OCTOBER 2009 NEWS
Saturday 31 October 2009
Iceland considers road tolls in order to prevent Global Warming
Ice News - "Road tolls debated in Iceland".
Trolls fight on
At the end of the week, the new Japanese PM told Parliament that he would resign if the new government failed to honour its election pledges including the removal of tolls - Mainichi Daily News - "Rough start for Hatoyama in Diet Q&A sessions" Japan Times - "Mr. Hatoyama states his politics". Brave words particularly as the trolls and right wing will do anything to stop him - Mainichi Daily News - "Putting the ETC system to better use on roads".
More tolls touting from RAC Foundation and Lib Dems
Times - "50 years on, M1 highway to heaven is going nowhere".
Another contribution from Britain's black economy
BBC - "Britain 'losing billions in VAT'".
The eighteen billion pounds of VAT that is evaded is more than twice what Britain spends each year on the roads.
Warning to scientists
BBC - "Sacked adviser criticises Brown". Two of the most dangerous drugs in Britain are tobacco and alcohol. Politicians from all parties have over the last 50 years been extremely tardy in taking any action. Some of the politicians will have been rewarded for their delaying tactics. Others will not have received money but sat on their hands to protect workers in those industries and in the advertising industry. Governments also delayed action because premature deaths from smoking saved considerable amounts in state funded pensions. Compared with the millions that the politicians have allowed to die, the effect of some illegal drugs is almost nothing. But by sacking the messenger, the Government is also giving a warning to those scientists who may be wobbling in their support for Global Warming.
Friday 30 October 2009
More on Government response to Transport Cttee report on Taxes and charges on road users
Local Gov - "Government rejects calls to relax local road charging rules".
Scottish toll king having a go south of the border
Journal Live - "MP's advised North motorists should fund Manchester upgrades".
Report on Weather Action deniers day
Register - "Climate Fools Day rallies the heretics".
Trolls with new way to make money out of nothing
Sydney Morning Herald - "Macquarie finds new ways to gouge MIG".
Update Sydney Morning Herald - "Dismantling the MIG machine ".
Dartford toll delays
News Shopper - "DARTFORD CROSSING: Average journey time 10 minutes says government".
The Oil Drum - "The Future of European Transport: iTREN-2030".
More on Humber tolls
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Campaigner hopeful of bridge toll change" Grimsby Telegraph - "Tories 'will review bridge tolls debate'".
The shadow Transport Secretary gives the impression that the Tories may do something about tolls, but though local Tories oppose the tolls, all the signs are that if the Tories win the next election their national policy will be more tolls not less.
No congestion tolls, for now
Thanhnien News - "HCMC road toll plan ‘not practical’: transport minister".
Weather Action reveals a little more about its forecasting technique while Europe burns more money
Register - "Renegade weatherman drops his kimono" BBC - "EU seeks to resolve climate rift".
More house price inflation
According to the Nationwide house prices have gone up nearly seven percent over last six months (April index 302, October 322), though they put a different spin on it - BBC - "House prices higher than year ago" Nationwide - "House prices rise at slower rate in October" pdf.
Thursday 29 October 2009
Toll closed - SF Chronicle - "Fix it right, Caltrans" SF Chronicle - "Bridge parts couldn't take the wind" Examiner - "Bay Bridge closure shows drivers are resistant to transit" SF Examiner - "Bay Bridge breakdown caused by known flaw" SF Examiner - "Examiner editorial: Public has right to transparency on bridge fix".
Reaping the wind - Billings Gazette - "Wind seen as possible tax source".
Patriot News (Penn.) - "FBI helping with probe of turnpike projects, official says".
Sundry - Wyoming - "Governor says I-80 is a federal responsibility".
Pennsylvania - "Trolling for tolling" Pennsylvania - "Interstate 80 toll plan is back again" Maryland - "District 21 members seek lower ICC tolls for residents" Maryland - "Public Hearing Held on Maryland's ICC" video Maryland - "Toll haters stewing in silence?" Virginia - "Toll offset could hurt projects, official says" Virginia - "Astounded by Rafael Lopez" letter Texas - "Toll road plan survives MPO vote".
More on Humber tolls
Grimsby Telegraph - "Bridge board back Telegraph campaign" Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Tory government would review toll" Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Bridge board backs toll campaign".
Dartford in Parliament
Over the last few weeks some MPs have been taking up the issue of the Dartford tolls in Parliament. Unfortunately there is no chance of the Government telling the truth - the tolls have almost no effect on demand, they only reduce the capacity of the crossing. Here are some of the items from Hansard -
After the announcement that the Dartford toll was to be sold, on the 12 October Baroness Noakes in the Lords asked - "The Minister will realise that the sale of the Dartford Crossing, first announced in 2008, raises very different issues given the history of tolls and the involvement of local councils. What is the Government's policy now towards tolls for the crossing in the long term, since that will be the key ingredient of the sale price that can be realised?" There was no real answer.
In the Commons on the 12th during a debate on the sell off, Peter Bottomley said - ".. Hansard on 9 July 1987 contain the acceptance by the Labour spokesman that the Dartford bridge—effectively the first privately funded, operated, designed and built public works—would, as I said as Minister in the previous column, have tolls for 15 to 20 years. How can we have trust in Parliament if both sides accept something and then one side says, “We'll keep the tolls going so we can sell it off”?". The non reply was - ".. the precise way in which the different assets are sold will have to be the subject of further debate and conversation, not least in the House. That is why it is the Chancellor's ambition to bring before the House a portfolio of assets, which we believe could be sold. There will be several different questions that relate to different assets, but once the portfolio is published, we might be able to have a bit more of a debate about the precise detail of each one."
Andrew Mackinlay then said - "What does the brief say about the Thurrock-Dartford toll in relation to the fact that it is lawful to toll a riparian crossing only to control and manage congestion? How does a sold bridge and tunnel allow either the operators to get a return, or the Government to continue to pay, if they are constrained by the European Union directive?" The reply was - "There will be many different questions on each of the assets. In some cases, the sale of the assets will require us to return to the House to change legislation but, as I said, once the portfolio of assets is published, we can have a proper debate about the whys and wherefores of each one."
On 13 October an "Early Day Motion" (2021) was put down which says - "That this House is concerned about Government plans to sell off the Dartford Crossing; notes that this crossing is an integral part of the M25 ring road; further notes that EU regulations only allow for tolls as a means of preventing congestion, yet the Dartford Crossing tolls actually cause congestion and increased carbon emissions; is further concerned that in private ownership toll charges are more likely to be increased; and therefore calls on the Government to remove the tolls and make the crossing part of the public highway like other roads, bridges and tunnels." So far the only MPs who ahve signed it are - Bob Spink, Bob Russell, Peter Bottomley, Jeremy Corbyn, Mrs Iris Robinson, Dr William McCrea, Alan Simpson, Mike Hancock, Dai Davies, Ann Cryer, Kelvin Hopkins, Katy Clark and George Galloway.
