OCTOBER 2010 NEWS
Saturday 30 October 2010
Sundry stories - Columbia River crossing - "Planning tally for new I-5 bridge: $108.5 million" NJ - "The Record: Workers pay the toll" New Jersey - "Inquirer Editorial: Easy come, E-ZPass" Virginia - "Tolls for a new U.S. 460 could reach $11 per car" comments.
Virginia - "Toll proposals submitted for new U.S. 460" lot of comments Ohio River bridges - "No toll resolution stalls" Ohio River bridges - "Clark commissioners table anti-toll resolution" W Virginia - "Putnam candidate changes view on tolls" Virginia - "Group proposes $4-$6 tolls to ease Hampton Roads traffic issues" video & comments Texas - "I-35W to be widened by 2017 -- with toll lanes" comments.
NY's toll increases - Examiner - "DiNapoli blasts MTA over toll hike" Your Nabe - "AAA opposes raising tolls on New York City crossings" Empire State News - "MTA adopts new toll rates for its bridges and tunnelsd" Daily News - "MTA board votes to raise bridge, tunnel tolls; drivers will have to fork over $13 for the Verrazano" comments NY Times - "M.T.A. Board Raises Bridge and Tunnel Tolls" NY1 - "MTA Votes To Increase Tolls On Tunnels And Bridges" comments NBC - "MTA Approves Toll Hikes for Bridges, Tunnels" NY Times - "M.T.A. Approves Bridge and Tunnel Toll Increases" comments NBC - "M.T.A. Approves Bridge and Tunnel Toll Increases" comments NY1 - "MTA Board Approves Toll Increases" video Fox - "MTA Toll Hike Approved" video.
Dartford toll jams today and jam tomorrow
Kent News - "Plans for third Thames crossing in full swing".
Chancellor's Mersey Con
Liverpool Echo - "George Osborne visits second Mersey crossing site to give go ahead to £430m bridge".
Friday 29 October 2010
A silly question
Telegraph - "Electric cars: are they the answer to our environmental problems?" .
Interesting quote from TfL boss
From an interview in the Guardian - "The WEZ going will reduce volumes very slightly in the central area, actually, because less people from the western extension area will come in [as they will no longer qualify for a discount]. Traffic volumes in the western extension itself will rise but we don't think by very much." - "Peter Hendy: the full interview".
More on new South African tolls
Web Computing - "E-tolling fees up in the air".
Spanish businesses complain about Portugese tolls
Portugal News Online - "Galician Chamber of Commerce complains to EU about Portugal’s toll scheme".
Hall of fame
Irish Times - "Toll defaulters to be listed in 'Stubbs Gazette'".
More on the popular road
BBC - "M6 Toll is 'too costly' for Birmingham firms" BBC - "M6 widening scheme given go ahead by minister".
Interesting that the Coalition is to "reconsider.. plans for a link road between the M54 and the M6 Toll". As the only purpose of the road is to try and attract more traffic to the toll, the company were to pay all the costs. So what exactly is being reconsidered?
More on plastic
Western Mail - "Confusion over Severn bridge card payment removal" BBC - "'Confusion' as card payments on Severn Bridge suspended".
Tuesday 26 October 2010
Anti toll candidate is new Toronto mayor
Star - "Rob Ford’s Toronto: Fewer wildcat strikes, more subways". Will this be enough to silence the very vocal Toronto trolls?
NJ trolls may lose some of their perks - Courier-Post - "N.J. Turnpike Authority might curb perks" Record - "NJ Turnpike employees to lose some perks; officials vote today".
Journal-Sentinel (Wisconsin) - "A toll is a tax -- unless it's completely optional".
NY's proposed toll increases - NY - "MTA Board To Approve Toll Increases Tomorrow" video News LI - "Proposed Toll Hikes Unfair, Could Reduce Vital MTA Funding Source" CBS - "NYC Toll Hike May Take Cars Off Road" video Daily News - "Toll hikes may force 180,000 drivers off the road, says AAA, possibly losing money for MTA as well" comments.
Sundry stories - "Tolls coming to North Carolina highways" Texas - "Perry, White would take different roads to highway spending" New Jersey - "Inquirer Editorial: Easy come, E-ZPass" "NJ Turnpike Scandal a Microcosm of America" Illinois - "Who put the “toll” into freeway?".
Some views on South Africa's tolls
News24 - "Toll roads and freedom of press".
Road to nowhere
Guardian (Observer on Sunday) - "Government drives forward toll-road scheme to help fill cash gap".
Phillipines toll increases
Manila Standard Today - "Palace eyes toll hike relief".
More tolls ..
Business Spectator - "Transurban reaches Hills M2 upgrade contractual close".
.. and ..
Temasek Review - "ERP rates to increase at 23 gantries across Singapore" lot of comments Asia One - "ERP rates to increase by $1 at 23 gantries" lot of comments Straits Times - "ERP up $1 at 25 gantries" few comments.
.. and ..
Business Day - "Logistics firms on tenterhooks over Gauteng’s new freeway tolls".
.. more tolls
Kent Online - "Third Thames Crossing could create thousands of jobs" BBC - "New bridge over Thames 'should link with M11' in Essex".
Residents complain about trucks avoiding tolls
ABC - "Footscray residents call for less trucks for Moore St".
Some comment on the Spending Review
roadtransport.com - "CSR: questions remain over spending cuts".
Koreans invent more efficent mouse trap
Korea Times - "Samsung SDS unveils toll collection system".
Economic enigma, or not?
