Radical ideas to improve the travel network for all

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  • Radical ideas to improve the travel network for all
  • CountZero
    Member

    when it’s cold will leave the car running to defrost it first rather than using a scraper.

    Ever tried using a scraper to clear the inside of a car windscreen? It’s concave, and has things like mirrors attached to it, and when you do manage to clear some of it you end up with ice covering the dash, which then melts everywhere.

    Reclaim disused railway lines, make them cycle paths and make them into bus routes.

    Which is what they want to do in Bath and parts of Bristol, take away the cycle route and make it bus only.
    Very forward thinking. 🙄

    Premier Icon stumpyjon
    Subscriber

    Here’s a radical idea, accept some of us actually have to drive to work. Despite working in the centre of Manchester there’s no way i can get there using public transport. The road network is incredibly badly laid out slowing buses, making it dangerous for cyclists and congested for motorists. It also encourages drivers to use the residential roads as cut throughs. Proper investment in road layout is desperately needed, not stop / start bus lanes and cyckes lanes and traffic lights on every side street. Some realism is needed. The school run also needs tackling, maybe extend the zig zags making it a hanging offence to park on them which is actually enforced. Parking permits for those living more than a mile away or who can prove they drop off on the way to somewhere else.

    We need to realise cars are here to stay for the foreseeable future and not plan as if they are about to disappear.

    Tom_W1987
    Member

    It isn’t the cost of public transport thats dissuading them from using it.

    Our monthly travel costs using the underground and the odd rail trip to see friends and family, is much more expensive than running 1 car. It’s about the same as running 1.5 cars or a car and a small motorbike.

    People don’t use public transports eg trains as they don’t have enough storage for bicycles, shopping etc and they don’t stop at enough destinations.

    Tax car users to the hilt for…
    Using them for journeys <5 miles, with a sliding scale for longer journeys
    For having more than one car per couple/family (unless disabled)
    For parking on the road, because they either don’t have a drive/garage at all, or there is not enough room on the drive/garage for all the cars
    Parking on the pavement so badly that many pedestrians (including those with prams and shopping trolleys) have to walk into the road to get by

    Hit motor users with bans for driving badly (including passing cycles far too close) and doing stuff like playing with their mobile while driving.

    Encourage cycling by…
    Tax breaks, including a far better version of the salary sacrifice schemes, which are now farcically bad for Basic Rate tax payers since the HMRC “fair transfer of ownership” fee was introduced
    Making the 1.5 metre passing distance by motorised traffic work in practice, so people feel safer, so many twonks pass with <0.5 metres

    Re-nationalise trains and buses, increase Council Tax to cover cost of using them by local residents (with fair charges for non-locals). Use the money to improve services.
    Increase the number of cycle spots available on trains

    etc.

    Premier Icon irc
    Subscriber

    I actually like the existing transport system. Bike for local journeys. Car for longer journeys. Compared to bus or train it is far faster and I can go where I want, when I want, and carry reasonable loads if I need to.

    Good luck with any controls on cars which include increased taxes/chargs/tolls. Car owners are voters. Was there not a congestion scheme proposed for Edinburgh a while back which the voters rejected?

    That said bus regulation has potential for improvement. Before buses were deregulated the system around Glasgow was that buses from outwith the city picked up passengers until they got to Glasgow City boundary. Thereafter they only stopped to drop off. So journeys into the city were fairly quick.

    Post deregulation the buses stop at every stop all the way into the city. So an 8 mile journey takes 45m. Add on the walk to the bus stop and a few minutes wait for the bus and it’s an hour. As against 20-30m in the car. So saving 60-80m on the return journey.

    As for the salary sacrifice on bikes? Too complicated. Just make them VAT free.

    ninfan
    Member

    I think you’re all thinking arse about face

    In the fifties, a huge proportion of people still went home for lunch – because work was located at, pretty much, the end of the street.

    Yes, it massively restricted your career options, made employees virtual serfs etc. But the principles that housing and employment went hand in hand during the planning process were sound. No more offices/factories located on motorway junctions or business parks, no more massive housing estates in the commuter belt.

    muckytee
    Member

    Flaperon – Member
    Completely agree. In addition…

    – Force bus operators to invest in buses with working heaters and air conditioners to keep them cool in the summer months and dry / warm through the winter.
    – Employ drivers with an element of driving skill and customer service (looking at you, TFL)
    – Congestion charge for any non-electric vehicle driving into a big town or city. Live in the middle and drive a noxious banger? Bad luck. Sell it, or pay the charge. Happy to provide a free G-Wizz or something though to people with disability.
    – Change the public perception that bikes are second class citizens on the road.
    – Force big companies turning huge profits to offer the cycle to work scheme, along with lockers / showers / secure storage.
    – Make walking easier. Fit pedestrian crossings and don’t force people to walk through knee high muddy grass to cross the road. Oh look, London again. Wonder where the money is going?
    – Stop giving cars priority at pedestrian crossings.
    – Have a sliding scale for road tax, enforced by GPS, that aggressively penalises short journeys for non-disabled users.
    – All towns / cities to run 24 hour public transport.
    – Force a minimum essential service during strikes.
    – Sort pricing out for rail journeys. I can get a return flight from t’north to London for £60 by booking on the day. That’d be £250 to a rail company.

