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Friday 31 July 2009

usa USA Roundup
  • From LA City Watch - "Congestion Pricing: Fast Roads for the Rich"   Daily Breeze - "Tolls for all freeway users would annoy everyone equally".

  • Sundry stories - Louisiana - "Tolls on Leeville Bridge resume Monday"   Virginia - "VDOT gives preliminary OK to tunnel, freeway expansions"   Texas - "Transportation Commission passes toll road amnesty"   New York - "Audit criticizes Thruway Authority's borrowing practices"   New York - "City To Pay MTA For Employee Commutes" video.
    West Virginia - "Toll Hike Protest A Go On WV Turnpike"   West Virginia - "Toll increase"   Pennsylvania - "Efforts for putting tolls on I-80 restarted"     Pennsylvania - "I-80 toll proposal nears critical time"   Massachusetts - "Frustrated drivers, including some in Wellesley, sue over Pike tolls"   Washington State - "30,000 solo drivers used HOT lanes in 1st year".

    china Chinese Con proposal
  • China Daily - "Drivers want brake on congestion tax in S China". (Guangzhou is China's third largest metropolitan area after Beijing and Shanghai.)

    britain" £2 a litre?
  • Telegraph - "We have to find a solution to gridlock somehow".
    What David Millward and others forget is that 80 to 90% of the money that drivers already pay is not spent on the roads. If a higher proportion of existing taxes was used to improve the roads system then congestion would be reduced. Shifting more of the existing tax on to fuel makes sense, but two pounds a litre is outrageous.

    japan Stay at home
  • Japan's main opposition party say that they will get rid of the tolls that the Government has already reduced. One suprising result result of the reduction that has already taken place is that, according to a survey by Dentsu Research Inc, less Japanese will be travelling abroad with 35 percent of those traveling within Japan giving as a reason the reduction in expressway tolls.

    britain" Parking tax to pay for trams
  • BBC - "Tories attack office parking levy"   Telegraph - "Motorists in Nottingham to face Britain's first workplace parking levy"   Telegraph - "Motorists to pay £250 tax for parking at work"   Nottingham Evening Post - "Transport Minister: Tram tax delay a "fantastic coup""   Nottingham Evening Post - "Nottingham tram extension set to go ahead" lot of comments   Transport Briefing - "Nottingham tram PFI deal and parking levy approved"   Daily Express - "Workers To Be Hit By Parking Tax"   Daily Mail - "Motorists to pay £250 for parking at work under new Government scheme".
    This scheme started out in life as a TIF bid by the East Midlands authorities. But the bid fizzled out with Nottingham going it alone. The carrot of TIF money was replaced with money out of a tram schemes pot.

    london Con charge change
  • Evening Standard - "Automatic C-charge payment to beat fines"   BBC - "Instant pay system for C-charge".
    Making the charge easier to pay will be welcome for those who have through forgetfulness ended up with a fine, but what we really want is an end to the Con. For a start, perhaps TfL could say when the western extension will go?
    PS Later report (Neither TfL nor the Mayor have issued a press relaese, strange.) - Dave Hill in the Guardian - "Boris Johnson: more congestion news".

    britain" Toll increase on Humber bridge vetoed
  • BBC - "No rise for Humber Bridge tolls"   Hull Daily Mail - "We still want bridge tolls to be scrapped"   Grimsby Telegraph - "Government says no to Humber Bridge toll rise"   Hull Daily Mail - "Humber Bridge tolls hike is rejected"   Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Bridge board asks for Government meeting"   Hull Daily Mail - "Government rejects Humber Bridge tolls hike".

    Thursday 30 July 2009

    usa USA Roundup
  • Another story about the Urban Land Institute report which pushes for tolls on most main roads - Fleet Owner - "GHGs and Transportation Policy".
    The groups behind this have also started a new website - Moving Cooler.

  • The latest Quinnipiac poll shows that most New Yorkers are still opposed to tolls on the free bridges and opposed to "congestion pricing" - Empire State News - "NYC voters like car-free Times Square, college poll finds".

  • More tolls pushing - Freep (Michigan) - "Kicking the tires on tolls".

