JANUARY 2010 NEWS
Sunday 31 January 2010
Lord Adonis day dreaming
Peter has pointed out to us this item from the 2nd December which was not reported at the time. Lord Adonis was asked about the London Congestion Charge and the Manchester poll - Parliament - Uncorrected Transcript Of Oral Evidence by Lord adonis to Transport Cttee - see Q88 & 89. Lord Adonis not only believes the spin about the London Con, it is clear that he wants there to be no more "referendums" as in Manchester and Edinburgh.
Amazingly, it also seems that Lord Adonis is not aware that the western extension of the London charge is already in place, perhaps he should leave his train seat and get out a bit more.
Two from ABD - "'Sterngate': The Influential Stern Review Has Been Quietly Altered" "Scandals Discredit Global Warming Policies".
Saturday 30 January 2010
ABC - "Can Climate Forecasts Still Be Trusted?".
If you read the comments it seems that "Glaciergate" is at least partly due to Britain's Department for International Development who funded the Sagarmatha project - WWF - "Himalayan Glacier Project" Global Environmental Change and Food Systems - "Linking glacial melt to food" pdf.
Sundry stories - New Hampshire - "Salem selectmen want more say in I-93 toll plan " Ohio - "Bill could spur road building" Washington State - "Bill would send your toll fine to a collection agency" Washington State - "Local lawmakers disagree with treasurerís tolls recommendation".
Canadians want higher tolls
CBC - "Bridge toll could cost quarter more". It would be interesting to know why 76% of those surveyed want higher tolls - don't they use the bridges?
Times Argus - "China opens cracks in its deep culture of government secrecy". It is nor surprising that one of the first Freedom of Imformation requests was on tolls, and even less surprising that they did not get a full answer.
Friday 29 January 2010
Sundry stories - Washington State - "Donít make example of Narrows toll payers" Virginia - "Hampton Roads lawmakers oppose tolls on 2 bridge-tunnels" DC / Virginia - "Bill would add cameras to nab Dulles toll cheats" Washington State- "Letís be sensible about Narrows Bridge tolls".
Slovak tolls gone?
We can't read Slovak, but it is reported that following the action by lorry drivers, Slovak's tolls have been removed - HN Online - "Fico uhol kamiůnom. Cesty budķ zadarmo ".
Tories propose a new toll bridge
This is Local London - "KCC leader plans new Thames crossing east of Gravesend". Drivers already pay fifty billion pounds a year, why suggest the aggravation of tolls to raise thirty million?
Another Swedish Con on the way
Swedish Wire - "Gothenburg plans road toll to cut traffic".
BBC - "Climate change research sound, chief UK scientist says". This reminds us of another bit of Governemnt spin - BBC - "John Gummer: Beef eater". The AGW theory is propped up by unreliable data, e.g. - Watts Up With That? - "Ross McKitrick sums up the Yamal tree ring affair in the Financial Post", so why doesn't the chief "scientist" call for an independent audit of all the temperature "records"?
Thursday 28 January 2010
"The Debt Hangover"
BofE speech last night (pdf).
Bit more on Bay area tolls increase - Mercury News - "Toll hikes approved for Bay Area bridges" Sacremento Bee - "Toll increases OK'd for Bay Area bridges" lot of comments KTVU - "MTC: Higher Tolls; No Free Car Pool Lanes On Bridges" video KCBS - "Bridge Tolls on the Rise" audio.
Sundry stories - DC / Virginia - "Cameras sought to catch Dulles Access Road cheats" W Virginia - "For Whom the Road Tolls" Pennsylvania - "Shout Out: Tolling I-80" Texas - "I-35E expansion to be completed in stages" W Virginia - "Your Opinion: No U.S. 35 toll" Washington State - "Toll-Setting Equity? Not for Narrows Bridge" Washington State - "State leans toward bump in tolls" Washington State - "Bridge tolls: Let your voice be heard".
York may go for a Con
York Press - "York residents to be asked for views on transport issues".
Plan to destroy Glasgow
Perhaps it is a hallucination brought on by too much drinking on Burns night, but a plan has been put forward to hit Glasgow with the double whammy that was first proposed for Edinburgh - trams and "congestion charging" - Herald - "Glasgow tram plan is on track" Herald - "Radical plans for Glasgow trams" Scotsman - "Dear Green Place plans congestion charge and trams in £1.5bn vision"
Sustainable Glasgow - links to report (which may not work) and press release.
The group that is pushing this claims that two thirds of people support Congestion charging with "45% strongly in favour, and just 5% strongly opposed". For the moment it looks as if the Council have not fallen for this claim.
PS Glasgow Evening Times - "City council rejects plea for congestion charges".
Another fantasy survey
The DfT have published their latest - "Public attitudes towards climate change and the impact on transport" report (links at top right).
The vast majority believe in "climate change" (i.e. AGW), however the population is cut and diced, with only 1% giving the unprompted response that they don't believe in it (if prompted with this answer as a choice, then the number of recusants increases to 3%).
The anti car lobby will also be happy that more people (65%) believe that "Emissions from road transport" causes "climate change" than believe in other factors as a cause (the second biggest factor was "Emissions from planes" at 37%). What people believe is of course wrong, in that the whole of the transport sector (including buses, trains, vans and lorries) makes up only 26% of Britain's CO2 emissions. But people's beliefs are not surprising given that they are deliberately misled.
Some of the results seems to be people saying what they think the researcher wants to hear e.g. 19% of adults said that within the next 12 months they will cycle some of the journeys that they currently make by car - which if true would mean a mega boom for retailers of bicycles.
