Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Economic and transport illiteracy and lunacy!

This is economic and transport illiteracy and lunacy!

From Dudley Council, dated 21 September 2015:
"Not wishing to pre-empt the outcome of the study, it should be noted that previously the re-introduction of diesel multiple units (heavy rail) has been shown to be uneconomic.  Although the Council had until recently pursued the possibility of introducing a short shuttle service between Castle Hill and Dudley Port, these plans have now been abandoned. 

Proposals for the Very Light Rail Innovation Centre and test track facility have been modified to facilitate the full passenger proposals (Metro) subject to the outcome of the Rapid Transit Study mentioned above."

  1. In the 1990s, Dudley Council and the other six district authorities were all wanting the Western Orbital Motorway to complete the Black Country and Brum motorway box.
  2. They have never wanted the existing and usable 78 Km of double track railway line brought back into passenger use to make for the reinstatement of the railway box around Birmingham and through the heart of three Black Country boroughs.
  3. Sustrans (sustainable transport that should also mean railways) has not taken sides over what, to me, is so very obvious as to what is, and is not, sustainable transport.
  4. Our magnificent seven authorities, that includes Sustrans, failed to get their 54 miles of new motorway (in the 1990s).  It was called the Western Orbital Motorway.
  5. In 34 years of useless but very expensive endeavour, the seven authorities and Sustrans (and me!) failed to get even 10 Km of light rail trams on the middle section only of the UK's only unused but usable, north-south, inter city express line (ICE) - the Black Country bypass ICE Line.  Even when they were promised £35 million by the 1990s owners of Merry Hill Shopping Centre!
  6. The bypass line bypasses what remains one of the worst rail congestion bottlenecks in the UK - what is now called Grand Central Shopping Centre and basement station.  Many more shops than platforms and perhaps, even trains.  An even grander shopping centre to use while we wait for our delayed or cancelled trains.  "Find out about the new bars, restaurants and shops now open in this state of the art shopping complex." (How Grand Central sells itself - it is not a railway station but was built with railway money!)
  7. The Black Country Line had 100 years of successful passenger trains from London Paddington to the north.
  8. For 50 years of increasing road and rail congestion and worsening rail capacity - to such an extent that we are urgently spending £50 billion to build HS2 - "the re-introduction of diesel multiple units (heavy rail) has been shown to be uneconomic" on the 38 Km Black Country bypass Line.  Yet, it is economic (with an unassailable business case) but impossible to achieve, the much more expensive, electric light rail trams on this same line.
  9. At £100 million per mile, Metro trams are planned to run from Grand Central to Edgbaston along congested roads.  On the same length, but continued to Quinton is planned the £15 million SPRINT tram-buses to also relieve road traffic congestion.  Why this duplication?  Why not make some of the existing buses limited stop?  Why not concentrate on more electric hybrid buses?  Scrap SPRINT.  Concentrate on buses and returning the trains.
  10. It is also transport lunacy to allow and even put new raised bricks across the whole width of towpaths on bridges and, sometimes beneath them.  This discourages both walking and cycling and, in my opinion, Sustrans should be opposed to this practice by the Canal and River Trust and be helping to get the towpaths fit for purpose for modern day use and not for 18th century horses pulling boats!

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Who are the real terrorists?

It is OUR side which keeps going to war in the Middle East to keep our streets safe from terrorists.  If we initiate the wars without UN approval, does that not make us the real terrorists?  Is our aggression not inviting revenge attacks from those who are at the sharp end of our warring?  Does the US of Aggression and its 51st state (UK or United Killers) not have the worst record for killing the most foreigners - and, in their own country, too?!

Learn this lesson from Syria

Rage against the oppressor with extreme care and with non-violence.  Only overthrow an oppressive government (regime) by the ballot box, not the bomb and bullet.  If there is no ballot box, put up with the tyrant or get out of his reign of terror, oppression and sheer nastiness.

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Questions for Radio Scotland Big Debate

Is the panel horrified or relieved that Jeremy Corbyn has said that he would never press the nuclear button if he was PM?

Are those responsible for the car emission test also at fault for not picking up that there must have been a much higher proportion of VW Group diesel cars passing the emission test when compared with other manufacturers?

If VW Group engineers felt it was necessary to put in defeat devices to meet emission standards, does that indicate that the emission test was far too rigorous for even the world's top car engineers to meet?  Even they could not possibly reach the target that was required!

Should not the expenditure and effort go towards minimising harmful emissions as quickly as possible?  VW already make some of the cleanest cars.

What is the point of Real Driving Emissions testing, that is so vital for Patrick McLoughlin, if vehicle manufacturers cannot meet the standard?  Does it not already happen?  In fact, more of it should be taking place on the road to clean up or remove the most polluting vehicles.

"I am pushing hard for a joined up re-testing programme across Europe."  Patrick McLoughlin, letter to Louise Ellman MP, 9 October 2015  But not pushing hard to reduce the cocktail of poisonous gases that all petrol and diesel vehicles spew out.

Should our 0.7% of GDP overseas aid budget be used to build a prison in Jamaica to facilitate British born Jamaican prisoners repatriated to Jamaica?

QUESTION for BBC Radio Scotland's The Big Debate on Friday 2 October, at Wigtown Book Festival (that I am attending in the ten days)
and, copied to my heavily war reliant MP, James Morris (Halesowen and Rowley Regis)

When we are told this week that it is going to be years before Islamic State is defeated (if ever), is it not immoral, illegal and pointless to drone kill Syrians and Iraqis that we think, we hope, are members of Islamic State?

It continues our 101 year foreign policy of every single year ('Guardian' 4 page spread of evidence on 12 Feb 2014) attacking other countries to protect our vital strategic interests in so many countries around the world, who have not declared war on us.

Friday, 2 October 2015

Is the West on the side of governments or rebels?

Why should a government NOT be ruthless in putting down a rebellion?  Any UK government would be.  Even the good people of Scotland in 2014 had the fear of God put up them, if they dared to be so stroppy as to vote for independence from big brother England.  Our problem, in our so well meaning, we know what is best for you fortress, is supporting the rebels to overthrow their governments in Afghanistan, Iraq, Tunisia, Libya and now Syria.  And look where it gets us.

(reply to David Blair article, 'Putin's Plan for Syria is a war without end', in the Telegraph on 2 Oct 2015)