  • Sundry stories - Texas - "The future of toll roads discussed in San Angelo"   Texas - "Amnesty program for toll road violators" video   North Carolina - "Turnpike board starts spending for toll road"   Land Line Mag - "State watchdog group tells lawmakers how to pay for Louisiana roads".

    netherlands chimaera A bit on the Dutch road toll plan
  • Ertico (official European trolls) - "News update on the Dutch Road Pricing project".

    spain Price increases offset traffic reductions for Spanish troll
  • WSJ - "Abertis 1H Pft Flat, Toll Hikes Offset Traffic Drop".

    britain" Cars and buses
  • Association of British Drivers - "Cars ARE cleaner than buses".
    One thing you can say for buses is that they don't require the massive subsidies that are used on trains and trams.

    britain" RAC Foundation report on views on what to do about congestion
  • Foundation - "Motorists Vote For Traffic Jams Over Public Transport" there are links at bottom to full report and to tables (869 pages).
    As usual the drivers are conned. On "congestion charging" they were told that it was "with the revenue generated solely being used to make significant improvements in local transport". Surveyees were not told that half or more of the income would be wasted on the cost of collection and enforcement. On motorway tolling they were told that this was if there "was a reduction in taxes relating to driving". The chances of drivers not having to pay more overall is zero.
    One good sign is that it seems that as time goes by, more of the people taking part in these surveys are not misled by the way that the questions are asked.

    india Indian toll review
  • Indian Express - "Toll policy for National Highways to be reviewed".

    scotland More disinformation
  • The Labour Depute leader of South Lanarkshire Council says that if tolls had been kept on the Forth bridge it would have paid for a £2.5 billion housing programme - East Kilbride News - "McCann hits back in housing debate". In fact the tolls on the Forth bridge were not £250 milion a year they were £12 million which after the cost of collecting and administering them would have been about £10 million.

    Wednesday 29 July 2009

    australia Aussies unhappy with e-tolls
  • Fraser Coast Chronicle - "Cashless toll system driving users mad".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Bit more on the report from the Urban Land Institute which pushes for tolls on most main roads - Examiner - "First of its kind? study findings promising; huge consumer, GHG emissions reduction benefits likely"   Streetsblog - "How Soon Will Cutting Transportation Emissions Save Money?".

  • Massachusetts - Daily News Tribune - "Waltham residents join suit against Massachusetts Turnpike"   Boston Herald - "Tim Cahill fuels fight to cut out tolls footing Big Dig"   NECN - "Broadside: Turnpike lawsuit" video   Boston Herald - "Lawyer: Cahill signals Pike toll alternatives".

  • Sundry stories - Texas - "Drive time"   West Virginia - "Turnpike toll boost to kick in Saturday"   Louisiana - "Lafourche officials vote for residents to be exempted from tolls"   Land Line Mag - "Virginia’s new governor will inherit transportation migraine"   Texas - "County to seek Grand Parkway stimulus funding"   Louisiana - "Tolls lifted after glitch stalls traffic".

    britain" More stupidity
  • BBC - "City relief road plans rejected". The Government say that they oppose a road or bypass as it would attract traffic and slow down journey times. Though the report says that most of the traffic is because of the building of new homes to accommodate the extra people that the Government wants Hereford to take. Perhaps these people can all live in tents and hitch a lift on a horse and cart to the local job centre to sign on.

    britain" Janus view on the Weather
  • BBC - "Met Office cools summer forecast".
    The weather forecasters apologise when we don't have "good" weather. Strange as they are the same people who say that we have to avoid global warming aka "climate change" at any cost. Though they still look on the warm side. The official Met Office report for June, which most people experienced as cold and breezy, says that "Mean temperatures were up to 1.5 °C above the 1971-2000 normal across the UK.". Even for this dismal month the Met Office say that "temperatures have been around or above normal". Do they need a new thermometer?
    The latest report on Space Weather shows no sunspots. If the number of days without sunspots continues at the level so far experienced in 2009, it will be the lowest level since 1913.