Much of the survey only demonstrates how duped people are on issues other than global warming e.g. 81% of people believe that "Government should do more to persuade people to buy more fuel efficient cars", but only 10% support "increasing the tax on petrol" the most obvious measure to achive this ii the Government wants to bleed more money from drivers. Instead there was more support for measures promoted by politicians such as "Charging motorists to enter more towns and cities" (16%) and "Higher taxes on less environmentally friendly cars" (37%).
Overall the Government will be pleased that whatever their other failures are, they are still having some success with spin.
BBC - "Climate e-mails row university 'breached data laws'". It is very easy for the authorities to withhold information under the Freedom of Information Act and Environmental Information Regulations. One illustration of how easy it is to do so, is that the Information Commissioner will not take any action as the possible offence was over six months ago.
Wednesday 27 January 2010
Politicians making it easier to bleed drivers
BBC - "Severn toll payment by credit card 'likely'".
Inside Costa Rica - "San Josť - Caldera To Be Inaugurated Today Amid Protests and Roadblocks".
Slovak toll dispute continues
Radio Prague - "Hauliers Consider Another Strike Due to Road-toll System".
New International toll
Today's Trucking - "DRIC looks for bridge builders".
Bay area tolls increase - Mercury News - "Bridge tolls to go up on seven Bay Area spans" KTVU - "Commuters Could Face Higher Bridge Tolls, BART Fares" video.
Sundry stories - Florida - "Xway approves free toll transponders" W Virginia - "More West Virginians may soon experience frustration of toll roads" Maryland - "Misconceptions about the ICC" W Virginia - "Council passes bridge toll hike" DC / Virginia - "Cameras Sought to Nab Dulles Access Road ĎBacktrackersí" Virginia - "Lawmaker calls for $2 tolls on HRBT, Monitor-Merrimac" Texas - "I-35 tolls may be likely for Northeast Tarrant County motorists" Maine - "More than 300 attend public meeting on York tolls".
On the road to inflation
NY Times - "Bank May Find It Hard to Keep CPI on Target - Sentance" BofE - "Speech to British Property Federation 27 January".
"There could be scope for a much stronger recovery in the housing market, especially if interest rates remain low and monetary conditions remain as relaxed as they are at present." gives some idea of who the Bank are aiming to please.
Bit more on Ghanaian tolls increase
Pecae FM - "The New Road Tolls Are Harshly Exorbitant".
Portugal's minority Socialist Government plans to toll all motorways with the aim of cutting its deficit. If it gets the measure through Parliament, the plan will be implemented rapidly.
A sad tale
BBC - "Major roads 'not meeting top safety rating'" Road Safety Foundation - "EuroRAP 2009 Results" LARGE pdf.
The report starts - "Car occupants account for some 70% of road deaths. Nearly two-thirds are killed outside urban areas with deaths concentrated on Britainís forgotten A road network" The problem is that Governments rob drivers and spend almost nothing on the roads; with a large slice of what they do spend going on measures to reduce road space and impede drivers.
Tuesday 26 January 2010
Feeble response to feeble request
News Wales - "Severn Bridge tolls will keep rising".
More from the Euro Trolls
EurActiv - "EU body gives thumbs up to 'green' road charging". The report - EC Joint Research Centre - "Impacts of the proposal for amending Directive 1999/62/EC on road infrastructure charging" pdf claims that "Empirical evidence from actual congestion charging schemes and local studies suggest a (reduction in) local congestion of between 10-30%". So it is clear that their aim is not only tolls on trucks.
Ghanaian tolls to increase 900%
Graphic Ghana - "New road tolls take effect Feb 1".
According to a story in "Joy Online" last April some people will not be affected by any tolls increase - "parliamentarians, ministers, police personnel and assemblymen".
"Driverís nightmare" - Paul Mulshine in Star-Ledger - "N.J. toll scheme is dead; long live the toll scheme?".
Sundry stories - Washington State - "Express lanes and tolling could be the future of Eastside corridor" Oklahoma - "Shift in toll power pushed - A bill would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature for a turnpike toll to be increased" "Legislative approval urged for Oklahoma toll increases" California - "Proposed Bay Area toll hikes have fishermen reeling" N.H. - "Salem selectman, Lynch to discuss toll issue" Pennsylvania - "Interstate 80 tolls still a bad idea".
"Ohio Turnpike Commission reverses itself on higher tolls for bicycles or luggage on roof" Washington State - "Senator Kastama wants tolls on I-90 and the Alaskan Way Viaduct" "Privatize Illinois' tollways? Voters say no" S. Carolina - "Debt default unlikely to end tolls along Southern Connector" "Not enough money for Texas roads? Think again" "New Jersey weighs options for depleted transportation fund" "Commuting: Christie camp eyes a gas tax for N.J." Pennsylvania - "I-80 tolling decision nears crossroads" W Virginia - "The Toll Possibilities".
Washington State - "Grace period would avoid $40 Narrows Bridge toll ticket fee"   Washington State - "Donít sit on sidelines and watch tolls rise"   Colorado - "Tolling gets another look on three congested metro Denver road corridors"   "Hundreds of millions spent on Texas transportation projects that have little to do with traffic"
Pennsylvania - "Groups in Clarion, Clearfield counties continue opposition to proposed tolls along Interstate 80"   "A new way forward - The gist: Privatizing some Florida toll roads might help the state meet its transportation needs"   N.J. - "SJTA may scrap plans for cashless toll plazas on expressway"   Maine - "MTA dismisses electronic tolls".
Back to the past
Muswell Hill Journal - "Toll charge plan to raise Palace cash".
