Ken's new utterances. - oldgit
Just heard on the local BBC Londo news that Ken Livingstone is thinking of introducing higher congestion charges on those vehicles that produce high levels of Carbon Dioxide. This would presumably include the 'Chelsea Tractors' and their ilk.

He is talking about a possible hike in the charge to something in the region of £25/day for such transgressors and £8 for the rest of us who don't pollute so much.
Ken's new utterances. - local yokel
First mooted on June 21.

news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/5102534.stm
Ken's new utterances. - DP
Since the congestion charge was introduced, most of the cars on London's roads during the working day are very late £30k+ cars clearly driven by people who can and would pay £50 a day to drive them into town. I work in the West End, and lose count of the number of Range Rover Sports, X5's, Bentleys, Porsches and top end BMW's, Mercs and Audis I see. In other words, the roads are now almost exclusively used by the type of people who won't be deterred by a financial penalty, and wouldn't use public transport if it were free.

It's Mr and Mrs Average who are suffering. An odd attitude from a man who claims to be a socialist.
Ken's new utterances. - Altea Ego
An odd attitude from a man who claims to be a socialist

Not at all, Ken is turning the congestion charge into a Wealth Tax, a perfectly valid, nay core, socialist value

screw the poor hard, and screw the rich harder until they leave, so the poor get screwed harder still to make up for the lost revenue,
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Ken's new utterances. - mss1tw
What about everyone in the middle?
Ken's new utterances. - Altea Ego
There is no middle in socialism. or top. or bottom. Everyone is an equal brother.

Is just that some of your equal brothers need to steal from you to give your money to those of your equal brothers who are too lazy to climb out of bed.
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
Until someone comes up with a better form of rationing, rationing by price is not a bad arrangement.

Those wealthy people are no paying for improvements to public transport system. Seems reasonably socialist to me. But the system could be improved further, by this idea of higher charges for gas guzzlers.
Ken's new utterances. - DP
Those wealthy people are no paying for improvements to public transport
system. Seems reasonably socialist to me. But the system
could be improved further, by this idea of higher charges for
gas guzzlers.


All well and good in theory, but public transport is not improving as fast and to the same extent as the driving conditions that the rich are now enjoying.

Don't forget too that this is a man who has openly declared his hatred for the private car on many occasions previously, and a man who is known for his emotions getting in the way of rational and logical argument.
Ken's new utterances. - local yokel
>It's Mr and Mrs Average who are suffering.

Since when did the Averages ever drive into central London on a daily basis, other than as builders/service engineers etc. who need the van's contents to complete their work? I lived and worked in the centre for twelve years, and the only people I knew who drove in were the plump felines with company-owned parking spaces. Even so, God knows why they wanted to drive in given the traffic, when the public transport was, in the main, quite fast and moderately reliable.
Ken's new utterances. - AngryJonny
Since when did the Averages ever drive into central London on
a daily basis, other than as builders/service engineers etc. who need
the van's contents to complete their work?


Agreed. Before the CC I never drove in central London because it was near enough impossible. Now I don't drive in central London because I can't afford to. The only way it changed my life was by forcing a few more people onto an already packed tube network - but a group of idiots on July 7th last year sorted that one out.

If someone is prepared to pay the congestion charge then let 'em. It's 8 quid that I don't have to pay in tax.
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
All well and good in theory, but public transport is not improving as fast and to the same extent as the
driving conditions that the rich are now enjoying.


All the more reason to tax 'em more, build more bus lanes, and improve public transport more quickly. :)
Don't forget too that this is a man who has openly declared his hatred for the private car on many occasions previously,


Most notably before elections. The London voters like it, or at least enough of them like it to get him re-elected.
and a man who is known for his emotions getting in the way of rational and logical argument.


Don't underestimate him. Apart from the daft spat with the Jewish journalist, those "emotional" pronouncements are carefully calculated to boost his image as a "cheeky chappie" who says the things that other politicians don't dare say.
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
Right about some things NW, a stupid thug about the private car and traffic calming (I know this won't be your view), but not very sympathetic really if you look at him objectively... I used to be an admirer but no longer am.
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
Right about some things NW, a stupid thug about the private car and traffic calming (I know this won't be your view),
but not very sympathetic really if you look at him objectively... I used to be an admirer but no longer am.


As you guessed, I think we'd better agree to differ about the merits of his stance on road traffic :)

But the thing that amazes me about Ken is his ability to get away with things like his support for huge, high-density blocks of flats. I suspect that he hopes that being outspoken on transport will swing enough of the green vote his way that he can get away with it,
Ken's new utterances. - Manatee
NW wrote:
>>But the thing that amazes me about Ken is his ability to get away with things like his support for huge, high-density blocks of flats. I suspect that he hopes that >>being outspoken on transport will swing enough of the green vote his way that he can get away with it,

I believe he is exploiting the politics of envy and resentment rather than the green vote, which can't even get the greens elected, especially with his calculated attack on "Chelsea Tractors" and his carefully crafted reference to their owners as "idiots". Very sinister, and potentially he thin end of a very big wedge that will reduce everyone's control over their own lives.

Like Lud, I have admired Ken in the past for not being a typical politician and for his apparently sincerely held beliefs; but in cynically manipulating the feeble minded he is now peerless.
Ken's new utterances. - DP
Don't underestimate him. Apart from the daft spat with the
Jewish journalist, those "emotional" pronouncements are carefully calculated to boost his
image as a "cheeky chappie" who says the things that other
politicians don't dare say.


I know he's not stupid, and although I strongly disagree with most of his political views and many of his policies, I do have quite a lot of respect for him as a person. Unlike most politicians he seems to speak and act with genuine conviction, and at least he actually uses public transport while telling us to get out of our cars. He's certainly not a hypocrite, and I am convinced he genuinely believes what he is doing is right. There aren't many other politicians who could claim that.

At the end of the day, I don't live in London so what Ken does or doesn't do or whether he gets re-elected or not is irrelevant to me. Yes, I work in London, but that's my own choice, and I would use public transport to get in and out regardless of the Congestion Charge anyway, so it's neither here or there. At the moment though we have a situation where the peasants get to sweat it out on overcrowded and unreliable (despite the supposed "improvements") public transport while the rich have a free hand to swan about on less crowded roads in their gas guzzling cars. Ken didn't create this problem, but his congestion charging policies are making it worse.

Cheers
DP
Ken's new utterances. - bradgate
I recently visited central London on a weekday for the first time since the introduction of the CC.

I was stunned by the extent of the success of the CC, and how few private cars now use these roads. DP is quite right, though. The private cars which were around were disproportionately expensive, prestige models accessible only to the rich.

They must love Ken. He has cleared all the ghastly plebs out of their way and has created "Club Class" roads for the rich man's use.

£8 a day? Cheap a twice the price.

Ken's new utterances. - tack
All well and good in theory, but public transport is not
improving as fast and to the same extent as the driving
conditions that the rich are now enjoying.


I have to say that I travel into the city of London from out east. I can count on one hand the number of times I have been seriously inconvenienced by transport problems, and probably on two hands the number of minor inconveniences. It is rare I don't get a seat on the way in, and I always get a seat on way home. I can read my book or the paper or even shut my eyes for a doze. Now and again I have to put up with the behaviour of Mr or Mrs socially inadequate. Even if I could afford it, I wouldn't want to drive into the city. One guy quoted in the Standard tonight (and who drives a 5litre Jeep into town) said "Why should I pay £25 to sub' transport when I never use it"? Well, I think he should pay £100 each time just for that quote. Of course, everyone has a right to choose how they get into work, but that choice does not always necessarily come cheap. I can choose to live in Hampstead, but the price of my 4 bed house out east would only get me a studio flat in Hampstead. I accept that and choose to stay in my larger house.

I don't particularly like the term Chelsea Tractor, it badly dresses a reasonable argument and raises hackles. I quite like the idea of saying to someone....."If you pollute more than the guy next to you, then you will pay more than the guy next to you" I believe that as me, my wife and daughter are more of a burden to the local council, (putting out 4 bags of rubbish per week) we should pay more council tax than a single person who is less of a burden.

Trouble is, lines are drawn, entrenched positions are taken, emotion trules. We are an "I want" society (self included) but it doesn't hurt to receive a slap in the chops from time to time to make you pinch yourself and think how lucky you are.
Ken's new utterances. - Bill Payer
Those wealthy people are no paying for improvements to public transport
system. Seems reasonably socialist to me. But the system
could be improved further, by this idea of higher charges for
gas guzzlers.

I would imagine that in the vast majority of cases the charges on the higher end cars are being paid by companies, not by the individual's.
Ken's new utterances. - Altea Ego
or claimed as a business expense, and offset against tax
------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Ken's new utterances. - ukbeefy
Although there are alot of the high end cars being driven around there are also quite a few other ordinary cars - I suspect these are either disabled drivers (or at least those with access to such a badge - not necessarily the same thing eg people using their partner's disability as a means to get a badge and driving around solo avoiding the paying the charge) and also residents within the zone.

You'd be amazed how many people I know who live in the zone who drive everywhere. I never understood why residents qualified for such a massive discount. If residents leave their car parked all day they don't incur the charge but by giving such a large discount it encourages daytime car use eg to drive out to supermarkets with car parks. The residents are still creating congestion by the use of their car and have even less justification for their car use by dint of living even closer into town than those outside the zone.
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
I never understood why residents qualified
for such a massive discount. If residents leave their car parked
all day they don't incur the charge but by giving such
a large discount it encourages daytime car use eg to drive
out to supermarkets with car parks.


Otherwise all the fleets registered within the zone would sue the heck out the city and mayor and without a doubt expose legal loophole for this tax. Think of all the estate agents, rentals, van fleets, servicing, energy and power fleets, every BT engineer, security patrol, armoured collection, every council service, postman and bodyguard chauffair that would have to pay £8...
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - Timaru
It's not the blue badge that exempts you from the congestion charge, it's the road tax exemption that we full time wheelchair users get with the high rate mobility component of the disability living allowance.

In other words you have to be totally knackered to get it.
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
Timaru, are you sure?

I ask because I know someone in London who has a car insured for use by a disabled neighbour, who regularly uses it. As a result, I'm told, the car is exempt from the congestion charge for all drivers ... although it's not registered in the disabled driver's name, and the disabled driver is not a wheelchair user.

