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Old 20-11-2012   #1
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Unhappy Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

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Old 21-11-2012   #2
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

Well, we knew it was coming, and we also know that they are going to increase the charges on the present tax bands, because people are buying more fuel efficient cars and the Revenue is losing money.

Death and taxes!
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Old 21-11-2012   #3
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

Trust a politician as you would trust a snake!
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Old 24-11-2012   #4
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

I seem to remember that the Greater London Council moved the goalposts a couple of years after the scheme was introduced. The reason was that the scheme was working. Because of the charge more people were leaving their cars at home and using public transport.

What the hell was that all about? You introduce a scheme designed to reduce the amount of traffic entering London which works brilliantly and the number of vehicles goes down.....of course, if the number of cars reduces so the amount of money coming into the Authority also goes down.

To me, this is where the duplicity of politicians really shows itself. The Congestion Charging scheme wasn't a system designed to reduce traffic, it was simply a plan to bring in more tax revenue.

About 3 or 4 years ago, the then Transport Secretary came to Mancland and stated that there was money needed to upgrade the infrastructure of the transport system and the only way to do it was by congestion charging.

And I quote: "There is no plan B". Guess what. There was. We are now in the midst of the Metrolink extension that we were told could not go ahead without that money. Also other road improvements would be off the menu, yet, one that was first mooted in 1966 is in the final planning stages.

A cynic might say that the next stage in the London Congestion Charging master plan would be to reduce bus train and tube services which would mean less money spent on transport but, more importantly, more traffic, more charges, and therefore more money to spend on Councillors' expenses, hotel accomodation and air fares to exotic locations.
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Old 24-11-2012   #5
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

Quote Originally Posted by The Beard View Post
A cynic might say that the next stage in the London Congestion Charging master plan would be to reduce bus train and tube services which would mean less money spent on transport
My radio always tuned to traffic announcements, and I'd say with train & tube outages I hear about almost every day, they are pretty much on track already in this respect.

BTW, one of my acquaintances pretty much answered my silly question "why they don't improve the road infrastructure?", - "what, you silly?! imagine what will become of our London house prices we paid dearly for, if you could just easily commute from miles away! no new roads, thanks!"
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Last edited by Ingvarr; 24-11-2012 at 11:53.
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Old 25-11-2012   #6
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

There is a truism that states that if you build and improve more roads more people will use them, partly because those that used to use public transport will use their own vehicles and partly because people will go for jobs/promotion further away from home because access is easier and quicker.

At one time they would have moved to be closer to a new job, now they just commute.

It should also be remembered that at one time the male was the main wage earner and the wife usually had a "nice little job to give her some spends". I almost feel like adding "bless her". Nowadays it's almost as likely that the female partner will earn as much, if not more than the male partner which is another reason why people don't move when they get a new job.
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Old 26-11-2012   #7
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

Quote Originally Posted by The Beard View Post
There is a truism that states that if you build and improve more roads more people will use them, partly because those that used to use public transport will use their own vehicles and partly because people will go for jobs/promotion further away from home because access is easier and quicker.
... and what I don't get, is why this tried to be represented with bad connotations? "they will use these new roads we build for them, how dare they!"

I mean, progress is a wonderful thing, even when its not strictly needed to be able to live

Public transport is good, when it works. I don't think it works so well in London, with all these strikes and signalling outages. And the problem is, its mostly built without parallel routes in mind. If main road is blocked, with car I almost always have at least 2 backup routes, with public transport - not so much, always some part of journey you can't quite bypass.

And forcing people to move close work due to lack of adequate transport infrastructure is a well-known road to overpopulated/overpriced cities.
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Last edited by Ingvarr; 26-11-2012 at 09:54.
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Old 04-12-2012   #8
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

From 1974, the M60 motorway ended at Stockport in its Cheadle suburb and stayed that way until 1982 which left a gap of about 14 miles up to the M62 junction near Birch. Somehow the traffic managed to get from the westbound M62 to the M56 then M6 southbound by going round the outside of Greater Manchester anti-clockwise until 2000 when it finally became a fully fledged orbital motorway.

In fact, at some point in the mid noughties it set the record of averaging over 180,000 vehicles per day which was even more than the M25 at the time.