Lifting the veil
Niagara Falls Reporter - "HIGGS VS. THE WORLD".
Selling more tolls
Business Spectator - "Henry the highwayman".
BBC - "UK economy emerges from recession " ONS - "Gross domestic product - preliminary estimate - 4th Quarter 2009" pdf.
Changes of 0.1% are not statistically significant. The slide into deeper recession virtually ended in the second quarter of 2009, what has happened in the last two quarters is that we are stuck at what seems to be the bottom. Given the colossal amounts of money already printed by the Bank of England to stem the fall, it is difficult to see what will get us up and out of the (relative) hole.
Opposition to toll sale
This is Local London - "Campaign launched against Dartford Crossing sale".
More on To jump or not to jump
Expatica - "Opinion poll rejects Dutch road pricing plan".
BBC - "I will not go, says climate chief". The best bit of this story is that the IPCC chief was "re-elected by acclamation".
Not surprisingly, according to Wikipedia, he is not a climate scientist but qualified as an industrial engineer and worked in an Indian locomotive works, he also "advises such companies as Pegasus Capital Advisors, GloriOil (supplies biotechnology to increase recovery from mature oil fields), the Chicago Climate Exchange, Toyota, Deutsche Bank and NTPC (India's largest power company)".
Monday 25 January 2010
To jump or not to jump
Radio Netherlands - "Controversy over Dutch kilometre charge poll" NIS - "Minister Suggests Dropping Kilometre Levy".
Marriage made in hell?
WSJ - "Sintonia Denies Atlantia, Gemina, Abertis Merger Plan Reports". Our guess is that this will never get to the altar
PS The Leader (Alicante) - "Traffic Down 15% On Toll Roads".
More bashing of drivers
Telegraph - "Average speed cameras could be used on all motorways".
Though most of the news media have concentrated on the cameras, the report - Sustainable Development Commission - "Smarter Moves" pdf also recommends the "Department for Transport to encourage more efficient road network utilisation through better
use of parking controls, tolls and road pricing." The SDC is part of the Government / green / business establishment so it is not suprising that they want, at the same time, to bleed drivers dry and slow them down.
Russian toll rules
Tass - "The Russian government has adopted rules for toll road traffic, payment system".
Another Holyrood mess
Edinburgh News - "£112m to make Forth Road Bridge 'world's most expensive bus lane'".
MSPs have a terrible track record with construction schemes such as the Parliament building or the trams fiasco. The case of the Forth road bridge will make those previous disasters look like very small beer.
Oddly one of the loudest voices in the Edinburgh Establishment opposing the plans is the Forthright Alliance - a group that as much as anyone else is the cause of this mess with their campaigning against drivers and for tolls. The chairman of the group was recently the chairman of the bridge authority and the list of the alliance's supporters is interesting - "FRA Members".
The not so tender trap
Chasing phantom tolls - Exeter Express & Revenue - "Man is caught out by charge".
Report on toll
Tv NZ - "The Northern Gateway a year on".
Courier Mail - "Anna Bligh steps in to referee toll operators' tug-of-war".
Thanhnien Newst - "Toll plan decried as Ďmisguidedí at Vietnamís business hub".
"Take it or leave it"
Bangkok Post - "Buyer Beware - Standing up to monopolies".
Stop the economy to stop it getting warmer - BBC - "Economic growth 'cannot continue'".
The real problem is that there are too many people and the population is growing, so if as the "New Economics Foundation" want, you halt growth then the GDP per head falls, and poorer people tend to have higher birth rates, so you enter a catastrophic spiral down. Greens seem to be blind to all of this.
BBC - "China has 'open mind' on cause of climate change".
Whether they have fallen for the AGW con or not, the Chinese are not stupid enough to spend any of their own money on reducing CO2.
Friday 22 January 2010
Pot calling the kettle black
Lib Dems PR - "Tory plans to tax motorists will hit rural areas says Baker".
This PR proves again that you can not trust politicians, as the Lib Dems do not mention that on average drivers would have to pay the equivalent of 20 pence more a litre to cover the cost of introducing and administering their "revenue neutral" road pricing scheme.
From Mad Max land
Courier Mail - "Rival operators accused of dirty tactics to lure drivers".
Later stories - Florida - "Feds on New Miami HOT Lanes: Good for Transit" Massachusetts / N.H. - "Controversy Continues Over I-93 Toll Plan" video.
Most Americans think that the Federal gas tax is raised each year, but it hasn't changed since 1993 - Infrastructurist - "How Often is The Gas Tax Raised?Most Americans Have No Clue".
Higher tolls agreed in Washington State - News Tribune - "Panel backs Tacoma Narrows Bridge toll increases" Kitsap Sun - "State Transportation Commission Opts for Higher Narrows Bridge Tolls" some comments News Tribune - "Transportation Commission recommends raising tolls" some comments.
Sundry stories - Utah - "Utahns split on open access to HOV lanes" Maine - "York toll foes rail against MTA officials" Maine - "York residents provide input for new toll plaza" video & comments W. Virginia - "Manchin asks for expansion of Parkways for future tolls" N.H. - "Salem Leads Fight Against I-93 Toll Plan" some comments "Do you think Connecticut needs to reinstate tolls to maintain its roads?".
Chasing phantom tolls - Mayor Watch - "Johnson: ĎEmbassies should fulfil c-charge obligationsí".
Transport consultants tell Mayor that they want more con charges, not less - Transport Xtra - "Grasp potential of personal rapid transport, consultant tells Mayor".
More ERP toll rises
Asia One - "ERP rates to increase at three gantries".
