Viewing 40 posts - 41 through 80 (of 300 total)
  • We have ‘car brain’ in the UK
  • Cougar
    Full Member

    Costing people out won’t work. They’ll just max out their credit cards.

    If you want people to use cars less, you have to offer a more attractive alternative. Good luck with that.

    mrmonkfinger
    Free Member

    And our first go at that alternative is “the very exact same – but electric.”

    What happens next? Slightly smaller electric cars?

    As a society, we’re still in the first doubling down phase.

    MoreCashThanDash
    Full Member

    If you want people to use cars less, you have to offer a more attractive alternative. Good luck with that.

    It’s as if any worthwhile societal change requires up front investment for long term gains….

    tjagain
    Full Member

    If you want people to use cars less, you have to offer a more attractive alternative. Good luck with that.

    or make cars less attractive?  It needs to be a combination of carrot and stick.  Car drivers paying for their parking on public land would be a useful step.  Cars monopolise public space to the detriment of all.

    Electric cars are no solution.  Indeed they may well make congestion worse as the marginal cost per mile is lower than an ICE car so there is even less incentive to leave the car at home for short trips

    It will take a generation to change things but it needs the political will to start.  Our dysfunctional and not fit for purpose UK political setup actively works against this.  Once again the key is actually sort out our political system

    Edukator
    Free Member

    Indeed they may well make congestion worse as the marginal cost per mile is lower than an ICE car so there is even less incentive to leave the car at home for short trips

    Indeed and it’s worse for long trips. Since I’ve had an EV I’ve increased my annual mileage because:

    Less guilt
    It costs buttons to run once bought
    It’s so easy and pleasant to drive

    I walk and bike just as much but use the car more for trips to the mountains and sea.

    I don’t think you will cost people out of using a car but you can make it less atractive and alternatives more attractive:

    I use the train for long trips but it’s always more expensive, objectively I’m stupid. Public transport and pedestrian/cycle infrastructure needs to be subsidised by a car tax per mile x weight. Every car must have a government supplied black box/meter like a water or electricity supply.
    Riding a bike in town is life and health threatening – more dedicated space is needed
    Cars need automatically restricting to the speed limit and the e-bike speed increasing to 30kmh, or the car speed limit in town reduced to an automatic 25kmh like the e-bikes.

    alpin
    Free Member

    Yup.

    The people shouting for cars to be more expensive seem to forget (or not care, because it doesn’t affect their perfect little world) about the many thousands of tradesmen and small businesses that rely on their vehicles for work.

    Of course, higher motoring costs affect consumers also – you can’t stick everything on trains.

    Whilst I agree, getting unneccesary car use reduced is a good thing, the way it’s implemented needs to be properly structured and judging by past events in all areas of day to day living, I don’t trust the government to come up with a constructive and fair method

    alpin
    Free Member

    many thousands of tradesmen and small businesses that rely on their vehicles for work.

    Of course, higher motoring costs affect consumers also – you can’t stick everything on trains.

    Make allowances for those that need to carry materials.

    It used to annoy the crap out of me when working in London. Had to leave at 5:15 to make it onto site for 6:30 because traffic was so bad along the A12/M25/A13. Mate and I are carrying our tools. Most other people are sat alone in their car to get to their job.

    You’d probably find that if the roads were not so congested with cars that delivery costs would fall. Transporting by road wouldn’t be fraught with traffic standstill twice a day and drivers would cover more ground in their allotted time.

    stumpyjon
    Full Member

    Cars are more expensive, fuel costs are up, new cars cost a lot more than they did and the second hand market is nuts, insurance costs only go one way. Cars are not cheap. Credit is the only thing making them affordable for most.

    As above sort public transport, start with rail and that includes the unions. It’s been almost impossible to use the rail network with confidence for a long time. The strikes have made that a lot worse and its expensive and inconvient. We’ve done a few long trips over the last year by car we would have prefered to have used the train for but couldn’t rely on them not being cancelled.

    Make allowances for those that need to carry materials.

    You’d hope, wouldn’t you?

