Edinburgh rejects congestion charging!

old.user4556

Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
16,163
Yes, good news... for just now. Here in West Lothian, we had our own vote to which i voted "no".

However...

Something has to be done about the traffic in Edinburgh, inside and on approach. Some days, it's taken me over an hour to get from my house to the outskirts of Edinburgh (10 miles or so) because the M8 motorway is absolutely solid. The traffic situation is a disgrace.

This time round, I voted against it, but i definitely think it's something worth doing down the line but only when the public transport / trains / park & ride situation has improved drasticly and to the point that public transport is a viable alternative to the car.

Right now; the trains are smelly, you can't get a seat, they're unreliable, they're expensive, they're not frequent enough and their car parks are too small to hold passengers at the moment. If the congestion charging went ahead, the already oversubscribed buses/trains wouldn't cope with the extra people and we'd be in an even worse situation than before.

I also know a lot of people who say they would still drive and pay the charge, so it's not reducing congestion at all in the cases of these people - i suspect it's to line the pockets of the council, another stealth tax and nothing else.
 

DaGaffer

Down With That Sorta Thing
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
18,081
Big G said:
Yes, good news... for just now. Here in West Lothian, we had our own vote to which i voted "no".

However...

Something has to be done about the traffic in Edinburgh, inside and on approach. Some days, it's taken me over an hour to get from my house to the outskirts of Edinburgh (10 miles or so) because the M8 motorway is absolutely solid. The traffic situation is a disgrace.

This time round, I voted against it, but i definitely think it's something worth doing down the line but only when the public transport / trains / park & ride situation has improved drasticly and to the point that public transport is a viable alternative to the car.

Right now; the trains are smelly, you can't get a seat, they're unreliable, they're expensive, they're not frequent enough and their car parks are too small to hold passengers at the moment. If the congestion charging went ahead, the already oversubscribed buses/trains wouldn't cope with the extra people and we'd be in an even worse situation than before.

I also know a lot of people who say they would still drive and pay the charge, so it's not reducing congestion at all in the cases of these people - i suspect it's to line the pockets of the council, another stealth tax and nothing else.
Congestion charging as a means of cross-subsidising public transport doesn't work, look what's happened in London.

Interesting fact 1. Fare dodging in London accounts for more lost revenue than the Congestion charge raises! Especially now Uncle Ken's introduced rubbish bendy buses with three doors and no conductor.

Interesting fact 2. Paticulate and NoX emissions were going down in London before the Congestion charge came in, they are now static, mainly because (well, duh!) diesel buses and taxis are the biggest polluters of all (which is why New York and Tokyo use LPG).
 

TdC

Trem's hunky sex love muffin
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
30,693
DaGaffer said:
Interesting fact 1. Fare dodging in London accounts for more lost revenue than the Congestion charge raises! Especially now Uncle Ken's introduced rubbish bendy buses with three doors and no conductor.
that's strange. holland's been using those "rubbish" busses for ages and we don't have any known problems. perhaps because our public transport actually works reasonably well?
I can imagine that if the thought that the quality will be crap anyway was ingrained deep enough that people won't really be willing to pay.
 

Lazarus

Part of the furniture
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
2,874
TdC said:
that's strange. holland's been using those "rubbish" busses for ages and we don't have any known problems. perhaps because our public transport actually works reasonably well?
I can imagine that if the thought that the quality will be crap anyway was ingrained deep enough that people won't really be willing to pay.
Teedles,

you need to actually experience the public transportin Scotland to understand exactly how CRAP it is. Ive been on the busses/trains in Holland and they are positively palacial compared to the decrepit coaches used in Scotland.
 

DaGaffer

Down With That Sorta Thing
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
18,081
TdC said:
that's strange. holland's been using those "rubbish" busses for ages and we don't have any known problems. perhaps because our public transport actually works reasonably well?
I can imagine that if the thought that the quality will be crap anyway was ingrained deep enough that people won't really be willing to pay.
One of the many differences between Holland and London is that most London streets were designed hundreds of years ago with tight corners suitable for a horse and cart, not a 40m long bus, whereas large parts of Holland were rebuilt after the war and didn't have to face such issues. There was a reason why the Routemaster double-decker bus was designed the way it was, specifically with London in mind (and why London taxis are unique, with their tight turning-circle requirement), but Ken sees these bendy things on the continent and thinks they'll make us more European. Dickhead.

