JUNE 2009 NEWS
Tuesday 30 June 2009
Volvo complains about illogical favouring of hybrids
Volvo - "Volvo Car UK Challenges The Mayor Of London To Emissions Equality".
Guardian - "House prices rise in June" Guardian - "UK house prices: a regional breakdown".
This is good news for MPs with second homes and for the many with negative equity, but it confirms that fundamentally Britain is a country ruled by a central bank that favours borrowers and consumers over savers and producers. How long can such a system last?
BBC - "UK economy sees 2.4% contraction" Reuters - "GDP posts biggest fall in 50 years".
The official figures show that manufacturing is the hardest hit - ONS - "Quarterly national accounts - 1st quarter 2009" pdf.
Unlike Alice, Britain can't scoff some "eat me" cakes to grow again, and any attempts to do so will make things worse in the long run. What we need is people that are usefully occupied providing goods and sevices that people want at a price that they can afford. We could make a start by finding real jobs for toll collectors!
Chronicle (Illinois) - "Sick of tolls? Group seeks to end them" the group's website.
A few of the reports on the shelving of the Massachusetts Turnpike toll increase - News Telegram - "Turnpike toll increase is scrapped" Wicked - "Mass. Pike board scraps toll hike" Boston Globe - "Anticipating state revenue, Pike board kills $100m toll increase" Metro - "Sales tax staves off toll increase on Pike".
Other reports - "Marylanders Find E-ZPass Not So Easy" New Jersey - "Atlantic City Expressway authority considers going cash-free, but drivers will still pay the toll" California - "Most toll road drivers will be paying more starting in July" West Virginia - "Decision Day".
New Hampshire - "Tolls going up" West Virginia - "Turnpike tension" New Jersey / New York - "DeCroce And Rooney Assail New York MTA Toll Hikes".
White Van rule threatened
BBC - "UK orders 'white van man' study". The Government has asked the "Commission for Integrated Transport" to do this "study". The CfIT are the main establishment Quango for the anti roads users lobby, so will the plan be that all white vans will be replaced with rickshaws driven by bicycles?
Humber tolls increase still not rubber stamped
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Councillor welcomes bridge tolls delay".
Selling the Cambridge Con plans
Cambridge News - "Bid for second city bus station". (The council's "transport advisers" - Steer Davies Gleave - are the leading tolls consultants, and the "Cambridgeshire Transport Commission" are the same people who last year recommended road tolls in Reading.)
Monday 29 June 2009
USA Roundup - later stories
The MTA or the "Metropolitian Trolls Authority" (sic) is the place to "work" - Staten Island Advance (NY) - "Staten Island pol blasts MTA over payroll report".
Massachusetts - "Turnpike board rescinds toll hike" lot of comments.
New tags for new Singapore cars
Straits Times - "New ERP readers for cars".
Letter to PM from Dartford tolls user
At the end of March (see 26 March news) the PM's office responded to the petition for the Dartford tolls to be scrapped. Here is one driver's letter back to the PM, which was later copied to us -
With regard to your response to the Scrap the Dartford crossing toll
booths petition. I have done some further research with regard to your
answers and found that as we all know they are completely without
foundation and would be proven to be so if you were to actually do any
proper ( unbiased ) research yourselves.
You seem to base your answer regarding flow rates through the tunnel
upon the supposition that you would retain the toll booths and barriers,
Firstly by removing just the barriers vehicles will be able to maintain
a reasonable speed along the A282 which would mean less need for braking
and acceleration which causes unneccessary pollution.
By removing the toll plaza altogether, it would mean there is no need to
slow down and accelerate at all, this would also remove the need for
staffing of said booths reducing the 'maintenance' cost of the crossing.
As any remotely aware person can see on any day of the week at anytime
the M25 motorway (either side of the Dartford crossing away from the
congestion caused by the crossing ) will flow at a reasonable rate, only
coming to a grinding halt once within the crossing area, unfortunately
at peak times this can stretch to many miles.
Curiously enough all of the traffic in the area is confined to
the 'approach' to the toll booths not on the other side ( what might
this tell us ).
There is also the problems of accidents, which are mostly caused
by people not realising vehicles in front have had to stop because of
the toll booths,also the amount of stress inflicted on anyone who has to
use the crossing daily as I do.
In your response to the petition you said - "To say congestion is largely due to the effect of the toll booths is incorrect. For much of the day the Crossing is operating at or above its capacity. The tunnels could not handle any more traffic than the toll plaza can process."