    I don’t trust that to happen though

    mahowlett
    Free Member

    @alpin “Make allowances for those that need to carry materials.” no we don’t, because everyone has an excuse why they are special, “need to carry tools”, “I’m an important politician”, “security”, “Tarquin has a medical condition”, “I’ve a cold and didn’t want to spread it around” and that’s before you get to the chancers who register themselves as a tradesman and put a toolbox in their car just so they can make the same claim. My granddad was a carpenter and he never had a car he still managed to get to work for 40 years, a combination of liftshare, company vans and public transport. It needs to be made easier for tradesmen to use public transport too. Some of it involves a wider change, how often do you employ a company for some work on your house and it turns up they travelled 30 40 50 even more miles to come? That needs to stop, especially common trades.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Make allowances for those that need to carry materials.

    That’s not dissimilar to the clarion cries from all the people opposed to any traffic restrictions of “but what about… tradespeople/the disabled/the elderly/those carrying fridges and and cellos and 65″ TVs…”

    Miraculously, they seem to lose all their care for those things as soon as they themselves have unrestricted driving privileges.

    But there’s an element in there of “how can anyone possibly carry anything at all without a car??!!!”

    molgrips
    Free Member

    It has to start with good PT in my view.

    @alpin “Make allowances for those that need to carry materials.” no we don’t, because everyone has an excuse why they are special, “need to carry tools”, “I’m an important politician”, “security”, “Tarquin has a medical condition”, “I’ve a cold and didn’t want to spread it around” and that’s before you get to the chancers who register themselves as a tradesman and put a toolbox in their car just so they can make the same claim. My granddad was a carpenter and he never had a car he still managed to get to work for 40 years, a combination of liftshare, company vans and public transport. It needs to be made easier for tradesmen to use public transport too. Some of it involves a wider change, how often do you employ a company for some work on your house and it turns up they travelled 30 40 50 even more miles to come? That needs to stop, especially common trades.

    This is the f-you, I’m alright attitude I was talking about

    People with complete ignorance as to what some people do for a living and why they travel

    HoratioHufnagel
    Free Member

    One of the biggest problems is the planning system. Local roads are controlled by councils, and all cycle lane decisions seem to come down the whims of a local councillor even if the council themselves are in favour, and most seem to be quite anti-cycling. Though they usually say something “I’m all for cycle lanes, but not here as it gets in the way of cars or car parking”.

    They put in a cycle route between shoreham and hove here, except a big chunk in the middle was missing, because a councillor (also a taxi driver) voted against it.
    https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/18669000.plan-link-hove-shoreham-cycle-lanes-vetoed-leader/
    The middle bit was the busiest most unpleasant section. The end bits were then used very little and got ripped out.

    The road is now a traffic jam every morning.

    They are now planning a tiny 5 mile section and fuss that’s being made is absurd. People genuinely seem to think there’s a conspiracy in *favour* of cycle lanes.
    https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23262579.cycle-lane-connect-brighton-hove-shoreham/

    It takes years and years with endless consultations to get even shortest shared pavement route put in.

    mahowlett
    Free Member

    @TheArtistFormaerlyKnownAsSTR My point is that we shouldn’t make allowances for people who need to travel for work, because if it’s for work, they get paid for it and travel is a part, there’s no problem in increasing the cost of travel for these people, because they will pass that cost on to their customers, by increasing the cost of travel, you ensure that I end up employing more local tradespeople where possible because the local tradespeople suddenly become cheaper, if there is no local alternative then I just end up paying more, and the true cost of all this transport is reflected in the end bill. At the moment the cost of that travel is either being paid by everyone in taxes,kicked down the road in terms of future generations having to clear up the mess or is already being paid at least partially by customers for having a tradesmen sitting in traffic. The cost to end users of reducing traffic an pollution won’t just come in direct costs in running a car, it comes in paying for other people who’s services they engage having to use cars. With any luck some of those costs may be mitigated by their being less traffic and so people who need to use them can get to their place of work quicker and therefore cheaper.

    alpin
    Free Member

    For example, Munich City has a scheme where tradesmen can register and they get to park wherever necessary for their job. Other individuals have to pay at the meter.

    Something similar could be introduced for commuters travelling into congestion zones.