BBC - "UK economy grows a faster-than-expected 0.8%" ONS - "Gross domestic product
preliminary estimate - 3rd Quarter 2010".
It might seem strange that the Government is massively cutting expenditure but the economy is still growing. There are various answers to this riddle. One is that the cuts have not yet happened. A second answer is that we (and economies that we export to) are recovering from a recession. A third answer is that the Bank of England is aiding the Government to rob savers. This story on the BBC - "Savers 'losing £12bn in interest'" suggests that savers are losing £12 billion a year. In reality, the amount that savers receive net of tax is at least £100 billion a year less than the effect of inflation. Meanwhile the Governor gave a speech to a conference of economists yesterday in New York in which he did not mention inflation, not even once - BofE - "“Banking: From Bagehot to Basel, and Back Again”" pdf
Saturday 23 October 2010
One driver who doesn't like cashless tolls - Patriot-News (Pa.) - "Nix E-ZPass turnpike idea".
You get to chose how they bleed you - Seattle Times - "Drivers to have choice of 5 devices for paying tolls".
Sundry stories - Texas - "I-30 HOV lane in Arlington proves popular during test run" Wisconsin - "Walker backs creation of toll lanes" W Virginia - "Toll or no toll: Eight more miles of U.S. 35 open" Illinois - "Tollway chief firm on collecting from Indiana drivers" Florida - "New Beachline toll booth angers Wedgefield residents" video NY - "Mcmahon Slams Idea Of Two-Way Verrazano Tolls" "Gubernatorial candidates consider tolls to fund I-73 in SC" video New Jersey - "Casagrande on turnpike report: I told you so".
NY - "Toll users that pay cash to get slapped with big hike as other motorists get off E-Z with Pass" New Jersey - "Turnpike pay taking its toll" Newspaper.com - "New Jersey Toll Roads Waste $43 Million in Driver Cash" Texas - "Toll roads cost taxpayers" letter Louisiana - "Crescent City Connection toll monitoring system repaired".
33 per cent of drivers take their foot off the gas pedal because of fuel prices as against only 13 per cent that are influenced by speed cameas etc - FuelCard News - "Rising fuel prices, reducing speed".
The mystery is the 67 percent who don't seem to realise that if you press your foot on the gas, you use more fuel. Or do they all play for Man United?
Bit more on Chancellor's toll increases at Dartford
Thurrock Gazette - "Widespread condemnation for crossing charge hike".
Bit more on Chancellor's approval of plan to toll a currently free crossing
This is Cheshire - "Gateway will not face axe".
The news media mainly print what they get from the PR people and politicians. We wonder what the reaction of drivers will be when the toll booths go up?
Phillipines VAT on tolls case still in court
ABS-CBN - "After rate increase, Supreme Court to rule on VAT on toll".
More green nonsense from the BBC
"India and Brazil head move to 'green' economic future".
If these countries really cared about the environment and their people, they would not be over exploiting their natural resources and their people. More importantly they would also be trying to limit population growth - The population of Brazil has nearly quadrupled since 1950 (53 million to 201 million) and the population of India has more than trebled (370 million to 1,175 million) despite mass emigration.
Friday 22 October 2010
Thurrock Gazette - "Tolls increase to pay for new bridge" Evening Standard - "Dartford Crossing plans could spark fight for £1bn contract".
We wonder how many drivers will fall for the tale that the tolls are to pay for another bridge. The truth is that the trolls know that drivers are too weak to stop them doing what they like. If this Government really wanted to relieve congestion they would not be talking about another crossing that won't be built for a decade, and which would be difficult to integrate with the existing crossing. All they need to do is to lift the tolls tomorrow.
Welsh Cttee looking at Severn tolls
Bit more on the Welsh Affairs Committee looking at the tolls - Free Press - "MPs hear call for Severn bridge tolls to be frozen".
A real analysis of lorry tolls
roadtransport.com - "News analysis: To charge or not to charge?".
Materials Handling World - "Freight Transport Association FTA hits out at hike in London's daily Congestion Charge".
When a mini has to pay the same toll as a juggernaut, it is amazing that the hauliers complain. Do they think that they are above all laws - like the taxi drivers that ferry the political and business elite around?
Thanks given for the toll increase that vanished
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Campaigners welcome proposals allowing Humber Bridge tolls to be frozen".
Sounds a bit like the innocent man who has been told that he will only get a life sentence.
On the road scheme that the Chancellor has scrapped, and where it is suggested that they may have a toll instead
Cambridge News - "A14 toll would be ‘tax on drivers’".
More on the latest Australian toll push
ABC - "'Charge drivers' to reduce congestion".
Trolls say don't be scared
Engineering News - "Roads agency moves to quell fears that Gauteng tolls will make driving unaffordable".
Bit more on the electric car sales boom
Green Autoblog - "UK electric vehicle sales dropped to just 55 units in 2009".
Climate humour on the Beeb - "UK rail network 'at risk' from climate change" "Warming 'destabilises aquatic ecosystems'".
Thursday 21 October 2010
A bit more on the latest story about trolls with their snouts in the trough - Daily Record - "Abuse on the highways" Courier-Post - "Another toll agency badly needs reform" Land Line Mag - "New Jersey Turnpike wasted $43 million, audit finds".
An associate of the man who was elected Mayor on the basis that he opposed tolls (but doesn't) is trying to stop a real tolls opponent (we think!) - Colombian - "Complaint filed against NoTolls.com".