    Unfortunately, I think the transport industry would arrange for an unfortunate accident involving me and a runaway bus should I ever come to power with the intention of implementing the above.

    New investment in buses is not needed. I am a bus mechanic and when I come across a bus with cold/ incorrectly operating heaters I don’t repair them as I’m told not to bother as they aren’t safety critical, given the time and spare parts I bet I could get every buses heaters working right in our 200 strong fleet. The operator isn’t going to get their arses kicked for cold saloon heaters and doesn’t want buses of the road because they are struggling to make service as is, because they are a backwards and inefficient.

    Premier Icon twistedpencil
    Subscriber

    Distance based taxation for cars is a simple thing to implement. Scrap VED and put more tax on fuel, this then simply increases costs to people who rack up mileage, or undertake short fuel inefficient journeys, which would hopefully make people reconsider their driving habits.

    The main issue with this is the ridiculously strong fuel lobby, and peoples willingness to blame others rather than to take responsibility for their actions.

    In my opinion this is the fairest way to tax vehicles, the more you use it the more you pay.

    muckytee
    Member

    I work in the bus industry, used public transport all my life and also cycled and now own a car.

    Firstly public transport is ****. Run by different companies each with their own ideas on how to fleece customers and generally be inefficient and waste money. Transport needs to operate as a network, you purchase a ticket for your journey and use the best mix of public transport to get there. Buses should feed into rail links, maybe even forget bus timetables use an app based service to give ‘next due’ times. Also restructure transport companies, far too many managers and departments mixed in with union members. Also free parking at train stations, why would I get the train when I have to pay some extortionate amount to park my car at the station, nah I just drive where I need to go.

    Cycling, not amount of cycle lane will prevent you getting killed, the problem is cyclists are seen as second class road users who’s lives you can endanger with no consequence. The problem here is that the police don’t care that you were nearly killed on your commute until you actually are. Educating road users that cyclist have every right to use the road and prosecution of bad driving.

    As others have said cycle to work, great! Showers and good secure lockers are also required.

    Taxing, fining, congestion charging, bashing car users for getting to where they need to go as the alternatives are dog shit is just about the worst idea ever.

    Lets not improve other modes of transport, no, lets just make using the car equally expensive and shit

    project
    Member

    Also free parking at train stations, why would I get the train when I have to pay some extortionate amount to park my car at the station, nah I just drive where I need to go.

    Merseyrail have free parking for cars and small vans at all railway stations along with fre secure parking for bikes at a lot of their railway stations, they also have a walrus card, taht allows you to pre pay your daily weekly or yearly bus , train and ferry fares, both off peak and on peak services.

    oldtalent
    Member

    Fine/ban any motorist who cannot drive at the speed limit. Some dozy knobber at the front of a massive queue dawdling along at 40 in a 60.
    Tax parents higher for clogging the roads at rush hour as they cannot let their lazy chubber of a snowflake kid walk/ride to school.
    The roads would be much better then.

    Premier Icon porter_jamie
    Subscriber

    i work at a place with about 4 thousand other people, and there are 4 main towns nearby where a lot of those people live. Obviously there is only one half arsed cycle lane from one of them. i have tried cycling in a few times. i dont enjoy it as the traffic is fairly aggressive – south east syndrome. Also when i get there, only one shower, right at the other end of the building which was shut for a year because of legionaires. oh and the bike sheds are shite too. and everyone moans the carparks are bursting at the seams.

    So, to improve my lot, i would compulsory purchase a couple of meters strip of farmers field from my house all the way to work, and turn it into a cx/gravel type of road, just like we have in one of the local parks (maybe with a bit of single track on the dh bits) and make work pay for some of it.

    improving cycle lanes is more than possible but there isnt any political will. every time i go to europe, and visit one of the plants there (same employer) i am amazed at how awesome the facilities are for cyclists – HUGE sheds, right next to the door, not million miles across the carpark. and the cycle lanes they have are to die for

    shifter
    Member

    Jamie have you tried asking? I work for a big company and we have a green committee where stuff like that is discussed so we have showers and bike storage. It reflects well on the company so it gets done.
    I realise that wouldn’t help with cycle lanes but one shower for 4000 people is ludicrous!

