Sunday, 31 January 2021


Flaunting our wealth before the world to replace some buses and trains with trams is socially unjust because it is misusing finite resources like fossil fuels that are desperately needed for far more urgent and important priorities.  Like addressing egregious health and wealth inequalities.

£15 billion to 2040 for mainly underground and overground trams is immoral.  Wiser counsels would use that money to extend the Fare-Free Public Transport scheme to everyone, for a gradual change to electric buses on bus priority roads.

And, to ease congestion, air pollution and the Covid, Climate, Ecological, Resource emergency.

UK Tram Ltd calls them "buses on rails".  What's wrong with buses on roads without the rails?

Buses are more flexible than trams and stop only when they need to stop.  Trams must stop at every tram stop regardless of anyone getting on or off.

Saturday, 30 January 2021



For 100 years, we had a passenger railway line from platform 4 at Snow Hill Sta to Wolverhampton Low Level Station.  Instead of returning commuter trains to this 20 Kms railway at a fraction of the price of trams, they chose the trams.  This resulted in one platform out of four that can no longer be used at Snow Hill, with the tram now bypassing Snow Hill Sta completely with the over £60,000 per metre extension to 'Grand Central Shopping Centre and Diesel Perfumed Station Tagged Along As An Afterthought In the Basement of the John Lewis Store' - a rather long winded but accurate new name for the old New Street Underground Principal Station!

In Wolverhampton, the magnificent, Victorian Low Level Station is now a conference and events centre. It can never again be a much-needed railway station, because 3 or 4 Kms of double track railway line either side of the station was used for roads and buildings when trams made the station useless.  Oh, we also have a pretty garden where trains ran for 100 years!  Only now, at more vast expense, is the tram being extended from St George's Square to the one remaining railway station in Wolverhampton.  And the buses are pushed out to make way for the trams, too.  All of this expense and inconvenience and, extra greenhouse gases to help turn planet earth into planet venus, could have been avoided if our awesome politicians and officers in charge had simply put the trains and stations back on the line from Snow Hill to Low Level Station that they should never have closed in the first place!  And, we would now have additional train services from Snow Hill to Shrewsbury via Wolverhampton Low Level.  The absolute worst follows:

These same irrepressible (BLANK) are STILL intent on repeating that blunder with trams on an even more important railway line.  This one is the 120 Kms Black Country Mainline Railway, between Worcester and Derby, "of national strategic significance" (Network Rail on 8 March 2018 letter).  Just 6.7 Kms of trams will wreck any chance of the UK's last, easily reinstated, half used, mainline railway from ever being finished.  And, they are planning a suite of buildings on the only feasible site for Dudley Castle Hill railway station.  TRAGEDY!  Yet, the line is still desperately needed to reduce the road and railway congestion and poisonous air in Birmingham.  Even needed to ensure the Camp Hill line reopening works.  Freight and even some passenger trains on this line might well need to be diverted onto the Black Country Railway.  Impossible once trams, at six to ten every hour, are on a total of 6.7 Kms between 0600 and 2300 hours every day.

From 1981, our councillors, MPs, MEPs have had as their top priority the return of the trams they dismantled in the 50s. Since Beeching, some even had the cheek to blame him when they gave planning permission for roads and buildings on over 100 Kms of urban railway lines in the Black Country and Brum. Homes, offices, shops, gardens, beautiful landscaping, cycle-walkways, buses, roads all on railway lines.  In addition, they kept commuter, regional and intercity trains OFF 106 Kms of freight only or mothballed lines.  Whatever is the matter with them?

REPLY to:  25 January 2019

Reasons for replacing buses with "bus on rails" trams




The headline benefits of this route are...

  • Modal shift to Metro, resulting in journey time savings and reduced congestion along with the associated environmental benefits, such as improved air quality and reduction in noise
  • Regeneration benefits including the interface with Enterprise zone, and the major developments in East Birmingham, North Solihull and the UK Central Hub
  • Improving access to jobs, education and services along the East Birmingham, North Solihull corridor
  • Improving connectivity to other public transport modes as part of an integrated transport network

The route is the transport element of a regeneration plan for the area. An important driver being the linking of the two HS2 termini with the Black Country by West Midlands Metro (as well as everywhere in between) and encouraging more of the general public to choose green transport options for their day-to-day travel.

When the route is open, it will increase employment opportunities across the region allowing people in this area to easily travel throughout the West Midlands. Similarly, the construction of the route would provide a number of job opportunities with the Midland Metro Alliance as we are dedicated to building the tramway with local resources and labour, ensuring the region truly benefits from the growth of the Metro network.


