The Anonymous Widower

An Inappropriate Advert

I didn’t think that this taxi-advert was in good taste.

No Time To Die has been put back to the 12th of November.

May 4, 2020 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , | 3 Comments

Hiring More Female Lorry Drivers Would Cut Accidents

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

A study by the University of Westminster has shown that women drivers have less accidents.

This is a paragraph from the article.

Academics called for more women to be recruited to driving jobs in light of their better road safety record. They said that greater gender equality in positions that rely on motoring skills such as driving taxis, HGVs and delivery vans was needed to help cut deaths.

The article didn’t give any prediction about what will happen in the future.

So here goes!

We are already seeing taxis and delivery vans going zero carbon and I think within twenty years or even less, a large proportion of taxis, HGVs and delivery vans will be either battery-powered, or more likely, in my view, hydrogen-powered.

Look at the LEVC black taxi and compare it to its diesel forerunner.

  • It is more environmentally-friendly.
  • It has a lot of driver and passenger-friendly features.

But it is more expensive.

I suspect that the capital cost of a zero-carbon HGV bus or delivery van, will also be more expensive, than the current diesels.

  • As to the fuel costs between diesel, battery and hydrogen, this would depend on the application, but fuel costs tend to even themselves out.
  • There could be a saving with battery- and hydrogen-powered vehicles in terms of maintenance, just because they are less complicated.

Summing up I could say the following.

  • I am fairly sure, that a zero-carbon taxi, HGV bus or delivery van will have an acquisition cost, that is higher than a diesel version.
  • I also think that if the vehicle was run on a twenty-four hour basis, that the fuel costs would be comparable per mile, but maintenance costs would be less.
  • So I think it likely, that vehicle owners would be more likely to want to run vehicles on a twenty-four hour basis, to get a better return on their capital.

Surely, this would require more drivers.

Consider.

  • A lot of black taxis in London are shared between two drivers.
  • There have been several instances, where I have read that a couple have both been London Underground drivers, as they can arrange shifts to fit in with child care and domestic duties.
  • The partner of a driver, will surely know what the job entails.
  • Driving a modern HGV or bus, is a lot less gruelling than it used to be.

Will more family-friendly methods of working emerge, that allows partners of existing drivers to join the profession?

London Underground certainly changed working conditions to get enough driver for the Night Tube.

Conclusion

Would employing more female drivers cut accidents?

It all depends on the quality of the drivers; both male and female.

But, I suspect that improvements in all vehicles in the future, will cut accidents anyway!

 

April 7, 2020 Posted by | Transport | , , , , | 1 Comment

Tesla Has A Rival In New Hyundai Hydrogen-Powered Semi-Truck Concept

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

This is the introductory paragraph.

hyundai has revealed two new hydrogen-powered concepts – a fuel cell electric semi-truck and refrigerated trailer. both vehicles are part of the automaker’s fuel cell electric vehicle 2030 vision, which includes the widespread use of hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology in vehicles.

The concept looks to be aimed at large countries like Australia, Canda and the United States, but surely one scaled to the United Kingdom market, would be a very useful truck.

  • It would be a very efficient motorway cruiser, with those aerodynamics..
  • It would be zero-emission with no pollution, so could operate in cities.
  • The cab could be designed to meet all present and future driver visibility regulations.
  • It might not be liable for extra charges in cities like London.
  • Would battery trucks have enough range?

These trucks will be seen on UK roads in the next few years, as I believe that there is no other way to decarbonise heavy road transport.

Eight-Wheeler Trucks

If I walk two hundred metres from my house to the Balls Pond Road or the Kingsland High Road, the most common truck, that I see is an eight-wheeler heavy truck, that is transporting building materials, cement and spoil to and from the myriad building sites around where I live.

The pictures show typical eight-wheeler trucks working during the installation of the subway at Hackney Wick station.

Note the space under the truck between the front and rear axles. Surely, those clever Koreans can fit all the hydrogen gubbins under and in the truck.

  • Many of these trucks are in large fleets, which return to a depot, that is close to the city centre on a regular basis, so refuelling should be easy to arrange.
  • These trucks would probably need less fuel per day, than a large artic.
  • I doubt they would pay any access charges.
  • As they would be pollution-free, zero-carbon and probably a lot quieter, would they be able to work near sensitive sites like hispitals, schools and transport hubs?

They could be a very good economic proposition in a large city of urban conurbation.

Other Trucks

I also believe that hydrogen would be a sensible fuel for several classes of other trucks.

  • Four-wheel box vans.
  • Refuse trucks
  • Skip lorries
  • Larger vans

Hydrogen buses already seem to be running successfully in several cities.

The Missing Hydrogen Vehicle

I have chatted with black cab drivers in London, about the use of hydrogen as a fuel for taxis. Black cabs are getting larger and I believe that hydrogen could be their ideal fuel.

Conclusion

I believe that hydrogen will play a big part in decarbonising transport in the next few years and especially in urban areas.

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

Could A White LEVC TX Electric Taxi Be A 21st Century Wedding Car?

I took these pictures of a white LEVC TX electric taxi at St. Pancras station.

A few minutes later, I got into a more common black one and asked the driver.

He said, he was very pleased with his new vehicle and he suspected some had been used as wedding cars.

September 20, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , | 2 Comments

The London Cablet

I took these pictures outside Carluccio’s in Smithfield.

It is called the London Cablet.

September 3, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

House Prices And Stations

I clipped this from the Evening Standard.

Enough said!

I purposely chose my house to be within ten minutes walk from the two Dalston Overground stations, that would open a couple of years after I moved in.