As for reason why people don't pay, its a. largely because they can get away with it, and b. because the cost of public transport in London is rising much faster than inflation, because they got their sums so badly wrong about the congestion charge (it was supposed to subsidise public transport, but now it looks like it will need to go up and be extended just to cover its own operating costs. Genius :rolleyes: )
 

TdC

Trem's hunky sex love muffin
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
30,693
well, the couple of times I've been over recently (the barrybeers and such) the quality of the transport was nasty in comparison. perhaps it's just the volume. I believe that the dutch trains move about a million people per day (not verified), and there are "only" 15 or 16 million Dutch. iirc London alone holds over 15 million people?
 

TdC

Trem's hunky sex love muffin
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
30,693
DaGaffer said:
One of the many differences between Holland and London is that most London streets were designed hundreds of years ago with tight corners suitable for a horse and cart, not a 40m long bus, whereas large parts of Holland were rebuilt after the war and didn't have to face such issues. There was a reason why the Routemaster double-decker bus was designed the way it was, specifically with London in mind (and why London taxis are unique, with their tight turning-circle requirement), but Ken sees these bendy things on the continent and thinks they'll make us more European. Dickhead.

As for reason why people don't pay, its a. largely because they can get away with it, and b. because the cost of public transport in London is rising much faster than inflation, because they got their sums so badly wrong about the congestion charge (it was supposed to subsidise public transport, but now it looks like it will need to go up and be extended just to cover its own operating costs. Genius :rolleyes: )

a real shame :( dutch trains are expensive imo (but not compared to the english ones) but they're clean, fast and tend (tempting fate here) to run on time. always. same goes for the buses and trams (in amsterdam, rotterdam and the hague). still, and you can call me a hippy if you like, I firmly believe that if you get your public transport working right and keep it cheap then wonders will happen. for a good example take a look at Singapore's MRT. that's my idea of the perfect mass public transport: (very)cheap, clean, fast and always on time.

tbh I don't have any answers for london or edinburgh's problems. bikes? any fool knows that you can't get the cars out till you have a good and working alternative.
 

DaGaffer

Down With That Sorta Thing
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
18,081
I've used public transport in Holland and in Singapore and I agree with you entirely; the problem we have in the UK, and particularly London, is a Labour party and particularly a London mayor, that hates cars (because they're intimately associated with class and status in the UK) and uses (often spurious) environmental and safety concerns to beat motorists up, and a Chancellor who sees the entire motoring population as an enormous bank.

Labour are justified in pointing out that Tories fucked things up for transport in the UK in the first place, but they promised so much back in 1997 (using Holland as an example...) and have delivered fuck all.
 

TdC

Trem's hunky sex love muffin
Joined
Dec 20, 2003
Messages
30,693
ah, so the politics of the situation are screwing with it? talk about slowdowns :/ if you had carte blance, do you have any ideas on what you would do to rememdy the traffic problems? I don't mean politically ofc, you'll have to vote for that. speaking of which, are there people in the uk gov with the right ideas concerning traffic and public transportation? I'm utterly clueless regarding the uk government really :(
 

Athan

FH is my second home
Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
1,063
TdC said:
well, the couple of times I've been over recently (the barrybeers and such) the quality of the transport was nasty in comparison. perhaps it's just the volume. I believe that the dutch trains move about a million people per day (not verified), and there are "only" 15 or 16 million Dutch. iirc London alone holds over 15 million people?
That's probably a big part of the reason, especially as with increasing numbers not only does the number of busses/trains etc go up but the complexity of managing them efficiently.

Oh and the actual 'live in' population of London is officially around 9million, but I bet it goes up by a few million during working hours.