'Making transport fit for the Climate Emergency'

 Friends of the Earth: 'Making transport fit for the Climate Emergency'

SEE page 3, here:

Thanks, Ros.  This is excellent and the 27 actions local authorities can take to reduce car use should be urgently implemented by the WMCA, together with our own three actions to make it up to 30, viz:
  1. Abandon over-indulgent, railway destroying, grossly extravagant Metro trams between Wednesbury and Brierley Hill, like HS2 - see photo:
  2. Instead, finish the 120 Kms Black Country Railway and upgrade the 22 Kms Black Country Cycle-Walk Mudway, competently, so we can use both.
  3. Cycle-walkway on the grass verge alongside most of the Duncan Edwards Way.
Tim Weller

Friday, 29 January 2021


I think we are all guilty of living unsustainably and, therefore, threatening all life support systems on earth.  The size of our homes and gardens, the size of our families, the kind of commuting and consuming we do and the holidays we take, all contribute to resource depletion, especially of finite fossil fuels and, highly dangerous greenhouse gases to bring climate catastrophe to end all life on earth.

I am very guilty of all this.  My land take and lifestyle mean that if everyone lived like I do we would need three or four planets!  I’ll work it out from

In fact, I need 2.1 planets and my overshoot day is 24 June.  I’ve probably biased it in my favour!

To compensate, I cycle instead of the car whenever I can; and, I used the bike for commuting and work visits before retirement.  I drive to 70 mpg, cut down on meat and dairy and v nearly never go abroad and certainly don’t fly - a big blown raspberry for that one.

To compensate, I am writing and working to open our English and Welsh 19th century railway network for trains or, as cycle-walkways.  I am working to maintain our footpaths in our 32 sq Kms Golden Green Triangle, bounded by M5, A456 and A491.  I continue to ask for it to be the first area to go in the 2019 announced W Mids National Park to prevent any built development on fresh land.  Land that must go only for farming and for recreation, as we are doing in lockdown.  I am trying to win over all our wonderful farmers/landowners not to sell their land for the false, fools gold of concrete, brick and tarmac.  Especially at Tack Farm that is so near to the bypass boundary that must not be breached. But farmer Charles Bibbey has had enough of farming and wants his farm land for housing.

Lockdown for all slashed the world’s greenhouse gases.  I think, to achieve the same bliss but to help those who suffered, governments have, as their first duty, the defence of the realm from civil unrest by protecting the worst off with:

  • a Basic Income scheme for all to cover food, clothing and shelter;

  • East Europe’s Fare Free Public Transport for all and not just for the disabled and over 60s, like me;

  • Carbon allowance for all to start rationing the calamitous burning of finite fossil fuels.

Learn from the UK’s disastrous laid back approach to the virus and prepare now for the inevitable Really Big Crisis we have been warned about for decades.

We cut economic activity to kill the virus.  We must now continue the good work of minimum economic activity in order to leave the planet’s life support systems able to support our descendants.


Join the buy less crew and don’t head out to the shops.  Feet first to our footpath network, instead and lower your eco footprint!             

Tim Weller  17 June 2020

Thursday, 28 January 2021

People Before Profit calls for, "an immediate massive programme of green investment"

PBP put climate jobs first last Sunday aft. PBP calls for, "an immediate massive programme of green investment". YES! This does NOT mean show off, prestigious, greenhouse gas-guzzling, vanity projects, like extensions to HS2, Metro "bus on rails" trams, Sprint diesel buses - all to impress visitors jetting in from all over the world in a deadly pandemic, next year for the Commonwealth Games. RESIST! PROTEST! email me for the bigwigs to write to:

Wednesday, 27 January 2021

Basic socialist/humanitarian/ecological principles

Thanks for the email.  Please don't take my candidacy as a declared Independent, too seriously.  It is simply a campaigning device to get the real politicians to do what I want them to do, in line with LU policy that I so like and agree with.  More radical than the Green Party, my former home and, I just love Bob Whitehead's FFPT, his careful research on it and his help, for me, over antisemitism in the Labour Party.

I think, I'm unlikely to waste £5,000 but being a declared candidate does have an advantage.  One reporter, Mark Cardwell wrote something, 'The Commitment' contacted me yesterday and FoE has included me as a result of my 'declaration'.  I may be taken a little more seriously and my questions over my many concerns are more likely to be answered.  I also get better access to decision-makers for a short period.

In particular, I want them to understand the basic socialist/humanitarian/ecological principles of:-

  • from each according to his ability; to each according to his need;
  • build out obsolescence to make things last;
  • use what you have instead of tearing down and rebuilding;
  • don't destroy railway lines but use them for their intended purpose;
  • finish what you start - unless it's extensions for HS2, Metro or Sprint diesel buses!
  • retrench instead of regeneration in the light of the Covid, climate, ecological, nature crises;
  • much more sustainable lifestyles urgently promoted instead of 'live it up today and to hell with tomorrow';
  • live simply so that others - poorer nations and future generations - may simply live;
  • diplomacy instead of the militarisation of diplomacy;
  • UN and international bodies taken seriously and co-operated with;
  • over-consumption and over-population are the two main drivers of global destruction;
  • our very rich, resource-rich and fatal addiction to finite resources is deadly, dangerous and will be our ultimate undoing.  Prepare now!


Forget the Varsity Line until ...

 Thanks, Bill for this.  Good to hear from you.