I am sorry but I find this answer utterly comical and bordering on
insulting to the many people that signed the petition.
Firstly, the toll booths are of course entirely responsible for the congestion in the area.
Secondly, the reason that the crossing is operating at maximum capacity is that the toll booths spread what was 3/4 lanes of free flowing vehicles out to 14 lanes of stationary vehicles then expect them to all accelerate together into 4
lanes of tunnel within 100 metres, have you ever poured a bucket full of
water through a small funnel and wondered why it spills over the top. I
am sure you will agree that were you to remove the toll plaza altogether
( not just the barriers ) and make the approach to the tunnel 4 lanes
only then you will no longer accentuate this bottleneck, (excluding
accidents), before and after the toll booths the motorway flows
perfectly well in this configuration. This would also remove the traffic
which builds up along the A13 in both directions approaching the
P.S. Widening the M25 from junction 27 to the toll booths will serve only one
purpose - spending a fortune in taxpayers money, when if you just removed
the toll plazas it will save all that waste."
More of the usual nonsense that adding a toll to a road reduces congestion - Mercury (Pa.) - "Route 422 tolling worth considering to end congestion".
Another plea for drivers to get electronic toll tags, rather than queue for up to half an hour. Strange that they have never at any time over the last thirty years suggested that the best way to remove toll queues is to remove the tolls - Boston Globe - "Some still slow to make the move to Fast Lane" LOTS of comments.
Sundry stories - West Virginia - "Historic toll increase coming on turnpike" Massachusetts - "Locals join Pike lawsuit".
Refinery strike officially over
BBC - "Vote ends refinery worker strike".
The gold plated bridge
Courier - "Tender process opens for new Forth bridge".
Sunday 28 June 2009
A bridge tale too far
More disinformation from Scotland's troll establishment - Sunday Herald - "Revealed: deception over new Forth bridge".
The reality is that the removal of tolls has eased traffic flows, but has had little effect on traffic numbers, particularly in the peak periods. This is what we predicted but the establishment have done their best to hide it and even made false claims about increased congestion due to the removal of tolls. Bizzarely it was the trolls who bounced the Scottish Government into agreeing to build a second bridge and who are responsible for it being accepted that the bridge will cost several times more than it neeeds to. What Scotland needs is a real revolution with all these malign influences removed from power.
The inflated cost of a new bridge (Powerpoint presentation - large file).
Saturday 27 June 2009
R.I.P. Massachusetts Turnpike Authority (but tolls live on) - Republican - "Bill signing ends turnpike authority" CBS - "End Of The Road For Mass Turnpike Authority" video Boston Globe - "Patrick signs transportation overhaul" lot of comments Boston Globe - "Patrick signs transportation overhaul".
Daily Herald (Illinois) - "Ex-tollway worker admits theft of nearly $35,000". What a pity that there are not headlines about the billions that the toll authorities extort from drivers.
Sundry stories - New Hampshire - "Hampton toll increase goes into effect Wed." New Hampshire - "Take the $2 toll test" letter New York - "MTA fare, toll hikes set to kick in on Sunday" Oregon / Washington State - "Public input needed for I-5 bridge tolls" Land Line Mag - "Kentucky lawmakers approve bridge-authority plan, toll option".
New York - "E-ZPASS TROUBLES CONTINUE" California - "Express Lanes Coming To Our County" Texas - "Special session may not be enough to keep road projects going" Texas - "Tarrant toll road moving forward after payout concerns" West Virginia - "W.Va. Turnpike" "North Texas Tollway Authority cracking down on non-paying drivers" DC / Virginia - "Toll Road Rates Proposed To Double" West Virginia - "W.Va. lawmaker blasts toll hike meeting".
Don't be fooled
An impression is being given that the recent comments from Lord Adonis of Rail maens that road pricing is dead. There is also an impression being given that road pricing is a Labour / EU plot and that if Labour lose the next election, there will be no road tolls. Both of these impressions are wrong.
Road pricing is a very long term project. Whatever the parties say and whoever forms the next Government, this project will continue to move forward driven by civil servants, local officials and the trolls lobby. Politicians know that drivers behave as if they were emascaulated - they can be harrassed, spied on, put into virtual straitjackets and milked for more money.
The milking part of this process will be done in small steps - such as tolling the new and existing bridges at Runcorn, tolls on other free crossings, the introduction of more "congestion charges" and the tolling of some lanes or even all lanes on motorways - one at a time, starting with those they say are most congested.