    Tuesday 28 July 2009

    europe Euro troll consultation
  • Two weeks ago the DfT issued a consultation invitation on "On The European Commission Communication: A Sustainable Future For Transport: Towards An Integrated, Technology-Led And User Friendly System". The documents mentions "on-board units and global positioning systems for tolling" and "Congestion charges, which ... can provide funding for expansion of infrastructure or for alternative transport solutions". Strangely they did not invite us! The deadline for responses is 30 September.

    britain" Traffic and congestion down
  • Some DfT statistics issued on the 25th June which we missed - "Road Statistics 2008: Traffic, Speeds and Congestion" links to data are at top right.
    About the only news report on this was this a brief complaint by Mike Rutherford on 3 July in the Telegraph. He commented on how low (four minutes, eight seconds per mile) average speeds were. In fact that is the speed in the major urban areas in the morning peak. Outside of those areas traffic speeds are a lot faster.

    usa USA Roundup
  • The trolls at the Urban Land Institute (see story on 22nd July) have produced another report which pushes tolls (mainly in the form of "VMT fees") in a really big way. They want tolls on most main roads - to save the world - "Moving Cooler - An Analysis of Transportation Strategies for Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions" !!WARNING this is a 30Mb Pdf file!!. The report is a joint report with other bodies including environmental interest groups, Federal authorities and - Shell.
    The report barely mentions the possibility of a gas tax increase, oddly one reason seems to be that they expect there to be a shift to more fuel efficient vehicles!
    Report in NY Times - "U.S. Can Cut Half Its Carbon Emissions From Transportation by 2050, Report Says".

  • Toll respite - Times-Picayune - "System glitches, high demand delay tolls on Leeville bridge"   Times-Picayune - "Leeville Bridge tolls temporarily suspended"   WDSU - "System Glitches Prompt Temporary Halt To La. 1 Toll"   WWL - "Tolls suspended on LA 1 Leeville Bridge".

  • From Terri Hall - Examiner - "Adkisson becomes Chair, declares war on toll roads".

  • A change from the usual tolls pushing in some papers - Lawrence Journal World (Kansas) - "Highway funds".

  • Massachusetts Pike law suit - Wicked - "Cahill 'deeply concerned' by toll equity suit, wants settlement"   Boston Globe - "Cahill calls for action on Pike lawsuit"   Boston Herald - "Pike: Tim Cahill crossed line on toll suit memo"   Boston Herald - "Cahill blasts Deval on Pike lawsuit".

  • Sundry stories - North Carolina - "Merger of Turnpike Authority with DOT shouldn't affect Cape Fear Skyway".
    West Virginia - "Turnpike authority gears up for Saturday's toll hike"   New York - "EZ Pass Violators Cost Thruway Millions" video   New York - "Councilman Urges Relief for Tolls and Traffic".

    london Residents' beef
  • London Informer - "Mayor Boris has congestion charge fight on his hands". One of the odd features of the London Con Zone is that due to the 90% discount for residents, some people are better off living inside the zone.
    At the end of the story it says - "A spokesman for Boris Johnson said there would be a period of public consultation over the proposal to remove the western extension to the congestion charge." Have we not alreday had it?

    britain" More on the Accidental toll free trial
  • Kent Online - "At last - tolls are barrier to free-flowing traffic".

    britain" House price fall stopped
  • BBC - "First 2009 rise for house prices".

    vietnam Hanoi "People’s Committee" wants Con charge
  • Vietnam Net - "HCMC seeks gov’t permission for road price scheme".

    london London beats Durham for a dead end idea
  • Durham beat London into introducing a "congestion charge". Durham also has the record for the world's smallest con zone - one street. But London must have a record for this - Evening Standard - "£8 C-charge fee for road to nowhere".

    japan The Democratic Party of Japan issues its Manifesto for the General Election
  • CCTV - "Japan's Democratic Party unveils manifesto for election".

    ireland No Irish drivers fighting toll fines
  • Independent - "M50 court cases go uncontested".

    singapore chimaera A few price changes
  • Straits Times - "Lower ERP rates".

    Monday 27 July 2009

    europe chimaera "Intelligent transport raises privacy concerns"
  • Thanks to Brian for pointing out this story in "Euractiv" last Thursday.

    britain" Where the TIF did the money go?
  • Cross Rail News - "Transport Innovation Fund raided to finance Crossrail".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - Louisiana - "DOTD opens toll bridge even though promised kiosks are not ready"   California - "Toll fees could rise to help state bridge economic gaps".
    West Virginia - "Turnpike toll hike fast approaching"   New York - "Toll break proposed for Staten Island drivers".

    britain" Progress report on inflating the economy
  • Bank of England - "Asset Purchase Facility Quarterly Report". The bank is creating money "ex nihilio" and mainly (96%) using it to buy back Government formal debt.

    britain" Bit more on David Cameron supports road tolls
  • Telegraph - "Motorists to pay tolls for new roads under Tory plans"   Telegraph - "David Cameron's right on road tolls".