Forget the Varsity Line until these have been done!
  1. Top priority should be to stop destroying the remnant of urban and railway lines that could be used for passenger/freight trains or as cycle-walkways.  Don't use them for high impact, hyper-expensive, self-aggrandisement, "bus on rails" trams.
  2. Finish the already partly rebuilt, half used, half wasted 120 Kms Black Country Railway for commuter/regional TRAINS on the full length.
  3. Next, modernise our "very Victorian railway" - Sir David Higgins when CEO of Network Rail in his 'Today' interview on 8 January 2013.
  4. Start the update, renovation, refurbishment with the trains in northern England.
  5. Do the projects in the Taxpayers' Alliance document.  Varsity Line does not appear!​

New Birmingham Master Plan launched!

Go for retrenchment, not regeneration, in the light of the climate emergency that has brought us Covid and vital resources are finite.  Climate disaster and shortages will become more apparent as we complacently roll through the years of this century with carry on regardless, business as usual.


Tuesday, 26 January 2021

from Clent Hills National Trust

 Dear Mr Weller,


Thank your for your email. We share your concern for the hills and surrounding areas and also for the locals who are distressed by this behaviour.


We have reported these offences to the local police, and we’ve also encouraged others to do the same via 101. I have this morning received an encouraging response from them. They say that they have tasked a whole team with “increasing proactive patrols and dealing robustly with those committing offences.”


We are also looking into reinstating an appropriate form of gate on Walton Hill to help prevent this from occurring in future. As the access is via a public bridleway, it will need to be a gate that blocks access to vehicles but allows horses to pass. We hope to get something in place as soon as possible. We’re also in regular communication with the police and the local council about putting posts in key places to prevent vehicles from driving onto verges etc.


Designations are more difficult to achieve as they are managed externally, but we will do all that we can to protect our special place both now and in the long term.


I hope this helps to reassure you that we’re doing what we can to resolve the situation, and that the local police are also preparing to deal with this as well.


Kind regards,


Emma Pullen

Property Operations Manager

Clent Hills & Birmingham Back to Backs

07824 609 296

Dear Emma

Thank you for your prompt response.  Very much appreciated!

However, I do have more concerns, especially over the laggardly action to protect the hills from abuse and over-use and your employee (name unknown) meeting with an overly protective Richard Marchant who was anxious to be shot of me and away from your staff member.  Why was that?  Who was your employee?  

Could he have been using his time, rather than increasing his risk of Covid transmission by sitting with Richard in his caravan, to digging back and infilling the wheel ruts on both the N Worcs Way and on the roadside verge in the lane just to the east of Walton Hill car park?

I walked over to Walton Hill from home late this morning and saw more clearly, in the light of day, exactly how the 4x4s came up from the car park, did their wheelies round the trig pillar on the summit before motoring back down the North Worcestershire Way.  I picked up litter and used the one litter bin at the car park, that had been emptied.  So that is good!

However, serious erosion and countryside was turned into muddy wheel ruts. What a mess!  Yet, no attempt at restoration by the NT worker who spoke briefly to me this afternoon before Richard quickly escorted me off his land.  And the broken, muddy verge to the east of the car park has been in its dreadful state for very many months, too.  Is the man I met not able to do a little hard manual labour to make good the damage?  I'm an old man but I'm still able to do a little practical work in maintaining public rights of way in our countryside south of the bypass.

I remember that for many years what is now a road for the 4x4s to the summit was a fairly narrow footpath for the N Worcs Way to the summit.  The brick path/track (also a bridleway, no 658 on Worcs Definitive Map) to Walton Hill Farm has a locked metal gate where it meets Rumbow Lane at Ferns Hollow.  I now recall it's been there for a very long time but it still effectively protects the hill from that side and the horse riders have accepted it being like that for decades.  Could you do the same on your side, at the car park, perhaps?

In my opinion, Emma there should be three strong metal gates safeguarding the hill from the car park but one has always been missing, I believe.  The NT has no excuse and has simply been negligent, in my opinion.  Horse riders might be given a key to the new locked metal gate for them, only.  Do they have a key for the locked metal gate on the brick track leading to Walton Hill Farm, do you know Emma?

Anyway, please tell me who the man was that I met today.  And do you still have an office/base at High Harcourt Farm?  Was that where the man had driven from, instead of walking?

Best wishes and many thanks for your helpful and quick reply to my first email.

PfP Fighting for Climate Jobs means:

Spending/Jobs = greenhouse gases must mean we have to spend on jobs in the short term on the projects that will save greenhouse gases in the medium to long term.

Therefore, national infrastructure projects: HS2, trams like Metro, Sprint buses jobs do not meet this urgent golden rule. Nor does building, demolition, rebuilding jobs.  Nor do spending/jobs on luxuries, like above.  Nor, spending/jobs on Trident and armaments for our wars in Yemen, Afghanistan ...

Nor does built-in obsolescence jobs with even more waste and very high greenhouse gas emissions for yet more overconsumption - one of the main drivers of global destruction and ecocide.