-Ath
 

gmloki

Part of the furniture
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
634
I wonder what the IOC Commitee thought of the transportation in London when they were over last week. It is a real shame that some of Britains great cities are spoiled by constant congestion, fume and smoke from the diesel pumpers. What needs to change as well is Drive behaviour. Where I work there are loads and loads of people from the same area. All who moan that their are no parking spaces when they get in. All are stressed that their car is parked on the road unsecure away from work. All moan about fuel costs and sitting in traffic. All drive into work on their own. Go figure

In an ideal world the centres of Major cities like London, Edinburgh, Manchester, Birmingham etc should be made into pedestrian only zones with a tram system to get you from one side to the other.

[/wild fantasy]
 

Tom

I am a FH squatter
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
16,813
The problem with the traffic/transport debate is that in England, its focused almost entirely on the South East (the most heavily populated area of Britain).

Up here in Manchester, congestion charging would probably work quite well. There are many many lines from the outlying areas into Manchester (including one that runs right behind my house, with the station 100 yards away). The buses are the usual shite, but I find it laughable that people complain about 'noxious polluting cars' when buses use 30 year old engine designs. Also, you know when you see those 'out of service' signs on buses? Thats not because they're being driven for a service, or between depots. Its because there isn't room to park it, so it gets driven around all day.

Black cabs emit more pollution than a 4.5 Range Rover.

Its quite simple to my mind. Stop treating the car as though its some kind of terrible affliction on society (when really its the best invention of the last 500 years), and have a sensible debate, with real facts (not green fiction), about how best to improve matters. Its not so simple as 'tax y' and 'eliminate z', it takes a concentrated effort across many areas. Thats why Holland's transport system works - because they redesigned the whole transport infrastructure, and not one bit at a time.

They also didn't have the burden of supporting an Empire in post-war times, or maintaining a stupidly large army and navy presence (why do we need 4 nuclear submarines?). France and Germany were ruined countries after WW2. Now they boast the finest public transport systems in Europe. Says alot.
 

DaGaffer

Down With That Sorta Thing
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
18,081
Tom said:
The problem with the traffic/transport debate is that in England, its focused almost entirely on the South East (the most heavily populated area of Britain).

Up here in Manchester, congestion charging would probably work quite well. There are many many lines from the outlying areas into Manchester (including one that runs right behind my house, with the station 100 yards away). The buses are the usual shite, but I find it laughable that people complain about 'noxious polluting cars' when buses use 30 year old engine designs. Also, you know when you see those 'out of service' signs on buses? Thats not because they're being driven for a service, or between depots. Its because there isn't room to park it, so it gets driven around all day.

Black cabs emit more pollution than a 4.5 Range Rover.

Its quite simple to my mind. Stop treating the car as though its some kind of terrible affliction on society (when really its the best invention of the last 500 years), and have a sensible debate, with real facts (not green fiction), about how best to improve matters. Its not so simple as 'tax y' and 'eliminate z', it takes a concentrated effort across many areas. Thats why Holland's transport system works - because they redesigned the whole transport infrastructure, and not one bit at a time.

They also didn't have the burden of supporting an Empire in post-war times, or maintaining a stupidly large army and navy presence (why do we need 4 nuclear submarines?). France and Germany were ruined countries after WW2. Now they boast the finest public transport systems in Europe. Says alot.
France spend about the same percentage of GDP on defence as we do (actually slightly more last year), and actually isn't a very good transport example (although still better than us). The French tend to spend transport money on 'prestige projects' like fancy bridges and the TGV, their local bus and rail services aren't that hot (try getting the train from CDG into town for an example, the Heathrow Express makes it look like a rickshaw), and the French are just running into the same problems of public sector industries they can no longer afford (even with higher direct taxes than us) as we had in the eighties.

The problem is, the UK has unique problems that can't be solved by just looking at other countries and saying "oh, we'll do that"; we've got the oldest industrialised transport infrastructure in the world, we didn't get completely knocked flat in WWII, we've got a very high population density but we're also a relatively large country (unlike say, Singapore or Holland), and we have a very American attitude towards direct taxation (as in no political party dare raise taxes). So we're fucked basically.
 