    Sunday 26 July 2009

    britain" David Cameron supports road tolls
  • An earlier story from the BBC which we headed ".... Tories prepare to take over the Kamikaze Airways" did not reveal what David Cameron said about tolls. These later stories mentions it - Reuters - "Rich must pay "fair share" -UK opposition leader"   Telegraph - "The rich, politicians and motorists will have to pay, says Cameron. And that's just for starters".
    The stories are based on the BBC interview by Andrew Marr (34.30 minutes in). The question asked was "What about charges for ... roads, driving on roads?". David Cameron's answer was "We are happy to look at road tolls. I don't think that the eye in the sky big Government scheme they were planning was going to work. But separate road tolls? If you look at the one road toll that has been built - the Birmingham Relief Road - great success, a Conservative idea, so yes very happy to look at them.".
    This not only confirms suspicions as to Tory plans, it also shows that David Cameron does not know what he is talking about.

    usa USA Roundup
  • From Terri Hall in Texas - Examiner - "Smackdown at policy board: plot afoot to strip power from opponent of toll roads".

  • Sundry stories - New York - "Not just a problem for Grand Isle"   Oklahoma - "Toll roads still a bargain"   New Jersey - "Route 55 expansion debate revived"   Indiana - "The future, according to the Tokarskis"   Texas - "Why tolls are unfair"   Florida - "Who put that toll road there?".

    canada Complaint about who pays on new bridge
  • BClocal - "B.C. must find way to toll out-of-province trucks crossing Golden Ears Bridge".

    britain" ABD press release on how the BBC reported on the MPs report on road taxes
  • "Road Pricing Supporters Given Easy Ride by BBC".

    britain" Chancellor urges banks to go for broke while Tories prepare to take over the Kamikaze Airways
  • BBC - "Darling warns banks on loan rates"   BBC - "Economic mess daunting - Cameron"   BBC - "Banking costs 'put up mortgages'".

    Saturday 25 July 2009

    usa USA Roundup
  • Truckers prefer gas tax - ETrucker - "Stakeholders pitch road funding ideas".

  • Selling tolls in Kansas - Lawrence World - "State ponders charging mileage fees" video and Connecticut - NY Times - "Touchy Subject of Tolls Is Back in Connecticut".

  • Pennsylanian pols still want more tolls - McCall - "Turnpike plans 2nd pitch for I-80 tolls"   Land Line Mag - "Pennsylvania Senate poised to vote on privatization bill for roads, bridges".

  • Sundry stories - New York - "Firemen are exempt from tolls on new bridge, ambulances are not"   Florida - "Expressway board accepts blue-ribbon report, doesn't revisit toll hike".

    britain" Bit more on MPs report on road taxes
  • Independent - "Leading article: On the road of mistrust"   Cambridge News - "Trying to find a new way forward".
    Many commentators appear to be still misled by those who advocate one form or another of road tolls. The Independent says that "there is a good case for asking drivers to bear the cost of carbon emissions, through road pricing and other means". We already have VERY high fuel duties and if reducing "carbon emissions" is the aim, then it would be daft to move away from fuel taxes.
    In Cambridge they say that they would support road tolls if "fiscally neutral". It seems that they are unaware of how much it costs to run these schemes, though at least the story provides further confirmation that the chairman of Cambridge's "Transport Commission" is a supporter of "road pricing".

    canada Less traffic on new bridge
  • BClocal - "Golden Ears bridge traffic drops as tolls kick in".

    britain" Who's fault?
  • BBC - "Traffic wardens 'made to ticket'". The war on drivers is not the fault of the wardens or the companies that employ many of them. It is the fault of drivers who do nothing to oppose the anti motorist policies of local Councils (of all parties).

    britain" london Recycling buses?
  • BBC (today) - "Bendy bus scheme planned for city"   BBC (Friday) - "Bendy buses taken out of service". As Bristol politicians want to introduce "congestion charging", there may be a link. Is it that bendy buses create congestion and give politicians an excuse to charge for it?

    britain" PM not enough of a Global warming fanatic
  • BBC - "PM criticised over climate change".

    Friday 24 July 2009

    usa USA Roundup
  • LA's plans for lanes for the rich - LA Times - "MTA changes course, opening carpool lanes to solo drivers -- for a fee"   Daily Breeze - "Single drivers can pay tolls to use carpool lanes starting in Dec. 2010"   LA Times - "L.A. transportation officials approve letting solo drivers pay a toll to use carpool lanes" lot of comments.

  • Administration ponders - DC Streetsblog - "Obama Admin Declines to Consider New Funding for Transportation".

  • Sundry stories - Washington State / Oregon - "'No alternative' to tolls "   Florida - "Heated Meeting At Expressway Headquarters"   Florida - "Lee County toll proposal gets the gate"   Massachusetts - "Turnpike owed $$$ in fast lane fines".
    California - "Commuters may see the bridge tolls rise by $1 in early 2010"   Oklahoma - "Brogdon: Time To Put Brakes On Turnpike Authority"   North Carolina - "The Road: Lightning rod of controversy"   New York - "Grand Isle residents should register for toll reimbursement".

    usa australia More on Cross your fingers
  • - "Australian Toll Road Firm Continues Downward Spiral".

    singapore chimaera More on New road traffic approaching toll level
  • Asia One - "KPE traffic volume jumps by 30%".

    ireland Car ban in part of Dublin
  • Herald - "City car ban is good for customers -- taxi drivers". Could taxis being favoured be something to do with who rides in them?

    britain" Report on roads conference
  • Public Service - "Paying to use our roads – is that the way ahead?". We expect the RAC Foundation to push road tolls, but there is more confirmation that road tolls is part of what the Tories will not tell the voters till after the next General Election.

    britain" Park and ride
  • Public Service - "Another route to tackling congestion".

    zimbabwe Zimbabwe tolls delay
  • Financial Gazette - "Introdcution of tollgates hits snag".

    britain" Tolls fight goes to Downing street
  • Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Leader takes bridge tolls fight to No 10".

    usa britain" "Charging for roads"
  • FT - "Road charging and political reality".

    britain" More on MPs report on road taxes
  • BBC - "Parking levy procedure 'flawed'"   BBC - "Road taxes: Your views"   BBC - "The real cost"   Guardian - "Road tax rage" (interesting that the only choice given is more taxes or "pay as you drive").
    ABD - "Transport Committee Tax Report is a Welcome Dose of Realism"   "FTA applauds Select Committee's common sense approach"   "RAC Foundation Responds To Taxes And Charges Report".

    britain" Car production in June down 30% but this is good news
  • It is "good" news because previous falls were even worse - BBC - "Decline in UK car output slowing"   SMMT - "June UK vehicle production figures".

    britain" Economy still going down
  • BBC - "UK economy continues to contract"   ONS - "Gross domestic product Preliminary estimate - 2nd Quarter 2009" pdf.

    earth More nonsense
  • BBC - "Clouds in climate 'vicious cycle'". Global Warming preachers would have you believe almost anything, but the suggestion that less clouds means it will be hotter is the opposite of what they normally preach, as water vapour is the main "greenhouse" gas..

    britain" Tolled bypass back on the drawing board but without tolls
  • BBC - "Controversial plan back on track". (This scheme was originally part of an intended TIF submission - see 23 July 2007 news.)

    britain" Nihilist victory
  • BBC - "Cameron hails 'historic' poll win". The story says that there has been a 16.5% "swing from Labour to the Tories". In fact the Tories got less votes than last time. The real swing is against all the parties. And when it comes to driving, the Tories have done nothing to indicate that they are any less bad than Labour.

    britain" MPs report on road taxes - we give them two out of ten
  • BBC - "Drivers 'distrust' road tax spend"   Independent - "Motoring taxes 'tarnished eco image'"   Daily Mail - "Pay-as-you-drive scheme could be alternative to car tax, say MPs"   Daily Miror - "'Let car toll volunteers off road tax'"   Guardian - "MPs urge 'pay as you drive' to counter road tax scepticism"   Daily Telegraph - "MPs call for motorists to take part in voluntary road pricing scheme".
    Transport Select Committee report - "Taxes and charges on road users" (pdf).
    The committee have recognised the obvious fact that fuel duty is widely regarded as a fairer and better tax than charges which are not related to roads use such as vehicle excise duty. The committee have however turned a blind eye to the fact that the Government makes about fifty billion pounds in taxes from roads users and only spends about one seventh of that on building and maintaining roads.
    It is clear that the MPs want drivers to continue paying these high taxes and that their preference is for what they call "road pricing" and "congestion charging". Drivers know that these are really road tolls and don't want them. The Committee know that drivers don't want tolls and that the Government realises that their widespread introduction would be a vote loser. But the committee still says that "there are sound economic arguments" in their favour and that "the central London congestion charge has shown that it can work in practice." The committee are deluded about the economics. These schemes are very expensive to set up and run, and the London one has achieved the almost impossible feat of hurting local retail businesses while failing to improve traffic speeds.
    Our submission to the Transport Select Committee report (pdf).
    The committee seem to have been mesmerised by what they believe to be the success of schemes overseas and have particularly praised the Dutch who plan to replace their very high vehicle tax with a distance based road toll. It would be far easier and cheaper for the Dutch to increase fuel duty rather than bring in road tolls, and if the Dutch were to do so then they would also help to reduce vehicle emissions.
    The Committee have in any case ignored the fact that the Dutch have low tax rates on diesel. Diesel engines can produce far more of the most dangerous emissions such as fine particulate matter. It makes no sense that British MPs should be praising a country which will continue to tax diesel fuel at a lower rate than petrol. This tax difference also gives Dutch and other foreign hauliers an advantage over British hauliers. The committee's answer to this is that all lorries on British roads should pay tolls. Such a scheme has already been rejected (July 2005) by the Government as it would have been too expensive to set up and run. If MPs were concerned about the British haulage industry, rather than proposing new taxes here they would instead press for petrol and diesel fuel taxes to be harmonised in Europe.

    Overall the MPs deserve no more than two out of ten for this report.

    Thursday 23 July 2009

    usa USA Roundup
  • From anti toll campaigner, Terry Hall - National Examiner - "Why the fuss about toll roads in Texas?".

  • Sundry stories - New York - "Build Your Own Toll and Transit Plan With the Balanced Transportation Analyzer".
    New Jersey - "Close cash till on toll roads"   Oklahoma - "Roadside rest stop, creating a stink"   Rhode Island - "Few oppose toll hikes for Pell Bridge"   Oklahoma - "Don’t like pike hike".

    britain" Tip of the Fraud Iceberg?
  • Sunday Telegraph - "Fraudsters target tax on carbon credits".

    japan Japan moves nearer to no tolls road
  • Earlier this week the Japanese Parliament was dissolved ahead of a General Election which is due at the end of August. It is widely believed that the Liberal Democratic Party which has controlled Japan for most of the last fifty years will lose to the Democratic Party of Japan who's policies include improving child care, increasing interest rates on savings, reducing fuel taxes and completely removing most road tolls (recently reduced by the LDP Government).
    Attack by LDP on DPJ - Japan Times - "LDP cartoon ad attacks DPJ vows".
    This is an extract from the DPJ 2007 Manifesto -
    "Local communities will be revitalized and distribution costs reduced through more effective utilization of these highways. The opaque Special Highway Account and public officials-led bid rigging will be investigated... The elimination of tolls will reduce costs. In addition, by allowing the number of on and off ramps to be increased, toll-free local highways will be reborn as traffic arteries that are integrated into the community life. Other expected benefits include an increase in job opportunities, an expansion in commuting range and a reduction in the time and cost of transportation of agricultural, animal and marine products to consumer markets, which will lead to the reinforcement of the business foundations of producers of agricultural, forestry and fishery products.".

    singapore chimaera A novel way of charging for roads
  • Asia One - "Base road tolls on speed limits".

    britain" chimaera More opposition to Con in Reading area
  • Wokingham Times - "Wokingham opposes road charges linked to third Thames bridge"   Get Reading - "Third bridge cash at risk".

    britain" chimaera In denial
  • Rochdale Online - "Transport spend is not 'Plan B' says Council leader".
    PS More Plan B spending - South Manchester Reporter - "It's lemon fresh TIF".

    britain" chimaera Micro Plan B
  • Birmingham Post - "Birmingham's Metro extension plan receives Government backing".

    britain" chimaera More on Cambridge Tolls plan
  • The Government passes the parcel back to the County - Cambridge News- "Response from Government over transport report".

    britain" More on - No tolls for Forest
  • Bournemouth Echo - "Road tolls u-turn in New Forest".

    britain" Bit more on Wobble
  • Grimsby Telegraph - "'Most would agree' with Humber Bridge cuts, says minister".

    Wednesday 22 July 2009

    sweden No tolls for Swedish lorries
  • Sweden has rejected proposals for a lorry toll. The Government said that it would have been unfair to many businesses.

    britain" No tolls for Forest
  • This is Hampshire - "National Park Authority rule out road tolls for New Forest".

    thailand Thai toll tags
  • The Nation - "New 'drive through' toll collection system".

    britain" Wobble
  • Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Minister supports bridge toll reduction".

    usa australia Cross your fingers
  • Eyewitness News - "Company that leased toll road denies bankruptcy rumors".
    Whatever the difficulties, the powers that control the world will never let it be seen that a troll has failed, though that may not help the shareholders.

    usa USA Roundup
  • Florida seems to be already saturated with tolls, but they are looking for more - Miami Today - "Miami-Dade Expressway Authority taking look at broad range of projects".

  • Trolls pushing tolls, congestion pricing and mileage charges - Urban Land Institute - "Infrastructure 2009: Pivot Point" pdf. (The Urban Land Institute is mainly a developers organization.)

  • Another suggestion for border toll, along with the idea of selling the liquor stores - Free Lance Star - "Virginia border tolls are urged"   Daily Press - "McDonnell's roads plan: Sell liquor to pay for roads".

  • Dallas Morning News - "Anyone joining the toll-road boycott?".

  • Orders from the sherrif - Express Star (Oklahoma) - "Grady sheriff to open annex in Tuttle".

  • A suggestion that Florida has to keep on building toll roads because of the congestion caused by - toll roads - Examiner - "Orlando Expressway Authority making traffic worse".

  • A lobby group that whispers - Streetsblog - "Know Your Road Lobbyists: The American Highway Users Alliance".
    The AHU Alliance's position on tolls is "middle of the road". They do not oppose existing or proposed toll roads or toll lanes, but thet are against tolling a currently free road - AHUA website.

  • Sundry stories - Louisiana - "La. should raise gas tax to pay for roads, group says"   New York - "Island residents say toll reprieve is grand"   West Virginia - "Toll-free entertainment: No need to travel turnpike for shopping, recreation"   West Virginia - "Keep moving!   Bypassing turnpike will cause more problems than it solves"   California - "MTC looks at $1 hike in regional bridge tolls"   Texas - "Toll roads getting multi-million dollar makeover" video   Rhode Island - "Speak Out on Proposed Pell Bridge Toll Hikes" video.

    Some older stories - Texas - "NTTA spent millions on landscaping"   West Virginia - "Beaver woman says delegate’s toll plan terrible suggestion"   Land Line Mag - "Dallas area tolls to increase ahead of schedule"   Florida - "Drivers Outraged By Orange Co. Toll Increases".

    britain" Accidental toll free trial
  • Kent Online - "Now let's scrap crossing tolls!".

    london Good Samaritan charged
  • One we missed on Sunday -Observer - "Letting an ambulance pass cost my son £120 - Moving out of the way took motorist into congestion charge zone".

    singapore chimaera Jam in tolls capital
  • Asia One - "Orchard Road in a big jam".

    japan Why or if?
  • Mainichi - "Why are there tolls for Japanese expressways?". The story does not mention the corruption that took place. Though as the main opposition party has promised to remove tolling, the question "why?" may soon not be needed.

    kenya More on Toll plans for Kenya
  • - "Move With Care On Roads Privatisation".

    britain" Latest Monetary Policy Cttee minutes
  • Bank of England (pdf).

    britain" chimaera Trolls back road tolls but obscure their plan with Cambridge Fog
  • Yesterday the "Commission" that was to decide on whether a TIF road tolls plan should go ahead announced their verdict. Our prediction was that they would do what the Tory politicians at the County wanted and rubber stamp the plan. But the Commission have obsured their recommendation and tried to give people the impression that there might not be road tolls - Cambridge News- "Commission 'has put us on right road'"   BBC - "Congestion charge plans put off"   Cambridge News - "Road tolls 'should be put on hold until 2017'"   Cambs24 - "Cambridgeshire Deserves and Needs Multi Million Pound Investment Says Study"   Hunts Post - "Commission Backs Urgent Cambridge Road-pricing Bid"   Cambridge News - "Road tolls are last resort, says commission".
    It will be interesting to see how the Government react. Labour would have given an enthusiastic welcome to a clear Tory plan for road tolls, but it is likely that they will ignore this disguised plan till after the General election.
    Commission website   The Council's official reaction which manages not to mention tolls".