Monday, 25 January 2021

People before Profit national Zoom: extracts from 'Fighting for Climate Jobs'

With human climate breakdown now being more apparent with extreme weather, Covid and extinction warnings from David Attenborough, should this now be the time to divert funds from glitz and glam extravagance like HS2 and "bus on rails" tram extensions to replace buses to, instead, Fare-Free Public Transport that I and many others have enjoyed for very many years in the West Midlands region and throughout England when it came to buses?

14:39:26 From  Fliss Premru (CACCTU)  to  Everyone : Solidarity with  the unite member and community saving 350 jobs and establishing a centre of excellence!

14:47:56 From  Pauline Philippe  to  Everyone : I agree trams make more sense in countries where infrastructures has been there historically (e.g. France) - where infrastructure is there, they can be great in connecting some more isolated communities

Solidarity with the unite member and community saving 350 jobs and establishing a centre of excellence!

There was a great survey of North Sea oil workers by Platform - most workers had never heard of a just transition  - and most who answered were keen to look at the possibility of alternative energy jobs including offshore wind.

SERA organising meetings to get Green issues on to Mayoral Elections in May - would be really good to get Climate Hustings and/or  Young peoples Hustings to get this on the agenda

Mark Porter and his members at Rolls Royce Barnoldswick are the first group of workers to get their employer to switch to green jobs. This shows that the fight for Green Jobs comes from below

All Labour Party members need to join SERA to direct it towards being both environmental and socialist!

Mark Porter  to  Everyone : the 'just transition' is the key- investment in new skills, re skilling/ upskilling it requires the investment now ahead of the jobs disappearing.

Peter Dwyer  to  Everyone : Good final point by Martin, lots of work on reskilling and transferring workers from the nuke industry was done many years ago, we can use that type of work as a basis for shifting again.

Tony Staunton  to  Everyone : campaign against climate change TU website:

Fliss Premru (CACCTU)  to  Everyone : Rolls Royce making ventilators in Bristol!

Fliss Premru (CACCTU)  to  Everyone : If you would like to sign up to our google group here is the form

Candy Gregory  to  Everyone : Elephant in the room. Animal agriculture, be it factory farms here or wet markets elsewhere are a huge contributor to climate change & a threat to populations due to zoonotic transmission. Everyone has to consider what they can do to reduce their meat & dairy consumption.

Mark Porter  to  Everyone : fliss the centre of excellence is embryonic at present but happy to chat about this offline and provide more details as and when they evolve.

maggie, burnley, unite community  to  Everyone : biofuels need careful scrutiny; not an simple alternative

Debby Cobbett  to  Everyone : Wait for this corrupt government to outsource more to their pals?  How about more bottom-up stuff, like switching to making ventilators and PPE?  Not to mention Lucas Plan?

James Eaden ChesterfieldTUC  to  Everyone : The new edition of the Million Climate Jobs Report is due out soon. Its a great resource that can be used to fuel this discussion. I think local climate groups and trade unions bodies need to look at doing public 'book launch' events. I'm sure that the Campaign Against Climate Change will be able to provide speakers..

15:07:40 From  Suzanne Jeffery  to  Everyone : Thank you Mark and great success at Barnoldswick - just want to flag up the biofuels are not always a green fuel, they can rely on huge land use change driving climate change. Huge investment in public transport is key to transitioning and reducing emissions in transport.

Fliss Premru (CACCTU)  to  Everyone : Here is the One million climate jobs 2014 edition - in the process of being updated.

15:09:08 From  Mark Porter  to  Everyone : Maggie you are correct on biofuels, it needs to be cohesive thought out coordinated policy that does not detract from food production resources and to ensure the production of such does not produce more CO2 than the fossil fuel it is replacing

15:09:43 From  Martin Empson  to  Everyone : A strategy for dealing with climate crisis and environmental disaster must also include jobs/work in mitigating the disaster - for instance we need more fire-fighters not less. More people working in the environmental protection agency etc. This is also an argument that we can use in the context of defending our public services from the austerity measures the Tories will introduce

15:10:07 From  Martin Empson  to  Everyone : Also, Lucinda is spot on, COP26 in November must be a key focus for radical demands about jobs and climate.

15:10:34 From  Suzanne Jeffery  to  Everyone : More on biofuels here

15:11:45 From  Maxine Sadza  to  Everyone : Well said Fliss!

15:11:45 From  Amy L  to  Everyone : Totally agree about COP26 being a focus. The provisional date for a mass mobilisation in Glasgow is Sat 6 Nov …. Covid dependent we want to ensure trade unions are part of the mass mobilisations!

15:11:47 From  Richard Chilvers  to  Everyone : We must use the Lucas Planning template which at the time was not taken  up but was the harbinger and lodestone for the future and Barnoldswick has brought it up to date with workplace active engagment for just trasition  

15:11:59 From  Maxine Sadza  to  Everyone : sorry Heather

15:11:59 From  Gwyn Farleigh  to  Everyone : are fire fighter mandated to attend floods in England? needs resources and funding

15:13:45 From  John Mc Fadden  to  Everyone : Firefighters still don't have a mandatory duty to respond to floods in England

15:13:53 From  Suzanne Jeffery  to  Everyone : See here for Model Motion for unions to mobilise for COP26. We need to strut mobilising across the TU movement now.

