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ablarc
February 20th, 2005, 08:16 AM
Press Centre-Transport for London
Press release
18 February 2005

Two years on - congestion cut, more reliable buses, and £170million to invest in London’s transport system

Congestion has been cut, buses are quicker and more reliable and the West End continues to do well since the introduction of the congestion charge two years ago.

At the start of the scheme the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, called on commentators and detractors to give the scheme two years before deciding whether the scheme was a success or failure.

The Mayor said: “Two years on and the congestion charge continues to be a success and prove the cynics wrong. Congestion in the zone is down by 30 per cent, bus services are improved and pollution has been cut. London’s West End is doing well, with figures from the Society of London Theatre showing that theatres took their best ever revenue in 2004 and achieved their second best audience numbers since records began in the 1980s.

“After years of chronic congestion, central London is moving again. The scheme is clearly working and the majority of Londoners now support it.”

Michèle Dix, Director of the Congestion Charge, said,

“The scheme’s detractors predicted chaos and confusion, and that London would be turned into a ghost town. Two years on and the reality is that congestion has been cut, buses are quicker and far more reliable, businesses are doing well, more people are entering the zone, and London is a far nicer place to work, live and visit.”

Within the charging zone conditions have remained stable since the start of the scheme:

traffic has been reduced by 15%
congestion has been reduced by 30%
accident rates have fallen by up to 5% due to congestion charging
reduction of 12% in emissions of NOx and PM10 from road traffic within the zone
increased traffic speeds
excess waiting time for buses reduced by 45% within the zone
60% reduction in disruption to bus services
retail footfall is now outperforming the rest of the UK and is returning to a pattern of year-on-year growth
the charge has had no identifiable effect on the number of business starting up or closing down within the zone compared to the rest of London
no effect on property prices
the Society of London Theatre has indicated that the congestion charge does not seem to have affected businesses in the West End area generally
£170 million pounds will be raised by the end of the financial year to invest in London’s transport system (2003/4 - £80million, 2004/5 - projected net revenue of £90million).


Many improvements have been made to the scheme since its introduction including:

lowering the threshold of the congestion charging fleet schemes from 25 vehicles to 10
making the three charging days that fall between Christmas Day and New Year's Day 'non-charging' days
extending the SMS text messaging facility
allowing payment by additional credit and debit card types; revising the definition of resident's vehicles
removing the financial criteria for the National Health Service patients' reimbursement scheme
improvements to the 100 percent discount for registered holders of Blue Badges.


TfL is also currently consulting on the following changes:

to raise the charge from £5 per charging day to £8 per charging day for those not on fleet schemes;
to raise the charge from £5.50 per charging day to £7 for vehicles on the automated fleet scheme; and from £5 per charging day to £7 for vehicles on the notification fleet scheme;
to discount monthly and annual charges by 15 percent;
to reduce a number of administrative charges.


TfL is also progressing further measures to make the charge easier to pay, including:

an enhanced website
more petrol stations accepting payment
an enhanced public information on payment by SMS
an information leaflet to be sent to 36 million households across the UK as part of DVLA correspondence.

* * *

Seems like a natural for Manhattan, which has fewer than 20 automobile access points.

ZippyTheChimp
December 9th, 2005, 11:36 AM
Final destination for London double-deckers

Traffic woes ending run of famed buses

By Alana Semuels, Globe Correspondent | December 9, 2005

LONDON -- The fabled Routemaster, the red double-decker bus that has graced London streets for half a century, makes its final journey today. Its distinct silhouette has been scrapped for a sleeker, bendy bus that can accommodate more people.

Many in London are waxing nostalgic about the Routemaster because of its long history and old-fashioned boxy exterior; its jovial conductors; and hop-on, hop-off service. They say the city won't quite be the same without the icon that has graced movies and tourist brochures, and is as much a symbol of London as a red telephone booth or a corner pub. But Mayor Ken Livingstone, who once declared that only a ''ghastly dehumanized moron" would get rid of the bus, decided that it was time
for the Routemaster to go.

It is just one of many changes in the way people get around Britain -- or try to, in some of Europe's worst traffic. Livingstone also created and then enlarged the ''congestion zone" and raised the daily charge to £8 ($13.89) per day for private cars traveling through central London. He also has created incentives for people to ride buses and the subway, and is talking about a car-free 2012 Olympics.

Outside of London, congestion on small country roads is prompting other unusual ideas. Officials last week announced a £7 billion pilot scheme to test the feasibility of ''road pricing" in selected areas of the United Kingdom. Road pricing would use advanced technology to track cars on the roads and charge them based on mileage, time of day, and congestion of the area in which they are driving.

But if Steven Roberts is any indication, it is going to be a tough sell to get Britons out of their cars and onto the public transportation system, even with the most innovative measures. Roberts, an investment banker, does not like to use the Tube, London's subway system, which he describes as, among other things, ''jam-packed, stinky, smelly, super hot, and just unreliable."

So every morning, Roberts's commute to work is a bit like a video game. He leaves his house in southwest London by 6:30 a.m., and his mission is to drive all the way across to east London's Canary Wharf by no later than 7 a.m., when the congestion charge takes effect. If he is late, takes a wrong turn, or gets stuck in traffic, he gets charged. And he does not leave the office until 6:30, when the congestion charge ends.

In London, Europe's biggest city, the transportation problem is becoming a crisis. Its population is expected to grow by a whopping 800,000 by 2016 to more than 8 million, increasing the demands on transport by 28 percent.

Aided by former Boston T guru Robert Kiley, who has served as the head of London's transport network since 2001 and will step down in January, Livingstone has been pushing people to use public transportation. He says the congestion charge, introduced in February 2003, has cut traffic, reduced commute times, and provided much-needed funds to divert back to public transportation. In July 2004, he raised the price from £5 to £8, and in September he proposed extending the zone to encompass more of London's neighborhoods. Livingstone has gotten more people on buses by offering free bus passes to people under 16, putting more buses on the roads, and by establishing special bus lanes within the city.

Still, the Tube, London's underground system, is plagued by delays, and train drivers are threatening to strike over working conditions. It is not unusual to go to a Tube station and find that your destination is not accessible because of engineering work or a breakdown.

Policymakers blame the crisis on chronic underfunding of public transport. Britain has invested 30 percent less per capita on transportation than other European countries in the last 25 years, according to the Confederation of British Industry, an employers' organization. The organization also found that more than half of UK businesses think that the country's reputation as a place to do business has been harmed by transport problems, and the majority expect it to worsen.

''The British want European-style public services but with American-style taxes, and so Britain ends up with a highly stretched public transport system," said Tony Travers, director of the Greater London Group at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Fares have also been raised repeatedly to generate more money to invest back in the system. The average British family spent about £60 ($105) on transport per week in 2004-2005, more than they spent on food, recreation, housing, and health, according to the Office of National Statistics. London has one of the most expensive public transportation systems in Europe. ''What we've then got in London is people being priced out of cars and priced out of public transport," Travers said. ''What I'm not so sure about myself is the impact on the long-term desirability of London as a place to live."

Outside of London, small roads, unreliable trains, and an increase in cars have also fueled congestion. There are 25 million cars on the roads of Britain, and the government has predicted that the time spent in traffic could increase by 20 percent in the next few years. ''As people get richer, there's more traffic and more people on the roads. We simply can't provide enough road capacity to deal with it, and so congestion's going to get worse," said Stephen Glaister, professor of transport and infrastructure at Imperial College London.

Congestion on the roads appears to be driving some to public transportation.

Rail passenger demand grew by 44 percent in the West Midlands over the past decade as people looked for alternative ways to get to work. This overloaded the rail system to such an extent that the trains are simply not long enough to accommodate all of the passengers, said Heather Crocker, transport adviser to the development agency for the region.

To offset this increase, rail companies announced a pricing system that rewards people for traveling in off-peak times, and budget fares on some trains to London.

Even this might not be enough. In Birmingham, the train station is often so full that authorities have to close it for fear of dangerous overcrowding. Talk of a congestion charge, coupled with the increasing rail problems, prompted the local paper's editorial page to sum up what many in Britain are feeling: ''No trains, no cars, how do we get to work?" http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/File-Based_Image_Resource/dingbat_story_end_icon.gif

http://cache.boston.com/bonzai-fba/File-Based_Image_Resource/spacer.gif
© Copyright (http://www.boston.com/help/bostoncom_info/copyright) 2005 The New York Times Company



But Mayor Ken Livingstone, who once declared that only a ''ghastly dehumanized moron" would get rid of the bus, decided that it was time
for the Routemaster to go.

Never make hyperbolic statements while in public office.

ryan
December 9th, 2005, 12:01 PM
Never make hyperbolic statements while in public office.


haha - are there any pols who don't?

nick-taylor
March 1st, 2006, 06:21 PM
The Western Extension of the Central London Congestion Charge: to come into force 19th February 2007








http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/press-centre/image-gallery/images/rez-high/h-proposed-congestion-chargin-zone.jpg

ablarc
March 1st, 2006, 06:35 PM
So...what's your opinion, Nick?

I know thw Routemasters have retired to tourist routes, but they haven't just been replaced by bendy-buses, have they? There are still plenty of red double-decker lines that aren't Routemasters, right?

nick-taylor
March 1st, 2006, 07:41 PM
So...what's your opinion, Nick?

I know thw Routemasters have retired to tourist routes, but they haven't just been replaced by bendy-buses, have they? There are still plenty of red double-decker lines that aren't Routemasters, right?I'm all for the congestion charge and the extension of it. The result from the current Congestion Charge has been:
- Economic growth hasn't faltered
- The number of accidents has fallen
- Air pollution levels have dropped significantly
- Congestion on the streets is lower
- Bus travel times have decreased
- Use of public transport has increased
- Revenue is being created which is being used to increase bus services, new trains, modernisation of stations, etc...

To sum up the growth in public transport in London:
Bus ridership in London (already at 6mn each day: as many as those that take London Commuter Rail and the London Underground combined) is soaring at around 40% (2001-2011).

London Commuter Rail is seeing a renaissance as rolling stock being rapidly updated (the average commuter train is now around 14.29 years old in London and the surrounding metro and falling) and the year on year increase usage of London commuter trains is around 54mn.

Currently 121km (75.1miles) of heavy rail is being built in and around London (CTRL, East London Line, Piccadilly, Heathrow Express + DLR) which would add to the whopping 5,081km (excluding trams) of heavy rail route km already in London. More lines, routes and extensions are approved or proposed meaning this figure will only continue to increase. On another note, London is also re-building its once vast tram network (once one of the largest in the world), which is expected to encircle the entire city eventually.

So I'd say its pretty good. Obviously with London where the streets are far more confined, it made more sense because the road capacity in Central London compared to Lower and Mid-Manhattan is far greater. That said, New York should employ it, just like most cities should where public transport exists.


Regarding the Routemasters, they were getting old and didn't comply with modern safety regulations and only managed to stay running simply because it would have been too expensive to renew the entire fleet (London's weekday operating bus fleet is somewhere around 6,800 - half or more are probably double deckers). The result was that the Routemasters were gradually phased out and replaced either with the higher capacity bendy buses or new double deckers

This bus, the new Alexander Dennis Enviro 400 were first released to the world in January 2006. London ordered 56, the first replaced the exact bus lost in the 7th July bombings (which was itself a doubled decker). Other double deckers are also continually being built for London from a variety of different bus manufacturers. Ramps actually descend from the base of these double deckers meaning wheelchair bound passengers can use double deckers.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/9/9e/Wiki_enviro_400_metroline.PNG


So while times move on, the red double decker will remain an icon in London and will do so for the forseeable future.


One of the coolest new modes of transport, are the new Network Express coaches in operation in and around London....just look at the snazzy little lift: just opens out from one of the steps! Its things like this, that people are returing to public transport in their droves.

http://www.oxford-chiltern-bus-page.co.uk/upload091005/29%20Chris%20Maxfield%20%288%29.jpg

http://www.oxford-chiltern-bus-page.co.uk/upload091005/29%20Chris%20Maxfield%20%289%29.jpg

nick-taylor
March 1st, 2006, 07:47 PM
Another innovation being developed are 'streetcars': they look like trams, operate a bit like trams but are bendy buses. This model being tested is in the London commuter town of Reading (due west of London Heathrow Airport).

http://www.oxford-chiltern-bus-page.co.uk/upload091005/ftr6_061005%20James%20Cusworth.jpg

http://www.oxford-chiltern-bus-page.co.uk/upload091005/Street%20Car2%20James%20Cusworth.jpg

Marksix
March 2nd, 2006, 04:38 AM
Seems like a natural for Manhattan, which has fewer than 20 automobile access points.


the UK Government will eventually extend road charging to the entire road network. They will do this by the mandatory fixing of transceivers to vehicles from which satelites can track the movement of the vehicle; when it went, the time it went, the speed it went and charges will apply accordingly.

The UK is already the most surveiled country in the world. The Government will know who is in the vehicle so they will surely know why you went and who you went to see....

Be careful what you wish for.......


(also as a GSXR1000 owner - the speed thing is truly scary!)

PS - those Routemaster buses can be bought for $8,000 - Bargain!

Ninjahedge
March 2nd, 2006, 02:37 PM
That is what I am thinking...


If we do this, the units used should be local tranceivers not GPS units.

That way, while you are in the city, you do have your speed tracked and all that crap, but once you are out on the highway, Big Brother is not watching you.

I just would feel more uncomfortable with a device that would be able to see where you go at all times in that you would always be tracable and every move you make, if it one day disagreed with whoever was in charge, could be your last.

lofter1
March 2nd, 2006, 03:08 PM
I just would feel more uncomfortable with a device that would be able to see where you go at all times in that you would always be tracable and every move you make, if it one day disagreed with whoever was in charge, could be your last.
That device is called a cell phone ;)

Marksix
March 2nd, 2006, 03:39 PM
The current road charging scheme works by number plate recognition but GPS transceivers are cheaper and can track your every movement but.....you want to know something REALLY scary? The UK government are to make bio-metric ID cards compulsory. The latest specs include RFID readers that can be read from as far as 500 metres with the right (government) transceivers so they will also be able to track your movements in or out of your vehicle. They will be linked to multiple government databases and the police are building their own database which they intend will hold the DNA of every UK subject. Some (in the UK) will think I am exagerating but consider this fact; the police already hold the DNA of 35% of British black males....

They are able to take the DNA of every person they arrest regardless of whether they charge them and it is at their discretion if they destroy those samples. So far, no police force has destroyed any sample and currently hold DNA samples of children as young a eight years old. It will be natural to add this biometric data to the ID cards or even simply link that database with other government databases linked to ID cards.

You may think "British suckers" for allowing this (it wasn't in any party's manifesto) but don't feel too smug; one reason given by our government was that it's being done to satisfy the requirements of the US government and many of the companies bidding for the contracts are US corporations.

Of course if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. Do you.

ablarc
March 2nd, 2006, 04:06 PM
Of course if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear. Do you.
Yup, that's what they say. But it doesn't take high tech. In Cuba they do it with a Madame Defarge in every block. They call this the Committee of Defense. Nothing to hide = nothing to fear.

Ninjahedge
March 2nd, 2006, 04:07 PM
That device is called a cell phone ;)


It still is not precise unless you turn on the GPS on the unit.

Two things would worry me about that.

1. They actually make a law making it mandatory to have the GPS on at all times.
2. They already have something on there that says that they can turn it on themselves remotely if they "need" to.

I know what you are saying though, and the whole thing creeps me out.

nick-taylor
March 2nd, 2006, 06:34 PM
GPS systems are already common on some car models (ie if it gets stolen, the tracker is turned on and it can be traced). Even my laptop has one: think I went OTT with that one. ;)

That said a GPS based system does have problems, but has benefits: the UK is moving towards a pay as you go society and its unfair that some users of the roads pay equal amounts as those that may use it far more often. This way you offer a modern flexible cost for using UK roads. What better way to charge people, than to charge people on how busy the road is and what time of day it is. The scope means that you have greater control over the money which could be increased to allow for greater investment into public transport.

This is all moving towards Minority Report type vehicles: ie you don't drive as its all controlled by a computer and the speed is controlled to ensure no accidents take place and to allow for higher capacity usage of busy roads. Sound crazy, but this is gradually becoming more and more a reality. What we need to do is provide as much input into the lengthy discussions that will take place so that possible concerns can be noted.


Regarding ID Cards, currently if you are stopped, you could be either taken into custody for questioning or asked to go to your local police station within a certain number of days. These cards would essentially negate this requirement to go to a police station as essentially the card is bringing together current databases into a single database, rather than many which opens the chances of greater corruption and inacurracies. What I'm against is the cost and I personally believe the card should go further, ie an all encompassing passport/drivers licence, etc which again means fewer databases delays for the person in question. On the continent, ID cards have been used and Britain used to have them only until 'recently'. In the ideal world, we wouldn't need these things because nobody would do no wrong, but generally I believe the card is about the amalgamation of databases and creating a system that is less open to corrupt influences due to less access to these multiple databases.

lofter1
March 2nd, 2006, 09:08 PM
Add on to this all of the surveillence cameras going up around the various cities (London, New York +): if they want to soon they'll know whenever you blow your nose.

Marksix
March 3rd, 2006, 05:28 AM
Regarding ID Cards, currently if you are stopped, you could be either taken into custody for questioning or asked to go to your local police station within a certain number of days. These cards would essentially negate this requirement to go to a police station as essentially the card is bringing together current databases into a single database, rather than many which opens the chances of greater corruption and inacurracies. What I'm against is the cost and I personally believe the card should go further, ie an all encompassing passport/drivers licence, etc which again means fewer databases delays for the person in question. On the continent, ID cards have been used and Britain used to have them only until 'recently'. In the ideal world, we wouldn't need these things because nobody would do no wrong, but generally I believe the card is about the amalgamation of databases and creating a system that is less open to corrupt influences due to less access to these multiple databases.

You could not be more wrong about this and I suggest you go to http://www.no2id.net/ and explore all of the arguments.

The police have no power to take you into custody without being arrested. I don't understand what you mean about avoiding corruption as I have never encountered this in the UK. Except.....the driver vehicle & licensing agency has been illeagally selling private details of driver license holders and their vehicles to private companies. Except...the government claimed that ID cards would help combat terrorism; the London bombers were British nationals who didn't try to hide their identity and Italy, France, Spain, Germany have had ID cards for years and have had at times, chronic terrorism. Except...the government then claimed the cards were now not an effective weapon against terrorists but against the explosion in ID theft and that therefore, they were for our protection. They later had to apologise for putting out misleading and exagerted data on ID theft.

As to inaccuracy in databases you are naive in the extreme if you have confidence in their infalability. Read these forums and you will find examples of indivduals who have be renditioned by the American government and tortured in Egypt and Syria becuase thyey were erroniously on a database. Of course they can be accurate in other ways; in the last election the labour party, the party behind ID cards, used a powerful database which could predict with 94% accuracy the way housholds would vote and taget those households INDIVIDUALLY. ID cards linked to such databases could be used to curtail your travel on i.e. World Economic Forum events in i.e. Edinburgh, Arms exhibitions in London Docklands, Visits by controversial presidents, i.e. Chinese, American, labour disputes, anti government protests. You think this will never happen? It already has; inthe '80's whole towns were road blocked by the police to stop trade unionists moving around the country, Demonstrators were stopped from going to the exhibtion centres to protest about the arms industy (Britains third largest industry), during the visit of the Chinese premier the police ripped out of the hands the citical banners of protestors and held them in custody until the visit was over. During the Econimic summit last year train movements were constrained and road blocks set up to prevent people getting there from other parts of the country. ID cards and databases will enable these things to be done with surgical accuracy at the touch of a button (you will need an ID card to buy a rail/bus/plane ticket) but of course, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear and mistakes will never happen to you. Will they.

I could go on and on. In Europe they live by the old "Code Napoleon" in which the state is supreme and the citizens are subbordinate to the state. The ONE defining characteristic that generations of Britains fought for going back to magna carta and before is personal freedom in its truest sense. That the sate is subordinate to the citizen and as individuals, we have freedom to go about our business unmolested by agents of the state. It is what defines us as a nation. We gave this quality to America.

I am afraid that you just do not seem to recognise that the imposition of ID cards and their associated databases fundamentally changes these true freedoms in changing the relationship between the state and the individual. I am shocked in your bovine like complicity and acceptance of ID cards in exchange for some minor convenience in your personal life.

I for one will not be marched by a political party down to an "approved government centre" for registration, have my biometric data taken against my will and told to pay £400 for a license to live in my own country!

Costs of the ID cards have been cost by the London School of Economics at £19 billion/$33 billion, greater than NASA's space shuttle budget. The author of the authoratative LSE report into the true costs of ID cards recently stepped down citing the kind of government harrasment that led to another respected government advisor commiting suicide ove a certain Iraq (dodgy) dossier - you know who I mean....

Sorry if thise seems like a British only theme but as I said, our government says its being done partially at the behest of the US government so you ought to start asking what they have in store for you.

ablarc
March 3rd, 2006, 07:30 AM
Sorry if thise seems like a British only theme but as I said, our government says its being done partially at the behest of the US government so you ought to start asking what they have in store for you.
Freedom is being eroded everywhere by available technology. If it can be done it will be done. Not even constitutional assurances prevail against a government hell-bent on surveillance of citizens; Bush has already proved that with his illegal wiretaps.

You can also thank Osama bin Laden; he pretty much determines the tenor of the times.

nick-taylor
March 3rd, 2006, 08:06 AM
You don't have to be arrested to go to be escourted to a police station, eg drunks to spend a night in the cell, those willing to be taken to the police station, etc...

I wouldn't exactly call that website balanced and without more balanced views we go to the other extreme of under-security. We need to get a balance which appeases to all sides.

I also don't believe that they will combat terrorism, they do have scope for aiding against external actors acting within the UK, but this is not their main benefit. One good example is 'NHS tourism' would be radically cut.

With more single databases you increase the human interaction with these databases which can thus increase the chance of these databases being corrupted or errors popping up.

Personally I'm unsure how they could be used against you moving around the world or visting arms exhibitions (but then again I'd hope that there are added security checks to ensure that you're actually associated in the business of buying guns).

Also if you did your history, you'd know that trade unionists caused enough trouble as it was. Not only were their actions damaging the economy, but they began to target areas which were still economically active. You see, there has the be a line drawn: freedom and security. You can't allow groups taking law into their own hands to enact revenge on individuals who don't believe their philosophy. That said, you can't allow the state to govern all our actions and the only way forward is an equal balance: state and individual.

I believe in peaceful protest, but like usual there are always fringe movements who spoil it for everyone and the result was that anarchists and the like destroyed the equilibrium. During the G8, there were 21 complaints about the police force, but around 20 police officers were injured, including two police horses and 40 police vehicles. You can't have unlimited movement because had this been the case, even more people would have been injured and the chance of violent protestors and police crashes would increase.

Essentially the problems that you have now would most likely continue in the future, but the chance of this happening would decrease as you'd have fewer databases with fewer human interference.

I think you don't understand Europe that much, for a start a few countries already have ID Cards and have had them for many years. Police activities also don't have to be publicly disclosed to the extent that they are in Britain, for example speed cameras and mobile speed cameras have to be clearly identified with signs and coloured in luminous yellow in the UK, in some countries in the continent its tough luck if you happen to go over the speed limit where unidentified speed cameras might be.

I believe people should continually ensure that the state and police are in check, but admissions should be made on some fronts, while issues should be raised in others.

I should note though that we can't allow people to go about their business if it interferes with the liberty of others. We can't allow others to rape or murder because its their right: we have to create a balance that creates a safe society with evolutionary boundaries.

I personally believe the costs could be made more efficient by amalgamating together drivers licences, passports, etc... This way you bring together numerous departments which could be cut down red tape and thus human interference.

By all accounts that individual committed suicide for his errors in life; I'm okay with whistleblowers as long as they fully take into account their own actions in creating the problem.

Also I find it so annoying that people somehow align the UK with the US, simply because we share a few security concerns, when the UK is fully independent from the US. If anything France it could be argued has closer parallels with the US. Remember our country is more than just security.


Remember though: this was a thread based on the Congestion Charge and like it or not: its been a complete success.

Ninjahedge
March 3rd, 2006, 09:40 AM
Add on to this all of the surveillence cameras going up around the various cities (London, New York +): if they want to soon they'll know whenever you blow your nose.


You mean the ones that can do things like track your face baced on thermal imaging and compare it to a central database?

It IS big brother. And I do not care what people say "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear".

What I fear is that what I am, and what I believe would some day be said to be "unacceptable" by whoever is in charge. If that happens, you become a criminal while doing nothing different and you are subject to search and seisure even before you get to your car/bus in the morning.

Abuse of power is documented in almost EVERY human political system. How would it be any different now?

lofter1
March 3rd, 2006, 10:07 AM
I agree -- 100%.

One of the most frightening aspects of all of this is that younger people growing up today know no other world than the one that is being constructed by those in power. No doubt to many all of this seems "normal".

And as long as these breaches of privacy and personal security do not appear to directly touch the masses then there will be little or no uproar.

MidtownGuy
March 3rd, 2006, 11:56 AM
Words that are so true, and so chilling! The new reality is being constructed in increments; individually the incremental changes are not enough to rouse effective opposition. Point A to Point B seems like not much of a stretch, likewise B to C, but when you look up and realize you are at Z, what monumental changes have occurred, by now irrevocable!


As for Osama, whose reality and goals I do not doubt, I nonetheless have to say he has been fulfilling the role of Goldstein for this regime.

BrooklynRider
March 3rd, 2006, 02:02 PM
... I believe in peaceful protest, but like usual there are always fringe movements who spoil it for everyone and the result was that anarchists and the like destroyed the equilibrium. During the G8, there were 21 complaints about the police force, but around 20 police officers were injured, including two police horses and 40 police vehicles. You can't have unlimited movement because had this been the case, even more people would have been injured and the chance of violent protestors and police crashes would increase...

You make a lot of snide comments about people "not know" things or "not understanding" others. I have yet to be at a demonstration and see "anarchists" as you and the politicos like to label them They are not anarchists they are environmentalist, anti-globalist, anti-fascists, and anti-corporate whores. They do not seek to create a world run amok - that would be anarchy. They seek to curb the powers of multi-national corporations and corruptpolitical parties that ride roughshod over the rights of individuals and steal the natural resources of poorer nations in horribly unfair debt reduction schemes.

The fact is that you can have unlimited movement. It is when you create an opposing force that people get hurt. It is not only happening in Europe. It is happening here. The freedom to assemble, freedom of speech and by extension freedom to protest have been severely curbed in this country, as any activist can tell you. "Protestors" now must get permits, provide bonding and then submit to being held in pens surrounding by police trained to intimidate, harass and incite protestors.

The yoke has been strapped to the working man - union activities have been curtailed by ridicuous judicial activisim by right-wing corporate sponsored judges like Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia. I acknowledge your right to presume what is good for Europe, but in America we were born of individual rights. They are now being stripped away. This country needs to start revoking Corporate rights, which were actually created in the same Amendment that banned slavery. The Congress in that amendment traded one form of slavery for another. That is what people are rebelling against, because they are finally waking up to the reality.

nick-taylor
March 3rd, 2006, 03:32 PM
You make a lot of snide comments about people "not know" things or "not understanding" others. I have yet to be at a demonstration and see "anarchists" as you and the politicos like to label them They are not anarchists they are environmentalist, anti-globalist, anti-fascists, and anti-corporate whores. They do not seek to create a world run amok - that would be anarchy. They seek to curb the powers of multi-national corporations and corruptpolitical parties that ride roughshod over the rights of individuals and steal the natural resources of poorer nations in horribly unfair debt reduction schemes.

The fact is that you can have unlimited movement. It is when you create an opposing force that people get hurt. It is not only happening in Europe. It is happening here. The freedom to assemble, freedom of speech and by extension freedom to protest have been severely curbed in this country, as any activist can tell you. "Protestors" now must get permits, provide bonding and then submit to being held in pens surrounding by police trained to intimidate, harass and incite protestors.

The yoke has been strapped to the working man - union activities have been curtailed by ridicuous judicial activisim by right-wing corporate sponsored judges like Samuel Alito and Antonin Scalia. I acknowledge your right to presume what is good for Europe, but in America we were born of individual rights. They are now being stripped away. This country needs to start revoking Corporate rights, which were actually created in the same Amendment that banned slavery. The Congress in that amendment traded one form of slavery for another. That is what people are rebelling against, because they are finally waking up to the reality.Just because you have been to demonstrations where there haven't been anarchists...it doesn't mean that they don't exist or are a conspiracy created by capitalists/environment hating/power crazed individuals.

Note though that I did not tarnish all protestors in the same group and I clearly stated (as you quoted me in the first line) that: "....I believe in peaceful protest, but like usual there are always fringe movements who spoil it for everyone....". So don't portray me as siding along with this 'conspiracy' whos only objective is to frame a minority who are deliberately out there to cause trouble and not actually highlight the issues at hand.

You don't need a permit to protest in the UK, but there are laws against using demonstrations as a cover to attack people, and private and public property. So no you can't have unlimited movement because this will affect the liberties of others and like I mentioned, its fringe movements that will use this as an excuse to corrupt the efforts of other possible demonstrators. In summary, I think you've misjudged me as I am actually strongly in favour of debate and the vocal opinion of society, but I don't believe people should use these episodes as a cover to carry out devious acts because this tarnishes the image of the normal demonstrator and blurs the true message being given out.

BrooklynRider
March 3rd, 2006, 03:49 PM
I think that what I disagreed with is the assumption that there is always a fringe and that the fringe is always, in some way, violent or anarchist. Any protest will have people representing the spectrum of ofthe issue from both extremes. Yet, it is this insistence on painting the fringes and extremes as "violent" that I strongly disagree with. By doing so, it becomes a microcosm of the Bush Doctrine, where pre-emptive actions suddenly become justified. In almost every instance of violence at G8 meetings, the violence is provoked by strong arm tactics and harassment of protesters by police. Also, we must distinguish between destruction of property - as in the breaking of windows on a McDonald's or Starbuck's and violence against people. I can recall of no instance at any economic summit when violence is directed at human beings. We hear of protest "turning violent," but a parsing out of the timeline often - if not always - reveals the violence is in reaction to some physical abuse of protestors (like riding horses into crowds or ramming with motor scooters) that meets with resistence. Random violence is wanton and careless. Defending one's self might be violent, but is not wrong or unjustified.