Greg Knight asked a Department for Transport Minister - "what studies his Department has undertaken on the effect of the 50 per cent. toll rise on the number of vehicles using the Dartford crossing..". The answer on 20 October was - "The Department for Transport has not commissioned any specific studies to consider the effect of the recent changes to charges at the Dartford Crossing. However, the Highways Agency regularly monitors the performance and use of the crossing. An impact assessment was undertaken on the proposed changes when they were consulted upon. In a six-month period before the changes to the charges (1 April to 30 September 2008) 27,356,979 vehicles used the Dartford Crossing. In a comparable period (1 April to 30 September 2009) 27,054,297 vehicles used the Dartford crossing after the changes to the charges."
James Brokenshire asked the Minister - ".. what estimate he has made of the sale value of the Dartford River Crossing; and what assumptions he made in relation to (a) the level of tolls charged, (b) vehicle movements and (c) other factors in making that estimate." The answer on 21 October was - "No estimate of the saleable value of the Dartford River Crossing has been made. Any such valuation would depend on the nature of any commercial agreements for a sale, including, but not exclusively, the length of those arrangements, the level of future charges and forecast future traffic volumes. The assumptions made around those issues are the same as those which would be made for normal business planning purposes."
David Amess asked - ".. whether the commitments originally given by the noble Baroness Chalker will be honoured when the Government sell off the Dartford river crossing toll bridge." The answer on 22 October was - "The pressures on the crossing are well known and the Government are committed to finding a solution to meeting the capacity needs of Dartford."
On Tuesday, BP announced that profits had halved (it had been forecast to be worse), today Shell announced that profits were down 70% - BBC - "Shell profits show sharp decline". As pump prices are at record levels, where is all the money going?
Wednesday 28 October 2009
USA Roundup - some later stories
Maryland - "SHA avoids the T word in 270 reply" Maryland - "Yes or No to ICC Toll, Hearings Start Today" New Jersey - "Sign of recovery? Tolls up on N.J. roads".
It seems that they have found some Australians who don't want tolls
Herald Sun - "Road charges take their toll - Melbourne motorists hate tolls - even more than people in other big cities".
Freedom to lie about Dartford tolls
Bexley Times - "The truth behind the toll".
The Census Bureau have just published various figures including how Americans get to work - 121 million go by car, van or truck and 7 million by public transportation - Washington Post - "Census survey: It's a long, lonely commute" Census Bureau - "S0802. Means of Transportation to Work by Selected Characteristics".
newspaper.com - "Feds to Convince DC Area Taxpayers to Embrace $4.8 Billion Mileage Tax".
More on Texas trolls ignore the plebs - My San Antonio - "Adkisson shifts focus after losing toll vote" My San Antonio - "MPO vote means gridlock progress".
Sundry - Maryland - "Pros and cons of the Intercounty Connector" Illinois - "Toll road backed to help ease congestion on Illinois 120" Washington State - "Narrows Bridge Committee Begins Toll-Setting Process".
More on Humber tolls
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Humber Bridge Board drops bid to unfreeze tolls".
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Minister 'not ruling out' bridge toll case".
The FTA ask about the Severn tolls - HGVUK - "FTA points to lack of consistency" FTA - "Lack of bridge toll consistency unfair on Anglo-Welsh crossings".
Singapore has been hosting the "Second World Roads Conference". The main sponsor is Big Blue and topics incude "Traffic Demand Management". Straits Times - "Will pay more for fast rides".
Eager for tolls
Jakarta Post - "Bogor residents looking ahead to new toll road".
Australia to be flooded
No, its not the increasing population crowding into relatively small congested areas, it is our old friend global warming - BBC - "Australia coastal living at risk".
Tuesday 27 October 2009
Humber tolls dole
BBC - "No bridge toll rise for 18 months" Grimsby Telegraph - "Humber Bridge gets £6-million bail-out".
Government response to Transport Cttee report on Taxes and charges on
Transport Cttee - "Taxes and charges on road users: Government response to the Committee's Sixth Report of Session 2008–09" pdf. The Government repeat their support for congestion charging and road pricing. But they say that national road pricing would not be implemented in the lifetime of the next Parliament. Most people were in favour of scrapping vehicle excise duty, but the Government want to keep and increase it; as using their reverse logic they say that VED is more effective than fuel duty in reducing CO2 emissions.
Texas trolls ignore the plebs - My San Antonio - "U.S. 281, Loop 1604 toll plans survive vote".
More on the toll booth crash - WCVB - "'Pike Meat Crash Spurs Toll Safety Concerns" video Boston Herald - "Officials eye toll booths after crash".
Sundry - Massachusetts - "Pike Board member Connaughton calls for 'substantial' workforce cuts".
Illinois - "It's not taxing, it's tolling" Land Line Mag - "Wyoming legislative panel backs I-80 toll plan" Florida - "Osceola County May Add New Tolls To Roads" video.
The new Japanese Government promised to remove the tolls, so it is odd that a Xmas discount has been announced - Reuters - "Japan extends highway toll discounts to New Year".
It is also odd that the reimbursement of tolls for US service personnel is being questioned - Stars & Stripes - "Japan to discuss free toll passes".
More on - Double your money and take it way
Newbury Today - "Campaigners demonstrate as bridge toll rises" BBC - "Campaign starts on toll increase".
Following yesterday's "Con-undrum" story about the apparent inefficacy of the tolls, it is reported that some are to be increased - Cars Singapore - "Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) to increase by a huge margin".
Trolls scare tactic
Sydney Morning Herald - "Congestion the toll for a free road" Western Weekender - "Mayhem awaits" Brisbane Times - "M4 to be clogged by 'extra 2,000' cars" ABC - "No tolls, more traffic on M4" Sydney Morning Herald - "M4 to grind to halt when toll removed: report" The Motor Report - "2000 More Cars Each Hour For Sydney's M4 When Tolls Go".
More on Humber tolls delegation
Hull Daily Mail - "No toll rises for 18 months after grant" Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Transport minister accepts toll petition" Hull Daily Mail - "Toll abolition 'not ruled out'" Hull Daily Mail - "Minister handed bridge tolls petition".
Monday 26 October 2009
Humber tolls update
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Humber Bridge tolls meeting with Minister is hailed a success" Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Talks over the Humber Bridge toll get underway".
Land of tolls
Hindu Business Line - "For whom does the Government toll?".
One that got away
CBC - "1st traffic rush hits Pitt River Bridge".
More of the usual from the Government and the Beeb
BBC - "Climate map shows human impacts".
It's the politicians, stupid - Washington Post - "Radical alternative makes toll lanes look like a bargain".
Progressive States - "Privatization During an Economic Downturn: Still Inefficient and Problematic".
Texas Tea Party - Examiner - "Board must vote down NEW taxes to drive on existing freeways" My San Antonio - "Push for a vote on toll roads could backfire" My San Antonio - "Vote to bar tolls set for today" lot of comments.