Sundry stories - "Feds say 'No' to Ohio River bridges funding" "U.S. rejects $135 million grant request to help fund Ohio River Bridges Project" NY / Canada - "Lawyers spar over release of Falls Bridge Commission information" "Revenue for North Texas Tollway Authority to jump to $444M next year" "New deal proposed for CEO of DRPA" Indiana - "His nose knows tolls and polls" W Virginia - "Tolling Route 35 The Defining Issue In The Putnam County Commissioners Race" video NY - "Two-way tolls on the Verrazano".
Poseurs fall on hard times
Guardian - "Figures show massive slump in UK sales of new electric cars".
Greens don't like Con relief for "green" cars
Business Green - "Controversy rages as low emission cars dodge congestion charge".
Australians go even more cuckoo
Daily Telegraph - "Plan to stop Australian mega-cities".
Toll removal saga may be nearing the end
Canada East - "New Brunswick premier to seek deal with Ottawa for Saint John Harbour Bridge".
Will they / won't they Humber tolls increase
Hull Daily Mail - "Humber Bridge tolls could be frozen – thanks to £5m maintenance budget surplus".
Bit more on Dartford toll increases
Handy Shipping Guide - "The Toll Charge Future For Britain's Freight Trucks" Echo - "Dartford Crossing tolls to rise to £2.50".
As usual the national news media in reporting on the tolls increase go for comments to the "AA" and "RAC" though they do not really represent a single driver -
Edmund King for the AA told the media "The hike in tolls is an act of highway robbery as these tolls should have been dropped not doubled in two years ... The prospect of drivers paying more in tolls and taxes yet still sitting in jams for years to come is not great at a time when it is important that the economy recovers."
Stephen Glaister for the RAC Foundation said "The 150,000 drivers using the Dartford Crossing each day will be very nervous about the planned hike in the toll, though moves to improve traffic flow might soften the blow slightly."
Amongst other transport announcements (including CrossRail escaping the axe), the Mayor said yesterday that the Western Con was definitely going - Daily Telegraph - "Congestion charge overhauled following review" Fulham Chronicle - "Congestion charge extension to be scrapped on Chrissp; tmas Eve".
The charge for the original Con zone will go up from eight pounds to ten pounds. But in our view that is a price worth paying to cage the beast into a smaller area.
Make it into a Carbon tax
Energy Savings Trust - "Public supports CO2 congestion charge system".
Surveys like this are often biased, but if it is true that 69% of people support a CO2 based Con, then it mainly shows how many gullible people there are.
Wednesday 20 October 2010
The Lying continues
DfT - "Transport Spending Review Press Notice" BBC - "Dartford Crossing toll charge to be increased" BBC - "Mersey bridge plan gets go ahead in Spending Review" Kent Online - "Dartford tolls to rise to £2.50".
Everyone knows that the congestion on the Dartford Crossing is caused by the tolls, it is a bare faced lie to claim that the Dartford money machine is there to reduce congestion.
The new Mersey Crossing is another Con trick, drivers are given the impression that they will be better off, the truth is that all the new bridge means is that drivers will have to pay to use what is currently a free crossing.
PS A slightly earlier story - The Dartford Times - "Protest days before decision on Dartford Crossing future". The Roads Minister says that - "“No decision has been made.”". Perhaps, the Minister (who in Opposition called for the tolls to be scrapped) ought to check on what the Chancellor has been up to.
PPS This must be one of the most incredible tales yet, an MP says that the Dartford tolls are being increased so that they can be removed - News Shopper - "MP speaks out about Dartford Crossing toll increase".
Another tribe of trolls getting fat - MyFoxNY - "Audit: NJ Turnpike Wasted Millions On Perks" video & lot of comments MyFoxPhilly - "Audit: $43M Wasted On NJ Turnpike Perks" video Daily Record - "Audit: NJ Turnpike Authority wasted $43 million" NJ Today - "Turnpike Authority Outlines Reforms In Wake Of Comptroller’s Audit" Courier-Post - "Audit: Turnpike Authority wastes millions" comments Jersey Journal - "Toll collectors union head said audit report maligned workers and they will fight cuts in benefits" Press of Atlantic City - "State comptroller: Motorists stuck with higher tolls as New Jersey Turnpike Authority wastes millions" CBS - "Audit Finds Excessive Perks For NJ Turnpike Employees" video.
Federals pushing tolls - newspaper.com - "Federal Agency Pushes States to Toll Existing Roads" Land Line Mag - "FHWA calls upon innovation, tolls to fight congestion".
And pushing tolls in Virginia - Virginian-Pilot - "How do we pay for America's roads?".
Though the message to politicians from Bill Graves at the American Trucking Associations conference in Phoenix was "Tolling is nowhere close to being as economically efficient as the tried and true, old fashioned fuel tax. To my Republican friends I say, 'Tolling is not the conservative solution for building roads and bridges.'".
Sundry stories - Indiana - "Lofty Illinois toll bills landing with thud" Georgia - "Reversible Lanes" video Indiana / Kentucky - "Jeffersonville Council approves anti-tolling resolution for existing Ohio River bridges" Texas - "TxDOT looks to tolls to widen I-35W".
Bit more on Euro tolls
roadtransport - "Transport ministers spark off Euro toll row" EuroPolitics - "Business organisations critical of Eurovignette deal" EurActiv - "EU deal on green road tolls leaves few happy".
Welsh Cttee looking at Severn tolls
Yesterday the Welsh Affairs Committee had its first evidence session on the tolls - South Wales Argus - "Hauliers join call to freeze Severn tolls" Parliament - "Severn Crossing Toll" (with a nice pic of the M6Toll) BBC - "'Severn tolls hitting firms hard'" South Wales Argus - "Severn Bridge tolls inquiry opens" roadtransport - "FTA battles unfair Severn Bridge toll hikes".