I have just checked he guiadnce on it, at www.cclondon.com/downloads/DisabledPeople.pdf -- that says if depends on blue badge, but that the charge must be paid if the car is not being used "to assist the Blue Badge holder". I suspect that the latter rule is regularly broken ... and I wonder how many disabled people have the permitted two vehicles registered for disabled use under the CC :(

I can see a lot of scope for abuse here.
Ken's new utterances. - Timaru
Please except my apologies I've never read any further than this:

Please note that all vehicles used by disabled persons which are exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty are fully exempt from the congestion charge - no registration necessary for this exemption.

I can see your point re. abuse.
Ken's new utterances. - Thommo
The attractions of a Polish registered car seem to be increasing daily.

Not like there even an unusual sight these days.
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
The attractions of a Polish registered car seem to be increasing
daily.


Heh, you'll be surprised, since that glitch with US Embassy Congestion Charge fines are actually sent to Poland and private car owners in all other EC countries...
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - Thommo
If they want to send a penalty notice to my mail box address in Krakow that is their business but even if it is a real address the is no way to enforce these penalties in the courts of other EU countries. An issue they are fully area of.

www.alg.gov.uk/upload/public/attachments/715/Track...0
Overseas%20Evaders.pdf.pdf


Seems the most persistant offenders are French so maybe Paris is a better idea...



Ken's new utterances. - Aprilia
I don't live or work in London, however I do sometimes attend meetings there.
Since the CC was introduced it seems a notably more pleasant place - seems to be less air pollution?

I always travel into London by train and then take the tube. It seems pretty fast and efficient to me and over 20+ years of occassional visits I can't remember many problems. The only downside is the high cost of mainline railways - public transport in central London seems reasonably priced though.

Don't know much about Ken Livingstone, but he was democratically elected as mayor - so I guess there is the chance to throw him out next time if Londoners don't like his policies.

Anyone who thinks Congestion Charging is a 'socialist' policy must either be very young or have a short memory. Mrs Thatcher was a great proponent of all types of road pricing. Indeed, one of her favoured schemes was to make the outer ("fast") lane of motorways a toll lane. The theory being that thrusting execs who were short of time could zip past all the slower cars in the inner two lanes by using a sparsely-populated 'express' lane. TRRL were tasked to come up with some way of implementing this batty idea. Thankfully it never got off the ground.
Ken's new utterances. - AngryJonny
I always travel into London by train and then take the
tube. It seems pretty fast and efficient to me and
over 20+ years of occassional visits


As a daily user of the tube, I beg to differ. The following is a piece I wrote for another web-site about the underground itself. Whilst I admit it may contain some exaggerations, in my defence I wrote it on one of the three days a week that my journey to work gets crippled by the crushing ineptitude of TfL and their light rail network:





The London Underground is colloquially known as the "Tube" due to the shape of the tunnels and the trains that travel within them - how imaginative. A throwback from days when Queen Victoria was on the throne it pre-dates the Titanic, both world wars and comes from a time when the good townsfolk of Londinium (all 300 of them) thought that electricity was witchcraft and vehicles that moved without the help of a mule were the work of Satan.

The Underground system itself is in fact a narrow-gauge railway which travels under and sometimes over the streets of London at speeds of up to seven miles per hour on long straight sections. Contrary to popular belief it is not powered by electricity, but by a series of rubber bands which are wound by the driver when the train is in the station. The "electrified rail" is a myth that was invented by London Transport as an attempt to keep people off the track, preventing irrepairable damage to the trains, should one strike a passenger.

The concept of the London Underground was originally the brainchild of a sadist by the name of Vladimir b****** in 1792 as a way to move cattle from one area of London to another whilst allowing it to stand still and fatten up at the same time. It was used for this purpose until 1844 when it was superceded by road-going wagons laden with veal-crates as they were deemed to be less cruel than the underground railway. At around this time London was rapidly expanding and a novel way of moving the proles from the slums to the workhouses was required. The more affluent Victorian paupers could afford to walk to work but those that couldn't were herded onto the now obsolete underground railway.

In September 1861 a section of the tunnel underneath St John's Wood collapsed with the rockfall clipping the very back end of a train, crushing the rear half of the tail carriage. Seventeen thousand Londoners were killed on that one train, and a further quarter million were injured. The authorities were grateful that the accident occurred out of the rush hour when the death toll could have been a magnitude worse.

Every night the Underground closes for several hours of "maintenance" when workers emerge onto the tracks to hack away at wiring and bash the rails with sledgehammers, ensuring that by the following morning's rush-hour a whole new set of delays have been added to the multitude of ongoing problems. At any one time on the network there are two hundred and twenty trains running but only a hundred and forty drivers. The remainder of the trains simply sit in stations not moving, or roll freely down inclines.

Travelling on the Underground is marginally more comfortable than fire-walking to your destination but considerably slower. Your chances of being sat next to a tramp are slightly higher than one in three. Temperatures in the tunnels range from a cool 34 celsius in winter to a balmy 215 celsius in the height of summer when it isn't unknown for trains to melt and small children to spontaneously burst into flames. By the time they die the average Londoner will have spent over six years stood on a stationary train in a tunnel.

The longest tube journey to ever take place was made by Mrs Beatrice Langden of Tooting who set off from Oxford Circus in October 1938 and arrived back at her home in July 1949 to find her children had left home, she had become a grandmother, her husband had married another woman believing her dead and world war II had taken place in the meantime. The excuse given by London Transport was "a signal failure at London Bridge".
Ken's new utterances. - DP
The longest tube journey to ever take place was made by
Mrs Beatrice Langden of Tooting who set off from Oxford Circus
in October 1938 and arrived back at her home in July
1949 to find her children had left home, she had become
a grandmother, her husband had married another woman believing her dead
and world war II had taken place in the meantime. The
excuse given by London Transport was "a signal failure at London
Bridge".


PSML!!! That is brilliant.

The Tube is, based on my experience of using it from Zone 6 to Zone 1 (Metropolitan Line) twice a day five days a week, and charitably ingoring delays of up to 15 minutes, about 90% reliable. Not too bad compared to the average antediluvian public transport system in the UK, but would we accept a car that failed on every tenth journey? Would the Germans accept it on their transport network? I seriously doubt it.

The line I use also has NO spare capacity between 8 am and 9 am. I board a couple of stops from the terminus, so I get a seat, but the seats are gone three stops later, and the remaining standing room two stops after that. By the time gets to Wembley Park, people are usually turned away and have to wait for the next train, which I also sometimes catch if I'm running late, and is just as full.

If 1 in 20 of the people sitting in their cars queueing on the A40 through Hanger Lane underpass decided to pull off and catch the Tube at Wembley Park, the system simply would not have the capacity to cater for them. In my view the congestion charge is a tax and nothing more.

Cheers
DP
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
Don't know much about Ken Livingstone, but he was democratically elected
as mayor - so I guess there is the chance to
throw him out next time if Londoners don't like his policies.


Actually he was re-elected by 36.7% minority of 35.9% turnout, so effectively only one in 10 Londoners voted for Ken but due to bizarre "first choice/second choice" voting regulations it was enough for Ken to become despotic ruler of the capital for the second time, without a single proper watchdog to tame his fascist tentencies.
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - nick
Actually he was re-elected by 36.7% minority of 35.9% turnout, so
effectively only one in 10 Londoners voted for Ken but due
to bizarre "first choice/second choice" voting regulations it was enough for
Ken to become despotic ruler of the capital for the second
time, without a single proper watchdog to tame his fascist tentencies.

If people don't exercise their right to vote that's their problem, not Ken's. Presumably they don't care who is mayor.
Interesting to see that one minute he's a socialist and the next a fascist!
Ken's new utterances. - Thommo
I constant have to explain to Americans that Ken is not a real 'Mayor'. The Mayor of New York for example effectively runs the city.

When the mayoralty of London was set up it was deliberately made toothless and Ken's only tax raising ability is the congestion change which is why it will increase expotentially over the years.

I suspect this was done by a Labour government who knew Ken would win and therefore tried to limit the damage he could do.

It is in effect a big soapbox on which he can stand and shout.

This is why no 'serious' politician has ever challenged for the job and whilst the Conservative put up the likes of Jeffery Archer and Steve Norris the voters who can be beothered to turn out will probably still vote for our Ken.
Ken's new utterances. - rcspeirs
I love fast cars and bikes - I own a large engined car and I ride a Suzuki GSX-R 1000. At the same time, I also voted for Ken and I support this CC policy. Central London is simply too crowded to allow free reign to cars, and those people who use gigantic 4x4s to take children to school are an anti social menace. Do you really need to drive the kids to school? It would be safer for older kids, who could cycle to school, if there weren?t so many huge 4x4s on congested streets.

I am not anti 4x4 per se - they are perfect if you live on a farm or a ski slope. But using them in central London?

This discussion is about the very crowded centre of London, but the issue is wider than that. Road space in the south of England is always going to be limited compared to the number of vehicles that could potentially want to use that available road space (unless we concrete over everything south of Cambridge). Backroomers might like to think radical. Encourage much better public transport so that everyone who isn?t really enthused about cars and bikes will have a real option to leave their vehicle at home - and leave the existing roads clearer for those of us who do enjoy driving.
Ken's new utterances. - mss1tw
rcspeirs I'd vote for you. ;o)

Ken's new utterances. - No FM2R
>>Encourage much better public transport so that everyone who isn?t really enthused about cars and bikes will have a real option to leave their vehicle at home

I'd vote for that. If the village I live in had its railway station/line reinstated then my car would rarely get switched on, and virtually never at weekends. And 90% of my driving is work-related, so is no joy anyway.
Ken's new utterances. - AngryJonny
If it really *was* a congestion charge then the fee would reflect a vehicle's footprint - ie the amount of road it takes up. So £1 for a motorbike. £5 for a supermini. £10 for a larger car or an SUV. £15 for a LWB van. £50 for an articulated truck.
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
If it really *was* a congestion charge then the fee would
reflect a vehicle's footprint - ie the amount of road it
takes up.


