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  • Simon Norton
    Having been away for over a week I now wish to catch up on my contribution to this group. I think that putting everything in a single message will be easier
    Message 1 of 15 , Sep 1, 2006
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      Having been away for over a week I now wish to catch up on my contribution to
      this group. I think that putting everything in a single message will be easier
      for readers than replying to each individually. I apologise if some of these
      should have been sent to another group, but as a recipient of messages I am
      afraid I don't like having to deal with the same message received several times
      through different groups.

      One subject raised was that of speed cameras. It was pointed out that some
      drivers speed up after passing the camera, and that this could be avoided if
      cameras were covert so drivers didn't know where they were and had to keep to
      the limit all the time to avoid being caught, but that the UK government had
      yielded to motorist pressure and required cameras to be conspicuous.

      The point I wish to make is that some motorists are also making the point that
      cameras can hinder safety because they induce motorists to watch the cameras
      rather than the road. Of course, concealed cameras would avoid this problem. So
      I wonder whether it's the same motorists who are making this point and who don't
      particularly care about anything other than being able to drive at the speed
      they like without fear of penalty.

      UK figures show clearly that the provision of speed cameras does improve safety.
      The argument that motorists are the best judge of what is a safe speed ignores
      the fact that they are not biased in their judgment by their desire to get to
      their destination quickly (or, worse, by their love of speed). This also ignores
      the many other benefits of lower speeds, especially for pedestrians and
      cyclists, buses (which find it easier to move away from bus stops when other
      traffic isn't so fast), and the environment in general.

      I believe that the Institute of Economic Affairs is an extreme libertarian
      organisation for whom issues such as the "right" to drive as one likes overrides
      the interests of those affected adversely by such driving.

      On Robert Moskowitz's question about relative speeds in different cities, one
      should remember to take into account the effect of differing densities on the
      distance one has to travel. The equivalent of a 45 mile journey in the LA metro
      area is probably a much shorter journey in a typical European city.

      Incidentally, on Anzir Boodoo's contribution, both Victoria and Kings Cross are
      at the edge of the congestion charge zone, not within it. The fare for a bus
      journey is 1-50 cash, 1-00 peak Oystercard, 0-80 off-peak Oystercard, 1-00
      Saver (6 ride, cost per ride) at any time for a single journey, and 3-50
      (purchased at agent) or 3-00 (Oystercard) for unlimited travel for a day.
      There's no hope of getting a single bus all the way across London ! Though 35 or
      so years ago there were a number of limited stop routes that provided just such
      a service and taking perhaps an hour and a half to cross London.

      In answer to Joao Lacerda's question, like other respondents I regard the BP
      carbon offset scheme as greenwash. In addition to the arguments already
      mentioned, I would like to say that I suspect it could be a nice moneymaker for
      BP; for example they could use the money they get from offset payments to build
      a wind farm at no cost to themselves and then sell the electricity it produces
      to the National Grid, couldn't they ?

      We need to develop renewable electricity AND reduce our use of single occupancy
      motor vehicles if we are to have a hope of overcoming the climate crisis.

      I agree with the principle of market solutions to climate change, but the amount
      participants in the offset scheme will be asked to pay is too low by perhaps 2
      orders of magnitude.

      Finally, I agree that car owners and drivers are not our enemies -- in general.
      But I suspect that those who consult websites such as Whatcar and contribute to
      its discussion are very much our enemies. (Of those on the posting I except Lisa
      Boyd.) Certainly the Association of British Drivers is known as virulently
      opposed to the mildest of restraint measures for motorists. These type of people
      are not interested in improving public transport (or cycling conditions) so that
      other modes of transport can satisfy their needs, they just want any excuse to
      be able to justify their alleged need to use their cars. The only remedy for
      them is to force them to pay through the nose for their indulgence.

      The person who said there was no direct service between Bardford and Harrogate
      should go to http://www.wymetro.com/BusTravel and look up the timetable for
      route 653.