Thursday 21 January 2010
Welsh AM calls for Severn Tolls to be removed, but not now
South Wales Argus - "AMís call to abolish Severn Bridge tolls" BBC - Recording of debate yesterday. The weakness and apathy of Welsh politicians is illustrated by the feeble request, the almost empty chamber and the usual troll nonsense read out by the Labour Minister.
The latest money supply figures show a fall in December, though the Bank says that this is probably due to a fall in transactions berween parts of the same financial group - BofE - "Provisional estimates of broad money (M4) and credit (M4 lending): December 2009" pdf.
According to the Halifax, since 1959, house prices have nearly trebled in real terms - "The UK Housing Market over the past 50 years" (pdf).
Finger pointed at Europe
Express - "Europe Plots Green Blitz On British Roads".
As big a threat as Europe, are the Tories that want to toll and privatise roads, but the Express will not mention that to its readers.
Texas trolls ask for help - Dallas Morning News - "North Texas Tollway Authority seeks state help to build toll roads" Dallas Morning News - "Q&A: Is NTTA really broke? And, what about the Trinity, anyway?".
The panhandlers of the roads system move closer to their goal - Indy Bay (California) - "Bay Bridge Bike Path: Victory in Berkeley!".
Bit more on Pennsylvania's wish to toll the Interstate - Sun Gazette - "2 congressmen get no assurances on tolling of I-80" Daily Item - "I-80 toll decision to come soon" Land Line Mag - "LaHood says I-80 tolling decision coming soon".
Bit more on Alaskan Way tolls - NWCN - "$5 tolls may come with Seattle viaduct tunnel" video.
Sundry stories - Virginia - "HOT-Lanes Battle Next Heads to General Assembly" NY - "Put bridge tolls to intended use" letter.
Florida - "Mica: Let's consider toll-road leases, I-4 pay lanes"
theNewspaper.com - "South Carolina: Innovative Toll Road Goes Bust" Washington State - "Commission Wants Higher Narrows Bridge Tolls to Build Reserves" Alabama - "Engineer presents cheaper, toll-free Highway 280 plans" West Virginia - "Changes For Parkways Authority".
Letters threatening removal of licences due
Langley Advance (B.C.) - "Golden Ears bills due".
Bit more on Bust
Sydney Morning Herald - "Toll of misery as tunnel goes under" now includes a "video".
Bit more on Slovak toll dispute
Radio Prague - "Opposition Fails in Attempt to Remove Minister Vazny" Slovak Spectator - "Slovak Transport Minister survives recall vote".
Bit more on Dodgy meltdown - Register - "Luvvies spill tears on precious glacier".
"Soft" deadline - BBC - "UN climate deadline turns out to be 'flexible'".
Wednesday 20 January 2010
Toll collecting in the Third World
Daily Star - "Extortionists back to work?".
Bit more on Slovak toll dispute
Slovak Spectator - "Slovak transport minister offers more concessions to hauliers in e-toll dispute".
Un-employment down a bit
BBC - "Unemployment falls to 2.46m" ONS - "Labour market statistics January 2010" (pdf). Though unemployment is down, it is likely that "output" is still static or declining.
Sydney Morning Herald - "Toll of misery as tunnel goes under" Sydney Morning Herald - "With the end in sight, still no light from tunnels" Wall St Journal - "UPDATE: Receivers Named To Sydney Toll Road Avoided By Motorists".
Southern Connector firm defaults on debt - Greenville OnLine (S. Carolina) - "Toll road traffic not enough to pay the bills".
It's cheaper by mass transit - American Public Transport Association - "Riding Public Transit Saves Individuals $9,242 Annually".
Daily News Record (Va.) - "Bicyclists Should Pay Fair Share".
More on Pennsylvania's wish to toll the Interstate - Poco News - "Carney voices strong opposition to I-80 tolling" Gant Daily - "Thompson Says Decision Regarding I-80 Tolling Expected Soon".
More on Alaskan Way tolls - Seattle Pi - "Viaduct tunnel tolls could be $4" Seattle Times - "Future Alaskan Way Tunnel tolls could be higher at peak times" comments My North West - "Alaskan Way tunnel tolls could go as high as $4" West Seattle Blog - "New Alaskan Way Viaduct report: Tunnel tolls up to $3.50?" Seattle Times - "Peak-time toll estimates $3.50 for Alaskan Way Tunnel" lot of comments.
Sundry stories - New Jersey - "Public airs concerns during Scudder Falls Bridge hearing"
Florida - "Osceola Parkway toll revenue down again".
West Virginia - "Leaders keep eyes on road bills" West Virginia - "Lawmakers consider new toll roads, including U.S. 35" Oregon / Washington State - "Portland, Vancouver political leaders say new I-5 bridge plan 'unacceptable'" Washington State - "Toll rate discussion continues in Olympia'" Indiana - "Private Tollway Proposal Returns".
Bit more on Dodgy meltdown
BBC - "UN climate body admits 'mistake' on Himalayan glaciers". This is just the usual excuses from "scientists" who seem to be blind to the fact that their raw "data" has been refined to make it show that the Earth is getting warmer. This is very easy for them to do -
Temperature measurements from different locations will start at different points, and in some cases the measurements will have stopped at some point in the past. There may also be breaks in the records due to accidents, wars etc which may have disrupted the taking of measurements or destroyed records. These records can only be integrated into an overall average trend by making assumptions.
Temperature maesurements may vary due to changes in the recording apparatus or the immediate environment. The most significant change is that there will over time be increased activity and more buildings in the area. This will cause the temperature to rise. Again these records can only be integrated into an overall average trend by making assumptions.