If it was about CONGESTION he wouldn't replace fleet of double decker buses with two and a half times the length bendy buses.
Incidentally if it was about ENVIRONMENT and EMISSIONS he wouldn't do that either as double deckers were cleaner (please note average number of passengers per bus didn't change):

Volvo B7TL Double Decker
release of co2/km total 1,406g
release of NOx/km total 12.3g
average fuel consumption 54.03 l/100km (approx 5.2 mpg)

Mercedes Citaro Artic (so called bendy bus)
release of co2/km total 1585.7
release of NOx/km total 13.61
average fuel consumption 59.82 l/100km (approx 4.7 mpg)

I'm sure contractors sourcing bendy buses and those who paint new bus lanes around the city to make sure 18 metre monstrocities can negotiate turns are happy...
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
If it was about CONGESTION he wouldn't replace fleet of double decker buses with
two and a half times the length bendy buses.


Getting people out of cars and onto buses or trains is the only way to reduce congestion. As a regular passenger on the London buses, I know I'm not the only one who finds them a vastly better form of transport than the double-deckers. Have you ever tried climbing the stairs on a moving double-decker while carrying shopping bags?

I find myself rather bemused when people who like using private cars in London complain about congestion caused by buses. A bus passenger uses a fraction of the roadspace of a car driver (even if the car has two or three occupants, which most do not), and carrying passengers on a less space-efficient bus is still a much more efficient use of roadspace than having them in cars.

In any case, I'm unpersuaded that the bendy buses are less space-efficient. They load and unload much more quickly, so they don't remain stopped for as long (which reduces congestion). And there is a further gain by tempting passengers out of cars.
(please note average number of passengers per bus didn't change)


Have you got a source for that? A comparison of bendy buses versus the double deckers they replaced, on the same routes? Bus usage overall is up by a third (see page 58 of www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/cclondon/pdfs/FourthAnnualRepor...f )
Ken's new utterances. - Dipstick

"Getting people out of cars and onto buses or trains is the only way to reduce congestion."

Or how about just preventing the ownership of cars by sections of the population.

Much dissension, politically difficult, endless discussion about who exactly - but it would achieve less congestion if nobody could own a car under the age of 25, for example.



Ken's new utterances. - Lud
Really NW, it's one thing to approve of public transport (I'm sure we all do) but quite another to see articulated buses as anything other than stupid space-guzzling monstrosities. As a driver yourself I'm surprised you haven't noticed that.

The other utterly ridiculous thing is the abolition of the bus conductor. No doubt they will soon make a comeback in the form of heavily-armed security guards.
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
Really NW, it's one thing to approve of public transport (I'm sure we all do) but quite another to see articulated
buses as anything other than stupid space-guzzling monstrosities. As a driver yourself I'm surprised you haven't noticed that.


I have been a passenger on those buses, and I have driven near them. The space-guzzling monstrosity is my car, not the bus: it uses many times more roadspace per passenger. I'm surprised that you haven't noticed that.

The stupid, space-guzzling way of arranging transport in a city is to have lots of individual metal boxes on the roads, rather than much fewer bigger ones.
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
NW: your car is quite a tidy little four-seat package. Would you be willing to explain why a cumbersome articulated bus twice as long as a double-decker for the same number of passengers, and one that takes up a lot of lateral space too when turning even slightly, is no more stupid than a double decker?

Don't give me all that stuff about struggling up the stairs laden with carrier bags. You can't smoke up there anyway, so what's the point?

'Plenty more room inside.' Or for really big carrier-bag loads, what about a taxi?
Ken's new utterances. - Statistical outlier
I'm not a fan of the bendy busses, but I can see the logic.

The sectors of the population using them tend to be the old, the disadvantaged and the young.

By having all on one level, you make access easier, and you avoid the tendency to have the young, loud and intimidating turning the upper deck into a no-go area. You also avoid nasty falls from the elderly navigating the stairs. And wheelchairs and buggies can get on and off.

Plus the loading benefits already mentioned by having multiple entry and exit points.

IMHO, anyone that drives in London is mad. I lived in Bromley for two years, and I only used the car if I was absolutely forced to. Public transport is fantastic around town, and much quicker than driving.
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
NW: your car is quite a tidy little four-seat package.


Like most cars, it spends most of its time being occupied by only one person, and it only seats two abreast. Even if the car is full, the vehicle itself takes up a greater length of road per passenger than a half-full bendy bus.

But it's not just a matter of the size of the vehicle itself. Any vehicle on the roads needs a safe stopping distance in front of itself when moving: even at 20mph, the gap needed is several car lengths, for 1-4 passengers. However, a bus needs only a slightly bigger gap ahead of it, for up to 70m passengers. Try the maths.
Would you be willing to explain why a cumbersome articulated bus twice
as long as a double-decker for the same number of passengers,
and one that takes up a lot of lateral space too
when turning even slightly, is no more stupid than a double decker?


* because it loads and unloads more quickly, thereby reducing the congestion when a bus stops, and reducing journey times (which encourages more people onto buses and out of cars)
* because it provides a much safer and more comfortable journey for its passengers, thereby encouraging bus use and reducing the number of cars on the road;
* because it's better for disabled passengers (try carrying your wheelchair up the stairs)
* because being a single-decker, it is much more usable by people with luggage;
* because the space required when turning only applies when the bus is turning, not when it's stationary or travelling in a straightish line, as it is most of the time.
Don't give me all that stuff about struggling up the stairs
laden with carrier bags. You can't smoke up there anyway, so what's the point?


Can't smoke anywhere on the bus (thank goodness). But sometimes there are only seats upstairs. I have twice been thrown down the stairs on a double-decker.
'Plenty more room inside.' Or for really big carrier-bag loads, what about a taxi?


You are being silly now. Why should bus users have to pay for a taxi just because you think that the users of the most space-efficient form of urban motorised road transport should be squeezed into a less usable vehicle?

The thing that strikes me most about reading your posts is that you clearly don't use the London buses much: if you did, you'd be singing their praises. And if you prefer using a car in London, it's rather hypocritical (and silly) to complain about the space taken by buses.
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
Slap on wrist there, not entirely undeserved I must admit.

No, I don't use buses much. But my wife does, and she says very emphatically that a lot of the drivers these days are utterly carp. One reason perhaps why you have been thrown down the stairs twice (I assume by violent driver manoeuvres, not other passengers taking exception to yr. abusive behaviour on top deck).

I know standing room is provided on buses, but I didn't know they could carry 'up to 70m passengers'. A Livingstonian miracle indeed.
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
And another thing: I think people call articulated buses 'bendy buses' because it sounds cosy and cuddly. I agree if they were really bendy they would only take up twice the road space of a double-decker. But they aren't. They're articulated in the middle and are as a result exceptionally cumbersome. I believe they've taken out quite a few cyclists.

'Bendy' indeed! Tchah!
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
Getting people out of cars and onto buses or trains is
the only way to reduce congestion.


That is simply not true. You cannot fill up something that's already full, and if you use tube or buses in peak hours you know exactly what I mean. You also have to stop thinking that all these people sit in traffic for hours for some sort of masochistic pleasure. It's not fun for anyone and we would all prefer to be in the city faster, easier and in more flexible way. But it isn't always possible. Not only because some of us must be always above ground and always on the move. Not only because train transport from towns 30 miles outside London at nearly £300 a month is simply financial insanity but also because not all of us in London do desk jobs. I'm not going to take a rack full of servers into bendy bus, barristers are not going to plonk about with their togas, wigs and suitcases full of data protected documents around tube stations, cash transits are not going to load their armoured cases onto the back of a taxi and so on, so forth.
As a regular passenger
on the London buses, I know I'm not the only one
who finds them a vastly better form of transport than the
double-deckers. Have you ever tried climbing the stairs on a
moving double-decker while carrying shopping bags?


I'm all for your shopping bags, but you know you just as easily do with twice smaller single decker shuttle bus twice as often. Cities have buses designed for their road capacity and 18 metre snake game wrapped around street corners is simply pushing it in wrong direction.
I find myself rather bemused when people who like using private
cars in London complain about congestion caused by buses. A
bus passenger uses a fraction of the roadspace of a car
driver (even if the car has two or three occupants, which
most do not), and carrying passengers on a less space-efficient bus
is still a much more efficient use of roadspace than having
them in cars


That's where you are wrong, stand next to a bus lane for half an hour, and count how many cars pass you by between buses. Then take average number of passengers on the bus and you will see who's majority and who's inconvenience to whom. Please don't tell me that someone's inability to control shopping bags on a smaller double decker bus is more important than business of all the rest of the people on the road. Why is bus users time keeping more important than that of a car driver? Does evertBus lanes and longer buses is yet another "in order to save kitten stuck on a tree we cut down entire forest" plan. Look at the graphs in that doc you posted - except Christmas and holidays for the past 2 years there is almost constant flow of over 120,000 vehicles a day entering zone between 7:00 and 6:30 and being charged £8. In the same time number of bus passengers between 7 am and 10 pm is less than 110,000 a day for the past two years? What's that all about? Why is majority being penalsed?
Bus usage overall is up by a third (see
page 58 of www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/cclondon/pdfs/FourthAnnualRepor...f )


According to graphs in that document numbers didn't really change between 2004 and 2005, so it's neither bendy buses nor £8 rise that did it. Quite clearly rise in bus usage (which is still lower than car usage in the zone as I pointed out) is not just effect of people suddenly being fans of bendy buses, but CC itelf, and as such would rise just as well in single deckers or double deckers. Both are cleaner, smaller and faster. So would tackle congestion as well as emissions, don't you agree?

Nick Ferrari for Mayor 2008 please
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
>> Getting people out of cars and onto buses or trains is the only way to reduce congestion.
That is simply not true. You cannot fill up something that's already full, and if you use tube or buses
in peak hours you know exactly what I mean.


I do use them in peak hours.

The unchangeable factor in London is roadspace. Buses use less of it per passenger than cars, so if you want to reduce congestion, the name of the game is getting people out of cars. That's a given of urban planning in every city around the world.

If the buses are full, the answer is to provide more buses, just as London is doing. Put those extra passengers inbto cars, and there will be gridlock.
not all of us in London do desk jobs. I'm not going to take a rack full of servers into bendy bus,


There will always be some trades which have a genuine need for a car. But most of those making car journeys in London could do them on public transport.
barristers are not going to
plonk about with their togas, wigs and suitcases full of data protected documents around tube stations,


most of the barristers I know in London do use public transport, just like senior civil seravnts and others
I'm all for your shopping bags, but you know you just
as easily do with twice smaller single decker shuttle bus twice as often.