Toll free, briefly - Up North (Michigan) - "The Mackinac Bridge : Free Fare Day" WAAF - "My BEEF with the tolls" Boston Herald - "No beef from commuters as Pike crash serves free ride" lot of comments Boston Globe - "Weston tolls waived after truck spills beef on Pike" video CBS (Miami) - "Heat Covers Morning Tolls On SR-836".
Bank wants to borrow - Virginian Pilot - "Investment bank seeks to finance $1.5 billion Midtown Tunnel project".
Sundry - Maryland - "People living near ICC ask for toll discount".
"Maine at Work: Life in the fast lane" Pennsylvania - "Rendell Thinks Feds Will Give in on Tolls on Interstate 80" "Cashless Florida's Turnpike looms" DC / Virginia - "Traveling Through — Higher fees ahead on Dulles Toll Road" Maryland - "Itching to talk about the ICC? 2 hearings ahead this week" Wyoming - "Lawmakers step toward I-80 tolls".
A (Carbon) Free Europe
New Europe - "Tajani Goes Green - DG level working group to coordinate work on decarbonising".
Request for tolls move
Moonee Valley Leader - "Relocate toll point - council".
Humber tolls petition
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Bridge delegation on its way to London" Yorkshire Post - "Anti-toll delegation buoyed by Minister's ban on increase" BBC - "Group to push for £1 bridge toll" Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Mail readers' toll petition delivered".
Threat to drivers
Daily Express - "Eco Tax Will Cost Us Billions". Why does the Express not tell its readers about Tory plans to also milk drivers?
Asia One - "Less people taking public transport". A strange result from a policy of the most comprehensive road toll system in the world and the rationing of cars.
Plea for more tolls
Metro News (Halifax) - "Transit report recommends hiking costs for drivers".
Businesses support Con charges
Australian Transport News - "Business joins call for GPS truck charging".
Fat Cats get fatter
BBC - "FTSE bosses 'get big salary rise'". In practice, shareholders have no say in the pay of directors. Company remuneration committees are made up of directors who usually also hold senior positions in other companies, and so have a vested interest in a game of leap frogging pay and benefit rises.
More global warming hype
BBC - "'Freezer plan' bid to save coral".
Corals have a symbiotic relationship with "zooxanthellae" which supplies food and oxygen to the coral. The zooxanthellae in turn relies on that well known poison - CO2.
The Science establishment are running a poll on whether, like them, you believe in all this global warming "science" - "PROVE IT!". Though the final result of the vote may be less reliable and less indepenent than even the Afghani presidential election.
Saturday 24 October 2009
More tolls touting from Big Blue - NY Times - "Will Smarter Roads Save Us More Money?".
Sundry - Wyoming - "Committee backs tolling authority for I-80" Michigan - "Tolls could provide funds" "Gas tax, miles-driven fee considered for Nebraska highway funding" Maryland - "Hearings next week on ICC tolls".
Humber tolls delegation
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Group taking tolls fight to ministers".
The new Japanese Government is still facing resistance to its plan to scrap tolls. Another story today reports that the Government has been reimbursing the US military for tolls that they pay up to the tune of 900 million yen (ten million dollars) a year.
Royals back bankers' bonuses
BBC - "Banker bonuses minute, says duke".
Despite the recession this year's bonuses are estimated as six billion pounds. Small beer if your mother has a dozen palaces, a few Leonardos and also happens to be head of both state and church.
Friday 23 October 2009
Reaction to - Tolls for all
BC Local - "Bridge tolls not the answer, mayor says".
Sundry - Maryland / Virginia - "Span nearing a crossroads" Idaho - "Gasoline tax fades as solution to highway funding " Maine - "Forum on York tolls slated" Indiana / Kentucky - "Bi-state bridges authority approved by Ky. transportation panel".
Pennsylvania - "FHWA administrator sheds light on I-80 toll issue" Texas - "Houston METRO Selects TransCore to Implement High Occupancy Vehicle Improvement Program: Will be Nation`s Largest High Occupancy/Tolling (HOT) System" Utah - "Congestion pricing takes a new twist with technology in I-15 HOV lane" New York - "Candidates think train has left the station on traffic pricing".
London Daily News - "Payback time - Did US Embassy debts result in costly listing decision?".
Bad for who?
BBC - "Record recession for UK economy" ONS - "Gross domestic product
preliminary estimate 3rd Quarter 2009".
The cumulative falls in GDP puts Britain back to about where it was four years ago. GDP measures activity, not whether people are better off. If the Government were to employ people to smash windows it would increase GDP, and if it employed people to repair them, then again GDP would go up.
One strange effect of this recession is that most of those with large debts are better off than they were because interest rates are virtually zero. So they may be hoping that the recession continues!
"Promise" that one toll will end
Brisbane Times - "M4 toll will be abolished: Rees" ABC - "Keep plan to scrap M4 tolls: councils".
Unions & bosses oppose Humber tolls
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "High-profile backing for bridge toll cut".
Thursday 22 October 2009
Road pricing - NBC - "Local Governments Want to Tax You Per Mile" Washington Post - "How much support for tolls?" Washington Post - "Panel seeking funds to gauge support for 'road pricing'" WTOP - "Could a commuter tax be on the way? ".
New boss wants congestion pricing - on mass transit - NY Times - "M.T.A. Weighs Lower Fares During Off-Peak Hours".
LandLine Mag - "Toll increases help Macquarie post gains, stave off losses".
Sundry - Washington State - "Bridge tolls dominate Vancouver election
" New York - "Islanders’ break on bridge toll challenged" New York- "Court decision may impact V-N toll discount for Staten Islanders".
Texas - "Vacant toll booths may turn into retail shops" California - "Poor economy takes toll on tollway" Maryland - "Residents argue ICC tolls too expensive for daily driving" Colorado - "E-470 officials want to avoid certified-mail cost on bills" Georgia - "Port Road Eyed for Toll Project" "North Texas Tollway Authority's higher rates not taking big toll on traffic".
Washington State - "Who's More Ga Ga for Tolls: O'Brien or Rosencrantz?" DC - "Charges To Double On Dulles Toll Road" video Washington State - "Hit Mailer Tells It Like It Is: O'Brien Goes Ga Ga for Tolls" video.
More toll touting
Sydney Morning Herald - "Charge for road use, Rees urged".
More on Dartford tolls
Yellow Ad - "Crossing is taking its toll".
Bit more on the "Borisken"
Guardian - "Boris Johnson: Evening Standard strikes again".
Tories reveal a bit more of their tolls plans
New Civil Engineer - "Tolls and private cash to fund infrastructure under Tories".
Vietnam considers how to cover the cost of roads
Vietnam News - "Road upkeep tax looms closer".