15:13:56 From  Martin Empson  to  Everyone : The Campaign Against Climate Change's summits round the country in early 2020 showed that the trade union movement, NGOs, environmental groups etc were very keen on seein COP26 as a mobilisation to demand action on Climate Change. COp26 will need to be a mass protest, but also a chance for us to really develop Campaign Against Climate Change networks locally.

15:14:44 From  Richard Chilvers  to  Everyone : new lucas plan website

15:15:06 From  Debby Cobbett  to  Everyone : Martin commented about 'defending our public services from the austerity measures the Tories will introduce' and I think we must fight to rebuild public services that have been cut for decades.  Agree with Fliss about green jobs in health, care, education and other public servcies.  See this campaign

15:16:31 From  Declan Owens (UVW (LSWU) / GMB (GMB4GND / Haldane Society)  to  Everyone : ;

15:16:44 From  Fliss Premru (CACCTU)  to  Everyone : PCS aviation democracy document -

15:16:50 From  Suzanne Jeffery  to  Everyone : If you want to get involved with CACC TU group sign up here

15:16:59 From  Ellen Robottom  to  Everyone : Decarbonising manufacture, transport etc is great, but we can't confine the discussion to ways of repurposing, changing technologies etc - the fact is we also need an overall contraction of production and a greater emphasis on "people work". There seems to be an assumption that workers employed in technological sectors would not be willing to move into care. support, education, health etc. Is this true, or is it mainly about the fact that most of those jobs are very underpaid and often undervalued, often perceived as "female" areas of work too? Has there been any research around whether or to what extent workers might be willing to make that transition if pay and conditions were better. As a matter of equity and social need we should in any case be campaigning for more jobs and better pay in those sectors, and I believe this needs to be tied together with reducing emissions. along with the changes in technologies. This is where we really get to the need for "system change" - (along with public ownership etc)

15:17:32 From  Heather  to  Everyone : respect to the haldane society!

15:17:40 From  Declan Owens (UVW (LSWU) / GMB (GMB4GND / Haldane Society)  to  Everyone :

15:17:41 From  Tahir Latif  to  Everyone : quite right Debby, not only is there a need for a million (or more) climate jobs, but we also need to restore the jobs that provide essential public and social services that have been slashed over the last decades.  under those circumstances there can be no excuses for the levels of unemployment and underemployment we currently have.  free market inefficiency needs to go.

15:18:09 From  Declan Owens (UVW (LSWU) / GMB (GMB4GND / Haldane Society)  to  Everyone :

15:18:22 From  Maggie Falshaw  to  Everyone : Following the east London climate summit that Josh spoke about, 25 health workers wrote to the mayor of Tower Hamlets demanding that he stops supporting the Silvertown tunnel. The Guardian report is in my post above

15:18:25 From  Debby Cobbett  to  Everyone : I think there's another whole debate around consumerism 

15:19:34 From  Steve Wilkins  to  Everyone : The most effective form of direct action is strike action as Rolls Royce workers have demonstrated

15:20:05 From  Fliss Premru (CACCTU)  to  Everyone : send me info on the campaign!

15:20:19 From  to  Everyone :

15:20:32 From  Richard Chilvers  to  Everyone :

For queries about affiliation, ordering the One Million Climate Jobs report or the work of the wider campaign, contact:

Campaign against Climate Change
Top Floor,
5 Caledonian Road,
London, N1 9DX

+44(0)20 7833 9311


Five Ways tunnel blocked to buses - to the end of time!

 Good evening, John

I hope you are well and, in particular, keeping free of Covid

Trevor doesn't want to answer my question because he knows, you know, we all know that when you have two of the heftiest concrete crash barriers I have ever seen in the middle of a tunnel, it is completely out of the question for "bus on rails" trams and buses to even follow one after the other through it.  But they might try it!!

Trevor and the others, including the Green Party that has supported this throughout, are wanting between four and six trams every hour of every day running through the tunnel.  How on earth can buses go back?  It is huge fun telling them the bleeding obvious even though, they will go on with more of this madness - despite Covid, Climate and shortages of finite fossil fuels as we complacently, roll drunkenly on our addiction, through this century.

Every one of us should be livid at this further incompetence by fully trained professional officers and, the people like Trevor who are meant to check up on them.  And Trevor is a fully trained, professional accountant, too!  He, by his oversight, has cost us all £149 m of greenhouse gases, plus cost overruns for 2 Kms of a show-off, an over-indulgent, vanity project that puts people off from getting out of their cars and using public transport to get into the city centre.  What a joke!

They are performing the same fun and games on the ready-built, half-finished and, the UK's very last, mainline railway!

This is one reason why I don't believe in God, by the way.  Why would a good God, all-knowing, have created us humans when we will, almost certainly, be far more short-lived than that of the dinosaurs?!  But I can still use the best bits from the Bible and other sacred writings from the other faiths until I succumb.

Best wishes and keep well.  I do do much else, too, by the by!