      A couple of days ago the (pro-motorist) London newspaper the Evening Standard
      had as its headline article "proof" that the authorities were waging war on the
      motorist. That evening I took a coach from London to Cambridge. Unfortunately we
      were held up by a tailback behind a 3 car collision on the motorway. After
      about 4 hours, the police told us (and all the heavy goods vehicles) to move
      onto the hard shoulder so that motorists could turn round, but they showed a
      conspicuous lack of interest in getting us away from the scene, so we had to
      wait another 2.5 hours (and with what we had been hearing it could have bean
      twice as long), without food or water, before we could get through when the
      police had finally opened up a route through the scene of the crash. It's as if
      they were ready to issue a press release saying "You can't call us
      anti-motorist, we held up the public transport using untermenschen for another
      2.5 hours". I have thought of at least 5 options which could have been used to
      release the coach passengers.

      Simon Norton
    • Simon Norton
      1. There s a third phrase to match carsharing and car clubs -- community car hire, which I think gives an unambiguous description of what the idea is all
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 19, 2007
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        1. There's a third phrase to match carsharing and car clubs -- community car
        hire, which I think gives an unambiguous description of what the idea is all
        about.

        2. I don't think community car hire's best face is seen when there is a transit
        strike. The whole idea of CCH should be that the vast majority of people's
        travel should be by public or non-motorised transport, so that a few cars can
        serve the residual transport needs of a large number of people. I suspect that
        in a transit strike many people will find it impossible to obtain a car for
        those journeys which they would otherwise have made by public transport. (The
        same may be true of Velib.)

        3. On the other hand, ridesharing can be helpful during a transit strike. But
        one must never forget the danger that ridesharing arrangements may continue
        after the strike is settled, damaging the customer base of the transit system.
        Nor should one forget that ridesharing only yields significant public benefits
        if both parties (or at least 2 of them if there are 3 or more) would otherwise
        be driving individually.

        4. On another matter, it is misleading to say that Travelcards in London are
        called Oystercards. London has both Travelcards and Oystercards and they are
        different, and there are situations where one can use a Travelcard but not an
        Oystercard; contrariwise some Travelcards are only valid on part of London's
        transport system. For those who don't know, a Travelcard is something one can
        buy which gives one unlimited travel on all London buses and all or part of
        London's rail and tram networks; an Oystercard is a smartcard which gives access
        to all buses and rail services run on behalf of Transport for London and a few
        other rail services, charging an amount that gives a substantial discount on
        cash fares. There are also cards available that can be used like Oystercards but
        provide free travel on part of the network, for which one has to pay the
        equivalent of a Travelcard fare unless one belongs to the category of people who
        are entitled to free travel.

        5. Incidentally, who thought up the name Oystercard ? I assume that the name is
        intended to reflect the phrase "the world is your oyster".

        6. I once saw a map of Peterborough (a city of about 150,000 120km north of
        London) which showed all bus stops, and another which showed cycling facilities.
        I suggested that a map showing both would be a good idea but unfortunately the
        idea wasn't taken up.

        7. I think that the best solution to the fear by businesses that they may lose
        trade if they don't pander to the motorist is a universal parking tax.

        8. It should be emphasised that the new UK Green Fiscal Commission is not a
        Government backed organisation -- and even if it had been the Government would
        not be under any obligation to accept its recommendations, as has happened, for
        example, with the Commission for Integrated Transport. But it does have MPs of
        all three of the main political parties, so there may be some hope that both
        Government and opposition will be able to support its ideas without worries
        about electoral damage.

        Simon Norton
      • eric.britton
        Simon Norton writes: one must never forget the danger that ridesharing arrangements may continue after the strike is settled, damaging the customer base of
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 20, 2007
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          Simon Norton writes: “one must never forget the danger that ridesharing arrangements may continue after the strike is settled, damaging the customer base of the transit system.”

           

          I dunno Simon. I thought it was the job of a public service to serve the public. If the traditional transit providers are unable to do that properly, well I guess this means that a first class ride-sharing service (or shared taxi, or city bike, or carshare, or rental car or or . . .) is better than at least some of the old line fixed route scheduled services.  Dinosaurs that survive must be light on their feet.

           

          No?

           

          Eric

           

          PS. Some of my best friends are dinosaurs.

           

           

        • Andrew Curry
          Two quick additional comments: On the naming of the Oyster Card: I always wondered if it was relevant that its forerunner in Hong Kong was the Octopus Card
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 20, 2007
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            Two quick additional comments:

            On the naming of the Oyster Card: I always wondered if  it was relevant that its forerunner in Hong Kong was the Octopus Card (marine theme beginning with 'O').

