was away, the grid would borrow electricity as required.

The grid might even pay for the use of your battery.

I suspect that all car parks for electric cars will work using something like this model.

Note the following calculation.

In December 2018, there were 31.5 million cars and four million light goods vehicles in the UK.

In a few years time, suppose half of these vehicles are electric with a 20 KWh battery.

That works out at an astronomical 355 GWh or nearly forty Electric Mountains.

  • Electric Mountain cost £425 million in 1984.
  • Applying a web inflation calculator means it would cost around £1350 million today.
  • So forty Electric Mountains would cost £54 billion.

That is a lot of money and we have no place to put them.

But we have this massive storage capability in the millions of electric vehicles, that will be on the roads in a few years.

Conclusion

All future large car parks must be built to be large storage batteries, when drivers plug in their electric cars.

If you were to be paid for the use of your car’s battery, would that ease the exense of owning an electric car?

 

 

 

June 21, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 3 Comments

Highbury Corner Is Finally Getting There!

I had almost stopped using Highbury & Islington station, due to the construction works at Highbury Corner, which have been going on for several years.

I posted Changes At Highbury Corner in February 2016.

These pictures show it a few days ago!

This map from the linked post shows the intended road layout.

Highbury Corner Changes

Highbury Corner Changes

The map is a good summary of the proposed changes.

It certainly means that my walk from the bus-top to the station isn’t an obstacle course.

May 31, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Silicon Roundabout Goes Two-Way

Old Street Roundabout, commonly known as Silicon Roundabout has now gone two-way!

But as these pictures, which were taken around nine in the morning, show, it is a traffic nightmare.

It’s not good for pedestrians either and I now use the trains from Angel or Essex Road to go safely underneath at busy times.

Surely the big problem, is what do you call Silicon Roundabout?

May 30, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 1 Comment

Schools Should Have ‘No Idling Zones’, Public Health England Chief Says

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

These are the first three paragraphs of the article.

Public health chiefs have proposed a ban on cars idling outside school gates in a bid to cut air pollution.

The measure is among a series of UK-wide recommendations put forward by Public Health England.

PHE medical director Paul Cosford told the BBC: “We should stop idling outside schools and we should make sure that children can walk or cycle to school.”

The article also lists other measures.

  • Redesigning cities so people aren’t so close to highly polluting roads by, for example, designing wider streets or using hedges to screen against pollutants
  • Investing more in clean public transport as well as foot and cycle paths
  • Encouraging uptake of low emission vehicles by setting more ambitious targets for installing electric car charging points
  • Discouraging highly polluting vehicles from entering populated areas with incentives such as low emission or clean air zones

All motherhood and apple pie, but it will be a vote loser for any Government, that tries to i9mplement it.

 

March 11, 2019 Posted by | Health, Transport | , | 2 Comments

Lorry Bashes Into The Notorious Ely Railway Bridge – Again

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Ely Standard.

This picture was clipped from the article.

To describe the driver as an idiot, is an insult to all those with a low IQ.

The driver should be banned for a very long time and only allowed to drive again, after he has leaned to read.

To further illustrate his stupidity, I took these pictures at Ely last month, before they re-opened the bridge.

This must be one of the worst cases of stupid driving, I’ve ever seen.

March 5, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 1 Comment

A406 North Circular Road ‘Most Congested’ In The UK

The title of this post is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first paragraph.

Motorists on the UK’s most congested road spend an average of two and a half days a year sitting in traffic.

The section of the A406 between the Hangar Lane Gyratory and Chiswick Roundabout has always been a dreadful road to drive on, as long as I can remember.

These pictures show typical traffic around eleven o’clock in the morning.

There does seem to be rather a lot of private cars and small commercial vehicles, with only a few HGVs and buses.

I would love to see an analysis of where these journeys start and finish.

Converting the road to a multi-lane dual carriageway wouldn’t be possible, as much of it is lined with private houses and even if it could be built it would just attract more traffic and would need to be widened even more.

There are circular routes further out of London like the M25 and the A412, but this road is an intractable problem.

Perhaps, it needs to be in a Congestion Charge Zone?

But is a solution at hand?

Crossrail

Crossrail, if and when it opens, will not be a direct solution, as it goes East-West and not North-South like the A406 through the area.

But it will give better access to Heathrow, which is a large traffic generator in West London.

Crossrail will link the following to the Airport.

  • Canary Wharf
  • The City of London
  • East London and Essex
  • South-East London and Kent
  • West End and Paddington

It will do little to help those in North and South London to travel to and from the Airport.

Old Oak Common Station And High Speed Two

The connection of High Speed two and Crossrail could make a difference.

