Wednesday, 27 January 2010

Boris lambasted by transport consultants

This from TransportXtra:

In an unusual step for a transport consultant, Colin Buchanan has spelt out its transport vision for the capital in response to the Mayor's draft transport strategy.

The consultant is critical of some of the mayor's priorities, such as the plan to scrap the western extension of the central London congestion charge, replace bendy buses and commission a new bus design for the capital. “In the present financial circumstances the mayor needs all the sources of revenue possible and not to incur expenditure which provides no improvement in transport services, for example the replacement Routemaster,” said Colin Buchanan chairman Andreas Markides.
I agree with both those points, as I have written before. The abolition of the western extension to the charging zone is merely pandering to the selfishness of Kensington petrolheads who no doubt vote Tory, and runs altogether counter to any conception of a sensible transport policy. The replacement of bendy buses is just an absurd hobby-horse of Boris Johnson's, on which I have written several times, most recently last February. Dave Cole also devoted a good deal of attention to this issue, notably here.

The TransportXtra article continues:
The consultant suggests that bus travel could be made more attractive by allowing Oystercard holders to make unlimited boardings of buses within 90 minutes of the first boarding without an additional charge.
Something of the kind was one of the relatively few interesting ideas put forward by Brian Paddick as LibDem candidate for Mayor. I was always impressed with the system in Brussels when we lived there: you pay a flat rate ticket for one hour's use of the whole city transport network, however many times you change buses or trams or metros in that period. It does seem arbitrary and inequitable that people whose journey happens to necessitate a change of bus should pay twice as much as those whose journey happens to be all on one route.

UPDATE: This from Boris Watch: New Bus For London – Costs Shoot Up, from which it appears that this wholly unnecessary project is going to cost us Council Tax payers over £11 million, and that only includes the first five vehicles.

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Useless Thameslink, part 94

Another light coating of snow, another near-total collapse of the Thameslink suburban service:

It is hard to avoid the suspicion that Messrs First Crapital so-called Connect are simply not trying.

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Living on rations

My friends Jamie and Chris are trying to live on World War 2 rations for a month as an experiment. So far they are still alive. No doubt it helps that Jamie is an excellent cook. Follow their progress throughout January at On The Ration.