So what did all the traffic do before the M60 was completed and where did it all come from afterwards? It's long been a bone of contention among those who support versus those who oppose motorway building. Does the lack of motorways impede growth? Quite a few years ago I used to have to travel from the North East back to Mancland and after a while I realised I was recognising more and more drivers and vehicles. It was quite obvious that more and more people were making a daily commute from West Yorkshire to Greater Manchester, a distance of anywhere from 30 to 60 miles. I dread to think what their fuel bill is now.

So my question is: Are these people, and the regions they live and work in any better off for all the new motorways and road systems? I live a 15-20 minute drive from where I work, 13 miles, of which 12 is on the M60 so that motorway is very important to me. As an alternative I've looked at buses, trains and a combination of the two to get to work but as I start on earlies at 06:00 I actually can't get there in time other than by car.

Having said that, I've recently bought a bicycle and by the Spring I hope to be able to ride to work at least a couple of times a week.

As a country, we have to get about, but over the years I've begun to ask whether or not we've just added several hours to our working week and are costing ourselves so much in fuel costs that it can wipe out whatever increase in earnings we may have started out with.

As an example, Mrs. Beard replaced her (written off) Stilo with an older Alfa 156 2 litre on the basis that she only commuted 6 miles a day and because of her 12 hour shifts worked would be in work 5 days one week and 2 the next. Unfortunately, after a couple of years her employers moved which now means she has a 30 mile round trip. She now has a fuel bill 5 times higher than a few months ago.

My point in commenting on building a road then it becoming as overcrowded as all the others is that it's a little like installing more and more safety devices in cars, instead of using these devices to make themselves safer, drivers simply get closer to the car in front and drive faster. On the roads, we build new ones and then more people drive on them, thus we are no better off than we were before.
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Old 04-12-2012   #9
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

Quote Originally Posted by The Beard View Post
On the roads, we build new ones and then more people drive on them, thus we are no better off than we were before.
Sorry, I fail to see your point. We are better exactly because more people now are able to drive on given route, which is the was the whole point of extending the road capacity. If there still congestion on given route, this just will mean its still has not enough capacity. Its a logical fallacy saying "we've extended it once/twice/etc, it still congested => however much we extend it, it will stay congested forever". Also, a lot of roads are congested not because everybody wants to use particular route, but because of poor planning and lack of proper network of alternates.
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Last edited by Ingvarr; 04-12-2012 at 11:51.
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Old 13-12-2012   #10
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

Quote Originally Posted by The Beard View Post
] On the roads, we build new ones and then more people drive on them, thus we are no better off than we were before.
That was EXACTLY my point. So many residents of West Yorkshire commute on a daily basis to the Greater Manchester area that I think it's a reasonable suggestion to make that a not dis-similar number must do the journey in the opposite direction. Making a slightly silly extrapolation, but if the trend were to carry on in the same vain, most of the population of the Leeds/Bradford area would be commuting to Manchester and most of the population of Greater Manchester will end up commuting to Leeds, or Bradford or Kirklees.

Before the M62 (and others) was built most people worked within a 15 mile radius of where they lived because there was no quick and reliable way of commuting long distances. As motorway expansion has continued more and more choose to make longer journeys for work, but the longer they do the job the worse the traffic becomes. A friend of Mrs. Beard jumps in her company Insignia and drives/crawls the 30 mile (plus) journey from Rossendale to Leeds every day. Another friend drives his BMW 520 from near Stockport to Preston 5 days a week. There are only two things that connect both of those people and that is a Motorway between where they live and where they work; and they each have a car provided by their employer and a fuel card to go with it. Neither would have thought for a moment about taking those jobs (promotion in each case) if there hadn't been a car and fuel supply thrown into the deal.

I can't remember meeting anyone who said: "Do you know what? I really look forward to spending an hour (or more) sitting in a queue of traffic getting more and more stressed over whether I'll get to work on time." or "It's nearly six, oh yeah, I look forward to standing traffic every night."

Mrs. Beard fell into a similar trap about 10 years ago. Firm's car, All Star fuel card and every night she'd come home with a headache after the Manchester to Stoke to Manchester grind. She gave herself 12 months and found a job closer to home. She's never regretted it once.