Marksix
March 4th, 2006, 07:01 AM
Also if you did your history, you'd know that trade unionists caused enough trouble as it was. Not only were their actions damaging the economy, but they began to target areas which were still economically active. You see, there has the be a line drawn: freedom and security. You can't allow groups taking law into their own hands to enact revenge on individuals who don't believe their philosophy. That said, you can't allow the state to govern all our actions and the only way forward is an equal balance: state and individual.


I am sorry that this seems off topic to you but it really isn't. The congestion charges are the thin end of a very large wedge.

Since you raised the "history" thing the police were used in the 1980's as a political weapon by the Thantcher regime to destroy the mining industry as revenge for a previous miners strike which brought down the Heath tory government. So yes, they did cause that political party trouble but guess what? That's what freedom is all about. In other countires trades unions are illegal.

They suceeded to the extent that there is no real mining industry now and entire communities and towns are to this day, economic deserts. Britain was once described as an Island of coal floating in a sea of oil but the wholesale conversion of energy from coal to gas has now made us dependent on Russian and Middle Eastern supply and also coal from China. What was your point about security and the economy?

The police illegally stopped legitimate demonstrators from approaching that arms exhibition. It took two years for the case to come to court but it emerged that the met was under political pressure to stop demonstrators getting near to the exhibition. I think it was because the Labour party had just sold a multi billion dollar air defense system to an African dictatorship in direct contravention of their own policy on arms exports.

If you ever go on a demo you will notice large numbers of police with video cameras. They build a database of demonstrators which can be linked to ID cards and then those individuals can be monitored more closely by the police. i.e. you will need an ID card to conduct any transaction from a bank withdrawl to buying a travel ticket to voting. At times of political unrest those individuals who dared to protest will be monitored more closely.


Another instance of how ID cards will curtail freedom; it is now illeagal to protest within close proximity of the Houses of Parliament without permision from the (unelected) police. Recently three girls were arrested for simply reading out the names beside the Cenotaph in Whitehall of the 90 (now 103) dead British soldiers killed in Iraq. If made to carry ID cards the police would be instantly alerted in future when they bought a rail ticket to London or from the installed covert RFID readers situated in areas the politicians consider potentially embarresing to them as they entered those areas. And arrested again. I hope that answers your uncertainty as to how ID can be used to curtail your freedom.

Unfortunately for you you will not have the luxury to test ID cards and see if they work for you. Of course if you have nothing to protest against they will probably have no impact on you. Maybe those anti G8 protestors deserve all they get. Maybe those anit runway protestors are just nimby's. But maybe the government will close your local hospital and it will directly affect you enough to get you on a protest march. But remember - you will be monitored....You will be made to buy one and can you ever imagine a UK government giving up that kind of control over people and recalling ID cards?

Please wake up!!!!

lofter1
March 4th, 2006, 10:49 AM
A bit of follow-up on this from the American side ...

"Wake Up!", indeed ...

It is well documented that the US Government via the FBI has a record of taking steps outside of the law to investigate and keep tabs on American citizens. Any type of National "ID" card could only help the Government to fulfill this -- and any other -- misguided mission.

In fact the FBI, under Director J. Edgar Hoover, established a long list of citizens -- including Dr. Martin Luther King -- who were to be rounded up and held during states of "emergency":

... the Bureau adopted a new "priority" ranking for apprehension in case of an emergency. Top priority was now given not only to leaders of "basic subversive organizations," but also to "leaders of anarchistic groups." It was said to be the "anarchistic tendencies" of New Left and racial militants that made them a "threat to the internal security."

Initially, the Justice Department approved informally these changes in the criteria for "the persons listed for apprehension." After several months of "study," the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel formally approved the new Security Index criteria. This was the first time since 1955 that the Department had fully considered the matter, and the previous policy of disregarding the procedures of the Emergency Detention Act of 1950 was formally abandoned. If an emergency occurred, the Attorney General would abide by "the requirement that any person actually detained will be entitled to a hearing at which time the evidence will have to satisfy the standards of [the Act]." However, the Office of Legal Counsel declared that the Security Index criteria themselves could be - as they were - less precise than those of the Act because of the "needed flexibility and discretion at the operating level in order to carry on an effective surveillance program." Thus while the plan to ignore Congress' procedural limitations was abandoned, Congress' substantive standards were disregarded as insufficiently "flexible."
[ FINAL REPORT OF THE SELECT COMMITTEE TO STUDY GOVERNMENTAL OPERATIONS WITH RESPECT TO INTELLIGENCE ACTIVITIES UNITED STATES SENATE ( aka "The Church Report" ); 1976: http://www.icdc.com/~paulwolf/cointelpro/churchfinalreportIIb.htm ]

And who were "the persons listed for apprehension"and what criteria was used to establish that list?

Read on ...


FBI Target Lists

The FBI's most intensive domestic intelligence investigations and COINTELPRO operations were directed against persons identified, not as criminals or criminal suspects, but in vague terms such as "rabble rouser," "agitators," "key activists," or "key black extremists." The Security Index for detention in time of national emergency was revised to include such persons.

(1) "Rabble Rouser/Agitator" Index. -- Following a meeting with the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders in August 1967, Director Hoover ordered his subordinates to intensify collection of intelligence about "vociferous rabble-rousers." He also directed a "Key Black Extremist" "that an index be compiled of racial agitators and individuals who have demonstrated a potential for fomenting racial discord."


The already vague standards for the Rabble Rouser Index were broadened in November 1967 to cover persons with a "propensity for fomenting" any disorders affecting the "internal security" -- as opposed to only racial disorders -- and to include persons of local as well as national interest. This included "black nationalists, white supremacists, Puerto Rican nationalists, anti-Vietnam demonstration leaders, and other extremists." A rabble rouser was defined as:
a person who tries to arouse people to violent action by appealing to their emotions, prejudices, etcetera; a demagogue.In March 1968, the Rabble Rouser Index was renamed the Agitator Index and field offices were ordered to obtain a photograph of each person on the Index.

However, expanding the size of the Agitator Index lessened its value as an efficient target list for FBI intelligence operations. Consequently, the Bureau developed a more refined tool for this purpose-the Key Activist Program.

You might think "What's the problem? The FBI was only going after persons who try "to arouse people to violent action".


But a closer look reveals that the US Government was laying a much broader net:


D. INTELLIGENCE AND DOMESTIC DISSENT: 1964-1976

1. Main Developments of the 1964-1976 Period

Beginning in the mid-sixties, the United States experienced a period of domestic unrest and protest unparalleled in this century. Violence erupted in the poverty-stricken urban ghettos, and opposition to American intervention in Vietnam produced massive demonstrations.

A small minority deliberately used violence as a method for achieving political goals -- ranging from the brutal murder and intimidation of black Americans in parts of the South to the terrorist bombing of office buildings and government-supported university facilities. But three Presidential commissions found that the larger outbreaks of violence in the ghettos and on the campuses were most often spontaneous reactions to events in a climate of social tension and upheaval.

During this period, thousands of young Americans and members of racial minorities came to believe in civil disobedience as a vehicle for protest and dissent.

The government could have set an example for the nation's citizens and prevented spiraling lawlessness by respecting the law as it took steps, to predict or prevent violence. But agencies of the United States, sometimes abetted by public opinion and government officials, all too often disregarded the Constitutional rights of American in their conduct of domestic intelligence operations.


c. Domestic Covert Action

The FBI developed new covert programs for disrupting and discrediting domestic political groups, using the techniques originally applied to Communists. The most intensive domestic intelligence investigations, and frequently COINTELPRO operations, were targeted against persons identified not as criminals or criminal suspects, but as "rabble rousers," "agitators," "key activists," or "key black extremists" because of their militant rhetoric and group leadership. The Security Index was revised to include such persons.

Without imposing adequate safeguards against misuse, the Internal Revenue Service passed tax information to the FBI and CIA, in some cases in violation of tax regulations. At the urging of the White House and a Congressional Committee, the IRS established a program for investigating politically active groups and individuals, which included auditing their tax returns.



A Bureau memorandum which recommended the use of disruptive techniques against the "New Left" paid particular attention to one of its "anarchistic tendencies":
the New Left has on many occasions viciously and scurrilously attacked the Director and the Bureau in an attempt to hamper our investigations and drive us off the college campuses. 294 Later instructions to the field stated that the term "New Left" did not refer to "a definite organization," but to a "loosely bound, freewheeling, college-oriented movement" and to the "more extreme and militant anti-Vietnam war and antidraft protest organizations." These instructions directed a "comprehensive study of the whole movement" for the purpose of assessing its "dangerousness." Quarterly reports were to be prepared, and "subfiles" opened, under the following headings:
Organizations ("when organized, objectives, locality which active, whether part of a national organization")
Membership (and "sympathizers" -- use "best available informants and sources")
Finances (including identity of "angels" and funds from "foreign sources")
Comunist Influence
Publications ("describe publications, show circulation and principal members of editorial staff"]
Violence
Religion ("support of movement by religious groups or individuals") Race Relations
Political Activities ("details relating to position taken on political matters including efforts to influence public opinion, the electorate and Government bodies")
Ideology
Education ("courses given together with any educational outlines and assigned or suggested reading")
Reform ("demonstrations aimed at social reform")
Labor ("all activity in the labor field")
Public Appearances of Leaders ("on radio and television" and "before groups, such as labor, church and minority groups," including "summary of subject matter discussed")
Factionalism
Security Measures
International Relations ("travel in foreign countries," "attacks on United States foreign policy")
Mass Media ("indications of support of New Left by mass media")

Through these massive reports, the FBI hoped to discover "the true nature of the New Left movement." Few Bureau programs better reflect "pure intelligence" objectives which extended far beyond even the most generous definition of "preventive intelligence."


f. COMINFIL Investigations: Overbreadth

In the late 1960's the Communist infiltration or association concept continued to be used as a central basis for FBI intelligence investigations. In many cases it led to the collection of information on the same groups and persons who were swept into the investigative net by the vague missions to investigatie such subjects as "racial matters" or the "New Left." As it had from its beginning, the COMINFIL concept produced investigations of individuals and groups who were not Communists. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is the best known example. But the lawful activities of many other persons were recorded in FBI files and reports, because they associated in some wholly innocent way with Communists, a term which the Bureau required its agents to "interpret in its broad sense" to include "splinter" and "offshoot" groups.

During this period, when millions of Americans demonstrated in favor of civil rights and against the Vietnam war, many law-abiding citizens and groups came under the scrutiny of intelligence agencies. Under the COMINFIL program, for example, the Bureau compiled extensive reports on moderate groups, like the NAACP.

The FBI significantly impaired the democratic decisionmaking process by its distorted intelligence reporting on Communist infiltration of and influence on domestic political activity. In private remarks to Presidents and in public statements, the Bureau seriously exaggerated the extent of Communist influence in both the civil rights and anti-Vietnam war movements.

4. Domestic Covert Action

a. COINTELPRO

The FBI's initiation of COINTELPRO operations against the Ku Klux Klan, "Black Nationalists" and the "New Left" brought to bear upon a wide range of domestic groups the techniques previously developed to combat Communists and persons who happened to associate with them...

Further directives issued soon after initiation of the program urged field offices to "vigorously and enthusiastically" explore "every avenue of possible embarrassment" of New Left adherents. Agents were instructed to gather information on the "immorality" and the "scurrilous and depraved" behavior, "habits, and living conditions" of the members of targeted groups. This message was reiterated several months later, when the offices were taken to task for their failure to remain alert for and seek specific data depicting the "depraved nature and moral looseness of the New Left" and to "use this Material in a vigorous and enthusiastic approach to neutralizing them."


In July 1968, the field offices were further prodded by FBI headquarters to:

(1) prepare leaflets using "the most obnoxious pictures" of New Left leaders at various universities;
(2) instigate "personal conflicts or animosities" between New Left leaders;
(3) create the impression that leaders are "informants for the Bureau or other law enforcement agencies" (the "snitch jacket" technique) ;
(4) send articles from student or "underground" newspapers which show "depravity" ("use of narcotics and free sex") of New Left leaders to university officials, donors, legislators, and parents;
(5) have members arrested on marijuana charges;
(6) send anonymous letters about a student's activities to parents, neighbors, and the parents' employers;
(7) send anonymous letters about New Left faculty members (signed "A Concerned Alumni" or "A Concerned Taxpayer") to university officials, legislators, Board of Regents, and the press;
(8) use "cooperative press contacts;"
(9) exploit the "hostility" between New Left and Old Left groups;
(10) disrupt New Left coffee houses near military bases which are attempting to "influence members of the Armed forces;"
(11) use cartoons, photographs, and anonymous letters to "ridicule" the New Left;
(12) use "misinformation" to "confuse and disrupt" New Left activities, such as by notifying members that events have been cancelled.

During the period 1968-1971, 291 COINTELPRO actions against the "New Left" were, approved by headquarters. Particular emphasis was placed upon preventing the targeted individuals from public speaking or teaching and providing "misinformation" to confuse demonstrators.

nick-taylor
March 4th, 2006, 02:22 PM
I am sorry that this seems off topic to you but it really isn't. The congestion charges are the thin end of a very large wedge.

Since you raised the "history" thing the police were used in the 1980's as a political weapon by the Thantcher regime to destroy the mining industry as revenge for a previous miners strike which brought down the Heath tory government. So yes, they did cause that political party trouble but guess what? That's what freedom is all about. In other countires trades unions are illegal.

They suceeded to the extent that there is no real mining industry now and entire communities and towns are to this day, economic deserts. Britain was once described as an Island of coal floating in a sea of oil but the wholesale conversion of energy from coal to gas has now made us dependent on Russian and Middle Eastern supply and also coal from China. What was your point about security and the economy?

The police illegally stopped legitimate demonstrators from approaching that arms exhibition. It took two years for the case to come to court but it emerged that the met was under political pressure to stop demonstrators getting near to the exhibition. I think it was because the Labour party had just sold a multi billion dollar air defense system to an African dictatorship in direct contravention of their own policy on arms exports.

If you ever go on a demo you will notice large numbers of police with video cameras. They build a database of demonstrators which can be linked to ID cards and then those individuals can be monitored more closely by the police. i.e. you will need an ID card to conduct any transaction from a bank withdrawl to buying a travel ticket to voting. At times of political unrest those individuals who dared to protest will be monitored more closely.


Another instance of how ID cards will curtail freedom; it is now illeagal to protest within close proximity of the Houses of Parliament without permision from the (unelected) police. Recently three girls were arrested for simply reading out the names beside the Cenotaph in Whitehall of the 90 (now 103) dead British soldiers killed in Iraq. If made to carry ID cards the police would be instantly alerted in future when they bought a rail ticket to London or from the installed covert RFID readers situated in areas the politicians consider potentially embarresing to them as they entered those areas. And arrested again. I hope that answers your uncertainty as to how ID can be used to curtail your freedom.

Unfortunately for you you will not have the luxury to test ID cards and see if they work for you. Of course if you have nothing to protest against they will probably have no impact on you. Maybe those anti G8 protestors deserve all they get. Maybe those anit runway protestors are just nimby's. But maybe the government will close your local hospital and it will directly affect you enough to get you on a protest march. But remember - you will be monitored....You will be made to buy one and can you ever imagine a UK government giving up that kind of control over people and recalling ID cards?

Please wake up!!!!
No, the unions were not crushed by the police, but by Thatcher using a coal stockpile which the economy used while the unions went on strike. Eventually the unions went bankrupt forcing most miners into other employment, to continue mining or join the dole queues. The police were used only to stop miners who were on strike attacking miners who continued to work. I think the reason trade unions were dealt a harsh blow, was because nobody likes them: they had as much (if not more) power than some of the political parties and were usually a minority affecting the majority. Personally, Britain has the best of both worlds: it has the economic flexibility of the US, but the socialist background of continental Europe.

Well thats unfortunate, but Thatcher did something good: she realised that manufacturing and old industries were increasingly becoming inefficient and not as cost effective as could be done in other countries. Nobody in Britain would for example be willing to pay for British coal, when instead you can get North Sea gas which is far less polluting, more economical and cheaper. Had Thatcher not acted, the result would have been a far longer and damaging cycle of decline instead of concentrating of the business and financial service sector which many ex-mining areas have come to specalise in. We could still mine coal, but you either pay the miners next to nothing or the consumer pays 3-4x more which would pretty much cripple the economy, increase overall unemployment and create resentment (maybe possible backlash) towards miners. Once again though you are incorrect about our energy sources. Firstly Britain isn't dependent on Russia for gas: it has the North Sea for that which provides something like 95% of all our gas requirements and that is why Britain wasn't affected like the rest of Europe was in the last 'energy crisis'. Secondly, everyone to my knowledge is dependent upon middle eastern oil....but you can't run cars on coal and I'd rather we kept our oil reserves until our North Sea reserves run out. To my knowledge, I don't think we import large (if any) amounts of coal from China simply because they need it themselves to feed their booming economy. Thirdly renewable energies (wind, wave, etc...) could represent something like 50% of all our energy needs by 2050, while nuclear will be playing a larger role in our lives.

This was the arms exhibition at the ExCeL centre in London's Docklands, where clearly you need to have a barrier between the exhibition and the normal public. Also the way the site is built, is that you either are on the main road, on the site itself or across from the main road. Naturally you couldn't have people on site because that increases the risk of unknown elements using the protest as a cover to go sneeking about. You can't have them on the main road either because they'd be obstructing a public right of way, thus they were on the other side of the road - in clear view of the exhibition, but notably not actually inside. What difference would it make if a defence system had been sold to some government or not?

I've been to football matches and seen police taping the crowd and rightly so. I was at Fratton Park watching Portsmouth V Bolton and some Portsmouth idiot chucked a bottle at the Bolton fans. This so called 'fan' was then kicked out of the ground, while his face is now known by the police meaning if he were to do something as foolish again he could be banned from travelling to Europe or elsewhere during football tournaments because of the likelihood of this individual attacking other football supporters. Others began racist chants and they to were kicked out and caught on camera. Even though they recorded me and the thousands of others in my stand....they weren't noting us down: because we had done nothing wrong and were only there to watch the game: not injure or verbally abuse people.

That said, I think you'll find that they scan the crowd to catch people defacing property, etc... Afterall there are individuals who will use large peaceful crowds for such acts: that is why you or I haven't been contacted or the like or our pictures haven't been shown on the news. An example of this was the Portsmouth V Southampton derby a year or two ago: there were riots after the game because of the tension between the two team. Thankfully individuals who were brandishing knives, baseball bats and other horrific items outside the stadium (who had a sole purpose: give a Scummer fan a good kicking in) were captured on camera and CCTV. The result? Their pictures were slapped on the local paper and on the news and eventually they either handed themselves in or others told the police about them. With these individuals locked up, the chance of them attacking others again decreases and the result is the tension between the two teams remain, but the violence has been cut out like a cancer. The same has been done with English football in general, whereby known hooligans are banned from travelling simply because if we allowed them to travel, they would be going to other countries only to cause trouble and this country or any other doesn't deserve this.

Also as someone in the finance industry, I recognise that identity fraud is a big problem (its actually the fastest growing crime in Britain), so ID Cards would help cut this out partially , just as Chip and Pin has helped with cutting fraud with credit cards. That said, you wouldn't need to have an ID Card to make individual withdrawls (unless of course you haven't followed the proper current banking procedures and/or creating other accounts etc where identity is a requirement anyway). Naturally if you are a murderer on the run and you want to get on a flight bound for Nojailland and you get a 'flag' over your ID Card for being wanted in question regarding murders or other crimes then naturally that should stop you travelling - just like with current passports.

And another crime that has seen large rises over the last few elections has been a troubling problem of 'multiple-voting', afterall if you can get 10 'votes' yourself, you've got an advantage over other people and their single honest vote. If it meant just waving your ID Card over a reader to acknowledge that you're voting it would mean you couldn't then come along again and try to vote: because you already had. Then again this would just be the incorporation of a few polling security measures which are currently used, but in paper format.

The law that you talk about is only limited to half a mile around Westminster for the simple reason: to stop demonstrations from randomly taking place which they have done on some occasions. Westminster isn't just the home of political power in the UK, but is also a major crossroads within London and there have been a few protests now where people have randomly running around Whitehall causing traffic mayhem. That said, its been clearly stated that if you give prior announcement you can protest with measures taken to divert traffic, etc... I find that reasonable: what benefit is there in demonstrating if you're interupting other peoples lives and if anything you'll most likely create negative views on the points being raised by the protestors. The sad thing is though, its mainly down to once again: a single protestor, and specifically the protestor on Parliament Square: what right does he have to urinate on a public square in clear public view and also take up what little paving is on that square for himself? If the guy had actually created a presentable and clean 'podium' then that would be okay - but not public urination or forcing those on the Square into the road! Its because of this guy that he creates a pain for other possible demonstrators wishing to protest in a more mature manner.

RFID technology is already in use in London: its in the form of the Oyster Card (ie the contactless card used for travelling on all transport modes within London). That said what you claim is not even on the board.

Note that I don't label all protestors (as you and BrooklynRider seem to have attempted) as being the same, but I note that a minority or few people are out there to cause trouble. Its the same with protestors as it is with the police: good and bad. On the runway front, I'm against new runways at Heathrow, but for runways at Stansted (my home is actually just 2miles west of the airport), while new runways can't be built at Gatwick until 2019 due to a binding legal agreement which I agree with.

I think even though its good to have input from both sides (I consider myself somewhere in the middle), you'll never see anything which you propose, because its going to be watered down long before then and its nothing like what you propose!




Now back to the Congestion Charge....

Marksix
March 5th, 2006, 07:44 AM
I can pick you up and challenge you on each and every one of your points but as you say - back to the main thread.

I always wondered who these "middle Englanders" were and now I've kinda got to meet one. A good little conformist.

Perhaps it explains a lot that I am from Liverpool and you are from (in) the home counties. You'll be telling me that you actually voted for Thatcher next. I work in the airline biz and spend too much of my time in the "City" but have yet to come across someone down there who admits to actually voting for Thather. Go on - ADMIT IT!!!! After all, if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear....

nick-taylor
March 5th, 2006, 08:36 AM
I'm far from being conformist, if I was I wouldn't be raising concerns over the likes of ID Cards and small groups of people which I have already!

I wasn't in the UK when Thatcher was last elected: I was in Singapore. I would have voted for her though: without her the UK would have become far worse off. She wasn't perfect, but the country would have been torn apart, we wouldn't have seen our cities redevelop under a new renaissance for centres of R&D, the knowledge economy and business and financial services. The UK would most likely have regressed and we could very well have had a country dominated by the trade unions and radical right-wing elements which would have been no good. The result is that we know have a vibrant economy, growing social and cultural scene and our lives are now all far better off (more say either in our jobs, schools or local area, etc...).

Without Thatcher, Liverpool would still be declining and it wouldn't be a 'European Capital of Culture'. London wouldn't have become the immense world city that it is now that is at the centre of all global activies and could be argued to not only be the prime city of Europe, but for the world. That isn't to say that we should all sit back and take it all in, we should still protest, write to our MPs, go to surgeries, etc... because that is one of our roles in life and as citizens of the UK.

ablarc
March 7th, 2006, 07:54 AM
Even observing all the stereotypical formalities and courtesies, imo the UK shows promise of blooming into Europe's premiere police state.

Congestion charging seems OK, but that road-use scheme is the devil's work.

nick-taylor
March 7th, 2006, 09:54 AM
Even observing all the stereotypical formalities and courtesies, imo the UK shows promise of blooming into Europe's premiere police state.

Congestion charging seems OK, but that road-use scheme is the devil's work.Britain is far from becoming a police state, if it was, then for most instances many European countries are already there and large chunks of the world are corruption quagmires. :laugh:

Seriousness aside, Britain has actually become more 'free' while the likes of the US, Germany, Italy and France have seen the reverse, with increases in restrictions on the press (Freedom House: Press Freedom 1994-2005).

Press Freedom

Germany
1994 - 11
2005 - 16

US
1994 - 12th
2005 - 17th

UK
1994 - 24th
2005 - 18th

France
1994 - 19
2005 - 20

Italy
1994 - 25
2005 - 35




Political Rights (where 1 is good, 7 is bad)

US
1994 - 1
2005 - 1

UK
1994 - 1
2005 - 1

Italy
1994 - 1
2005 - 1

Germany
1994 - 1
2005 - 1

France
1994 - 1
2005 - 1




Civil Liberties (where 1 is good, 7 is bad)

US
1994 - 1
2005 - 1

UK
1994 - 2
2005 - 1

Italy
1994 - 2
2005 - 1

Germany
1994 - 2
2005 - 1

France
1994 - 2
2005 - 1




Freedom Status (where F [Free] is good, NF [Not Free] isn't good)

US
1994 - F
2005 - F

UK
1994 - F
2005 - F

Italy
1994 - F
2005 - F

Germany
1994 - F
2005 - F

France
1994 - F
2005 - F




Although I believe that we can never give up protest, debate and the like, its pretty clear that Britain isn't somehow becoming less free, when for most instances its been the total opposite: the UK has been getting 'freer'".




Well it might sound like the devils work, but its the only way that more revenue can be be generated for public transportation, increase the efficiency of the road network meaning less road accidents and delays, heping the environment, while also forcing people to use public transport instead of using the car for meaingless journies eg taking the kids to school when clearly walking or public transportation are valid alternatives.

In the UK, some university graduates devised a device which taps into your mains and counts how much electricity you are using and displays this in a variety of formats, eg how much current electricity you are using, etc. If you turn off lights, the TV, etc.. the meter deducts this and shows how much you would be paying. It turned out that in the trials, people worked out how much it cost to have the TV on (even on standby) compared to say the radio, and the result was people migrated to the radio and didn't watch TV any more.

The South of England meanwhile is now getting in some parts less rain than parts of the Middle East and its now become mandatory to have meters installed so that people are more careful with the water they use.

Essentially the UK is moving towards a high-efficiency, little waste, renewable energy based pay-as-you-go economy.

Marksix
March 8th, 2006, 06:33 AM
Britain is far from becoming a police state, if it was, then for most instances many European countries are already there and large chunks of the world are corruption quagmires. :laugh:

Seriousness aside, Britain has actually become more 'free' while the likes of the US, Germany, Italy and France have seen the reverse, with increases in restrictions on the press (Freedom House: Press Freedom 1994-2005).


Essentially the UK is moving towards a high-efficiency, little waste, renewable energy based pay-as-you-go economy.

Nick - I live and do business in the UK and I simply do not recocgnise the country you describe or most of your characterisations. It is widely acknowledged the the UK is THE most controlled country in the entire world with only such regimes as Myanmar and North Korea having more restrictive freedoms enshrined in law.

Some facts:-

A fifth of the world's CCTV cameras are in the UK and the average person is caught on film 300 times a day.

A network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years. "The network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which are being converted to read number plates automatically night and day to provide 24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as well as towns, cities, ports and petrol-station forecourts."

The police have access to advanced travel details on more than 40 million passengers a year who travel on domestic flights and ferries within Britain. I know as my airline has to provide this data.

A new EU directive "requires every telephone company and internet service provider (ISP) to save call records and internet logs up to two years", supposedly in order to "aid law enforcement". The information that will be stored includes details of numbers dialled, call duration and location, websites visited and header information on emails. The UK is ahead of the game here.

ID cards are voluntary? town hall officials will be asked to police the scheme by using the Electoral Register to identify homes and individuals without cards. "The register will be cross-checked against the proposed Identity Card Database. Those who fail to register for a card or to keep their details up to date when, for example, they change address, face fines of up to £2,500." Were you in the UK at the time of the poll tax riots? You aint seen nothin yet... (oops that could be construed as incitment to riot. can I expect a midnight "knock on the door"?)

Andy Burnham, the Home Office minister, said in a parliamentary written answer that there were 'no plans to use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in ID cards'. However, a leaked letter from Mr Burnham indicates that the chips will use radio frequencies to allow "contactless" reading of the card by special scanners."

You DO need permision from the police to demonstrate; the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act which bans "unauthorised" free speech within a one-mile radius of Westminster. The maximum penalty for this heinous crime is a week short of a year in prison. An unelected police officer will use his/her judgment as to what is acceptable.

The NHS is building a database of everyone's medical history to which, it is believed, MI5 will have access.

I could go on and on.....but to illustrate the rule of unintended consequences; this week is snowed in North Wales. The Chief Constable issued a diktat that anyone throwing snowballs be arrested. Their DNA would be sampled.They would go on a database. THese are the kind people in charge of our individual freedoms...


I also have friends working in the renewables field and they tell me how the UK is so far behind Germany that it is embarassing.

As for your view that the Thatcher regime cleared the "dead wood" of the old industrial cities I don't think even die hard tories still believe that one.

The mining communities have not regenerated. Many of the valley towns in South Wales have as much as 47% of people on dissability allowances. I remember in the '80's when in my home town of Liverpool factory after factory closed down. 1,500 jobs, 2,000, 3,000 week after week after week and always on a Friday as that ensured the news was lost nationally in the weekend. So many lives were destroyed, so many families ruined and it is really sad that you so glibly dismiss all that went on in those days. It's unforgivable.

Liverpool remains one of Europe's poorest cities and is a European Objective One city for that reason. The Capital of Culture is a smoke screen to obscure the lack of real industry and commerce being established here. Most people here work for the government.

Don't get me wrong - I firmly believe that our problems are self created and I'm one of those actively campaining for a directly elected mayor (ala New York City) as a start to sorting the city out.

I don't think there is a conspiracy to suppress our freedoms (i hope there isn't) but little by little and perhaps even with good intentions we have arrived at that stage and still it continues. The congestion charge was a scheme with well defined objectives and may broadly be described as working. However, just yesterday the police suggested that the technolgy be broadened to enable individuals inside vehicles talking on moblile phones whilst driving to be identified. I think its called "mission creep". See how these things develop?

ablarc
March 8th, 2006, 06:50 AM
^ Thoughtful, plausible post...and terrifying.