Not so: it doubles the cost of drivers, and is less space-efficient. The bendy buses are also much more comfortable for passengers.
Why is bus users time keeping more important than that of a car driver?


Because the bus is a much more efficient use of the severely limited roadspace. Prioritising the space-efficient mode of transport is the only antidote to congestion.
rise in bus usage (which is still lower than car usage in the zone as I pointed out) is not just
effect of people suddenly being fans of bendy buses, but CC itelf, and as such would rise
just as well in single deckers or double deckers. Both are cleaner, smaller and faster.
So would tackle congestion as well as emissions, don't you agree?


Again, do the maths on roadspace. And there is no inherent reason why bendy buses should have higher emissions per passenger than ordinary single deckers: if correct, that's just an argument for putting better engines in the bendy buses.
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
NowWheels - you still repeat the same side of the story. Understand it - 120,000 drivers a day drive into the city - not for pleasure. Not for fun. Not because they have £8 spare. Not because they hate Ken. But because they must. I must commute by car. I hate it, I hate paying through my nose for parking, I hate Blackwall Tunnel, and bus lanes and wish there was other way. But I am not going to spend most of my day on trains, tubes and buses at hundreds and hundreds a month. If I'm outpriced out of the road I simply won't be able to work. Public transport must be:
- cheap
- reliable
- run more often
Making it BIGGER doesn't solve anything. 15 people on single decker bus or 15 people on bendy bus is just taking more space than it would otherwise. Who said smaller buses can't be disabled friendly, airconditioned and comfy? They are all over the world and they can be here, without stuffing Merc pockets with millions just so they can load off not fit for purpose airport buses to London.
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
NowWheels - you still repeat the same side of the story.


And you are still repeating your side of the story.
Understand it - 120,000 drivers a day drive into the city - not for pleasure. Not for fun. Not
because they have £8 spare. Not because they hate Ken. But because they must.


v0n, I have never seen any research which tries to analyse why people drive into London, though I'm sure there must be something on it. But there's no way I'll believe that all those 120,000 drive because they must: I know plenty who drive but could do their work just as well by public transport. As others have pointed out, plenty of those 120,00 cars are on the road because their drivers have the £8 to spare.

Sure, there are people who have to carry tools or supplies etc, who have a real need for a car. But if you are frustrated by it all, don't blame the buses -- blame the people who don't need to drive on those roads, but do so and clog it for those who need to.

Most London commutes use some form of public transport. For far too long, the small minority of commuters who drive into London have clogged the place up for everyone else.

Now there is a combination of congestion charging to clear the roads, bus lanes to speed progress, and nice new buses to make the journey easier. The result is that the buses are becoming an attractive form of transport rather than a penance.
Making it BIGGER doesn't solve anything.


I've never seen an economic analysis, but I'd have thought that a bigger bus cheaper per passenger. There's still only one engine to maintain, one driver to pay, and so on.
15 people on single decker bus or 15 people on bendy bus
is just taking more space than it would otherwise.


Where does this figure of 15 come from? In central London, I've never been on a bendy bus that empty, at any hour of the day. At peak hours, they are usually heading nearer their capacity of 130, which is nearly twice that of a double-decker.

I think you must be taking a figure based on averages which include evening services in the outer suburbs.
Who said smaller buses can't be disabled friendly, airconditioned and comfy?


Sure, they can be airconditioned. But the bigger buses are much easier for disabled people than any single-decker I've seen, and the bendy buses have a much more gentle motion. Because they have a bug central door and a low floor, they are much easier to get on and off.

I haven't been on one of the rigid versions of the Mercedes Citaro, so I don't know how they compare in comfort. But I can't imagine that they can provide such easy access.

If you tried the bendy buses as a passenger, v0n, and tried the alternatives, you wouldn't be so quick to condemn them. I find the bendy buses so much better than the others that I'll often wait longer at a bus-stop until I catch a bendy bus, letting the inferior old sort go past.
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
Most London commutes use some form of public transport. For
far too long, the small minority of commuters who drive into
London have clogged the place up for everyone else.


Few posts up there I pointed out the numbers from official report - Over 120,000 drivers a day are inconvenienced and penalised just so less than 110,000 (and that's between 7am and 10pm, so it's not even 110,000 people in CC hours, but all day long) can have their typical 10 minute journey cut by 1.8 minutes. Surely even you, Ken's faithful follower can see insanity of this. It's small minority of commuters. It's the majority of road users. Road users that are taxed, and taxed, and taxed again and still are forced not to use their car. The majority pays you comfort, for the shopping bags that don't fall down the stairs and 18 metre monstrocities who are so wheelchair friendly you see rivers of disabled people on bus stops in rush hours. Oh wait, no, they use cars, because they're exempt from CC and have their special parking spots. Rightfully too.

Congestion can be reduced in many ways - city could stop deliveries and vans coming in in certain hours, they could offer large council tax discounts for offices who would consider changing from 9-5 routine. Start at 6 finish at 2, or 7 to 3 have a day for yourself, go shopping, enjoy afternoon with kids. City could limit number of cabs operating in area, so there is no situation like now - you can't find cab in Hammersmith in the morning but it will be impossible for you to get through empty cabs circling like vultures around Bank area. We could start creating green waves, we have technology that will find registration number from 100 metres but still can't stop switching green lights for empty streets? How about special discounts for workplaces that offer their own transport? Or even better - TFL could sub-license private companies to run minibuses on normal bus routes. Instead of rush hour nr. 38 bendy bus every 10 minutes you would have 4 comfy, airconditioned 20 seaters, let's call them P38, every 2 minutes and one short single decker with disabled access every 15 minutes. The small minibuses would be regulated like taxi companies - they could be quicker, more agile, they would stop when called or waved at just like normal bus and accept Oyster cards etc, but focus on commuters, not mums with prams, not wheelchairs, just normal seats. Mums are not in rush, they can wait few minutes for easy access bus.
Where does this figure of 15 come from? In central
London, I've never been on a bendy bus that empty, at
any hour of the day. At peak hours, they are usually
heading nearer their capacity of 130, which is nearly twice that
of a double-decker.


Actually the last official figure I ever saw released was early 2005's 8 passengers per kilometre. It was during question time to mayor IIRC. It might seem like the buses are always full, because you use them in certain hours, but they do run most of their routes almost empty most of the time, and so unless someone finds a different, newer figure - it's 8 passengers per km.
I think you must be taking a figure based on averages
which include evening services in the outer suburbs.


Well, car drivers don't start and finish within CC zone either, so what's the point?
If you tried the bendy buses as a passenger, v0n, and
tried the alternatives, you wouldn't be so quick to condemn them.
I find the bendy buses so much better than the
others that I'll often wait longer at a bus-stop until I
catch a bendy bus, letting the inferior old sort go past.


Beside the whole strange vibe of - how far do you actually go by bus that you need it to be extra large, extra long and have wallowy motions....
Of course I tried bendy buses, and believe me, you will find other buses that are smaller, greener and just as comfy. It's not like London got the only modern bus in the world.
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - Vin {P}
v0n said: "train transport from towns 30 miles outside London at nearly £300 a month is simply financial insanity"

v0n, assuming 20 working days in a month, that's £15 a day for a 60 mile round trip - 25p per mile. I suspect in rush hour traffic you're not doing more than about 25mpg, so you're at around 17ppm in fuel alone. Add a couple of pence per mile for servicing, perhaps another 1p for oil on top, 1p for tyres, and you're at 21ppm. Add in parking fees and congestion charge and the train suddenly looks remarkably cheap. My figures are roughly based upon my costs, but I'm sure I'm not hugely out of line.

Not really "financial insanity".

V
Ken's new utterances. - AngryJonny
Vin said: "assuming 20 working days in a month, that's £15 a day for a 60 mile round trip - 25p per mile"

My experience of train travel is that the actual ticket cost was only part of it. I had to drive to and from Twyford station, pay to park at Twyford (surprisingly expensive) and take the tube between the office and Ealing Broadway. The £2000 that my season ticket cost me (back in 1999 - it'll have gone up some since then) was probably only about half my year's commuting cost.
Ken's new utterances. - Baskerville
I had to drive to and
from Twyford station, pay to park at Twyford (surprisingly expensive) and
take the tube between the office and Ealing Broadway. The £2000
that my season ticket cost me (back in 1999 - it'll
have gone up some since then) was probably only about half
my year's commuting cost.


And this is why people think the car is cheaper: the cost is up front for public transport. They forget that if you made the journey by car you'd have to drive to/from the motorway/main road (rather than the station) and from the motorway to the office (rather than taking the tube from the mainline station). And you have to park the car somewhere whatever you do. At the station, or in central London.
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
If people don't exercise their right to vote that's their problem,
not Ken's. Presumably they don't care who is mayor.
Interesting to see that one minute he's a socialist and the
next a fascist!


He would be socialist if he served those who elected him and followed their agenda in order to improve everybody's life to equal level for the greater good of his people
He would be communist if he served those who elected him and followed his party agenda in order to make everybody's life equally miserable for the greater good of his party
But since he follows his own agenda in order to make everybody's life equally miserable for no good at all I think he derves to be called fascist.

- Mr Mayor, Kensington don't want the extension
- I'm sure they want it
- Not according to letters sir, they don't want it
- I'm sure they want it they just don't know they want it, Chelsea want it, right?
- Actually, sir, no - Chelsea also came around to say they don't want it
- I'm sure most of them must want it, we shall organize referendum, and you'll see they want it
- OK
- What's the outcome Baldrick?
- Referendum shows they most definitely don't want it sir
- But I want them to want it!
- But they don't want it, Mr Mayor
- Oh nonsense, I want it and I want them to want it, that ought to be enough for them to want it, so they will want it or else
- Yes sir, I understand sir...
- We shall go ahead with extension as planned
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - Hamsafar
Interesting to see that one minute he's a socialist and the next a fascist!

