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RE: [WorldTransport Forum] environment award

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  • Wetzel Dave
    Congestion is not an embarrassment as much as a real cost to residents, visitors and business alike. We did not want London to come to a standstill - already
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 30, 2004
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      Congestion is not an "embarrassment" as much as a real cost to residents,
      visitors and business alike.
      We did not want London to come to a standstill - already speeds were often
      lower than Queen Victoria could travel in a horse-drawn carriage.
      The Mayor did exempt "clean" cars on the PowerShift register. (Electric,
      hybrid, gas etc).
      Motorcycles have no front number plate in the UK and so could not be
      enforced by our cameras - hence the exemption.

      My suggestion for sceptics is to come and see for yourself. I couldn't
      believe the difference myself when my bus started to run to time, I could
      safely cross the road and it was much easier to cycle.

      Not perfect, but for London, congestion charge has been a giant step in the
      right direction.

      The lessons learnt are 1. Strong political leadership (Nobody but Ken
      Livingstone would have been able to face the press and media barrage and
      still introduce it in London), 2. A local scheme to meet local needs. Other
      cities considering this need to develop their own answers to their own
      unique problems and not just dust down the London Scheme and try to
      implement it out of context. Listen and learn from our successes and our
      mistakes but develop your own scheme. 3. A huge expansion in public
      transport, (our Mayor put over 1,000 new buses on the roads); 4. Strong
      Project management; 5. Consultation - real consultation and a readiness to
      change the scheme in the light of representations.

      Best wishes

      Dave

      Dave Wetzel
      Vice-chair,
      Transport for London
      Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street.
      London. SW1H 0TL. UK.
      Tel 020 7941 4200

      Close to New Scotland Yard.
      Buses 11,24,148,211,N11 pass the door.
      Nearest Underground - St James's Park tube station.



      -----Original Message-----
      From: K Tsourlakis [mailto:ktsou@...]
      Sent: 29 March 2004 22:19
      To: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [WorldTransport Forum] environment award


      The justification for the charge (at least according to its name) is not
      that cars pollute, embarrass and kill pedestrians, and destroy the city,
      but that they congest, i.e. they embarrass other cars and deter them to run faster. This must also be the reason why, as far as I know, motorcycles are
      exempted from the charge. So, the message sent to the public opinion seems to be "pay in order to drive better and faster" and not "do not drive". It would be much better if its name were "pollution charge" or (even more
      accurately) "motorised traffic damage charge" and this reason were used to justify it to the public opinion. High technology is not so important for the control of the motorised traffic, as is the determination to withstand pressures from organised interests and the proper informing and education of the general public, which will facilitate this determination. For
      instance, bus lanes or parking restrictions could equally well (or even
      better in some cases) serve the purpose of limiting motorised traffic. I
      think "congestion charge" is not promoted in the best way to educate the
      general public for the damages provoked by motorised traffic and the huge (though mostly hidden) subsidies connected with it. Finally note that I am not among "the two dissenters" but, although I consider it as a positive initiative, I am very sceptical about its importance and in any case I
      consider it overrated.


      At 02:12 ìì 26/3/2004 +0000, you wrote:

      >Replying to the two dissenters to the proposal to nominate
      >Ken Livingstone (let's be sure to spell his name right !)
      >et al for I agree that the Thames Gateway bridge scheme is >undesirable, but I don't think the fact that we don't like
      >everything he's doing should stop us from asking for official
      >recognition of a step which, even if relatively small by
      >itself, will show the way to a future where it is taken for
      >granted that motorists don't have the automatic right to
      >block and pollute our streets. And can the person who said
      >that he had a better idea pass it on to this group so we can
      >judge for ourselves ? As far as I am concerned, it's enough
      >at this stage that he's moved where our government feared to
      >tread and shown that the scheme can work.