Much worse than what's happening in the U.S.

Ninjahedge
March 8th, 2006, 09:18 AM
England is smaller and that is something that is easier to do on a smaller scale.

Not that we should not fear its development here, just that it will take longer.

lofter1
March 8th, 2006, 09:58 AM
Fantasy? Or Foretelling the Future??

V For Vendetta in theaters Friday March 17:http://vforvendetta.warnerbros.com/ (http://vforvendetta.warnerbros.com/)

http://vforvendetta.warnerbros.com/img/front_2_title.jpg

Set against the futuristic landscape of totalitarian Britain, V For Vendetta
tells the story of a mild-mannered young woman named Evey (NATALIE PORTMAN) who is rescued from a life-and-death situation by a masked man (HUGO WEAVING) known only as “V.” Incomparably charismatic and ferociously skilled in the art of combat and deception, V ignites a revolution when he urges his fellow citizens to rise up against tyranny and oppression. As Evey uncovers the truth about V’s mysterious background, she also discovers the truth about herself – and emerges as his unlikely ally in the culmination of his plan to bring freedom and justice back to a society fraught with cruelty and corruption.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Virtual Studios, a Silver Pictures production in association with Anarchos Productions Inc., NATALIE PORTMAN in V For Vendetta, starring HUGO WEAVING, STEPHEN REA and JOHN HURT. Directed by JAMES McTEIGUE, the film is produced by JOEL SILVER, THE WACHOWSKI BROTHERS and GRANT HILL from a screenplay by THE WACHOWSKI BROTHERS, based upon characters appearing in magazines published by VERTIGO. The executive producer is BENJAMIN WAISBREN. The director of photography is ADRIAN BIDDLE, B.S.C.; the production designer is OWEN PATERSON; the editor is MARTIN WALSH, A.C.E.; and the music is composed by DARIO MARIANELLI.

V For Vendetta is a United Kingdom-Germany co-production.

V For Vendetta will be released by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

http://vforvendetta.warnerbros.com/img/front_2_flags.jpg

nick-taylor
March 8th, 2006, 10:06 AM
Nick - I live and do business in the UK and I simply do not recocgnise the country you describe or most of your characterisations. It is widely acknowledged the the UK is THE most controlled country in the entire world with only such regimes as Myanmar and North Korea having more restrictive freedoms enshrined in law.

Some facts:-

A fifth of the world's CCTV cameras are in the UK and the average person is caught on film 300 times a day.

A network of cameras that can automatically read every passing number plate, the plan is to build a huge database of vehicle movements so that the police and security services can analyse any journey a driver has made over several years. "The network will incorporate thousands of existing CCTV cameras which are being converted to read number plates automatically night and day to provide 24/7 coverage of all motorways and main roads, as well as towns, cities, ports and petrol-station forecourts."

The police have access to advanced travel details on more than 40 million passengers a year who travel on domestic flights and ferries within Britain. I know as my airline has to provide this data.

A new EU directive "requires every telephone company and internet service provider (ISP) to save call records and internet logs up to two years", supposedly in order to "aid law enforcement". The information that will be stored includes details of numbers dialled, call duration and location, websites visited and header information on emails. The UK is ahead of the game here.

ID cards are voluntary? town hall officials will be asked to police the scheme by using the Electoral Register to identify homes and individuals without cards. "The register will be cross-checked against the proposed Identity Card Database. Those who fail to register for a card or to keep their details up to date when, for example, they change address, face fines of up to £2,500." Were you in the UK at the time of the poll tax riots? You aint seen nothin yet... (oops that could be construed as incitment to riot. can I expect a midnight "knock on the door"?)

Andy Burnham, the Home Office minister, said in a parliamentary written answer that there were 'no plans to use radio frequency identification (RFID) tags in ID cards'. However, a leaked letter from Mr Burnham indicates that the chips will use radio frequencies to allow "contactless" reading of the card by special scanners."

You DO need permision from the police to demonstrate; the new Serious Organised Crime and Police Act which bans "unauthorised" free speech within a one-mile radius of Westminster. The maximum penalty for this heinous crime is a week short of a year in prison. An unelected police officer will use his/her judgment as to what is acceptable.

The NHS is building a database of everyone's medical history to which, it is believed, MI5 will have access.

I could go on and on.....but to illustrate the rule of unintended consequences; this week is snowed in North Wales. The Chief Constable issued a diktat that anyone throwing snowballs be arrested. Their DNA would be sampled.They would go on a database. THese are the kind people in charge of our individual freedoms...


I also have friends working in the renewables field and they tell me how the UK is so far behind Germany that it is embarassing.

As for your view that the Thatcher regime cleared the "dead wood" of the old industrial cities I don't think even die hard tories still believe that one.

The mining communities have not regenerated. Many of the valley towns in South Wales have as much as 47% of people on dissability allowances. I remember in the '80's when in my home town of Liverpool factory after factory closed down. 1,500 jobs, 2,000, 3,000 week after week after week and always on a Friday as that ensured the news was lost nationally in the weekend. So many lives were destroyed, so many families ruined and it is really sad that you so glibly dismiss all that went on in those days. It's unforgivable.

Liverpool remains one of Europe's poorest cities and is a European Objective One city for that reason. The Capital of Culture is a smoke screen to obscure the lack of real industry and commerce being established here. Most people here work for the government.

Don't get me wrong - I firmly believe that our problems are self created and I'm one of those actively campaining for a directly elected mayor (ala New York City) as a start to sorting the city out.

I don't think there is a conspiracy to suppress our freedoms (i hope there isn't) but little by little and perhaps even with good intentions we have arrived at that stage and still it continues. The congestion charge was a scheme with well defined objectives and may broadly be described as working. However, just yesterday the police suggested that the technolgy be broadened to enable individuals inside vehicles talking on moblile phones whilst driving to be identified. I think its called "mission creep". See how these things develop?The sad thing is, its individuals like yourself that make the freedom of speech camp look ridiculous - comparing the UK to the likes of Myanmar or North Korea is a large joke and its because of ridiculous comparisons that extreme right wingers will resort to the 'looney left' argument thus paving way for more erosion of our freedoms. My last post clearly illustrates this and debunks such idiotic myths.

Firstly there is nothing wrong with CCTV's unless they have been used for devious purposes which to my knowledge they haven't. You might get weirdos putting them in changing rooms and the like but thats illegal as it is. I give the example of London Transport, where vandalisim and attacks on staff and passengers has been cut because culprits have been caught clearly on CCTV, arrested and then sentenced thus stopping them from committing further acts of crime that cause delays on London's trains and buses. The result has been higher staff moral, higher punctuality and efficiency (as less buses are out of action due to vandalism damage) and higher passenger usage of the transport network.

That sounds a lot like the current speed camera situation which has might I add actively reduced accidents and fatalities on Britains roads and decreased reckless speeding.

Well if you fly within Britain then you should be ashamed (unless you are coming down from Scotland)! That aside, this is more to do with the fact that British airspace is amongst the busiest in the world: the CAA needs to know exactly where you are going so that you don't end up flying into a intercontinental flight. London's 5 international airports alone handle as many air passengers as those that use either all the French or German airports. I believe the UK as a whole has something lik as many air passengers as France and Germany combined....but in an area far smaller. Thus there has to be a clear hierarchy to ensure collisions do not happen. You can't for example take your private plane and decide to fly to London, because you need to ensure that national air traffic control has your flight path secured. Christ - could you imagine if we didn't: the chances of mid-air collisions would be far too numerous.

I'm unsure about domestic ferrys - I don't need to say give info of my trip between Gosport and Portsmouth, I just pay the fee and cross. The Coastguard is well aware of these ship movements to ensure that there aren't collisions with Navy ships, fishing boats, other ferries or container ships which plough the same routes....afterall I live in a city which is home to the world's 2nd largest navy, a container and continental ferry port, several large marinas (including 2 of the largest in the UK) as well as the busy mainland-Isle of Wight catamaran, hovercraft and vehicle ferry services! You'd hope the Coastguard have details of the exact number of ships ploughing through the water, especially as the mouth to Portmouth Harbour is less than 100m wide! The English Channel also happens to be the busiest water route in the world serving some of the largest container ports in the world.

You can't arrest those who commit spam, actively pursue child pornography if you don't actually have evidence which could be wiped or tracks covered by the individual in question. That said this information is not used against us: I don't get a message popping up telling me that I've spent to much time on a forum, or anything like that. They aren't even using the information, just storing it so that if a case came up against person A involved in paeophilic acts, that they can trace their activities to build up a case to ensure that they are actively got a rock solid case against them rather than a flimsy case which coud lead to this individual going underground and continue his dirty acts. Also the information could be used to track 'friends' who might be into the same sort of crap....but if you havent been looking at child porn or been sending millions of spam e-mails...the information wont be used, or can't be: the government doesn't have anywhere and never will have the resources to go through all our information.

Well there wouldn't be much point in it being voluntary, because a NHS tourist could claim to not have one - it would be a waste of money. There won't be riots over ID Cards, there will be over the cost though and I suspect if you can't get it lower the government won't bother. Unless you attack people, damage property or infringe upon the free movement of other people then I don't see how you would be getting a 'knock on the door'.

Well I'm all for a contactless card: cut down on waste of resources and limits the chance of fraud and corruption of multiple databases by multiple individuals from multiple sources. That would actually cut in infringements on liberties. Its why we've got the Oyster Card in London - moves totally away from the ticket machines which at the moment are aging, require more maintenance and is a large reason why prices are slightly higher on normal cards. Also Oytser Cards are 'pay as you go', so you have greater choice over where you go rather than a plain paper card which . An interesting development is that this information can be used to create a transport network that is responsive to the concerns of the travelling public: ie you can map lines or routes that are over-congested, etc... and employ resources to combat this problem. The result has been that priority zones that are now easier to identify can have funding allocated and work started meaning transport in London has improved. Infact we should all be aiming towards a national Oyster Card because its so efficient. In Japan, the cards are integrated into mobile phones along with e-money, meaing people pay for items using their contactless cards and use it on the transport network. By 2007, the Oyster Card will also be able to be used to pay for goods at a newsagents or shops. By 2010, the entire heavy rail network of London (1,200+ stations) will most likely have adopted Oyster cards. New York I believe is in the works of a similar system, which I believe will start operation later this year but only on PATH and New Jersey Transit and not the New York Subway.

I'm unsure exactly what MI5 would gain from knowing our medical history....maybe they are creating a device that will wipe our memories to stop us thinking of free thoughts. Get real - the NHS, our doctors and other doctors around the world have had medical records on us for decades for the simple fact that they use it to diagnose us. When you go to the doctor and complain of a chest pain, the doctor can check your medical history to see what antibiotics you might have alergic reactions to or past symptoms which might be the result of a much larger and serious problem. Looking at historical records of your family it could be possible to note that they all suffered from a rare lung cancer, but without these records you'd have to rely on word of mouth to ensure that the right diagnose is given! I can't think of any country that has a healthcare systems which doesn't keep records. As a geographer who has taken a few lectures in Health and Geography, data which you identify is used to acknowledge that there have been a breakdown of procedures at Sellafield and the result has been higher levels of cancers in the surrounding area. Health trusts and the NHS can combat rising problems of poor health by allocating funds to specific treatments that are then allocated to the areas that need them. This happens elsewhere on the continent and explains why European health care systems are amongst the finest on the planet.

MI5 aren't the people we should be worried about, its insurance companies gaining access to our genetic information and profiling people before they have even been born. Thankfully that is something that would never happen because nobody would stand for it.

I don't believe people should be arrested for throwing snowballs, unless its deliberately at cars on a motorway which could cause accidents or at people and property if stones or other objects are encased within the snow, etc...

The incident you are refurring to is about a boy who chucked a snowball at someone which knocked their teeth out, he was arrested and then released on police bail. Are you suggesting that people should get away with throwing snowballs at people that actually cause physical harm and it would appear that those that don't cause harm to others won't be arrested. Get your facts straight instead of distorting the picture.

The UK lags behind Europe when it comes to recycling, but is rapidly developing into a renewable energy (wind, wave, etc...) based economy. This will be behind the likes of smaller countries like Denmark and Iceland though who have far larger access to renewable energies, but Britain will have a far larger renewable base compared to say France and even Germany. 50% is a large figure for a large economy like Britain. The world's largest off-shore wind farm is going to be built in the Thames Estuary (the farm will be the size of Manhattan) with each turbine being over 100m in height.

I'm not saying that somehow that it was all happy, but that had it not been done then, it would be happening now and the damage would be far harder to manage. Unemployment would be far higher, the UK wouldn't have moved towards finance, business services and the knowledge economy meaning the average Brit would be far poorer.

Liverpool isn't exactly rich, but neither is any British city but now that is all changing - Liverpool is now a Capital of Culture, its economy is expanding thanks to new high-tech industries, retailing, the knowledge economy and business and financial services and its population is growing. The Capital of Culture is not a smokescreen: its a European honour handed out to cities that have and continue to make significant cultural contributions. Liverpool is rivalling Manchester as a new skyscraper centre and its designs are far nicer. Between 1995-2001, the GVA for Liverpool rose 6.3% per annum (London grew at 5.7%), while job growth was 9.2% between 1998-2002. I'd consider that a success.

Outside international observers, eg Freedom Houses' indexes clearly show the opposite with Britain becoming more free over the last 20 years, not less. Your comparison with Myanmar, etc... are severly flawed and will be used against yourself and others by the far right to dismiss your claims and then proclaim that further actions should be taken to correct these gaps. Lucky for you I don't actually wish for more constraints.

The UK already has a low number of road accidents and fatalities compared to the US (per passenger km, etc...), Europe and other nations, but too many people still are injured and killed on our roads. People talking on moble phones are distracting themselves while driving which has been proven to be the reason behind many accidents in the UK. This is now illegal and I see no problem as to why it shouldn't be used to catch these sort of individuals out! Unless of course you believe it is a right to talk on the phone while driving and putting yourself and others at risk? Pure madness!

nick-taylor
March 8th, 2006, 01:54 PM
The technology talked about previously where people on mobile phones could be caught by using cameras which are used to take pictures of those caught speeding caught this individual....She had no hands on the wheel because in one hand she had eyeliner and had compact in the other. She wasn't speeding, but she was driving at 32mph. It so happened that she was serving a 20-month driving ban for drink driving which had just been imposed a week earlier!

Taken from the BBC New article: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_west/4785686.stm

http://news.bbc.co.uk/nol/shared/spl/hi/pop_ups/06/uk_enl_1141819757/img/1.jpg

Marksix
March 10th, 2006, 08:58 AM
The sad thing is, its individuals like yourself that make the freedom of speech camp look ridiculous - comparing the UK to the likes of Myanmar or North Korea is a large joke and its because of ridiculous comparisons that extreme right wingers will resort to the 'looney left' argument thus paving way for more erosion of our freedoms. My last post clearly illustrates this and debunks such idiotic myths.


Nick - you misunderstand the rationale for tracking movements; it is not that of aircraft movement rather the tracking of INDIVIDUALS movements that we are required to report.

The is local airport ATC congestion in the London terminal areas at certain times of the day and year but in general there is no ATC congestion and what there is slowly being remedied by “free flight” initiatives.

Of course working in the airline industry I am may appear biased but I can provide independent data which Challenges assumptions about railways' green superiority. The weight and fuel requirements of trains have increased to the point where rail will become the least energy-efficient form of transport. Trains had failed to keep up with the motor and aviation industries in reducing fuel needs. i.e. Virgin's SuperVoyager rolling-stock is around 40 per cent heavier per seat than the ageing 125s it replaced and tilting Pendolino trains are reckoned to weigh more per seat than the forthcoming Airbus A380 double-decker.

An express train travelling between London and Edinburgh consume slightly more fuel per seat (the equivalent of 11.5 litres) than a modern diesel-powered car making the same journey. The car's superiority rises dramatically when compared with trains travelling at up to 215mph. Assuming the continuing dominance of fossil fuel-based electricity, French TGV-style rolling-stock would require twice as much fuel per seat as a Volkswagen Passat, and more than a short-haul aircraft. As 50% of UK electricity is coal derived it can realistically be said that the UK’s so called “green electric” train are still cola powered. Further – the pollution of those generators is dumped in the immediate area with unknown impact on the locality whereas aircraft disperse their pollution over a wide area.

Diesel powered trains which by far form the majority of trains in the UK fare even worse in terms kg/CO2/km as well as carcinogenic particulates. For shorter sub-150 mile journeys this pollution/energy deficit is amplified as these trains run stop/start operations and for most of the day operate at sub optimum load factors.

In short – for distances greater than 100 miles, aircraft are slightly more polluting than a fully occupied diesel car but less polluting than a high speed train. They are not heavily subsidised by the tax payer and also have less noise impact. Don’t make the mistake I did and book a relaxing week in the South of France within two miles of a TGV track. Want to know what one sounds like? Imagine a thousand tonnes of glass being dropped for the top of the Empire State Building hitting the ground.

In social terms, they are also affordable; a walk up fare for a 200 mile train journey is between £180 and £290 for 1st class. LCC’s equivalent would be £34. Only the wealthy can afford to take the train and even then they are subsidised by the less wealthy. I am proud to be in the (LCC) airline biz and to paraphrase Popeye Doyle – “..i’d rather be a lamp post in New York than part of the rail industry”!!!!

There was a case in Liverpool recently were council employees were using CCTV cameras to spy on a single woman in her apartment. Facial recognition software in South London has not produced any verifiable impact on crime there and studies show that where cameras exist it simply displaces crime to areas where they are not present. Of course the cliché goes that Mussolini made the trains run on time….

Knock on the door? An elderly couple who were harassed by local youths asked the police for protection. They got no response until one night there was a “knock on the door”. The police came – but not to deal with the local kids but to caution the couple whose crime was to ask the local council to put their church literature alongside that place in council offices for sexual diversity. In short – the police wanted to know what they think, not what they did.

Smart Cards are great an we are attempting to introduce them instead of paper tickets and boarding passes but they are VOLUNTARY!

I’m not sure why MI5 want all our medical histories. It’s an OFFICIAL SECRET….

The Taliban banned kite flying. Brunstrom, Chief Constable in question bans snowballs. He also advocates blanket speed cameras. Meanwhile, his force detects just 6% of burglaries. He ordered a change in uniform to one resembling Mosely's black shirts. His police also behave like the stereotypical southern “red neck” police you see in movies; I have met them….

I wish I knew of these financial and knowledge centres you speak of replacing industry. In Liverpool and other local cities there are plenty of call centres but these are now moving to India en mass. As I said, there is a massive expansion of government jobs which I am opposed to in principal – hardly a loony lefty me!

Liverpool City Council has a moratorium on tall buildings which we are trying to fight.

Liverpool’s GDP is STILL 73% of the EU average afar 14 years of £100’s millions of EU Objective one money.

Of course the Capital of Culture is seen by some as an honour but to me its patronising in the extreme to be "awarded" such a thing by a bunch of self appointed, self important indivduals working for yet another quango. Without googling can you say who is this years captial of culture? next years?

The caught on camera example you cited whilst being hilarious (yet misogynistic) was that rare example of a traffic patrol car capturing someone. Fixed cameras have largely displaced traffic police but how can a camera detect DUI? I bet a camera didn't catch her DUI. The abitrary nature of traffic camers has led to todays annoncement that 1 MILLION drivers are just one offence away from being banned form driving. Also – as any cop will tell you, they stop people largely through intuition; remember the Yorkshire Ripper was caught by a traffic patrol.

The comparison with i.e. Myanmar is apt; already the UK government has drawn up plans for marshal law for when bird flu strikes. The surveillance state will be empowered further by more technological based restrictions on freedom that can be used when a political party feels threatened for whatever circumstance they deem fit. Why are they so afraid of us?

I’m not paranoid – I just think less government is better and I value my privacy and freedoms. The congestion charge IS the thin end of the wedge and its success has given too many officials a hard on as to what else technology can be used for by government….

nick-taylor
March 12th, 2006, 02:35 PM
Nick - you misunderstand the rationale for tracking movements; it is not that of aircraft movement rather the tracking of INDIVIDUALS movements that we are required to report.

The is local airport ATC congestion in the London terminal areas at certain times of the day and year but in general there is no ATC congestion and what there is slowly being remedied by “free flight” initiatives.

Of course working in the airline industry I am may appear biased but I can provide independent data which Challenges assumptions about railways' green superiority. The weight and fuel requirements of trains have increased to the point where rail will become the least energy-efficient form of transport. Trains had failed to keep up with the motor and aviation industries in reducing fuel needs. i.e. Virgin's SuperVoyager rolling-stock is around 40 per cent heavier per seat than the ageing 125s it replaced and tilting Pendolino trains are reckoned to weigh more per seat than the forthcoming Airbus A380 double-decker.

An express train travelling between London and Edinburgh consume slightly more fuel per seat (the equivalent of 11.5 litres) than a modern diesel-powered car making the same journey. The car's superiority rises dramatically when compared with trains travelling at up to 215mph. Assuming the continuing dominance of fossil fuel-based electricity, French TGV-style rolling-stock would require twice as much fuel per seat as a Volkswagen Passat, and more than a short-haul aircraft. As 50% of UK electricity is coal derived it can realistically be said that the UK’s so called “green electric” train are still cola powered. Further – the pollution of those generators is dumped in the immediate area with unknown impact on the locality whereas aircraft disperse their pollution over a wide area.

Diesel powered trains which by far form the majority of trains in the UK fare even worse in terms kg/CO2/km as well as carcinogenic particulates. For shorter sub-150 mile journeys this pollution/energy deficit is amplified as these trains run stop/start operations and for most of the day operate at sub optimum load factors.

In short – for distances greater than 100 miles, aircraft are slightly more polluting than a fully occupied diesel car but less polluting than a high speed train. They are not heavily subsidised by the tax payer and also have less noise impact. Don’t make the mistake I did and book a relaxing week in the South of France within two miles of a TGV track. Want to know what one sounds like? Imagine a thousand tonnes of glass being dropped for the top of the Empire State Building hitting the ground.

In social terms, they are also affordable; a walk up fare for a 200 mile train journey is between £180 and £290 for 1st class. LCC’s equivalent would be £34. Only the wealthy can afford to take the train and even then they are subsidised by the less wealthy. I am proud to be in the (LCC) airline biz and to paraphrase Popeye Doyle – “..i’d rather be a lamp post in New York than part of the rail industry”!!!!

There was a case in Liverpool recently were council employees were using CCTV cameras to spy on a single woman in her apartment. Facial recognition software in South London has not produced any verifiable impact on crime there and studies show that where cameras exist it simply displaces crime to areas where they are not present. Of course the cliché goes that Mussolini made the trains run on time….

Knock on the door? An elderly couple who were harassed by local youths asked the police for protection. They got no response until one night there was a “knock on the door”. The police came – but not to deal with the local kids but to caution the couple whose crime was to ask the local council to put their church literature alongside that place in council offices for sexual diversity. In short – the police wanted to know what they think, not what they did.

Smart Cards are great an we are attempting to introduce them instead of paper tickets and boarding passes but they are VOLUNTARY!

I’m not sure why MI5 want all our medical histories. It’s an OFFICIAL SECRET….

The Taliban banned kite flying. Brunstrom, Chief Constable in question bans snowballs. He also advocates blanket speed cameras. Meanwhile, his force detects just 6% of burglaries. He ordered a change in uniform to one resembling Mosely's black shirts. His police also behave like the stereotypical southern “red neck” police you see in movies; I have met them….

I wish I knew of these financial and knowledge centres you speak of replacing industry. In Liverpool and other local cities there are plenty of call centres but these are now moving to India en mass. As I said, there is a massive expansion of government jobs which I am opposed to in principal – hardly a loony lefty me!

Liverpool City Council has a moratorium on tall buildings which we are trying to fight.

Liverpool’s GDP is STILL 73% of the EU average afar 14 years of £100’s millions of EU Objective one money.

Of course the Capital of Culture is seen by some as an honour but to me its patronising in the extreme to be "awarded" such a thing by a bunch of self appointed, self important indivduals working for yet another quango. Without googling can you say who is this years captial of culture? next years?

The caught on camera example you cited whilst being hilarious (yet misogynistic) was that rare example of a traffic patrol car capturing someone. Fixed cameras have largely displaced traffic police but how can a camera detect DUI? I bet a camera didn't catch her DUI. The abitrary nature of traffic camers has led to todays annoncement that 1 MILLION drivers are just one offence away from being banned form driving. Also – as any cop will tell you, they stop people largely through intuition; remember the Yorkshire Ripper was caught by a traffic patrol.

The comparison with i.e. Myanmar is apt; already the UK government has drawn up plans for marshal law for when bird flu strikes. The surveillance state will be empowered further by more technological based restrictions on freedom that can be used when a political party feels threatened for whatever circumstance they deem fit. Why are they so afraid of us?

I’m not paranoid – I just think less government is better and I value my privacy and freedoms. The congestion charge IS the thin end of the wedge and its success has given too many officials a hard on as to what else technology can be used for by government….You've got to be kidding me to think that you could somehow think you could either take a boat and sail it down say Portsmouth Harbour or along the English Channel (busiest shipping route in the world) without informing the Coastguard:
a) If you get into trouble they can more accurately pinpoint your location and get to you rather than take hours trying to scan the entire area
b) Stop collisions by ensuring corridors are free for larger ships, eg cruise liners, naval vessels or container ships, others for fast vessels like catamarans and hovercraft, others for the coastguard to be able to patrol the waters without interference and others for leisure craft, fishing boats, etc... If you don't have proper path/corridors, the chances of a collision increase drastically - its been like this for decades and the result has been lower fatalities from collisions.


Its the same with air traffic: you can't just take your cessna willy nilly over London without consulting air traffic control. They might deny you the airspace as its currently full of Boeing 747's....but that isn't because its a restriction of your freedom, but to stop accidents happening! Civillian aircraft don't have radar - the pilots rely on air traffic control and their own eyes.

I'd consider 130mppa+ London bound/departing (excluding other US-European flights) above London to be congested - there are more large planes above London than any other city in the world. London is served by more 747's than any other, while this will continue with the new A380's - you can't risk the chance of people flying wherever they want because not only could you kill yourself, but hundreds of others. I think John Travolta only a few weeks back tried something stupid like cutting up a plane on descent into LAX: hundreds of people could have died had he made a mistake on his descent.


Trains less fuel efficient than planes? Not even the bulky US commuter trains are as bad at fuel consumption as the average plane are! A Eurostar train handles as many people as two B747's, but has a carbon footprint 15x less than that of a single B747. A plane consumes more energy on going down a runway for takeoff, than most commuter trains (which can carry tens of thousands over the course of a single route) do on a single journey!

A major fact is that the vast majority of trains within the UK aren't diesel but electric: third rail or overhead: around 85% of UK rail passengers use electrified rail services (the vast majority being in and around London). Once you factor this point in, planes drop off the scale very rapidly.

Do you even know what a plane sounds like? Where do you think planes get their fuel from? You only have to look at the health problems related with people around Heathrow to note that tens of thousands suffer, while far less do so with trains. You also don't get anywhere as near as the problem in decibels as a plane than a train. Another thing is while trains currently source energy from renewable sources such as wind and wave, planes can not. Also due to the UK's movement towards more renewables, the percentage of trains running on wind and wave electricity will dramatically increas.

Trains on average are far less polluting and less noisy than planes. What other crazy idea are you going to bring up?


Although I use low cost carriers, I still prefer Eurostar and I'm a student: its less noisy, less hassle, quicker, more comfortable, has better food and better amenities.

Socially, airports tear up vast areas of our cities and countries and have far more negative impacts upon hundreds of thousands of people who are unfortunate to live under flightpaths. Environmentally they are catastrophes, while economically they handle far less people....there are single stations in London that alone handle more people than all of London's aviation traffic which itself is larger than the entire aviation traffic of either France or Germany.


CCTV alone does not solve or completely stop crime. Lighting accompanied with CCTV does work though - thats why crime tends to be lower in the UK than on the continent.


I watched the programme that you are referring to...but it wasn't a balanced programme and because of that its hard to paint an overall picture of a country far larger than the complaints of one or two people who have had wrongs committed against them.


Oystercards could essentially be seen as not being voluntary, in the sense the old card methods are being forcibly phased out because they are less efficient, cost more and aren't effective for a modern London.


Yes of course, its an 'official secret' that MI5 want our medical histories....any other crackpot delusional conspiracy theories? Trying to fabricate facts is a low tactic used by many ideologies to gain an upper hand on the others and you've just played that card.


Again incorrect, he isn't banning snowballing. He is arresting/questioning those that use snowballing to commit bodily harm and not those that are having fun. That is a major difference and illustrates your view of trying to paint a society of no-fun, state control when in reality, you can throw snowballs, as long as you don't intentionally throw a snowball that ends up hurting someone (and you'd have to be pulling my leg if you didn't think knocking several teeth out from a snowball isn't intentional).


Funny that you should talk about Brunstrom and speed cameras.... I scanned this in some time ago for something else....on the one side you have pro-camera, the other anti-camera. Do you notice a correlation with the two AND the study areas: speed cameras reduce speeding and serious fatalities. How is that wrong? Speed cameras it could be argued are saving people and their freedoms. Yet this is all becoming far to similar: you produce a crazy theory, I debunk it.


http://img240.imageshack.us/img240/4813/00017oa.jpg


Major growth in government-related jobs in the regions is due a shift from Whitehall in London. That said the knowledge economy, financial and business services clearly show Liverpool performing pretty well: government isn't everything.

Wasn't 20 years ago, Liverpool something like 60% behind the European GDP per capita - that would highlight a massive improvement! Liverpool is now he 61st richest city in Europe and there are what - several hundred European cities...and that isn't an improvement? What a laugh! Also many European cities are different to British cities due to the spread of economic wealth not being wholly concentrated in the city itself but in the surrounding areas - a bit like in the US, but not to such an extent.


You might find it patronising, but its an honour not dished out lightly: cities have to actively compete to work towards achieving this status! Do you have some fetish in trying to show that Liverpool is somehow a wreck when its clearly the opposite?


