The Anonymous Widower

A First Trip In An Electric Taxi

I took these pictures during and after my first ride in an electric taxi.

I liked the experience.

  • The ride was good.
  • The vehicle was quiet.
  • You could talk easily to the driver, which helped as we had to change route due to a road closure.
  • It’s got USB charging points for phones.

But the best feature must be the glass roof. Although the rain ruined the view.

It wouldn’t be a London taxi without a few strong negative opinions from the driver.

  • He’d just cleaned the taxi and the rain was ruining his work.
  • There are not enough charging points.
  • He didn’t think Uber pay enough tax. Doesn’t everybody think that?

The driver certainly seemed pleased with his cab.

As a perhaps five-times-a-month user of black cabs, I will certainly look forward to having another ride, as they are definitely a better experience.

You can’t write about black cabs without adding a comment about other minicabs, private hire vehicles and Ubers in London.

When will new additions to these fleets of other vehicles, have to be electric?

 

August 26, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

ERTMS Rollout Between London-Paris-Brussels Agreed

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Global Rail News.

This is the first paragraph.

An agreement has been reached by the infrastructure managers of the high-speed railway between London, Paris and Brussels – one of Europe’s busiest routes – to coordinate the rollout of European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS).

Rollout of ERTMS on these important routes must surely be a good idea, if it can enable extra and faster services on these busy routes.

July 24, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Legal & General Has Acquired One Of The Last Major Crossrail Development Sites

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

There have been several stories like this is recent months and I think it shows how Crossrail will generate new housing an business developments across London.

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Travel, World | , , , | Leave a comment

The New London Rail Maps Are Out, And They Are Horrible

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

I haven’t seen the maps yet, so I won’t comment in detail.

But read the article!

Could it be that London’s rail maps are now getting so complicated, there needs to be some very deep thought?

May 24, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , | Leave a comment

50% Of All TfL Pay As You Go Journeys Are Now Made Using Contactless Payments.

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

This is the first paragraph.

Londoners and visitors to the British capital have embraced the contactless way to pay, with more than 17 million pay as you go journeys on bus, Tube and rail services made a week using the technology according to the latest figures from Transport for London (TfL). This total equates to around half of all pay as you go journeys now being made using contactless payment cards or mobile devices.

The article goes on to say New York and Sydney are going to similar systems.

Can anybody tell me, why other large cities and conurbations in the UK, aren’t installing similar systems based on contactless payments?

Especially, as London ain’t seen nothing yet!

April 25, 2018 Posted by | Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

The Electric Taxis Are Coming

London’s new electric black taxis will soon be seen on the streets.

From the pictures, I’ve seen, they could be an interesting ride.

  • There is a panoramic glass roof.
  • They are roomier, than the current black cabs and can seat six instead of five.
  • Wi-fi and charging points are standard.
  • Air-conditioning.
  • A small petrol engine is used to boost range up to nearly 400 miles.

I shall search one out for a ride.

The Times though points out an interesting point about the design. This is said.

The bigger story is LEVC will now use the technology behind the TX to build far greater volumes of hybrid electric vans, the sort that deliver all our online shopping.

That certainly is a bigger story.

A few points of my own.

Geo-Fencing

Will geo-fencing be used to ensure that in central and sensitive areas and those with high air pollution, the taxi will run on batteries only.

This would also be particularly useful with the delivery van, where delivery depots tend to be outside the centre of a city.

Wireless Charging

London’s black cabs use rabjs and only yesterday, I picked up one from the rank at the Angel.

Milton Keynes has buses that can be charged using an inductive system.

So why not install inductive charging on taxi ranks?

Online Shopping Delivery

Parcel delivery companies don’t have the best of images. Electric last-mile delivery would certainly help.

For too long, vans have just been a crude metal box, with a couple of seats and an engine at the front.

So why not design a complete system around the taxi chassis?

