Viewing 40 posts - 161 through 200 (of 300 total)
  • We have ‘car brain’ in the UK
  • 5lab
    Full Member

    I know several mums in Munich who ride non-assisted cargo bikes, and they just accept that it’ll take a bit longer. I know even more who have e-assisted cargo bikes.

    Good for them. I’d wager Munich is flatter than where I live, and that an eCargo bike cost a lot more than our 7 seater.

    No electric car will still be working at 10 years old with it’s original battery

    Not sure if this was sarcasm, but the model s has been out for 11 years, plenty of them on the roads

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Yes I agree transport should be publicly run for utility not profit.

    andytherocketeer
    Full Member

    Doesn’t necessarily need to be 100% publicly owned, but a publicly owned integrated ticket system for the region.
    If TJ’s £1.80 fare is a go anywhere within the fare zone via any combination of modes of transport, then we are talking.
    Integration isn’t just buses and trains joining up. Most towns have that. Plus it needs to be at 10 or 15 minutes intervals, or worst case 30. not 1 hour to tempt people.

    dovebiker
    Full Member

    It’s worth considering that car manufacturers make as much money from finance as they do from building cars – they have a vested interest in an ownership model where the vast majority of the time, they are sat going nowhere depreciating. ‘I can’t see many people giving up the convenience of personal transport, but maybe a hire or shared ownership model where you could call up a self-driving EV could work well in many urban areas – this is what Uber are trying to achieve. Variable pricing to offset demand at peak times and maybe encourage ride sharing? At some point the Government are going to have to bring in road pricing to offset the revenue lost from fuel taxation. Quite how all this works in remote and isolated communities like mine remains to be seen. We currently have 6 EV charger points on an island 50 miles long and population of 3,000, which trebles in summer.

    mert
    Free Member

    If you want to sell BEVs to the masses they need batteries big enough to avoid faffing and range angst.

    Sounds like a serious case of car brain to me.

    I didn’t buy the original Zoé in 2012 because the 23kWh battery wouldn’t take me skiing and back

    Yes, 23kWh was probably a little too small, but a well managed 30-35 with a charge time of 5 minutes for those times you travel further, with the related weight reduction (range increase) and cost savings would cover the vast majority of users needs with minor added planning needs.

    And range angst has been a thing for years, there used to be well understood price increments for adding advertised range per tank to cars in the US, 500-550-600 miles, or 1000 km in Europe. Even though 95% of it was simply adding tank volume.

    northersouth
    Free Member

    I’m sure many people would use cars less if they had a reliable, fast and cheap form of transport (e.g. trains). But many can’t afford to live in cities due to higher pricing, and so live further out with a longer commute, and thus need a car.

    They also often don’t use public transport, as it’s more expensive and slower than just driving in.

    It’s quite simple really – it all comes down to £££.

    The solutions of just increasing taxation on car users is overly simplistic – you need to address the structural issues with poor public transport first.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    If TJ’s £1.80 fare is a go anywhere within the fare zone via any combination of modes of transport, then we are talking.

    It is – but we only have the buses and the daft trams – the only exception is its a fiver on the tram to the airport but the 1.80 ticket applies to any single jouney.  Mainline trains don’t really stop withing the area – couple of stops to the east and thats about it and I don’t know the fares.  4.40 for a unlimited day use for one adult, £9.50 for unlimited day use for a family with of course heavily discounted or free tickets for over 60s and youth.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    At some point the Government are going to have to bring in road pricing to offset the revenue lost from fuel taxation.

    Its taxed about 60p a litre, plus VAT.
    10k miles a year at 50mpg is about £1500 total, about £850 to the government coffers from the average motorists pocket. Plus “road tax” averaging around the 150 to 200 mark?

    Remembering that electicity has VAT on it – very generously, £500 a year electric cost gives £100 a year tax.

    So they need to find £900pa from the average motorist. Or with 33 million cars in the uk, just shy of £30 billion pounds total.

    alpin
    Free Member

    The issue in the US is exactly the same in the UK and Europe.