M6 Toll traffic bottoming out
The annual moving average of daily traffic on the M6Toll reached a new low (38,688) in the third quarter of 2009, but the decline seems to be bottoming off. For more detail see - Our M6 Toll traffic page. The company is forecasting that traffic will grow as the Highways Agency undertakes "construction activity on the main alternative".
Paying the bill but getting nothing back
BBC - "Call to end middle class benefits".
Bit more on population growth
Daily Mail - "Crowded Britain heading for 70m as migration causes population to rise faster than ever before".
Wednesday 21 October 2009
Sundry - DC - "Dulles toll hike gains approval in two airport committees" Texas - "NTTA projects big revenue increase, thanks mostly to higher rates".
DC - "Dulles Toll Road rate hike likely to advance" Florida - "New Interstate 95 toll lanes to open mid-January" some comments Washington State - "Rosencrantz withdraws criticism on tolling because -- oops -- he agrees" North Carolina - "State spending $1 million to study potential Garden Parkway toll revenue".
BBC - "UK population 'to rise to 71.6m'" Telegraph - "Britain's population to hit 70 million by 2029".
The deception is in the claim that "two-thirds of the increase is likely to be related directly or indirectly to migration to the UK". This claim seems to ignore births to immigrants who are already here or their children, if these were included then probably all of the increase would be due to the effects of migration. The deception does not appear in the ONS press release - "National Projections UK population to exceed 65m by 2018", but the ONS collaborates with the political deception by not publishing more detailed figures.
The Bank of Inflation speaks
published today - "Minutes Of The Monetary Policy Committee Meeting 7 And 8 October 2009" pdf Speech yesterday by Mervyn King to Scottish business organisations in Edinburgh in which he says that banks should be split - pdf 30 Sep - "Money, Banks and Quantitative Easing" 24 Sep - "Separating Fact from Fiction: Household Balance Sheets and the Economic Outlook".
Evening Standard - "Strange but true: is Boris just the new Ken?".
The Government continues to lie about the effect of Dartford tolls
Evening Standard - "£40m delays at Dartford crossing".
Tolls for all
BC Local - "‘Slap tolls on all bridges'" BC Local - "News Views: Tolling all bridges".
Not by bread alone
Establishment's science group, the Royal Society, says that more money should be spent on research into improving crop yields to cope with the growing population - BBC - "UK urged to lead on future food" Royal Society - link to report etc.
What about the effect of population growth on limited fishing stocks, availability of water, cost of housing, scarcity of fuel and some minerals, overcrowding, pollution, waste disposal, spread of disease, crime, war?
Tuesday 20 October 2009
Toll pushing from the Philadelphia Inquirer - "Editorial: Taking its toll" "Free ride on roads must end".
Sundry - Maryland - "Will ICC give tolls a bad name?" Pennsylvania - "Study backs local opposition to I-80 tolls " New Jersey - "My near-and-dear cause is fixing transportation in N.J.".
Toll bridge short, of cash
Telegraph Journal - "Bridge facing big troubles".
Drivers given extra time to pay to reduce queues for toll payment
NZ Herald - "Motorists get more time to pay road toll".
More on Con future, or not; and two wheels make you one of the pc elite
Guardian - "Boris Johnson: hope and congestion" Guardian - "Motorists will turn on me over cycling policies, claims Boris Johnson".
PS An American view - newspaper.com - "London Mayor Backtracks on Congestion Tax".
Complaint over bed time fairy tale
Sky - "Outrage Over 'Drowning Pets' Climate Advert " Telegraph (on 12th) - "Government's £6 million 'Bedtime Story' climate change ad: most pernicious waste of taxpayers' money ever?".
The related Government propaganda site - Act on CO2.
PS Register - "West Antarctic ice loss overestimated by NASA sats". What is not readily clear from this story is that not only may western Antarctic ice melting have been exaggerated, but in the eastern Antarctic it seems to be getting colder. Also, whatever the effect of manmade CO2 is, no one knows which direction the current glacial minima is heading - an early end to the current Ice Age or a glacial maxima (where Britain will be buried under glaciers).
More roads please
BBC - "Drivers 'losing out' to railways".
Touting tolls in Toronto
Star - "Tolls might jolt drivers into reality".
"Ei" to Con
Newsroom Finland - "Finnish capital region councils shun congestion charge".
Another Irish toll
Irish Times - "€500m Waterford city bypass opens".
Stoking up inflation
The latest figures show that money supply has increased by 11.3% over the last 12 months, though the trend is down - BofE - "Provisional estimates of broad money (M4) and credit (M4 lending)
September 2009". The money being pumped out by the central bank has to a large extent gone to fill in the massive hole in the books of the other banks, but it is partly reflected in the latest housing mortgage figures - BBC - "Summer lift in mortgage lending". The Government, of course, is a little short of readies - BBC - "Record in public sector borrowing" ONS - "Public Sector
September: £11.3bn current budget deficit".
Monday 19 October 2009
Sundry - Maryland - "Public to Weigh in on Proposed ICC Tolls" Maryland - "High ICC tolls show how expensive new freeways are" North Carolina - "N.C. nears deal for toll bridge to northern OBX" Louisiana - "Grand Isle bridge toll exemption could have far-reaching consequences".
Virginia - "HOT lanes are not wanted, not the answer" Pennsylvania - "Don't toll, cut" Virginia - "Shortcut to paradise: Toll bridge to the Outer Banks" North Carolina- "Crossroads - Tolls on table for Skyway project".
Double your money and take it way
Henley Standard - "Bridge company wins fight to double toll for drivers".
In theory tolls are supposed to be tightly controlled, in practice the Government will rubber stamp alamost any increase - Toll Freeze.
Residents say no to Con
Henley Standard - "Villagers reject £275m transport scheme".
Down Dominica way
Dominica Today - "Ethics chief calls Dominican East highway a grand swindle".
BBC - "Cosmic pattern to UK tree growth".
The "Central England Temperature" record which goes back 350 years is one of the main sources of "data" for Global Warming preachers who have argued that periods of higher growth were due to higher temperatures which were in turn due to higher CO2 levels. That theory already contained a chicken and egg flaw (as seas which are warmer for any reason are not able to absorb as much CO2 and thus cause an increase of CO2 in the atmosphere. There was also the question as to how much tree ring growth was affected by changes in cloud (water vapour) or changes (for various reasons) in level of CO2 (breathed in by plants) rather than the assumed increase in temperature. Perhaps one day the scientists will admit that they are working in the dark.
Humber tolls petition
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Heat still on after bridge toll freeze".
Denial of a Reading con
Newbury Today - "Reading councillors refute recent claims that they have decided upon congestion charges and zones".
Malaysian Insider - "Can Asas Serba pull off proposal?".
PM promises the ten plagues of Egypt
BBC - "PM warns of climate 'catastrophe'".
Sunday 18 October 2009
More on Pennsylvania tolls proposal - Patriot News - "Transportation woes: Tolling I-80 is best option for funding " Go Erie - "Locals continue their fight over proposal to toll I-80".