    My granddad was a carpenter and he never had a car he still managed to get to work for 40 years, a combination of liftshare, company vans and public transport.

    So he still relied on private cars, then? Did he have tools to carry?

    And as much as I would have liked to travel by train to my jobs, there’s little chance of me lugging a van load of tools by hand onto the 17:32 train at Liverpool Street….During rush hour. My chop saw alone weighs 30kg,then there’s the stand and my drills, hand tools, materials, etc.

    I used to envy the electricians who could turn up using public transport.
    They sat on the train watching episodes of the Office of reading a paper.

    sbtouring
    Free Member

    To reduce car dependancy it needs significant investment to improve the cycling infrastructure and public transport provision.

    This significant investment will require long-term commitment from the government. But the government are not bothered about long-term commitment as thats not what wins elections.

    It really needs all political parties to have a commitment to long-term goals, so if there is a change in government, then the new party in charge will still continue with the commitment.

    It shouldn’t only be for cycling infrastructure and public transport improvement. If there was political party agreement to inprove the NHS, police, fire brigade, civil service, environment, education etc, then it would continually improve the country and we wouldn’t be in the state we are in. But this thinking doesn’t win elections, so we end up with short-term poorly delivered projects that aren’t fit for purpose.

    I used to envy the electricians who could turn up using public transport.

    Then they get to site and find out that their tools have been nicked


    @mahowlett
    – oh, if only it were that simplistic, but it really isn’t. Comparisons to your grandad may work in some circumstances, but in the real modern world it’s not always so straightforward.

    I could tell you about what I (and many others in my line of work do), but that would seem rather ‘woe is me’. So I’ll use HS2 as an example. Do you think that the many thousands of specialist contractors utilised on that build, live on the doorstep, or that if they have to travel, they can just whack their prices up at the drop of a hat? Not happening

    Bunnyhop
    Full Member

    We need to start with the ‘short journey’ car users. The type that ‘pop’ to the shops that are within walking distance.
    It needs to be unacceptable to drive your child to their school ‘because it’s safer’.
    A local school near us has a row of faux 4×4 sitting outside every school term morning and afternoon.
    A child is far safer walking or cycling to school, or the shops or to any other activities. They would concentrate better in the classroom, get much needed exercise and sleep better.

    Firing up a stupidly sized car on our tiny packed roads for a short journey is madness.

    alpin
    Free Member

    Then they get to site and find out that their tools have been nicked

    TBF, the site im thinking of they were doing the 2nd fix and snagging… A 12v Fischer Price drill and some screw drivers in a bag.

    TBF, the site im thinking of they were doing the 2nd fix and snagging… A 12v Fischer Price drill and some screw drivers in a bag.

    Lolz

    I’ve had agency ‘sparks’ turn up on site with no tools.

    “Where are your tools?

    In my shed

    Erm, so what did you think you were doing today?

    Dunno”

    This despite being told exactly what they were doing in telephone interviews

    Cougar
    Full Member

    or make cars less attractive? It needs to be a combination of carrot and stick. Car drivers paying for their parking on public land would be a useful step.

    There’s two problems here.

    First, it needs enforcing. We can’t / don’t enforce the infrastructure we already have, let alone making “parking on public land” chargeable nationally. It might work in city centres but, well, you should come here one lunchtime and tally up the amount of I’ll Only Be a Minute-ers on the double yellows outside the chippy.

    Second, again, fine in city centres but it’ll be the death knell for already dying Northern town centres. I’ve spoken about this before but the hassle of putting a bit of cardboard in your window on a free disc-based parking scheme was enough to empty Accrington town centre, let alone charging for parking there.

    Arguably on the latter, the answer might be to make people want to come to the centre for reasons other than charity shops and betting shops, like say an attractive recreational area. But that would require more budget than Hyndburn Borough Council likely has to spare.

    Every car must have a government supplied black box/meter like a water or electricity supply.

    What would you do about people driving over on the €⭐ from mainland Europe?

    Cougar
    Full Member

    It needs to be unacceptable to drive your child to their school ‘because it’s safer’.
    A local school near us has a row of faux 4×4 sitting outside every school term morning and afternoon.

    I used to drive past a school on my commute. I generally missed the scrum due to timing (I was on flexible hours) but occasionally I forgot and got it wrong. ‘Chaos’ didn’t even begin to describe it. I’ve never seen such a concentrated display of self-righteous privilege, zero ****s given about anyone bar themselves and their cotton wool cargo. They made the local minicab drivers look like the embodiment of courtesy.

    Again though, part of this is an infrastructure problem. There needs to be a parents’ car park separate from the school and an exclusion zone around the school itself. Maybe those automatic bollards like they have on bus lanes in Manchester, give a transponder to the residents who live inside them.

    flannol
    Free Member

    We need to start with the ‘short journey’ car users. The type that ‘pop’ to the shops that are within walking distance.

    Electric cars is actually going to make this much worse

    They are *much* easier to drive in a ‘quick nip’ fashion

    Unlimitedly torquey, go-kart in their one pedal ability, completely silent, small nippy things, super-light steering. I can honestly see people who move to electric from ICE, who would usually walk a few mins to the post office (for example), now just hop in their EV because it’s effectively an ‘instant car’ – no more starting up a chug chug chug engine, using a heavy gearbox, making noise, etc. It’s now just open, sit, zip off. Great, but also not at all good…..

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Once again I am reminded how lucky I am to live in Cardiff as school run bedlam is much rarer (bar a few places). My kids’ primary school was probably 80% walking traffic, and the high school is still not bad. There are a few cars but on the odd occasion I have to do a car drop-off it’s really not bad at all. No issues parking and the school traffic is only a small portion of the overall traffic on the road.

    Is this because the people of Cardiff are naturally virtuous? No, it’s because both areas were built and planned in the 60s and 70s so that the schools served the communities they were in properly. The only school on our side that has traffic problems is a lovely big new site that is set slightly apart from the surrounding houses. That place has a big queue of cars every morning.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    I think I have seen the ultimate ‘car brain’ this morning – nearly outside a secondary school, alongside a university. A group of 5 school children cross a one-way side road. The car in front of me turning left into the side road and basically drove at them, stopping less than half a meter from them with a sudden application of brake.
    The driver then moved off and pulled in to a parking place within a few car lengths. I pulled alongside and suggested that his move was dangerous and aggressive – while noting a car seat in the back of his car.
    .
    He told me that the children should not be walking to school, as it was dangerous and what did they expect? Followed by a stream of insults…

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    While I’d not disagree with the overall study, comparing car fumes to cigarette smoke is pretty stupid. Most folk would agree that the former has some utility whereas the latter does not.

    I think that’s exactly the point the survey makes, people are far too quick to absolve cars of their faults because they’re cars. To the extent that the general rule of thumb for H&S is you’re 10x more likely to die whilst commuting by car than is deemed an acceptable level of risk working on something like an oil refinery.

    And for nuclear it’s 100x, yet we* don’t placard the M6 to prevent cars being used until all the safety issues have been resolved.

    *apart form insulate Britain and just stop oil

    If you want people to use cars less, you have to offer a more attractive alternative. Good luck with that.

    15% of journeys less than a mile are done by car.
    and about 75% of journeys between 1 and 5 miles are by car.

    How much more attractive than “basically free” and “will actually improve your health and quality of life” do you need to make walking?

    What would you do about people driving over on the €⭐ from mainland Europe?

    The same as they do for Brits (or any other nationality that isn’t their own), plenty of countries have various tags and systems you have to buy or sign upto before you’re allowed on their roads.

    nickjb
    Free Member

    I think that’s exactly the pint the survey makes, people are far too quick to absolve cars of their faults because they’re cars.

    Yep. Our obsession with cars has a lot of parallels with the Americans and guns (and we know that relationship is crazy)

    flannol
    Free Member

    Is this because the people of Cardiff are naturally virtuous? No, it’s because both areas were built and planned in the 60s and 70s so that the schools served the communities they were in properly. The only school on our side that has traffic problems is a lovely big new site that is set slightly apart from the surrounding houses. That place has a big queue of cars every morning.