      The Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice
      Consult at: http://wTransport.org
      To post message to group: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
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    • K Tsourlakis
      Yes, I am already aware of it - this has already been widely known and advertised (it would be interesting to be also known the exact schemes and projects
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 31, 2004
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        Yes, I am already aware of it - this has already been widely known and
        advertised (it would be interesting to be also known the exact schemes and
        projects financed through these resourses). And this is indeed a very good
        use for the money collected. However good treatment of pedestrians and
        bicyclists (unlike motorised traffic) does not really need large sums of
        money but the determination to slow down (or even better completely remove)
        motorised traffic and dispose the urban space to them. Does London mayor
        intends to limit space allocated for motorised traffic and turn it into
        pedestrian and bicycle space? In what extent (% of urban space)?
        BTW I don't know what you exactly mean by "BEING REALLY BADLY TREATED" but
        if you want to see a really barbarous treatment of pedestrians and
        bicyclists take a look at: http://www.pezh.gr/english/intro_en.htm
        thanks and regards
        K.Tsourlakis



        At 07:50 ìì 30/3/2004 +0200, you wrote:
        >DEAR K TSOURLAKIS
        >PLEASE BE INFORMED THAT AS PART OF THE LONDON CONGESTION CHARGE PROJECT,
        >THE 20 % REDUCTION IN TRAFFIC VOLUME ACHIEVED IS GOING TO BE USED TO
        >IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS IN LONDON.(WHO ARE
        >PRESENTLY BEING REALLY BADLY TREATED)
        >THE IMPROVEMENT PLAN "TOWARDS A FINE CITY FOR PEOPLE" MADE BY
        >GEHL-ARCHITECTS-URBAN QUALITY CONSULTANTS IN COPENHAGEN WILL BE LAUNCHED
        >JUST AFTER THE MAYORAL ELECTION 10 JUNE 2004.
        >Warm greetings from
        >sincerely yours
        >
        >Jan Gehl
        >Professor of Urban Design
        >Copenhagen
        >Denmark
        >
        >
        >Den 29/3-2004, kl. 23.18, skrev K Tsourlakis:
        >
        >>The justification for the charge (at least according to its name) is not
        >>that cars pollute, embarrass and kill pedestrians, and destroy the city,
        >>but that they congest, i.e. they embarrass other cars and deter them to run
        >>faster. This must also be the reason why, as far as I know, motorcycles are
        >>exempted from the charge. So, the message sent to the public opinion seems
        >>to be "pay in order to drive better and faster" and not "do not drive". It
        >>would be much better if its name were "pollution charge" or (even more
        >>accurately) "motorised traffic damage charge" and this reason were used to
        >>justify it to the public opinion. High technology is not so important for
        >>the control of the motorised traffic, as is the determination to withstand
        >>pressures from organised interests and the proper informing and education
        >>of the general public, which will facilitate this determination. For
        >>instance, bus lanes or parking restrictions could equally well (or even
        >>better in some cases) serve the purpose of limiting motorised traffic. I
        >>think "congestion charge" is not promoted in the best way to educate the
        >>general public for the damages provoked by motorised traffic and the huge
        >>(though mostly hidden) subsidies connected with it. Finally note that I am
        >>not among "the two dissenters" but, although I consider it as a positive
        >>initiative, I am very sceptical about its importance and in any case I
        >>consider it overrated.
      • Michael Yeates
        Thank you to contributors ... Can I suggest that this is a very good example of the HUGE differences in understandings in different parts of the world. Our
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 31, 2004
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          Thank you to contributors ...

          Can I suggest that this is a very good example of the HUGE differences in "understandings" in different parts of the world. Our local authority wants similar outcomes ... but believes building more roads is the answer ... and the political situation is even more interesting!

          Here in Brisbane Queensland Australia (pop 800,000), we have a most unusual situation. The Lord Mayor is elected in a separate vote to the Councillors ... a bit like the US President and London?

          However, we have a situation where the "new" Lord Mayor has promised 5 new tunnels across the city ($4b ++) and has promised to REMOVE all "bus lanes" on existing roads ... !

          He also has some good ideas ... but has a "hostile" Council ie the majority of the Councillors are from the other political party.

          This in the home of "billion dollar busways" and freeways and tunnels ... some new buses ... but no constraints on traffic growth, induced or otherwise ...!