Very much a fascist (in the original meaning of the word)
Fascism is where politics is steered by whichever business pays the most to the government rather than by voting by an electorate.
Transport for London, BN13 1XZ etc....
Ken's new utterances. - nick
Interesting to see that one minute he's a socialist and the
next a fascist!
Very much a fascist (in the original meaning of the word)
Fascism is where politics is steered by whichever business pays the
most to the government rather than by voting by an electorate.
Transport for London, BN13 1XZ etc....

Why don't people vote him out then? For that matter, why don't people vote? It reminds me of my student days where most students didn't go to NUS meetings and then moaned when the Socialist Workers Party or some other bunch of left-wingers got in. When I suggested that perhaps they should attend and vote, and if there was no candidate they liked then stand themselves the answer was always 'can't be bothered', 'too busy' or 'who cares anyway?'.

The people get the government they deserve.
Ken's new utterances. - deepwith
VED exempt cars do not, as you say,have to register as do Blue Badge holders. However, as it is nigh on impossible to find parking spaces once in the zone it becomes a pointless exercise, unless just crossing central London. Normal parking rules for the disabled are not applicable in London!
Mondeo a tractor? - henry k
This would presumably include the 'Chelsea Tractors' and their ilk.

>>

It is reported in the press today that a 2L Mondeo auto is also in the Chelsea Tractor band.

Oh well ! I will be avoiding the area even more than at present.
Mondeo a tractor? - Snakey
What worries me most about Ken the facist is that all other city council leaders will be looking at how 'successful' his anti-car measures are and how much the local population will tolerate, and decide to try it in their area!

Surely Ken is also the ultimate capitalist (no pun!) as he is creating a playground for the very rich? Mate of mine commutes into London regularly in his £60k motor and says that the CC doesn't bother him, neither does the extra £20 a year on road tax for his high band car.

Maybe the CC should be means-adjusted!
Mondeo a tractor? - NowWheels
Surely Ken is also the ultimate capitalist (no pun!) as he is creating a playground for the very rich?


As someone very not rich, who mostly uses buses when in London, I'm quite happy for the very rich to help fund he huge improvements to the city's bus system.
Maybe the CC should be means-adjusted!


Not a bad idea. You should write to Ken and suggest it :)
Mondeo a tractor? - artful dodger {P}
>>What worries me most about Ken the facist is that all other city council leaders will be looking at how 'successful' his anti-car measures are and how much the local population will tolerate, and decide to try it in their area!

One of the problems of making town centres pedestrian zones is that all delivery drivers must deliver first thing in the morning. When I used to visit galleries with a sales van to sell them paintings, it became more difficult over time as town centre galleries could not all be visited at the same time of day. The net result is that the galleries in town centres are now dependent on printed images, rather than original work, because they can be ordered from a catalogue. The end result is that consumers are now offered less choice. This is only my industry, but others have been similarly affected.

The expansion of Congestion Charging to other cities and towns is a retrograde step. The development of out of town retail parks has affected town centre shops, but the high car parking charges of town centres also is starting to be felt as many shoppers do not want to pay for parking when they can shop elsewhere for free. The parking regimes of many councils is now causing anger at the way it is being implemented. The end result will be the end of diversified retailing in town centres. Is that what we want?

Why do councils not look at what the public want, if they did I feel sure they would be more respected and re-elected.


--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Mondeo a tractor? - Thommo
Having hugged a hoodie as demanded by Call me Dave he reciprocated by telling me (the hoodie not Call me Dave) that the key advantage of bendy buses is that now no one has to pay the fare...
Mondeo a tractor? - DP
The expansion of Congestion Charging to other cities and towns is
a retrograde step. The development of out of town retail parks
has affected town centre shops, but the high car parking charges
of town centres also is starting to be felt as many
shoppers do not want to pay for parking when they can
shop elsewhere for free. The parking regimes of many councils is
now causing anger at the way it is being implemented. The
end result will be the end of diversified retailing in town
centres. Is that what we want?


I agree. You don't even need Congestion Charging to drive people away. Look at Oxford's Transport Strategy which, under a thin veil of environmentalism made it nigh on impossible for anything except buses to get into Oxford City Centre. The result? Nearby Swindon and Abingdon's takings went through the roof, more people piled to the out of town parks, and all the businesses in the expensive town centre premises lost money hand over fist.

In London's case, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) claim that 84.2% of retail businesses in the zone were reporting reduced takings some 18 months after charge came into force, and a staggering 33% were claimed to be considering relocation.

It is logical to assume that a drastic increase in the rate will only aggravate the existing problems. After all, who is it that spends money in London's shops and restaurants - the people in the £40k SUV's who will be hammered, or Joe Average on the Tube?

Cheers
DP

Ken's new utterances. - barney100
The main reason for the congestion charge is simple...it brings in cash for London. I dislike the idea of paying twice to use roads through road tax and then a congestion charge.
Ken's new utterances. - Thommo
No Barney its to raise cash for KEN so he can spend it on whatever his latest madcap scheme is.

Its his only tax raising power.

Ken's new utterances. - oldgit
No Barney its to raise cash for KEN so he can
spend it on whatever his latest madcap scheme is.
Its his only tax raising power.

Yes, but what about that ulitmate madcap scheme that Ken/Labour Gov. has sanctioned or supported i.e. the 2012 Olympic Games!

We haven't got enough water in this year of 2006 and so what is it going to be like when we have thousands of additional people whose thirsts to sate and bodies to cleanse, in what may be another year of drought in the South East?
Ken's new utterances. - Altea Ego
We haven't got enough water in this year of 2006 and so what is it going to be like when we have thousands of additional people whose thirsts to sate and bodies to cleanse, in what may be another year of drought in the South East?

ewwwww all those dead smelly people littering the streets of stratford...


wait - that was last week




------------------------------
TourVanMan TM < Ex RF >
Ken's new utterances. - peterb
225g is a very low level at which to set the £25 C Charge band. Pretty much anything petrol-powered with 6 or more cyls is going to be caught by that.

Also, the C Charge is about congestion - when did it become about CO2?

Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
225g is a very low level at which to set the £25 C Charge band. Pretty much anything petrol-powered
with 6 or more cyls is going to be caught by that.


What proprtion of cars have 6 or more cylinders? I'd be suprised if it was as much as 5%
Ken's new utterances. - henry k
225g is a very low level at which to set the £25 C Charge band. Pretty much anything petrol-powered

with 6 or more cyls is going to be caught by that.
What proprtion of cars have 6 or more cylinders? I'd be suprised if it was as much as 5%

As a said earlier 2.0L 4cyl Mondeo Auto is also caught.
I guess it is the auto that drags it down.

There are quite a few others that will get caught.

"The £25 charge would apply to vehicles such as the Range Rover Sport, which emit 374 grams per kilometre, as well as the Ford Mondeo 16V auto, which emits 227.

Some 4x4s, such as the Land Rover Freelander and the Toyota Rav 4, will escape the charge because their emissions fall below 225.

Ken's new utterances. - Manatee
>>225g is a very low level at which to set the £25 C Charge band. Pretty much anything petrol-powered with 6 or more cyls is going to be caught by that.

Arguably this shows up some of the sanctimonious 4x4 haters for what they are - mainly small minded hypocrites who are only happy when stirring up hatred against people who are really just a bit different from themselves.

Perhaps it says that very few of us don't live in a glass house. Today I have been to work in daughter's 1.3iKa. A perfectly nice drive. Yes you might want something bigger for the family, and you wouldn't want to run two cars, but when it really comes down to it how can I justify any car with more than the 70bhp per ton of this car? I sarcastically put the case for banning sports cars some time ago (nearly getting myself banned in the process by HJ, whose sarcasm detector was switched off momentarily), but it makes about as much sense as the case against 4x4s (and if it's accident statistics you are looking at, compare insurance premiums).

Of course there's no need to ban either as a category. We almost all drive too far and too often - because we can, which is a much bigger factor in pollution and congestion than what we drive. The only person I actually know who has made any serious sacrifice is said daughter - the reason I have her car is because I am about to sell it for her; she has decided that she doesn't need one, she can cycle 5 miles to work rain or shine, and hire one on the few occasions that she needs to. Funnily enough she's not anti 4x4 as far as I know, or even anti-car - she's just decided to do something that she can to make a difference, rather than demonise other groups while conveniently ignoring the mote in her own eye.
Ken's new utterances. - Baskerville
>only happy when stirring up hatred against people who are really just a bit different from themselves.

As I understand it, these 4x4 thingies are rather fashionable among a certain social group and those who aspire to join it. In other words, the people who drive them are conformists and somewhat unimaginative. Maybe that's what the 4x4 haters don't like. Personally I think the "haters" don't really exist or are very few in number. There are people who find them annoying because the big ones block the road and obscure the view, others just can't see the point of being so wasteful for so little gain, and yet others who think they are an engineering dead end and deeply inelegant. I'm all points in between, but hate? Not worth it.
Ken's new utterances. - AngryJonny
Manatee said: "The only person I actually know who has made any serious sacrifice is said daughter - the reason I have her car is because I am about to sell it for her; she has decided that she doesn't need one, she can cycle 5 miles to work rain or shine, and hire one on the few occasions that she needs to."



I don't need a car either. I live in London and get the tube to work. It gets used at weekends when I could cycle or use the train, or hire a car, I suppose. However, I'll never give up my car simply because I can't afford to. I have full NCB. I can't afford to lose that. Giving up my car now would mean paying thousands of pounds extra in insurance over several years when I finally come to buy a car again. Touch-wood the NCB stays in tact eh.

Ken's new utterances. - Lud
Arent the Olympics supposed to be a nice little earner for everyone except the taxpayer?
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
I must say this jeep polemic belongs in the tabloids, not here.

We are supposed to have a balanced, considered attitude to the automobile in all its forms.

Of course we all have our prejudices. We're only human.

But enough already, as they say in New York.
Ken's new utterances. - peterb
"What proprtion of cars have 6 or more cylinders? I'd be suprised if it was as much as 5%"

Rather more than that in central London, I suspect.
Ken's new utterances. - madf
well I don't live in London.
But I went on my first visit for 3 years in June and watched the pre 8am traffic around Euston Station.
A steady processions of BMWs, Mercs, the odd van, more BMWs, the odd Jag etc.

All driven by one person with no passenger.

I'm sorry but from an economic, space, fuel, road usage and every other quantifiable measure - EXCEPT driver pleasure- the cars make no sense in an urban environment.