Over time the behaviour of the people recording the measurements will change and over longer periods one person will be replaced by another. In a world where the climate industry want to prove AGW there is also likely to be a drifting up of the measurements - through subconscious rounding up and through fraud. In some cases the records will seem to be erratic or inconsistent, and a decision may be made to ignore or adjust the records.
The number of places, around the world, recording temperature will have increased over time. The proportion that are in relatively hot / cold places will change. When using these records to determine an overall average trend, some allowance has to be made for this change.
In all these cases, the people making these adjustments (or not) are part of the AGW industry and are biased. This is demonstrated by their claim that 2009 was the second warmest year since records began. As the AGW industry dismisses other factors affecting the Earth's temperature as being insignificant and as CO2 will continue to increase, they are to a large extent forced to keep increasing the ante, by claiming that it is getting warmer, whether it is or not. The danger for them is that at some point people may see that they are bluffing.
Having created figures that "prove" that the Earth is getting warmer, the AGW industry then has to "prove" that the reason for the warming trend is an increase in "greenhouse" gases due to man. With computers it is child's play to create a model linking a claimed trend to almost anything at all which in general follows the same trend, spurious or not. A model can to some extent be proved over a very long period of time by using the model to predict and then comparing predictions with the outturn. But even if the results match the prediction there can still be no certainty, particularly in a case where the claimed causal factor - CO2 - has by itself a fairly constant trend, because in recent history there have not been any ups and downs in CO2 to compare with temperature fluctuations. Taking longer periods there have been ups and downs in CO2, but there is the overwhelming difficulty that there is a correlation between CO2 and temperature in that the amount of CO2 that is locked up in the oceans varies with temperature, making it difficult to prove (or not) that the converse applies.
The AGW theory is little more than a religous belief propped up by manipulated data. That does not of course prove that it's wrong!
Latest releases from the Bank of Easy Money
BofE - Minutes of last MPC meeting (pdf) BofE - Governor's speech yesterday (pdf).
Tuesday 19 January 2010
Czechs to have higher tolls for "POETS" day
Radio Prague - "Government raise tolls for hauliers on Fridays to cut-down on pre-weekend traffic".
The Register - "Himalayan glacier-tastrophe rumour melts away". This story illustrates how the AGW industry hypes "data". But the original IPCC claim - "10.6.2 The Himalayan glaciers ", also raises the question of how these "scientists" are able to repeatedly make the claim that any warming is "due to increase in anthropogenic emission of greenhouse gases".
Warlord who collected road tolls
Radio Netherlands - "Laurent Nkunda's fate still unclear".
Tory view of AGW
Telegraph - "Climate change doubts threaten to undermine David Cameron's pledges".
There is more detail on the Condervative Home site - "Cutting the deficit is the top priority of Tory candidates (reducing Britain's carbon footprint is the lowest priority)". "Reducing Britain's footprint did come bottom of the list but it still scored 2.8 which indicates that MPs thought it was closer to "very important" rather than "not important". "Better road and rail services" was also near the bottom of the list.
The Old Lady and the Government are succeeding - at making the pound worth-less
BBC - "Inflation rate jumps to 2.9%" ONS bulletin - "Consumer price indices - December 2009".
Cops want cash tolls kept to slow traffic - NY Post - "Bridge plan takes toll on crime fight".
Sundry stories - Texas - "State leaders examine mileage tax option" Florida - "Stimulus Money Sought For Projects Toll Hike Was To Cover" video.
Daily Nation - "Privatising roads fine, but what of the poor?". The Daily Nation says that people with "no money to pay the tolls" should still be able to use the roads. Private toll roads are about the worst thing that can happen to a country's economy, so those who can't pay may well become the majority.
Another major British firm falls into overseas hands
BBC - "Cadbury agrees Kraft takeover bid". There will soon be no "British" industry left. This is bad for jobs, bad for foreign trade and bad for Britain.
BBC - "All-you-can-drink pub offers facing ban". The most obvious step would be to ban advertising. The politicians won't do that because they are in thrall to both the alcohol and advertising firms.
Monday 18 January 2010
If you think that it's cold, you are wrong
A piece from the mainly AGW "Real Climate" website - "If Itís That Warm, How Come Itís So Damned Cold?". The trouble with AGW advocates is that they expect people to believe that their "data" "proves" that 2009 was the second warmest year since their "records" began 130 years ago.
Bit more on more tolls
Vietnam Net - "Cars entering HCM City centre to pay fees".
MP backs petition
South Wales Argus - "MP backs bridge toll petition". This story is a good illustration of how easy it is for the authorities to milk drivers. Instead of calling for the removal of tolls, the petition asks for crumbs off the table.
"Block" the roads
BBC - "Benefits of new roads being overstated, say campaigners". One of the Campaign for Better Transport's main projects is "Road Block". As with other "charities" that campaign against roads and promote "congestion charges" on drivers, it is not possible to tell from their accounts (pdf) how much of their income is from the authorities (local, central and quangos).
The party is over?
BBC - "UK economy faces decade of 'painful readjustment'". As those who benefitted from decades of asset inflation, fuelled by the Bank of England, still control Britain, the pain will not be felt by those who caused the financial collapse.
Sunday 17 January 2010
Sydney "congestion" tolls have no effect
Daily Telegraph - "Motorists shrug off higher time-of-day tolls".
American "Aid" to Africa
Buffalo News - "Paving the way to the future".
The panhandlers of the roads system want car tolls to pay for a special cycle lane on the Bay bridge - KCBS (California) - "Cyclists Want Path on Western Span of Bay Bridge".