The lack of interest from drivers until they are directly affected means that they can pick us off one by one. The Tory opposition to Labour plans and in particular to the Local Transport Act 2008 was so weak and feeble, there can be no doubt that they intend to use these powers themselves.
PS Tory position on Reading TIF - Get Reading - "Tories wage war on congestion charging".
Another hearing on Cambridge Con plans
Cambridge News - "Answers needed on traffic plans".
Friday 26 June 2009
Scottish trolls rise from the dead
Reform Scotland - "Transport Super Hub is 'Big Plan' key to Scotland's economic growth" (Reform Scotland seems to have a large input from the hugely successful Scottish finance industry.).
"Time for Government to face facts, and release the cash"
Some old news
Daily Express - "Pay-As-You-Drive Charges Reprieve" Daily Mail - "Pay-as-you-drive scheme shelved: Labour backtracks after 1.7m sign petition".
PS Reaction from Peter Roberts - Shropshire Star - "Champion claims road tolls victory".
Britain leads the way in mad delusion
BBC - "Brown proposes £60bn climate fund" BBC - "UK to outline emission cut plans".
The lid lifts a little on the life style of our rulers
We wonder if as Rome declined the highest earnings went to those who organised the entertainment for the masses? Independent - "BBC laid low by tales of state-funded high life" Mirror - "BBC bosses spent almost £400k of tax payers' money on luxuries" BBC - "Top BBC bosses' expenses revealed".
PS Among other perks, bosses got their tolls and congestion charges paid for them!!
Thursday 25 June 2009
Down the slippery road
Today was the last day of an Inquiry being held near Liverpool into a proposal which includes the first ever toll on a free bridge, though from the degree of local and national interest, you would think that all of this was happening in Wonderland ("Lewis Carrol" was born nearby in the parsonage at Daresbury) - BBC - "Mersey crossing inquiry finishes".
Our main page on this.
Wednesday 24 June 2009
Britain's downs and downs
BBC - "Bank chief wants to cut borrowing" BBC - "UK economy 'set to shrink faster'".
As bankers are rumoured to be one of Britain's best customers for "recreational drugs" is this story good or bad news? BBC - "UK is 'Europe's largest cocaine market'".
Congestion not new
Anyone who has seen old photos of city centres in the late 1800s will know that congestion in cities existed before the internal combustion engine, but here is some confirmation - Manchester University - "Cartographic treasures show little change in city life - A unique collection of rare Manchester maps reveals how worries about congestion and binge drinking were just as prevalent 100-years-ago as they are today".
Christian Science Monitor - "The great sell-off: Chicago auctions city assets - The city is auctioning private assets to the highest bidder. But private ownership of parking meters stirs a backlash.".
Democracy, Texas style - the newspaper.com - "Texas Governor Saves Toll Road Promotional Campaigns".
Sundry stories - DC / Virginia - "Airports Authority proposes toll increase" Michigan - "Editorial: Higher state gas tax is in our future" West Virginia - "Site of turnpike toll vote another frustration for deep south counties" DC / Virginia - "Costs on Dulles Toll Road likely to rise".
Alaska - "Our view: No bridge" Pennsylvania - "New land use laws, more transit use, tolls would cut Route 422 traffic in Berks and region, planners say" Pennsylvania - "Tolls May Be Placed To Pay For Rail Line" Texas - "NTTA may soon raise tolls" West Virginia - "Toll hike - Trucker warns authority on toll hike" Massachusetts - "Toll hike tops agenda for Pike meeting tomorrow".
Surrey Leader (British Columbia) - "'Commoners' pay for bridges" Aldergrove Star (British Columbia) - "Vehicle-use taxes for TransLink favoured".
Tuesday 23 June 2009
Prince Charles of Green and his Two Million Pound Plane and Train Season ticket
BBC - "Public funds for Charles top £3m". An amazing figure particularly as according to the Prince's website his expenditure is "the variable costs only for journeys undertaken using 32 Squadron, The Queen’s helicopter and the Royal Train. This is because the fixed-wing aircraft and train costs are incurred irrespective of whether they are used and do not result from undertaking specific journeys."
Navy Lark steering from the Old Lady
BofE News release - "Inflation Targeting: Learning the lessons from the financial crisis" pdf full speech (pdf).
Worst drivers - those driving hybrids or minivans? Register Citizen (Connecticut) - "Will Durst: Obey the rules of the road warriors".