    Premier Icon martymac
    Subscriber

    The easy way to tax motorists fairly, is via fuel, if it cost twice as much, people would really think about downsizing the X5, or making fewer journeys at least.
    Buses couldn’t cope with a massive increase in passenger numbers, certainly not at rush hour anyway, (im a bus driver)
    I assume trains are in the same situation.
    Many people incorrectly assume that they couldn’t cycle 1-2 miles, but I’ve seen folk who haven’t ridden a bike in decades manage a few miles just fine.
    The main problem is cars are actually pretty cheap, while public transport is really not.

    codybrennan
    Member

    ninfan – Member
    I think you’re all thinking arse about face

    In the fifties, a huge proportion of people still went home for lunch – because work was located at, pretty much, the end of the street.

    Yes, it massively restricted your career options, made employees virtual serfs etc. But the principles that housing and employment went hand in hand during the planning process were sound. No more offices/factories located on motorway junctions or business parks, no more massive housing estates in the commuter belt.

    Great point. See my previous post as well- how many of these commuters could actually WFH? I suspect many.

    tjagain
    Member

    Thank goodness I live in Scotland. Integrated public transport that is cheap and efficient with lovely new hybrid busses and doing as I do cycling and using public transport is much much cheaper than using a car, its nicer and its usually quicker.

    Everytime I cycle past a traffic jam I smugly laugh at all the lemmings in cars. What a waste of time and money

    One example – My aging parents live 55 miles away. To drive there ( I have done it) takes on a good day 1hr 20mins, on a bad day or time of day 2-3hrs cost £12 ish in fuel ( return), same again in all other costs of motoring

    Public transport? £1.60 bus to town that leaves every 5 mins from outside my house and takes 15-20 mins to drop me at the station 10 trains an hour some you have to change some not taking around 1/12 hrs cost £14 return..But I can have a coffee and read my paper on the train or enjoy the free wifi. Nice and relaxing

    Or I can skip the bus bit and take my bike

    why would I drive?

    squirrelking
    Member

    Tj, you do not speak for the whole of Scotland. Lets look at my journey eh?

    Wifes folks live in Cumbernauld, we live in Largs. Assuming we have luggage thats £3 to the station by taxi, about £20 for a return for two adults, hourly train. One hour to Glasgow. Ten – 15 minutes transfer from central to Queen Street with daughter in tow and onother 30 odd minutes to Greenfaulds. No bus again so another taxi at around £3. Assuming a round trip on the same day thats £32 and about four hours travelling (not including waiting on trains).

    We can make the same journey for about half that in the car, both in cost and time, so why wouldnt we? And thats living in a town WITH a train station. Public transport is shite here, you just happy to be lucky in Edinburgh.

    tjagain
    Member

    squrrelking – nowt to do with luck. Its about organising my life so I ain’t dependent on cars but some folks descriptions of public transport simply don’t make sense

    tjagain
    Member

    BTW – according to traveline cumbernauld to largs takes 2 1/2 hrs and cost 9.90

    jekkyl
    Member

    No-body wants to cycle or walk because it’s always raining in the UK.
    Invent a weather control system so that it only rains between 1-5am. Make it always sunny between 7-9.30 and from 3-6.

    tjagain
    Member

    jekkyl – weather doesn’t stop low countries cyclists

    jekkyl
    Member

    not really safe though is it Tj, what about strong wind or where the journey is more than 5 minutes.

    Premier Icon nickjb
    Subscriber

    No-body wants to cycle or walk because it’s always raining in the UK.

    This is a perceived problem rather than a real problem but it is something non cyclists say. Cycling rates aren’t higher in dry, sunny countries aiui. My own experience of cycle commuting is that you just get on with it. Rain or shine, just wear the right clothes. Good infrastructure and decent facilities at the workplace make a difference though.

    tjagain
    Member

    Its also astonishing how infrequently you get rained on commuting. OK Edinburgh is a relatively dry part of the UK but I commute by bike and I have been rained on less than half a dozen times this year.

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    Despite working in the centre of Manchester there’s no way i can get there using public transport.

    Maybe not from your front door, perhaps, but what’s your reason for driving right into the middle of the city? Are you genuinely saying that as you drive into work you don’t go past a single bus stop, train station, or tram stop?

    Manchester has fairly reliable public transport through the night – I used to live there and used it regularly.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Manchester has fairly reliable public transport through the night – I used to live there and used it regularly.

    Only if you live south of the city.
    The rest? No chance.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Subscriber

    Thank goodness I live in Scotland Edinburgh. Integrated public transport that is cheap and efficient with lovely new hybrid busses and doing as I do cycling and using public transport is much much cheaper than using a car, its nicer and its usually quicker.