1,000 feet high traffic jams on Walton Hill!

Hi Tim C - you are always brilliant at using your 4x4 to help others.  I was out walking for my daily coronavirus bout of exercise yesterday evening and came across motorists needing a little high altitude help!

There was traffic chaos on the summit ridge of Walton Hill (1025 feet) yesterday evening (24 Jan).  Only drive your car on bridleways on Walton Hill summit if your journey is essential.  The Halesowen bypass was empty but the narrow lanes on Walton Hill were busy and full of fumes and fuming drivers.  4x4s were getting stuck in long queues, past the trig point to try and find their way back down to tarmac.  Some were reversing on narrow lanes and footpaths when they met their mates wanting to go in the opposite direction!

Only drive your car on bridleways on Walton Hill summit if your journey is essential.  Remember, oil to drive over Nature and to rip up footpaths, bridleways and green lanes will never run out because polluting Automobile Man is top dog and can do what he likes without any consequences.

This is, partly tongue in cheek, of course!  My favourite, pathetic attempt to make a more serious point.

ON A SERIOUS NOTE: This is why we need the stricter regulations that would come if we had an official Clent Hills Regional Park over the full 32 sq Kms of our Golden Green Triangle, in the new WMCA W Midlands National Park.  The triangle is bounded by M5, A456, A491.  Scotland has its Pentland Hills Regional Park on the southern edge of their capital where you don't see the hills abused or over-used.  Our unofficial, unregulated, free for all, motoring chaos, Clent Hills should be similarly off-road to off-roaders.

Sunday, 24 January 2021

Places before People National Zoom meeting

With human climate breakdown now being more apparent with extreme weather, Covid and extinction warnings from David Attenborough, should this now be the time to divert funds from glitz and glam extravagance like HS2 and "bus on rails" tram extensions to replace buses to, instead, Fare-Free Public Transport that I and many others have enjoyed for very many years in the West Midlands region and throughout England when it came to buses?, labelling the email PbP.  Edinburgh on 11 Feb Zoom.

Email to be put in touch with People Before Profit activists in your local area

Brilliant, Patrick that you are a climate striker!  I was the guy who wrote and sent in the question that you read out.


Are these ideas any good, Patrick?

ACTION - my suggestions to reduce climate catastrophe in transport:
To get low climate impact from transport - stop destroying railway lines.  For urban railways, can their commuter trains be returned; can they no longer be built on; or, can they be used for cycle-walkways?
Stop converting railway lines and bus routes into tramways for "bus on rails" trams.
Use electric buses going directly on roads, without the railway tracks.
Use the money saved from abandoning tram extensions into Fare-Free Public Transport (FFPT) for all and not just old people like me that I have enjoyed for 13 years!
Move from multi-modal transport that is multi-mixed up transport into sticking with making buses more sought after.  That means FFPT and electric buses on bus priority roads.

FFPT is essential to compensate for slightly higher risk from Covid and to cut congestion.
Essential to cut greenhouse gases, congestion and polluted air in cities.
Reward for leaving the car at home.

Upgrade 22 Kms Black Country Cycle-Walk Mudway so it can be used by everyone who goes human powered and not fossil fuel powered, including horse riders.

Scrap HS2 extensions.

6 areas this aft.  Jobs to reduce climate catastrophe in transport was the first!

Friday, 22 January 2021

Independent Jewish Voices: Working Definition of Antisemitism


IJV Working Definition of Antisemitism

Antisemitism is racism, hostility, prejudice, vilification, discrimination or violence, including hate crimes, directed against Jews, as individuals, groups or as a collective – because they are Jews. Its expression includes attributing to Jews, as a group, characteristics or behaviours that are perceived as dangerous, harmful, frightening or threatening to non-Jews.

• • •

Antisemitism is a type of racism, bigotry and xenophobia and as such is closely related to, and often driven by similar motivations and forces as other forms of bigotry.

In the 20th  and 21st centuries, antisemitism has most often been associated with white supremacy and theories of Aryan or White European racial superiority.  Antisemites sometimes see Jews as undermining the “white” or the “white Christian” race, either on their own or by “masterminding” an “invasion” of racialized people.  Antisemites often characterize Jews as secretly conspiring to control the world through their alleged control of money and/or the media. These, of course, are only a few ways antisemitic stereotypes have manifested themselves in the past century.

It is essential to recognize that antisemitism is not an exceptional form of bigotry.  People who hate, discriminate and/or attack Jews, will also hate, discriminate and/or attack other protected groups – including racialized people, Muslims, LGBTQ2+, women, Indigenous peoples.

In addition, privileging the efforts to combat discrimination against one of these groups, risks further marginalizing the other targeted groups, and undermines solidarity and cooperation among them in fighting their common enemies. Fighting and educating against antisemitism must therefore be part of a larger struggle against all group hatred and discrimination. 

Finally, it should be noted that the State of Israel is a political entity like any other state. Its policies, actions and history can be judged and criticized, even harshly. Such criticism is not, by itself, antisemitic.

