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Wednesday 11 September 2002 11.35pm
John Criddle wrote:

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agree that sounds like a hard time on tower bridge road.. Let me see.... Richmond to Islington.....
How about hop on the train to central London and then hop on the tube to Islington.
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It's even better than that. You can get a through train all the way from Richmond to Highbury & Islington, on the North London line. It now runs every 15 minutes.

Paul
Wednesday 11 September 2002 11.47pm
JE wrote:

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But, I would defend to the last the right to drive if one wishes to. And if one so wishes, then it shouldn't be made more difficult.
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-- You are attempting to defend the indefensible. Nobody has a "right" to drive anywhere at any time. It HAS to be made more difficult (or more expensive, or preferably both). Urban road capacity is a finite public resource, funded by all taxpayers. There simply isn't enough of it for everybody who might want to use it.

What if we all decided we wanted to avail ourselves of this alleged "right"? Why should those of us who choose not to - the vast majority - suffer for the selfish minority?

Paul
Jai
Thursday 12 September 2002 12.58am
Paul T....

"Nobody has a "right" to drive anywhere at any time" ... I'm not sure I understand this... (a little slow, sorry

"Urban road capacity is a finite public resource, funded by all taxpayers." I don't believe road tax is paid by those that don't wish to use the roads (I have heard of cases of people not paying road tax however)

"What if we all decided we wanted to avail ourselves of this alleged "right"? Why should those of us who choose not to - the vast majority - suffer for the selfish minority"... what about the vast majority that has to suffer the voice of the minority who has no idea if they are a majority or minority, yet use the argument anyway.

Do you smoke ? (talking about the majority suffering from the minority)

I'm all up for paying the congestion charges... if anything, I'd be happy to pay more. But I do believe until public transport is made safer/ more reliable/ less congested. It is people's right to use other legal methods of transport (bicycles are a big hurah). Why don't you and the majority outlaw motorised vehicles Paul...

Jai



Varkenslachter
JE
Thursday 12 September 2002 10.02am
Now Jai is one of those people who will pay more for a quicker journey time through the centre of London.

Time is money to him, so the more he pays the faster he goes and so he is happy to pay more. Such are market forces which regulate everything. (Paul T - if everybody availed himself of this right, then the roads would be solid, nobody would go anywhere, and market forces (i.e. no statist intervention required) would regulate the eventual result which would be people not bothering to try to use their cars - walking is faster.)

In conclusion, everybody seems keen on the congestion charge - those who drive who are happy to pay for an easier journey; those who don't drive who are happier for the roads to be clearer.

What I still don't think has been addressed, is what is going to happen to the buses that go on the outer ring road. Is ANYBODY going to bother taking a bus over Tower Bridge? It's bad enough at the moment, without effectively closing off virtually every other bridge over the river.

Statist intervention is so Berlin Wall era! Ken, keep your hands off our roads.
Thursday 12 September 2002 10.44am
The one thing about the driving in the capital issue is nobody sits on the fence it seems that there is no middle ground.

some things that have amused me the various times this has been mentioned.

"Defending the right to drive" - ffs are you an American?

"I will not stop driving until there is a proper public transport alternative!". - well what do you suggest is put in place?

tubes - during peak hours this is impossible to change, tubes are already vastly overcrowded in the mornings, I used to live in Clapham and only moved from there for two reasons 1) in the mornings I had to wait for on average 5 tubes to go past before I could squeeze on to a sweat drenched carriage 2) Clapham is full of rugger buggers
the whole tube system needs to be upgraded properly and to do this would mean major closures of lines for 1 year plus a very difficult option.

trains - again greatly overcrowded during peak times, sometimes to third world standards, if it wasn't due to so many bridges I think we'd see more people travelling on the top of trains. how the hell we have avoided major train accidents (I mean hundreds dead) I never know. so how do we sort this one out, well I think once the congestion charge is introduced a lot more people will travel by bus from just a few miles out into the city, this means that commuter trains may not have to stop at the last few staions into town on all journeys thus making the trains less crowded for the last 10 minutes and the journety time shorter, hopefully encouraging the long distance driver to use public transport.

Buses, the old favourite - single women are like london buses you wait ages for one then when they do come they are big, red and noisey and everyone's ridden them. Buses tend to get a bad rap but they will be the saviour of London in my opinion. We can't build more railway lines because as soon as a slight change to an area is proposed the locals are up in arms. new tubes are long term solutions, but buses are the only flexible option and with proper bus lane enforcement and the new smart card technology making boarding much quicker we will soon be moving around the city at more than 3mph.

Bikes, - it's just not safe to ride a bike in London and here we get the passions rising again. there are some bloody awful cyclists out there with real attitude and disrespect for other road users, but until the roads get less congested you are not going to get thousands of people back onto their bikes and into town, also I think the government should somehow encourage businesses to provide bike storage and more importantly SHOWERS for people who cycle in.

As for people struggling with shopping to get a taxi home - what part of london do you live in? I can't think of anywhere that is less than 10 mins away from a big supermarket by taxi and it's not difficult to work out what times are going to be queiter to travel.