          For more info, if interested, you could search the web for the major newspaper - The Courier-Mail

          Michael Yeates

          At 03:59 AM 31/03/2004, Wetzel Dave wrote:
          Congestion is not an "embarrassment" as much as a real cost to residents,
          visitors and business alike.
          We did not want London to come to a standstill - already speeds were often
          lower than Queen Victoria could travel in a horse-drawn carriage.
          The Mayor did exempt "clean" cars on the PowerShift register. (Electric,
          hybrid, gas etc).
          Motorcycles have no front number plate in the UK and so could not be
          enforced by our cameras - hence the exemption.

          My suggestion for sceptics is to come and see for yourself. I couldn't
          believe the difference myself when my bus started to run to time, I could
          safely cross the road and it was much easier to cycle.

          Not perfect, but for London, congestion charge has been a giant step in the
          right direction.

          The lessons learnt are 1. Strong political leadership (Nobody but Ken
          Livingstone would have been able to face the press and media barrage and
          still introduce it in London), 2. A local scheme to meet local needs. Other
          cities considering this need to develop their own answers to their own
          unique problems and not just dust down the London Scheme and try to
          implement it out of context. Listen and learn from our successes and our
          mistakes but develop your own scheme. 3. A huge expansion in public
          transport, (our Mayor put over 1,000 new buses on the roads); 4. Strong
          Project management; 5. Consultation - real consultation and a readiness to
          change the scheme in the light of representations.

          Best wishes

          Dave

          Dave Wetzel
          Vice-chair,
          Transport for London
          Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street.
          London. SW1H 0TL. UK.
          Tel 020 7941 4200

          Close to New Scotland Yard.
          Buses 11,24,148,211,N11 pass the door.
          Nearest Underground - St James's Park tube station.



          -----Original Message-----
          From: K Tsourlakis [mailto:ktsou@...]
          Sent: 29 March 2004 22:19
          To: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
          Subject: Re: [WorldTransport Forum] environment award


          The justification for the charge (at least according to its name) is not
          that cars pollute, embarrass and kill pedestrians, and destroy the city,
          but that they congest, i.e. they embarrass other cars and deter them to run faster. This must also be the reason why, as far as I know, motorcycles are
          exempted from the charge. So, the message sent to the public opinion seems to be "pay in order to drive better and faster" and not "do not drive". It would be much better if its name were "pollution charge" or (even more
          accurately) "motorised traffic damage charge" and this reason were used to justify it to the public opinion. High technology is not so important for the control of the motorised traffic, as is the determination to withstand pressures from organised interests and the proper informing and education of the general public, which will facilitate this determination. For
          instance, bus lanes or parking restrictions could equally well (or even
          better in some cases) serve the purpose of limiting motorised traffic. I
          think "congestion charge" is not promoted in the best way to educate the
          general public for the damages provoked by motorised traffic and the huge (though mostly hidden) subsidies connected with it. Finally note that I am not among "the two dissenters" but, although I consider it as a positive initiative, I am very sceptical about its importance and in any case I
          consider it overrated.


          At 02:12 ìì 26/3/2004 +0000, you wrote:

           >Replying to the two dissenters to the proposal to nominate
           >Ken Livingstone (let's be sure to spell his name right !)
           >et al for I agree that the Thames Gateway bridge scheme is >undesirable, but I don't think the fact that we don't like
           >everything he's doing should stop us from asking for official
           >recognition of a step which, even if relatively small by
           >itself, will show the way to a future where it is taken for
           >granted that motorists don't have the automatic right to
           >block and pollute our streets. And can the person who said
           >that he had a better idea pass it on to this group so we can
           >judge for ourselves ? As far as I am concerned, it's enough
           >at this stage that he's moved where our government feared to
           >tread and shown that the scheme can work.





