Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Replying to B Johnson's boasting bile on Twitter

 BE A PROPER PATRIOT, MAN AND SAY AMEN TO THIS https://twitter.com/BorisJo.../status/1438910777117880324...

Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Replying to B Johnson's boasting bile on Twitter
The UK is simply the best, the greatest, superior to all others, is unrivalled in every field. We stand head and shoulders above all others. We just cannot help our excellence and brilliance in every field of endeavour throughout the world. Wondrous Boris Johnson & his Cabinet.

Monday, 20 September 2021

Disintegrated Transport and Foolish Transport

Dear Ian

You top people never consulted with the public.  You denied yourselves a vote in every one of the seven council chambers before
  • destroying urban railway lines;
  • converting some closed railway lines to tramways, as light rail;
  • running homes, shops, offices down them instead of, so 19th century, railway trains;
  • in Dudley, turning 2 Kms into a Very Light Rail test track on the UK's last but still existing principal, mainline railway;
  • turning two more nibble sized sections on Derby, Dudley, Devon principal mainline into a light rail tramway;
  • permanently closed a major vehicle and bus underpass for a tramway at Brum Five Ways;
  • permanently closed Broad Street to buses and bikes - for trams, only;
  • turned roads and railways into HR, LR, VLR and now, possibly, ULR (ultra-light rail) on part of the 120 Kms Black Country Railway!

This is Disintegrated Transport and Foolish Transport! 

On Sun, 19 Sept 2021 at 10:22, Ian Shires <shiresi2012@gmail.com> wrote:

There is nothing wrong with the concept of an integrated public transport system. The issue is how it's promoted and consulted upon and that is a product of the current Local Government system which has evolved out of the 2000 Act and left us with a top down process that.lacks true devolution and transparency leading to an ill informed general public.​  Very ill-informed councillors and MPs, in fact who don't seem to care. (Tim Weller).

On Sat, 18 Sept 2021 at 09:04, Tim Weller <timweller1@gmail.com> wrote:
Thanks, David.  You are right!  This is is absurd, scandalous and immoral spending for "bus on rails" trams, First Class Sprint buses, Second Class Platinum buses all on Hagley Road, with cars, trucks, vans and lorries!  The authorities are escalating us to catastrophe with greenhouse gases led ecocide.

Never any consultation or the slightest whisper of even giving a nod towards following the correct democratic procedure for councillors to discuss, debate and vote on all this wasteful, stupid expenditure of taxpayers' money.

Derby to Devon via Dudley principal mainline railway continues to get destroyed with two further nibble sized sections being converted to "bus on rails" tramway!  Incompetent idiocy is no exaggeration.

Tim Weller

On Fri, 17 Sept 2021 at 21:25, David wrote:

https://www.birminghammail.co.uk/news/midlands-news/four-new-tram-routes-birmingham-21592574

Yet they are already planning a Sprint bus down hagley Road? Will they have both?

No consultation about any of these plans that I am aware of? Undemocratic!!

David

LEFT UNITY MUST GET NOTICED

 Dear friends and comrades


Thank you for this string of emails that I have read.  I am so sorry to hear about Bob W-F's experiences at NC on Sunday and that he was/is so upset.  I also have found, as Bob W wrote, "I find our meetings interesting, educational and uplifting. Nobody is curtailed."  I completely agree.  Please may that continue with ourselves!

I am sorry to read that Mike got not a single reply from anyone to our resolution of August re the climate emergency and our positive, helpful, constructive ways forward to help deal with the crisis.  THANK YOU, MIKE for sending out the resolution.

My own view is that we should still persist, with resolutions like the one we discussed on Saturday.  Then vote on it and ask Mike to send it out to all the organisations, people and reporters he covered last month.  I want Left Unity to get mentioned in the  media and to be invited to comment.  Very occasionally, like this morning, I get phoned by a reporter to comment after an email I sent to him last Friday.  I always speak and write solely in my own name.  I would love one of you others to be named as speaking or writing, officially on behalf of our party.  Left Unity must get more media attention from senior members of the party like the rest of you are.