Bank fails to get it up
The Old Lady continues to follow a cheap money, high inflation policy - BBC - "Bank of England split three ways over policy" BofE - "Minutes Of The Monetary Policy Committee Meeting - 6 And 7 October 2010" pdf. But the money supply went down 0.3% last month - BofE - "Provisional estimates of broad money (M4) and credit (M4 lending)- September 2010" pdf.
It is curious that this is the last time that the BoE will publish the money supply figures through a statistical release. Is this because they are not important? Or the opposite?
Telegraph - "Boris Johnson: western extension of congestion charge will be axed today".
Moscow may fall into Con trap
Moscow News - "Congestion charge to tackle Moscow gridlock".
Maqtroll doing well ..
Sydney Morning Herald - "MQA, Intoll say revenue, traffic up". Among the roads with increased traffic and income is the M6Toll and we will be reporting separately on that.
.. though closer to home, not all roads are paved with gold
Brisbane Times - "Ratepayers to learn impact of Northern Link".
Budget crisis solved
Guardian - "Comprehensive spending review: you make the cuts".
If you select the "Department for Transport", the second item on the list is a "saving" of £75 billion if you "Privatise 10 per cent of the roads network and introduce charging".
Get on yer bike, or pay up
Doctors from the Institute of Public Health want "policies such as congestion charging and the cycle hire scheme" to make us healthier - Phys Org - "It is unclear if programs to encourage cycling are effective".
A brief history of the Edinburgh trams tragedy
Caledonian Mercury - "Comment: a slow-motion tram wreck".
Steady on the booze
BBC - "Mervyn King warns of 'sober' decade ahead" BofE - "Speech by Mervyn King - 19 October" pdf.
Real Science - "Why GISS Temperatures Are Too High".
Monday 18 October 2010
Bit more on Euro tolls
Euractiv - "Ministers agree on green road charging".
Sundry stories - Louisiana - "CCCD audit and toll meeting planned".
Australian drivers can't get enough of tolls
Australasian Transport News - "Truck charges a blueprint for wholesale reform: AAA".
Bit of recaction to proposal for a Con on Nova Scotian bridge
Chronicle Herald - "Higher rush hour tolls unfair to bridge users".
Sunday 17 October 2010
More e-tolls kaos - Record (NJ) - "Into valley of ' all others ' go those without E-ZPass".
Political risks for trolls
The Hindu - "Tales about the toll that tolls take".
Government to add tolls to an untolled crossing
Click Liverpool - "Runcorn toll bridge 'will go ahead' says Chancellor" BBC - "Mersey £431m bridge plan escapes spending review cuts".
This scheme should have been the first to be cut, and the Coalition have made a very big mistake by throwing public money into such a terrible project.
Selling tolls to the masses
Mirror - "Motor minister".
He has a lot of rivals in previous Ministers in the DfT but Norman Baker is possibly one of the most anti roads and anti drivers Ministers that we've had. So why is an ex Top Gear presenter making him out to be a saint? The answer is that they both support road charging.
Saturday 16 October 2010
Funeral tolls - Dallas Morning News - "Oklahoma draws ire for toll-road policy that would bill McKinney soldier's funeral procession" Ozarks First - "Controversy Over Toll Road Fees for Soldier Funerals".
Attempt to rein in DRPA trolls - Philadelphia Inquirer - "Pa. Senate passes bill to boost control over DRPA".
E-tolls does not stand for e-fficient - Express-Times - "Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission says 2,800 affected by unwarranted toll violation notices, collection glitch being corrected".
.. though it can benefit drivers - Salt Lake Tribune - "Glitch prompts UDOT to refund tolls".
Vultures gather - WSJ - "Private Investors Push Public Projects".
Slight delay in Texas Toll Rush - Texas - "NTTA: No toll planned for Highway 161 stretch" Texas - "NTTA chairman: Staff idea to toll free road not vetted by board, will be killed" NBC - "Going From Freeway to Toll Road".
Sundry stories - NY - "Nadler Revives Fight Against Trucker Giveaway on Verrazano" W Virginia - "It's good to be careful about financing U.S. 35" Land Line Mag - "Illinois Tollway targets unpaid tolls from Indiana drivers".
Possible Polish city tolls
Warsaw Business Journal - "Self-defeating toll on Poland's ring roads in the works, says daily".
As usual the NOAA have published their monthly temperature figures a bit later than NASA / GISS, and as usual they give slightly different results. As per GISS, 2010 is so far the warmest year ever (by 0.05 degrees Celsius), but the NOAA say that it is only tied with 1998 - even down to the spurious two places of decimals - NOAA - "Year-to-Date Global Temperature Ties for Warmest on Record".
As has been the case over the last 12 months, these records are now hardly reported in the Press.
Police catch arch criminal
CKNW - "Golden Ears fraudster caught".
Trolls last fling
The Commission for Integrated Transport are to be abolished, but in the meantime have issued a flurry of reports and recommendations, including having a lot more tolls - Pistonheads - "Axe falls on quango promoting nightmares for motorists" comments Transport Xtra - "Cut concessionary travel spend and raise motoring taxes says CfIT" CfIT - "Transport Challenges and Opportunities - Getting more from less" pdf.
Let's hope that along with the CfIT trolls their misnamed "Motorists' Forum" also gets the chop.