What is so wrong in 1mn people being close to being banned from driving? There is a reason why there is a points system: if you continue to disobey the Highway Code then you get points put on your licence. Everyone might be unlucky once and get some points, but those that manage to tally up various motoring offences and then do get a final tally that bans them: SHOULD be banned. What example would that be setting if people that should be banned didn't get banned? Legalised carmageddon? People speeding because no matter how many points they get: they won't be banned? What next - commit 10 murders and then you might be considered for jail. The society you believe in is something close to anarchy!


Well because plans have been drawn up to ensure that there isn't an en-masse breakout amongst birds by ensuring the population don't spread the problem...doesn't mean the UK is like Myanmar. Infact many other European countries have already gone one step further by bringing the military in to curb the problem eg France and Germany - does that make them worse than Myanmar because they have actually put policies in place to restrict further contamination, while the UK hasn't actually done anything - other than plan for the worst case scenario which may never happen? Its clear that the UK is nothing like Myanmar - infact its one of the most democratic and free countries in the world and not only that: its actually becoming more free! I do query though as to whether you have actually been to Myanmar or Rangoon like myself (I was born and brought up in the region)?


The clear sign of paranoia is denial of paranoia when nobody here (including myself) mentioned it....




To sum up your last post:


You: Don't believe that there is any air traffic congestion over London
Reality: Near misses are a daily occurance, its getting more crowded and this isn't helped by indivdiduals wishing to fly willy nilly inbetween intercontinental jets

You: Believe planes are more sustainable than trains
Reality: Most UK trains run on electricity which can an is (increasingly) being derived from renewable sources, while planes will never be able to achieve this unless some miracle happens in the long-term

You: Believe planes to be socially rewarding
Reality: More people have been able to fly, but they are economically, environmentally and socially damaging under mid-long haul flights. Hundreds of thousands live under flight paths, while many others health is severly affected by planes. Economically they consume far more land than say a possible maglev station, yet transport far less people

You: CCTV cameras are bad
Reality: There are checks and laws in place to ensure that inproper usage is dealt with, while vandalism and crime on London transport is on the decrease after CCTV identifications across the transport network

You: Believe that MI5 wants our medical records for some unknown reason because its meant to be a 'secret'
Reality: MI5 has no need for our medical records while we need these records though within the NHS to ensure treatment is more effective and less painful.

You: Believe snowballing has been banned
Reality: This is false, snowballing is not illegal, but those that commit harm, eg breaking several teeth should not be allowed to get away

You: Believe speed cameras to be bad
Reality: Speed cameras have been shown to not only reduce speeding, but accidents and fatalities

You: Believe Liverpool is somehow worse off
Reality: Liverpool has been performing exceptionally well compared to most other European cities and has seen above UK growth per capita, a growing population, as well as booming employment and being crowned European Capital of Culture

You: Believe drivers who have committed multiple traffic violations shouldn't be banned if they get enough points
Reality: That defeats the whole purpose of the system: to stop people breaking the speed limit and could mean many cases of where individuals who have sped and killed others could be let off or not be punished because it would not be illegal to speed

You: Compare Britain to Myanmar
Reality: Britain is actually becoming more 'free', with ever increasing press freedoms and scoring the highest marks possible when it comes to political rights, civil libertis and freedom status

You: Claim to not be paranoid
Reality: I actually think you are (as can be clearly seen from your posts) and you're denting the liberal cause by fabricating information to try and support your stance. Your result will only to be forcing people to the far-right and thus creating deep divides within Britian - maybe though this is your goal afterall?




Every point you make, I can easily break down. You not only make yourself look like a fool (in front of the actual news reports, facts and figures) but shame the entire liberal legacy. You should be ashamed.

Now like I keep reminding....back to the London Congestion Charge....

ablarc
March 12th, 2006, 08:29 PM
Now....back to the London Congestion Charge....
About exhausted.

Marksix
March 13th, 2006, 05:38 AM
About exhausted.

I quite agree - this guy is is very confussed!

Let's leave it here and move on.

nick-taylor
March 14th, 2006, 08:09 AM
I quite agree - this guy is is very confussed!

Let's leave it here and move on.How can we leave it though when in the previous sentence you note me as being "confused" when clearly I have a larger grasp over the socio-political-economic factors within the UK and have clearly deconstructed all your points systematically without hesitation or requirement to fabricate points to somehow uphold my idea.

I didn't study several years of Government & Politics to listen to tripe from individuals like yourself that claim to be liberal but act in their own interests.

ablarc
May 11th, 2006, 11:32 PM
individuals like yourself that claim to be liberal but act in their own interests.
And whose interest do true liberals act in?

nick-taylor
May 12th, 2006, 06:27 AM
It doesn't matter what ideology it is, power is always the goal. All ideologies have different pathways towards achieving or attaining this goal, individually or collectively.

In other words a bad liberal can be as bad as a bad socialist or bad conservative. You can also have though good liberals, good socialists and good conservatives. Marksix is a bad liberal who is almost giving the impression of making liberals in Britain look like deluded crazed individuals. He also doesn't seem capable of grasping the workings of British politics, as is evident from all the posts here which have torn apart his factless and foundless argument.

Marksix
May 15th, 2006, 06:17 AM
sorry for being a bad liberal - i do try :(

here's another "fact" for you; Dr John Reid, minister that WAS in charge of road policy/road charging scheme is now head of the discredited home office and more to the point, responsible for implementing the sinsiter ID card and database state which he enthusiastically promotes.

In 1973 Dr John Reid, a former trade union leader, at the height of the cold war, little more than ten years after the Cuban missile crisis and witnessing the crushing of the Hungarian uprising by soviet forces, three years after Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was awared the Nobel literature prize for such works as "One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich" and "Gulag Archipelago" joined the communist party.

When he tells us there is no sinister intent behind the Labour Party's ID card and surveillence state and that "if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear" one might ponder if the fellow inmates of Solzhenitsyn and all of the current inmates of Britain's and America's gulags had anything to hide and anything to fear.

nick-taylor
May 15th, 2006, 12:51 PM
I think you'll find that a gulag is a forced labour camp; Britain has no such thing.

Marksix
May 16th, 2006, 07:31 AM
I think you'll find that a gulag is a forced labour camp; Britain has no such thing.


Literally, the word GULAG is an acronym, meaning Glavnoe Upravlenie Lagerei, or Main Camp Administration. Over time, the word "Gulag" has also come to signify not only the administration of the concentration camps but also the system of Soviet slave labour itself, in all its forms and varieties. It was the branch of the State Security that operated the penal system of forced labour camps and associated detention and transit camps and prisons. While these camps housed criminals of all types, the Gulag system is primarily known as a place for political prisoners and as a mechanism for repressing political opposition to the Soviet state. It imprisoned millions. Dr John Reid MP was fully aware of all of this when in 1973 he decided that this was the ideology for him and he joined the communist party. He is now the second most powerful politician in the UK and responsible for imposing ID cards and the database state.

More broadly, "Gulag" has come to mean the Soviet repressive system itself, the set of procedures that prisoners once called the "meat-grinder": the arrests, the interrogations, the transport in unheated cattle cars, the forced labour, the destruction of families, the years spent in exile, the early and unnecessary deaths. This for me, has resonances with the current “extraordinary rendition” and the series of named and suspected “detention” camps operated by the UK and US scattered, archipelago like, throughout the world.

The connection between soviet gulags and congestion charging may seem a tenuous one; license plates on UK vehicles are to be equipped with RFID chips which can be read by sensors from a distance of 100 metres http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/august2005/090805getchipped.htm
But then so will each and every individual via ID cards. Behind both are vast government databases monitoring in minute detail, every aspect of the individuals life of which their vehicle movements are but one component. From these databases, government is able to surveil and control individuals. On TV there are government adverts which subtly threatens us with dark images and sinister music, giving the impression that even if you simply forget to renew your license or tax you are counted among the criminals and you will be treated as one. Taking their cue from stasi like operations, they even encourage us to shop each other in if we have any suspicions. "Turn in your friends and family, great prizes to be won!" The government maintains a database on who owns a TV, soon that will include computers and mobile telephones. Retailers are already required to furnish this information to the government.

If you guys in America think this far-fetched, last week the United Kingdom Identity and Passport Service (UKIPS) announced the location of the 69 interrogation centres around the country that will be used to interview first time passport applicants and later enrol people onto the National Identity Register(NIR). Government is looking all the time at what other kinds of data can be included to serveil us on top of the 40 data publicly announced including:-

# Medical records
# Tax details
# Details of your children - to assist “tracing” them
# Council tax debt
# Confirming whether or not you have voted

There was a 1960's cult series “The Prisoner”, in which a newly designated authority figure demand the character of Patrick McGoohan hand over information. The program was an attempt at forewarning against the accelerating relationship between science, technology, and tyranny, and how it would be used to enslave a docile population concerned only with mindlessness and convenience.

The Village was a beautiful yet sinister enclave where residents were forcibly placed, kept and watched 24 hours a day by camera surveillance systems. The hierarchy of power was represented by a glowing pyramid with an all-seeing eye (check your dollar bill! lol) in the centre of The Village control room.

Just as McGoohan was referred to as a number (six) and not a man in the village, so too will we get our own number with our ID card.

The climax of the series saw McGoohan escape the prison of The Village and re-enter society only to discover that society itself was the prison and that, in his words, "freedom is a myth." Here we are 40 years on and it seems fiction has been surpassed by reality. A “virtual gulag”.

infoshare
May 16th, 2006, 10:15 AM
Just as McGoohan was referred to as a number (six) and not a man in the village, so too will we get our own number with our ID card.
A “virtual gulag”.

Permit me to digress for a brief question! Is the McGoohan charactor the reason for the (six) in 'Marksix' ............ and peharpe a play on Marxism!

P.S. You have spurred my interest in watching the TV series "the prisoner"; as well as raising many other thought provoking ideas....thanks I greatly enjoy reading you posts. As also does - I would guess (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=98500&postcount=24) - Noam Chomsky.

cheers mate:) :) :)

Marksix
May 16th, 2006, 10:41 AM
Permit me to digress for a brief question! Is the McGoohan charactor the reason for the (six) in 'Marksix' ............ and peharpe a play on Marxism!

P.S. You have spurred my interest in watching this series; as well as raising many other thought provoking ideas....thanks I greatly enjoy reading you posts. As also does - I would guess - Noam Chomsky.

cheers mate:) :) :)


Doh! ya got me!

I only wish I were that bright; in fact Marks one to five were mere prototypes but you have given me an idea - I shall adopt "I am not a number - I am a free man!" as my new signature and drop Michelangelo's "...I have never found salvation in nature. I love cities above all" forthwith. Or even sixthwith.





Actually - that village really exists. It's Port Merrion in Wales near to Port Madoc (Porthmadoc) and one of the most beautiful places you can imagine. I have even stayed there for a weekend with my g/f and it is anything but free - almost £600 for two nights!!!!

Remind me again who Naom Chomsky is...

It was built by the famous architect Clough Williams-Ellis- looks like Italy - in reality is Wales :)

http://www.portmeirion-village.com/en/index.php

I just googled it - try this site if yoou are interested in the cult TV series:- http://www.portmeiricon.com/

Also - you might like to see how the UK government's TV ads create the kind of environment the Stasi would be proud of in which they encourage each of us to report on our neighbours:-

http://www.visit4info.com/details.cfm?adid=30640

nick-taylor
May 16th, 2006, 12:22 PM
Marksix - Indeed if you did you research about Reid, you'd know that he made a comment along the lines of: "I used to be a Communist. I used to believe in Santa Claus". The fact that you dismiss the fact that he left after two years after being disillusioned with the whole idea of the implementation of marxism highlights your flawed approach in trying degrade someone who probably is one of the more credible MP's around.

Using the term gulag when describing the likes of Belmarsh is so flawed that it makes me laugh. The fact that you try to make a connection between one which forced people and their families to work to their death with a small selection of people that have security concerns is absolutely diabolical.

And to top it off, you come up with a statement like this:
"The connection between soviet gulags and congestion charging may seem a tenuous one"

The reason there is a deadline to pay your taxes, tv licence, etc is so that government can function. If there wasn't people wouldn't bother paying their taxes, there wouldn't be the money for health, education, etc... Also you'd either have to be insanely stupid to 'forget' to pay taxes, considering you have all the documentation at hand - its up to you as an individual to pay those taxes and if you fail or forget then that is your fault: not that of the state who has given warning via adverts in the media to the exact date. So basically you're trying to say that its wrong to snitch on someone who isn't paying their taxes but is getting all the benefits that those taxes bring?

I think you'll find that thats a far less intrusive procedure of being able to monitor those who pay their TV licence. If they didn't do that, we'd either have no BBC or every so often people would have to come around to check our TV and ensure that we have documentation to prove that we have paid: that would not only be inefficient but far more intrusive.

Interrogation Centres? Again totally off the spot; you'll find that the reason for interview centres that is to stop fraud. Currently you could post for a passport with phoney pictures: you can't do that if you have to go through an interview to clarify that you are the person applying for the passport. This is how a lot of identity fraud takes place, this would go forward in reducing it.

The irony is that you claim these to be part of some sort of police state: yet everyone knows about them: they are obvious, they aren't secretive.

And now you refer to The Prisoner - I guess Star Wars will be next right?

Also I think you'll find that the reason we have numbers for things like our credit cards, NI cards is because our names aren't unique. You couldn't for example have a list of people who have paid their NI by name, otherwise you'd have a problem with Mr John Smiths', confusing people and chasing those who may have paid and not chasing up those who haven't. We have our name, but numbers help identify us - not blank us out.

I think the most troubling problem with you is not the fact that you seem to be blurting quotes from websites and others (and seem incapable of thinking for yourself), but the fact that you twist it all around to be something that it isn't. That is how totalitarianism takes hold: you spread fear that something is happening when it isn't, to fool the electorate into believing you and then ensuring that you cement your position in politics. You go on about Blair and others, but I'd actually fear more for my liberities if someone like you ever came to power.

Marksix
May 16th, 2006, 01:02 PM
I think the most troubling problem with you is not the fact that you seem to be blurting quotes from websites and others (and seem incapable of thinking for yourself), but the fact that you twist it all around to be something that it isn't.

^
my admitted ineloquence forces me in this instance to reply by yet again quoting (plagerising?) again another fictional work by someone who knew little about this subject:-

"Parsons was Winston's fellow employee at the Ministry of Truth. He was a fattish but active man of paralyzing stupidity, a mass of imbecile enthusiasms—one of those completely unquestioning, devoted drudges on whom, more even than on the thought police, the stability of the Party depended."

G. Orwell "1984"

nick-taylor
May 16th, 2006, 01:50 PM
Marksix - I'm unsure whether you see the irony in referring to 1984, because by not replying to my points that I put forward you instead mock me for knowing more about government and politics in the UK than you do.

By failing to debate, you prove my point that you show traits of totalitarianism - that somehow your beliefs are above everyone elses, even if they are totally wrong and ignorant of the situation and that those that question you are somehow fools.

Quite simply, you don't want freedom, you wan't authoritative power and you want that by preying upon the fears generated by your illusions that we are somehow living in a free-less society. Go on about Blair and Iraq - but people like you are the really scary ones: people who won't take criticism, nor allow for others to question them.

Marksix
May 16th, 2006, 02:55 PM
Nick-Taylor/Ник – только, чтобы указать к Вам, что я изучил русский язык в течение трех лет, жил в Санкт-Петербурге и иметь много российских знакомых там, все, кто сделал так, чтобы личная семья испытала из фактов проживания в полицейском государстве. Я был также там в течение нападения на Белый дом. Я не имею никаких иллюзий о тоталитаризме – это пугает меня, и я буду бороться, это как русские наконец сделало – к смерти. Я сообщаю о дословных фактических, культурных и личных событиях того, что я вижу как угроза моему и ваши свободы. Я только надеюсь, что однажды Вы оцениваете принесенные жертвы и быть сделан позволить глупым людям как Вы существовать в свободе.

(to native Russians – excuse my still poor skills in your beautiful language)


Quoting from government’s own legislation, these are the actuality of ID cards in the UK:-

The Home Secretary (Dr John Reid – former member of the Communist Party and believer in Santa Claus) can impose a requirement, under clause 5(4) of the Identity Cards Bill 2005, for applicants to attend at any specified place and time in order to have yet-to-be-determined biometric data sampled and “otherwise to provide such information as may be required by the Secretary of State”, with no requirement that the time and place — or the other such information — be reasonable, for example.

Once an individual has been compelled to get a card, under threat of repeated £2500 fines for each occasion where the Home Secretary notified the individual of their compulsion, £1000 fines may be levied for forgetting to renew their card (see clause 9 of the act), or for forgetting to jump through hoops set by the Home Secretary in clause 5(4).

In my own case – I will be ordered to attend India Buildings, Liverpool “enrolment centre” and asked a series of questions (i.e. interrogated) to provide 40+ pieces of information. Refusal to answer questions will result in £2500 each time I refuse to answer (again, clause 9 of the act). I will then be finger printed, photographed, have my iris scanned and probably, a sample of my DNA taken.

The reality of totalitarianism came close to home to me today when less than two miles from my home, in the River Mersey a 500Kg world war two deep penetration bomb was found. One of thousands dropped from aircraft onto my city 60 years ago by a state who also had all of their citizens forcibly “enrolled” onto state registration schemes.

Marksix
May 16th, 2006, 03:14 PM
this is guaranteed to wind Nick-Taylor up! VeriChip Corporation is a very interesting company. They have designed a RFID chip that can be imbedded into the body. About the size of a grain of rice, the device is typically implanted above the triceps area of an individual’s right arm. It responds to a remote reader which can correlate the user to information stored on a database for identity verification and is being marketed to medical institutions.

The US government is looking at similar tech to be incorporated in compulsory ID cards to be carried by all US citizens, looking at the UK's example in particular.

I'm not a religous person and some on here even call me paranoid (hi N-T) but religous leaders in the US have come out strongly against this tech speculating that it might be the fulfillment of a prophecy from Christianity, where each person is marked for an identification, by an evil government. This is one of the most famous passages of The Book of Revelation, a section of the Bible thought by some to be prophecies of the end times.

"He also forced everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on his right hand or on his forehead, so that no one could buy or sell unless he had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of his name. This calls for wisdom. If anyone has insight, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is man's number. The number is six-hundred and sixty-six."

According to a recent ABC News article, some of the people being implanted with this chip do, in fact get it in their right hand. Spooky or what? lol lol.

nick-taylor
May 16th, 2006, 03:46 PM
Nick-Taylor/Ник – только, чтобы указать к Вам, что я изучил русский язык в течение трех лет, жил в Санкт-Петербурге и иметь много российских знакомых там, все, кто сделал так, чтобы личная семья испытала из фактов проживания в полицейском государстве. Я был также там в течение нападения на Белый дом. Я не имею никаких иллюзий о тоталитаризме – это пугает меня, и я буду бороться, это как русские наконец сделало – к смерти. Я сообщаю о дословных фактических, культурных и личных событиях того, что я вижу как угроза моему и ваши свободы. Я только надеюсь, что однажды Вы оцениваете принесенные жертвы и быть сделан позволить глупым людям как Вы существовать в свободе.Why type in Russian? Why hide behind a foreign language? I thought there was meant to be transparency, but instead you type in Russian somewhere along the lines that you don't believe that there should be people like me in this world. That sounds an awful lot like you believe in a super-race that is consistent in only your opinion!

You don't need to go to the River Mersey for evidence of totalitarianism - you're managing that yourself.

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 17th, 2006, 05:10 AM
Why type in Russian? Why hide behind a foreign language? I thought there was meant to be transparency, but instead you type in Russian somewhere along the lines that you don't believe that there should be people like me in this world. That sounds an awful lot like you believe in a super-race that is consistent in only your opinion!

You don't need to go to the River Mersey for evidence of totalitarianism - you're managing that yourself.

Nick, not everyone is like your typical Englishman; ie, only half fluent in one language.

Why dont you try to use some Russian? Oh no, wait, you live in England SO EVERYONE must speak English right?

When William landed 1000 years ago, everyone spoke French. Would you have objected then too were you alive?

I can give you directions to the nearest library, if you need them, but there are many russian resources online. Good luck!

Ninjahedge
May 17th, 2006, 09:23 AM
FLAME FLAME FLAME FLAME!


GT, you did not have anything to say ON THE SUBJECT, so just stay out of it, K?

If you want to start a flame war, go somewhere else.

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 17th, 2006, 09:55 AM
GT, you did not have anything to say ON THE SUBJECT, so just stay out of it, K?

If you want to start a flame war, go somewhere else.

Touche sir.

Since when does the suggestion of learning a new culture constitute a flame war...

My contribution to Nick:

1. Englishmen and women should get out of their beloved cars (which are actually "couches on wheels" for them) and use their not bad public transport (but which is probably not quite as developed as New York, Moscow, Hong Kong or Tokyo public transport) - check out the double decker trams in Hong Kong - they rock!

2. While sitting on the metro, tramvaj, autobus etc, the English could actually learn another language using a discman, ipod or a plain and simple textbook.

3. Result = smarter englishmen, thinner englishmen, less cars on the roads, no need to pay congestion tariff to the evil Sheriff of Nottingham.

Nick, I'd suggest that you start with Magyar (Hungarian), it's by far and away the easiest language.

G.K.T.

Ninjahedge
May 17th, 2006, 11:51 AM
Touche sir.

Since when does the suggestion of learning a new culture constitute a flame war...

Dont play dumb Greg, you know you were baiting. And I am not playing. Have fun!
















(not)

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 17th, 2006, 12:40 PM
Touche Sir.

But it was more suggesting an Englishman learn a language than it was baiting.

Here's why the colonials have shown the white man a thing or two.

http://www.thingsasian.com/goto_article/article.2865.html

Two big thumbs up to Hong Kong.

And the underground in Hong Kong is the cleanest I've ever seen, every time I go there.

There's a station in central Hong Kong (Admiralty Station) which has airport style check in counters for all of the airlines where you can check in your luggage even the day before your flight - they transport it to the plane. I've never lost any luggage and have done this several times. This is especially good for the traveller from the UK because Nick we know from your fellow countrymen in New York just how much you all love to shop!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airport_Express_%28MTR%29

One way trip on the train costs about 8 English Pounds Sterling.

Then you can just relax in the centre before heading out to the airport on the train yourself. It's quite amazing and beats the Paddington Express by a mile (or several).

And by the way, Hong Kong has one of the world's most amazing airports, even better than the old one:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:HKG_HongKong.jpg

So no congestion in Hong Kong. Also Nick, Hong Kong taxis can take you for about 10 minutes anywhere for about 2 pounds. That's about 10 times cheaper than London cabs. I usually take a 10 minute trip from Mid Levels down to Wan Chai district and it costs me no more than 15 Hong Kong Dollars - which is only the flagfall!

Usually I never have to wait more than 1 minute anywhere in Hong Kong to hail the distinctive red cabs.

With trams, underground and cheap taxis, No wonder no one in Hong Kong needs to drive their portable couches from one Tescos to another.

Perhaps Nick you could learn Cantonese instead of Hungarian. Hong Kong is more space age than London, a city of people who want to be transported everywhere on their couches on wheels, notwithstanding their reasonably good public transport.

And I didn't mention the escalators, yes that's right, escalators (800 metres in total) - which take you from central to Mid Levels (1/2 way up the Peak), the buses, and the ferries (for Kowloon to Hong Kong trips).

Also, in the centre of Hong Kong there are a series of walkways between almost all of the major buildings which are elevated one story above street level.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central_Elevated_Walkway

I guess the average Hong Kong commuter could say "Colonial Power, B*tch".

Marksix
May 18th, 2006, 04:57 AM
Nick, I'd suggest that you start with Magyar (Hungarian), it's by far and away the easiest language.

G.K.T.


heh heh - oh no it's not! lol

actually - you have a good point in your references to Hong Kong; surely congestion charges are a defacto admission of failure to provide a coherent mass transit system by those that impose the charge?

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 18th, 2006, 05:27 AM
heh heh - oh no it's not! lol

actually - you have a good point in your references to Hong Kong; surely congestion charges are a defacto admission of failure to provide a coherent mass transit system by those that impose the charge?

Hi MarkSix.

Yes, I know it's not. But you should always start with the hardest language. Then everything else is easier. See, I was trying to help Nick.

Yes, Hong Kong rocks. 'Nuff said.

G.K.T.

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 18th, 2006, 06:11 AM
It's no wonder that when you go from the UK to Hong Kong, you think: why are people so fat back home?

The Hong Kong ese and the New Yorkers love to walk. Londoners less so.

Think about it. You don't need a car to live in Hong Kong. And even if you do, you can catch a taxi - it's dirt cheap.

The problem that London has (Congestion Charge) is because it is a wasteful society full of people who dont want cars, but rather "Couches-On-Wheels" People there want "my car" with "my air freshener" and "my fish and chips".

Nothing has changed in 200 years. They love to live large in the UK on their fantasy climb to the "Life of Luxury".

G.K.T.

Ninjahedge
May 18th, 2006, 09:12 AM
GT, siting the reason for the congestion does not do much for the cure when it is a societal trait rather than some alterable infrastructure manifestation or impediment.

"Gee everyone is fat, that is why the subway is crowded" does NOTHING to solving the crowding problem. You can't force everyone to go on a diet.

What you CAN do is start charging people who take up more than one seat, such as on an airplane, more money to ride.

The same thing goes with congestion. In NYC, where there is mass transit and cabs up the wazoo, there is NO reason for you to be commuting regularly to work in your car. Well, except for a few isolated exceptions.....

That being said, if you want to bring your car into busy-city, you will have to pay more.

As for Hong Kong, wasn't a lot of it redeveloped rather recently? You think a city like London or NYC would be able to put in all this additional infrastructure on an already established city grid? Also, who would pay for it? Taxpayers? Maybe buisnesses, we all know how devoted buisnesses are to their "home" location. Raising their already high expense of oeration and maintainence in NYC will not scare any of them away.....


Bottom line, sometimes the simplest solution is one that is disliked by the ones that it will effect. There may be other solutions, but none work as quickly, effectively, and as cheaply.

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 18th, 2006, 01:59 PM
GT, siting the reason for the congestion does not do much for the cure when it is a societal trait rather than some alterable infrastructure manifestation or impediment.

"Gee everyone is fat, that is why the subway is crowded" does NOTHING to solving the crowding problem. You can't force everyone to go on a diet.


I was talking about the cars taking up space on the road, not people taking up space in public spaces.

But there is a rough correlation - in London, notwithstanding their not bad public transport, there are a lot more people who love to drive their Couches-On-Wheels (cars) around the city, and are generally not as slim as the walk-everywhere New Yorkers and Hong Kong-ese.

Is Hong Kong public transport new? Look at the link in relation to the trams on my previous post on page 4 (A MUST read for any person interested in intra-city transport) - they date back to 1905. The metro is a not that new either, I remember travelling on the metro as a boy in the 1980's when I visited Hong Kong with my parents. I travelled the same stations too.

Tsim Sha Tsui on the tip of Kowloon was my base station - aahh the memories!

Great city - especially the elevated walkway - it's just amazing.

And don't forget the Amazing-City-Of-Escalators.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Central-Mid-Levels_escalator

Ninjahedge
May 18th, 2006, 03:19 PM
I was talking about the cars taking up space on the road, not people taking up space in public spaces.

No, really?

I thought analogies were allowed here.


But there is a rough correlation - in London, notwithstanding their not bad public transport, there are a lot more people who love to drive their Couches-On-Wheels (cars) around the city, and are generally not as slim as the walk-everywhere New Yorkers and Hong Kong-ese.

I was not getting into that in particular. I was adderssing the solution to an existing problem based on modifiable parameters. You can't ask fat people to lose weight, so you just charge the noes that are causing the problem more.

This analogy can be abused by further extrapolation, but try to keep focused on what I am saying. You can make teh roads wider, improve public transportation, and do all the things Hong Kong has, at a much higher expense, but that does not guarantee that there will be less drivers on the road. Sometimes that just makes the problem worse because it makes it easier to drive in!


Is Hong Kong public transport new? Look at the link in relation to the trams on my previous post on page 4 (A MUST read for any person interested in intra-city transport) - they date back to 1905. The metro is a not that new either, I remember travelling on the metro as a boy in the 1980's when I visited Hong Kong with my parents. I travelled the same stations too.

How old are the buildings with the elevated walkways? When did the bulk of the transportation get implimented? How does this compare to NYC and London?

My point is that although it is valid to site different countries and their solutions to problems, to just apply the solution in a blanket-fasion to other municipalities is not a valid application.

Yes HK may have some things that work, but saying that doing the same in London would a) have the same effect and b) be a cost-effective solution is not.

Hell, it oes not even address the viability of the situation.

Consider NYC for instance:

1. Where would these walkways be
2. How would you get down to "street level"
3. Who would pay for them to be built?
4. How would you link the current infrastructure to them?
5. How would they be maintained?
6. How would you relocate all the buisnesses that would now be located "underground" (or permanently below scaffolding).
7. How would you support all this construction on top of an infrastructure that already exists below the sidewalks (putting extra load on a sidewalk that is not resting on grade).


So things like the elevated walkways might be a nice dream, but they are a VERY expensive reality in NYC.

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 19th, 2006, 05:50 AM
Consider NYC for instance:

1. Where would these walkways be
2. How would you get down to "street level"
3. Who would pay for them to be built?
4. How would you link the current infrastructure to them?
5. How would they be maintained?
6. How would you relocate all the buisnesses that would now be located "underground" (or permanently below scaffolding).
7. How would you support all this construction on top of an infrastructure that already exists below the sidewalks (putting extra load on a sidewalk that is not resting on grade).

So things like the elevated walkways might be a nice dream, but they are a VERY expensive reality in NYC.

Ninjahedge I would be interested in your views but my view is that NYC probably doesn't need them. There is enough incentive for people here to use the metro, buses and the sidewalks are not too narrow. You can walk everywhere.

London on the other hand has to impose a tax to stop drivers from entering the city centre.