  • Passengers using High Speed Two travelling to and from Heathrow, would have an easy route.
  • North and North-East Londoners will be able to use the North London Line with a change at Old Oak Common.
  • South Londoners will be able to use the West London Line with changes at Old Oak Common and Clapham Junction stations.

But Old Oak Common station won’t open under 2026 at the earliest.

It is needed now.

It also does nothing for those travellers in wide swathes of North-West London.

The West London Orbital Railway

If there is a trusty knight on an immaculate white charger, coming to the rescue, it could be the West London Orbital Railway, although as it would be stitched together from parts of existing and underused infrastructure, it has more of the Dirty Dozen about it.

There would be two routes.

  • West Hampstead Thameslink and Hounslow via Cricklewood, Gldstone Park, Neasden, Harlesden, Old Oak Common, Acton Central, South Acton, Brentford, Syon Lane and Isleworth.
  • Hendon and Kew Bridge via Brent Cross West, Gldstone Park, Neasden, Harlesden, Old Oak Common, Acton Central and South Acton.

The project has various advantages.

  • No substantial amount of new track will be needed.
  • It could be run using battery-powered trains.
  • Costs would be well under half a billion pounds.
  • It would connect to Thameslink and Bakerloo, Jubilee and North London Lines.

When Old Oak Common and High Speed Two open, it would have a direct connection.

I wrote about this railway in detail in New Railway Line For West London Proposed.

North Acton Station

As stated under Development in the Wikipedia entry for North Acton station, there may be reasons to rebuild the station to create a connection between the North London and Central Lines.

This Google Map shows the area around North Acton station.

Note.

  1. North Acton station in the North-West corner of the map.
  2. The North London Line running North-South to the right of the map.
  3. The Dudding Hill Line branches off the North London Line at the top of the map.
  4. The Central Line running East-West through North Acton station and under the North London Line.
  5. Threading its way through North of the Central Line is the Acton-Northolt Line.
  6. The Acton-Northolt Line could be developed by Chiltern Railways to give access to a second London terminal at Old Oak Common.

To develop a successful station at North Acton, that tied everything together would be a hard ask.

  • The bridge carrying the North London Line is very high.
  • The height would make step-free access expensive.
  • The frequency of trains on both the North London and Central Lines could be twelve trains per hour (tph).
  • At least, there does appear to be plenty of space from the map.

On the other hand, an architect with vision might be able to create a station that was affordable and provided high benefits for passengers.

Conclusion

There’s certainly potential in West London to improve the rail routes, although I’m not sure whether rebuilding North Acton station would be viable.

But, we should start building the West London Orbital Railway immediately.

 

 

 

February 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Tale Of Two Cities

This article in the Evening Standard is entitled Traffic Will Be Banned From Three Roads Leading To Bank Junction Following Cyclists’s Death.

  • Priority will be given to pedestrians and cyclists at Bank Junction in the City of London.
  • The works will be completed before the works at Bank station are completed in 2022.
  • There may be a street market in front of the Bank of England.
  • The taxi drivers don’t like it.

Compare this to the attitude of London’s other city;Westminster, which has recently, gone against the pedestrianisation of part of Oxford Street and the extension of a Cycle Superhighway.

February 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | 2 Comments

The New London Pollution Charge — May Be Mayor Sadiq Khan’s ‘Poll Tax Moment’

The title of this post is the same as that of a news story in today’s Sunday Times.

This is the first paragraph.

The ‘ultra-low emission zone’ will force 1m motorists to pay the £12.50 daily charge — or get off the road,

The Sunday Times has done a detailed analysis and makes the following points about the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

  • About a million vehicles will be liable to the new levy.
  • The ULEZ charge of £12.50 will be a nice little earner for Transport for London (TfL).
  • The ULEZ charge will raise three times as much as the Congestion Charge.
  • It could collect up to £1.5billion per year.
  • Some people will be paying £4,000 a year to drive their own car.
  • Initially, the charge will only be levied in Central London, but after 2021, it will apply inside the North and South Circular Roads.
  • The Sunday Times has read some TfL impact assessments.

Reading the full article convinces me, that I made the right decision to give up driving.

I am in favour of the ULEZ, as I suffer from pollution and I don’t have a driving licence because my eyesight was damaged by a stroke.

But Sadiq Khan seems to have forgotten a lesson of recent history, where the City of Westminster voted down his laudable aim of pedestrianising part of Oxford Street.

On that issue, he should have pedestrianised all of it. Just as the City of London seems to be doing!

But the motoring lobby gave Westminster a good kicking and do you think, they will be less active at the ballot box in the next Mayoral Election?

Few would vote for someone, who would tax them an extra £4,000 a year.

Sadiq Khan is a well-meaning politically-correct lightweight, who doesn’t think through the effects of his promises.

 

 

December 9, 2018 Posted by | Transport, Uncategorized | , , , , | 1 Comment