Sundry stories - California - "A fast track to your wallet" Massachusetts - "Gallison ups opposition to tolls on Mount Hope Bridge".
Tolls, more or less
Thanhnien News - "Special toll on cars in downtown HCMC approved" Thanhnien News- "Transport firms want toll refunds".
The Met Office admit that they have erred on the warm side, they then say that their forecast error over the last ten years was only 0.05 degrees - BBC - "Met Office's debate over longer-term forecasts". It is not possible for anyone to check this claim, but in any case what matters more is the AGW hype that is an integral part of all that the Met Office says.
One things that has not been mentioned with the disaster in Haiti is the effect of population. A small and very poor country which appears to be in an earthquake zone has grown from 3 million people in 1950 to 10 million people today, despite relatively high mortality rates and despite high levels of emigration.
Saturday 16 January 2010
Trolls and bankers
Sundry stories - American Free Press - "Goldman Sachs Wants You to Pay-by-the-Mile to Drive on U.S. Roadways".
"Tolling I-80 will take us on the road to the bottom" - Go Erie (Pa.) - "Interstate 80 tolling: Don't choose expediency over common sense".
Sundry stories - California - "FasTrak fails" Massachusetts / New Hampshire - "I-93 toll foes take show on the road".
Friday 15 January 2010
Sundry stories - Texas - "Ads Inifinitum: Hutchison's "Cha-Ching"" "Turnpike rescinds fines for Oklahoma's snowstorm violators" "Oklahoma: Turnpike officials void toll violations" Maine - "York Water District boss airs toll plaza concerns" New York - "M.T.A. to Test Eliminating Tollbooths, Relying on E-ZPass" "Kanjorski denounces I-80 tolling proposal in Pennsylvania" Rhode Island - "Mount Hope Bridge toll options given to agency" California - "Plan to raise bridge tolls advances".
Florida - "Going south on I-95? Express lane tolls begin" California - "Truckers to Get Reprieve from Expected Bridge Toll Hike" New Jersey - "Uh-oh, does this mean more toll schemes?" "Oklahoma Drivers Receiving Toll Road Fines from Christmas Blizzard" California - "Preliminary OK given to raise bridge tolls".
newspaper.com - "Ohio Toll Road Targets Bicyclists, Tourists with Excess Luggage" "Ohio Turnpike height rule leads to higher tolls for passenger vehicles with objects on roof" Illinois - "What's the next major tollway project?" New Hampshire - "Some say proposal to collect tolls in NH would be disaster" video.
London bosses group want more and more tolls
The trolls at "London First" say that they support "road user charging schemes" and have also called on the Mayor not to scrap the western extension to the congestion charging zone but instead to only suspend it for six months - New Civil Engineer - "Blackwall toll could pay for new London crossing".
Bit more on Slovak toll troubles
Slovak Spectator - "Truckers meet with Slovak Transport Minister about e-toll system" Slovak Spectator - "Tolls on Slovak first-category roads suspended until February" Slovak Spectator - "Some road tolls for trucks to revert to pre-payment" Slovak Spectator - "Slovak PM: Breaking law is "road to hell"" Radio Slovakia International - "Haulers Win a Promise of Lower Diesel Tax and Zero Tolls on Some Roads".
More toll towers to be built
Asia One - "ERP gantries for Marina area" Straits Times - "4 new ERP gantries".
No tolls for New Brunswick
Times & Transcript - "Highway tolls not an option: ministe".
More on Greek toll protests
Kathimerini - "Traffic taking a toll on villagers".
Not full picture
Transport Briefing have published some financial figures for the London Con - "London Congestion Charge revenue and costs".
The figures that we have obtained from various FoI requests give a fuller picture and are - here.
Trolls make profit despite some traffic fall
The Australian - "Toll road operator Transurban cruises to 5pc revenue rise ".
Tamar tolls Increase Inquiry
An Inquiry into an increase in tolls to cross the Tamar started on Wednesday and finished today. The authority that controls both the bridge and the ferry want to increase the tolls, and the NAAT and others objected to the increase in the bridge tolls - Plymouth Herald - "Human rights plea ends tolls inquiry" Plymouth Herald - "Tamar toll rises vital, inquiry told" Plymouth Herald - "Tamar tolls must rise to avoid cuts, inquiry told" Plymouth Herald - "Tamar Bridge faces 'Domesday' without toll hike" Plymouth Herald - "Postpone plan for Tamar toll hikes, MP urges" Plymouth Herald - "End Tamar Bridge toll subsidy for Torpoint Ferry say protesters" Cornish Times - "Residents call for free bridge crossing" BBC - "Tamar Bridge fee rise public inquiry under way".
This was the NAAT submission to the Inquiry - Main submission and Annex 1 (estimate of profit on the bridge and loss on the ferry) Annex 2 (list of tolled crossings, and of untolled crossings.
Monday 11 January 2010
The recent bad weather has shown two things apart from the obvious one of the Government and authorities not being sufficiently prepared as they fell for their own AGW propaganda.
One thing that has emerged is that ice is a far bigger deterrent to driving than tolls and congestion charges.
Another, is that at many traffic lights, despite the fall in traffic, there are longer queues - this is due to traffic travelling more cautiously due to the ice so that even fewer vehicles than normal can get through traffic lights which have been deliberately phased to let few vehicles through and cause congestion.
Sundry stories - Florida - "FDOT To Charge For SB I-95 Express Lanes Friday" Massachusetts / New Hampshire - "Salem officials vow border toll fight".
Ten hour wait to pay tolls
Slovak Spectator - "Highway toll system experiences shaky start".
PS Radio Slovakia International - "Could the Hauliers be Right?".