Sundry stories - Oregon / Washington State - "Public input sought on I-5 bridge tolls tonight, next week" Wyoming - "Residents comment on I-80 tolling study" Massachusetts - "Fast lane slowdown en route?" North Carolina - "Toll roads for Mecklenburg interstates?" a few comments Illinois - "Grandfather has trouble getting money back from tollway" Florida - "Grayson assails Crotty, Webster; demands repeal of expressway toll increase".
Irish toll joy
Independent - "M50 toll collectors pushing the envelope".
Monday 22 June 2009
Money for sitting pretty
BBC - "RBS boss set for £9.6m pay deal". Does he get this for not bankrupting the bank?
Lord Rail rules out road pricing
Sunday Times - "Lord Adonis sees demise of short flights".
A possibly optimistic view - the newspaper.com - "US House Wants More Transit Spending, Fewer Tolls".
National Journal - "What Difference Would An 18-Month Delay In Reauthorization Make?".
Other stories - Wyoming - "More answers about I-80 tolls are on the way" Wyoming - "Toll roads wrong for Wyo" letter Massachusetts - "No toll increases on the Mass. Pike" video.
Daily Star - "Mayhem over illegal toll at Buriganga Bridge-2".
Saturday 20 June 2009
Good story, pity about the arithmetic
Telegraph - "British motorists pay £250m tax every week". The headline writer apparently thinks that £50 billion a year is £250 million a week. A good job that they are not working out MP's expense claims!
It also seems strange that the Telegraph thinks that there are "50 million car users (who) are adults with voting cards", this would mean that the voting age had been reduced to sixteen years old and that they all "used" a car.
Massachusetts stories - Worcester Telegram - "Getting out of the way - Turnpike Authority to take exit" Metro West Daily News - "Pol hit for missing Pike vote".
Other story - Oregon / Washington State - "Crossing project invites public to talk about bridge".
Friday 19 June 2009
Two messages from the guys that print the money
"We are doing a wonderful job and you should give us more power" - Speech by Mervyn King at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet for Bankers and Merchants.
The printing press is still working well with Broad money supply (M4) up 16.6% year on year (though the rate of increase is falling) - Provisional estimates of broad money (M4) and credit (M4 lending) May 2009.
The weak response of the American Trucking Association to the House's Transport plans announced yesterday - "ATA Applauds New Strategies for Surface Transportation".
Yesterday we had a link to a piece by a writer in the LA Times who criticised the proposal for "congestion pricing". His piece created a storm of anger from the usual coalition of greens and right wingers, including this - City Watch - "Congestion Pricing: More Heat than Light" which concludes - "keep any socialism, libertarianism, or any ideas of political or economic justice out of transportation".
Massachusetts stories - Daily News Tribune - "Editorial: A mixed bag of reforms for transportation" Worcester Telegram - "Mass. DOT to take over - Turnpike Authority is bid adieu" Republican - "Massachusetts Turnpike Authority abolished in bill approved by state legislators and sent to Gov. Deval Patrick".
NECN - "Mass. House, Senate pass transportation reform bill" video Boston Globe - "Legislature approves transportation bill despite union concerns"
Boston Herald - "Senate approves transportation overhaul plan".
Sundry stories - "Reverberations from Wyoming's proposed I-80 toll felt in South Dakota" West Virginia - "Toll vote moved to Charleston" West Virginia- "Wonder where turnpike tolls go?" Wyoming - "Wyo. may start charging tolls to drive on I-80".
MPs to hear more "evidence" on roads
Transport Cttee - "Major road networks - Wednesday 24 June at 2.45pm". (Watchable live or later on the link on that page.)
Fill up your tank time?
BBC - "Oil plant sackings spark walkouts".
Car manufacture still down
BBC - "UK car production drops sharply". As usual the BBC fails to point out that most cars sold in Britain are imported and that most cars made here are exported - SMMT - "May UK vehicle production figures".
Daily Echo - "Itchen Bridge token change prompts complaints about discrimination".
It's dearer by train
BBC - "Public money 'wasted on railways'" RAC Foundation- "Road V Rail - Is Government On The Money?" inc links to full report & summary.
It's not often that we have the same views as the RAC Foundation, though it is not just a question of having a more level playing field between heavily subsidised railways and heavily taxed roads. We need to look at how we reduce the amount of time, money and energy spent on travel. A good start would be to stop population growth.
The question of whether a route should be a road or a railway, was raised about fifty years ago by the 'Railway Conversion League'. The League are long gone, but Transport Watch UK is on similar 'lines'.