Some Texas drivers not cowed - News8Austin - "Toll amnesty program receives dismal response".
Alternative to congestion pricing - World Changing - "Donald Shoup on San Francisco’s Groundbreaking Parking Meter Study".
Sundry - Maryland - "Proposed ICC tolls among highest in country" Minnesota - "Carpool lane on 35W makes life a bit faster for commuters" Oregon / Washington State - "Put debate over bridge tolls in perspective" Virginia - "Deeds: Toll fix to road woes?".
Virginia - "Poll: Fix roads, but don't raise taxes" Maryland - "Public Invited To Meetings On ICC Tolls" Massachusetts - "Legislature’s toll".
Bit more on Dartford Crossing for sale
Kent News - "Drivers 'face price hikes' when crossing is sold".
It is reported that if the Japanese Government honours the promise to abolish tolls it will cost 600 billion yen. Sounds a lot, but it converts to four billion pounds or less than seven billion dollars. The British Government sucks fifty billion pounds a year from drivers.
A Tale of Two Kens
Sydney Morning Herald - "Donations just the start" second half of page.
Tolls lead the way
news.com - "Sydney road tolls rising faster than inflation".
Who would buy?
BBC - "Tories 'may sell off Met Office'".
More of the usual on the BBC including the heir to the throne saving the world
BBC - "UK looks to break climate logjam" BBC - "A brief history of climate change".
Here is a sceptical view as to how significant man made CO2 is in possibly increasing temperature -
Image Measurement and Analysis Lab - "Cold Facts on Global Warming".
Friday 16 October 2009
Je ne regrette rien in Massachusetts - Wicked - "At final meeting, board reflects on turnpike's checkered history" Metro West - "he end of the road for the Turnpike Authority" Boston Globe - "End of road for Mass. Pike board" .
LaHood doing a bit of toll pushing - Pioneer Press - "Union Depot touted as transit hub during tour by U.S. transportation secretary".
Sundry - "Arizona making way for creation of private toll roads" New York - "Wanted: Crowd-Sourced Transportation Analysis" Maryland - "‘Lexus Lanes' take toll" Pennsylvania - "OPINION: Tolling Interstate 80 wrong remedy for transportation funding" California - "Price gouging?".
No Humber tolls is better than some
Hull Daily Mail - "'Freeze is good, but axing tolls is better'".
Bit more on Dartford Crossing for sale
This is Local London - "Dartford Crossing: Sale triggers fears third crossing may not happen".
The sale of Dartford will have no direct effect on whether a new crossing will be built. Indirectly it is difficult to predict what the effect of likely increases in tolls will be.
More on proposals for Con tolls
Courier Mail - "Congestion tax debate timely for southeast Queensland" Courier Mail - "Brisbane traffic congestion tax slammed by Campbell Newman" Brisbane Times - "Congestion tax 'not viable' in Brisbane" ABC - "Politicans put brakes on choke charge".
ABC - "Stanhope open to congestion tax" Brisbane Times - "Free routes needed if congestion tax to work: expert" ABC - "Motoring groups rev Henry over congestion tax".
Thanhnien News - "Transporters in southern hub request incorrect tolls be returned".
Bit more on Con changes
Handy Shipping Guide - "Freight Transport Association Backs Boris Despite Toll Increase For London".
Money going up in smoke
BBC - "Carbon capture plant backed by EU".
Thursday 15 October 2009
A neat trick - Pittsbugh Live - "E-ZPass warning".
Sundry - DC - "Leaders to discuss tolls on 'free' highways" Louisiana - "Leeville bridge-toll disagreement heats up" California - "Lower Retrofit Costs Won't Keep Bridge Tolls from Going Up" audio Virginia - "Holding Pattern - City attorney recommends no action on HOT lanes lawsuit for now".
California - "Toll authority weighs higher bridge fees" California - "Bridge operators consider raising tolls in Bay Area" Florida - "Ready for toll lanes on I-4?" Pennsylvania - "I-80 tolling a bad idea Rail potential could ease I-81 congestion" California - "Riverside County toll lane decisions proceed with caution".
More on Dartford Crossing for sale
Kent News - "Dartford Crossing sale is a bridge too far" inc comment from Nigel Farage Yellow Advertiser - (Labour) "MP backs sale of Dartford Crossing".
More on Humber Toll discussions
Hull Daily Mail - "Bridge Tolls Freeze For 18 Months" Yorkshire Post - "Humber Bridge tolls may be frozen in spite of worsening debt problem".
Proposal to replace fuel tax with more tolls
Australians are such suckers for tolls that they will probably think this is a good idea, providing they double the charges every other year - The Age - "Call for tax to ease road congestion" ABC - "Congestion tax on Henry's agenda" The Australian - "Ken Henry floats congestion tax on CBD drivers".
Con increasing to Ten Pounds and other changes
There are also increases to passenger transport fares - Press Release - "C charge overhaul" Evening Standard - "Huge bus and Tube fare rises plus £10 C-charge" Mail - "So much for scrapping the congestion charge: Boris Johnson puts it up to £10 and raises Tube and bus fares" East London Advertiser - "Boris under fire from passengers and traders over fares and tolls" BBC - "London travel fares to increase" Guardian - "Boris Johnson: transport breakdown" some comments Mayor Watch - "Johnson announces bus fares to rise by 12.7%".
More hot air
BBC - "Arctic to be 'ice-free in summer'".
This story is even more incredible than the usual hype. In April it was reported that the expedition which had set out to measure the effects of increased Arctic temperatures had "encountered an unexpected wind chill as low as minus 70 degrees Celsius, and the technology failed".
Wednesday 14 October 2009
Another example of how Americans are conned about the effect of the London charge - NY Times - "Cordon Blues?".
More congestion pricing hype - DC Streetsblog - "Congestion Pricing: Still Good For Basically Everyone".
More on Pennsylvania tolls juggernaut- The Herald - "Report: I-80 corridor could pay heavy toll" Daily Collegian - "Report backs I-80 toll foes" Pittsburgh Tribune Review - "No I-80 need for tolls" Sun Gazette - "I-80 tolling fight far from over" newspaper.com - "Pennsylvania: Tolling to Interstate 80 Would Cost Jobs".
Sundry - California - "Bridge operators discussing toll increases" Texas - "Toll road project: worthy or not?".
Toll pushing from "Reform"
This supposed "charity" gives as examples of "good" schemes, the M6 Toll and congestion charging, and seems to be also in favour of nationwide road charging though it accepts that political support for this has "gone cold" - "Road to recovery".
Humber Toll discussions
BBC - "Bridge tolls 'set for 18 months'".
Bit more on Where are the Mayor and the TfL bosses driving London to?
Guardian - "Boris Johnson and the congestion charge: price hike and confusion" Guardian - "Voters with motors put Boris in a jam" lot of comments Guardian - "Boris Johnson: will he raise the congestion charge to £10?".