            On the 'substantial' discount to cash - this is largely true because cash fares have been pushed up viciously in an attempt to reduce usage of cash to buy tickets and encourage take-up of Oyster, which also seems to allow therm to reduce customer service levels by reducing ticket office availability etc. This also increases the level of profits extracted from occasional visitors to London who don't understand the Oyster system, who must be paying some of the highest transit prices per mile in the world. ( e.g. £4 for a single journey either within Zone 1 - central - or from Zone 1 to Zone 2 (usually no more than three miles from the centre).

            Andrew

            On 19/11/2007, Simon Norton <S.Norton@...> wrote:

            1. There's a third phrase to match carsharing and car clubs -- community car
            hire, which I think gives an unambiguous description of what the idea is all
            about.

            2. I don't think community car hire's best face is seen when there is a transit
            strike. The whole idea of CCH should be that the vast majority of people's
            travel should be by public or non-motorised transport, so that a few cars can
            serve the residual transport needs of a large number of people. I suspect that
            in a transit strike many people will find it impossible to obtain a car for
            those journeys which they would otherwise have made by public transport. (The
            same may be true of Velib.)

            3. On the other hand, ridesharing can be helpful during a transit strike. But
            one must never forget the danger that ridesharing arrangements may continue
            after the strike is settled, damaging the customer base of the transit system.
            Nor should one forget that ridesharing only yields significant public benefits
            if both parties (or at least 2 of them if there are 3 or more) would otherwise
            be driving individually.

            4. On another matter, it is misleading to say that Travelcards in London are
            called Oystercards. London has both Travelcards and Oystercards and they are
            different, and there are situations where one can use a Travelcard but not an
            Oystercard; contrariwise some Travelcards are only valid on part of London's
            transport system. For those who don't know, a Travelcard is something one can
            buy which gives one unlimited travel on all London buses and all or part of
            London's rail and tram networks; an Oystercard is a smartcard which gives access
            to all buses and rail services run on behalf of Transport for London and a few
            other rail services, charging an amount that gives a substantial discount on
            cash fares. There are also cards available that can be used like Oystercards but
            provide free travel on part of the network, for which one has to pay the
            equivalent of a Travelcard fare unless one belongs to the category of people who
            are entitled to free travel.

            5. Incidentally, who thought up the name Oystercard ? I assume that the name is
            intended to reflect the phrase "the world is your oyster".

            6. I once saw a map of Peterborough (a city of about 150,000 120km north of
            London) which showed all bus stops, and another which showed cycling facilities.
            I suggested that a map showing both would be a good idea but unfortunately the
            idea wasn't taken up.

            7. I think that the best solution to the fear by businesses that they may lose
            trade if they don't pander to the motorist is a universal parking tax.

            8. It should be emphasised that the new UK Green Fiscal Commission is not a
            Government backed organisation -- and even if it had been the Government would
            not be under any obligation to accept its recommendations, as has happened, for
            example, with the Commission for Integrated Transport. But it does have MPs of
            all three of the main political parties, so there may be some hope that both
            Government and opposition will be able to support its ideas without worries
            about electoral damage.

            Simon Norton




            --
            Email from Andrew Curry

            And see my personal futures blog at http://thenextwavefutures.wordpress.com/
          • Ian Wingrove
            The differential between Oyster cards and cash was raised to punative levels. The result has been a big final switch to Oyster card usage with cash payers in
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 20, 2007
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              Message
              The differential between Oyster cards and cash was raised to punative levels. The result has been a big final switch to Oyster card usage with cash payers in fast decline.
               
              TfL have also worked with Visit London to market the Oyster card to tourists, so that they purchase them in advance. Some evidence that they are now passing them onto relatives (who are about to visit London) when they get back home.
               
              Cheers
               
              IW
               
               
              -----Original Message-----
              From: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com [mailto:NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Andrew Curry
              Sent: 20 November 2007 16:39
              To: NewMobilityCafe@yahoogroups.com
              Subject: Re: [NewMobilityCafe] various

              Two quick additional comments:

              On the naming of the Oyster Card: I always wondered if  it was relevant that its forerunner in Hong Kong was the Octopus Card (marine theme beginning with 'O').

              On the 'substantial' discount to cash - this is largely true because cash fares have been pushed up viciously in an attempt to reduce usage of cash to buy tickets and encourage take-up of Oyster, which also seems to allow therm to reduce customer service levels by reducing ticket office availability etc. This also increases the level of profits extracted from occasional visitors to London who don't understand the Oyster system, who must be paying some of the highest transit prices per mile in the world. ( e.g. £4 for a single journey either within Zone 1 - central - or from Zone 1 to Zone 2 (usually no more than three miles from the centre).