Thursday 18 June 2009
More of the usual misinformation about the success of the London and other congestion pricing schemes - NCPA - "Congestion Pricing".
Big spending plans, but who pays? Bloomberg - "Oberstar Says 57% Jump in Highways Spending Needed" Economist - "Delays ahead - Ambitious plans for American transport run into reality".
LA Times - "Congestion pricing -- a slippery slope to toll roads".
Massachusetts stories - Forbes - "Transportation plan would lead to sales tax hike" Milford Daily News - "The time for toll equity is now" Wicked - "Transportation bill takes McGrath Highway out of DCR hands" Boston Globe - "Deal may bring end to Turnpike agency" video Boston Herald - "Lawmakers set to OK transport overhaul bill" Boston Globe - "Protecting turnpike drivers from further inequities" Boston Globe - "Former Mass. officials subpoenaed in turnpike case".
Sundry stories - Texas - "Toll Troubles in Dallas" Georgia - "Should we privatize toll roads? NO: Loss of planning control, hidden fees would hurt state" Georgia - "Should we privatize toll roads? NO: Loss of planning control, hidden fees would hurt state" Wyoming - "WyDOT: $116 is I-80 toll threshold for trucks" Texas - "Who Will Deliver the Coup de Grace to the Trinity toll road, the Corps or NTTA?".
Florida - "Toll agency borrowed $1 billion at variable interest rates -- that are now soaring" Land Line Mag - "Nevada bill setting guidelines for toll roads dies" New Jersey - "Doubt cast on funding for new tunnel" California - "Marin Conservation League's worries about HOT lanes" West Virginia - "Senate minority leader blasts tolls".
Fight over who builds new toll bridge
WSJ - "Dispute Stalls Plan for Canada Crossing" Examiner - "Want to buy a bridge?".
It pays to have a flag on your bonnet
24Dash - "Diplomats 'owe £27m in unpaid congestion charge and parking fines'".
MPs come "clean"
BBC - "MPs' expenses made public online". As much of the details have been censored, the only way that the public know how MPs have been making as much as they can, is thanks to the Daily Telegraph.
According to the 'Green Book' MPs "cannot claim for ... Congestion charges, tolls, and car parking (An allowance for these is included in the car mileage rates.)" Though it seems that this may not be the case in practice as one MP is reported to have claimed £211 for congestion charge in November 2007 - Manchester Evening News - "Graham Brady's milk frother".
Dunfermline Press - "Bridge bosses have £7 million aside despite loss of tolls cash".
Manchester anti road toll campaigner warns Cambridge about spin
Cambridge News - "Warning of 'spin' over congestion charge bid".
Politicians complain about bridge toll costs if depot moves to England
Wales Online - "Tesco staff fear pay cut if depot moves from Wales". What a pity the politicans have done nothing to get this border toll barrier removed.
Bosses push tolls at "low carbon" conference on 8 June
Fleet News - "Business group calls for fiscal incentives".
Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership site. To join members have to sign that they believe "1. Climate change is an urgent problem requiring greenhouse gas emissions to be substantially reduced ... 2. Road transport is an important source of greenhouse gas emissions and must make a significant contribution to reducing its emissions..."
More dark "science"
BBC - "UK maps climate change forecasts".
Would it not be nice if as well as knowing whether to take a brolly when we go out in May 2099, the global warming experts could tell us how well these models predicted the weather we actually had in May 2009.
Wiped out by the cold or the heat, or by man? BBC - "Mammoths survived late in Britain".
PS Hilary Benn tells MPs that it is getting hotter and wetter and drier - BBC - "UK 'must plan' for warmer future".
Wednesday 17 June 2009
A blue Blue Future?
Thanks to Brian, for pointing out that David seems to think one cut he can make is making the overtaxed roads users pay even more - "We need to look at toll roads, otherwise the roads won't be built" - Norwich Evening News - "Whistle-stop trip to city for Cameron".
Brian has also pointed out what the Tory Shadow Transport minister has been saying at a conference. It seems that the Tories will not risk putting tolls on existing roads but believe that "motorists might welcome tolls as an alternative to traffic jams" through measures such as toll lanes on main roads.
More on Euro Toll threat
Guardian - "EU eyes more road tolls to curb transport emissions" EU Observer - "EU 10-year transport plan lacks green content".