Some unofficial tolls in South Africa
News 24 - "Sakhile roads still blockaded".
More on Full meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council agreeing to submit Con plan
FT - "Cambridgeshire puts road charging back on track"
Cambridge News - "£500m transport cash bid approved" BBC - "Congestion charge plan for city" County Council new release - "Cambridgeshire Bid For Record Transport Investment".
Tuesday 13 October 2009
Full meeting of Cambridgeshire County Council agrees to submit Con plan
New Civil Engineer - "Cambridgeshire to bid for £500M TIF cash".
On Saturday we reported on an unusual view on congestion in the Wall Street Journal. Today's piece from the anti car "Streets Blog" mocks that article and repeats the usual myths including the London Con raising "travel speeds 30 percent" - "Paradox, Schmaradox. Congestion Pricing Works".
More on Pennsylvania tolls juggernaut- Pittsburgh Tribune Review - "Grove City professor's study: Tolls on I-80 would hurt business" Pittsburgh Post Gazette - "Report backs I-80 toll foes" Daily Item - "It's back. Interstate 80 toll plan resurfaces" Land Line Mag - "Report finds truckers fund entire I-80 budget in PA" Pittsburgh Tribune Review - "State resurrects plans to put tolls on Interstate 80".
Sundry - "NY's 'private' affair - State close to leasing out major public-works deals to investors" West Virginia - "Turnpike should be Parkways’ only mission"..
Daily Telegraph - "$22 in tolls daily for a crawl to the city"
The Age - "Transurban to focus on toll road upgrades"
Brisbane Times - "M2 toll goes up from … whatever"
Brisbane Times - "Toll rise to pay for M2 upgrades: govt".
More on Dartford Crossing for sale
News Shopper - "Sale could lead to higher tolls" Thurrock Gazette - "Dartford Crossing to be sold" Press release - "ABD Condemns Plan to Sell Dartford Crossing" Handy Shipping Guide - "Eurotunnel And Dartford Link Scramble Begins In Transport Sell Off" Times - "If only Gordon Brown was selling off the family silver".
Bit more on Where are the Mayor and the TfL bosses driving London to?
Evening Standard - "Boris Johnson must get this road charge right charging" FT - "Wider London road-user charges denied".
ABD reaction to Climate Change Committee suggestion
press release - "Drivers Must Pay Up or the Planet Gets It".
More of Big Blue selling tolls and surveillance
Euractiv - "Cities turn to high-tech for curbing traffic, crime".
It is claimed that the value of the pound is falling because inflation is not higher - BBC - "Pound hit by falling UK inflation" ONS - "Consumer prices September 2009".
This is a good example of the way truth is turned on its head by those who gain from high inflation and low interest rates. Whether foreigners will wish to hold sterling depends on many factors, one of which is the gain / loss in real terms in holding onto the currency after allowing for inflation, interest rates and of course whether for logical reasons or not the value of sterling is expected to go up or down. It also depends on what the alternatives are, i.e. which is the least bad alternative for an investor.
Monday 12 October 2009
A tale of two tolls
Brisbane Times - "Lane Cove tunnel on slow road to receivership" Daily Telegraph (Sydney) - "Pay as you drive, slowly".
The main factor in whether a toll makes a profit is choice - is there a practical alternative to using the toll road?
American view on the report from UK Committee for Fat Cats - Examiner - "Road pricing to beat climate change" newspaper.com - "UK Government: Per Mile Tax Would Solve Global Warming".
Pennsylvania tolls juggernaut- NJ.com / AP - "Pennsylvania revives plan for Route 80 tolls" a few comments KDKA - "Debate Over I-80 Becoming A Toll Road Continues" Post Gazette - "Two sides rev their engines for new I-80 toll attempt".
Sundry - Illinois - "Who, ME? A scofflaw?" Massachusetts - "Mass. Turnpike Authority comes to end of the road" Texas - "NTTA's late-fee collection has 'gotten out of hand,' state senator says" Virginia - "Traffic: State's chronic problem" lot of comments Rhode Island - "Is EZ-Pass infringing on people’s privacy?".
More on Stop and deliver
Pacific News Centre - "Guthertz Military Toll Bill Not A Good Idea" video.
Where are the Mayor and the TfL bosses driving London to?
Evening Standard - "London drivers face double whammy of ‘£1 a mile toll’ and congestion charge" lot of comments BBC - "Mayor 'considers' road charging" Daily Mail - "'£1 a mile toll' to drive in London: Boris Johnson plans new levy on top of C-charge on busiest roads" Guardian - "Boris Johnson: further congestion charging "may be required"".
The con charge plans are in section 25 of chapter 5 of the strategy - Mayor's Transport stategy website.
PS Denial - London Informer - "No plans for extra congestion charge says City Hall" Guardian - "Boris Johnson: big documents, big questions".
Some details of the Reading con
Reading Chronicle - "Leaked: C-charge zones shortlist".
A bit of the truth
Thanks to Chris for spotting this story, all but invisible on the BBC - "What happened to global warming?".
The long range forecast from Piers Corbyn of Weather Action is that the next twenty years are going to be cooler than average. Piers is regarded as an eccentric heretic by the weather establishment, but he seems to produce more accurate medium range forecasts.
Dartford Crossing for sale
Kent News - "Plans to sell Dartford crossing and CTRL unveiled" BBC - "PM to unveil £16bn sale of assets".
This further demonstrates that it is a lie when the Government says that the purpose of the tolls is to prevent congestion. This rip off sale appears to be supported by the Tories and no doubt the Lib Dems.
More road tolls pushing
Reuters - "UK climate body urges govt to step up emissions cuts" Daily Mail - "Drivers should be forced to pay per mile to save the planet, finds climate watchdog" Daily Telegraph - "Road pricing 'should be used to help meet carbon targets'" BBC - "UK 'needs step change' on climate" Times - "Tax motorists more to help save the planet, Government is urged" Committee on Climate Change - "Meeting Carbon Budgets - the need for a step change -
Progress report to Parliament - 12 October 2009".
The Committee recommends (page 27) "that the Government should seriously consider road pricing". Their detailed transport musings are in chapter 6 (page 189) and include (page 222) "From a purely economic perspective .. there is a stronger case now for introducing road pricing rather than increasing fuel duty". The claimed reason for tolls rather than fuel duty is that they want to also reduce congestion. The Committee also want a masive increase in electric cars, though their ultimate source of fuel must be carbon and they make no difference to congestion.
The real reason why these groups come up with such daft recommendations is that the aim is to benefit the rich and a few companies at the expense of the many.
German Tories pushing tolls for cars
Forexyard - "German coalition may agree motorway tolls -lawmaker".
More CO2 hype
BBC - "'Scary' climate message from past". The really scary thing is that so many scientists feed the news media with these misleading reports.
Saturday 10 October 2009
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Our tolls petition to be handed to MPs".