If London had light rail, with its buses and metro, and perhaps some wider sidewalks, then maybe people there would walk more, and they wouldn't need the tax.

But no. Wait, it wouldn't work. It takes a change of attitude, and even in London, like LA, people are addicted to their cars, their "Couches-on-Wheels".

Hong Kong has not been designed around mass transit, it remains a city where only a few transit into the city centre every day, but for some reason it gets it right. Parking spaces and car permits are expensive there too.

I'm just impressed with the public transport, I mean who would have thought of elevated walkways and escalators up the hill and double decker trams that are even faster than going underground? For some reason it doesn't make sense in London.:rolleyes:

nick-taylor
May 19th, 2006, 04:38 PM
Ninjahedge I would be interested in your views but my view is that NYC probably doesn't need them. There is enough incentive for people here to use the metro, buses and the sidewalks are not too narrow. You can walk everywhere.

London on the other hand has to impose a tax to stop drivers from entering the city centre.

If London had light rail, with its buses and metro, and perhaps some wider sidewalks, then maybe people there would walk more, and they wouldn't need the tax.

But no. Wait, it wouldn't work. It takes a change of attitude, and even in London, like LA, people are addicted to their cars, their "Couches-on-Wheels".

Hong Kong has not been designed around mass transit, it remains a city where only a few transit into the city centre every day, but for some reason it gets it right. Parking spaces and car permits are expensive there too.

I'm just impressed with the public transport, I mean who would have thought of elevated walkways and escalators up the hill and double decker trams that are even faster than going underground? For some reason it doesn't make sense in London.I've decided not to reply to your other rants that have little meaning, but I shall add that you have made multiple errors.




The first is that London has had an airport express service since the 1970's. Infact, the Gatwick Express is the world's first and oldest airport express service. London currently has three airport express routes to London Heathrow, London Gatwick and London Stansted. London Luton has a Thameslink express link to Central London, while London City Airport has a DLR connection to the Square Mile.

Heathrow Express
http://img378.imageshack.us/img378/184/l7wp.th.jpg (http://img378.imageshack.us/my.php?image=l7wp.jpg)


Gatwick Express
http://img245.imageshack.us/img245/7468/i0yn.th.jpg (http://img245.imageshack.us/my.php?image=i0yn.jpg)


Stansted Express
http://img524.imageshack.us/img524/558/h9zv.th.jpg (http://img524.imageshack.us/my.php?image=h9zv.jpg)


New York in contrast has no direct rail connection from airport terminal to Manhattan whatsoever, unlike London with its rail connections to all five of Londons' international airports (four of which are located within the terminal), and three of which are dedicated airport express services. And no, taking AirTrain and then transferring to the Subway or Amtrak/NJ Transit is not a direct service. London has bucket loads of those services, including London Underground services to Heathrow and various other slower commuter services between the airports.

Another interesting aspect is that its possible to board a Thameslink train at London Luton Airport and arrive at London Gatwick Airport after only nine stops. The only other city on the planet that offers such a service is that between Narita and Haneda Airports in Tokyo.




The second is that London DOES have light rail. This comes in two forms: Tramlink in South London, or the impressive fully-automated Docklands Light Railway:


Tramlink
http://img275.imageshack.us/img275/9881/a0id.th.jpg (http://img275.imageshack.us/my.php?image=a0id.jpg) http://img231.imageshack.us/img231/2958/d8zr.th.jpg (http://img231.imageshack.us/my.php?image=d8zr.jpg) http://img155.imageshack.us/img155/1822/e0wu.th.jpg (http://img155.imageshack.us/my.php?image=e0wu.jpg)


Docklands Light Railway
http://img302.imageshack.us/img302/8098/b1se.th.jpg (http://img302.imageshack.us/my.php?image=b1se.jpg) http://img366.imageshack.us/img366/2498/c1qo.th.jpg (http://img366.imageshack.us/my.php?image=c1qo.jpg) http://img314.imageshack.us/img314/6039/f2mn.th.jpg (http://img314.imageshack.us/my.php?image=f2mn.jpg)

Above credit for the above pictures goes to the excellent UK tram website http://www.thetrams.co.uk


For your information, London is expected to create a vast network that would complement the already vast heavy rail network. The future tram/light rail network would become one of the largest in the world. The DLR alone is essentially becoming its own network; currently there are four DLR lines: Bank-King George V; Bank-Lewisham; Tower Gateway-Beckton; Stratford-Lewisham, by 2012 they'll be another two at the minimum: Stratford International-Woolwich Arsenal, Tower Gateway-Dagenham Dock.

Tramlink
Stations: 38
Length: 28km

DLR
Stations: 38
Length: 31km

New York can only consider the AirTrain JFK as a light-rail system and even then thats literally a people mover between JFK and the Subway/LIRR. So don't lecture London about transport, when its clear New York is not only far worse off, the gap between the two systems in increasing. I do believe however that there is a proposal for a tramline around 42nd Street, contrast that to the future North, South, West and East London tram network has either been built, is u/c, approved or in various stages of being formally proposed.




The third point is that London as a city is completely different to New York or Hong Kong. The main points here would be:
- Geography
- Population density
Hong Kong is a completely different scenario where due to geographical constraints, development is of a ribbon nature along the coastline where the little low-lying flat land has forced buildings upwards.

London actually used to go one better than Hong Kong - it had not only double decker trams, but double decker trams that ran underground. unfortunately the rise of the bus ensured trams were phased out in London and it has only been recent that trams are seeing a revival.

There is no need for walkways and elevated escalators in London for the simple reason: London is not a hilly city, hence there is no need for them.

Afterall London is a city of villages and communities, not an urban sprawl.




The fourth is that there is incentive to use public transport in London. 6mn people use London Buses each day, while 6mn people use London Heavy Rail (3mn of which is London Underground, the other 3mn use London Rail), the number of light rail trips and other rail services increases this to somewhere between 12-13mn passengers. In comparison the entire MTA handles 7.7mm (including NJ Transit commuter services this increases to around 7.8mn), interestingly as many people take the DLR everyday as all of the NJ Transit Rail division.

London could also have the world's largest heavy rail network, with over 600+ heavy rail stations and 1,196km of route km, in perspective New York has somewhere below 500 heavy rail stations and heavy rail route length of around 430km and what with all the extensions and new lines in London (East London Line Extensions, Channel Tunnel Rail Link, Heathrow Terminal 5, etc...) this is increasing. Currently there is around 50km+ of new heavy rail route km being constructed including the 34km of Phase II of CTRL of this route, it is via two 19km tunnels under London and will mean Central Brussels and Central Paris are just over 2hrs away from Central London.


London City Rail Map (not metro rail map)
http://img337.imageshack.us/img337/1100/londoncityrailmap20060kx9gu.th.jpg (http://img337.imageshack.us/my.php?image=londoncityrailmap20060kx9gu.jpg)




Lastly, the Congestion Charge is not a tax. Its a fee for using Central London roads which are generally built around Roman and medieval networks and were not built around the automobile.

I think the only reason you don't like the Congestion Charge is not because it has cut traffic, reduced accidents, decreased travel times, reduced pollution or made Central London more pedestrian friendly but that because its in London.

In the end, other cities including New York are seriously looking at the Congestion Charge and are thinking - we could be bringing this to our city and change our city for the better. If you don't like it then thats up to you, I won't hold that against you, but your charade is tired, uneducated and pathetic.

London will be expanding the CC in Feb 2007, a double CC for those with 4x4 SUV's is being studied (there is even a push to have a quadruple charge for these vehicles), an expansion around London Heathrow Airport will follow suit probably by 2012. The ultimate goal is to create a vast London CC zone and I can't wait for it.

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 20th, 2006, 04:07 AM
Nick that's interesting. Underground double decker trams replaced by buses. Overland trams. It sounds great.

Why the congestion charge then?

Why aren't people happy to use them, and want to drive their cars instead?

Easy. A car is not a car in London. It's a Couch-On-Wheels that will take you from home to work, and from work to the fish and chips shop, and from the fish and chips shop to home again so that you can eat your fish and chips while watching Dancing with the Stars.

I've travelled on the London light rail system. It's not as comprehensive as you would get in some other cities and seems to be restricted to a few areas.

In New York we don't have an airport express.

That's because we mostly use front door to airport service in a shuttle bus of about 8 passengers. You don't need to walk to the train station. You just place a call 24 hours before your flight and the shuttle bus will arrive. I've never missed a flight. Same deal in Miami and LA.

The shuttle bus that I use costs me about 8 quid.

That wont even buy you lunch in *with heavy Michael Caine accent* "LON-DON TOWN"

And Nick, travel to Hong Kong and try out their excellent public transit system - it's well worth it. You will likely go back home shaking your head like a madman saying "why oh why" and "drat those damn colonials".

G.K.T.

nick-taylor
May 20th, 2006, 05:10 AM
Gregory Tenenbaum - Transport patterns change, hence why we have double decker buses. I think you'll find that the same happened in New York with certain lines becoming dated and others appearing elsewhere to meet new transport demands.

How can you have travelled on light rail in London, when you said in your previous post that London had no light rail: "If London had light rail". Either you have amnesia or wikipedia didn't help you out with that one! :D

Also while it isn't the largest network on the planet, it is gradually becoming one. The DLR alone is the second largest automated network in the world (the first would be the Vancouver SkyTrain) and will be doubling in size over the next few years. Yet how can you be critical of London when the only light rail in New York is for moving people between JFK and the LIRR/Subway because New York doesn't have heavy rail express services connecting to Manhattan!

Most other world cities around the world have heavy rail connections to airport terminals - its because its a far more efficient mode of delivering people from the airport to the core of the city where the greatest number of connections can be made. Of the 10 alpha world cities set out by the GaWC; London, Tokyo, Paris, Chicago, Frankfurt, Hong Kong, Milan and Singapore have heavy rail links from airport terminals to the city centre. Only New York and Los Angeles are the two cities without such a service and if such a service isn't necessary, then why have you got the half-arsed attempts of JFK & Newark AirTrain's. Fact is, New York is severely handicapped in these regards compared to other cities.

You've obviously not eaten in London then have you!

I've been to Hong Kong many times, infact I was brought up in Singapore and the public transportation system there is far superior to Hong Kong's. Unfortunately while the Hong Kong transport network is okay for Hong Kong, it would not be suitable for London due to a variety of reasons including population density and geography. The current heavy rail network of Hong Kong (MTR & KCR) is 162km, contrast that to the 1,192km for London - the systems are worlds apart serving different population centres in different geographical areas. Yet why should I feel ashamed? Network coverage in London is far greater, while I can actually use 300kph or tilting Pendolino's to move beyond the confines of London. There are no grand or spectacular termini in Hong Kong and even the JLLE stations outshine the best stations in Hong Kong. I should add that you should have read into more detail the history of Hong Kong's transport and us 'colonials'.

If anything, it is your own city: New York that you should be more concerned with and denying your own cities problems won't solve them. You can also ignore my points, but London isn't sitting idle like New York is and its pushing forward change and thats probably why London is now the world's largest aviation hub, why London is the most visited city, why London became once again the worlds premier financial centre and why London got the 2012 Olympics.

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 20th, 2006, 05:42 AM
Nick, Yes London is much much better.

I have been on the light rail in London, correct me if I'm wrong but it doesn't seem to be a dedicated network accross the whole city. It's just a small isolated local network. If London had light rail like Hong Kong accross the whole city, then maybe it would be better.

London is an aviation hub, but I like many passengers are looking elsewhere. I usually fly through Copenhagen these days as they dont have a flea-bitten labrinthine airport like Heathrow and its high taxes. I can fly direct to Bangkok, Hong Kong practically anywhere and Scandinavian Airlines rocks compared to Brit. Airways.

London is the King, the Queen and the Jewel in the Crown of public transport, no question about it - you have convinced us.

Enjoy paying your congestion tax.

And please I would like your input into the new post about "Happy Slapping". Has it happened to you or someone that you know? It sounds dreadful, and it seems to happen a lot at bus stops.

nick-taylor
May 20th, 2006, 07:28 AM
Nick, Yes London is much much better.

I have been on the light rail in London, correct me if I'm wrong but it doesn't seem to be a dedicated network accross the whole city. It's just a small isolated local network. If London had light rail like Hong Kong accross the whole city, then maybe it would be better.

London is an aviation hub, but I like many passengers are looking elsewhere. I usually fly through Copenhagen these days as they dont have a flea-bitten labrinthine airport like Heathrow and its high taxes. I can fly direct to Bangkok, Hong Kong practically anywhere and Scandinavian Airlines rocks compared to Brit. Airways.

London is the King, the Queen and the Jewel in the Crown of public transport, no question about it - you have convinced us.

Enjoy paying your congestion tax.

And please I would like your input into the new post about "Happy Slapping". Has it happened to you or someone that you know? It sounds dreadful, and it seems to happen a lot at bus stops.Yet more bile.


The first point is that you haven't explained how you stated that London didn't have light rail only to change your mind after I had shown evidence that showed otherwise!


The second is that although light rail in London doesn't provide as extensive coverage like heavy rail does this is changing. Yet light rail in London is far more than being just a "small isolated local network". In other words there isn't one network, but two: the DLR and Tramlink. These networks also offer pretty good coverage across South London and East London; they are also expanding.


The third is that you apparently don't know much about light rail in Hong Kong. There are two light rail networks in Hong Kong.
- The first is located on Hong Kong Island and is 13km with 12 stops.
- The second is the KCR Light Rail network with 36.1km and 68 stops.
- There is a third but this is more akin to a funicular and is only 1.3km long and 7 stops

This provides Hong Kong with a light rail network of 49.1km and 80 stops (including the funicular its 50.4km and 87 stops). In contrast, London has a light rail network of 59km and 76 stops. So quite clearly both networks are roughly the same, the only difference is that London has u/c, approved & proposed 13 new stops on around 15km+ of new track; and this is on the DLR alone.


Fourthly, Heathrow isn't exactly a brilliant airport, but the same can't be said of New York's three airports. The bonus for London is that Heathrow offers more connections and the entire airport is being redeveloped. Currently the 30mppa+ capacity (ie one terminal handling as many people as all those through Newark International) London Heathrow Terminal 5 is due to be complete by 2008. The terminal, satellites and 6 platform Canary Wharf-like terminal 5 station were designed by Baron Rogers of Riverside.

Heathrow Terminal 5: 2008
http://img215.imageshack.us/img215/1258/d3ug.th.jpg (http://img215.imageshack.us/my.php?image=d3ug.jpg) http://img116.imageshack.us/img116/1895/b7jo.th.jpg (http://img116.imageshack.us/my.php?image=b7jo.jpg) http://img111.imageshack.us/img111/525/a5td.th.jpg (http://img111.imageshack.us/my.php?image=a5td.jpg) http://img103.imageshack.us/img103/2906/c6yy.th.jpg (http://img103.imageshack.us/my.php?image=c6yy.jpg)


As soon as T5 opens, work will begin on the Heathrow East project which is essentially a re-build of Terminal 2 and will have a capacity of 30mmpa. This is due to be complete in 2012, just before the London 2012 Olympics and once finished would allow for the re-building of Terminal 1, then Terminal 3 and then Terminal 4 to create a 120mppa+ capacity airport. Designs for Heathrow East are at an early stage (ie just masking models to indicate the general outlook of the terminal and satellites), but the architect behind them is going to be Lord Foster of Thames Bank, who also designed London Stansted Airport, the wonderful Chep Lap Kok Airport in Hong Kong and opening in 2007 the crazy looking Beijing Capital Airport Terminal 3. In the below plan view, T5 is to the left, Heathrow East to the right.

Heathrow East: 2012
http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/619/e5yx.th.jpg (http://img143.imageshack.us/my.php?image=e5yx.jpg) http://img143.imageshack.us/img143/2743/f7dc.th.jpg (http://img143.imageshack.us/my.php?image=f7dc.jpg)


Also while you might not go to London, millions more are and continue to be doing so: by 2030, London's five international airports are expected to handle some 300-400mn people. London's air hub of 135mppa is larger than that of the 90mppa of New York and will continue to be so. I'm not even starting about the expansion of London Stansted Airport which is going to be larger than anything at Heathrow. Gatwick Airport recently just opened its new air-bridge which is the largest of the world and allows for 747's to pass underneath:

http://img204.imageshack.us/img204/9593/g4wx.th.jpg (http://img204.imageshack.us/my.php?image=g4wx.jpg)


The fifth point would be that I've never claimed that it was somehow the best public transport network on the planet - only that you don't give it enough credit for what is a pretty remarkable network and perhaps the largest on the planet.


Sixthly - I don't drive, I use public transport to get about and you'd have to be stupid to drive into Central London especially with the vast array of public transport options available.


I don't like the happy slapping phenomena, but then the US tends to have a small problem of shooting people instead.

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 20th, 2006, 08:51 AM
Nick thats Very Impressive, Particularly The New Heathrow Airport.

I only saw 1 tramline in London it didnt seem to have a light rail network (more of a local line). I could be wrong about this. I thought that it wasn't as comprehensive as Hong Kong's network.

Glad you've corrected me.

Ever thought of ringing Tony and asking for a job promoting Cool Brittania?

G.K.T.

ZippyTheChimp
May 20th, 2006, 08:58 AM
Gregory Tenenbaum:

A few of your statements:

The Hong Kong ese and the New Yorkers love to walk. Londoners less so.


But there is a rough correlation - in London, notwithstanding their not bad public transport, there are a lot more people who love to drive their Couches-On-Wheels (cars) around the city, and are generally not as slim as the walk-everywhere New Yorkers and Hong Kong-ese.

Ninjahedge I would be interested in your views but my view is that NYC probably doesn't need them. There is enough incentive for people here to use the metro, buses and the sidewalks are not too narrow. You can walk everywhere.

In the NYC Congestion Charge thread, which you have not visited, given your obsession with London bashing rather than any interest in the topic, I posted a lengthy report:

Necessity or Choice, Why People Drive in Manhattan. (http://www.transalt.org/press/magazine/2006/winter/schaller_Feb2006.pdf) Note the findings on page 3.

As for your posting in general, I understand that you are just trying to get a rise out of nick-taylor, No one can accuse me of not having a sense of humor, but this is a serious topic, and you are making it unreadable for someone who has interest in the subject. Your incessant railing about London is becoming spam-ish.

Although I have received complaints about your posting, I have refrained from interfering - until now. In this, or any thread concerning London, I will delete any post that I deem is just an opportunity to bait an argument.

If you think that my actions are heavy-handed, you can lodge a complaint with the administrator, or open a thread in Forum Issues, where the entire community can weigh in.

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 20th, 2006, 10:08 AM
Gregory Tenenbaum:

A few of your statements:




In the NYC Congestion Charge thread, which you have not visited, given your obsession with London bashing rather than any interest in the topic, I posted a lengthy report:

Necessity or Choice, Why People Drive in Manhattan. (http://www.transalt.org/press/magazine/2006/winter/schaller_Feb2006.pdf) Note the findings on page 3.

As for your posting in general, I understand that you are just trying to get a rise out of nick-taylor, No one can accuse me of not having a sense of humor, but this is a serious topic, and you are making it unreadable for someone who has interest in the subject. Your incessant railing about London is becoming spam-ish.

Although I have received complaints about your posting, I have refrained from interfering - until now. In this, or any thread concerning London, I will delete any post that I deem is just an opportunity to bait an argument.

If you think that my actions are heavy-handed, you can lodge a complaint with the administrator, or open a thread in Forum Issues, where the entire community can weigh in.

Interesting link Zippy thanks.

But what Hong Kong has done is also very good.

I think that Nick is trying to defend London too much. That's not healthy. I am suggesting that there be a broader approach to this problem, a la look at other cities; wasn't aware of the New York charge though.

Appreciate the suggestions.

What will it take for people to be able to travel easily cheaply and quickly in London? Taxes may be the only answer. Im just glad I'm not running the city - big responsibility.

Those cameras in London look pretty Orwellian.

G.K.T.

Ninjahedge
May 20th, 2006, 01:28 PM
It just is not worth replying to.

Good trouncing Nick!

Marksix
May 21st, 2006, 09:52 AM
Congestion Charging is but one strategy the UK government intends to implement throughout the UK to ease the problem of too many vehicles, too few roads. They intended to make public transport the more attractive alternative. However, in my city (Liverpool) we were at the point of constructing a tram network, to the extent that cables and drains had been diverted and the rails had already been delivered, when the government pulled the money and the plans had to be scrapped. They did this to several other cities too.

It was claimed that road charginging was simply a stealth tax which of course, the government denied citing that the money is to be put into public transport infrastructure but their cancelling of all tram schemes seems to put a lie to this. Watch out when US politicians are asking to impose road/congestion charges there.....

Also, it has been said that the monies set aside for tram schemes was diverted to London to pay for the Olympic Games.

As to inter city rail travel, if I wanted to travel Liverpool to London tomorrow, a distance of 200 miles the fare would be £220/$409 or £360/$670 first class (which includes a free cuppa tea). So, we drive everywhere 'cos even with petrol costing£0.96 a litre ( $9.75 per gallon) it's affordable.

ablarc
May 21st, 2006, 09:54 AM
^ Sounds worse than the U.S.

nick-taylor
May 21st, 2006, 11:36 AM
I didn't know that Marksix had copied and pasted the same bile, so here I go again:

First point: Although I believe that tram projects should go ahead, they should only go ahead as long as there is significant regeneration benefits. I've spent years over at SSC debating this and a few modifications could have been made to greatly increase the efficiency of the network. I bet that in the next few years they will be built.

The second is that there is no basis behind tram funds being diverted for London 2012 transport projects. People tend to forget that London is the fastest growing city in the UK, growing at the rate of another Leeds (pop 700,000) every 9 years, while transport in London was by the greatest under-funded in the post-WW2 years.

Thirdly, while you have opted for the most expensive and exclusive rail tickets on offer, you can travel between Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston and back again on the tilting Virgin Pendolino trains from £37.75 ($71.10).

Marksix
May 21st, 2006, 12:45 PM
Thirdly, while you have opted for the most expensive and exclusive rail tickets on offer, you can travel between Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston and back again on the tilting Virgin Pendolino trains from £37.75 ($71.10).

..ahem - if you read closley and non selectively, you will see that I said if I wanted to go to London tomorrow, i.e. a walk up fare, then those are the prices. You are correct that there are other prices, over 146 in point of fact but yield managment techniques employed by the TOC's make them as inconvenient and as complex as possible to obtain.

any doubt about this can be assauged by going to trainline.com and make a booking for next day for an early morning departure.

London does seem to suck resources from the provinces though, they are even running out of water :)

nick-taylor
May 21st, 2006, 05:46 PM
Marksix - Those are the most expensive prices for first class and even then you can get cheaper deals for first class! I state this, because the vast majority (probably 80%+) of people who travel on Virgin Trains between Liverpool Lime Street and London Euston do so in standard class, and the prices I illustrate the base rate. Its a bit like providing old Concorde prices, instead of the normal price rates that the vast majority of people would fly by. £50 is probably the average cost for those on a return journey.

The reason for so many ticket types is because of the broad array of ticket discounts (OAP, student, etc...) and the large choice of amenities and routes on offer. I naturally always go for the cheaper trains, infact a promising development has been Megatrain.com. Gradually its going to be spread around the UK because its been so successful, but for my Portsmouth-London trips, £1 ($1.8) trip its been pretty decent for a 122km trip which is roughly the same distance between New York and Philadelphia (give or take a few km).

London does not 'suck resources from the provinces'; infact its quite the opposite as London and the south-east subsidises the regions. A study into this matter by the LSE found that London subsidised the regions to the tune of between £17.45bn ($32.8bn). This amount of money is per year (2001) and alone could afford for a vast new tube line every year. To put things into perspective for New Yorkers, the East Side Access project is expected to be around $6.3bn: London could afford 5 such projects each and every year. If you were to factor in the south-east which is pretty close to being the metro area for London, the deficit increases further.

Now I don't mind London helping the regions with a few billion here and there, but £17.45bn is beyond absurd....but despite all this 'free' money, London is the one they complain to. Its not central government, but London; its not the city or region itself, its London. I tend to believe that this almost hatred by the regions for London is what is keeping them back.

London and the south-east don't use northern water, because there isn't the facility in place to bring excess water down, thats why there are drought restrictions. Amazing as it is, London receives only just more rain than Los Angeles does.

Gregory Tenenbaum
May 22nd, 2006, 05:35 AM
As to inter city rail travel, if I wanted to travel Liverpool to London tomorrow, a distance of 200 miles the fare would be £220/$409 or £360/$670 first class (which includes a free cuppa tea). So, we drive everywhere 'cos even with petrol costing£0.96 a litre ( $9.75 per gallon) it's affordable.

:eek: That's incredible! And Im not Cathy Lee Crosby.

Even if the cost was half of that, that is the about most expensive train travel I have ever heard of.

Why doesn't your government encourage cheaper train transport? Using "Couches on Wheels" is not as an efficient means of transporting people over long distances.

Marksix
May 22nd, 2006, 09:10 AM
:eek: That's incredible! And Im not Cathy Lee Crosby.

Even if the cost was half of that, that is the about most expensive train travel I have ever heard of.

Why doesn't your government encourage cheaper train transport? Using "Couches on Wheels" is not as an efficient means of transporting people over long distances.


many of your answers can be found here

http://www.bbc.co.uk/bob/railways/


at certain times of the year it is actually cheaper for me to attend meetings in New York than in London and sometimes I 've had shorter journeys to New York than to London - seriously!!!
don't let it put you off travelling here though - i think foreigners can get rail passes which are far cheaper; similar to the old "Delta Pass" i used to get in the USA - 30 days unlimited air travel for $500! :)

nick-taylor
May 22nd, 2006, 10:03 AM
Gregory Tenenbaum - If you actually bothered to read my post you'd actually understand that the average person doesn't pay that much, if anything its more around £50. The fact that you appeared to have 'missed' my comments about megatrain.com kind of prove my point that you didn't read my last post.




Marksix - Come off it, if you pay $670 for a train ticket instead of paying for a 10x cheaper standard ticket then you must be more of a fool than I originally thought.

That link also doesn't prove much other than a rant of the state of the railways. It fails to accomodate the fact that:
Britains' railways are the fastest growing of the large economies of the EU, now handle more people than French railways and will within the next few years overtake the number of people transported on Germanys' railways
The average rolling stock age of all rolling stock used in the county was 20.67years in 2000, by 2004, this had fallen to 14.68years
Freight moved by rail had seen a slump of 37bn tonne km to 12bn tonne km between 1952 and 1982, yet by 2005 this had risen to 25bn tonne km
Although ticket prices have risen, the cost per passenger on rail was below that of road transport
Investment in the railways has rocketed as new stock, modernised stations and amenities become available: in 1960, £1bn was invested into the railways, by 2005 this was £5.5bn
Penalties and fines to TOC's for failing to perform well has decreased from £59mn in 2003-04 to £41.6mn in 2004-05
The average subsidy cost per passenger km has also decreased from 5p to 2.4p over the last 3 years
The trend in complaints per 100,000 passenger journies has fallen from a high of 135 in 2001 down to 70 in 2005
83.5% of all trains are now on schedule, compared to 75% in 2001, by 2012 this is expected to be above 90%
In 1985 there were some 2,385 passenger stations (excluding metro systems), by 2005 this had risen to 2,508 and is rising
Overall passengers in excess of capacity is now only at 2.9%, ie less crowded trainsSource: SRA

If you're going to try and make things out to be worse than they are, you could at least do some research.

Marksix
May 23rd, 2006, 05:47 AM
Marksix - Come off it, if you pay $670 for a train ticket instead of paying for a 10x cheaper standard ticket then you must be more of a fool than I originally thought.

Source: SRA[/I]

If you're going to try and make things out to be worse than they are, you could at least do some research.


breaking my rule here but here's a screen shot from the rail booking service for walk up fares, Liverpool to London for 24 hours in advance, to arrive in London before mid day, i.e. with enough time to do some actual business there.

As you can see, the train operators' revenue management system recognises the fact that only these services are meaningful to people travelling on business and only full price fares are available.

The SRA is a government agency/mouthpiece as you can tell by their uncritical rhetoric bigging-up their own inadequate performance in administrating and mismanagement of the appalling of rail infrastructure in the UK – which is by every sane persons standards, the laughing stock of Europe.

I think the message of this thread has to be trust neither Government or pedants ... hi Nick :)

nick-taylor
May 23rd, 2006, 11:58 AM
breaking my rule here but here's a screen shot from the rail booking service for walk up fares, Liverpool to London for 24 hours in advance, to arrive in London before mid day, i.e. with enough time to do some actual business there.

As you can see, the train operators' revenue management system recognises the fact that only these services are meaningful to people travelling on business and only full price fares are available.

The SRA is a government agency/mouthpiece as you can tell by their uncritical rhetoric bigging-up their own inadequate performance in administrating and mismanagement of the appalling of rail infrastructure in the UK – which is by every sane persons standards, the laughing stock of Europe.

I think the message of this thread has to be trust neither Government or pedants ... hi Nick :)The first thing to add is that if you actually did research, you'd find that the majority of intercity travellers travel outside of the rush-hour. In other words this would be before or after the morning rush-hour.

The second is that you can get cheaper tickets, such as at £37.75:

http://img236.imageshack.us/img236/1844/ticket2pp.th.jpg (http://img236.imageshack.us/my.php?image=ticket2pp.jpg)

The third is that thetrainline.com only provides a few ticket options, when there are dozens more on offer. Any National Rail station would highlight this.


Clearly your knowledge of the SRA is limited, because firstly it doesn't exist anymore (why you refer to it in present tense is bizarre), because it was re-distributed back in 2005. The second point is that the SRA was never a governmental department. My third point here would be how can you criticise a non-governmental department body, then slam Britains' railways and then compare them to railways on the continent which tend to be strongly controlled by the countrys' respective government.

I highlight this, because it smells of a contradiction, especially as levels of freedom of information are far lower because a) There are no shareholders to be accountable to, and b) Access to information is on the whole more restricted on the continent.