    It’s not the cars themselves that are too blame, but our reliance as a society upon them….

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2023/jan/24/us-electric-vehicles-lithium-consequences-research?CMP=Share_AndroidApp_Other

    robertajobb
    Full Member

    What we absolutely do NOT need is a ‘British Solution’.

    The British mentality for 50 years now has been short term, zero vision, zero foresight.  That’s why we have inadequate energy capacity. No new nuclear power stations for 25 years.  No meaningful new water storage (big reserviors) for 30+ years and drought threats + raw shit pumped into rivers and seas.  A grand total of 68 miles high speed railways. Shit underfunded education for decades.  A health system that is **** over backwards. A care system that is even worse. Half arsed rail electrification that starts and stops leaving huge areas and the vast majority of freight  running with diesel. Why HS2 trains will be pokey and small (to fit shit old non HS2 lines becausesome morons in Gov decided not to build HS2 to where it needs to go).  And why there is a massive balance of payments shortfall.

    For once, we actually need a long term plan of the sort Germany, France, Norway, Sweden, or Japan would develop.

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    For once, we actually need a long term plan

    Yes.
    And one that puts people and environment and sustainability (in it’s widest sense) first, not vote winning and rich friend keeping first.

    tjagain
    Full Member

    Its one of the things that amuses me on threads like this. solutions that are used in many other countries and are proven to work well apparently will not work in the UK.  British exceptionalism?

    greatbeardedone
    Free Member

    I think a lot of the problem is in the ‘highway code’ itself.

    The title of this publication suggests that not running someone over is an act of chivalry, to be rewarded with a life-peerage and 40 acres of the Scottish highlands.

    We need more investment in public transport, but plough a chunk of the profits back into elderly social care, like a local income tax.

    With an ageing population, we’re going to need every last penny…

    tjagain
    Full Member

    for good public transport it needs to be seen as a public service not a money making exercise, Its needs subsidy not profits.  The money can come from removing the subsidy on car drivers – gradually and in parallel

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    British exceptionalism?

    See also: BREXIT

    Olly
    Free Member

    What happened to school buses? Are they still a thing at all?

    My school is fortunate/big enough to own its own minibusses, used for sports and school trips etc. I think they also now send them out on commuter loops too every morning which seems logical. For the sake of resourcing the staff and putting fuel in them, they are using them rather than having them sat for the vast majority of the week.

    chrismac
    Full Member

    Its one of the things that amuses me on threads like this. solutions that are used in many other countries and are proven to work well apparently will not work in the UK.  British exceptionalism?

    Fully agree. The problem is that we have lost control of most of our infrastructure as a result of privatisation. This has fundamentally changed everything to a very short term view that doesn’t look much beyond the next bonus or dividends payments

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Its one of the things that amuses me on threads like this. solutions that are used in many other countries and are proven to work well apparently will not work in the UK. British exceptionalism?

    Yes.
    Partly it’s the way that Highways, engineering, traffic etc has been taught for decades, partly it’s dogmatic views from Government > Treasury > Highways, some of it is social (the idea that car = success and status and importance while bike = child’s toy or something for poor people) and part of it is the ridiculous and curiously British notion that we have to be world-leading or world-beating in everything we do rather than just taking a perfectly workable bog standard solution and implementing it.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    solutions that are used in many other countries and are proven to work well apparently will not work in the UK. British exceptionalism?

    We’re not the only country that is addicted to cars, so no.

    But yes – every country is different, and you need a solution that people living there will accept.

    You, TJ, seem to think people can simply be forced to think the same way as you. I am fully aligned with your ideals – I would love a minimally automotive society as much as you – but you seem to think getting there would be simple if someone would just do something. I do not agree, I think it’d be really hard.