Would the rest of you authorise Mike to send out something on our behalf from Saturday's meeting and agreement that was unanimous, over trans rights?

If we persist every month, the media might, eventually, sit up and take notice of us - with a bit of luck!  They'll see and acknowledge we are active, responsible, sensible and well able to make a mark in the West Midlands; in building a more sustainable, eco-socialist and inclusive society where the marginalised, the left out, the forgotten of our society are put front, back and centre.

Tim

Roger Harrabin is right

JOHNSON FLYING TO UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING

Harrabin report on 19 September 2021 on Radio 4, 2200 hrs 'News'

"The stakes in New York are almost indescribably high because nations are falling way behind on emission cuts.  Scientists say to avoid the worst impacts of global heating, annual carbon emissions must be almost halved by 2030.  The latest UN analysis shows current international policies are actually projected to rise over that period leading to a temperature increase of around 3 C above pre-industrial times.  To put that in context, with a temperature rise of just one degree C at present the world has suffered deadly heat, wildfires and floods.

"Mr Johnson will attempt to persuade the current number one polluter, China to quicken its timetable for reducing emissions, even though its the rich nations with their historic emissions that bear most responsibility for climate change, so far.  Mr Johnson must also form policies to ensure carbon cuts in the UK.  Britain is the leader on target setting on climate change but a recent report showed it produced fewer than a quarter of the policies needed to deliver on its own goals.  Meanwhile, Mr Johnson is planning policies that will increase emissions, such as HS2 and the £27 billion programme of new roads and, cuts in taxes on aviation."

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Left Unity resolution to WMCA to combat climate crisis

 

Here is the submission from Birmingham and West Midlands Left Unity to the WMCA on what it should be doing to combat climate change.

"As internationalists and socialists who are concerned for the future of humanity and, in fact, all of nature, we note:

1) Abnormally and record high temperatures in western N America, with wildfires out of control, and more recently as seen in Turkey, Greece, Italy and Spain.
2) Disturbed weather patterns and extreme weather events since Wednesday have killed over a hundred in western Europe, with a similar number missing.
3) Extreme weather and further eco damage will continue to have a detrimental impact upon specific groups experiencing health and other socially related issues.
4) Since 1988, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), has consistently warned of such events from the burning of finite fossil fuels that is changing dangerously, the chemical composition of the atmosphere that allows life on earth.
5) Therefore, we appeal to the WMCA to act as though they are taking the climate emergency seriously by now moving to a rapid reduction of fossil fuel use that includes minimising fossil fuel travel and spending and, in every other way minimising our impact on ailing life support systems. 

This should be done by:

a) Replacing waste incineration with organic digestion.
b) Introducing Fare Free Public Transport.
c) Introducing rapid and massive home and building insulation.
d) Scrapping new road building schemes. 
e) Scrapping HS2. 
f) Ending aviation expansion.
g) Fostering alternative and diverse modes of travel, including walking, cycling, and scootering, rather than having an over-reliance on carbon-thirsty private transport.
h) Supporting the expansion of electric charging points to aid reduction of fossil fuel use.
i) Supporting divestment from fossil fuels by the WMCA.
j) Public transport needs to be frequent, ubiquitous, and accessible, as well as free at the point of use.

6) We approve of the 60 mph speed limit ("for air quality") on the M5 in Oldbury and West Bromwich and we wish this to be extended to cover all of the motorway and road network in our region that is currently 70 mph."

On the way to FFPT

Residents in the West Midlands who have just gained a new job could benefit from free bus, tram and rail travel to work.

Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) has teamed up with local transport operators to offer two four-week tickets free, then a third four-week ticket at a 50 per cent discount from the standard price on selected bus, tram and network travel passes through the Workwise scheme.

The scheme is aimed at giving newly employed people a helping hand into work and you can read more here.