  • It is also within walking distance of twelve major bus routes. All the routes can carry wheel-chairs, if I should ever need one!
  • Five routes have stops, within a hundred metres, serving Bank, British Museum, Euston, Harley Street, Kings Cross, London Bridge, Manor House, Moorgate, Piccadilly Circus, Shaftesbury Avenue, St. Pauls, University College Hospital and Victoria.
  • I’m only fifty metres from a major cycling route between the City and White Hart Lane.
  • I even have a garage, that opens onto the street! But no car!
  • My road is wide and there is usually plenty of parking space for visitors or on-line deliveries.
  • A taxi ride from Euston, Liverpool Street or Kings Cross is usually under fifteen pounds at all times.

It will get even better!

  • When Crossrail opens, I will have 10-12 buses per hour to the Moorgate/Liverpool Street station.
  • Dalston Junction station will get a frequency of twenty trains per hour to and from Canada Water, Shoreditch and Whitechapel, that fan out to a selection of places in South London like Crystal Palace, Clapham Junction, Peckham and Penge.
  • Dalston Kingsland station will get a frequency of twelve trains per hour to Stratford in the East and Camden, Clapham Junction, Hampstead and High Speed Two in the West.
  • I will probably get a series of electric car charging points in the parking spaces in the road, where I live.
  • I could put a personal electric car charging point in my garage.

I’m told the value of my house has risen well in the almost ten years, I’ve owned it.

Did somebody once say, that the location of a property, were the three most important things about it?

Conclusion

Make sure your next property has good access to public transport.

June 13, 2019 Posted by | Transport, World | , , , , , , | 4 Comments

I Have Yet To See A Lady Driving A London Battery Taxi

You don’t see many ladies driving black cabs in London, but there are more than a few.

But I’ve yet to see one of the new LEVC TX taxi being driven by a lady!

As the numbers of these taxis appear to be increasing, I don’t think it will be long before I come home in a battery taxi, driven by a lady.

 

June 11, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

‘Empty’ Uber Cabs Driving Pollution And Congestion

The title of this post is the same as that of an article in today’s Sunday Times.

This is the first paragraph.

Uber cab drivers carry a paying passenger for less than half their shift, according to new data that raises serious concerns that the ride-hailing giant is adding to congestion and pollution.

The article also says that Uber cabs are carrying a paying passenger only 42% of the time.

This fits with my observation around busy points in London like Kings Cross station, where you see lots of Toyota Prius card with just a driver in them.

Only an hour ago, one such car, did a U-turn at Highbury Corner causing delay to everybody else. I can’t be sure it was an Uber cab, but it very much looked like one.

On a related point, a couple of months ago, my son paid for me to have an Uber cab from Walthamstow to Dalston. The cab had come all the way from Ealing around the North Circular Road, to pick me up.

How environmentally-friendly is that?

Conclusion

We need to cut pollution and non-electric cars crawling around waiting for business or driving half-way across London for a fare, is not a good idea.

  • Perhaps, Uber and other non-electric cabs should only be licensed to pick up in one London Borough.
  • All cabs should also be clearly marked with their company.

The sooner though, all vehicles inside the North Circular Road are zero-carbon the better..

 

June 9, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | 2 Comments

Is It Illegal To Discriminate Against Diesel Black Cabs?

I probably take one or two black cabs a week.

Usually, this is from a rank at a main line station or from outside Marks & Spencer on Finsbury Pavement, when I have a lot of shopping.

A couple of days ago, I was waiting outside Moorgate station for a 21 or 141 bus to travel home, as these conveniently stop within a hundred metres of my house.

Note that I prefer the 21 bus, as its’s a New Routemaster, which are more spacious.

But as no bus seemed due and I was in a hurry, I decided to take a black cab.

So I made a deal with myself. Whichever cam first of a 21 bus or a battery electric taxi would take me home. The bus came first and I got in.

I think now, that there are more battery electric taxis on the streets, in Central London, the chances of being picked up by one are increasing significantly.

But is it illegal to discriminate, as I now appear to be doing?

I would argue, that my choice of a battery electric taxi is not environmental but selfish! These new taxis are more comfortable, spacious and quieter, making the journey experience much more pleasurable.

After all, why would you travel in a Ford or Vauxhall, when you have the comfort of a Jaguar? Especially, as the cost of both vehicles is the same!

May 25, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

DfT Consulting On Plans To Expand Pay-As-You-Go Rail Travel Nationwide

The total of this post is the same as that of this article on Rail Technology Magazine.

I can’t see what the problem is.

  • My bank card would be linked to my Freedom Pass and Senior Railcard on either a ticketing web site or even better on my on-line bank account.
  • If it were the latter, then when I checked my bank account, as I do regularly, I could also check my travel.
  • I would then just touch in and touch out for each journey.
  • The central computer would then give me the best price for my journey.

As an example, if I went to say Oxford, I would only be charged between the Zone 6 boundary, which is my Freedom Pass limit and Oxford station.

I would not need to buy an extra ticket.

This is all well and good for those with UK bank accounts, but how would it handle other eventualities?

Overseas Visitors

If say one of my overseas friends was in the UK, they would just use a contactless bank card.

If they had a Railcard, as several do, they would register the link on a ticketing web site.

Advance Tickets

These could still be bought on-line or at a booking office as now.

Buses, Taxis and Trams

The system should be extended to buses, taxis, traims and any other future transport systems like cable-cars and pod systems.

Conclusion

It would be a very complicated computer system to program, but most of the work has already been done for London and is working successfully.

It would make the UK’s public transport system one of the most passenger-fruendly in the world.

What would that do for ridership? And tourism?

 

February 8, 2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment