Archive for Why I will never get employed as a Transport correspondent

Lib Dems Expecting Long Recession

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Engineering, Even Stevie Wonder Saw That Coming, Posts that are far longer than I first intended, Tenuous Link of the Day, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , on September 17, 2011 by awickerman

Vince Cable has decreed we need more toll roads to save us all from the slow down in growth. There are two possible conclusions one can draw from this;

  1. He’s expecting a very, very, very long recession OR
  2. He’s an idiot.

Considering the example he gave of the M6 Toll motorway that took 23 years to go from consultation on route (options published 1980) to actually opening to traffic (December 2003). Even if one is generous that it is the construction work and not the road itself that is the object of the exercise that still took took two decades. If we’re still in a recession in 2030 I think the one thing that will be certain is that some new toll roads wont help.

Slightly more seriously even I would note that Vince appears to be asking for something no-one in the private sector actually wants to do (note he wants the private sector to actually build and operate theses new roads). The M6 Toll extension died a death because the traffic levels on the original stretch were ‘disappointing’, the Welsh plan for an M4 Toll never got beyond grand announcements and the SNP  turned against toll roads once they found out there was no way to make it free for Scots while still charging English motorists.

Honestly a bit of faffing about with payment methods is not going to change any of that so I am therefore compelled to think that option 2 is the correct conclusion. Which frankly is a relief, a two decade recession sounded a bit grim frankly.

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Snow, Concorde and BAA

Posted in And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Posts that are far longer than I first intended, Rantings, Your cut-out-and-keep Guide with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 23, 2010 by awickerman

So BAA has apparently refused to let untrained (and un-security checked) people amble about it’s airport cleaning up snow.

Can I suggest that this recent event may have concentrated minds at BAA, Continental getting a large fine (and staff getting a suspended sentence) is a timely reminder that very small bits of debris can bring down a plane. If the hordes of random staff bugger up the cleaning, maybe leaving tools on the ground or missing patches of black ice, and a plane subsequently falls out of the sky (or fails to take off) then it doesn’t take much imagination to see BAA in the dock and facing corporate manslaughter.

If I were BAA, running at 99% capacity most of the time and with a queue of airlines looking for landing slots longer than the runway, I’d not risk prison to get the airport open. It’s not like Lufthansa or any of the other whinging airlines are going to relocate to Luton is it?

Just to make it clear though, they are a bunch of inept idiots who really, really shouldn’t be allowed to run a major airport. But then what do you expect from Spaniards?

A Gift I Think Will Keep On Giving

Posted in Almost Beyond Words, And thus the Mystery was solved Watson!, Engineering, Posts that are far longer than I first intended, The Idiocy and Ignorance of Gilligan, The Underground, Tunnels with tags , , , , , , on December 20, 2010 by awickerman

While it’s too early to be sure I think pointing and laughing at Andrew Gilligan is going to be a gold mine of lazy posts. Here is a gem from a couple of days ago;

Another interesting thing, though, is that several of the delays weren’t snow-related, but due to signal failures, train breakdowns and the like.

Without any information either way the options are either the signalling system and trains failed due to the extreme cold and snow OR all suffered unrelated failures at exactly the same time. Honestly which is more likely, not that I’m saying TfL have an excuse for being surprised by snow, but I think we can safely say pretty much all the problems were snow and cold related. But then what can you expect from an idiot who says things like this;

substantial proportion of its network is protected from snow by being underground (including about 95% of the Circle Line, which nonetheless still manages to suffer “severe delays.”)

What could possibly cause that problem? Let’s have a quick quiz, could it be;

  1. That the Circle Line, like all London Underground Lines is run at pretty much peak capacity so delays on the 5% above ground would quickly ripple through the entire system?
  2. That the Circle Line shares track with the Hammersmith & City Line, District Line and Metropolitan Line and so suffers knock on delays whenever they fail?
  3. That the Circle Line uses 1960s vintage ‘C’ stock trains that, barring the Metropolitan and Victoria Line stock that is being replaced at present, is the oldest and least reliable on the network?
  4. That it’s well established LUL procedure that the Circle Line gets knocked out first and suffers the biggest problem as it’s least-critical (i.e. doesn’t go anywhere other lines don’t also service).
  5. All of the above, hence why the Circle Line is historically the least reliable of all
  6. Something else

If you said anything from 1-4, you scored 5 points, well done. If you said 5,  you score 10 point, well done. If you said 7, you were doing a different quiz, well done.

However if you said 6 then I’m afraid you score no points. You’ve managed to stoop down to Gilligan’s level and can probably fake brain activity low enough to write his blog for him. Commiserations.

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