And why I have sympathy with those who have no choice but to drive into Central London, I cannot see why Ken does not adopt the Singaporian method of taxation or some equivalent:

1. Provide decent out of town parking for ParknRide
2. Single occupant cars pay taxes 4 x the norm.
3. Cars are taxed on their CO2 levels.

All perfect logical sense.

(as for blaming the Seast water shortage on Ken, that's the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister building houses without water (or electricty) supplies thought about. Remember, it's called "joined up Government" :-(((..)

And the Congestion Charge is still loss making iirc..so talk of it as a Revnue Raising exercise.. is rubbish.

And the lack of proper public transport can only be blamed on central government - who fund it. See the difficulty Manchester had in expanding their system.

And to put it in perspective, which Government did nothing on transport at all? Step forward the Conservatives.. but Labour have been little better..

Remember the commuters into London largely live outside it and so have no votes...Their choice but they then cannnot complain...


madf
Ken's new utterances. - artful dodger {P}
>>Remember the commuters into London largely live outside it and so have no votes...Their choice but they then cannnot complain...

The same also applies to all businesses, they pay massive commercial rates without any representation. Businesses voiced their concerns against the CC and also its proposed extension, but no teeth to stop Ken doing what he wants.

May be the voting for the Mayor of London and the London Assembly should be extended to all of those who either live or work in the area. This would make all decisions more democratic to those it directly affects. This is a sensible proposal as the population of many areas is greatly expanded during the day compared to overnight.


--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
May be the voting for the Mayor of London and the
London Assembly should be extended to all of those who either
live or work in the area. This would make all decisions
more democratic to those it directly affects.


It would not be more democratic if it gives some people two votes! Or do you mean that the commuters from Kent should give up their right to vote in the local elections where they live?
Ken's new utterances. - artful dodger {P}
>>It would not be more democratic if it gives some people two votes!

Hi again NW

I thought someone would comment on double voting. Take the City of London, during the day there are probably between 50,000 to 100,000 people working there, but residents are around only 1,000. Even over the whole of Ken's area the number of people must double at least during working hours. With such a great number of commuters who are greatly affected by the residents voting (if they bother to vote at all), surely the opinions of the commuters should be heard, whether they live in Kent, Sussex, Berkshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Essex, etc.

Personally I believe that there are too few people voting in elections to make them truly democratic. If those commuters who drive into London had a vote, do you think they would have voted for Congestion Charging? Do drivers think the latest proposals for higher poluting vehicles are fair?

Not all 4x4's are Chelsea Tractors:
www.telegraph.co.uk/arts/main.jhtml?xml=/arts/2006...l




--
Roger
I read frequently, but only post when I have something useful to say.
Ken's new utterances. - madf
No representation without taxation.
If they want the vote, pay London rates, say I.
madf
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
I'm sorry but from an economic, space, fuel, road usage and
every other quantifiable measure - EXCEPT driver pleasure- the cars make
no sense in an urban environment.


Not quite the case. From economical and fuel point of view car always wins over public transport. Zone 1-2 daily travel card is £6.20. That's typically 60 miles worth of fuel. Ticket from my Medway to London is £22 a day. For 60 mile return journey. Now imagine you work requires you to be presentable, Armani suit, and you have 20-30 toms of financial review to carry with you plus the laptop of course. Are you going to take those papers, laptop and suit for £800 and board the train, then switch to tube and pay through your nose for hanging under someone armpit for better part of 2 hours or are you going to fill up trunk of your company car, and use your mileage allowance? Not a hard choice, is it? Why does a single person in a car look to you like a an office temp driving for pleasure? You know nothing about working day of these people, yet you pretend to know they all go into standstill traffic for fun.
And why I have sympathy with those who have no choice
but to drive into Central London, I cannot see why
Ken does not adopt the Singaporian method of taxation or some
equivalent:
1. Provide decent out of town parking for ParknRide


First provide, then penalize, in that order, don't you think?
2. Single occupant cars pay taxes 4 x the norm.


Why? HGVs are single occupant cars. Mum driving 5 kids school becomes a single occupant of her car on her way back. Utter madness.
3. Cars are taxed on their CO2 levels.


You don't see a forest ranger drive to his work in Toyota Prius. It doesn't mean he doesn't care about environment. If I lived in rural environment should I buy two cars, one to get to main road and the other one with low CO2 so hippes in capital feel better? Why is it always approached from a donkey side - if there are no large green cars, does it mean we all should stop having families or cheat and buy multiple cars pretending we green and friendly?
All perfect logical sense.


You would think
And the Congestion Charge is still loss making iirc..so talk of
it as a Revnue Raising exercise.. is rubbish.


No, no, this is the funny part - Capita - the company that operates CC - makes pretty good profits from the scheme. City, on the other hand, and indirectly taxpayers are loosing money on the scheme. In annual reports the figures are net profit. See where it's going already?
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - PhilW
"I'm sorry but from an economic, space, fuel, road usage and every other quantifiable measure - EXCEPT driver pleasure- the cars make no sense in an urban environment"

And the same argument could be used for all modern appliances/conveniences. Why don't we all go to the village hall/local community centre to watch TV? Perhaps we should all go to canteens to eat a fixed menu, take our clothes (perhaps we should all wear Chairman Mao suits as well?) to industrial size laundries to wash them, live in a few rooms in huge dormitory blocks where piped music is played to all from one hi-fi system etc.
The car is a modern convenience item which allows us choice in where and when we go places, why should it be different to all the other individual choices we make? Motorists pay a hell of a lot of taxes/fines etc which are (IMHO) far greater than their costs. Why not build more car-parks/roads etc to make life easier for motorists who make up the majority of the population? Prescott seems (seemed?) to have no problems in deciding to build millions of new homes in the south-east but the thought of building more facilities for motorists seems to be not very popular. Why?
Devil's advocate mode off
--
Phil
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
Not quite the case. From economical and fuel point of view car always wins over public transport.


Only if the driver does not have to bear the real economic costs of bringing a car into the city. If the roads in London were charged out at full price, drivers would be pining for the good old days of the £8 charge.
Now imagine you work requires you to be presentable, Armani suit, and you have 20-30 toms of financial review to carry with you plus the laptop of course.


There are many, many thousands of people in London who do just that, every day. If the papers are too heavy, they use a wheeled briefcase.

It has only ever been a very small minority of office workers in London who have had the option of commuting by car.
>> 1. Provide decent out of town parking for ParknRide
First provide, then penalize, in that order, don't you think?


v0n, that isn't always possible. Improvements to the bus services, for example, have been possible only by relieving congestion.
Ken's new utterances. - Manatee
If the roads in London were charged out at full price, drivers would be pining for the good old days of the £8 charge.


I'd love to see the calculation behind this? If you were to argue that air travel was subsidised you might be able to make a case, but who is subsidising motorists?

Ah...it's just dawned on me...smokers? :-)
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
>> If the roads in London were charged out at full
>> price, drivers would be pining for the good old days of the £8 charge.
I'd love to see the calculation behind this? If you were to argue that air travel was subsidised
you might be able to make a case, but who is subsidising motorists?


London motorists are subsidised by the people who have to breathe the fumes, put up with the noise of the traffic, and deal with the clogged streets.

Try looking at it another way. Suppose you owned a street in central London. Traffic-free, it would become a ideal place for upmarket shops, restaurants and cafes where people could hear each other talk, etc. Now, if someone asked to pay to send unlimited numbers of cars down that street, how much would you charge?
Ah...it's just dawned on me...smokers? :-)


No, we pay for the NHS and for your state pension ;)
Ken's new utterances. - PhilW
"the real economic costs of bringing a car into the city"
Can you elaborate on that NW? What are the REAL economic costs, and are they fact or guesses?
"many thousands of people in London who do just that, every day. If the papers are too heavy, they use a wheeled briefcase."
Why should they have to? Why shouldn't thay be able to carry them in their car (And park it and drive home again in the evening)
"only ever been a very small minority of office workers in London who have had the option of commuting by car."
Really? And if so, why? Is it because they can't afford it or because they have so many "obstructions" put in their way?
Why is it deemed acceptable for me, for instance, to drive my 5 miles to work via rural roads but not acceptable for Londoners to do the same to their workplace?
Why do we always concentrate on getting motorists off the roads instead of catering for them?
Devil's advocate mode off

--
Phil
Ken's new utterances. - nick
Thank the Lord I live in the sticks.
Ken's new utterances. - PhilW
Same here - but doesn't NW have a car (at least a bit) funded by her company/job? Why is that then NW? And can you justify it? Could you use public transport instead for business?
Whoops, devil's advocate again.
--
Phil
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
Same here - but doesn't NW have a car (at least a bit) funded by her company/job? Why is that then
NW? And can you justify it? Could you use public transport instead for business?
Whoops, devil's advocate again.


Phil, my car is owned by me and paid for by me. Most of those who end up covering my travel costs either refuse to reimburse car travel at all, or cap the reimbursement at the level of the equivalent rail fare.

I do mostly use public transport for business: if I'm going to London, I will either not use the car at all, or use it solely to get to a mainline station. (Driving to Central London is ridiculously wasteful of my time as well as of resources; it takes longer, and the time behind the wheel is dead time, when on the train I could either be resting or working).
Ken's new utterances. - nortones2
The % of commuting is 90 to 10 biased against private cars. If the car were however allowed free rein, no-one would get into London. Its bad enough now. But getting better in the centre due to the efforts of more far sighted people. If you want to see the effects of public transport excision (thanks to General Motors BTW) look at the freeways of LA. Tear down St Pauls, turn Hyde Park into a car park, etc etc. Is that what the car economy would prefer?
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
The % of commuting is 90 to 10 biased against private
cars. If the car were however allowed free rein, no-one
would get into London. Its bad enough now.


Well, I think we've proven enough times in this thread overground public commuting is in minority compared to cars. And that's done by using official TFL numbers. Also using the same numbers if the traffic was to rise back to what it was before CC was introduced it would only rise by 18%, out of which only 69% would be vehicles classed as "potentially chargable" meaning, cars and vans non exempt from CC. Far from "no-one would get into London" and shows perfectly that difference between "I want to drive into Central London" and "I must drive into Central London" regardless of price is only 12.5%...