SCANDAL over Five Ways underpass blocked to buses - forever

Dear Trevor

Very many thanks for this.

You wrote,  "The Five Ways Underpass will re-open to traffic in late summer 2021".  This is a lie if it means buses along with your intended frequency of trams.

I would be glad to receive what the latest thinking is on whether buses would ever again be able to return to the Five Ways underpass.  All eleven bus routes, I believe until 2019, used the underpass to speed them on their way.

Please could you confirm that not one bus will be able to use the underpass, ever again, because of the weird and wonderful decision to replace buses directly on roads with "bus on rails" trams going on roads, instead.  This, at a cost of £75 m/Km when rebuilding a railway in Scotland cost £7 m/K in 2015.

As a consequence, we end up with a slower, longer and worse public transport journey from west Brum, Dudley and part of Sandwell into the city centre.  You call this disgraceful state of affairs, "Our offering".  Some offering!

Before sending this email I have, this afternoon, cycled to Five Ways as today's coronavirus exercise, to check on the current state of the underpass.  I spoke to three workmen and saw that the tunnel work now makes it completely impossible for buses to return.  I saw the two highest and most substantial concrete crash barriers I have ever seen.  Crash barriers to prevent trams colliding in the event of coming off the rails.  Massive crash barriers to prevent trams from hitting the tunnel supports to bring the roof crashing down.

We once went from Dudley Castle Hill to Brum city centre by TRAIN.  Part of that railway line was converted to a road.  Another part of the same railway line is being converted to tramway at the most horrific expense.

You all need to immediately stop this foolish and greenhouse gas-guzzling exercise in bringing to pass Sir David Attenborough's dire warnings.  Just give us fareless electric buses on bus priority roads without the idiocy of railway tracks.  And use the transport £15 billion budget to 2040 for regional Fare-Free Public Transport for EVERYONE in the West Midlands - for the obvious reasons:- Covid, climate catastrophe, congestion and polluted city air.

Best wishes for some sanity to return.


Thursday, 21 January 2021

People before Profit

 Dear all People before Profit, before finite fossil fuels with their dangerous greenhouse gases, and FOR all of us targeting the thoughtless, greedy rich and certainly our corrupt and undemocratic authorities.  I mean the grossly extravagant, grossly greedy, over-indulgent councils that all want their flash, prestigious HS2, Metro and Sprint vanity waste schemes.

PLEASE let this group be united in standing FOR social justice, climate justice, transport justice and FOR a fair living wage and fair Universal Credit/Benefit/Income FOR EVERYONE to live in dignity and every need met.
From each, like me, according to their ability; to each according to their need.

Wednesday, 20 January 2021

Great success for 10 Nepalese climbers

Brilliant achievement. Thanks for posting this, Jonathan that I had not seen but had heard of the 10 Nepalese summiting. Great for Nepal, too. It makes a welcome change to have them in the limelight.

Monday, 18 January 2021

To Chris Crean re FoE's Metro Mayor Climate Action Plan

I have read every single word in the FoE Climate Action Plan.  It is extremely good.  Except for three things: for "mass transit", your support for trams and failure to support the vital Fare-Free Public Transport for all and not just for me and my ilk!  I suspect mass transit means Metro trams that are the second most expensive and, therefore destructive, mode to construct after HS2, as evidenced here:

In my opinion, there needs to be a mass staying at home and not mass movement of people!  We need to lockdown for Covid and lockdown for Climate for many years to come, to keep as much or our remaining finite fossil fuels in the ground, as we can.  Scrub mass transit, please!

I am very strongly against your "accommodating joint running with the Metro where required".  Joint running is very expensive and difficult, is spoiling and is a complete waste of a mainline railway that should be dedicated 100% to commuter, regional and freight trains, only.  Never trams!  The main work for WBHE does not begin until later this year.  They are still designing it, would you believe!  What has already been wasted on preparatory works, plus the less than £200 m to finish the 120 Kms mainline railway would still be a fraction of the £449.5 m, plus cost overruns of the foolish WBHE scheme that destroys the UK's very last mothballed and, virtually ready built, 120 Kms Black Country Railway.

You wrote, "taking measures to reduce the need to travel".  This needs to be made clearer by saying, "... reduce the need to travel by car."  Although, because of Covid, perhaps, never being completely eradicated and, definitely for ecological reasons anyway, we need to travel less even by bus, train, tram.  And, certainly never by HS2 or plane!

In the 2020 BBC film, 'Extinction: The Facts', Attenborough said,
"Scientists have even linked our destructive relationship with nature to the emergence of Covid-19."
For me, Covid is part of the Climate, Ecological, Nature emergency.  Covid is yet another sign of humans messing things up.  All the time we react and react far too late, rather than preparing for the worst and hoping for the best.  As happened with Covid, we are very complacently in denial until, finally, it comes and hits us in the face.  By then it's all too late, of course!

Anyway, I look forward to meeting with you and others over Zoom and being put on the spot.

Ten specific to Dudley MBC ideas

Ten specific to Dudley MBC ideas:

There are three reasons why the first two are the most urgent.