For New Yorkers and others, UK railways are following a similar path to that of Japan where private-public companies come together to operate and fund the system. Admittedly levels aren't up with Japan, but they are improving, yet this was the point I made. Read my post again and nowhere do I state that along the lines that somehow Britain's railways are best - there are for example no references to say average rolling stock is the youngest in Europe, or that complaints are the lowest of the EU, or that over-crowding was the lowest in Europe.

Fact: the network is improving, and its by far not the worst railway network in Europe and although it isn't the best it is moving in that direction. 5-10 years down the line, its most likely that Britain will once again have excellent railways - not as good as Japan, but as good or better than Germany or France.

I'd also like to see how you could argue against the points, afterall the majority of the data was collected from publicly listed companies which is already available to the general public in the form of annual reports. If you can't argue against the facts and figures, then you are in no position to lambast them as being false which would mean you'd have to retract your statement.

I am tempted to resort to an array of jibes like you have consistenly ended up doing (be it wishing people like me never existed in Russian or cheap shots that I'm somehow deluded even though I consistently back up my points), alas I have no need to because once again I've prevailed
at deconstructing your points and constructing mine around solid facts and figures.

Ninjahedge
May 23rd, 2006, 12:25 PM
I am tempted to resort to an array of jibes like you have consistenly ended up doing (be it wishing people like me never existed in Russian or cheap shots that I'm somehow deluded even though I consistently back up my points), alas I have no need to because once again I've prevailed
at deconstructing your points and constructing mine around solid facts and figures.

Yeah, but your paragraph formatting SUXX0RS!!!!!!!!


PWNED!!!!!!

;)

Marksix
May 24th, 2006, 05:15 AM
The second is that you can get cheaper tickets, such as at £37.75:

...I have no need to because once again I've prevailed
at deconstructing your points and constructing mine around solid facts and figures.


i know for a fact that those fares did not exist, that was clearly a doctred screen shot :(

but as I said - you are a very sad pedant :(

nick-taylor
May 24th, 2006, 07:50 AM
Marksix - No it was not doctored, if you had bothered to look at the alternative tickets you'd know that you can get a £37.75 ticket. I know that cause I've used a similar ticket on journeys all over the country. Nevermind the fact that the majority of intercity users (Midland Mainline, Hull Trains, GNER, Virgin, etc...) travel outside of rush-hours for the simple reason that its cheaper and more accessible - this has always and will continue to be the case.

Why do you even bother to reply with another insult when you haven't yet put forward a case to why the railways are worse off than what I have already stated?

ablarc
July 6th, 2006, 12:04 AM
So have they extended the congestion charge zone, and if so how is it working out? Any further plans?

nick-taylor
July 6th, 2006, 06:57 AM
Firstly the CC is probably going to rise to £10 ($18) by 2008.

Secondly the CC is going to expand westwards to cover all of the City of Westminster and the Royal Borogh of Kensington & Chelsea. This will come into effect on 19th February 2007. This will nearly double the coverage of the area, but also ensnare around another 0.25mn residents (not many people live in Central London, but do in the surrounding areas). This will be done by essentially shifting the goal posts of the cameras to be redistributed around the expanded CC area.

Thrdly, expansion around London Heathrow Airport is probable. This would require the building of AirTrack (a new railway line linking up to London Waterloo) and Crossrail which should be built by 2013. A new rail line out to Reading could also be built essentially meaning Heathrow could have multiple railway services despite not actually being on a mainline.

Lastly, the prospect of a national CC is good. Needs planning, but this would be the best way to ensure people would opt for public transport above the car in most instances (due to the variable usage pricing).

nick-taylor
July 17th, 2006, 06:38 PM
Mayor Livingstone wants to bring in an improved CC that cuts out those who drive poor-emission producing cars and suggested that 'Chelsea Tractors' should be ordered to pay a whopping £25 for each journey into and in the CC. Thats around $46 at current rates.

ablarc
July 17th, 2006, 06:43 PM
What's a Chelsea Tractor?

ASchwarz
July 17th, 2006, 06:58 PM
What's a Chelsea Tractor?

SUVs.

nick-taylor
November 3rd, 2006, 12:45 PM
Around 3 months and the CC gets its Western Expansion into Kensington & Chelsea. Work is also proceeding on the Heathrow Congestion Charge which combined with the worlds first Personal Rapid Transit system, should fund for the new Airtrack heavy rail link lines that will connect Heathrow up to various areas of London.





The Western Extension of the Central London Congestion Charge: to come into force 19th February 2007








http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/press-centre/image-gallery/images/rez-high/h-proposed-congestion-chargin-zone.jpg

Capn_Birdseye
November 3rd, 2006, 12:59 PM
You've convinced me Nick that you're one of the Green fascists blighting our life in the UK, who see "extra tax" as the answer to everything. All stick no carrot, its people like you that will destroy our society in a vain attempt to change the course of Nature. Debate with the likes of you is impossible and not worth the effort!

Luca
November 3rd, 2006, 01:47 PM
Mayor Livingstone wants to bring in an improved CC that cuts out those who drive poor-emission producing cars and suggested that 'Chelsea Tractors' should be ordered to pay a whopping £25 for each journey into and in the CC. Thats around $46 at current rates.


Conceptually, the CC (monetary rationing of a finite good, road time-space) makes sense. The implementation has been very poor though, and the impact on congestion is very debatable.

- For a CC to work it has to provide a very real disincentive to driving
through and at peak times. The charge is probably too low and it should be more circumscribed in time.
- The area is way too small, encouraging people to still drive and just skirt it.
- It gives a huge discount to those who least need it, people who live in Central London (they are central, with ample public transport, most weekdays they don't have far to go and they are, as a rule, the richest people in Europe....).

> I think something in the order of 15-20 GBP would be a bigger disincentive. Possibly just from 6:30 AM to 11:00 AM. Covering out to all of zones 1 and 2 and with absolutely, positively, no residents' discount.

nick-taylor
November 3rd, 2006, 05:46 PM
You've convinced me Nick that you're one of the Green fascists blighting our life in the UK, who see "extra tax" as the answer to everything. All stick no carrot, its people like you that will destroy our society in a vain attempt to change the course of Nature. Debate with the likes of you is impossible and not worth the effort!Forgive me then for supporting:
- A lower number of accidents
- A more pleasurable pedestrianised area for theatre-goers, nights out, shoppers, residents and businessmen.
- A more efficient transport network that is faster, more accessible and more fluid through Central London
- For giving added protection to Londons' buildings from the grime that has only just been cleaned off St Pauls (to great expense)
- Increasing investment into new business, retail and cultural institutions in Central London thanks to congestion being dramatically reduced

If that makes me a green fascist, then I dread to envision exactly what you support because it must be the opposite, ie congestion, less investment, less business, poorer transport, more accidents, detroyed monuments and buildings, etc....

And the reason debate is impossible with me is because I'm right. You can't find a reason around why the CC is wrong - it has brought benefits to everyone and is something that should spread to the rest of the UK to cut on congestion, increase standards of living, open up our urban areas, increase inward investment, and increase puiblic transport usage. I'd say that Southampton needs one too what with the stupid level of car usage and horrific traffic jams - infact Southampton and Portsmouth really ought to have a metro line running between and in both cities.




Luca - I think that the CC was essentially a trial, and the increase in price and now the increase in area is a good step forward. It will take time, but I suspect that by 2020, large swathes of London will be within CC zones.

Also some of the poorest people in London actually live in Kensington (towards White City), which is indeed rather ironic considering the immense wealth. Eitherway, they'd still pay it and it would be exceptionally expensive to isolate small pockets to vary 'rates' on them.

lofter1
November 3rd, 2006, 09:50 PM
... a vain attempt to change the course of Nature.

Oh, so cars + traffic are a natural occurence?

Kind of like flowers and seagulls, eh?

Capn_Birdseye
November 4th, 2006, 07:52 AM
It's interesting to note that when the people are given the opportunity to vote on the subject, as they were in Edinburgh, they gave a resounding NO to congestion charges!

Perhaps this is why the Green zealots stifle democratic debate on the issue, they want to impose their will on the people because in their arrogant little totalitarian minds they think they know best!:)


http://www.no-congestion-charge.com/

Gregory Tenenbaum
November 4th, 2006, 07:56 AM
I will never live in a city where you dont feel safe in a herd of pedestrians. Even though Hong Kong, NYC have a lot of cars - the pedestrians far outnumber them.

It really makes life easier.

ablarc
November 4th, 2006, 04:36 PM
It's interesting to note that when the people are given the opportunity to vote on the subject, as they were in Edinburgh, they gave a resounding NO to congestion charges!

Perhaps this is why the Green zealots stifle democratic debate on the issue, they want to impose their will on the people because in their arrogant little totalitarian minds they think they know best!
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
--Edmund Burke

ZippyTheChimp
November 5th, 2006, 10:28 AM
Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.
--Edmund Burke
America in in years prior to WWII was an isolationist country, Congress having passed several Neutrality Acts, which FDR circumvented.

In a 1940 campaign speech, FDR promised
Your boys are not going to be sent into any foreign war.
Sixty six years ago today, the American electorate voted FDR a third term as president.

Afterward, he continued acting with the realization that US involvement was inevitable, instituting Lend Lease.

I wonder what sort of voting any of us would be doing today if FDR didn't rely on his own judgement.

ablarc
November 5th, 2006, 03:56 PM
^ A perfect illustration of the truth of Burke's dictum.

nick-taylor
November 6th, 2006, 03:19 AM
It's interesting to note that when the people are given the opportunity to vote on the subject, as they were in Edinburgh, they gave a resounding NO to congestion charges!

Perhaps this is why the Green zealots stifle democratic debate on the issue, they want to impose their will on the people because in their arrogant little totalitarian minds they think they know best!:)

http://www.no-congestion-charge.com/And more pity them. Edinburgh will continue to drown in crowded roads. The number of accidents will increase as there is less safe space for shoppers to cross (so people will stay away) meaning retail will in the long-term diminish, house properties will have their values retarded compared to other UK cities by the increases in car pollution (atmospheric and sound), the inability to get anywhere because of the sheer volume of traffic and the risk of being run down. Businesses who can't get their employees to work will abandon Edinburgh for cities which have properly managed their congestion and provided alternatives. External investors will void Edinburgh simply because other companies are bailing (ie loss in knowledge economy and talent) and because conditions are simply more attractive elsewhere.

The unfortunate thing is, give it a few years and everyone in Edinburgh will be regretting it and they will have only themselves to blame when next-door Glasgow is going much more for transport. If you want to be around making money in the long-term then some sacrafices have to made in the short-term its as simple as that. Thats if they haven't moved from Edinburgh because of all the mentioned problems...

Luca
November 6th, 2006, 03:28 AM
Luca ...Also some of the poorest people in London actually live in Kensington (towards White City), which is indeed rather ironic considering the immense wealth. Eitherway, they'd still pay it and it would be exceptionally expensive to isolate small pockets to vary 'rates' on them.

Almost all lage concentrations of 'poor' people in cenetral London are there courtesy of public housing. They certainly are not entitled to discounts on the congestion charge when equally poor people in the rest of London (who don't have the luxury of living within walking distance of amenities, multiple Tube/bus lines and a huge numbe of JOBS) do not.

When I lived in Zone 1 I didn't even own a car for much of the time and when I did I only drove it at weekends.

The in-zone discount is a classic London "let's screw the middle class but by all means let's not touch the really rich folks" sydrome (oh God, more ammo for Tenenbaum....:rolleyes: ).

nick-taylor
November 6th, 2006, 03:53 AM
Almost all lage concentrations of 'poor' people in cenetral London are there courtesy of public housing. They certainly are not entitled to discounts on the congestion charge when equally poor people in the rest of London (who don't have the luxury of living within walking distance of amenities, multiple Tube/bus lines and a huge numbe of JOBS) do not.

When I lived in Zone 1 I didn't even own a car for much of the time and when I did I only drove it at weekends.

The in-zone discount is a classic London "let's screw the middle class but by all means let's not touch the really rich folks" sydrome (oh God, more ammo for Tenenbaum....:rolleyes: ).Yet surely thats a result of Outer Londoners living in a lower density environment that can't support as many transport options.

The fact is, the only real way that you'd be able to scale the pricing is by car or by household income. The latter would be probably too hard to bring to reality, the former is something Ken has looked upon with his 'Chelsea Tractor' CC charge which would affect more wealthier individuals.

Capn_Birdseye
November 6th, 2006, 06:22 AM
And more pity them. Edinburgh will continue to drown in crowded roads. The number of accidents will increase as there is less safe space for shoppers to cross (so people will stay away) meaning retail will in the long-term diminish, house properties will have their values retarded compared to other UK cities by the increases in car pollution (atmospheric and sound), the inability to get anywhere because of the sheer volume of traffic and the risk of being run down. Businesses who can't get their employees to work will abandon Edinburgh for cities which have properly managed their congestion and provided alternatives. External investors will void Edinburgh simply because other companies are bailing (ie loss in knowledge economy and talent) and because conditions are simply more attractive elsewhere.

The unfortunate thing is, give it a few years and everyone in Edinburgh will be regretting it and they will have only themselves to blame when next-door Glasgow is going much more for transport. If you want to be around making money in the long-term then some sacrafices have to made in the short-term its as simple as that. Thats if they haven't moved from Edinburgh because of all the mentioned problems...
Your posting just demonstrates your total arrogance as you disdainfully dismiss the will of the people! And you add to that a scaremongering scenario that is routinely employed by environmental zealots - rest easy my friend, Edinburgh will survive and prosper! Your scare tactics are fantasy-fuelled because you strongly resent the democratic process and the fact that people have not accepted your green view of the world!

nick-taylor
November 6th, 2006, 12:12 PM
Your posting just demonstrates your total arrogance as you disdainfully dismiss the will of the people! And you add to that a scaremongering scenario that is routinely employed by environmental zealots - rest easy my friend, Edinburgh will survive and prosper! Your scare tactics are fantasy-fuelled because you strongly resent the democratic process and the fact that people have not accepted your green view of the world!How is Edinburgh going to continue to prosper without measures to change the situation when its population is nearing the 500,000 mark? Its bad enough in most cities, but Edinburgh is worse off due to its less than great public transport...quite simply its all building up to a bursting point situation where shoppers won't bother because they can't get into the city, where businesses find that their employees can't get to work and residents find that they can't move around. Without a long-term solution Edinburgh will loose out to Glasgow which is pushing forward with far more transport initiatives. Its as simple as that.

So you can take your accusations of scaremongering, because London faced the same problems but is now a far nicer city because of it. Business is up, employment in London is rocketing, movement around London is at its quickest since the car was introduced to London streets, the number of accidents has decreased, shops are experiencing record sales, theatreland and the clubs and bars of the West End are busier than ever, and investment in London is at all time highs as investors realise that London has taken a stand against congestion to sort the situation out.

I also don't have a green view of the world - I have a capitalist driven environmental view of the world. And I also don't resent the democractic process, I resent the fact that people like yourself live for the short-term failing to realise that we can be much better off (economically as well as socially) if we plan ahead. And I know when I'm right when big business actually supports my view.

Capn_Birdseye
November 6th, 2006, 12:27 PM
The London Chamber of Commerce do not support your contention that the congestion charge is good for business - in fact they maintain the very opposite!
Interestingly they question why the charge is now to be raised to £10 when Stockholm is a mere £2 with much more flexibility in paying.
The congestion is simply a tax on businesses in London, and is designed to elicit as many fines as possible to boost the coffers!

— 68.9% of respondents feel the charge has had a negative impact on their business.
— 62% oppose extending the charging zone westwards.
— 27.7% of businesses are considering relocating outside of the zone.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1934287,00.html

http://www.londonchamber.co.uk/

nick-taylor
November 6th, 2006, 01:40 PM
The London Chamber of Commerce do not support your contention that the congestion charge is good for business - in fact they maintain the very opposite!
Interestingly they question why the charge is now to be raised to £10 when Stockholm is a mere £2 with much more flexibility in paying.
The congestion is simply a tax on businesses in London, and is designed to elicit as many fines as possible to boost the coffers!

— 68.9% of respondents feel the charge has had a negative impact on their business.
— 62% oppose extending the charging zone westwards.
— 27.7% of businesses are considering relocating outside of the zone.

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/comment/story/0,,1934287,00.html

http://www.londonchamber.co.uk/If it was charged at £2 then it wouldn't really be a deterent to drivers to Central London would it.....common sense please.

Also I'm well aware of the LCC's work in regards to interviews with businesses but the fact is none of these concerns have become reality which is something entirely different. Granted some people may have been affected, but the vast majority haven't, and for the majority its been all-round benefits. The CC makes London more livable and enjoyable; any stranger who has been around London before and after could tell you that.

If you want to see the actual results, then may I suggest you look at this report and the segment that I have copied and pasted below - it speaks for itself and shows that its working: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/cclondon/pdfs/Fourth-Annual-Report-Overview.pdf


Business and the economy
• The growth of the London economy remained positive in 2005 despite the
effects of the bombings in central London in July 2005.
• Businesses performance in the charging zone was significantly better than
in the rest of London, particularly in terms of profitability and productivity.
• Updated analysis of comparative trends in various indicators of overall
business performance, including change in jobs, business populations and
turnover continue to show no evidence of differential effects between the
charging zone and comparator locations that might be indicative of a
congestion charging impact, either positive or negative, on aggregate
business performance in central London.
• Trends in business registrations for VAT, appeals in respect of business
rate valuations, and commercial property price trends, do not support the
suggestion of a significant congestion charging impact on businesses in
central London.
• Although year-on-year retail sales in central London saw a sharp decline
throughout the July to September 2005 period, following the London
bombings, by early 2006 this trend was reversed resulting in full recovery
with annual growth rates above those being seen in the rest of the UK.
• Within the charging zone, the retail sector has increased its share of
enterprises and employment since 2003.
• The majority of charging zone businesses continue to recognise that
decongestion had created a more pleasant working environment and
easier journeys for employees using public transport for travel to work.
• Amongst businesses in the charging zone as a whole, there were more
supporters of the congestion charge than opponents.
• An independent review of the monitoring of the economic and business
impacts of congestion charging reported that it was reasonable to
conclude that the £5 congestion charge had had a broadly neutral impact
on the central London economy.

Capn_Birdseye
November 7th, 2006, 09:38 AM
It's both interesting and informative to see that the man behind TfL, Ken Livingstone, has so much in common with that old unreformed Communist dictator and human rights abuser, Fidel Castro. He heaps unwarranted praise on the evil regime, describing the Communist revolution as "one of the high points of the 20th century!" - and this is a place where you can only go online if you have permission from the ruling Communist party!
This is the man telling Londoners, and visitors to London, that they must pay for the privilege of driving into or through London! His Stalinist approach to the democratic process remains undaunted. I hope he hasn't gone there to pick up some tips on other repressive measures that he might feel tempted to introduce in London!
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/03/10/cuba10306.htm

I believe the real reason TfL are massively increasing the congestion charge is because of the parlous state of their accounts - they haven't raised as much as they projected even with the heavy penalty charges imposed so they are raising what is in effect a tax on cars using London. The Green zealots will only be happy once cars for the masses have been eliminated from the roads of Britain. The anti-car zealots come in many forms:
http://www.freedom-move.org/anti-car.htm

There seems to be a common thread that runs through the profile of almost every anti-car zealot, they hate freedom and despise democracy:

“The car is the last bastion of freedom — this must be overturned.”
“The Highways Agency should act as a management authority allocating permits to drive into towns. People should be made to wait at the perimeter until a space becomes available.”
“People who live in the country say they need to drive into towns — I say it's their fault for living in the country.” Kristine Beuret, Social Research Associates & Leicester Pedestrians Association; speaking at SERA conference 1997

“We have to eventually start restricting people's use of travel.” Roger Higham, Friends of the Earth; 'Dimbleby', ITV, 2002-12-15

As for the TfL 2006 annual report I wouldn't believe a word of it, it is simply designed to talk-up the success of this non-democratic body when in reality it is daily destroying peoples lives and businesses, mind you this doesn't worry the likes of car-hating Ken Livingstone as he swans around the world on an all-expenses paid trip - expenses paid for by London ratepayers! Is London getting too small for this egomaniac?

nick-taylor
November 8th, 2006, 05:14 AM
It's both interesting and informative to see that the man behind TfL, Ken Livingstone, has so much in common with that old unreformed Communist dictator and human rights abuser, Fidel Castro. He heaps unwarranted praise on the evil regime, describing the Communist revolution as "one of the high points of the 20th century!" - and this is a place where you can only go online if you have permission from the ruling Communist party!
This is the man telling Londoners, and visitors to London, that they must pay for the privilege of driving into or through London! His Stalinist approach to the democratic process remains undaunted. I hope he hasn't gone there to pick up some tips on other repressive measures that he might feel tempted to introduce in London!
http://hrw.org/english/docs/2005/03/10/cuba10306.htm

I believe the real reason TfL are massively increasing the congestion charge is because of the parlous state of their accounts - they haven't raised as much as they projected even with the heavy penalty charges imposed so they are raising what is in effect a tax on cars using London. The Green zealots will only be happy once cars for the masses have been eliminated from the roads of Britain. The anti-car zealots come in many forms:
http://www.freedom-move.org/anti-car.htm

There seems to be a common thread that runs through the profile of almost every anti-car zealot, they hate freedom and despise democracy:

“The car is the last bastion of freedom — this must be overturned.”
“The Highways Agency should act as a management authority allocating permits to drive into towns. People should be made to wait at the perimeter until a space becomes available.”
“People who live in the country say they need to drive into towns — I say it's their fault for living in the country.” Kristine Beuret, Social Research Associates & Leicester Pedestrians Association; speaking at SERA conference 1997

“We have to eventually start restricting people's use of travel.” Roger Higham, Friends of the Earth; 'Dimbleby', ITV, 2002-12-15

As for the TfL 2006 annual report I wouldn't believe a word of it, it is simply designed to talk-up the success of this non-democratic body when in reality it is daily destroying peoples lives and businesses, mind you this doesn't worry the likes of car-hating Ken Livingstone as he swans around the world on an all-expenses paid trip - expenses paid for by London ratepayers! Is London getting too small for this egomaniac?As someone who studied geo-politics, communism was a boot up the arse that liberalism and conservatism needed. Granted, it might have led to millions living in absolutely horrific countries, but it spurred on the welfare state and a whole array of other social security nets in the UK that most countries in the world lack. Now while I don't agree with all of Kens' views, hes probably one of, if not the best politicians in Britain. He speaks his mind and gets things done, and most importantly he views this through the requirements of a Londoner which makes London a far more attractive place to live, work and shop.

The fact is though, driving in Central London is not a right - there simply isn't the road capacity to deal with unconstrained access. Quite simply if everyonecould drive into Central London, then nobody would be moving cause of permanent grid-lock. Yet you can only criticise, and not actually provide an alternative which is always a damaging limitation to someones argument.

Actually the reason they haven't raised as much is ironic and very simple: its been too effective. In other words its persuaded more drivers than anticipated to stay away from Central London and seek alternative routes into Central London. Also it is not a tax, because it more resembles a toll and has hours of operations.

And I personally would like to see the end to the car! It brings misery to life - be it stuck in traffic jams, high casualty rates, pollution, noise and just general unsightly views. The fact is, in a more idealistic world like that of Japan, we'd rely on public transport to move people around far more efficiently and with more benefit to the economy.

The fact is, you might want to drive where ever you want....but come a few years you won't be able to do that because congestion would be too bad and then you'd have the problem that oil would be far more expensive or have peaked.

The world you live in appears to be directed that the people should have a say in everything, when they already do - consultations and independent reviews are more common place in the UK than practically any other country in the world. Go to Europe or elsewhere and you'd notice that grass-roots consultation is limited. Japan, Germany, France, etc... didn't build their HSR networks on the backbone of public consultation - they just swept their way through. Its why the CTRL is one of the most expensive railways built.

The fact is, the report speaks for itself - and its not findings that TfL made, but evidence that is already in the public domain from a variety of sources, for example;
- Business VAT registrations increasing is not due to TfL's research
- Economic growth figures haven't been affected because that information comes from the ONS and Eurostat
- Retailer job and sales figures haven't been corrupted because those come from the appropiate retail associations.

It wouldn't suprise me that you suspect that these sources have all been somehow 'compromised' in light of the fact that they are externally sourced figures brought together in one publication. Fact is:
- London is growing
- Moving around London is better than ever
- Businesses are better off in London than before the CC
- Retailers are having a boom from the larger volumes of people moving into London to shop cause of less congestion
- Accidents have fallen
- Pollution levels have fallen
- Public transport has drastically improved in part due to the decrease in travel times

Every Londoner and sane individual knows this and your contempt for whatever organisation or individual doesn't hide these facts. Face it, its a good thing.

ablarc
November 8th, 2006, 08:38 AM
...your contempt for whatever organisation or individual...
Yup, ...sprinkling bile like pixie dust, Capn.

More civility, please ...especially towards the real, live individuals on this board. Folks have feelings.

Ninjahedge
November 8th, 2006, 08:59 AM
Man, you can't swing a dead conservative without hitting a zealot in Cap'ns world, can you?

ablarc
November 10th, 2006, 04:11 PM
If you want to be around making money in the long-term then some sacrafices have to made in the short-term its as simple as that.
In a nutshell.

Marksix
November 14th, 2006, 08:51 AM
the mayor just announced his intention to raise the daily charge for SUV's to $50 per day.

What started as a practical measure has now become a political implement.

ablarc
November 14th, 2006, 09:10 AM
^ Bravo!

ablarc
November 26th, 2006, 09:30 AM
Well, the mayor's wielding the stick, but a general rule of human events is that you should simultaneously dangle a carrot. That carrot could be specially advantageous treatment for cars that make sense. That category includes low-emissin hybrids and electrics, and it could also include cars that take up only a little precious urban space.

The Smart might be such a car. It sells pretty well in London, and is just 8'-10" long (new model: 9'-4"; the first generation Mini was ten feet even). Why not designate metered and unmetered curbside parking spaces sporadically throughout London just for such microcars?

To sweeten the inducement, low-emissions versions (a hybrid Smart?) would get a license plate sticker enabling them to park for free. Those inevitable and hard-to-colonize residual spaces in existing parking garages could also be designated for such city cars.

City cars should be simultaneously green and small, and the government can provide incentives to help make them so.

nick-taylor
November 30th, 2006, 04:50 AM
On an interesting note, US diplomats owe Transport for London more than £1m in Congestion Charge fines (ie 56,000 car journeys in and out of Central London - the US embassy I should not is within the CC zone).

That figure is more than double any other embassy in London (the others being African: Angola & Nigeria owing around £500,000). The mayor, Ken Livingstone is threatening legal action, after several other countries such as the United Arab Emirates have paid £100,000 their outstanding CC fines and will in the future pay up-front for the CC. The US Embassy in Oslo and Singapore interesting also pay their respective CC-like road toll systems.




Ablarc - One of those incentives to not paying the CC is actually to drive a hybrid or alternative fuel vehicle. Smart cars while taking up less road-space, do still emit car emissions making them void.

Ninjahedge
November 30th, 2006, 10:01 AM
Interesting how countries like England will charge for traffic tickets in Lonodon, but yet every diplomat from around teh world is allowed to drive however they want around good old NYC and not have to pay a dime.

Maybe we sould start ticketing these guys and ask to collect when the bill gets large enough to sue over.....

daver
November 30th, 2006, 10:26 AM
Interesting how countries like England will charge for traffic tickets in Lonodon, but yet every diplomat from around teh world is allowed to drive however they want around good old NYC and not have to pay a dime.
Really, WTF? Our diplomats owe a couple million dollars, but we aren't allowed to give their diplomats a traffic ticket? Bogus. Who negotiated that one?

Luca
November 30th, 2006, 12:51 PM
OK, the way it works is that diplomatic activities are not subject to taxes but may be subject to other fees/charges/tolls.

The US embassy believes the congestion charge is a (flat) tax (on auto usage in cnetral London) and that, therefore, it is exempt as per US-UK bilateral agreement.

Ken disagrees. He's not exactly very pro-American anyway (few people are or admit to it nowdays, but Ken's always been more than a bit Bolshy).

I don't have a strong opinion, but if i were the Us ambassador I would have paid from the start; the bad publicity is worth more than a few mn.

nick-taylor
November 30th, 2006, 12:53 PM
Interesting how countries like England will charge for traffic tickets in Lonodon, but yet every diplomat from around teh world is allowed to drive however they want around good old NYC and not have to pay a dime.

Maybe we sould start ticketing these guys and ask to collect when the bill gets large enough to sue over.....Parking tickets are something completely different from the Congestion Charge.....I dread to imagine what US diplomats have incurred over several decades in London in that department when the fines and penalties can be even harsher than the CC.....and no they haven't been paid either.

lofter1
November 30th, 2006, 01:14 PM
... we aren't allowed to give their diplomats a traffic ticket?

All UN types in NYC can be given traffic tickets -- and NYPD does, like crazy -- per the guidelines (http://www.state.gov/m/ds/immunities/c9127.htm) of the U.S. Department of State.

Many just don't pay them.

"Diplomatic Immunity" ...

A concept (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_immunity) that goes back to the emmissaries of Genghis Khan, and was codified by the Brits some 300 years ago.

Ninjahedge
November 30th, 2006, 02:37 PM
Parking tickets are something completely different from the Congestion Charge.....I dread to imagine what US diplomats have incurred over several decades in London in that department when the fines and penalties can be even harsher than the CC.....and no they haven't been paid either.

Read the article/statement again Nick. The fees may not be the same, but failure to pay them incurrs a fine, which is very similar, in more than just a social sense, to a traffic ticket.

Direct comparison is difficult. AAMOF, I believe that we have more of a right to fine diplomats for traffic violations than they have a right to charge for road usage by diplomats, but I can see where both are valid and should be paid.

They should just all agree to follow other peoples rules, so long as they are not overly restrictive or demanding. The exemption was meant to be a nice gesture to releive any worries about doing something they did not know is wrong in our country. But if you park in a spot that says "no parking" there is no excuse.

Those signs are as hard to understand for someone from NJ as they are from New Dheli, so lets not play favorites!! ;)

Strattonport
December 1st, 2006, 12:16 AM
I found this article on BBC News regarding reaction to the notion of congestion charging in New York. Despite being from 2003, I still think it's relevant today.