    +1

    Stevenage is like this

    The best cycle network (literally – look it up) in the country. Completely segregated car+-width cycle network around the entire town (city). Under or alongside every single major road.

    And funnily enough, a large majority of the kids to all the schools walk in, or ride a bike in. Or a bus if from another town. I went to one of the schools – I was from another town so got he bus. But there were *very* minimal car drop offs. HEAVES of kids walking out at the end of the day. The school were also very hot on making sure the coaches were up to scratch and affordable because the school had a large catchment area.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    15% of journeys less than a mile are done by car.
    and about 75% of journeys between 1 and 5 miles are by car.

    When people own cars, it’s going to be difficult to encourage them to not use them, which is what all those short journeys are about. For example, from my house into town is about an hour each way by bus, or about 15 mins by car – and I live on a bus route. Once you’ve bought and insured it, it’s too easy to just pop in.

    What we need is to make it viable for people not to own them in the first place. I think the main reason we have car brain is that we feel we need to buy one as soon as we can and then once it’s there it gets used for everything.

    How much more attractive than “basically free” and “will actually improve your health and quality of life” do you need to make walking?

    Obviously it’s not attractive enough, because people aren’t doing it. Maybe something to do with the fact that it’s physical work?

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    For example, from my house into town is about an hour each way by bus, or about 15 mins by car – and I live on a bus route. Once you’ve bought and insured it, it’s too easy to just pop in.

    And by bike? 😉

    molgrips
    Free Member

    And by bike?

    For me, about 30 mins if I get a move on about 6.5 miles. For my wife and kids – who knows, but I don’t thin it’d go very well. Partly because of the distance but partly because of the shit roads and they aren’t even all that bad as urban roads go. But they are in no way suitable for kids and unfit middle aged people.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    For me, about 30 mins if I get a move on about 6.5 miles. For my wife and kids – who knows, but I don’t thin it’d go very well. Partly because of the distance but partly because of the shit roads and they aren’t even all that bad as urban roads go. But they are in no way suitable for kids and unfit middle aged people.

    Thus proving that if you banned cars:

    The roads would be suitable for public use
    Your whole family would be fitter
    We wouldn’t have another thread about your cars breaking down

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Umm..

    Actually banning cars immediately would be really nice, we could tootle gently down the flat smooth dual carriageway into town, that would be awesome. But I don’t think my wife would make it to work. Then again, without cars we could take the M4 which would be good, if I could grab a tandem before they all sold out I could probably help get her there. Kids could cycle to school without cars on the roads, they know the way.

    More seriously, the kids could cycle to school now but the route would take them through rough areas, and I don’t fancy sending two young girls through those places on nickable bikes. And there’s a direct bus.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    (tongue in cheek, we all really love another molgrips car saga)

    kerley
    Free Member

    Ban cars for a month and see what happens and then learn from that. I was hoping that we would get something positive out of the pandemic but a LOT of companies are now insisting people are back in the office more days than not so traffic is back to pre-pandemic levels where I live. So many people worked so happily at home for two years yet that doesn’t seem to factor into it.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    So many people worked so happily at home for two years yet that doesn’t seem to factor into it.

    I think a lot of those cars you see now are driven by people who simply didn’t work at all during the pandemic and had to be paid to stay at home. Which is clearly not sustainable.

    5lab
    Full Member

    we live about 3/4 mile from the village infants school, which has about 300 pupils in it. I’d say two journeys (either droppoff or pickup) a week are by car, and its not because we need a car to get there, its because the next thing on the agenda (eg swimming lesson at the local pool which is 5 miles away, has no public transport and is fairly hostile on foot) needs a car for access. And I say that as a cargo-bikist – my wife isn’t going to pedal a 60kg bike with 2 20kg kids on it around.

    it only takes 1 journey per week per kid to absolutely snarl up the roads near the school, as, unsurprisingly happens.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Full Member

    “For example, from my house into town is about an hour each way by bus, or about 15 mins by car – and I live on a bus route. Once you’ve bought and insured it, it’s too easy to just pop in.”

    And by bike? 😉

    Can only answer for myself here – but that would be 20 minutes in, 1 hour walk back and the need to purchase another bike. So quite an expensive and time consuming proposition.

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