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Thread: London's Congestion Charge Two Years On

  1. #76
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    It just is not worth replying to.

    Good trouncing Nick!

  2. #77
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    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.

  3. #78

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    ^ Sounds worse than the U.S.

  4. #79

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    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).

  5. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor

    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

  6. #81

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    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.

  7. #82

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix
    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.
    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.

  8. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gregory Tenenbaum
    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!

  9. #84

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    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 trains
    Source: SRA

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

  10. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor
    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
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by Marksix; May 23rd, 2006 at 05:55 AM.

  11. #86

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marksix
    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:



    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.

  12. #87
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor
    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!!!!!!


  13. #88
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    Quote Originally Posted by nick-taylor

    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

  14. #89

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    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?

  15. #90

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    So have they extended the congestion charge zone, and if so how is it working out? Any further plans?

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