          The Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice
          Consult at: http://wTransport.org
          To post message to group: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
          To subscribe:  WorldTransport-subscribe@yahoogroups.com 
          To unsubscribe:  WorldTransport-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com 
          Yahoo! Groups Links



           


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        • Wetzel Dave
          Like Athens, London has a long way to go before pedestrians are given equal treatment to cars. However, our Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has made a start. More time
          Message 4 of 9 , Apr 1, 2004
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            Like Athens, London has a long way to go before pedestrians are given equal
            treatment to cars.
            However, our Mayor, Ken Livingstone, has made a start. More time for
            pedestrians at traffic light controlled crossings and he has pedestrianised the North side of Trafalgar Square close to the National Gallery art
            exhibition. This has controversially reduced traffic capacity by some 20%.
            Currently, there is a delay for buses and taxis but I expect the long term
            effect will be that many vehicles will avoid the Square altogether and use
            alternative routes - thus easing the pinch-point congestion created.

            We saw a similar effect in the 1980s when I was Chair of the Greater London
            Council's Transport Committee and we introduced many new traffic schemes
            which reduced capacity - not least new traffic signals at Hyde Park Corner
            which cut the traffic capacity but also dramatically reduced road accidents.
            The press berated us for weeks but it did eventually settle down and today
            nobody would dare suggest we remove the traffic signals.

            You can find TfL's cycling action plan on:
            http://www.tfl.gov.uk/streets/pdfdocs/cycling/cycling-action-plan.pdf

            and TfL's pedestrian plan on:
            http://www.tfl.gov.uk/streets/downloads/pdf/walking-plan-2004.pdf

            Dave

            "Solvitur Ambulans"
            Dave Wetzel; Vice-Chair; Transport for London.
            Windsor House. 42-50 Victoria Street. London. SW1H 0TL. UK
            Tel: 020 7941 4200
            Windsor House is close to New Scotland Yard. Buses 11, 24, 148, 211 and
            N11 pass the door.
            Nearest Tube: St. James's Park Underground station.
            Nearest mainline stations: Waterloo and Victoria (Both a short walk or
            bus ride).




            -----Original Message-----
            From: K Tsourlakis [mailto:ktsou@...]
            Sent: 31 March 2004 21:25
            To: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: Re: [WorldTransport Forum] environment award



            Yes, I am already aware of it - this has already been widely known and
            advertised (it would be interesting to be also known the exact schemes and projects financed through these resourses). And this is indeed a very good use for the money collected. However good treatment of pedestrians and
            bicyclists (unlike motorised traffic) does not really need large sums of
            money but the determination to slow down (or even better completely remove) motorised traffic and dispose the urban space to them. Does London mayor intends to limit space allocated for motorised traffic and turn it into
            pedestrian and bicycle space? In what extent (% of urban space)?
            BTW I don't know what you exactly mean by "BEING REALLY BADLY TREATED" but if you want to see a really barbarous treatment of pedestrians and
            bicyclists take a look at: http://www.pezh.gr/english/intro_en.htm
            thanks and regards
            K.Tsourlakis