--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
Why is it deemed acceptable for me, for instance, to drive
my 5 miles to work via rural roads but not acceptable
for Londoners to do the same to their workplace?


Umm, Phil, have you noticed that London is just a little bit more densely populated than rural areas? And that it has often teetered in the edge of gridlock, even with a small minority of commuters usng their cars?
Ken's new utterances. - PhilW
Umm, NW
Of course I have, but since they pay the same taxes as me, why should they be denied the same use of their car?
"often teetered in the edge of gridlock"
Is that the fault of car drivers or the fault of those who have failed to plan for the increase in car use?
Would you object if you could not receive TV pictures/electricity/gas/water/broadband/food/clothes because the "authorities" had not planned for the increase in usage over recent years? Why are cars so different?
--
Phil
Ken's new utterances. - madf
"I sthat the fault of car drivers or the fault of those who have failed to plan for the increase in car use?"

Academic .

We are discussing a problem. Not why it occurred.

One solution IS to widen London streets and tear down buildings and build more car parks. I reckon a cost of £250Million per mile is conservative!

It's obviously crazy as well.

The fact is we are where we are . How do we get to a Better solution?

No-one has tried since the M25 was built and where did that get Londoners and those in the SE?

It's not just a Lord Mayor's problem. It's a Central Governement one. One for the Office of the DPM. Well it would be but we know the only thing he can organise is unsuited for mentioning here:-)

Blame KL for a mess.. but he attempted to fill a vacuum caused by No-one doing anything.

Lots of reasons why not given in replies.

All right then : lets have some realistic and practical solutions.. If there are none given, then KL wins...:-))




madf
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
Would you object if you could not receive TV pictures/electricity/gas/water/broadband/food/clothes because
the "authorities" had not planned for the increase in usage over
recent years? Why are cars so different?


Broadband is different because it doesn't require a road, and takes up zero landspace. Cars take up a lot of landspace, and the only way to get everyone in London driving their own car would be to demolish huge swathes of the place to make new roads.
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
Broadband is different because it doesn't require a road, and takes
up zero landspace.


Bradband was actually pretty good example, because just as roads it depends on capacity and infrastucture which is very finite and has to be shared.
and the only way to get everyone in London driving their
own car would be to demolish huge swathes of the place
to make new roads.


No we don't. We didn't need extra parking before CC and we don't need it now. You do, however need to make roads flow. At the moments they are synchronised for stand stills. Every single way out of the city was tamed in recent years - take the great big crossroads of East London, to the north you have A12, speed limit of 3 lane motorway reduced from 50 to 40, to East you have A13, extra lanes added, dual undpasses and.. speed reduced from 50 to 30 mph. To the south you have Blackwall Tunnel and A2, 3 lane motorway which is restricted to 50 mph almost until Darford M25 junction. Of course Canary Wharf will be congested for hours after 6 pm, surely they are heading for CC extension. It's only logical, that if you slow the roads out of the town you'll create chaos. Let's make them flow, and as I said before - there is technology to detect traffic and read APRN from poles above roads, let's put it into good use - let's make them create green waves and unload traffic.
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - PhilW
"Cars take up a lot of landspace, and the only way to get everyone in London driving their own car would be to demolish huge swathes of the place to make new roads."

Unless of course, we had traffic management systems which were designed to ease the flow of traffic rather than create congestion (and profit from it). We've done it with housing, shopping areas, holiday accommodation and facilities, airports, power supplies, sewage, waste disposal and loads of other things. And, of course, if we had a decent public transport system which was attractive to use and cheaper (in cost and time) for commuters. And why is it assumed that if you get everyone out of cars then public transport (buses and trains) can expand to cope without demolishing "huge swathes of the place" and just use existing resources?
Let's be realistic - trains are a 19th century method of moving people around (from where they don't want to go from to where they don't want to arrive so most people will still use a car to get from home to the station and a vehicle(bus? car, taxi) to where they want to go and then a car to get from station to home in the evening). Buses are left over from the early 20th century when people couldn't afford their own transport. Perhaps we should use those old canals which are now underused, or the Thames from Oxford or Tilbury and Gravesend? In the 1950's I used to have to go round to my mate's house to watch "The Lone Ranger" on his TV - we didn't have one, or a car, now we have, and I want to use them!

Devil's advocate mode still on, but arguments becoming more and more tenuous - but I'd love to know why, when most of us are motorists, the motorist seems to be a persecuted "minority" who always seems to be in the wrong and is a fair target.
--
Phil
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
And why is it assumed that if you get everyone out of cars then public
transport (buses and trains) can expand to cope without demolishing "huge
swathes of the place" and just use existing resources?


Trains take a long time to bring on stream. Buses can be deployed much quicker, which is how London has managed a 40% increase in bus usage in recent years.

As to why the assumption, the maths is quite simple.

Say fifty people are travelling by car. Say they are an average of two per car (which is probably unrealistically high). Say they all drive new-shape Ford Fiestas, at 3.9m long. Allowing for a gap in between them, that requires over 100m of road to accommodate the vehicles when stopped, and at least two or three times that much when moving.

Take them all out of the cars, and they can all fit in one bendy bus, which occupies only 18metres of road length -- one fifthh of what the car needs. But the bus will be much less than half-full.

So the switch from car to bus allows a doubling of capacity while masively reducing the required roadspace.

To put it the other way around, for the cars to use the same length of roadspace as the bus, the cars would need to be 72cm long.
Let's be realistic - trains are a 19th century method of
moving people around [snip] Buses are left over from the early 20th century


It is more plausible to argue that in cities, cars are a leftover from the third quarter of the twentieth century, when it was assumed that natural resources could be consumed without limit, and before cities began to clog up.
the motorist seems to be a persecuted "minority"


In the city, the maths shows the motorist to be more of a greedy minority, consuming a vastly disproprtionate amount of scarce roadspace.
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
Say fifty people are travelling by car. Say they are
an average of two per car (which is probably unrealistically high).
Say they all drive new-shape Ford Fiestas, at 3.9m long.
Allowing for a gap in between them, that requires over 100m
of road to accommodate the vehicles when stopped, and at least
two or three times that much when moving.


Such logic would be rational only if all of those 50 people queueing in 100m long queue on embankment were heading to the same soviet kolhoz to start working at the same hour and had same amount of time to spare for travel. And once again, for the hundreth time - they STILL couldn't take their tools, docs and what have you with them.

I wish someone organized a week where everyone would have to take someone else's job and responsabilities for few days. Only then people would realize how immature and hopelessly discouraging it is when others judge your life, routines and neccessities by the prism of their own shallow experience.
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
Such logic would be rational only if all of those 50 people queueing in 100m long queue on
embankment were heading to the same soviet kolhoz to start working at the same hour and
had same amount of time to spare for travel.


v0n, I dunno if you have noticed, but the bus companies have already thought of this by providing more than one bus route. Some journeys will require a change of bus, but the more buses there are on the roads and the faster they move, the shorter the wait for the next bus when the change is needed.
And once again, for the hundreth time - they STILL couldn't take
their tools, docs and what have you with them.


Sure, buses are not appropriate for those carrying tools or supplies: there will always be some jobs which do need require a car. But I simply don't believe that all those driving poshmobiles into London actually need their own wheels.

For the hundredth time, there are many thousands of workers in London who need to dress smartly and have to carry documents etc with them, and who travel by public transport. I do it myself when I'm in London: if there is too much to carry, I simply use the wheeled bag which easily carries my laptop and a 6-inch pile of documents.
I wish someone organized a week where everyone would have to take someone else's job
and responsabilities for few days. Only then people would realize how immature and hopelessly
discouraging it is when others judge your life, routines and neccessities by the prism of
their own shallow experience.


Apart from the gratuitous insults, I think you are onto something here, v0n. If the people driving into London because they have a fat briefcase were forced to try one of the majority of jobs where they don't have use of a parking space and are not paid enough to afford the congestion charge, they'd rapidly realise that not only is it quite feasible, but it's routine for many people.

And if they had a little insight, they might start to realise that their own jobs, where they feel ever-so-self-important, are not really that unique. There are plenty of others with highly responsible, high-pressure jobs, who have never had the luxury of being able to park a car in central London, and who have simply had to develop the organisational skills to allow them to do their jobs without taking up a hugely disproportionate share of the scarce roadspace.
Ken's new utterances. - Baskerville

The vast majority of people have very regular routines. As any hitman will tell you it's pretty easy to predict after a few weeks' observation what people will be doing at a given time on a given day. For some people that's not true of course, and understandably most people would rather not admit that their lives are so regular and routine, but for the most people most of the time it is.
Ken's new utterances. - deepwith
And a further point is the total lack of proper public transport in rural areas. Our first bus leaves the village at 8.05 a.m. - designed for school children - the last returning leaves the major town at 5.35 p.m. That means even children staying at school for various activities have to be collected (10 mile round trip). Most workers could get to work on time but not home if they finish at 5.30. Shift workers have no transport. In London there is always transport of some sort .
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
NW: I'm sure everyone loves you as much as I do, but since you are yourself capable of taking a strict line, I would say:

From reading your posts I get the impression that you prefer public transport to cars. Of course like many if not most other people you are compelled to have a car by the long-term politically-motivated sabotage of rail and bus transport in this country.

But when you discuss, for example, what you annoyingly call bendy buses, it's quite clear you don't give a damn how much they stick out sideways on gentle bends. You are anti-car. You justify these silly third-world machines on the ground that they are easier for the disabled. Correct me if I'm wrong, but the current double-decker no-conductor London bus has a Heath-Robinson ramp for wheelchairs.

When did you last see a whole London bus completely full of disabled people?

NW: you are a sadist when you're being a democrat, socialist and bus passenger and a masochist when you're in your car, which you think should be thrust aside by buses.

That's why motorways put the fear of God into you.

You need to be just a bit more sadistic, in a controlled sort of way, when you're driving. And give up trying to justify silly gimmicky pain-in-the-bum neobuses.

You're obviously perfectly all right however.
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
But when you discuss, for example, what you annoyingly call bendy buses, it's quite clear you don't give
a damn how much they stick out sideways on gentle bends.