    FTFY

    The main problem is cars are actually pretty cheap, while public transport is really not

    Here in Southampton, there has been a bus price war going on for ~18 months between Bluestar; First; Red Bus, which has been great for the local population who use the buses.

    The Bluestar 18 covers ~7.5 miles, going through the city centre, which can be used for the bonkers price of £5 per week. It’s a handy viable alternative for me during the winter months for my ~4.5 mile commute, but by late February this year, I was chomping at the bit to start commuting by bike again.

    Cycling into work saves me ~15mins in the early morning (~0600), while the bus home including waiting for the bus can easily take ~60mins (~1400), during which time I can do an extended ~15 mile ride home with ~980 feet of hill climbing.
    Cycle commuting is saving me time, money and getting me fitter. 🙂

    Premier Icon Flaperon
    Subscriber

    Only if you live south of the city.
    The rest? No chance.

    Good point. 😀

    b r
    Member

    TheotherjonV – your comparisionbetween public transport and car use shows why the huge subsidy on cars from general taxation should be stopped.

    We’ve been here before, there isn’t a huge subsidy on cars from general taxation.

    There is infrastructure spend on roads etc, and without it where would your buses/coaches drive?

    IMO any increase in costs of using your car will just be that, an increase in costs on folk to travel.

    rsl1
    Member

    – Stop giving cars priority at pedestrian crossings

    I like this one, imagine the chaos if lights turned to red the instant a ped pushed the button, reckon people would soon see the light!

    tjagain
    Member

    BR – yes we have done this before and yes we have shown there is a huge subsidy from general taxation to car drivers.

    Making car drivers pay the full cost would not increase transport costs overall as that same subsidy could be used on public transport

    b r
    Member

    BR – yes we have done this before and yes we have shown there is a huge subsidy from general taxation to car drivers.

    You repeatable saying something isn’t ‘showing’, we’re still waiting for the evidence.

    Even this pro story gets to zero, since £9bn is charged to ‘cars’ when in reality without roads you’d have no buses/coachs/taxis etc.

    http://ipayroadtax.com/no-such-thing-as-road-tax/when-will-drivers-start-paying-the-full-costs-of-motoring/

    Manchester has fairly reliable public transport through the night – I used to live there and used it regularly

    Loads of services cut over the last year or so.

    http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/256-bus-flixton-late-night-9380838

    @whitestone

    People will most likely spend more on food and of the better kind * more frequent commutes when cycling to the supermarket as opposed to driving there once a week and loading up…hike in metabolism, hollow legs etc.

    Kind of illustrates how out of touch those in the retail sector are with cycling.
    These are the same people who grovel before the car drivers whilst ignoring the grandparent getting into the family car with half the meat counter under their jacket. Well ‘every little helps’ when it comes to subsidising car use.

    Though so far there seems to be two different transport problems here.

    Those living in cities.

    Those living out with the cities and travelling to cities or other outlying areas.

    I’d get the pension firms to take a stake in city wide public transport…its a captive ‘audience’. Like mortgages, it’s a stable income.

    I’d also get a roads czar to tackle unwanted/ unnecessary road journeys at the city centre and work outwards to the city limits.

    b r
    Member

    Though so far there seems to be two different transport problems here.

    Those living in cities.

    Those living out with the cities and travelling to cities or other outlying areas.

    And a third set, those living rurally and just travelling locally.

    tjagain
    Member

    In cities easy – public transport / car sharing / bikes / car clubs. Between cities – the same. Your third case BR is much harder to solve. short distances bikes inc ebikes – but only for some not all and only for short distances.

    The sorts of change I want to see would take a generation to take effect. remeber in the 70s the dutch and the british had similar levels of cycling

    the other thing is as Ninfan alluded to – workplaces near to housing, no out of townshopping centres etc

    Gradually removing the subsidy from cars and putting it onto public transport will help a lot and it would also make local shops more viable again. Its not an overnight solution tho. 25 years would seem like a good timescale but then we are in political la la land ‘cos no politician can think that far.

    Make me dictator and I’ll sort it out. 😉

    squirrelking
    Member

    TJ – Scotrail says £12 each (off peak). So £24 plus £12 worth of taxis making £36. I can get 300 odd miles out my car for that and travel in easily half the time (journey by train is 2-2.5 hours). If my daughter decides she’s not playing ball its an hour onto the journey.

    It must be great to have so much free time to organise your life around shit public transport. Oh wait, we already pointed that out, you don’t. Edinburgh is the exception, not the rule.

    tjagain
    Member

    Wonder why trainline said 9,90?

    Premier Icon aracer
    Subscriber

    tjagain wrote:

    Thank goodness I live in Scotland. Integrated public transport that is cheap and efficient with lovely new hybrid busses

    I understand you also have a wonderful new tram system which was carefully designed to integrate well with other forms of transport…

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