Call for reform
Sakaal Times - "NGO seeks uniform toll policy".
Sunday 10 January 2010
Sundry stories - Kansas - "Transportation leaders mull additional interstate loop" Washington State - "Toll among options for U.S. 2 trestle" Ohio - "Highway Trust Fund running on fumes" Texas - "Republican candidates for Texas governor attack each other over toll roads".
Saturday 9 January 2010
The weather "over there" - ABC News 7th - "When Will the Cold Weather Quit?" ABC News 6th - "Deadly Cold getting worse".
Star- Telegram (Texas) - "Toll Roads: By the Numbers".
Sundry stories - Vermont - "Toll for new Lake Champlain bridge?" Pennsylvania - "Tolling I-80 a riddle with no easy answers" Texas - "Cornyn: Private tolls should be part of the answer, but only part" Rhode Island - "New discounts for Newport bridge commuters".
Bernama - "Study On Toll Restructuring Expected Ready By Early 2010".
Fine Gael has said to the Government that it should remove the tolls during the bad weather, as alternative non tolled routes have been left in a dangerous condition by the Government, thus forcing drivers to use the tolls. The Government own two of the tolls (M50 and the Port Tunnel), but the private operators may well have deals that require the Government to encourage use of the other tolls.
Friday 8 January 2010
DC Streetsblog - "Transport Economist Challenges Claim That ĎVMT Causes Growthí".
Sundry stories - Washington State - "Narrows tolls must go up, but will be spent on bridge" "Texas faces a huge funding gap on transportation, agency chief warns" Pennsylvania - "Thompson hesitant of federal mandate to stop I-80 tolling" "Bush transportation secretary urges Texas to re-authorize private toll roads" Illinois - "Dillard questions Ryan tollway plan".
Council wants tolls kept
Rouse Hill Times - "Dimbrowsky slams WSROC toll plan".
More "I told you so"
Weather Action - "It's not a cold snap - It will go on and on". Piers Corbyn also has this message about possible motives behind AGW church - You Tube - "Piers Corbyn's Assessment".
More tolls pushing in BC
Vancouver Sun - "Time to think seriously about road tolls to fund TransLink".
Thursday 7 January 2010
Sundry stories - Massachusetts / New Hampshire - "Editorial: Keep fighting against I-93 toll plan " StreetsBlog - "With Congestion Pricing, Saving Time Trumps Reducing Pollution".
December "was mostly changeable"
Late today, the Met Office got round to issuing their - UK Climate summary for December 2009. They say that the average UK temperature was 2.1 degrees Celsius lower than the "1971-2000 normal" of 4.2 degrees for a December. As is usual there is no way of checking on the Met Office claims.
There were no sunspots today, but this was only the second day since the 10th December without sunspots, so it seems that we are now coming out of the exceptionally deep solar minimum. Not that this will mean much to the Met Office who deny that variations in the sun's output have any significant effect. They and the BBC are still saying that the cold is only "weather" and nothing to do with climate.
No tolls (and no crossing) due to ice
New Civil Engineer - "Falling icicles force Severn bridge closures". Bizarrely, during Tuesday's bad weather, the toll authorities in Liverpool closed the tunnel across the river to Birkenhead, apparently because the traffic had difficulty exiting on the Birkenhead side, though closure may have added to the jams on the Liverool side.
Update on the road tolls satellites
BBC - "EU to award Galileo satellite-navigation contracts".
Establishment to attack bus operators from a different direction
BBC - "UK bus industry inquiry launched". This attack on buses is probably due to the recent decision of nearly all the Integrated Transport Authorities not to use their new (Local Transport Act 2008) powers over buses.
ABD - "We told you so"
Press release - "Not Gridlock, Freezelock ó we warned you in 2005!".
The current cold weather does not prove that AGW is not happening. The reality is that, when you take a view over longer periods than one person's brief lifespan, we don't know what the trend is. Neither do we know whether anthropogenic CO2 is making the temperature significantly higher than whatever it would be naturally. About the only thing that we can be sure of is that the AGW theory is based on bad statistics and political science.
The Earth for the last 10,000 years or so has been in an "interglacial" period, which in terms of temperature and sea levels is about mid way between a glacial period and a non ice age. Such conditions have existed for only about one percent of the Earth's history. Ninety percent of the time it has been a lot warmer. Nine percent it has been a lot colder. Nearly all politicians are behind the AGW theory, as was shown again yesterday at PM's questions. Ann Winterton, a Tory MP, who was due to ask a question on "the proposed wasteful expenditure of £100 billion on offshore wind farms", dared to query the theory. She was greeted with derision from Labour MPs and a total lack of support from her own side.
Wednesday 6 January 2010
Thinking about the tolls
Inside Costa Rica - "MOPT Evaluates Reducing Or Eliminating Santa Ana Tolls".
New tolls not working "ideally"
Slovak Spectator - "SkyToll: Toll-collection system running, but not ideally".
Another example of the toll pushing that comes from some American newspapers - In this case the Editor wails over the sixty billion dollars that would be "lost" if Pennsylvania does not get Federal permission to toll the local Interstate - Patriot News - "I-80: Federal indecision taking a toll on transportation funding ". The drivers who would have to hand over the sixty billion, and see much of it wasted, will not wail if Obama says no.
Sundry stories - Massachusetts - "Before we add tolls, let's have a real plan" Texas - "Ad check: Hutchison ad uses distortion to prove point" "Ready for road tolls on Oregon highways?" lots of comments.