            At 07:50 ìì 30/3/2004 +0200, you wrote:
            >DEAR K TSOURLAKIS
            >PLEASE BE INFORMED THAT AS PART OF THE LONDON CONGESTION CHARGE PROJECT, >THE 20 % REDUCTION IN TRAFFIC VOLUME ACHIEVED IS GOING TO BE USED TO
            >IMPROVE CONDITIONS FOR PEDESTRIANS AND BICYCLISTS IN LONDON.(WHO ARE
            >PRESENTLY BEING REALLY BADLY TREATED)
            >THE IMPROVEMENT PLAN "TOWARDS A FINE CITY FOR PEOPLE" MADE BY
            >GEHL-ARCHITECTS-URBAN QUALITY CONSULTANTS IN COPENHAGEN WILL BE LAUNCHED >JUST AFTER THE MAYORAL ELECTION 10 JUNE 2004.
            >Warm greetings from
            >sincerely yours
            >
            >Jan Gehl
            >Professor of Urban Design
            >Copenhagen
            >Denmark
            >
            >
            >Den 29/3-2004, kl. 23.18, skrev K Tsourlakis:
            >
            >>The justification for the charge (at least according to its name) is not
            >>that cars pollute, embarrass and kill pedestrians, and destroy the city,
            >>but that they congest, i.e. they embarrass other cars and deter them to
            run
            >>faster. This must also be the reason why, as far as I know, motorcycles
            are
            >>exempted from the charge. So, the message sent to the public opinion seems
            >>to be "pay in order to drive better and faster" and not "do not drive". It
            >>would be much better if its name were "pollution charge" or (even more
            >>accurately) "motorised traffic damage charge" and this reason were used to
            >>justify it to the public opinion. High technology is not so important for
            >>the control of the motorised traffic, as is the determination to withstand
            >>pressures from organised interests and the proper informing and education
            >>of the general public, which will facilitate this determination. For
            >>instance, bus lanes or parking restrictions could equally well (or even
            >>better in some cases) serve the purpose of limiting motorised traffic. I
            >>think "congestion charge" is not promoted in the best way to educate the
            >>general public for the damages provoked by motorised traffic and the huge
            >>(though mostly hidden) subsidies connected with it. Finally note that I am
            >>not among "the two dissenters" but, although I consider it as a positive
            >>initiative, I am very sceptical about its importance and in any case I
            >>consider it overrated.




            The Journal of World Transport Policy and Practice
            Consult at: http://wTransport.org
            To post message to group: WorldTransport@yahoogroups.com
            To subscribe: WorldTransport-subscribe@yahoogroups.com
            To unsubscribe: WorldTransport-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
            Yahoo! Groups Links






            ***********************************************************************************
            The contents of the e-mail and any transmitted files are confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they are addressed. Transport for London hereby exclude any warranty and any liability as to the quality or accuracy of the contents of this email and any attached transmitted files. If you are not the intended recipient be advised that you have received this email in error and that any use, dissemination, forwarding, printing or copying of this email is strictly prohibited.

            If you have received this email in error please notify postmaster@....

            This footnote also confirms that this email message has been swept for the presence of computer viruses.
            ***********************************************************************************
          • K Tsourlakis
            ... Indeed, it is a cost for those who use cars. But the lower the cost, the more driving is encouraged, according to a trivial law of economics. In fact it is
            Message 5 of 9 , Apr 1, 2004
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              At 06:59 ìì 30/3/2004 +0100, you wrote:

              >Congestion is not an "embarrassment" as much as a real cost
              >to residents, visitors and business alike.

              Indeed, it is a cost for those who use cars. But the lower the cost, the
              more driving is encouraged, according to a trivial law of economics. In
              fact it is a cost induced from any driver to the rest of the drivers and
              vice versa, while the other external costs not considered in "congestion
              charge" (pollution, noise, "accidents" etc) are unilaterally induced to
              pedestrians and bicyclists.

              >We did not want London to come to a standstill - already speeds
              >were often lower than Queen Victoria could travel in a horse-drawn
              >carriage.

              I 've never argued this is not a good scheme for those who drive -
              especially for those who are also willing and able to pay. Perhaps it has
              some positive aspects for pedestrians and bicyclists too. But as you imply,
              indeed the convenience of car users is the main concern.

              >The Mayor did exempt "clean" cars on the PowerShift register.
              >(Electric, hybrid, gas etc).

              The term "clean" car (even quoted) is misleading. Electric cars also
              pollute, since almost the totality of electric power is produced by fossil
              fuels or (even worse perhaps) by nuclear power - they just shift the place
              of pollution out of the city. Of course this is somehow better than
              conventional cars, but far from ideal.

              >Motorcycles have no front number plate in the UK and so could not
              >be enforced by our cameras - hence the exemption.

              It seems to be another technological weakness of this system.

              >My suggestion for sceptics is to come and see for yourself. I couldn't
              >believe the difference myself when my bus started to run to time, I
              >could safely cross the road and it was much easier to cycle.