NY resistant to congestion charge

By Matthew Wells
for BBC News Online in New York

More than half of New York City's politicians are urging mayor Mike Bloomberg to rule out any attempt to bring in London-style congestion charge.

The plea from city council members based in the two biggest commuter boroughs - Brooklyn and Queens - is based entirely on a recent retail survey by the London Chamber of Commerce.

Just under half of the UK capital's respondents said the £5 ($8) congestion charge had hurt their business, with over a quarter saying that they were considering relocating outside the zone.

Three-quarters of the businesses surveyed, added that the charge had not led to improved productivity -indicating that less congested roads don't necessarily lead to more efficient trade.

Rest of article here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/3152599.stm)

I do think that study is unreliable as the effects seen from the charge in London has been successful.

Ninjahedge
December 1st, 2006, 09:36 AM
Also add to it the fact that most people do not DRIVE into the city to do shopping during the crucial hours!

ANYTHING that is done will have a ripple effect to the stores in Manhattan, but anything Major? I don't think so....

Capn_Birdseye
December 1st, 2006, 11:57 AM
The central London congestion charge today, road pricing for all tomorrow, that's the future as mapped out by the Green zealots in the UK! Mind you it will mean that wealthy people will have nice clear roads whilst the masses can pay exhorbitant fares for the privilege of cramming into over-crowded trains that may or may not run on time!

A by-product, (or maybe its deliberate!),of the road pricing is that the authorities will know exactly where you've been and at what times - useful info for Big Brother eh?

Marksix
December 2nd, 2006, 05:55 AM
The central London congestion charge today, road pricing for all tomorrow, that's the future as mapped out by the Green zealots in the UK! Mind you it will mean that wealthy people will have nice clear roads whilst the masses can pay exhorbitant fares for the privilege of cramming into over-crowded trains that may or may not run on time!

A by-product, (or maybe its deliberate!),of the road pricing is that the authorities will know exactly where you've been and at what times - useful info for Big Brother eh?

Didn't I remember a politician saying the roads into London should be cleared "for the right people" and "all the secretaries etc pushed onto the tube & trains"?

lofter1
December 2nd, 2006, 10:24 AM
A by-product, (or maybe its deliberate!),of the road pricing is that the authorities will know exactly where you've been and at what times - useful info for Big Brother eh?

Cell phones + cell cams [ :eek: ] already offers that info to BB ...

Capn_Birdseye
December 4th, 2006, 05:12 AM
Didn't I remember a politician saying the roads into London should be cleared "for the right people" and "all the secretaries etc pushed onto the tube & trains"?
You're right Marksix - there is more to "road-pricing" than meets the eye, its about social control and elitism. Resist it America, don't buy the Green agenda smokescreen that is being presented, its a fraud and a total con!

Marksix
December 4th, 2006, 05:23 AM
You're right Marksix - there is more to "road-pricing" than meets the eye, its about social control and elitism. Resist it America, don't buy the Green agenda smokescreen that is being presented, its a fraud and a total con!

AMEN TO THAT!

Ninjahedge
December 4th, 2006, 10:04 AM
Um, give me a break.

Like driving is some sort of god-given right to the people?

I think that things like this should be implimented in the same way that any other supply-demand thing is. They should just be careful to look for a balance point rather than an absolute prohibition to vehicular traffic.

Somehow peopel screaming "greenies" and "elitism" about not being able to drive into the city is rather cockeyed.

lofter1
December 4th, 2006, 10:19 AM
Like driving is some sort of god-given right to the people?


http://www.gaspig.com/Jesusbus.jpg

nick-taylor
December 4th, 2006, 10:34 AM
You're right Marksix - there is more to "road-pricing" than meets the eye, its about social control and elitism. Resist it America, don't buy the Green agenda smokescreen that is being presented, its a fraud and a total con!And what is this 'green smokescreen'? The facts are, if nothing is done, then our roads will grind to a halt and quite simply you won't be able to drive anywhere because everyone would be stuck in traffic jams. The result, will be that the elite won't be driving - they'll be taking a helicopter, while the average person will be stuck in traffic.....and you know what, it would be individuals such as yourself who don't want change that would be the first to complain that there is too much congestion.

Quite simply we all need to take a loss to make a gain. Its a simple fact of life and its why humanity came to become the dominant species on our planet.

I myself don't have a car, I don't even have a licence for the simple fact that I took the view that it would be a waste of money....and it has. While all my friends struggled through university, I supported myself without any loans, parental gifts or overdrafts and was able to do more. My parents even offered me a car, but I declined for the simple reason that I had principles that it was something that I could live without....4 years down the line and it is safe to say that its worked. I took a loss in the form of not driving, but made gains in regards to not being dragged down in debt like everyone else and now have money to start my own business which is something I am bringing on-line over the next few months. Now ask yourself - what is better, a debt-ridden graduate or a graduate who is liquid enough to actually start their own business. If kids and parents spent the money they spent on their cars on their education, there wouldn't be any complaints about higher education tuition fees.

Now for some driving is a requirement, but society shouldn't revolve around the individual, but the majority and in that case it requires a total rethink of how we live. The idea of a double garage suburb without proper public transport links is simply an unsustainable lifestyle. You might think it is your right to have that lifestyle, but say that in 20 years when weather patterns become even more erratic and you have wars raging around the world because of our selfish attitudes that are no more different than the slavery of the century before. Now I do have solutions, but there is no way I'm going to talk about that when those solutions are what is going to make me millions. :D

Personally I think we can change, yes we need to take a loss, but in the end I'd feel a lot better knowing that my footprint isn't crushing hundreds in Africa AND that I'm wasting less money on items and produce that are of no benefit to me. There is also money to be made out of it too....

Capn_Birdseye
December 4th, 2006, 03:26 PM
Nick Taylor you may think you're saving the planet but in reality all you're doing is supporting those who want to impose social control over the masses and ensure that the governing elite are kept in power and can enjoy their privileges - remember the scenes of Moscow streets when members of the Politburo drove to the Kremlin, the streets were devoid of other vehicles - thats what you and your kind are advocating for us. NO THANKS!! I prefer personal freedom and the imperfections that go with it rather than the regimented Big Brother all-controlling state you seem to support.

Ninjahedge
December 4th, 2006, 03:46 PM
Funny Loft... ;)

And Nick, you are geting a little melodramatic there yourself!

Me? I went to college and did not have a car while I was there. I had a bike.

Grad school? Rollerblades.

When I got home and got a job I borrowed my mothers car for about 6 months (we shared transportation) and then bought my own. I paid it off insode of a year (living at home has its advantages) and shortly thereafter moved out.

I now have an 11 year old vehicle with 81K miles on it. Most of it from driving to visit family and the like.

So drawing a line between having and not having a car is a little extreme, and alienates many of us who are close to your own particular position. But I still agree that it is rediculous for people to be complaining that they think this is all some sort of class warfare.

A close eye should be kept on this, as with all things, but paying for convenience is a true capitalistic cornerstone. Why should government be excluded on a mostly voluntary form of taxation?

Capn_Birdseye
December 5th, 2006, 05:55 AM
But I still agree that it is rediculous for people to be complaining that they think this is all some sort of class warfare.

A close eye should be kept on this, as with all things, but paying for convenience is a true capitalistic cornerstone. Why should government be excluded on a mostly voluntary form of taxation?
But what you may not appreciate Ninjahedge is that this is just one small part of a much greater plan to enable the ruling elite to control the masses. Britain has become, without any democratic debate, the most surveilled country in the world. There is one CCTV camera for every 400 citizens, the London Oyster card informs the authorities of where and when you travel, and combined with CCTV, will also tell them who with. Neighbours are being encouraged to spy on one another and report rubbish collection infgringements to the local councils - you can now become a criminal for mistakenly putting the wrong piece of rubbish in a recycling bin! All DNA is collected and stored regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty of a crime - no democratic debate has taken place on that issue. The government is undertaking a secret programme to link up all the databases so that they will have a total profile of all of us. Doctors are being asked to report to the authorities any patients that refuse to allow their records to be placed on this centralised database. I could go on but I won't but I hope it gives you just a small taste of what is going on in the UK - I cannnot see Americans allowing this to happen in the US.

nick-taylor
December 5th, 2006, 06:43 AM
Nick Taylor you may think you're saving the planet but in reality all you're doing is supporting those who want to impose social control over the masses and ensure that the governing elite are kept in power and can enjoy their privileges - remember the scenes of Moscow streets when members of the Politburo drove to the Kremlin, the streets were devoid of other vehicles - thats what you and your kind are advocating for us. NO THANKS!! I prefer personal freedom and the imperfections that go with it rather than the regimented Big Brother all-controlling state you seem to support.By most accounts its probably too late, but what we can do is try and limit the damage that will be and is being done. The fact is, if nothing is done about congestion, then the masses would be under the social control of being unable to actually go anywhere because there is no longer any more capacity.

As I see it, I'd rather generate money from national congestion charging to aid public transport becoming an even more effective alternative to the car than waiting until the country is stuck in a traffic jam and its too late to do anything. Like I keep saying, you take a loss to make a bigger gain.

Its either pay-as-you-drive charging which would penalise those who use their car more often or increase taxes on cars and fuel to compensate. The latter would be a far less equal solution because it wouldn't be a deterrent from driving on the busiest and most congested roads which is actually reducing personal freedom.

And like I mentioned, if nothing is done, you'd be the first to complain about a reduce in personal freedom because there is no more capacity on the roads to go anywhere! I also don't advocate the sort of Kremlin situation that you 'assume' will happen (and won't ever)




But what you may not appreciate Ninjahedge is that this is just one small part of a much greater plan to enable the ruling elite to control the masses. Britain has become, without any democratic debate, the most surveilled country in the world. There is one CCTV camera for every 400 citizens, the London Oyster card informs the authorities of where and when you travel, and combined with CCTV, will also tell them who with. Neighbours are being encouraged to spy on one another and report rubbish collection infgringements to the local councils - you can now become a criminal for mistakenly putting the wrong piece of rubbish in a recycling bin! All DNA is collected and stored regardless of whether you are innocent or guilty of a crime - no democratic debate has taken place on that issue. The government is undertaking a secret programme to link up all the databases so that they will have a total profile of all of us. Doctors are being asked to report to the authorities any patients that refuse to allow their records to be placed on this centralised database. I could go on but I won't but I hope it gives you just a small taste of what is going on in the UK - I cannnot see Americans allowing this to happen in the US.Yet most of those cameras are located in the non-public domain. Walk into a convenience store, and you'll probably be on five cameras. Go to a station, and the platforms will have cameras that monitor the doors to ensure that people aren't stuck in them when the train leaves or that people that fall onto the tracks can be helped out quicker. Fact is, the situation is spun out of hand, because Britain is noway near to being under surveillance more than any other country. Infact the only reason you know about the surveillance measures is because its public knowledge that is made aware....go to Europe and elsewhere around the world and you won't even know that you are being filmed!

Oystercard and the London Underground CCTV network are completely different entities. One is a touch-in, touch-out payment system. The other is used both for monitoring the platform edges, turnstile jumpers and other acts. I've never ever heard of a case where someone has been followed on CCTV and their Oystercard details have been available so that they know who the individual is.

And so you should be a fined for putting the wrong rubbish in....other countries around the world manage to tell the difference between paper and glass bottles - why can't some people in Britain? Quite simply because they are under the belief that it won't matter if they put glass into paper recycling bins....when in reality it does; it not only could be a hazard for those recycling, but it could damage the machinery which lowers productivity and generates waste. Fact is, we waste too much as it is. I don't see an excuse for not recycling and if anything its down to pure laziness.

Britain now has the highest rate of successful convictions and the lowest rate of innocent people being sent to jail. Again, society takes a loss to get a gain by putting the right people in jail.

The irony is, the spin you produce is just as bad as that of the government. You also tread upon arguments making arguments for liberal attitudes far harder to accomplish by being ignorant and tolerant of the views of others.

Marksix
December 5th, 2006, 07:03 AM
Um, give me a break.

Like driving is some sort of god-given right to the people?

I think that things like this should be implimented in the same way that any other supply-demand thing is. They should just be careful to look for a balance point rather than an absolute prohibition to vehicular traffic.

Somehow peopel screaming "greenies" and "elitism" about not being able to drive into the city is rather cockeyed.

Firstly, you must surely mean “government given right” for it was the government and not god whom granted me my driving licence. I would turn that around 180 degrees and assert that it is they who regulate us and issue us with license who enjoy that activity as a privilege endowed upon them by each and every individual in this “democracy” and not by some divinity, though they may see themselves as such. From time to time they need to be reminded of this simple fact.

The liberty of free movement is a defining characteristic of being British even if that means being free to sit in a traffic jam. The purpose of the congestion charge is axiomatic in its intention. The tax or charge is hypothecated towards public transport. This is what was stated at the outset and to a great extent it has met those aspirations. However, a political device that works attracts attention from other politicians (Phoney Blair and his government was passionately against the CC – before it was shown to work that is…) who seek to adopt and modify it to meet their own particular doctrines. It is this that needs to be guarded against when (i.e.) New York considers a scheme like this for their city.

“Mission Creep” has well and truly set in in the London Congestion Charge and the zeitgeist of climate change is a case in point. You have to understand the British class system to fully appreciate Ken Livingstone’s antipathy to those who choose to drive, in his expression “Chelsea Tractors” but to put it crudely, he is using to CC for the kind of social engineering purposes his limited powers and personal political philosophies fail to achieve. In short, he despises what he perceives as wealthy, materialistic non-socialists and he can and will use the CC as a weapon against them both financial and social.

The truly cynical aspect of this activity is the spurious “environmental” basis for increasing the charge. Reducing the charge for hybrids that use copious quantities of lithium (and nickel/cadmium) an extremely toxic element in their batteries which cause extreme environmental damage both in the mining of lithium and end of life disposal and consume more carbon in their manufacture than is saved in their operation whilst at the same time increasing the charge for diesel SUV’s that create less CO2 than petrol hybrids demonstrates this point. If carbon emissions were the genuine motivation for the increased CC then the CC would be hypothecated towards subsidising the £0.27 duty charged on zero emission biodiesel. That is isn’t speaks volumes.

IMHO congestion is self regulating. I avoid London’s congestion by not living there! My ex who does live there doesn’t own a car and takes the bus to work. It really is that simple.

The deputy prime minister was so inconvenienced by the congestion he encountered from Heathrow airport into London that he had a special lane designated so that amongst others, his Jaguar could make the 30 mile journey into London un-encumbered by the congestion us “ordinary” people have to endure (this was the same minister who said when entering government “ if after seven years in office I haven’t sorted out this country’s shocking transport system – sack me” – upon failure he was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister – lol)
One other point, Government ministers were given the choice of using hybrids as their official cars. Whenever I see them on TV they are always being chauffeured around in Jaguars, Range Rovers, limos….some of them with police outriders clearing the traffic out of their way…..

(fair play to Red Ken Livingstone though, he takes the tube or like me, walks  )

p.s. Jesus rode on a donkey. Mile for mile, a donkey produces more green house gasses than almost any other form of transport.

nick-taylor
December 6th, 2006, 05:32 AM
Firstly, you must surely mean “government given right” for it was the government and not god whom granted me my driving licence. I would turn that around 180 degrees and assert that it is they who regulate us and issue us with license who enjoy that activity as a privilege endowed upon them by each and every individual in this “democracy” and not by some divinity, though they may see themselves as such. From time to time they need to be reminded of this simple fact.

The liberty of free movement is a defining characteristic of being British even if that means being free to sit in a traffic jam. The purpose of the congestion charge is axiomatic in its intention. The tax or charge is hypothecated towards public transport. This is what was stated at the outset and to a great extent it has met those aspirations. However, a political device that works attracts attention from other politicians (Phoney Blair and his government was passionately against the CC – before it was shown to work that is…) who seek to adopt and modify it to meet their own particular doctrines. It is this that needs to be guarded against when (i.e.) New York considers a scheme like this for their city.

“Mission Creep” has well and truly set in in the London Congestion Charge and the zeitgeist of climate change is a case in point. You have to understand the British class system to fully appreciate Ken Livingstone’s antipathy to those who choose to drive, in his expression “Chelsea Tractors” but to put it crudely, he is using to CC for the kind of social engineering purposes his limited powers and personal political philosophies fail to achieve. In short, he despises what he perceives as wealthy, materialistic non-socialists and he can and will use the CC as a weapon against them both financial and social.

The truly cynical aspect of this activity is the spurious “environmental” basis for increasing the charge. Reducing the charge for hybrids that use copious quantities of lithium (and nickel/cadmium) an extremely toxic element in their batteries which cause extreme environmental damage both in the mining of lithium and end of life disposal and consume more carbon in their manufacture than is saved in their operation whilst at the same time increasing the charge for diesel SUV’s that create less CO2 than petrol hybrids demonstrates this point. If carbon emissions were the genuine motivation for the increased CC then the CC would be hypothecated towards subsidising the £0.27 duty charged on zero emission biodiesel. That is isn’t speaks volumes.

IMHO congestion is self regulating. I avoid London’s congestion by not living there! My ex who does live there doesn’t own a car and takes the bus to work. It really is that simple.

The deputy prime minister was so inconvenienced by the congestion he encountered from Heathrow airport into London that he had a special lane designated so that amongst others, his Jaguar could make the 30 mile journey into London un-encumbered by the congestion us “ordinary” people have to endure (this was the same minister who said when entering government “ if after seven years in office I haven’t sorted out this country’s shocking transport system – sack me” – upon failure he was promoted to Deputy Prime Minister – lol)
One other point, Government ministers were given the choice of using hybrids as their official cars. Whenever I see them on TV they are always being chauffeured around in Jaguars, Range Rovers, limos….some of them with police outriders clearing the traffic out of their way…..

(fair play to Red Ken Livingstone though, he takes the tube or like me, walks  )

p.s. Jesus rode on a donkey. Mile for mile, a donkey produces more green house gasses than almost any other form of transport.I think the most striking point is that opposition to the Congestion Charge and any national CC is in your view an attack on the wealthy, while Capn_Birdseye perceives it to be an attack on the masses. Hence

I don't see anything 'free' about being stuck in a traffic jam...I find that idea to be completely the opposite, after all what freedom is there when you can go nowhere! There is also the argument of liberty, that your congestion is impacting upon others who may carpool or drive vehicles with smaller footprints. Quite simply there is no logic to have a society that is 'free' but economically, socially, politically and culturally 'unfree' because nobody can move.

Considering that SUV's and their sort tend to be involved in more fatal accidents, more reckless driving, consume more road capacity and less efficient than the average car I don't exactly see it as a class-attack, but more an attack on an inefficient mode of transport. I come from a wealthy background and it is simply unacceptable that we can allow such vehicles to be treated as an equal vehicle despite the fact they cause far more damage, either by wrecking lives from those killed (the number of children killed has increased in proportion to the increase in sales of SUV's which so happen to be involved not in agricultural duties but taking the kids to school) or the economic effects of their footprint, pollution levels from higher levels of consumed fuel and the damage to our urban and rural environements. Fact is, the CC is a success, you might not like it - but business is up, more people are using the city centre because the chances of being run down or choked to death have rapidly decreased. I'd even bet that the wealthy support the CC because it gives them more space to move across London, so it would defeat your theory that Ken is out to get them.

While the environment is one aspect of future CC increases, it is not the sole objective, others include congestion itself, decreasing the damage to buildings caused by noxious emissions, lowering noise and air pollution which blights work, retail and residential areas, decreasing the rate of accidents, promoting the usage of public transport, so forth....

Driving is not a right, its a privilege that you buy into and a national CC would only be a more equal and fair payment system.

Capn_Birdseye
December 7th, 2006, 12:44 PM
I think the most striking point is that opposition to the Congestion Charge and any national CC is in your view an attack on the wealthy, while Capn_Birdseye perceives it to be an attack on the masses.
Rather than use "wealthy" I'd say it was an attack on the Middle-Class who are an important part of "the masses" I refer to. The Middle-Class have the potential to fight back against The Elitists because they have the time, education, money, and energy to have their voices heard. This worries The Elitists, more so than the Working-Class who they despise and treat with utter contempt, and so they have embarked upon a mission to destroy the Middle-Class as a potential source of opposition. What better way than through taxation whereby they make it difficult if not impossible for them to buy private education, the route the Middle-Class have always used as a path to social and financial fulfilment.


I don't see anything 'free' about being stuck in a traffic jam...I find that idea to be completely the opposite, after all what freedom is there when you can go nowhere! There is also the argument of liberty, that your congestion is impacting upon others who may carpool or drive vehicles with smaller footprints. Quite simply there is no logic to have a society that is 'free' but economically, socially, politically and culturally 'unfree' because nobody can move.
Movement by car will be governed by those who are able to pay, this is a curtailment to freedom for the masses whose only option will be overcrowded unpunctual smelly trains and buses. Its the Soviet model that is being worked on here, we've seen it in Moscow, and it won't be long before we witness it in London and other parts of the UK. Already we have government ministers driving around in their chaffeur-driven gas-guzzling limo's using bus lanes that the masses get fined for using! And that infamous occasion when John Prescott was driven 200 yards to the Labour party conference just to save his wife's hair-do being blown by the wind!! Hypocrisy or what???


Considering that SUV's and their sort tend to be involved in more fatal accidents, more reckless driving, consume more road capacity and less efficient than the average car I don't exactly see it as a class-attack, but more an attack on an inefficient mode of transport.
Rubbish, its very clearly the politics of class envy, 4x4's represents a status symbol that Red Ken abhors. The leftie commie layabouts who are envious of success will always support the likes of Red Ken and the tree huggers. It is the lot of those of us who live in the real world and contribute to society to financially to support them. He's a commie from the 60's and 70's and he hates the middle class and white working class equally. First point is: Isn't the title "Congestion Charge a "misnomer? It would seem to me that you can congest London as much as you like as long as you hand over your eight quid to that social Marxist aka as Ken Livingstone. Has anyone, when applying to pay their cash to enter the current congestion zone, been told "sorry sir/madam there are too many cars in London at the moment; please try later". No of course not. Another point is this: gas guzzling cars already pay 80 odd percent in the pound as tax already when they purchase their fuel. Finally the whole debate about human induced global warming is totally over-hyped as an excuse to prise more money out of decent hard working people.[/quote]


lFact is, the CC is a success, you might not like it - but business is up, more people are using the city centre because the chances of being run down or choked to death have rapidly decreased. I'd even bet that the wealthy support the CC because it gives them more space to move across London, so it would defeat your theory that Ken is out to get them.
I am sure the wealthy support CC! Why shouldn't they, its keeps the plebs off the roads! If you're a billionaire who our government generously allows to live here but not pay income tax, why wouldn't he be happy to pay a measley £8, its not even loose change to him!
With regard to the economic impact the CC is having on business, lets not count our chickens too early!!
I was in London yesterday and used public transport, something I haven't done for a long time. My God it was terrible, the tube was full of severe delays and cancellations, with people complaining. Tried getting a taxi, not a chance! Comapre that to NYC where I go often, cabs are easy to get and cheap.


Driving is not a right, its a privilege that you buy into and a national CC would only be a more equal and fair payment system.
So says the voice of The Elitist! Surely after "driving is not a right" you should have included in brackets: (except for the ruling Elite). The motor car has been the greatest social liberator of our time and should not be curtailed by those seeking to control society. This whole issue is about social control NOT the Green smokescreen that is presented. Nick Taylor is an advocate of this new Elite and from what he says I'd guess he works and gets paid by a body closely associated to it.

hobo
December 7th, 2006, 04:03 PM
The problem regarding traffic congestion in London has been as such for years.It`s a "storm in a teacup" problem;local to itself...the rest of the United Kingdom couldn`t give a "monkeys" about it.Police or no police;congestion charges or no congestion charges,its there in the daytime (especially in the "rush hours" )and it diminishes at night.It cures itself ! It`s only a problem for those who choose it to be so.If you`re a London resident a car isn`t necessary,public transport is perfectly ample for `local`requirements.All residents/commuters know the streets will be `struggling` ,they`ve lived with it;are used to it and are part of it.If a person is `stuck`in a queue,they are there because they have chosen to be...ie.they are the architects of their own predicament.Mayor Livingstone has used the daily situation to legally obtain a lot of money for whoever and also to get his name in the media.:p

Capn_Birdseye
December 8th, 2006, 05:58 AM
Excellent posting Hobo, agree with what you say. Issues are being "used" to control us and extract taxes for other nefarious projects.

nick-taylor
December 8th, 2006, 07:12 AM
Rather than use "wealthy" I'd say it was an attack on the Middle-Class who are an important part of "the masses" I refer to. The Middle-Class have the potential to fight back against The Elitists because they have the time, education, money, and energy to have their voices heard. This worries The Elitists, more so than the Working-Class who they despise and treat with utter contempt, and so they have embarked upon a mission to destroy the Middle-Class as a potential source of opposition. What better way than through taxation whereby they make it difficult if not impossible for them to buy private education, the route the Middle-Class have always used as a path to social and financial fulfilment.

Movement by car will be governed by those who are able to pay, this is a curtailment to freedom for the masses whose only option will be overcrowded unpunctual smelly trains and buses. Its the Soviet model that is being worked on here, we've seen it in Moscow, and it won't be long before we witness it in London and other parts of the UK. Already we have government ministers driving around in their chaffeur-driven gas-guzzling limo's using bus lanes that the masses get fined for using! And that infamous occasion when John Prescott was driven 200 yards to the Labour party conference just to save his wife's hair-do being blown by the wind!! Hypocrisy or what???

Rubbish, its very clearly the politics of class envy, 4x4's represents a status symbol that Red Ken abhors. The leftie commie layabouts who are envious of success will always support the likes of Red Ken and the tree huggers. It is the lot of those of us who live in the real world and contribute to society to financially to support them. He's a commie from the 60's and 70's and he hates the middle class and white working class equally. First point is: Isn't the title "Congestion Charge a "misnomer? It would seem to me that you can congest London as much as you like as long as you hand over your eight quid to that social Marxist aka as Ken Livingstone. Has anyone, when applying to pay their cash to enter the current congestion zone, been told "sorry sir/madam there are too many cars in London at the moment; please try later". No of course not. Another point is this: gas guzzling cars already pay 80 odd percent in the pound as tax already when they purchase their fuel. Finally the whole debate about human induced global warming is totally over-hyped as an excuse to prise more money out of decent hard working people.


I am sure the wealthy support CC! Why shouldn't they, its keeps the plebs off the roads! If you're a billionaire who our government generously allows to live here but not pay income tax, why wouldn't he be happy to pay a measley £8, its not even loose change to him!
With regard to the economic impact the CC is having on business, lets not count our chickens too early!!
I was in London yesterday and used public transport, something I haven't done for a long time. My God it was terrible, the tube was full of severe delays and cancellations, with people complaining. Tried getting a taxi, not a chance! Comapre that to NYC where I go often, cabs are easy to get and cheap.


So says the voice of The Elitist! Surely after "driving is not a right" you should have included in brackets: (except for the ruling Elite). The motor car has been the greatest social liberator of our time and should not be curtailed by those seeking to control society. This whole issue is about social control NOT the Green smokescreen that is presented. Nick Taylor is an advocate of this new Elite and from what he says I'd guess he works and gets paid by a body closely associated to it.[/quote]Yes....a conspiracy to destroy the middle classes...

And why bother with private education - there are state schools that are just as good and as recent studies have shown, buying for a perceived better education doesn't necessarily result in higher marks. When I make my millions, I'd rather spend the money on a trust fund for my children or ensure that they have some money to buy a house.

Surely though that is what already happens....if you can't afford to buy a car, get insurance or buy petrol then you won't be able to drive! Congestion charging would be a more efficient mode of charging, whereby you are charged not only by how many miles you drive, but on the time of day and the roads you use. If you use the car for the odd weekend trip then you'd end up better off. If you use the car daily to go everywhere on the most congested roads then you'd end up worse off - I don't see a problem with such a pay-as-you-go system. While the northern cities have much to improve upon, London is a shining example of how to properly manage a transport network that while old can still work pretty efficiently. Rail punctuality across Britain is now equal to that of France and thats represented by the fact that more people travel by train in Britain than in France, and soon more than Germany. The average age of train stock is now amongst the lowest in Europe (12 years is remarkably low). The difference with a car though is that a journey doesn't take into account the possibility of driver error, accidents, speed cameras, congestion, traffic lights, etc...while a delayed train does factor in as being bad.

I also agree that the government is far from being holy, but that doesn't mean that we have to step down to their standards as you assume that we should.

While I don't necessarily agree with all of Ken Livingstones' comments he is by far and away the most trustful, hard-working and honest politician around. You moan about government ministers using their cars - I don't even believe that he even owns one because he uses public transport where ever he goes. Its because of his hard work that London as a whole has improved - its now re-emerged as the world's financial centre, public transport is better than ever after years of decline, health and living standards have increased drastically, urban redevelopment has been welcomed rather than ignored meaning the likes of the City and Canary Wharf have been allowed to blossom (before Livingstone there were 2 150m+ towers, now there are 9 and by 2012, probably 30), crime has fallen, the environment has been cleaned up making London more friendly, London now absorbs more immigrants than New York or Los Angeles making it an ever more brighter and diverse world city. If only the political parties from different ideological backgrounds took a more serious look at the likes of Ken, people would be far more tuned in and receptive of politicians.

Yet that all aside the 4x4 is not a good thing, either for the economy, society or the environment. You can call me a tree-hugger all you like, but I'm probably far more capitalist orientated than yourself and even business realises that 4x4's are a no-brainer.

Like it or not, global warming is a situation that is reality. I think the easiest way to prove it is that BP - one of the largest oil producers in the world is also the world's biggest solar panel manufacturer and is investing heavily in renewable resources....after all why pay the Arabs for oil drilling rights, when the sun provides more energy and doesn't charge for it! When big traditional large polluters get behind global warming you know that there is a lot behind it.

What is wrong with London being home to foreign billionaires? Granted London has numerous tax benefits for such individuals, but at least they are here requiring services that stimulate growth in the country.