New toll bridge now open to traffic for a free ride
BC Local - "Bridge vehicle traffic much lighter than at official opening" CBC - "Golden Ears Bridge opens with light traffic on 1st day".
Latest bulletin from Inflation Inc
B of E - "Minutes Of The Monetary Policy Committee Meeting 3 And 4 June 2009".
Tuesday 16 June 2009
Spy satellite boost
BBC - "Contracts give impetus to Galileo".
BBC - "Move to reinstate lost rail lines".
Railways receive massive subsidies, while roads users are massively over taxed. If there was a more level playing field then there would be less demand for trains and to some extent less demand for travel overall. Instead of more rail lines, it would be better economics to convert abandoned rail lines to long distance roads.
Monday 15 June 2009
New toll bridge congested - with pedestrians
Vancouver Sun - "Pedestrian traffic jams Golden Ears Bridge for opening celebration".
Cyclists want Con
Cambridge News - "Cycle group raps commerce leader".
Cyclists are the Kamikaze fanatics of congestion charging. Though if their ultimate aim is to force everyone else off the road (and the pavement) then who will be left to pay for their free ride?
Thursday 11 June 2009
Public attitudes to Inflation and interest rates
Bank of England News Release - "GfK NOP Inflation Attitudes Survey".
More on Cambridge row
Cambridge News - "Congestion charge proviso 'misleading'".
Transport Lord to "rubber stamp" tolls increase
Hull Daily Mail - "Decision on tolls 'by end of July'" Grimsby Telegraph - "Bridge board calls for urgent meeting with Government".
Kings of the Road
Evening Standard - "Why London needs my new Highway Code".
Wednesday 10 June 2009
Looking on the bright side
BBC - "UK output sees surprise increase". As usual the news media are peddling a false picure. Output was indeed slightly higher in April than March, but buried in the ONS release it says that - "Manufacturing output in the latest three months was 13.2 per cent lower than the same period a year ago." - ONS - "Index of production
April 2009" pdf.
"Road particles pose 'higher risk'"
BBC. Unlike CO2, PM10s are a real and nasty pollutant, but stories like this one are used by the anti car brigade as another excuse to punish car drivers though they are responsible for only a small proportion of PM10s - our "Air Quality section.
Times - "Underground strike could cause two days of chaos". The Congestion charge is not being suspended "because it was needed to keep roads clear for buses". Really? We agree that there is no particular reason to suspend it because of the Tube strike, but the fact is that the c-charge makes no difference to congestion. If more people drove into the centre of London, where would they all park?
Tuesday 9 June 2009
More on Toll fun begins
Inside Costa Rica - "Transport Minister Asks For Reduction On Santa Ana Tolls".
Cambridge Companies want to put Con Charge plan in the trash can
Cambridge News - "It's critical".
thenewspaper.com - "Obama Transportation Appointees Like Speed Cameras, Tolls".
More on law suit - Boston Globe - "Turnpike attorneys defend toll practices" Daily News Tribune - "Mass. Pike lawsuit says tolls are a tax, not a fee" Boston Herald - "Former Attorney General L. Scott Harshbarger joins Pike toll suit" Wicked - "Mass. Pike lawsuit says tolls are a tax, not a fee" Land Line Mag - "Massachusetts toll lawsuit draws 1,700 plaintiffs".
California dreamin' of tolls - Contra Costa Times - "Fee-way proposed to cut gridlock".
Pasadena Star News - "MTA details toll lane plans for 10 and 110 freeways" Contra Costa Times - "MTA mulling solo Harbor Freeway carpool lane use - for a fee" ABC - "Caltrans, MTA to try 2010 HOV toll lanes" video LA Times - "L.A. County considers congestion pricing for 110 and 10 freeways".
You would think that they could not squeeze any more tolls into Florida, but now they have their eyes on the bus lanes - Miami Herald - "Busway may give way to car express lanes".
WWLTV (Louisiana) - "Firefighters, ambulance drivers upset over paying tolls over new stretch of LA - 1".
Toll collector's $63 thousand a year, not enough for coke - Boston Herald - "DA: Pair killed, ‘cooked’ dealer - Coach, toll taker denied bail".
Sundry stories - Oregon / Washington State - "Money crunch could derail I-5 bridge".
New Hampshire - "New road plan? Let's slow down" Florida - "Outer beltway: Clearing the path" New Hampshire - "Lynch's toll scheme: Remember the Big Dig?" Washington State - "Express toll lane meeting Tuesday".