Now there are people who do have to use cars, the imaginary woman with four young children above being an example, and people do have to move things around for their work, the thing is if nothing is done the city will come to a standstill and these people will not be able to use their cars and there are people who no matter what you do will always drive not because they need to but because they want to. but it's the people inbetween that need to be discouraged from using cars to travel and how do we do that



Show a man how to make fire and he will be warm for hours, set a man on fire and he'll be warm for the rest of his life.
Thursday 12 September 2002 3.08pm
Speaking of bridges...why don't the 'experts' build another bridge further down the river near Greemwich for traffic? and why pick on single women? why not married ones? do the single girls have priority on an interesting lifestyle!..

I prefer buses ( when you can get them) I have limited mobility and to have go downstairs at various tube stations with a load of people behind you in a hurry to get to work can be dodgy experience, holding on to a walking cane with one hand and the hand-rail with the other!

and all these words over the closure of a road.....it should have been thought about in depth a bit more...
Thursday 12 September 2002 3.41pm
JE wrote:

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....if everybody availed himself of this right, then the roads would be solid, nobody would go anywhere, and market forces (i.e. no statist intervention required) would regulate the eventual result which would be people not bothering to try to use their cars - walking is faster.)
..............
Statist intervention is so Berlin Wall era! Ken, keep your hands off our roads.
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You've got this completely the wrong way round! Congestion charging *IS* the market forces solution (i.e. having to pay to use a good -- urban road capacity -- the demand for which exceeds the supply). That indeed is why some socialists, among others, are unhappy about it - like any flat-rate charge it disadvantages the poor more than the rich.

(You could move the policy towards even purer market forces by adjusting the charge according to fluctuating demand in real time, as in Singapore, but that requires a lot of complex technology to administer, as well as being arguably less transparent for the potential user.)

Rationing demand to match a finite supply by means of pricing is precisely an example of using market forces. By contrast, your proposed solution (do nothing, allow gridlock to become total and see who gives up first) is rationing demand through the random impact of congestion, making the situation more or less impossible for everybody. You might as well say that if not everybody can use the road space, then we won't let anyone use it. So in that case why not ban all private traffic completely - surely the most statist solution of all. I don't mind either way, except that your solution will also have (is already having, in fact) a negative impact on innocent bus passengers (stuck in jams not of their making) and innocent local residents (breathing in even more pollution from stationary revving vehicles).

As for asking Ken to keep his hands off "our roads" -- he was elected by a landslide to get his hands on our roads, so I think you are wasting your time there.

Paul
Thursday 12 September 2002 4.49pm
Biscuit Boy wrote:

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tubes - during peak hours this is impossible to change, ............. the whole tube system needs to be upgraded properly .................

trains - again greatly overcrowded during peak times, sometimes to third world standards, ...................commuter trains may not have to stop at the last few staions into town on all journeys thus making the trains less crowded for the last 10 minutes and the journety time shorter, hopefully encouraging the long distance driver to use public transport.
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-- I agree with much of what you say. However, we should not get too pessimistic about the possibility of improvements over the medium to long term.

(1) The government claims it is upgrading the tube system, though I think they are going about it in an unnecessarily opaque way (the fault of the Treasury, as usual). But meanwhile don't forget that the East London Line extension at both ends does actually seem to be going ahead and could make a big difference eventually when it becomes part of a joined-up Outer Circle via Tulse Hill, etc. See http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tfl/eastlondon_project.shtml

(2) When the CTRL into St Pancras is finished (supposedly in 2007 - the tunnelling under East London is already under way) it will carry fast trains from north and east Kent, which should take a fair bit of pressure off the existing routes from there into London Bridge, Waterloo East, Charing X, Cannon St. and Victoria, and free up some capacity for the more local services. See http://www.ctrl.co.uk/english/introduction/national.htm

(3) Meanwhile, Connex have ordered new higher-capacity (i.e. fewer seats, more people standing!) trains for the shorter-distance commuter lines, including, allegedly, improved service on the so-called South London Metro lines by 2004.

(4) As I've already tried to explain in a different thread on here, the Thameslink 2000 scheme will greatly increase north-south capacity through central London (much more frequent trains), as well as boosting passenger capacity on several of the lines leading into it by means of lengthening platforms to allow longer trains. See http://www.railway-technology.com/projects/thames/

(5) I agree with you that buses are the best hope for local transport in the shorter term. Giving buses more priority over other traffic is the key. TfL claims that various plans are under way to build more bus lanes and enforce them better - see http://www.tfl.gov.uk/streets/bp_enforcement.shtml

Paul

(edited by JH to make links clickable)
Thursday 12 September 2002 4.52pm
Just for reference, if you put any URLs that you quote in angle brackets < and >, they will be clickable
Thursday 12 September 2002 7.51pm
of course you don't have an automatic right to do what you want in terms of driving. You do have a responsibility too - to the environment and to the effects of the overdependance on cars to the planet and to our immediate environment. If you want the right to do what you want where you want with you car, you have to accept the responsibilities that go hand in hand with that culture.

Unfortunately, being selfish and immature about your responsibilty in an ovvercrowded urban environment helps no-one
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