Actually its safe to say that the CC has been positive on London business:

TfL Fourth Annual Report, June 2006
Business and the economy
• The growth of the London economy remained positive in 2005 despite the
effects of the bombings in central London in July 2005.
• Businesses performance in the charging zone was significantly better than
in the rest of London, particularly in terms of profitability and productivity.
• Updated analysis of comparative trends in various indicators of overall
business performance, including change in jobs, business populations and
turnover continue to show no evidence of differential effects between the
charging zone and comparator locations that might be indicative of a
congestion charging impact, either positive or negative, on aggregate
business performance in central London.
• Trends in business registrations for VAT, appeals in respect of business
rate valuations, and commercial property price trends, do not support the
suggestion of a significant congestion charging impact on businesses in
central London.
• Although year-on-year retail sales in central London saw a sharp decline
throughout the July to September 2005 period, following the London
bombings, by early 2006 this trend was reversed resulting in full recovery
with annual growth rates above those being seen in the rest of the UK.
• Within the charging zone, the retail sector has increased its share of
enterprises and employment since 2003.
• The majority of charging zone businesses continue to recognise that
decongestion had created a more pleasant working environment and
easier journeys for employees using public transport for travel to work.
• Amongst businesses in the charging zone as a whole, there were more
supporters of the congestion charge than opponents.
• An independent review of the monitoring of the economic and business
impacts of congestion charging reported that it was reasonable to
conclude that the £5 congestion charge had had a broadly neutral impact
on the central London economy.

Its a pity in New York they don't have the Knowledge though (which is the asset you really pay for) and while London transport is far from perfect, it operates far more efficiently as a whole than in New York or Paris.

....so because I actually have a valid argument that is backed up by relevant facts and figures, I'm somehow the biased one here and you with your conspiracy theories is in the right?

Actually the car has not been a liberator, it has made us more isolated.
- We lock ourselves into a metal can which increases paranoia and uncertainty of those around us.
- Society become more disconnected and less trustful than it has been in the past because we don't integrate properly.
- We don't see a car as another vehicle, but as an object that gets in our way from getting from A to B.
- Because driving requires concentration, we become more tired and stressed out.
- Cars have killed tens of thousands due to poor and unsafe driving, millions have been affected by the effects of loosing a lost one
- The economic backlash for traffic jams, accidents and congestion is severe, wastes time and human resources.
- There is no 'wind-down' period between the office and home meaning our families become a distraction, rather than a relief.
- We have become dependent upon a non-renewable resource which will soon run out leaving us in the lurch with no alternative.
- This resource also so happens to be found in the most politically unstable regions of the world meaning we are tied to a clash of cultures, be it western corporate interests, corrupt organisations, non-democratic governments and islamic fundamentalism.
- The environmental damage is numerous,and no more different to a human smoking.
- The noise pollution deprives people of sleep and a relaxable environment
- Emissions, accidents and planning decisions to cater to roads have destroyed our urban and rural environments. Coventry as a case in example is not a city any more, it is the convergence of several roads.
- Historical monuments that would brighten up our lives and make our environments more attractive and welcoming to tourists and visitors have been swept away to make way for dual carriageways. Birmingham would have some of the grandest Victorian buildings had 60's road planners not got their grubby hands on demolition gear.

The car is a cancer upon society, just like smoking.

Marksix
January 11th, 2007, 09:07 AM
http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/223679/

More evidence of "mission creep" in London's congestion charge is emerging. When considering is road charging is appropriate for New York keep in mind how it has grown to encompass new powers taken on by the state. In particular:-

"There are also provisions for jail terms of up to six months for ‘interfering’ with on-board tolling equipment and obscuring number plates. Officials will even have the power to enter individual vehicles to check the on-board equipment."

To me, this kind of authoritarian power suggest that road pricing is now all about revenue raising i.e. yet another "stealth tax".


Embryonic plans for a national road tolls system have been revealed in new bill currently before parliament. The proposed Transport for London (Supplemental Toll Provisions) Bill is designed to allow further road toll schemes to be introduced in Greater London.


But the wording suggests the government has already settled on national tolling equipment. It states that the transport minster can prevent introduction of new toll roads in Greater London that use equipment “incompatible with a national standard.”


It’s thought that Continental-style ‘credit’ charge cards will be used. The toll is deducted from the windscreen-mounted card when the car passes under a roadside reader. It’s also expected that the bill will be used as the basis for the nationwide introduction of tolling expected to be rolled out in the West Midlands and North West.


When the bill is passed it will give Transport for London the ability to introduce road charging on individual roads including busy commuting routes such as the M4/A4 and M3/A3.


There are also provisions for jail terms of up to six months for ‘interfering’ with on-board tolling equipment and obscuring number plates. Officials will even have the power to enter individual vehicles to check the on-board equipment.

nick-taylor
January 11th, 2007, 12:04 PM
http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/223679/

More evidence of "mission creep" in London's congestion charge is emerging. When considering is road charging is appropriate for New York keep in mind how it has grown to encompass new powers taken on by the state. In particular:-

"There are also provisions for jail terms of up to six months for ‘interfering’ with on-board tolling equipment and obscuring number plates. Officials will even have the power to enter individual vehicles to check the on-board equipment."

To me, this kind of authoritarian power suggest that road pricing is now all about revenue raising i.e. yet another "stealth tax".

Embryonic plans for a national road tolls system have been revealed in new bill currently before parliament. The proposed Transport for London (Supplemental Toll Provisions) Bill is designed to allow further road toll schemes to be introduced in Greater London.

But the wording suggests the government has already settled on national tolling equipment. It states that the transport minster can prevent introduction of new toll roads in Greater London that use equipment “incompatible with a national standard.”

It’s thought that Continental-style ‘credit’ charge cards will be used. The toll is deducted from the windscreen-mounted card when the car passes under a roadside reader. It’s also expected that the bill will be used as the basis for the nationwide introduction of tolling expected to be rolled out in the West Midlands and North West.

When the bill is passed it will give Transport for London the ability to introduce road charging on individual roads including busy commuting routes such as the M4/A4 and M3/A3.

There are also provisions for jail terms of up to six months for ‘interfering’ with on-board tolling equipment and obscuring number plates. Officials will even have the power to enter individual vehicles to check the on-board equipment.What do you expect - of course you're going to get stopped and inspected if you're travelling and not paying. And are you somehow suggesting that its acceptable to cover up license plates? Fact is, in any country of the world, you can be stopped and your car searched - Britain included, it happens all the time to ensure that those who don't have car insurance, are less likely to get away with it.

And while it does have tax implications, it will replace current taxes to create a far more liberal and democratic pricing system that charges as you go. For instance Person A who might commute every day by car would pay more than Person B who used the car just to get the weekly shopping. I don't see anything wrong with that system because it will be far more beneficial to the economy, congestion, the environment and society

I also hope that it does generate more tax - more investment into public transportation.

Your point is void, the Congestion Charge has given more freedom to Londoners and tourists visiting. A win-win situation and New York should go ahead with its own system.

ablarc
June 3rd, 2007, 11:18 AM
And while it does have tax implications, it will replace current taxes to create a far more liberal and democratic pricing system that charges as you go. For instance Person A who might commute every day by car would pay more than Person B who used the car just to get the weekly shopping. I don't see anything wrong with that system because it will be far more beneficial to the economy, congestion, the environment and society

I also hope that it does generate more tax - more investment into public transportation.

Your point is void, the Congestion Charge has given more freedom to Londoners and tourists visiting. A win-win situation and New York should go ahead with its own system.
Succinctly put.

The issues seem more informatively discussed on this congestion-charging thread than on its New York counterpart.

MikeW
June 3rd, 2007, 05:30 PM
IIRC, you are in the Uk. Why is this not a political issue over there?


http://www.autocar.co.uk/News/NewsArticle/AllCars/223679/

More evidence of "mission creep" in London's congestion charge is emerging. When considering is road charging is appropriate for New York keep in mind how it has grown to encompass new powers taken on by the state. In particular:-

"There are also provisions for jail terms of up to six months for ‘interfering’ with on-board tolling equipment and obscuring number plates. Officials will even have the power to enter individual vehicles to check the on-board equipment."

To me, this kind of authoritarian power suggest that road pricing is now all about revenue raising i.e. yet another "stealth tax".


Embryonic plans for a national road tolls system have been revealed in new bill currently before parliament. The proposed Transport for London (Supplemental Toll Provisions) Bill is designed to allow further road toll schemes to be introduced in Greater London.


But the wording suggests the government has already settled on national tolling equipment. It states that the transport minster can prevent introduction of new toll roads in Greater London that use equipment “incompatible with a national standard.”


It’s thought that Continental-style ‘credit’ charge cards will be used. The toll is deducted from the windscreen-mounted card when the car passes under a roadside reader. It’s also expected that the bill will be used as the basis for the nationwide introduction of tolling expected to be rolled out in the West Midlands and North West.


When the bill is passed it will give Transport for London the ability to introduce road charging on individual roads including busy commuting routes such as the M4/A4 and M3/A3.


There are also provisions for jail terms of up to six months for ‘interfering’ with on-board tolling equipment and obscuring number plates. Officials will even have the power to enter individual vehicles to check the on-board equipment.

BobB
June 5th, 2007, 01:32 PM
Actually the car has not been a liberator, it has made us more isolated.
- We lock ourselves into a metal can which increases paranoia and uncertainty of those around us.
- Society become more disconnected and less trustful than it has been in the past because we don't integrate properly.
- We don't see a car as another vehicle, but as an object that gets in our way from getting from A to B.
- Because driving requires concentration, we become more tired and stressed out.
- Cars have killed tens of thousands due to poor and unsafe driving, millions have been affected by the effects of loosing a lost one
- The economic backlash for traffic jams, accidents and congestion is severe, wastes time and human resources.
- There is no 'wind-down' period between the office and home meaning our families become a distraction, rather than a relief.
- We have become dependent upon a non-renewable resource which will soon run out leaving us in the lurch with no alternative.
- This resource also so happens to be found in the most politically unstable regions of the world meaning we are tied to a clash of cultures, be it western corporate interests, corrupt organisations, non-democratic governments and islamic fundamentalism.
- The environmental damage is numerous,and no more different to a human smoking.
- The noise pollution deprives people of sleep and a relaxable environment
- Emissions, accidents and planning decisions to cater to roads have destroyed our urban and rural environments. Coventry as a case in example is not a city any more, it is the convergence of several roads.
- Historical monuments that would brighten up our lives and make our environments more attractive and welcoming to tourists and visitors have been swept away to make way for dual carriageways. Birmingham would have some of the grandest Victorian buildings had 60's road planners not got their grubby hands on demolition gear.

The car is a cancer upon society, just like smoking.

The most bombast I've heard in a long time. Also, if you want people to interact more (as you see fit to dictate people's social behavior) tell them to leave their Ipods and cell phones home as well. Next you'll be calling drivers murderers I suppose.

nick-taylor
June 6th, 2007, 08:35 AM
^^ :D


4x4 drivers targeted in north London parking rethink
Filed 05/06/07 http://www.transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=4094

Islington Council in north London has become the latest local authority in the capital to seek to charge owners of cars with high carbon dioxide emissions more to park their vehicles.

The council is holding a referendum on plans to vary residential parking charges according to how much CO2 pollution each car produces. Ballot packs have been sent out to local people, who have until 25 June to vote for or against the proposed measures.

Council leader James Kempton said: "Two thirds of people in Islington will pay less if they vote 'yes'." The council currently charges residents £95 for an annual parking permit, with a £20 discount for vehicles with engine capacities less than 1400cc or those powered by a greener fuel source. "The most gas guzzling cars will be paying double under this plan, and that's what I think is right," said Kempton. "The reality is whatever car you drive is polluting the environment and we want to encourage people to choose less polluting cars."

Kempton said that by rewarding owners of vehicles which pollute less while penalising owners of vehicles which pollute more, the new charging regime would not increase the council's income from parking permit charges. "This particular green policy would impact on a lot of people," he added.

The London local authorities of Camden, Haringey, Lambeth and Richmond have already approved plans for CO2-linked residential parking charges. Richmond on Thames Council held a referendum on the matter in October 2006.

ablarc
June 6th, 2007, 09:17 AM
^ We're so backward on these matters in this country. Must be all that Republicanism.

MikeW
June 6th, 2007, 10:11 AM
Why don't you move there if you like it so much. Especially out of NYC. Things in this country aren't likely to change very much.


^ We're so backward on these matters in this country. Must be all that Republicanism.

lofter1
June 6th, 2007, 11:04 AM
MikeW:

Do you really thnk the current car / truck / traffic situation in NYC is working in the best way possible for the city as a whole?

ablarc
June 6th, 2007, 10:41 PM
Why don't you move there if you like it so much.
Peevish.

I bet there are things about this country that you don't like, Mike. Does that mean you should move out?

ZippyTheChimp
June 6th, 2007, 11:15 PM
All you people with ideas should just get out.

Bojangleman
June 6th, 2007, 11:16 PM
^^ :D


4x4 drivers targeted in north London parking rethink
Filed 05/06/07 http://www.transportbriefing.co.uk/story.php?id=4094

Islington Council in north London has become the latest local authority in the capital to seek to charge owners of cars with high carbon dioxide emissions more to park their vehicles.

The council is holding a referendum on plans to vary residential parking charges according to how much CO2 pollution each car produces. Ballot packs have been sent out to local people, who have until 25 June to vote for or against the proposed measures.

Council leader James Kempton said: "Two thirds of people in Islington will pay less if they vote 'yes'." The council currently charges residents £95 for an annual parking permit, with a £20 discount for vehicles with engine capacities less than 1400cc or those powered by a greener fuel source. "The most gas guzzling cars will be paying double under this plan, and that's what I think is right," said Kempton. "The reality is whatever car you drive is polluting the environment and we want to encourage people to choose less polluting cars."

Kempton said that by rewarding owners of vehicles which pollute less while penalising owners of vehicles which pollute more, the new charging regime would not increase the council's income from parking permit charges. "This particular green policy would impact on a lot of people," he added.

The London local authorities of Camden, Haringey, Lambeth and Richmond have already approved plans for CO2-linked residential parking charges. Richmond on Thames Council held a referendum on the matter in October 2006.


So basically they're letting drivers bribe the government to pollute?

How is that any different from letting men bribe the government to let them beat their wives or some such?

Sounds grand :D

nick-taylor
June 7th, 2007, 04:16 AM
All you people with ideas should just get out.Come to London! :D


On the radio this morning it was announced that Virgin Trains had begun trials using bio-diesel on its (obviously) diesel routes, the trains aren't slow either - top speed is 200kph.

Also a big thing that is being introduced to trains across Britain is regenerative breaking (Toyota Prius has this technology) which uses the friction from breaking to create energy that can be used to power the train, essentially decreasing energy requirements as the trains become more self-sustaining. Virgin Trains currently uses this technology and it returns 17% of all energy used on the West Coast Main Line. What makes this more significant is that the WCML is the busiest trunk line outside Japan and that Virgin aren't the only train operator meaning future expansion could return 40% of all energy used.

BenL
June 7th, 2007, 09:27 AM
It's also been reported that that very same Camden council is banning outside heaters at bars and restaurants.

MikeW
June 8th, 2007, 10:19 AM
There are quite a few things about NYC I don't like (mainly the dominent liberal/socially interventionist political philosophy, and the practical results of that). But for family reasons, I'm stuck here. When the family issues resolve, I'm likely out of here.

As far as the country as a whole, and your original comment about the country being backward, Euorpeans and europhiles always say that. If you like the more socialist European style of government and societal organization, maybe you'd be happier there.


Peevish.

I bet there are things about this country that you don't like, Mike. Does that mean you should move out?

MidtownGuy
June 8th, 2007, 10:35 AM
I was so happy to see the news all over the place that Spitzer and others are backing Bloomberg's congestion charge. I can't wait to see the effects of this in midtown, observing the changes in traffic from my window. I can't stand seeing posers in their ridiculously big, pollution belching penismobiles, riding all alone through midtown. The problem is, for single rider vehicles on a traffic-choked island well-served by mass transit, the fee should be even higher!

MikeW
June 8th, 2007, 10:45 AM
So you're going to enjoy all those extra subway riders pushing you around?

You're going to enjoy the higher prices that are going to be paid for everything (the delivery trucks are going to be charged the tax also, so it will be passed along)?

Oh, and do I detect a bit class warrior BS in your tone?


I was so happy to see the news all over the place that Spitzer and others are backing Bloomberg's congestion charge. I can't wait to see the effects of this in midtown, observing the changes in traffic from my window. I can't stand seeing posers in their ridiculously big, pollution belching penismobiles, riding all alone through midtown. The problem is, for single rider vehicles on a traffic-choked island well-served by mass transit, the fee should be even higher!

ZippyTheChimp
June 8th, 2007, 10:54 AM
You're going to enjoy the higher prices that are going to be paid for everything (the delivery trucks are going to be charged the tax also, so it will be passed along)?Just another example that you've not really analyzed any aspect of the plan, except to say that it's politically dead in the water, and now that that's no longer an good argument, to rail about socialist government.

Trucks use gas while they sit in traffic, and the drivers get paid while they sit in traffic. That gets passed along to the stores, and ultimately, the consumer.

MikeW
June 8th, 2007, 11:00 AM
Not $21 a trip worth, they're definitely going to be behind on this deal, and that's going to get passed along.


Just another example that you've not really analyzed any aspect of the plan, except to say that it's politically dead in the water, and now that that's no longer an good argument, to rail about socialist government.

Trucks use gas while they sit in traffic, and the drivers get paid while they sit in traffic. That gets passed along to the stores, and ultimately, the consumer.

ZippyTheChimp
June 8th, 2007, 11:03 AM
Not $21 a trip worth, they're definitely going to be behind on this deal, and that's going to get passed along.Got a source for that?

pianoman11686
June 8th, 2007, 11:12 AM
So you're going to enjoy all those extra subway riders pushing you around?

Mike, you've got to look at the numbers here. The percentage of people that drive cars into Manhattan is very small compared to overall mass transit ridership. Add to that the fact that the target reduction in commuters who drive is around 15-25% (based on what's happened in London). This works two ways: the number of people added to mass transit will be a proverbial drop in the bucket, while the number of people who stick with their cars will be significant enough to keep making the program profitable. I can't say how much congestion will go down, but London's problem has been helped a lot by a rather modest percentage.


You're going to enjoy the higher prices that are going to be paid for everything (the delivery trucks are going to be charged the tax also, so it will be passed along)?

How much is the average delivery truck's payload worth? $21 will also probably be a drop in the bucket, especially when compared to saved time and gas.


Oh, and do I detect a bit class warrior BS in your tone?

Yeah, I did too. Fact is, Manhattan's nothing when it comes to penismobiles. Come out to the suburbs every now and then. Most families have at least 2.

Capn_Birdseye
June 8th, 2007, 12:37 PM
Manhattan has got a great public transport system, the subway that seems to me, a mere visitor from time to time, clean, punctual, and affordable - totally the opposite to London's Underground system.
You can hail a cab in Manahattan without much trouble at almost anytime of the day or night, and the fares are reasonable - again the total opposite to black taxi's in London.
NYC has much to teach London in terms of a decent public transport system.

Meerkat
June 9th, 2007, 07:56 PM
Manhattan has got a great public transport system, the subway that seems to me, a mere visitor from time to time, clean, punctual, and affordable - totally the opposite to London's Underground system.
You can hail a cab in Manahattan without much trouble at almost anytime of the day or night, and the fares are reasonable - again the total opposite to black taxi's in London.
NYC has much to teach London in terms of a decent public transport system.

Oh come on, its not that bad here. I rely on the tube to get to work and most of the time its reliable (admittedly when it goes wrong it really screws up). Alot of the stations have or are being revamped, and there are new rolling stock out on some of the lines soon. You can get a cab here anytime too, pretty much anywhere (not that i use cabs as i'd rather get the exercise and walk). The only gripe i have about the tube is the constant price increases. How they can get away with it is beyond me - maybe we could start a revolution and overthrow the bosses of London underground - publicly hang them at Tyburn just like the good old days.

MidtownGuy
June 9th, 2007, 10:38 PM
MikeW:
Oh, and do I detect a bit class warrior BS in your tone?

P-man:
Yeah, I did too. Fact is, Manhattan's nothing when it comes to penismobiles. Come out to the suburbs every now and then. Most families have at least 2

The two of you can just spare me the class BS, OK? My own income is pretty damn high, and I could buy a stupid, tacky, oversized vehicle tomorrow if I wanted to. Class, or whatever imaginary socialist light you want to cast it in, has nothing to do with what I was saying. Pianoman, fulfilling your role as crazy-maker and topic-twister, why are you even mentioning the suburbs? The comments were in regards to a MANHATTAN congestion charge. Try to stay focused, please.

Meerkat
June 10th, 2007, 12:54 AM
[quote=pianoman11686;169134] penismobiles

Do you have any pictures of these penismobiles you have over there? I'm intreagued.

Capn_Birdseye
June 10th, 2007, 12:28 PM
Meerkat, do you travel on the tube in the rush hour during the hot humid summer? Its a pity there's no air conditioning! Its stiflingly hot and you can't get away from the smell of unpleasant body odours.
The size of the NY subway carriage is far more comfortable than that of the small cramped London tube.
The London tube is run as a maximum revenue operation, the poor customers are left to sweat, moan, be late for work, and pay through the nose for a third-rate service!

pianoman11686
June 10th, 2007, 02:58 PM
Do you have any pictures of these penismobiles you have over there? I'm intreagued.

Ask Midtown. He's the one who first brought it up.


Pianoman, fulfilling your role as crazy-maker and topic-twister, why are you even mentioning the suburbs? The comments were in regards to a MANHATTAN congestion charge. Try to stay focused, please.

My comment was on-topic, given that suburban neighborhoods supply the majority of these penismobiles that crowd Manhattan's streets during rush-hour.

As for class warfare: consider that the congestion charge will probably have little effect on the commuting patterns of wealthy, penismobile-driving suburbanites. They are the ones who are most able to afford the extra $8 a day. The reductions will occur more among the middle-class.

BenL
June 10th, 2007, 05:55 PM
Meerkat, do you travel on the tube in the rush hour during the hot humid summer? Its a pity there's no air conditioning! Its stiflingly hot and you can't get away from the smell of unpleasant body odours.
The size of the NY subway carriage is far more comfortable than that of the small cramped London tube.
The London tube is run as a maximum revenue operation, the poor customers are left to sweat, moan, be late for work, and pay through the nose for a third-rate service!
You'll be pleased to know then that by 2009 the sub-surface lines (District&Circle etc.) will be fully air-conditoned and by 2013 the deeper lines will have vastly improved ventilation with trials of a cooling system for the Tube in progress.

Meerkat
June 10th, 2007, 08:35 PM
Meerkat, do you travel on the tube in the rush hour during the hot humid summer? Its a pity there's no air conditioning! Its stiflingly hot and you can't get away from the smell of unpleasant body odours.
The size of the NY subway carriage is far more comfortable than that of the small cramped London tube.
The London tube is run as a maximum revenue operation, the poor customers are left to sweat, moan, be late for work, and pay through the nose for a third-rate service!

Yes come rain or shine i use the tube.

I have a tip for you, which during my time as a nurse i have learned very well - if there is an unpleaseant odour in the air, breathe through your mouth rather than your nose. Alternatively you could do as our ancesors did and purchase a 'nosegay' http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nosegay when travelling on the tube. Problem solved!

As for being overcharged, i still stand by my previous statement that we should abduct the managers of London transport and hang them at Tyburn.

Marksix
March 5th, 2008, 04:14 PM
The British Government today announced they have abandoned their efforts to introduce country wide congestion charges. An overwhelming backlash against persistant state surveilance of their every movement (two million people signed a petition against) which would have involved compulsory fitting of surveilance devices to their vehicles and draconian powers of entry into their vehicles by lowly state officials led to the Government backing down. Additionally, people saw national congestion charging as yet another stealth tax.

The backlash is gathering pace....:)

nick-taylor
March 6th, 2008, 03:45 AM
The backlash is gathering pace....:)So correct its unbelievable - now people won't be going anywhere because of the increase in traffic jams!

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 27th, 2008, 11:26 PM
Enjoy this nonsense from Martin Cassini:

From last weeks Guardian Unlimited:
C-ing red

London's congestion charge is a failure. With people strapped for cash across the capital, now is the perfect time to scrap it

One reader commented:

C.C. Failure? Yes, as expected.
Private traffic should be barred from London between the hours of 6.00h & 20.00h. deliveries at night only.

Privatised public transport (buses), serving 10 or more people in one vehicle are allowed on the road at all times.
sorted!


http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/sep/21/congestioncharging.london?commentpage=1

Alonzo-ny
September 29th, 2008, 09:47 AM
Meaningless post.

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 29th, 2008, 10:38 AM
Meaningless post.

Did you read the Guardian article on the congestion charge and all of the pretty angry comments that followed it?

Kindly contribute to the thread or shut the hell up. Got it?

Alonzo-ny
September 29th, 2008, 12:21 PM
Maybe you should
Kindly contribute to the forum
or shut the hell up.

Got it? You bring this forum down.

NYatKNIGHT
September 29th, 2008, 02:31 PM
Kindly contribute to the thread or shut the hell up. Got it?I don't know who you think you are to believe you can order other members to shut the hell up. You can't, but you knew that. Stop being abusive.

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 29th, 2008, 03:14 PM
"Meaningless post" in the context of what was posted wasnt just abusive, but the usual droll from the disaffected.

The Guardian article had dozens of good contributions, any of which Mr A could have commented on. Instead, we got drivel.

Nuff said.

Theres plenty of meat in that article and the next post has to be well, it speaks for itself

How about reading it.

Alonzo-ny
September 29th, 2008, 03:18 PM
GT you just described every post you make, meaningless drivel. You waste this otherwise great forum. Noone reads or comments on your articles because there is no room for discussion, just your mindless prejudiced insecurities manifesting in your Anglophobia hiding your wish to be British.

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 29th, 2008, 03:20 PM
GT you just described every post you make, meaningless drivel. You waste this otherwise great forum. Noone reads or comments on your articles because there is no room for discussion, just your mindless prejudiced insecurities manifesting in your Anglophobia hiding your wish to be British.

I think that thats enough.

I would again invite you to contribute to the topic.

The recent ENGLISH Guardian article has a lot of reader feedback on this issue which is relevant to the topic and pretty insightful.

Why not read it?

And let the demons go! See a shrink if you have to. Bill Capa is pretty damn good - so I hear.

scumonkey
September 29th, 2008, 04:03 PM
Question:
How many people on this forum want to read, or really care what's printed in the Guardian?
I know I don't :rolleyes: ;)

Ninjahedge
September 29th, 2008, 04:50 PM
Example:

Crime in London

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Gregory Tenenbaum (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/member.php?u=5204) This message is hidden because Gregory Tenenbaum is on your ignore list (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/profile.php?do=ignorelist).








Seems to be a theme.

Greg, don't bother responding to me. You can see I have learned better, especially on topics that have ANYTHING to do with England.

But you should have guessed that when a bunch of people ignore a thread that MANY posted in before, you have effectively killed it (being that you are the only one posting there now).

It is not that people are not interested, it is that you smothered it. Noone wants to reply to you because they only get hostile responses.

Granted that Alanzo did not exactly come in here looking to talk, but telling him to "shut the hell up" is no way to respond.

You are looking for a fight.

Alonzo-ny
September 29th, 2008, 07:10 PM
My post was based on every post GT makes, take it in that context. Its a shame because Im sure alot of forum members would enjoy talking about these subjects but they are killed by one person with issues. What I dont understand is why for some reason his abusive posts have never resulted in him being banned.

Gregory Tenenbaum
September 30th, 2008, 04:04 AM
OK you guys win!

You know a LOT about London!

What the hell would I know,

I just read the English newspapers and online comments from Londoners!

And not just from the Guardian either.

Use www.scroogle.org (http://www.scroogle.org) and type "London Sux". You will be surprised.

Now, how about commenting on the Guardian article instead of dishing out more nonsense.

I will listen to you. Convince me about why the congestion charge is a good or bad thing.

And see Bill Capa (http://jp.youtube.com/watch?v=N1uGj1GLSLA) to sort out your issues. Hes a great shrink!

Ninjahedge
September 30th, 2008, 09:30 AM
My post was based on every post GT makes, take it in that context. Its a shame because Im sure alot of forum members would enjoy talking about these subjects but they are killed by one person with issues. What I dont understand is why for some reason his abusive posts have never resulted in him being banned.

They have, and he has been. Several times AAMOF. But that is usually not from his negative posts in general but from of his personal attacks and righteous indignation.

They key is to go back to the topics, even the ones that he is in, and just ignore what he is posting in them. He is not THAT bad so long as you avoid England in general and do not respond to any references he may make in otehr threads that have little, if anything to do with England.

That is about it.


As for this issue of the congestion charge, I have not really heard of anything about this recently. It still seems to be getting along just fine. Hopefully it proves to be a successful enough model (long term) that we are convinced to use something similar in Manhattan and/or some of the other crowded cityscapes.

Alonzo-ny
September 30th, 2008, 01:06 PM
As far as Ive picked up in the media it has been a success, obviously people will whine because they dont want to pay more money.

nick-taylor
September 30th, 2008, 03:37 PM
As for this issue of the congestion charge, I have not really heard of anything about this recently. It still seems to be getting along just fine. Hopefully it proves to be a successful enough model (long term) that we are convinced to use something similar in Manhattan and/or some of the other crowded cityscapes.There were rumblings by an association that the CC should be moved from 7-11 to allow shoppers to come in the afternoon. Basically giving retailers some breathing space as they are having problems at present....but as we all know it isn't the CC that is causing problems it is the state of the global economy.

Gregory Tenenbaum
October 2nd, 2008, 10:43 AM
One reader to the Guardian article said that it was a lot more pleasant to walk around London that it had been since about 2002.

If you like cars in a city with pretty good public transport, then the CC is no good.

If you dont mind being around people and using public transport, CC is good.

I guess you cant please everyone.