Monday 8 June 2009
Cambridge Con Con
Cambs24 - "Traders' Boss Alleges Council Officers "Misled The Public"".
Further news Cambs24 - "Council Chief Hits Back At Chamber Claims Over Congestion Charge Plans".
PS More Cambridge toll Commission hearings - Cambridge News - "Raise your voice on transport problems".
Toll fun begins
Inside Costa Rica - "Long Lines Back At Escazú Tolls".
BBC - "Lloyds likely to repay taxpayers". The "success" of this rights issue was because shares were in effect sold as BOGOF.
Fresh blood pumped into the corpse - B of E News Release - "Asset Purchase Facility: Secured Commercial Paper".
London's Congestion Charging and "Traffic Enforcement" consultants cost Five Million a year
BBC - "TfL consultants 'cost millions'".
The Ledger (Florida) - "Toll Booth Confusion Can Be Perilous - 11-year-old girl was struck on Polk Parkway while retrieving change.".
More of the usual nonsense - the Associated General Contractors of America claim that to reduce fuel consumption you do not increase fuel taxes, you bring in more road tolls - National Journal - "How Should EPA And DOT Reduce Transportation's Carbon Consumption?".
NY Times - "Politics and the Financial Crisis Slow the Drive to Privatize".
The Massachusetts law suit - WHDH - "Mass. Pike says asset freeze will hurt operations" Boston Globe - "Plaintiffs count Big Dig a burden" Boston Herald - "Pike class-action suit ally: $450M diverted to Big Dig".
Sundry stories - California - "It is going to cost you more to drive on some toll roads".
Whitchurch Toll Inquiry
Henley Standard - "Inspector hears evidence on bridge toll rise" Newbury Weekly News - "David and Goliath battle over Whitchurch Bridge toll". The objectors' evidence - "TollFreeze Statement to the Inquiry".
No "road pricing" money, sob, sob
Guardian - "Road safety, bus and cycle schemes under threat from transport budget cuts".
It is worrying that the trolls are still alive and kicking. It is also worrying that despite taking fifty billion pounds a year from drivers, the Government plans to cut the measly anmount it ploughs back into the road system.
British Leyland vans reach the end of the road
BBC - "Vanmaker LDV faces administration".
Toll on tolls
BBC - "Bridge toll inquiry costs £50,000". There was no urgency for a tolls increase and the Government is supposed to be considering calls for the tolls to be removed, so this exercise was just another waste of driver's money.
PS Drivers will also have to hand over three million pounds of tolls, to make it harder for non drivers to jump off the bridge - Yorkshire Post - "Anti-suicide barrier planned for Humber Bridge".
Sunday 7 June 2009
One Illinois motorist receives a bill for $63,000, but a second motorist beats even that as they "owe" over $70,000 - Southtown Star - "Stockpiled I-PASS bills take toll on daily commuters".
Though the record must go to the spirit of the Florida man who has been driving through the Folrida tolls without paying - two years after he died - Miami Herald - "Sunpass toll tickets clogging Miami-Dade Traffic Court".
New Hampshire - "State gas tax hike lesser of all evils" DC / Virginia - "HOT Lanes Would Continue Incentives for Carpoolers" West Virginia - "Toll fight".
Daily Mail gives the Trolls a free advert
"For sale: The 240-year-old bridge that will cost £1.65m- but earn you £113k a year in tax-free tolls".
Saturday 6 June 2009
When the money keeps rolling in, you don't ask how
Courier Mail - "Electronic road toll tag gives big gains to government".
Obama's Transport Secretary again pushes tolls to replace gas taxes - Land Line Mag - "LaHood: Administration opposed to increasing fuel taxes".
Courting - WCVB - "'Pike Users Strike Back, File Tolls Lawsuit" video NECN - "Lawsuit against Turnpike gains momentum" video Boston Globe - "Plaintiffs flock to turnpike lawsuit" lots of comments.
Another lawyer plans a more diect protest in West Virginia - Charleston Daily Mail - "Lawmaker vows protest if W.Va. Turnpike tolls go up".
FT - "Detroit in Distress".
More toll pushing from the far right (NCPA donors include various billionaires and Exxon Mobil) - NCPA - "COOL GLOBAL WARMING POLICIES".
Sundry stories - Georgia - "Toll design for I-75 and I-575 scaled back" Washington State - "Kilmer limits Tacoma Narrows Bridge expenses" Oregon / Washington State - "Kilmer limits Tacoma Narrows Bridge expenses" West Virginia - "Gov. Manchin Says Toll Hike Necessary" video Florida - "TNT offering drivers free toll Sept. 1" Louisiana - "Toll Required For New Bridge To Grand Isle".