DESPICABLE, IMMORAL METRO EXTENSIONS

Each "bus on rails" tram is £4 m, compared with an electric bus straight on the roads (without the railway tracks) being £350,000 each. Construction was £75 m/Km for Westside extension; £133 m/Km for Eastside extension. Compare that with Borders Railway in southern Scotland rebuilt and opened 6 yrs ago this month for £7 m/Km over 50 Kms. WMCA/TfWM are into selfish, greedy, self aggrandisement while the poor suffer and even go hungry. Despicable, immoral behaviour by our politicians and officers. PLEASE PROTEST to Ian.Ward@birmingham.gov.uk; MayorsOffice@wmca.org.uk; andy.street@wmca.org.uk

Friday, 17 September 2021

Multi-modal transport is a mix up mish mash!

Dear friends - and our Transport representative, Trevor Eames    PLEASE RESPOND with your own thoughts/ideas/opinions!

I would love us all to campaign for a more sustainable, safer and fairer world for our children and grandchildren.

SUMMARY
Public transport continues to be divided up, broken up, into Heavy Rail trains, Light Rail trams, Very Light Rail trams and Ultra-Light Rail Stourbridge Shuttle trams.  In addition, 2nd Class buses and First Class Sprint buses.  It all means more confusion, waiting around and, as a result, a slower and complicated journey for those thinking of others and leaving the car at home.

MORE DETAIL
HS2 will, of course, reduce overcrowding for those travelling between the Big Four cities (London, Brum, Manchester, Leeds). However, the intercity stations, between the Big Four terminus city stations, that HS2 is too fast to stop at, must continue.  That means the intercity trains will continue to have priority on the intercity lines.  So nothing is gained.  If there is not enough seating on the intercity trains, put more carriages on!  And, in any case, the HS2 trains are planned to join the intercity lines up to Glasgow and Edinburgh, north of Manchester and Leeds.

First Class for the Big Four.  Second Class for all the other intercity stations missed out but, they must still have a second class service.

BUSES PUSHED OUT onto narrow roads with parked cars and diversions  

I have now checked out Broad Street.  It really is utterly impossible for buses to use that road ever again. Pavements are widened and, at tram stops, the road is narrowed further.  There are two bus shelters opposite Centenary Square but no others until you get to the 'Hagley Rd/Francis Rd bus stop on our, W side of Five Ways.  The intention is to take the tram onto Bearwood, along Hagley Road.  However, this simply means multi-modal mix up with more changes and delays.  And, at the most colossal expense in cost and in weight of greenhouse gases at a time of climate and ecological emergencies that WMCA has declared.  The money should be going for electric buses and Fare Free Public Transport for the young and middle aged, to end that discrimination against them.

Eleven bus routes travel down Hagley Road and they will all get tied up and delayed by the trams.  Far better to have electric buses directly on roads without the railway tracks needed for the "bus on rails" trams on roads and railways!

Since I moved to Halesowen in 1976, the authorities have been turning railways into roads, homes and trading estates.  Since, 1981, with the introduction of Midland Metro, they have partly rebuilt the tram network they destroyed in the 1950s with trams on two mainline railways, instead of commuter and regional TRAINS. First, railways into roads and then roads into railways, as tramways!!

The railway trains are a poor relation to the swish, smart, showpiece, super extravagant trams that keep getting involved in accidents with cars!  And tracks that need replacing after only five years, at a cost of £5 million of deadly greenhouse gases!

Tim

MORE CLASS RIDDEN SOCIETY: The unpalatable truth about HS2 - intercity stations lose out!

HS2 goes so fast it flies through the air, like a plane and gives the wealthy sods the choice of either plane or train.  BOYCOTT IT!  It will reduce overcrowding for those travelling between the Big Four cities but it means:-

First Class for the Big Four.  Second Class for all other intercity stations.

This is absurd, nonsensical from top public schoolboys!