              Andrew

              On 19/11/2007, Simon Norton <S.Norton@dpmms. cam.ac.uk> wrote:

              1. There's a third phrase to match carsharing and car clubs -- community car
              hire, which I think gives an unambiguous description of what the idea is all
              about.

              2. I don't think community car hire's best face is seen when there is a transit
              strike. The whole idea of CCH should be that the vast majority of people's
              travel should be by public or non-motorised transport, so that a few cars can
              serve the residual transport needs of a large number of people. I suspect that
              in a transit strike many people will find it impossible to obtain a car for
              those journeys which they would otherwise have made by public transport. (The
              same may be true of Velib.)

              3. On the other hand, ridesharing can be helpful during a transit strike. But
              one must never forget the danger that ridesharing arrangements may continue
              after the strike is settled, damaging the customer base of the transit system.
              Nor should one forget that ridesharing only yields significant public benefits
              if both parties (or at least 2 of them if there are 3 or more) would otherwise
              be driving individually.

              4. On another matter, it is misleading to say that Travelcards in London are
              called Oystercards. London has both Travelcards and Oystercards and they are
              different, and there are situations where one can use a Travelcard but not an
              Oystercard; contrariwise some Travelcards are only valid on part of London's
              transport system. For those who don't know, a Travelcard is something one can
              buy which gives one unlimited travel on all London buses and all or part of
              London's rail and tram networks; an Oystercard is a smartcard which gives access
              to all buses and rail services run on behalf of Transport for London and a few
              other rail services, charging an amount that gives a substantial discount on
              cash fares. There are also cards available that can be used like Oystercards but
              provide free travel on part of the network, for which one has to pay the
              equivalent of a Travelcard fare unless one belongs to the category of people who
              are entitled to free travel.

              5. Incidentally, who thought up the name Oystercard ? I assume that the name is
              intended to reflect the phrase "the world is your oyster".

              6. I once saw a map of Peterborough (a city of about 150,000 120km north of
              London) which showed all bus stops, and another which showed cycling facilities.
              I suggested that a map showing both would be a good idea but unfortunately the
              idea wasn't taken up.

              7. I think that the best solution to the fear by businesses that they may lose
              trade if they don't pander to the motorist is a universal parking tax.

              8. It should be emphasised that the new UK Green Fiscal Commission is not a
              Government backed organisation -- and even if it had been the Government would
              not be under any obligation to accept its recommendations, as has happened, for
              example, with the Commission for Integrated Transport. But it does have MPs of
              all three of the main political parties, so there may be some hope that both
              Government and opposition will be able to support its ideas without worries
              about electoral damage.

              Simon Norton




              --
              Email from Andrew Curry

              And see my personal futures blog at http://thenextwavef utures.wordpress .com/

              GLA approved disclaimer
               

              GREATERLONDONAUTHORITY

              EMAIL NOTICE:
              The information in this email may contain confidential or privileged materials. Please read the full email notice at  http://www.london.gov.uk/email-notice.jsp
            • Richard Layman
              in the U.S., carsharing doesn t work like Velib, as you have to return the car to the place where you picked it up. This doesn t make it an economically
              Message 6 of 15 , Nov 20, 2007
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                in the U.S., carsharing doesn't work like Velib, as you have to return the car to the place where you picked it up.  This doesn't make it an economically efficient alternative to transit for community.  The cost to rent a car for 8-12 hours is about $50.  It's designed for accommodating the need for occasional use without having to own a car altogether.

                RL

                "eric.britton" <eric.britton@...> wrote:
                Simon Norton writes: “one must never forget the danger that ridesharing arrangements may continue after the strike is settled, damaging the customer base of the transit system.”
                 
                I dunno Simon. I thought it was the job of a public service to serve the public. If the traditional transit providers are unable to do that properly, well I guess this means that a first class ride-sharing service (or shared taxi, or city bike, or carshare, or rental car or or . . .) is better than at least some of the old line fixed route scheduled services.  Dinosaurs that survive must be light on their feet.
                 
                No?
                 
                Eric
                 
                PS. Some of my best friends are dinosaurs.
                 
                 



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