A) because the £15 billion is being spent now by TfWM/WMCA.  This is regardless of the political party in power at anytime or, who is Metro Mayor.  Democracy has been overlooked for 40 years, this year - it started with the W Mids County Council in 1981!

B) It is the best way and the most painless way to cut greenhouse gases.

C) It also brings the biggest savings in greenhouse gases because: any spending = more finite fossil fuels are used up for ever = more greenhouse gases to dangerously enhance the vital, natural greenhouse effect = unstable climate = risk of ecocide = Earth's 6th mass extinction episode hastened.

  1. More commonly found in E Europe but also throughout the world, one UK political party, called Left Unity, is promoting Fare-Free Public Transport for all and not just my age group.  Paid for by abandoning the £15 billion to 2040 for mainly underground and overground trams replacing buses and some trains.  AIM: To get usage back up, as a reward for not using the car, as compensation and to cut greenhouse gases.
  2. Freight and passenger trains back on the Black Country Railway in Dudley, Sandwell, Walsall and south Staffordshire where they don't put trams, ie 47 Kms still available.  (Also, 68 Kms Derby to Leicester freight-only railway.)
  3. Insulate every council-owned building and put PV on every E, W, S facing roof of all council-owned buildings.
  4. Provide a cycle-walkway on the south grass verge of Duncan Edwards Way.
  5. Major 22 Kms Black Country Cycle-Walk Mudway fixed, especially in the borough of Dudley.
  6. Abandon moving Dudley's 2nd newest leisure centre all of 1 Km.  Yes, 1 Km to Flood St tram stop.  That is 1 Km walking, too according to Google!
  7. Permanently widen pavements in all our town centres to allow parking for the disabled and deliveries only.
  8. Change general waste to the same as recycling, to fortnightly collections.
  9. Co-ordinate council workers and, volunteers like me, to repair/replace every wooden stile to further encourage active travel by walking, NOT by driving as far as possible and as much as possible.
  10. Show the Attenborough film, 'Extinction: the Facts', in work time, to every officer and member of Dudley MBC.

Sunday, 17 January 2021

Twitters to Midland Metro Alliance

 "Concrete has been poured for the retaining wall and paving works." This is spewing out deadly greenhouse gases that is bringing about Attenborough's "collapse of civilisations", "extinction of much of the natural world", "time is running out" warnings, at COP 24 in Dec 2018

"Cement-making accounts for 4-8% of world CO2 emissions, depending on how it is counted." Alastair McIntosh, 'Riders on the Storm', p 149. Pub 2020

Women more caring than men more killing with all our anger, aggression, hostility, wars! Along with construction, you always get destruction from us men. Brum would be a great city, if only you constructors could be satisfied with what we have! Stop the waste of vital finite OIL! 29 Jan 2021

Saturday, 16 January 2021

Is Covid one major kickback from Nature as we humans continue to expand and live in defiance of her?

Is Covid another warning that things are going seriously wrong with the way we run our affairs?

We have over-used and abused our relationship with animals.  Used them for our food, forgetting we are animals, too and, sooner or later we would get our comeuppance.  We have now.

That is why, I think, it is part of the Covid/Climate/Ecological/Nature crisis/emergency.  We need to prepare for climates changing for the worse, as they have been doing for decades.  Changing so decidedly that feeding and drinking will be questionable.

On top of this, we are as dependant on finite fossil fuels for food and drink as we are on other people.  Trapped into a total dependency on something that is so precious, essential but most certainly will, one day, become in short supply.

"Either, we get our numbers and our activities in harmony with the powers of the earth to support life or, collapsing ecosystems will do the job for us."  Green Party manifesto from the 70s or 80s.

Quote from press release over the 2020 £15 bill transport plan

Since February 2020, W Mids Combined Authority has been working on a £15 BILLION to 2040 scheme for mainly Metro "bus on rails" trams, underground and overground, replacing buses and trains when it is electric buses without rails that are needed with Fare-Free Public Transport for all age groups, as reward/compensation for a slightly greater risk of Covid in doing the right thing in using bus, train, tram.

Now, underground tram lines - what a thrill to spill yet more greenhouse gases!
"As part of his re-election campaign, West Midlands Mayor Andy Street has unveiled his ambitious £15bn transport plan for the region. ... At 150 miles long, the ambitious transport network expansion would feature eight new Metro lines, 380 new stops and 21 new rail stations.5 Feb 2020"

Phil, the authorities in the W Mids for 50 years, have had the weird idea that homes, shops, offices, roads and, "bus on rails" trams are meant to go on railway lines.  They are still at it by breaking up the UK's only mothballed mainline railway "of national strategic significance" into multi-modal transport with trams, a test track and an extended cycle-walkway.  This is the 120 Kms Black Country Railway being broken up when it is already built as a mainline railway!  NO WONDER WE NEED HS2, for stopping at a few cities but still need inter-city lines for the existing stations.  And, of course, to nicely accelerate the runaway greenhouse effect as we, maybe, turning earth into venus, our sister or twin planet.  Nov 2020