JingleBells

FH is my second home
Joined
Mar 25, 2004
Messages
2,224
DaGaffer said:
France spend about the same percentage of GDP on defence as we do (actually slightly more last year), and actually isn't a very good transport example (although still better than us). The French tend to spend transport money on 'prestige projects' like fancy bridges and the TGV, their local bus and rail services aren't that hot (try getting the train from CDG into town for an example, the Heathrow Express makes it look like a rickshaw), and the French are just running into the same problems of public sector industries they can no longer afford (even with higher direct taxes than us) as we had in the eighties.

The problem is, the UK has unique problems that can't be solved by just looking at other countries and saying "oh, we'll do that"; we've got the oldest industrialised transport infrastructure in the world, we didn't get completely knocked flat in WWII, we've got a very high population density but we're also a relatively large country (unlike say, Singapore or Holland), and we have a very American attitude towards direct taxation (as in no political party dare raise taxes). So we're fucked basically.
Precisely the french local rail system is awful, TGV is what gets the international media's attention, so people say why isn't the west and east coast main line like that. Problem is, france is around 4 times as large (area wise) as the UK, and has the same, possibly fewer, people living it. This gives them large areas of space to build dead straight railway lines and motorways, we cannot do this here.
There was an interesting article in the paper a while back comparing the UK rail system with systems that are deemed to be superior. The main outcome was that foreign systems seem better but they only like to advertise a small part, such as having fast, on time trains (eg: TGV and Shinkansen (Bullet Train)) and hiding poor local systems.
In Italy in the 30's Mussolini got a load of international reporters on one train to prove how punctual the service was. From what the reporters saw it looked very nice, what they didn't see was that all other trains on the system were being held back so this train would be guaranteed to be on time.

As for buses, the buses in manchester are OK as long as you want to go down one road (the main road from town centre, past university and down to student flat land) and some of the buses are 20 yrs old and aren't particularly eco-friendly.
 

rynnor

Rockhound
Moderator
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Messages
9,353
Actually the Italian train service is very good - costs a fraction of UK prices and basically runs an effecient service that covers a large portion of the country.

I guess they probably pay more money into the system than us.

Tbh I think the answer to a lot of UK congestion problems is to encourage companies to let staff work from home - there are tons of jobs where this is practical and both the environmental and financial savings could be huge!
 

old.user4556

Has a sexy sister. I am also a Bodhi wannabee.
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
16,163
rynnor said:
Tbh I think the answer to a lot of UK congestion problems is to encourage companies to let staff work from home - there are tons of jobs where this is practical and both the environmental and financial savings could be huge!
I'd love this, i don't need to be in the office being a programmer. The problem is that i might revert to student ways and be a lazy bast.
 

Bodhi

Once agreed with Scouse and a LibDem at same time
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
9,034
rynnor said:
Actually the Italian train service is very good - costs a fraction of UK prices and basically runs an effecient service that covers a large portion of the country.

I guess they probably pay more money into the system than us.

Tbh I think the answer to a lot of UK congestion problems is to encourage companies to let staff work from home - there are tons of jobs where this is practical and both the environmental and financial savings could be huge!
This is true - I've saved a fortune and avoided every rush hour since I started working from home.
 

gmloki

Part of the furniture
Joined
Dec 22, 2003
Messages
634
The opportunity to sort out the Rail System in Britain has been and gone. Around 4-5 Years ago the government apporached the guy (anem escapes me) who sorted out the swiss rail system that was in a similar situation to our back in the 70's. He wanted complete control over the project and he also said it wanted 7 years to comeplete it and we would never have problems again.

He was given 5 years to do it and a budget 10% less than what was initially agreed. He duly resigned after 20 days. It is intersting to note that the swiss rail service runs as regular as well ermm a swiss clock. Over the course of the last 10 years the entire country network has had one late train
 

Users who are viewing this thread

Top Bottom