An unusual view on congestion - Wall Street Journal - "How Traffic Jams Help the Environment".
Sundry - "The end of Trans Texas Corridor fuels Hutchison's fire" Oregon - "Regional bypass to return as private toll road?".
Friday 9 October 2009
Bit more on Fast way though tolls
Inside Costa Rica - "Bomberos File Appeal Demanding Emergency Lane At Escazú Tool Station".
Another road toll push
Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport news release - "How do we pay for vital trunk road expansion?" CILT - "Britain’s Inter-urban Road Network: Problems and Options" pdf.
Sundry - Arizona - "Munger calls for big tax cuts, toll roads".
Stop and deliver
Pacific News Centre - "Guthertz Proposes Tolls Outside Military Bases "Until All Amounts Due" The People Of Guam Have Been Paid" Pacific Daily News - "Guthertz proposes toll: Bill in response to war claims rejection".
Manchester traffic down
Manchester Evening News - "Rush-hour traffic falls as recession bites".
Looking into abyss
BBC - "Fear of 'huge' energy bill rises" OFGEM - "Project Discovery
Energy Market Scenarios" pdf.
It is obvious that the price of gas and other fuels will increase - there is a finite supply and the Bank of England is doing its best to devalue the pound so the cost of imports will be higher. Most "green" measures will increase costs. Prices will also rise as the world and Britain have a rapidly increasing population and thus energy demand, though in this 100 page report there is not even a whisper about this.
Thursday 8 October 2009
Inflation push continues
FT - "Bank of England holds rates at 0.5%" BBC - "Low rates 'help 100,000 a month'" BofE News Release - "Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate at 0.5% and continues with £175 Billion Asset Purchase Programme".
Sobbin', wailin' and 'nashing of teeth
Mayor Watch - "Call for C-charge dodging Governments to explain themselves to Londoners".
Bit more on death of toll corridor - Waco Tribune - "EDITORIAL: Demise of Trans-Texas Corridor invites critics to offer up some solutions" Star Telegram - "State spent $15 million before Trans-Texas Corridor’s demise".
Sundry - Missouri - "Should speeders pay more on the KS Turnpike?" Oregon / Washington State - "Columbia River Crossing: moving forward
" Land Line Mag - "Report: I-80 tolls would hurt Pennsylvania economy" Virginia - "Pr. William declines to join anti-HOT lanes lawsuit".
Tories would do nothing to ease Britain's highest tolls
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Anger at Tories' Humber Bridge toll policy".
Possible Con on York
Yorkshire Post - "Yorkshire motorists face threat of road tolls".
Oil - a real problem
BBC - "Warning over global oil 'decline'" Telegraph - "Era of cheap, easy oil is over, warns study" UK Energy Reseach Centre - link to report etc.
Oil is not homogenous, in that some oil can be extracted cheaply, and at the other extreme there is a lot that could only be extracted at a cost that will always be too high. There are possible alternatives to oil, but in the meantime we are doing two things that will mean that the problems will hit us sooner - we have too many people and we are wasting oil by using it as fuel for power plants rather than using alternatives such as more coal.
Wednesday 7 October 2009
More e-tolls fun
From the Province (Vancouver) - "ICBC rules roost when it comes to licence renewal" "Golden Ears Bridge toll insult has victim of car theft seeing red".
Infrastructurist - "Public Private Partnerships: Another One Bites The Dust".
Toll corridor dead - Dallas Morning News - "State ends Trans-Texas Corridor project" Star Telegram - "Trans Texas Corridor is declared dead -- again" Houston Chronicle - "State pulling final plug on corridor".
Sundry - California - "Carpool lane on Solano I-80 westbound opens" Maryland - "Thanks for the ‘Concierge Parkway'" letter Pennsylvania - "Author defends Act 44" Texas - "Debate on West Parkway toll-road project continues" Virginia - "Another bridge, another decision".
Caboodle - "Budapest council mulls congestion charge".
Birmingham Post - "Cameron hints cities will get green light on transport schemes". The chances of a Tory Government giving two billion pounds without strings to local councils for transport schemes are thinner than the hairs on William Hague's pate.
Another report on new tolls near Athens
Kathimerini - "Further toll action in offing".
A bad sign
BBC - "Gold price rises to all-time high".
Tuesday 6 October 2009
Police nab most wanted fugitive - Star Ledger - "E-Z Pass arrest should have been E-Z".
Sundry - North Carolina - "Coalition pushes for per-mile tax on drivers" New Jersey / Pennsylvania - "When bridge gates go, you'll go faster" Virginia - "Prince William Could Join HOT Lanes Lawsuit" video Virginia - "Prince William may join lawsuit over HOT lanes".
EU Comissioner says that European Electronic Toll Service is "the most important improvement for drivers since the abolition of border controls"
Gov Monitor - "Europe to Launch Electronic Toll Service".
ABD say "no thanks"
press release - "Drivers Group Calls on David Cameron to Rule Out Road Pricing".
More e-tolls fun
Star (Toronto) - "Highway robbery? Fixer gets a mystery 407 bill".
The ancient toll racket
Phnom Penh Post - "Villagers protest ‘tolls’".
Bit more on Cambridgeshire Cabinet approving Con plan
Cambridge News - "'Once-in-a-generation chance to curb jams'".
New Zealand AA love tolls
Voxy - "AA Responds To Northern Gateway Toll Road Report".
NZTA - Report to June (just published) pdf Bay of Plenty Times - "Downturn sees city's Route K hit by $2.8 million losses".
It might not work, but it will hurt
BBC - "Osborne unveils pay and tax plans".
More signs that Britain is returning to high consumer spending, inflated house prices and producing little
BBC - "More signs of house price rises" BBC - "Strong increase in new car sales" BBC - "Shock fall in industrial output".
One sign of the consumer society is that though car sales were up over 11% in September compared with a year ago, the sales of vans and trucks were down 18% - SMMT - "September van & truck sales".
BBC - "Downturn is 'climate opportunity'".
As usual the Met Office say that the previous month was warmer than average - "September 2009".
Monday 5 October 2009
More warnings from the Tories
The Shadow Transport Secretary at a fringe party meeting in Manchester when asked about Tory spending plans has said - "individual (road pricings) schemes could work to fund particular projects ... congestion charging could be something we could use with lorries ... Local schemes could use future toll revenue to relieve local problems such as a new road or bridge, and we would look at this favourably" - New Civil Engineer - "Villiers - transport budget to focus on 'sustainable' solutions".
BBC - "Congestion cut thanks to new road".
"No", but why?
Henley Standard - "Residents say no to third crossing".
BBC - "Climate change risk to UK maples".
Toll discrimination is legal in Louisiana - Houma Today - "Reduced toll for Grand Isle residents is legal, Attorney General says".