              I think that bus and bicycle lanes is a much better (and easier) solution.
              If the goal is to move people from private cars to public transit (in an
              egalitarian way - not just prohibiting through monetary charges to the less
              privileged to drive), then the difference of the required time between the
              two modes is important, not only the absolute time spent for the trip. And
              obviously roads could be crossed with more safety when they are congested,
              since the speed of cars is lower. Car needs are quite different from
              pedestrian or bicyclists needs (and in most cases conflicting).

              >Not perfect, but for London, congestion charge has been a giant step
              >in the right direction.
              >
              >The lessons learnt are
              >1. Strong political leadership (Nobody but Ken Livingstone would have
              >been able to face the press and media barrage and still introduce it in
              >London),
              >2. A local scheme to meet local needs. Other cities considering this need
              >to develop their own answers to their own unique problems and not just dust
              >down the London Scheme and try to implement it out of context. Listen and
              >learn from our successes and our mistakes but develop your own scheme.
              >3. A huge expansion in public transport, (our Mayor put over 1,000 new buses
              >on the roads);
              >4. Strong Project management;
              >5. Consultation - real consultation and a readiness to change the scheme
              >in the light of representations.

              What is best for London depends on local political balances, and certainly
              is up to the Londoners to decide. However I have the impression that the
              present discussion is about some international prize and the impact this
              scheme has from a global viewpoint.

              >Best wishes
              >
              >Dave
              >
              >Dave Wetzel
              >Vice-chair,
              >Transport for London
              >Windsor House, 42-50 Victoria Street.
              >London. SW1H 0TL. UK.
              >Tel 020 7941 4200
              >
              >Close to New Scotland Yard.
              >Buses 11,24,148,211,N11 pass the door.
              >Nearest Underground - St James's Park tube station.
              >

              Regards and thanks for your response
              K Tsourlakis
            • Tramsol@aol.com
              ... charge is the rigorous management of the space resource. 1) apply the UK statute that roads are provided SOLELY for the passing and repassing of traffic -
              Message 6 of 9 , Apr 2, 2004
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                In a message dated 02/04/04 20:20:21 GMT Daylight Time, ktsou@... writes:

                I think that bus and bicycle lanes is a much better (and easier) solution.
                If the goal is to move people from private cars to public transit (in an
                egalitarian way - not just prohibiting through monetary charges to the less
                privileged to drive), then the difference of the required time between the
                two modes is important, not only the absolute time spent for the trip. And
                obviously roads could be crossed with more safety when they are congested,
                since the speed of cars is lower. Car needs are quite different from
                pedestrian or bicyclists needs (and in most cases conflicting).

                One method of control, which is perhaps more equitable than a congestion charge is the rigorous management of the space resource.

                1) apply the UK statute that roads are provided SOLELY for the passing and repassing of traffic - in its widest sense, embracing pedestrians, cyclists, and all powered vehicles.  Use of roads for any other purpose will not be tolerated, save for the grace and favour arrangement of allowing a vehicle to stop momentarily to take on or offload goods or passengers.

                2) with this pretext the provision of space to park a vehicle becomes a marketable resource, but equally one which can be rationed by land use regulation - and plain commonsense.

                3) It has been well demonstrated by the Commonwealth Games in Manchester, and various projects to enhance cycle parking at rail stations thet the traffic volume can be significantly affected by the amount of parking available.  Indeed structured parking charges (penalising arrivals at certain times of day, or racking up the rate for long stay parking - famously £440.00 for 24 hours on Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley Stations, but free (at the same locations) for the first 20 minutes).

                Thus access to all activities is equitably given to any person walking in the door, but the issue then becomes the detail of what they do with their mode of transport.  Pedestrians have the edge here, and cyclists can park their vehicles in very small spaces, for which many accept they may need to pay, bus, train, and taxi users enjoy the fact that their vehicle is taken away by a driver, and indeed car users can have the same facility, at a price, either of a driver, or a paid for space within walking distance.

                Of course making roads solely for moving traffic greatly simplifies the issue over parking restrictions with signs and painted lines - if its a road then there is no parking - period....Hoare-Beleisha worked that one out... where did we start to go wrong?

                Dave Holladay
                Glasgow

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