    And yes, it’s short-termism and the desire to ‘optimise’ everything, which is something I see at work as well. The working culture in the UK is such that everything has to be the most efficient possible, so people set things up to evaluate and streamline etc but we do it really badly. Things get a budget allocated which isn’t enough (because you need to be efficient) then you complain and they think you’re just moaning about stuff. Then the project fails and they say ‘well, it didn’t work so we’ll stop doing it’. Same kind of thing that happens with cycleways. Someone campaigns, they give in and put a nice cycleway along a new road that doesn’t connect up with anywhere or go where people want to go. Then no-one uses it, so they say ‘well no-one uses it so what’s the point?’

    It’s idiotic. And it’s very much a British thing. This is why we need political reform so badly – so that we can try and get away from this.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Because it got dragged into another thread:


    @ayjaydoubleyou
    – Full Member
    go take that to the “car brain” thread, show how the progressive and forward thinking court system assumes everyone is easily able to get to the centre of their nearest city by public transport for 9am.

    The issue isn’t those mean and nasty Ecomentalists trying to take your car away from you.

    It’s that the hegemony of car centric infrastructure works to the detriment of those who can’t afford or don’t own a car.

    The correct solution to people not being able to get to jury duty for 9am by public transport isn’t increasing car ownership.

    ayjaydoubleyou
    Free Member

    Not that they are trying to take my or anyones car away, just that someone who lives close enough to Guildford (in the crowded south east, not the wild wastelands) for it to be his nearest court, and yet he needed to drive (or drive, then catch the park and ride) to acheive what the court in their wisdom has deemed to be not a suitable method of transport, as they would not provide expenses.
    That poster would have been even more put out if they did not own a car, or if they shared one with their partner.

    For me to attend my nearest court for 9am (Reading) would be an hour by public transport, including half an hour of walking. Fine for me. Not so good for a large part of the population.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Seems to me a lot is already being done to try and get people out of their cars, but on the sly. No big vote-losing schemes like making fuel £10 per litre, but rather the endless tweaks and faffing that genuinely make driving an absolute ballache, in cities at least (But still not as bad as cycling in the rain or sharing expensive, unreliable public transport with the great unwashed).

    Congestion Charge, CAZ, one-way, road narrowing, closed roads, speed cameras, lack of parking etc etc… you’d think it’d be enough to put off all but the people who actually have to be on the roads, trades, couriers, cabbies etc, but it doesn’t really. People just accept it’s going to take longer. Better to be sat almost stationary in their own warm car than the alternatives.

    Yeah but none of it is actually working at actually coaxing people out of car use is it.
    It’s kind of got to be a “Carrot and Stick” approach, what you have at the minute is more like a few light financial swipes with a fern rather than a proper make-cars-unaffordable “Stick” and then there’s very little in the way of public transport or active travel infrastructure “Carrots” on offer.
    Net result? People still choose the tin box and just whinge a bit more…
    If you make diving properly expensive to reflect the environmental, social and public health costs, people will start to seek alternatives. If you make alternatives more affordable people will start to take them up.

    What happened to school buses? Are they still a thing at all?

    Yep, well sort of, but it’s not free like in the good old days; we pay an effing fortune for our eldest to be able to use a service laid on by the local Bus Co’ that picks her up a 5 mins walk from our door at about 7:30am the bus is specifically for her school (other schools nearby also have busses laid on). So we pay for a young person’s bus pass. There’s a fringe benefit in that she has unlimited use of busses in the area to get to town and meet friends etc, the downside being the variable routes and timetable planning of our local busses especially where she has friends in some of the outlying villages/suburbs. She can get from our house into the centre of town in ~25mins on a good day, it typically takes her about 45mins to get to school. But just about anywhere else is upwards of an hour and a half and 2 busses minimum.

    On Balance it would probably be cheaper to drive her everywhere but then that’s hardly an environmentally responsible thing to do, and isn’t exactly helping her to build some self-reliance and independence is it.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Reading is actually a really good example for car brained idiocy.