Pennsylvania - "County seeks repeal of I-80 toll plan" Florida - "Express toll lanes may charge into South Dade" Pennsylvania - "Commissioners reaffirm opposition to I-80 tolls" Land Line Mag - "Public opinion negative on West Virginia toll increasess" Land Line Mag - "Public opinion negative on West Virginia toll increasess".
The Train Lord's turn
NCE - "Lord Adonis replaces Geoff Hoon as transport secretary" Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Hoon's resignation delays toll campaign".
"Tax in disguise that is to the benefit of private company at the detriment of the most humble of people"
Inside Costa Rica - "Ombudswoman Siding With Santa Ana Residents On Flaws Caldera Highway".
Effect of Japanese toll reductions
"Surprisingly, it could be good news for environmentalists: The government estimates that carbon emissions could actually decline slightly with a 20 percent rise in highway traffic as motorists in smaller cars on longer, higher-speed journeys achieve even greater fuel efficiency." - Alibaba - "As tolls halve, Japan drivers hit the highways".
More nonsense from 10 Downing Street
Yesterday the Prime Minister took time out from his shuffling of the chairs around the Cabinet table to answer an e-petition. The petition which attracted 26,000 signatures was about the Vehicle excise duty changes - FT - "Unfair-ved - epetition response".
Part oI-5 bridge planners want public's thoughts about tolls
ED is to ensure that the tax paid per vehicle reflects the emissions from that vehicle." As VED is the same whether the vehicle travels 100,000 miles or 1 mile, this is nonsense. It demonstrates the extent to which New Labour is brain dead and is controlled by the establishment.
Unfortunately for drivers and the public at large there is no sign that the Tories or Lib Dems would also not follow illogical policies that are bad for drivers and bad for Britain as a whole.
MP's second home worries eased
FT - "House prices see highest jump since 2006".
Friday 5 June 2009
MP wants Dartford pain halved
Echo - "MP wants your views on the river crossing". Why not remove all the pain?
"Hit them harder"
Metro News (Toronto) - "‘War’ on cars should go much further".
Thursday 4 June 2009
No change - inflation effort continues
News release - "Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate at 0.5% and continues with £125 Billion Asset Purchase Programme".
Toll payers fight back
Reading Chronicle - "'It's like a toll gate in a high street'".
Hull Chamber complain - Grimsby Telegraph - "Campaigners against toll contact Government".
Council to stop helping the trolls - Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Bridge ticket sales axed in toll protest".
Cyclists the new Lords and drivers the new serfs
Star - "Time to stop nutty war on cars".
Farmers forced to invest in toll roads - and then wait a lifetime to get repaid
Shanghai Daily - "Residents loan money but government skips repayments".
Wednesday 3 June 2009
Graham Stringer complains about "referendum"
Manchester Evening News - "Stringer slams 'snub' on C-charge ". As we told everybody till we were blue in the face, what happened in Manchester was a "local poll" not a referendum. This is not just semantics, as with a local poll there are no rules, it can be completely one sided as far as spending goes and you can use misleading advertising (except on TV where all political advertising is banned). MPs should change the law so that issues such as road tolls are treated as proper referendums.
Reprieve to end
Inside Costa Rica - "Santa Ana Tolls Will Go Ahead As Planned Transport Minister Assured".
More on "Road-charging stuck in the slow lane" - Mirror.
The Defense establishment's RAND Corporation selling tolls again? RAND press release - "Equity Concerns Raised by Transportation Congestion Pricing Can Be Addressed To Make Approach Viable" The report.
Monday 1 June 2009
America's biggest ever bankruptcy and the Government takeover of America's biggest car maker - CNN - "GM files for bankruptcy".
"Road-charging stuck in the slow lane"
FT. Slow lane? It should have been scrapped like an old banger, but there is so much loot to be made that this vampire will keep on rising.
The most significant development at the moment is the move to put "road user charges" on a free bridge near Liverpool - Runcorn bridge and "Mersey Gateway" bridge, it is not surprising that the RAC Foundation have kept very quiet about this, but we wonder why almost everyone else is ignoring this Trojan Horse?
"Conservative Policy Ideas Need To Grasp What is Really Strangling Democracy in Britain"
Press release - "ABD Helps David Cameron with "Blueprint for Freedom"".