More on Euro tolls
Reuters - "EU ministers tell hauliers: polluters should pay" Europa - "Review of the Directive on charging Heavy Goods Vehicles – "Eurovignette Directive"- Questions and Answers" IEWY - "Road charging: Heavy lorries to pay for costs of air and noise pollution".
Bit more on Con in Nova Scotia to save the Earth
The usual nonsense about how drivers will put up with congestion, but if you charge higher tolls then they will decide to travel offpeak - Chronicle Herald - "Rush-hour pricing is worldwide trend". The truth is that in those cases where there is already a toll, it is usually that which causes the congestion.
This next comment piece in the same paper almost seems to be saying that "the middle class — far and away the country’s largest income group", should be charged for breathing, but in the meantime let's have more tolls, otherwise there will be "no planet" -
Chronicle Herald - "If higher tolls help save the Earth, bring ’em on".
You can see some of the comments added to the news report - Chronicle Herald - "Peak-period bridge tolls an option".
More on new Portugese tolls and protest flop
The Reader - "Tolls protest goes ahead without causing disruption" The Reader - "Portugal unveils expensive -and chaotic- toll system for national motorways".
One view from Ireland where drivers are also too weak to protest
Independent - "How we let ourselves be seduced by the toll".
Going too far?   Softpedia - "Carbon Dioxide Keeps Warming the Climate".
The GISS by suggesting that "carbon dioxide is responsible for 80% of the radiative forcing that sustains global warming" and that without it the Earth would be "plunged into an icebound state" may get people worrying that we don't have enough CO2!
Friday 15 October 2010
Labour criticise Tory for voting for Humber tolls increase
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Councillor Keith Vickers voted for a rise in Humber Bridge tolls at meeting".
More on Euro tolls
Thanks to Brian for pointing out this item, which shows Britain's involvement - DfT - "EU Transport Council - Statement by Sec of State". And here is a report from EurActiv - "Belgium eyes EU breakthrough on green road tolls"
GISS have just published the global temperatures for September - "GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index" (near bottom of page).
As we always mention it needs to be borne in mind that the GISS is controlled by believers and that they select which measurements to use and which to ignore, and they then adjust the temperatures. According to GISS the anomaly for September is plus 0.56 degrees Celsius from the average for 1951 to 1980. This is their 4th highest ever September figure, and was only beaten by 2003, 2005 and 2009. If you take the average for the months January to September then it is their highest ever figure at plus 0.66. The warmest year ever according to them was 1998, but that was only 0.61 higher for the same period, so it looks as if 2010 will end as being officialy the warmest year since 1880 when the GISS series begins.
BBC - "Climate panel agrees 'milestone' reforms, defers others".
Thursday 14 October 2010
Sundry stories - Texas - "Existing freeways could be tolled" SF Bay bridge - "Drivers time trips to save on tolls, take BART" "Technology replaces interaction on PA turnpike" W Virginia - "Tolls study not yet finalized" W Virginia - "Financial details for U.S. 35 tolls delayed".
Better off to be forced on to their bikes?
Evening Standard - "Black cabs could be hardest hit by pollution controls".
We have pointed out before that most of the more obnoxious vehicle emissions (i.e. fine particulate matter) in city centres comes from lorries, buses and taxis. Taxis are exempt from the Con charge and get to use bus lanes, partly because their drivers are not tame pussycats and partly because a London taxi is the favoured mode of transport for the ruling classes. So it is most unlikely that taxis will lose their privileges.
South Korea's empty toll roads kept in the black by the Government
Korea Herald - "Another LH Corp.?".
Proposal to hike toll in Nova Scotia
CBC - "Higher bridge toll for rush hour considered" comments.
More on Humber tolls
Hull Daily Mail - "MPs battle for wide-ranging bridge tolls review in 'make or break' campaign".
More on Euro tolls
AFP - "Europe's heavy lorries face new "green" tax" European Voice - "Driving down pollution - Call for outbreaks of common sense on road-charging" Irish Times - "EU plan to toll heavy vehicles for pollution and noise" IEWY - "Review of the Directive on charging Heavy Goods Vehicles – “Eurovignette Directive”- Questions and Answers".
Wednesday 13 October 2010
More of the usual non-sense - Alt Transport - "“Pay As You Go” Or The Gas Tax? We Need Both".
Columbian - "Madore pumps $100,000 more into anti-tolls effort".
AJC (Georgia) - "Tolls a consequence of avoiding real issue".
Sundry stories - Indiana / Pennsylvania - "Man receives ticket for another driver's offense" "'Toll-By-Plate' starts on portion of Florida's Turnpike in Miami-Dade County" N Carolina - "Eastern Wake toll road in the planning stages".
Oklahoma - "Millions Of Dollars From Toll Hike Going To Service Plazas, Not Roads" "Hoosiers facing hefty bills for missed Illinois tolls" "LaHood Says He'll Discuss New Jersey Train-Tunnel `Options' With Christie".
Florida - "Sticker shock from I-95 SunPass lanes? Likely to stay" Washington State - "Photo-Tolling Is Dubious 'Benefit' for Bridge Users" Pennsylvania - "Toll change could be heavy on turnpike".
Indiana - "Heck no, we won’t toll? Group says separate public meeting is not good enough" NY - "Congestion Pricing Would Help D’town B’klyn Traffic" NY - "Fare Hike Approved; Bridge, Tunnel Tolls Next" .
Massachusetts - "Charlie Baker vows no new tolls" Georgia - "Toll Lane Funding Hits Roadblock" Washington State - "New Narrows Bridge toll-payment method has doubters" Ohio River - "Anti-toll group silenced, bridge tolls likely" video.