 I know I am in a very small minority in pointing this out.  However, do I have a point?

All you politicians are fully in support of destroying the UK's very last and, one of only two, north-south mainline railways between Brum city centre and the Welsh coast.  This is the principal, Derby to Devon via Dudley and Worcester Railway.  This destruction on 16 Kms is costing over half a billion pounds (for light rail, very light rail and, ultra-light rail on this major, heavy rail route!).

At the same time, you are all united in wanting HS2 to give a very small minority of people the choice of either train or plane when travelling between the Big Four, English cities and, two of their airports.  Some of the trains may stop at Crewe and Toton but nowhere else because it goes so fast!!  This is costing us all over £100 billion in both cost and, in fast-rising, deadly greenhouse gases to bring horror and catastrophe, we are told.

Please give me your rebuttal, your reasons for why I am wrong and you are right.

Levelling up or socialism or basic Gospel teaching!

 Dear Peter and Geo

Thank you for organising the excellent and helpful Zoom meeting yesterday.  It has prompted these thoughts.  Could this be forwarded to the others who attended, please so I get their comments?

I would like to emphasise the importance of insulation and minimising the spaces that need heating in the first place, viz:
  1. Insulating or lagging ourselves with layers of clothing when we sit in a smaller rather than larger room.
  2. That room at a maximum of 20 C with other parts of the house not even heated at all, ideally.
  3. We know heat rises.  Therefore, consider sleeping on the ground floor and living on the first floor.
  4. Press for small to medium-sized homes for new housing estates with PV on every W, E, S facing slope for the building beneath..
  5. Encourage small to medium-sized families.
  6. Press for laws where the wealth of the nation is more evenly distributed, to discourage the rich from walking off with more than their fair share of resources and most responsibility for the climate/ecological emergency.  Called levelling up or socialism or basic Gospel teaching!
  7. Accept that even medium income households are taking more than their fair share of resources and that we all need to tread more lightly on the planet by making do with less, instead of ever more stuff.
  8. My own home, a 3-storey townhouse, is ideal where my wife and I live on the first floor with one L-shaped dining/living room that means minimum heating is required.  Our total energy bills are not much more than £1 a day.
  9. It is mid-terrace, with a small area of land at the front and back.  PV means it is a mini power station, with about 75% exported to the Grid.  Giving instead of taking!
  10. This kind of more simple living is essential if we are to postpone or, ideally reverse the sixth mass extinction episode that we humans are causing to ourselves.
I would like to ask that these Zoom meetings are excellent and should continue.  However, breakout rooms do mean that people will talk about their own ideas, that one person can then feedback for the final few minutes.  One hour is too short, I think but an extra 30 minutes for breakout and final conclusions and summary is ideal.

Best wishes

Tim

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

The LIE that it increases capacity.

Chris Packham could not have spoken a truer word. It makes all our problems worse, intensifies the climate emergency and shouts the lie that it will reduce overcrowding, increasing capacity when it rockets past every intercity station, duplicating plane travel. That is the lie.

https://www.facebook.com/ChrisGPackham/videos/4075923782529709/

It cannot help in lessening the destruction of nature when it is such a heavy-footed and greenhouse gases intensive way of making all our problems worse and speeding us to THE END. HIGH SPEED TO FOUR TERMINUSES.  Humans are on track to terminate themselves faster!!

THIS CAN'T BE RIGHT, CAN IT?

Dear Mike - and Opposition Leader, Sean

I know I am in a very small minority in pointing this out.  However, do I have a point?

All you politicians are fully in support of destroying the UK's very last and, one of only two, north-south mainline railways between Brum city centre and the Welsh coast.  This is the principal, Derby to Devon via Dudley and Worcester Railway.  This destruction on 16 Kms is costing over half a billion pounds (for light rail, very light rail and, ultra-light rail on this major, heavy rail route!).