Sundry - Minnesota - "Commuters are slow to use 35W's pay-to-play fast lane" lot of comments Oregon / Washington State - "Realities of Tolls" Oregon / Washington State - "Officials consider toll scenerios for I-5 bridge over Columbia River" Virginia - "Candidates' paths diverge over paying for highways".
Fast way though tolls
Inside Costa Rica - "Emergency Vehicles Must Stop To Fill Out Form At Escazú Toll Booths" Spanish video.
What Tories think
Conservative Home have now published some of the results of their recent survey of two thousand party members - "The Biggest Ever Survey of the Tory Grassroots". People were given 20 choices for reducing Government debt through tax increases and spending cuts. "Privatisation of all major roads" was the second least popular choice (12% support) and "the introduction of road tolls" was the third least popular (19% support).
Latest on LEZ
Guardian - "Boris Johnson to reintroduce pollution zone a year after UK deadline".
New bridge coining it
Vancouver Sun - "Golden Ears Bridge a gold mine for TransLink".
Japanese beg Government to keep tolls
There are more reports claiming that the Japanese (or at least 70 per cent of them) want tolls to be kept. It is not revealed whether they also want hair shirts made compulsory. There is a separate story saying that almost all elected members of the new Government favour the removal of tolls; though it is a bit soon for them to abandon one of their main election pledges even if they believe the reports!
Saturday 3 October 2009
The Farce goes on
BBC - "Ireland backs EU's Lisbon Treaty".
The treaty still has to be fully ratified by the Czech Republic and Poland but it is touted as a done deal. Nick Clegg says that Europe can now turn to the top issue - climate change. But in the real world, today's vote makes no difference as the Union would have pressed till Ireland eventually voted the right way. As the Southern states found in 1861, some clubs do not allow exceptions to the rules and do not allow resignations.
More on European car clubs oppose the Con
Yesterday we had the opposition to the plan. Here, a bit late, is the plan - Europa - "Action Plan on Urban Mobility" press release more details of "Action Plan on urban mobility".
It is far from clear what, if anything, the EU is recommending rather than more "research". The Opinion of the Economic and Social Committee linked to the plan seems to oppose the idea of tolls - "22.214.171.124. The Committee does, however, regard the general introduction of road pricing in urban areas as problematic because of (a) the high level of local opposition to this idea, (b) the attendant administrative costs, and (c) the danger that traffic will be transferred away from central urban areas to outside areas, thereby jeopardizing the viability of inner-city areas. Rather than levying charges on traffic flows into urban areas, the levying of charges on stationary traffic (management of parking areas) should be extended; Park and Ride schemes could also be introduced in this context. The research projects currently being carried out in this connection are expected to provide valuable indications for further debate." Unfortunately this is what they said ten years ago and there are numerous interests that are pressing for road tolls.
Tory rank and file don't want road tolls
Telegraph - "Tim Montgomerie: Cameron does not want the Lisbon Treaty passed before he takes power".
Bit more on possible Dartford tolls change
News Shopper - "Government considering 'one-way charging regime'".
Reuters - "Mexico's ICA places $477 mln highway security". Investing in a road that you don't control is as mad as the secondary markets in housing mortgages.
Friday 2 October 2009
Sundry - "Ohio Turnpike working out E-ZPass kinks " Oregon / Washington State - "More toll scenarios for bridge discussed
" Arizona - "Learning to love toll roads" California - "HOT lanes on Highway 101 in Marin to undergo study" California - "Stop whining about toll lanes, says L.A. driver".
Dartford tolls may change
BBC - "One-way Dartford toll considered". If the aim is to reduce congestion then the answer is simple - remove the tolls BOTH ways.
European car clubs oppose the Con
Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile- "Congestion Charging Will Not Solve Traffic Problems in Cities". Oddly the AA and RAC who are toll fans are members of the FIA.
The EU is supplementing GALILEO with EGNOS which will give more exact positions for applications "like automatic road-tolling" - Europa - "Commission launches EGNOS Open Service - free access to citizens and businesses".
There are more details of EGNOS on the European Space Agency site which includes - "EGNOS can also be a good tool for Road Management. Examples include virtual tolling, Highway emergency alerts and so on. In fact, EGNOS together with Galileo is expected to be one of the key components of pan-European electronic road toll systems."
Inflation is working
BBC - "House prices 'back to 2008 level'".
Thursday 1 October 2009
BBC - "BAE Systems faces bribery charges".
Only in Britain would its largest manufacturer be prosecuted for allegedly using bribes to get export contracts. The defence firms in evey other country will be laughing.
Bit more on Cambridgeshire Cabinet approving Con plan
New Civil Engineer - "Cambridgeshire puts C-Charge at heart of £500M TIF cash bid".
New Nigerian tolls
All Africa - "Bi-Courtney, LCC Set to Ambush Lagos Motorists ".
Star Tribune - "A new era in 35W commuting". As one comment says the picture tells it all - toll lanes are a waste of space.
Another example of the propaganda that road tolls should replace gas tax because drivers are using less fuel - Popular Mechanics - "Should the US Tax Mileage or Fuel?".
Maryland politicians and bureaucrats to join the plebs - Baltimore Sun - "Legislators to lose their free E-ZPasses".
Airport takes over the toll road to finance rail line - Washington Post - "Agency Takes Over Dulles Toll Road Operation".
More tolls pushing - Grand Rapids Press (Michigan) - "Editorial: Fuel tax revenues won't provide stable road funding, but tolls could".
Sundry - "E-ZPass system implemented on Ohio Turnpike" Oregon / Washington State - "Bridge takes toll on mayor’s race" Minnesota - "New 35W commuter lanes flowing smoothly" New Jersey - "Thousands of unpaid tolls land limo driver in hot water" Texas - "Adkisson stumbled on proposal to dump tolls".
The RAC Foundation pushing tolls again
We don't know if they are following Red Ken or the far right but the RAC Foundation "charity" seem to prefer the old Mayor's ideas including road tolls but "Not just focused on the centre" but "a London-wide road charging scheme" BBC - "Mayor's bendy bus plan criticised" RAC Foundation - "Capital Chaos".
PS London Daily News - "Mayor hits back at RAC transport report".
Bit more on Meeting over Humber Bridge
BBC - "Meeting over bridge tolls future" Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Talks over £1 bridge toll trial".
Empty gift parcel
BBC - "Free parking plan for in-patients" Mirror - "NHS car park fees scrapped".
This story shows that politicians know what people want, it also shows that they will continue to soak drivers. This "promise" may never be honoured and even if it is, would only apply to a small proportion of those who park at hospitals. It would be interesting to know how much the NHS saves in ambulance costs compared with the times when few people had cars and many out patients were picked up. It would also be interesting to know why in a "National" Health service it is drivers from England who are soaked the most.
PM denies lower speed limits plan
10 Downing Street.
More Climate Speak
BBC - "US bill 'crucial' for climate talks" BBC - "Britons creating 'more emissions'" BBC - "$100bn a year for climate safety".