Row over tolls
The Age - "Shotgun blast before bicycle getaway".
Builders want drivers to pay for rail
SMH - "User-pay call to fund roads" The Age - "Tax peak-hour drivers to build rail: IPA".
To Con or not to Con
Supply Chain - "Feds put congestion charging on the table" ABC - "Oppn denies plans for congestion tax" Cowra Guardian - "Coalition puts congestion toll on 'fair deal for motorists' agenda".
Another toll may be on the way
Herald (Melbourne) - "Footscray tunnel may have a road toll Premier John Brumby reveals".
Trolls to try and cut back on overcharging bikers
CTv - "Fix promised for Golden Ears Bridge toll problem" video.
A day in the life of Ivan the Toll man
Hurriyet Daily News - "Turkish film 'Toll Booth' looks at life inside the box".
The story says that "“The European Union does not even sell tomatoes which grow near the highway". Nice to see that the Eurotrolls realise that tolls = more pollution.
On the Inevitable
Bristol Evening Post - "Tuesday thoughts: Trevor Colman MEP".
Irish way of getting out of recession ...
Meath Chronicle - "Taxpayer to pay the penalty on tolls" Herald - "I received a bill for €17,000 - just for using the M50" Irish Times - "Low road traffic levels could cost State €100m".
... and Portugese
Business Week - "Portuguese to Protest Plan to Use Toll Booths to Trim Deficit".
More Welsh masochism
The FSB have published a report which says that the tolls will never be abolished but that the "benefits" of them should go to Wales - Western Mail - "Severn tolls profits ‘should stay in Wales’".
More on proposed Humber tolls increase
Hull Daily Mail - "Humber Bridge toll: 'Tell the Government how price of crossing hurts us'" Scunthorpe Telegraph - "North Lincolnshire Council to hold meeting on Humber Bridge tolls" Hull Daily Mail - "Humber Bridge tolls: Retailers predict cuts would help business boom".
More tolls in South Africa
Sowetan Live - "Gauteng tolls to start on roads next year" comments Business Day - "Road agency defends toll increases for heavy duty vehicles" Business Report - "Sanral braces for long road ahead".
Some reaction to proposed lorry tolls
roadtransport.com - "Road charging: is it a blessing?".
Flagellation today in Ireland with their cat-of-nine tolls
Mayo Advertiser - "MEP slams road toll proposals in the west" Herald - "Time for 'disaster' Dempsey to go before he does even more damage with his crazy road tolls scheme" Herald - "Editorial: New M50 toll plan is outrageous" Herald - "Fury as minister signals backing for new road fees".
A well known sceptic discusses criticism of on him - Canada Free Press - "Environmental Propaganda and Strategies: Personal Attacks, Never the Issues".
BBC - "Population shifts 'substantially influence' emissions".
Anyone who gave any real thought to the issue would realise that a population that is increasing by 75 million every year is a major problem for emissions and just about everything else on Earth. Unfortunately Greens turn a blind eye to this issue and instead focus on their faith in the nebulous 'climate change. Most AGW sceptics also ignore the issue, as many are from the far right who believe that there should be no attempt to constrain population growth.
Monday 11 October 2010
BBC - "UN climate talks in China end without breakthrough".
The Met Office says that last month in the UK "temperatures overall were close to or above normal". (Previously they have explicitly said that the comparison is with "1971–2000 average") - Met Office - "September 2010" Met Office - anomaly maps (you may have to change the default selection).
A maverick scientist's view - Op-Ed News - "Professor Emeritus Hal Lewis Resigns from American Physical Society - Says Global Warming is a huge scam" Watts Up - "Hal Lewis: My Resignation From The American Physical Society – an important moment in science history".
Thursday 7 October 2010
"Experts On Tolls To Report To Elected Officials On Proposed Toll Lanes On I-405 And Sr 167". The so called "independent" expert is from the trolls group called the "Reason" Foundation.
Sundry stories - Massachusetts - "Driver killed in crash at Hampton tolls identified" Massachusetts - "I-95 toll wreck claims life of Mass. man" Illinois - "Indiana officials want no part of toll dispute" Massachusetts - "Charlie Baker cost Hub drivers big dough".
Georgia - "New Toll Lanes Proposed for I-75" video Florida - "Orange Co. Mayor Candidates Want Toll Hike Roll Back" Land Line Mag - "Clock ticking on Ohio tolling bill"
Texas - "MoPac toll lane plan proposed" video Florida - "Toll Road Sign In Jax Sparks Debate" video Georgia - "Toll lane proposal for I-75, I-575 to get public input".
A wild man has been found wandering in the outback, he says that he doesn't believe in tolls
The man is believed to be an economist, but surely not! The Australian - "The hidden cost of road pricing".
Inflation ship to stay on steady course
BBC - "UK interest rates on hold at record low of 0.5%" BofE - "Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate at 0.5% and the size of the Asset Purchase Programme at £200 Billion".
It is not surprising that the Old Lady is keeping interest rates at a low rate that fuels inflation. What is surprising is that they have not printed more money.
European draft paper argues for car tolls on all main roads as well as higher tolls for trucks
European Voice - "‘Radical action' needed if EU is to hit climate-change targets" European Voice - "Lorry drivers to be asked to pay cost of pollution".
It would be interesting to know the extent of the corruption that will be needed to persuade European politicians that tolls, rather than fuel taxes and more efficient engines, are the way to reduce vehicle emissions.
Another sign that the Government will be backing plans for more tolls ..