Feel the heat
The church of AGW say that Britain's weather is not typical and that most of the northern hemisphere is warmer tham normal - Independent - "Global warming is happening, even if it doesn't feel like it". As the AGW church control the temperature records and select and manipulate the ones that they want, they can "prove" anything. Though with claims such as that "temperatures are very much above normal"
"in north-east America and Canada", the AGW lobby assume that people are unaware of news reports such as - CNN - "States battered with record lows face more frigid weather".
The AGW inhouse magazine (otherwise known as the BBC) has a similar story, saying that the cold is due to unusually high "Arctic Oscillation" - "Arctic roots of 'upside-down' weather". Strange how these phenonmena are only dragged up to explain cold weather, while warm weather is always due to AGW.
Despite what appears to be a coordinated effort from the AGW media to get the right spin on the weather, the Met Office appear to be struggling, as they have still not published their summary for December.
Time for another holiday
BBC - "New bank holiday for Queen's Diamond Jubilee in 2012". The Lib Dems pointed out that this would cause a loss in Britain's output of about five billion pounds, but then said that they enthusiatically supported it. Perhaps we would be better off if a permanent national holiday was declared now for all our politicians.
Tuesday 5 January 2010
Truckers against Tamar toll increase
HGVUK- "RHA angry proposed increase in Tamar tolls".
Somerset Mercury - "Delays possible as suspension bridge survey begins".
Bit more on the consultation
ABD - "Driver`s Group Slams London`s Biased Transport Consultation".
Border toll up
WWJ - "Tolls Doubling Today on U.S. Side Of Blue Water Bridge".
Sundry stories - Washington State - "Think tank proposes system of tolls".
"Erie County Clerk Urging Drivers to Sign Petition to Roll Back Toll Hikes on New York State Thruway" "Carole Estabrook:Thruway toll hike no good for N.Y." Land Line - "New York Thruway tolls jump 5 percent" NY - "New crusade to be rid of toll hike" video.
California - "Toll increase under consideration" Georgia - "Stimulus funds 3 traffic studies" Massachusetts - "Toll plan debated in Salem" Virginia - "Williams: Itís time to try tolls again on I-95" video Illinois - "GOP's Jim Ryan proposes private Illinois tollway" Illinois - "Selling tollway idea drives GOP skirmish" Illinois - "Jim Ryan suggests leasing Ill. tollway system" video.
Slovak drivers want fuel tax reduced to compensate for tolls
Slovak Spectator - "Slovak truckers launch protest over high fuel taxes".
Monday 4 January 2010
Chinese say that heavy snow is caused by Global warming
Sydney Morning Herald - "China blames freak storm on global warming".
The UK Met Office has not yet issued its report on December's weather, but this is what Christopher Booker had to say about them on Saturday - Telegraph - "The Met Office gives us the warmist weather".
VAT may be added to Philipines tolls
Business World - "Toll VAT deferred by Cabinet".
Reminder of consultation
East London Advertiser - "Nothing fair about Congestion tolls driving us off the road".
Sundry stories - Connecticut - ""Big" Campaign Buzzwords: Tolls & Unicameral" Kentucky - "A Bridge Plan that Makes Sense".
Florida - "Interstate 95 toll express lanes set to expand into Broward County" New Hampshire - "I-93 plan takes toll on Salem officials" New York - "5% Thruway Toll Hike is Here" New York - "Thruway toll increase of 5% is 4th in 5 years" New York - "Toll hike hits trucking companies hardest" "PA Turnpike Toll Increase" Pa. - "Editorial: Turnpike fees a poor substitute for taxes" "Bumpy Indiana Toll Road ride far from over".
Trolls fighting to keep toll
Sydney Morning Herald - "Keneally urged to keep toll on motorway".
Sunday 3 January 2010
Bit more on Whither the weather?
There are fairly reliable sunspot records going back to 1750 from which an index of "international sunpot numbers" have ben calculated; the numbers give a better idea of solar activity than just whether there are any sunspots, or not. The "international sunpot numbers" idicate that the periods of lowest activity since 1750 were 1809 - 1811, 1912 - 1913, 1822 - 1823, and 2008 - 2009. If this really does have an effect on Earth's temperature then the next few years are likely to be cold.
Saturday 2 January 2010
Whither the weather?
There was an outbreak of sunspots during December, so 2009 ended up with only 260 days free of sunspots, the second highest since 1913 (the highest being 2009 with 266 days. Despite this sign that the sun may be waking up from its long solar mininum, Weather Action is still predicting that January and February 2010 will be "unusually" cold - "WA News No 1 - 1st Jan 2009". Whatever the weather brings, following Climategate, the advocates of AGW are likely to find it increasingly difficult to deceive people with bad statistics, though almost 100% of politicans will still go along with the lie as they believe that it diverts attention away from bigger problems that they are failing to address.
Government to steal more money from drivers
BBC - "Motorists face new £15 'victims levy'".
BBC - "Thames bridge land order granted" Get Surrey - "Walton finally set for permanent Thames crossing".
Tolls go down the rabbit hole
Sunday Star Times - "Toll road takings swallowed by hi-tech system".
Andrew Gilligan comments on train fare "rises"
Telegraph - "Rail fares not going up today, Boris's cynicism and the stupidity of the Left ".
Bangkok Post - "Government to blame for toll hike, says expressway operator".
Bit more on 407 tolls up
Toronto Sun - "Toll hikes on 407 called 'highway robbery'".
Sundry stories New York - "State comptroller opposes Thruway toll hikes" New York - "Recession driving another Thruway toll increase" New York- "A trip on New York State Thruway will cost more on Sunday" Washington State - "Tacoma's bridge tolls under new management" California - "For now, $4 toll stays standard".