At the same time, you are all united in wanting HS2 to give a very small minority of people the choice of either train or plane when travelling between the Big Four, English cities and, two of their airports.  Some of the trains may stop at Crewe and Toton but nowhere else because it goes so fast!!  This is costing us all over £100 billion in both cost and, in fast-rising, deadly greenhouse gases to bring horror and catastrophe, we are told.

Please give me your rebuttal, your reasons for why I am wrong and you are right.

Best wishes

Tim

Monday, 13 September 2021

IS THIS A JOKE? They can't be serious, can they?

MY JOKE OF THE DAY/WEEK/MONTH/YEAR/DECADE ... ('cos I'm not a great comedian, as you know)

Over half a billion pounds to destroy our principal, mainline railway for 1 million people that would completely finish off, forever Derby to Devon via Dudley. Instead, building High Scandal 2 to bypass every intercity station apart from two airports and 4 terminus stations. WHAT A JOKE!
(Some trains may stop at Crewe and Toton - where the hell is Toton?)

How the official lie is put

"Building HS2 frees up a massive amount of space on the existing railway by placing long distance services on their own pair of tracks. Once HS2 is operating, services can run much closer together, meaning there can be more rush hour trains, helping to relieve overcrowding.

"Once the full network is operational we expect HS2 trains to carry over 300,000 passengers a day."

from   https://www.hs2.org.uk/why/capacity/

What do you do about the many intercity stations, HS2 is too fast to stop at?

Have you thought of that?

THE ULTIMATE ABSURDITY!

Still destroying our principal, mainline railway for 1 million to use - no more left after this. Instead, building High Scandal 2 to bypass every intercity station apart from two airports and 4 terminus stations. WHAT A JOKE!

(Some trains may stop at Crewe and Toton)

Saturday, 11 September 2021

High Scandal 2 takes off to miss all the important towns and cities!

I MUST BE WRONG, AREN'T I?

Is my research correct, here?

 

Am I right in thinking that High Scandal 2, outside of London, only stops at two airports and the three terminus stations - Brum, Manchester and Leeds? Or, will it stop near to East Midlands Airport, too, as E Mids Hub station? Does it stop at Crewe?

 

What is the point of spending over £100 billion of greenhouse gases to escalate climate catastrophe, in order to give plane flyers the choice of High Scandal 2 train or plane?

 

How can passengers be moved to the High Scandal 2 line when it goes so fast it cannot stop at the existing intercity station they might want to get off at?! You will still need the intercity trains, won't you? So what is the point of High Scandal 2?  

 

Meanwhile, the UK's last principal mainline, half used, 120 Kms Black Country Railway gets broken up as part of the Disintegrated Rail Plan into heavy rail, light rail, very light rail and, ultra-light rail on the section in the 1 million population of the Black Country! This means more changes, more delays as you wait around for the next connection and, more complications.

 

" The government's long-awaited Integrated Rail Plan may be published as part of chancellor Rishi Sunak's autumn Spending Review."  from   https://www.newcivilengineer.com/latest/integrated-rail-plan-could-be-published-with-autumn-spending-review-09-08-2021/    

 

Tim Weller 0791 380 4363

THE MOST EXPENSIVE LIE, EVER!

THE MOST EXPENSIVE LIE, EVER!

The railway industry has fully co-operated with the destruction of between one-third and one-half of the total railway lines that there were built in the UK.

Our politicians and transport experts were fully in support of the closure of Wolverhampton's second principal mainline railway station and for turning most of the double-track railway line into a slow, shuttle tramline, linked to another principal mainline railway station that was demolished and then rebuilt to half of its former size, with only four platforms left (Snow Hill).

For 50 years, one of only two principal, mainline railways between Brum and the Welsh coast has been left wasted and unused between Burton on Trent and Stourbridge, despite many tens of millions of pounds having been spent on tunnels and bridges for the mainline railway to cross every motorway, road and canal.