Runcorn and Widnes Weekly News - "£431m Mersey Gateway bridge between Runcorn and Widnes ‘odds on’".
.. while Humber region is given 'hope' that there will be less tolls
BBC - "Treasury review into Humber bridge tolls" Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Chancellor George Osborne to review Humber Bridge tolls" poll Grimsby Telegraph - "Fresh hope on Humber Bridge tolls as Treasury announces plans for major review" Hull Daily Mail - "Coalition to look at cutting Humber Bridge tolls: Treasury review a 'huge step forward'".
More on Rock and tolls
Gibraltar Chronicle - "New York Times Picks Up Sanchez Toll Troubles" NY Times - "Southern Spain Tries to Cope With Economic Downturn".
Government defends plan for more Irish tolls misery
Independent - "Dempsey supports increase in tolls across motorways" Irish Times - "Tolls not causing many diversions, says Minister".
The solar issue gets cloudier - Nature - "Declining solar activity linked to recent warming" Space - "Sun's Surprise: Even As It Relaxes, It May Heat Earth's Climate" Watts Up - "Study sheds new light on how the sun affects the Earth’s climate" BBC - "Solar surprise for climate issue".
The generally accepted theory has been that the Earth is cooler during a solar minimum - which is usually defined as being when there are relatively few sunspots. The main item of contention was how significant this was, with the AGW church saying that the effect was very small and that there was no correlation with Earth's temperatures.
Very recently it has been suggested that what may be more significant is the effect that variations in solar particles have, not directly on the temperature, but by their changing the jet streams. This latest story confuses the issue further.
Whatever the case it seems that the Sun is still struggling to leave the current minimum, as today there are officially no sunspots!
Wednesday 6 October 2010
Tolls protest - NY1 - "Queens Residents Call For End To Cross Bay Bridge Toll" video Wpix - "Rockaway Residents March Across Bridge To Protest Tolls" video.
One bust toll road to be taken over by new vultures - Sign On San Diego - "SANDAG eyeing purchase of South Bay Expressway".
Sundry stories - Pennsylvania - "Pa. Turnpike will study all-electronic collection of tolls" Columbia River crossing - "Local leaders voice opposition to I-205 tolls" Texas - "MoPac toll plan coming into focus" lot of comments.
Florida - "Head of Transportation Commission calls for toll roads in Jacksonville" Virginia - "Tolls here, there and everywhere" comments Georgia - "Construction Begins on I-85 HOT Lanes" video
DC region - "ICC will require E-ZPass" Georgia - "Pro & Con: Should the state continue collecting tolls on Ga. 400?" Virginia - "Effect of possible HRBT tolls" video.
Ireland faces more widespread tolls misery
There have been various reports in the Independent (which have been repeated in the rest of the Irish news media) anout the National Roads Authority coming up wuth a mega tolls plan - "Motorists face blitz of new tolls on main roads" "Catching more in tolls' net" "Money now the driving force behind new tolls" "How charges add up for drivers" "Time to replace old 'unfair' system".
It would be interesting to know why Irish politicians who claim to be "green" and not corrupt, are pushing an unpopular tolls system while keeping fuel taxes relatively low (diesel is about 14 pence a litre cheaper in the Republic than in the North).
There is a separate report that some existing toll assets have been sold at what seems to be a bargain price for the purchaser - Irish Trucker - "NTR road assets sold".
Londoners say "no" again
This story is presumably reporting results of the last consultation which closed on 2nd August but there is nothing on the TfL site - BBC - "Most want London congestion charge extension scrapped".
More on Top Ten congested roads
Wirral News - "A survey finds that the Wirral approach to the Wallasey tunnel is the most congested stretch of road outside London".
When we last reported this we pointed out that the second most congested road in Britain was on the approach to the tolls on the tunnel from Wallasey to Liverpool. What we did not point out is that the third most congested road is also on the approach to a set of tolls - the Warburton Bridge which crosses the Manchester Ship Canal (though tolls to cross the canal would not be legal so the booths are in theory to cross another stretch of road).
The full list of roads compiled by TomTom is below with the number of hours of delay in a week -
1. Bedford Road, Clapham, south London - 92
2. Kingsway Tunnel Approach, Wallasey, Merseyside - 90
3. B5159 Warburton Bridge Road, Warburton, Greater Manchester - 86
4. Eastern Bypass Road, Oxford - 86
5. A30 Ringway South, Basingstoke, Hampshire - 86
6. A214 Trinity Road, Wandsworth, south-west London - 85
7. Uxbridge Road, Southall and South Ealing, west London - 85
8. Ringway North, Basingstoke, Hampshire - 84
9. A4200 Eversholt Street, Camden, north London - 84
10. Burntwood Lane, Wandsworth, south west London - 84
Roads Minister tells FTA that a lorry toll will be "a simple system"
Roadtransport.com - "Penning promises not to add to industry taxes".
Bit more on fresh attempt to raise Humber bridge tolls
Roadtransport.com - "RHA lambasts proposals to raise Humber Bridge tolls" Hull Daily Mail - "Humber Bridge tolls: Councils want debt solution as they warn against price rise".
Car sales down
BBC - "UK car sales fall for third month".
Guardian - "Is the media's job to campaign on climate change?". We thought that they came "off the fence" long ago!
Tuesday 5 October 2010
Now you see it, now you don't
This is the story where the link went AWOL last night - Telegraph - "Western extension of C-charge could stay, says Boris aide".
Suggestion that India sell its roads
Economic Times - "After spectrum, why not auction roads?".