  • If the depot was outside the city centre, charging could be done at both the depot and on the journeys to and from the centre
  • The van could also be designed so that containers packed at the depots could be loaded for each delivery.
  • The containers could also be brought into the centre of the city at night into the main station by a purpose-designed train.
  • A sophisticated onboard computer could control the driver and the deliveries.

There is a wonderful opportunity here to develop parcel delivery systems that are truly efficient and as pollution-free as possible.

Service Vans

If I walk down my road of about 150 houses and a couple of tower blocks on any weekday during working hours, I will probably count around half-a-dozen service vans of various types for small builders, plumbers. Most have not come further than a dozen miles.

If the economics of the electric van are pitched right, I think a large proportion of these vehicles will go electric, as they often sit around for large periods during the working day.

Conclusion

I can’t wait to get a ride in one of these taxis.

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

Could London Introduce Lifts With Inbuilt Ticketing?

Use the Underground or the trains in London and you have to have to touch in and out with your contactless ticket, Oyster card, smart phone or Freedom Pass.

Suppose you want to put lifts into a station, where putting the lift inside the ticket barriers would be difficult, but perhaps putting it outside on the street would be easy.

This technique has been used at Bank station to provide step-free access to the Docklands Light Railway.

When I called the lift to enter the station, the lift was sent by an operator in the Control Room.

So why not combine an outside lift with the ticketing?

Perhaps to call the lift, you need to touch in or out?

 

November 10, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , , | 2 Comments

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

Whitechapel’s Monster Fatberg

This article on the BBC is entitled ‘Monster’ fatberg found blocking east London sewer.

It has now been cleared up and Thames Water have turned the mess into enough fuel to power three hundred and fifty buses for a day.

We’ve had these fatbergs in London before as the Guardian reported in 2015.

It seems the big problem is fast food outlets with dubious hygiene practices, who just tip the fat down the drains.

I know of someone, who had a problem with a pub near where they lived, which wasn’t handling its rubbish properly. A call to the local Council got it sorted.

So perhaps, the solution is in part, getting the Council to check the hygiene practices of all food outlets better.

Also, just as a plastic bag tax has cut their use, perhaps we need a wet wipe and a nappy tax to cut use of these products, as they are another big problem.

 

September 19, 2017 Posted by | World | , , | Leave a comment

MTR Plans More Intensive Crossrail Service

The title of this post is the same as an article in the International Railway Journal.

The Planned Central Service

According to Wikipedia, it is planned that the services through the central section is as follows.

Peak

4 tph (trains per hour) Abbey Wood–Heathrow Terminal 4
6 tph Abbey Wood–Paddington
2 tph Abbey Wood–West Drayton
8 tph Shenfield–Paddington
2 tph Shenfield–Reading
2 tph Shenfield–Maidenhead

Off Peak

4 tph Abbey Wood–Heathrow Terminal 4
4 tph Abbey Wood–Paddington
4 tph Shenfield–Paddington
2 tph Shenfield–Reading
2 tph Shenfield–Maidenhead

Which gives totals of 24 tph in the Peak and 16 tph in the Off Peak.

The article suggests that more Off Peak services will be provided.

This is probably only following the rules of the Victoria Line, which runs at a frequency of around 30 tph most of the day and 6 tph at night.

A Train Every Two And A Half Minutes

One of Crossrail’s nine-car Class 345 trains will come through the central section, every two and a half minutes, linking the following stations between Paddington and Stratford stations.

  • Bond Street
  • Tottengham Court Road
  • Farringdon
  • Moorgate
  • Liverpool Street
  • Whitechapel

I think that the frequency of the trains and the design of the stations, will encourage walkers and short distance travellers to use the line.

So could we see a very different pattern of use on Crossrail, when compared to the existing Central Line.

Other factors will make predicting traffic difficult.

  • The line runs along one of Europe’s busiest shopping streets.
  • The line and connects to Heathrow,
  • Many journeys across London will now be made without changing trains.

Being able to increase train frequency would;d be a useful contingency to avoid train overcrowding.

So it looks like MTR are being prudent.

May 12, 2017 Posted by | Travel | , , | 2 Comments