Since 1981, the politicians and transport experts have given their top priority to putting trams back on railway lines instead of commuter and regional passenger trains and freight.  And, with breaking up the once integrated bus network into a disintegrated bus and tram network for more changes, delays and a slower public transport journey.  A CASE IN POINT:- Five Ways underpass and Broad Street closed for every bus, forever!!

Their top priority now is to extend the tram network to the HS2 line (and, well-provided for Solihull) even though they are all fully aware that the trams are replacing buses and, that this work is extremely expensive at between ten and fifteen times the cost per Km of rebuilding the Borders Railway through only half of the Southern Uplands of Scotland in 2015 and that never reconnected with Carlisle from Edinburgh.

One new electric bus is £350,000 but one new tram is costing £4 million!

HS2 is costing at least £106 BILLION to allow passengers to travel between only four cities and two airports.  There may be two stops for some HS2 trains at Crewe and Toton.  YET, every intercity train must continue to run to maintain the existing service for the many towns and cities that HS2 is too fast to stop at.  What a waste!  What ecocide in escalating greenhouse gases to turn earth into venus!  (see Wikipedia for the runaway greenhouse effect on uninhabitable venus)

It is a LIE to say that HS2 is needed so that "capacity (is) freed up on the rail network"


Best wishes    Tim

Friday, 10 September 2021

HUMAN EXPANSION IS BURYING OUR GREEN SPACES!

Very many thanks, Sophie.  Very good to read.  However, ...

You wrote, "We are currently running a national campaign to put pressure on the government to protect access to green spaces. Specifically we want them to strengthen access provision in the Environment Bill."

I do think the government is ineffective and uncaring, as are their laws that are so easily ignored and, so often, make no difference, in actual fact.  Nothing is ever done to actually provide the better access that might well be enshrined in law.  Local authorities are denied funding so our right to roam is being lost as PROWs become overgrown and stiles blocked or never have steps replaced.  They make laws that we all know will never be enforced and will never make a scrap of difference on the ground.

Even in open access land, PROWs marked on the Explorer maps are unreliable and misleading, based on parish maps centuries old!  We can never rely on them, in this day and age, to be able to get over the wall!

Guy's open access for England and Wales being enshrined in law is irrelevant if footbridges and their access paths are closed through lack of funding for maintenance of the bridges.  What is the point of open access if you cannot climb the walls or fences or by thick hedges or by rivers with no longer a safe crossing?

Access to green spaces are constantly being lost as nature continues to get buried under concrete, brick and tarmac with HS2, roads, homes, offices ... This is all good for economic growth but at the cost of life support systems as greenhouse gases get spewed out in ever greater quantities from all our human economic activity.  Economic expansion but ecological decline, that is shown with climate catastrophe around the world.

Please run a national campaign for more funding to allow us access to the existing rights of way.  Local authorities must appeal to their wealthy council taxpayers for charitable donations.  Run a national campaign against Nature being obliterated by HS2, road and building expansion to cope with our growing population and their demand for more and bigger first, second and third homes.  My Metro Mayor, Andy Street has 3.5 homes that he owns in the UK!  He had the integrity to agree with the questioner that this was correct, I'm glad to say.

The wealthier people become the more green spaces are obliterated by their wealth!  So share the wealth out, equitably.  It's called levelling up or, socialism, like the Diggers and Levellers of past centuries!    This must be Ramblers' policy, don't you think, Sophie and Guy?

Best wishes

70 years of obliterating railway lines; HS2 buries nature

Another transport/financial scandal is the destruction of the 56 Kms Black Country Railway section of the Derby to Devon via Dudley principal mainline railway. 9 Kms is being given over to the Light Rail, West Midlands Metro (over half a billion pounds) and to a Very Light Rail test track (over £30 m)! 47 Kms will remain unused for passenger trains and a short section used for freight. Another short section might get the Ultra Light Rail shuttle tram. This is on top of six railway lines already destroyed in Dudley borough, alone over the last fifty years! MORE INFO: timweller1@gmail.com test track (over £30 m)!