Big bikes pay more
CTv - "Refunds promised after Golden Ears toll errors" video.
Monday 4 October 2010
'Western extension of C-charge could stay, says senior Boris aide'
Google has a link to this story on the Andrew Gilligan blog at the Telegraph site, but the story is not there.
USA Roundup - later stories
Washington State - "Narrows tolls will be payable by mail" W Virginia - "Some residents consider skipping toll road".
Following elections, a deal to remove tolls on New Brunswick bridge may at last be made
Telegraph-Journal - "Smitherman’s budget plan wins over Thomson".
More tolls for Athens
Kathimerini - "More Attica tollgates on the cards".
From the Tory conference
Conservatives - "Speech by Philip Hammond: Government announces plans for next phase of high speed rail".
As far as drivers are concerned, he says two main things. One is that he will give "local people the right to decide what's right for them", which basically means more power to the local authorities who are usually anti-motorist.
The other idea is switching to electric cars, apparently with the aim of cutting back on "carbon". We thought Mr Hammond had more sense than to believe any of this nonsense, or is he saying this just to please the Blue-greens and the Lib Dems, and because he has no money to spend on anything real (apart from more railway lines)?
No roads group want lorry tolls
Campaign for Better Transport - "Lorry road user charging: UK lorry drivers face unfair competition from abroad".
The CBT, are pretty much saying the same as the hauliers. In our view they are all wrong. The problem that needs to be addressed is foreign registered lorries driving on British roads having first filled up with cheaper fuel on the Continent. A tolling system that met EU rules would do little about that and instead would have the main effect of increasing road transport costs for all hauliers - perhaps that is why the CBT is backing it.
Is George the new Robin Hood?
BBC - "Child benefit to be scrapped for higher taxpayer".
Universal benefits have three advantages - they are cheap to administer, there is no stigma attached to claiming them, and it means that the benefit is not denied to the very people who are paying the taxes that fund the benefits. The Chancellor's reform is apparently on the basis that people will be asked to declare on their tax forms whether anyone in the same house is receiving child benefit, and the benefit would then be clawed back. On the Today programme this morning the Chancellor even suggested that to save a lot of bother people should not take the benefit in the first place.
As Britain is already overpopulated, might it not be even simpler to replace child benefit with either a family benefit (that did not increase with more children) or no benefit at all?
More on Illinois's pursuit of Indiana drivers - NWI Times - "Indiana drivers fighting mad over Illinois Tollway fines".
At least they are not going to jail, yet - Star-Telegram (Texas) - "Unpaid Tollway Authority bills can land you in jail".
"Citizens League" says that putting tolls on some of the existing lanes will cure congestion (and the common cold?) - Star Tribune (Minnesota) - "Metro traffic can flow on existing roads".
Bit more on the man giving financial backing to notolls.com - Colombian - "The man behind the no-bridge-tolls money".
New Jersey salutes New York - NY Post - "Toll dodgers' E-Z way out".
Sundry stories - W Virginia - "Some residents consider skipping toll road" Maine - "Don't widen more of the turnpike: Expand commuter bus service".
Courier Mail - "Flood of spending on roads fails to free up traffic as Brisbane drivers take longer to get home". One comments says "Only difference is now we get to pay a lot more for the privilege of sitting in our cars.".
Another possible crash
BBC - "New bank bail-out risk, New Economics Foundation warns".
The likely response of central banks to this possibility will be more cheap money. This could be the time to start looking for another planet.
Is George the new enemy of the motorist?
The Chancellor thinks that a scheme which will toll a currently free crossing is a good idea - BBC - "Chancellor gives backing to Mersey Gateway scheme".
There have been other recent reports that two of the Transport Ministers - Norman Baker and Mike Penning are also backing the tolls plan.
Another preliminary meeting before the Cancun Synod - BBC - "Key UN climate talks open in China".
Cambridge Network - "Doing the right thing for the wrong reasons".
Saturday 2 October 2010
Sundry stories - Virginia - "HRBT proposal would mean hefty tolls" Virginia - "Private firms pitch Hampton Roads Bridge-Tunnel expansion" comments "Ohio Turnpike E-ZPass wins favor as raised tolls boost revenue" W Virginia - "Mason County Commission approves tolls on U.S. 35".
Bit more on Board having another go at raising tolls
Grimsby Telegraph - "Campaigners vow to keep on fighting Humber Bridge tolls" Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Coach firm gets on board for Humber Bridge toll fight" Hull Daily Mail - "Humber Bridge price rise plan 'would take toll on region's small businesses'".
Friday 1 October 2010
More on Board having another go at raising tolls
Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Campaigners warn Humber Bridge toll rise would devastate local economy" inc poll Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Plans to increase Humber Bridge tolls would be 'economic suicide'" Grimsby Telegraph - "Humber Bridge toll trouble boils up for businesses and van drivers" lot of comments Yorkshire Post - "Humber Bridge-tolls rise 'bad for business'" Hull Daily Mail - "Anger as planned £6 return trip to make Humber Bridge Britain's most expensive toll" lot of comments.
Ulster salute to Irish tolls
Independent - "Half of all Northern drivers still not paying M50 tolls" Belfast Telegraph - "Half of Northern Ireland drivers dodge Dublin toll".
Another 1.175 pence tax on fuel ...
BBC - "Does Fuel Duty Work?".
... but war on drivers is eased a bit
BBC - "Government to scrap M4 bus lane". Is it a coincidence that this was announced today?
A warning to those who don't care about warming (you may find that the video is in poor taste) - EU Refeferendum - "Eco-jihad - the movie".