It's bit like the housing market. If the supply is ongoing then the demand will keep rising to meet it, until something happens to put a brake on the demand such as a mortgage rate rise or rising unemployment. If petrol/diesel prices keep on going up, and wages stay static, perhaps that will force people to look closer to home for work, but until then I've become more and more convinced that continuing to widen motorways is simply a viscous circle and something we can ill afford in the present economic climate.

The first motorway was built two years after I was born. Since then we seem to have gone past the point whereby motorways became useful and are now well into a fait accompli, namely, we've given birth to a Frankenstein and we can't kill it now because it's become too big. When I first started using the M62/A1 to get to my then girlfriend's family in the North East the journey took two hours. Despite the M60 now being a complete ring road, the A1 becoming a motorway and now being able to get there without driving through Leeds, it still takes two hours! How is that possible? Elementary my dear Ingvarr, there are more vehicles driving on it. So after hundreds of millions, if not billions, of pounds being spent on improving the road network my journey is no quicker than it was in 1985! In 27 years I now have to travel further and the journey time is the same.

I'm falling more and more in line with Chris Rea's thinking, if this carries on we really will be on the Road to Hell.
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Last edited by The Beard; 13-12-2012 at 19:04.
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Old 13-12-2012   #11
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

Quote Originally Posted by The Beard View Post
Despite the M60 now being a complete ring road, the A1 becoming a motorway and now being able to get there without driving through Leeds, it still takes two hours! How is that possible? Elementary my dear Ingvarr, there are more vehicles driving on it.
I beg you to differ The Beard, its elementary because England is horribly lagging behind in keeping its road capacity in line with demand. You saying that billions were spent? They were splendidly wastefully spent then, because actual total road capacity improved at miniscule amounts (at least according to statistics) - since certain point in time (after original network was built). Vast majority of that money later went to "widening", "controlled motorways", "let make roundabouts from all crossings" or "lets take this road, narrow down the lanes to squeeze 3 instead of 2 and rename it to motorway" - all ways to declare that we "improve" things without doing the core thing - building new roads.
That not to small amount thankful to "Road Protest" - what a wonderful English invention.

Try sometimes visiting a country which has not adopted the luddite approach in respect to cars, and you will see that it totally possible to solve this "imposible to build enough roads" problem you try to present.

And some people don't know, but M25 would be a lot less "road to hell" if the proper original plan of system of several orbital roads and river crossings would actually be able to be completed - without people rioting.
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Last edited by Ingvarr; 13-12-2012 at 19:59.
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Old 13-12-2012   #12
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

Quote Originally Posted by The Beard View Post
Quote Originally Posted by The Beard View Post
On the roads, we build new ones and then more people drive on them, thus we are no better off than we were before.
That was EXACTLY my point. So many residents of West Yorkshire commute on a daily basis to the Greater Manchester area that I think it's a reasonable suggestion to make that a not dis-similar number must do the journey in the opposite direction. Making a slightly silly extrapolation, but if the trend were to carry on in the same vain, most of the population of the Leeds/Bradford area would be commuting to Manchester and most of the population of Greater Manchester will end up commuting to Leeds, or Bradford or Kirklees.

Before the M62 (and others) was built most people worked within a 15 mile radius of where they lived because there was no quick and reliable way of commuting long distances. As motorway expansion has continued more and more choose to make longer journeys for work, but the longer they do the job the worse the traffic becomes. A friend of Mrs. Beard jumps in her company Insignia and drives/crawls the 30 mile (plus) journey from Rossendale to Leeds every day. Another friend drives his BMW 520 from near Stockport to Preston 5 days a week. There are only two things that connect both of those people and that is a Motorway between where they live and where they work; and they each have a car provided by their employer and a fuel card to go with it. Neither would have thought for a moment about taking those jobs (promotion in each case) if there hadn't been a car and fuel supply thrown into the deal.

I can't remember meeting anyone who said: "Do you know what? I really look forward to spending an hour (or more) sitting in a queue of traffic getting more and more stressed over whether I'll get to work on time." or "It's nearly six, oh yeah, I look forward to standing traffic every night."

Mrs. Beard fell into a similar trap about 10 years ago. Firm's car, All Star fuel card and every night she'd come home with a headache after the Manchester to Stoke to Manchester grind. She gave herself 12 months and found a job closer to home. She's never regretted it once.