Not so. I just think that the sticking-out problem is a very minor inconvenience when offset against the huge capacity and space-efficiency of the bendy buses (which, incidentally, is what TFL calls them), and their rapid loading and unloading.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but the
current double-decker no-conductor London bus has a Heath-Robinson ramp for wheelchairs.


Heath Robinson is the word :(

Have you ever seen how poor the facilities for disabled users are once they board that double-decker? I'd hate to have to squeeze a wheelchair onboard.
When did you last see a whole London bus completely full of disabled people?


Never, but that's not the point. Even if there are one or two wheelchair users on a journey, their lives will be made much easier by the bendy buses. Entry through a wide door, with a ramp, straight across the width of the bus to a space designed to take a wheelchair securely.

This also benefits those with children in pushchairs: contrary to popular belief, it's not actually essential to purchase a 7-seat MPV once your first child is born.
NW: you are a sadist when you're being a democrat [snip]


Why do you want to conduct a discussion by resorting to personal name-calling?
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
I'm sorry you see it as name calling. Didn't mean it as such, don't take it as such. You called me silly and hypocritical after all!

I'm just trying to get a communicable handle on your attitudes, which are unusual on this site (and none the worse for it). You wear two different hats: car owner and driver, and car hater (or is that too strong a word?)

Wearing the second hat, your attitude to the privately owned automobile is a brutally hostile one. Wearing the first, it is that of a beleaguered victim. Sorry if my choice of Freudian shorthand upsets you though. I thought you would understand it.

I've watched a disabled person wheelchairing on and off a double decker. Needed a bit of help, but found a place to be on the bus. Perhaps articulated buses are easier, but does this advantage to what is after all a small minority of the population really justify these space-guzzling devices? Buses may be more space-efficient than cars, but given that there's too much traffic anyway why on earth do you think it's all right to make them half as space-efficient as they used to be? Seems barmy to me. But that's the trouble with this sort of argument, and the related 4X4 polemic. Ideology will keep creeping in and distorting everything.

Anyway NW, sorry if I offended you on a personal level because I certainly didn't mean to. I think of you as pretty nice, interesting to talk to and probably quite amusing.
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
And of course TFL calls articulated buses bendy! It makes the damn silly things sound cosy and cuddly, and suggests that they follow every curve of the road like charming little grass snakes, when they actually stick a huge elbow out a couple of feet for quite a mild deflection. TFL obtained the ghastly things after all.
Ken's new utterances. - Dalglish
... your attitude to the privately owned automobile is a brutally hostile one. ...

>>

cor, that is a new one.

my only contribution to this thread:

q. - what do anti-4x4, ant-war, anti-nuclear, anti-animal-testing, anti-hunting, anti-capitalism, anti-roads, anti-cars, etc.etc. have in common?

a. - research has shown that they are all anti-bmw and pro-ken.

Ken's new utterances. - Lud
Perhaps Dalglish. But quite a lot of pro-car people are anti-BMW, I can't help noticing. Something to do with the fantasised stereotype of the BMW owner/driver.

I hasten to add that I am not one of them. I wouldn't want just any BMW, but there are a lot of very desirable ones.
Ken's new utterances. - Dalglish
... Perhaps Dalglish. ..


ok, i lied. my 2nd contribution to this thread:

in addition, research has shown that the anti-brigade are pro-smoking and anti-democracy.

Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
in addition, research has shown that the anti-brigade are pro-smoking and anti-democracy.


That a good one!

Ken is the democratically elected mayor of London. Sure, plenty of people chose not to vote, but if they wanted Ken out they could have voted for one of the other candidates.

But you say that voices in this thread which support the democratically-elected mayor are anti-democracy. Black is the new white :(
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
Don't suppose you'd care to suggest a rival candidate, NW, as the leading 'voice supporting the democratically elected mayor' on this thread?

That's the problem really. No convincing candidate has appeared with a rational set of policies to improve transport in London. I'm convinced it could be done, and might consider voting for such a candidate even if he or she were Conservative, Green or Lib-Dem. But I won't vote for KL again. He has some bad attitudes along with his good ones.

Surely no one these days is anti-democracy, Dalglish, apart from a few lunatics? From George Bush to the Palestinian government, everyone pays lip service to the ideal of democracy. Of course you have to work out later what they actually mean by it. It's a holdall.

And smoking surely cuts across all political divisions. What's it got to do with anything?
Ken's new utterances. - Dalglish
... What's it got to do with anything? ..


i have no idea, but 9 out 10 onwers of cats said yes, they agree.

Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
Don't suppose you'd care to suggest a rival candidate, NW, as
the leading 'voice supporting the democratically elected mayor' on this thread?


I dunno what others want. Ken's transport policies comes close enough to what I'd like that he'd have got my second or preference if I'd had a vote and had been voting on transport alone. Maybe you'd have preferred Steve Norris's no-Congestion-Charge plans?
That's the problem really. No convincing candidate has appeared with a
rational set of policies to improve transport in London.


Again, Ken's policies look pretty rational to me: I'm not sure that here is much I'd want done differently, unless the Mayor had power to get projects like the Bakerloo southern extension and the two Crossrails kickstarted in a less sclerotic style. But if you don't like any of the policies on offer, you have two years to organise your 2008 Lud for Mayor campaign.

That may sound flippant, but I'm actually serious: if you've got a better plan, or could put one together, why not put it before the electorate and see what they think?
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
you
have two years to organise your 2008 Lud for Mayor
campaign.
That may sound flippant, but I'm actually serious


Well NW I surely am honoured and deeply flattered by yr suggestion. I'm not a politician and have other things to do, but two years seems such a long time even at my age that I'll give it some thought.

However willing the spirit may be though the flesh is often weak. So you'll have to forgive me if I just carry on kibbitzing in the normal way.

If in the meantime a candidate appears who has a rational attitude to road transport without the flimflam or carp ideological attitudes, I will willingly fade back into obscurity. I trust he or she will be able to count on your vote too.

Oh, I forgot. You're a turnip eater (:o)) .
Ken's new utterances. - v0n
Ken is the democratically elected mayor of London. Sure, plenty
of people chose not to vote, but if they wanted Ken
out they could have voted for one of the other candidates.


Elected by 36.7% of those who bothered and only 685,541 primary votes. I don't think terms "democratically" or "voted for by majority" should ever be associated with Ken.
--------------------
[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
Actually vOn that's how democracy works in this country. In Australia voting is compulsory. I sometimes think it should be here too, but I imagine our leaders think: if it ain't broke, don't fix it. It may seem broke to some of us (not me really) but it doesn't to them.
Ken's new utterances. - NowWheels
Elected by 36.7% of those who bothered and only 685,541 primary votes. I don't think terms
"democratically" or "voted for by majority" should ever be associated with Ken.


Under the FPTP system, he'd have won outright. Under the STV system in use, he was the second choice of enough of those supporting the less successful candidates. How else do you suggest the votes are counted? By discarding those cast for a candidate you don't like?

Ken's new utterances. - v0n
How else do you suggest the votes are counted?
By discarding those cast for a candidate you don't like?


The idea is clever - because of the "second vote" people effectively vote instead of typical "second elections" between two most successfull candidates. However, in practice it just doesn't work, because second votes are effectively double voting and additionaly votes are spread across all candidates. What I mean is - Ken Livingstone had 685,541 primary votes (35.70%) and 250,517 secondary votes, meaning 13.04% people pointed him out as their second choice. Steve Norris had 542,423 votes (28.24%) and 222,559 votes, meaning 11.59% people pointed him out as their second choice. But none of the candidates had straight majority vote (over 50%), and both candidates had very little support of secondary votes. This is de facto majority vote for NO CANDIDATE. The turn out and the actual pie chart show it quite clearly. Over 60% of electorate found no candidate to support at all, and those who voted found no candidate worth of majority vote. At this stage the least to do was to make two most successfull candidates to run against each other. And there is distinctive possibility that Ken would loose and Steve Norris would receive support of the remaining 36% of voters who stood behind candidates disqualified after 1st round. Of course noone wants to waste time and money on second elections, but that's only because in UK we believe local elections to be unimportant and unworthy of attention. How wrong were we?

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[Nissan 2.2 dCi are NOT Renault engines. Grrr...]
Ken's new utterances. - barney100
Thommo....Ken ...London...Ken ...London? they still take the money TWICE. Once in road tax which we all know dosen't go all on roads and Ken's congestion charge. It is a fact of life that if you seem to have some asset the government...be it ours or any other will try to get it off you, its just the way it is but I guess we all have to pay to keep the country going.
Ken's new utterances. - Thommo
Not me for much longer Barney. Taking my profits from the London property market, sending the money to Singapore and myself to Thailand.

London, your welcome to it I ain't paying no more for the crap thats happening now much less whats coming on 1st January 2007...
Ken's new utterances. - nortones2
Apart from a pricing mechanism, to delay complete congestion of urban roads, or the LA alternative of nothing BUT roads how about fuel rationing? A fuel ration would soon clarify the needs versus the wants aspects of travel. With the chaos in the middle east, rationing might not be an option, but a necessity, soon. Get your bicycles now folks....
Ken's new utterances. - Dynamic Dave
Less politics, more motoring discussion please.

DD.
Ken's new utterances. - Lud
All cars are too heavy.

'Simplicate and add more lightness'. (some American idiot with the right ideas... perhaps an aircraft manufacturer).

Discuss.
Ken's new utterances. - Leif
Think yourselves lucky you don't live in Luton. There are bus lanes that are usually empty, and cause congestion at junctions.. And yet the buses are usually empty. I saw one recently that had on the back the slogan "A breath of fresh air". I had to laugh. If you've ever been on a bicycle behind a bus you'll know why. They stink. In Luton I'm sure that buses are more polluting than cars because a) they have huge engines that produce lots of dirty diesel exhaust b) they only do about 8 mpg c) they are usually near empty. Oh yes, and by having bus lanes, they increase congestion, which increases pollution from cars.

The mayor was elected only by people in the London area and they can easilt use public transport. Those outside London who need to commute in did not get a chance to vote. And yet they are the ones hit hardest, and who cannot reasonably use public transport (too slow and inconvenient). So it's not that surprising that Red Ken got voted in. That and the crummy competition.

Leif
Ken's new utterances. - Thommo
The only good thing ever said about Luton.

Its not as bad as Dunstable...
 

Ask Honest John

Value my car