    According to google maps from my house to where most of the towerblock offices are on Kings Road (and the courts etc) it’s
    Bus 45min
    Car 20min
    Bike 23min

    Now the bus is realistically upto an hour as you’ve got to either wait for one, or schedule yourself to get into town on one 10-15min before you need to be there. I do use it when cycling isn’t an option (e.g. I’ve got the train back into Reading but haven’t left my bike in the station).
    Car, well you’ve got to park at Queens Road and walk the last bit, so it’s not 20 minutes at all.
    Bike, anyone vaguely fit can beat the estimate and it’s door to door.

    Yet every morning the A33 is gridlocked with people driving into town!

    They really needed to bring in a congestion charge/clean air zone to stop people just blindly driving in without thinking of the alternatives.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    They really needed to bring in a congestion charge/clean air zone to stop people just blindly driving in without thinking of the alternatives.

    Various cities have that already – the challenge is that it is based on Government saying “your Air Quality is below minimum standards, sort it out” and the relevant Local Authority then has to do something about it. It’s a way of Government devolving all the responsibility (and also all the criticism, fallout etc) to local councils.

    However – the CAZ has to be based on the minimum required to get AQ back to minimum standards so most concentrate on HGV/LGV, vans and buses (not private cars). You’re not allowed to just charge everyone. Some local authorities calculated that they could simply reach minimum AQ based on electrifying their bus fleet or removing a taxi rank (hence no more taxis idling engines) which is really just a sticking plaster solution. It’s also a highly confusing situation for drivers – come CAZ do charge private cars, most don’t so drivers risk being caught out which doesn’t exactly encourage buy in and endorsement from drivers.

    Once again, Government have done the minimum possible and tried to wash their hands of any actual work themselves.

    northersouth
    Free Member

    One thing the government could do, which I’m sure it won’t do, is to start looking at companies carbon footprint holistically – i.e. factoring in all the pollution caused by forcing people back into offices and driving. This would certainly reduce car usage.

    It seems so far the thread is a bit mixed between people who live in a big city with a developed public transport network and think cars are pointless (and so should be taxed further to pay for their public transport) vs. those who rely on cars and have no other reasonable options.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    It seems so far the thread is a bit mixed between people who live in a big city with a developed public transport network and think cars are pointless (and so should be taxed further to pay for their public transport) vs. those who rely on cars and have no other reasonable options.

    Don’t make it a false dichotomy*. Making it a us Vs them argument just demonstrates the same car centric thinking.

    Living in a rural area is not a guarantee that you drive.

    Living in towns doesn’t mean you’re car free.

    Creating (or allowing them to form) regions where car ownership is the only option is just a great big FU to anyone
    – under 18
    – too old to drive
    – disabled
    – unable to afford a car

    e.g. my grandparents have reached the point where I really don’t think they should be driving. They live out in the sticks on the edge of the Lake District in a small hamlet a couple of miles from the nearest bus route. Car centric infrastructure (i.e. the fact that it’s so cheap and easy for all their neighbors to just go everywhere by car meaning there is no demand for public transport) is what will ultimately lead to them becoming isolated. Car’s don’t equal freedom.

    The inverse is true in towns. Rural and suburban car use means those people expect to be able to drive into cities. This means cities have to provide them with large dual carriageways and other infrastructure which makes those cities inhospitable places to walk or ride around, further compounding the problem even if those people did live car free out of choice (or more often, necessity).

    *at best you could make it a 4 way argument:
    Rural driving and refusing to aknwolage that they’re part of the problem
    Rural non-driving and would like useable public transport
    Urban driving and refusing to give it up
    Urban non-driving and pissed off with the issues car infrastructure and their use creates in towns.

    crazy-legs
    Full Member

    Rural driving and refusing to aknwolage that they’re part of the problem

    The vast majority of problems with rural driving are not down to the people who live there because, by it’s very nature, it’s very low population density and if you’re in a village, you walk everywhere anyway, only using the car for bigger trips or for (eg) towing etc on a farm.

    The main problem is the visitors to the quiet unspoiled village – who inevitably drive there and then clog the place up with shit parking.

    Rural mileage accounts for a very small percentage of driving in spite of it being longer distances overall.