It's bit like the housing market. If the supply is ongoing then the demand will keep rising to meet it, until something happens to put a brake on the demand such as a mortgage rate rise or rising unemployment. If petrol/diesel prices keep on going up, and wages stay static, perhaps that will force people to look closer to home for work, but until then I've become more and more convinced that continuing to widen motorways is simply a viscous circle and something we can ill afford in the present economic climate.

The first motorway was built two years after I was born. Since then we seem to have gone past the point whereby motorways became useful and are now well into a fait accompli, namely, we've given birth to a Frankenstein and we can't kill it now because it's become too big. When I first started using the M62/A1 to get to my then girlfriend's family in the North East the journey took two hours. Despite the M60 now being a complete ring road, the A1 becoming a motorway and now being able to get there without driving through Leeds, it still takes two hours! How is that possible? Elementary my dear Ingvarr, there are more vehicles driving on it. So after hundreds of millions, if not billions, of pounds being spent on improving the road network my journey is no quicker than it was in 1985! In 27 years I now have to travel further and the journey time is the same.

I'm falling more and more in line with Chris Rea's thinking, if this carries on we really will be on the Road to Hell.
No wonder you agree, you're quoting yourself.
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Old 17-12-2012   #13
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

I know, but if you can't support your own point of view you're screwed
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Old 18-12-2012   #14
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Re: Panda TwinAir no longer congestion charge exempt...

Quote Originally Posted by Ingvarr View Post
I beg you to differ The Beard, its elementary because England is horribly lagging behind in keeping its road capacity in line with demand. You saying that billions were spent? They were splendidly wastefully spent then, because actual total road capacity improved at miniscule amounts (at least according to statistics) - since certain point in time (after original network was built). Vast majority of that money later went to "widening", "controlled motorways", "let make roundabouts from all crossings" or "lets take this road, narrow down the lanes to squeeze 3 instead of 2 and rename it to motorway" - all ways to declare that we "improve" things without doing the core thing - building new roads.
That not to small amount thankful to "Road Protest" - what a wonderful English invention.

Try sometimes visiting a country which has not adopted the luddite approach in respect to cars, and you will see that it totally possible to solve this "imposible to build enough roads" problem you try to present.

And some people don't know, but M25 would be a lot less "road to hell" if the proper original plan of system of several orbital roads and river crossings would actually be able to be completed - without people rioting.
I'd be the last person to say that Britain's motorway system is perfect, and I also can't claim to be an expert on European motorways either. I have driven quite extensively on the French Autoroutes as well as some Italian Autostrade and despite being an Italophile, I have to say that they are pretty atrocious in comparison with British ones, in terms of surface, junction layout and service areas.

The last time I drove down the Torino to Venezia Autostrada it was a nightmare of tailgating, 150 kph to zero emergency stops with almost every junction more like spaghetti than a road network. Not to mention service areas that are closer to Little Chefs than places of rest and recuperation. Ours, while being far from perfect, are oases of calm in comparison.

The motorway from Firenze to Grosetto is called the Superstrada. Never has a road been so misleadingly titled with very few lengths of hard shoulder should you breakdown, broken road surfaces that cause cars in the overtaking lane veer to the right and trucks in the other lane swerve to the left.

The Autoroutes in France are far better but again the service areas, or Aires, are not that good, although the fact that they are spaced about 15 miles apart with every other one being a rest area with toilets, showers and picnic tables but no cafe or shops. However, despite the higher legal speeds, the frequency (and cost) of toll stages increase journey times and put up costs tremendously. Also, if you've ever tried to negotiate Lyon on a summer weekend, then my advice to you is don't. Last time I tried it it took as long to get from 20 miles north of Lyon to 20 miles south as it does to get from Manchester the 120 miles to Mrs. Beard's family home.

I'm sure Germany has great Autobhans, mainly because they've been building them for 75 years, but then again they did speed the advance into Germany by the Allies in 1945 so they were quite a good idea. I can't speak for Scandinavia but if those countries have good motorways then perhaps that's partly down to small populations and high tax levels.

One problem we have is that we have a population of 60 million, the same as France, but with roughly half the land area our roads are more crowded.

The last couple of nights I've had the dubious pleasure of driving on part of the new, improved M60. They've been "improving" it for the last few months with overnight closures and temporary speed limit and (drum roll) we thundered through the section a staggering 10 mph, roughly a third of the speed I'd come through it a few weeks ago.

Don't you just love progress.
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