    There was a similar argument about the Tour de France and how polluting that was with its vast caravan of vehicles but it ignores the fact that far and away the most pollution comes from the millions of spectators driving to the event in the first place!

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    The main problem is the visitors to the quiet unspoiled village – who inevitably drive there and then clog the place up with shit parking.

    Seem my above point about rural/suburban commuter traffic causing issues in cities.

    The good thing about public transport though is it runs in both directions.

    5lab
    Full Member

    It’ll shift slowly anyway, as a far smaller of early-20s can drive now than used to be able

    butcher
    Full Member

    It’ll shift slowly anyway, as a far smaller of early-20s can drive now than used to be able

    Is that true, are there stats on that? Every house seems to have a car per person now, and I think it’s predicted that the number of vehicles on the road will increase 50% by 2050.

    thisisnotaspoon
    Free Member

    Followup because I was on my way home and couldn’t find a reference and the name was escaping me.

    If you want examples of why rural and suburban car ownership is a disaster just Google Robert Moses. He’s an extreme example of how “white flight” (i.e. the rural and suburban affluent who had made a conscious decision to live there and commute back into the cities) lead to the decimation of urban poor communities. In Moses case it was downright racist but but the effect is the same whatever the motivation.

    squirrelking
    Free Member

    Well in their latest round of vote buying the SNP/Green administration has launched free bus passes for under 22’s and will be scrapping peak time train fares in the next few months. Of course this means the Young Team will be spending all day riding buses pissed out their face on Mad Dog but that’s exactly the sort of scum that votes for those sort of policies. Meanwhile decent folk need to go out an earn a living to pay for all this.


    @Edukator
    I know it’s a case of grass being greener but I’d still rather have French public transport prices and level of service than the shite we pay through the nose for here.

    Dickyboy
    Full Member

    Free passes for public transport are just stupid, far better to have just low or very fares, especially now contactless payment is the norm.

    tonyf1
    Free Member

    The vast majority of problems with rural driving are not down to the people who live there because, by it’s very nature, it’s very low population density and if you’re in a village, you walk everywhere anyway, only using the car for bigger trips or for (eg) towing etc on a farm.

    You have a very warped view of living in a rural location. We don’t walk anywhere as we don’t have any local shops as they started to close in the 1950’s. Cars towing stuff on the farm is a new one.

    The reality is a car is essential to life in rural areas, isn’t a status symbol and people have no choice but to drive as public transport is non existent.

    Crap parking is a problem however but that one is universal.

    cookeaa
    Full Member

    Reading is actually a really good example for car brained idiocy.

    You posted that after me, how did you know I was talking about Reading?

    Edit:

    They really needed to bring in a congestion charge/clean air zone to stop people just blindly driving in without thinking of the alternatives.

    As a resident and owner of a dirty diesel shitbox, I completely agree!

    molgrips
    Free Member

    Is that true, are there stats on that? Every house seems to have a car per person now

    I have read it many times, although it’s a steady not dramatic decline. Seems like there are thousands of flats going up all over the place in most towns and cities, and I think many of them don’t have that much parking so it’s probably the young people living in those that don’t have cars.

    alpin
    Free Member

    most concentrate on HGV/LGV, vans and buses

    So those that need to use their vehicle… Trust me, if when working in the UK I had contacts outside of London I took them… Rather that than dealing with traffic and the congestion.

    Sitting in a traffic adds nothing to my quality of life.

    kerley
    Free Member

    I’m sure many people would use cars less if they had a reliable, fast and cheap form of transport

    I am not so sure. I thought years ago that it would be a good experiment to make all public transport completely free for say 3 months and see who switches to use it. If the take up is very low (which I am guessing it would be) then you have the answer.

    molgrips
    Free Member

    But making it free only addresses one of the complaints about PT.

    butcher
    Full Member

    But public transport is neither reliable or fast. If it offered an advantage over using the car, then people would use it.

    3 months isn’t a long enough time frame either. We’re habitual creatures and rarely change our routines. Very few people would make the change initially. If it was attractive enough though, it would grow over time.

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