    britain" Toll decision on holiday
  • Scunthorpe Telegraph - "MPs on holiday before bridge poll decision".

    indonesia chimaera Road pricing may replace car sharing
  • Jakarta Globe - "Projects’ Impact on Traffic to Be Gauged".

    canada Tolls ahead for Vancouver
  • Globe and Mail - "Mayors kick off quest for ways to fund transportation system".

    canada Only locals have to pay
  • BC Local - "For some, Golden Ears does not toll".
    There is also a letter complaining about the registering - BC Local - "Prepaying to use new bridge is not fair".

    singapore chimaera New road traffic not yet at toll level
  • Straits Times - "KPE traffic up 30%".

    australia Tolls booths gone but not tolls
  • Brisbane Times - "Last bell tolls for motorway collectors".

    ulster A new road for Northern Ireland
  • BBC - "Minister announces new A5 route".

    britain" Inflation pump stopping?
  • The provisional figures for Broad money (M4) released on Monday show that inflation actually dropped a bit in June, though the cumulative 12 monthly increase is 14.2% - Bank of England news release.

    india More toll pushing in India
  • Rediff - "The maladministration of Kerala".

    Saturday 18 July 2009

    britain" ABD query CO2 targets
  • press release - "Doomed CO2 Policy is Based on Climate Astrology".

    britain" Another session of MPs discussing roads
  • Transport Cttee meetings page, the page includes a link to live video of the hearing which is on Monday at 3.20 pm.

    zimbabwe Zimbabwe to bring in tolls
  • The Herald - "Toll fees announced".

    Friday 17 July 2009

    m6toll australia M6 Toll decline slowing
  • The latest quarterly traffic figures were published today by the Australian owners of the M6 Toll. They show another fall in traffic but the rate of decline is slowing. For more detail see our - M6 traffic page.
    In Australia they are looking on the bright side - Sydney Morning Herald - "Traffic levels show MIG is on the road again".

    usa USA Roundup
  • A story that we missed a week ago, with the Economist pushing tolls - "Congestion may be down, but America is stuck".

  • A letter questioning the logic behind toll inceases - Tulsa World - "Higher tolls?".

  • Louisiana - "Tolls are a necessary evil"   Texas - "Rates on Dallas-area toll roads to rise Sept. 1"   Massachusetts - "Toll Equity: It's time has come"   Land Line Mag - "Arizona OKS bills to authorize tolls, harsher OOS penalties".
    "Oklahoma Cities Raise Concern Over Toll Hike"   Texas - "NTTA OKs toll increase of 32%"   Texas - "Judge: Pike toll suit may have merit"   Texas - "Judge: Pike toll suit may have merit"   Georgia - "Judge: Proposal would end toll ban on free lanes".

    turkey And the fines keep rolling in
  • Todays Zaman - "Treasury pockets TL 577 million from toll booth fines".

    australia Another Con
  • Courier Mail - "Congestion tax plan for southeast Queensland".

    ireland Irish cost cutting board recommends more road tolls
  • Irish Times - "Line closures and funding cuts among key suggestions"   Independent - "Changes to take toll on drivers and users of public transport".

    canada Tolls start on new bridge
  • Maple Ridge News - "No more free rides on bridge"   Langley Advance - "Demand drives big profits"   CBC - "Golden Ears bridge tolling begins" lot of comments   CtvBC - "First day of tolling on Golden Ears Bridge" video.

    britain" Liverpool "charity" walk paid for by tollpayers
  • Liverpool Click - "Tunnel walk cost toll payers more than £100,000".

    kenya Toll plans for Kenya
  • - "Kenya: By-Passes to Attract Toll Charges".

    wales Some more reaction to Welsh tolled motorway being abandoned
  • South Wales Argus - "M4 RELIEF ROAD: 18 years after first plan - relief road scrapped"   South Wales Argus - "M4 RELIEF ROAD: Blow for city - council leader".

    britain" Humber bridge toll
  • BBC - "MP calls for bridge toll decision".

    Thursday 16 July 2009

    wales Some reaction to Welsh tolled motorway being abandoned
  • BBC - "Businesses' anger at M4 road loss"   Western Mail - "M4 relief road plan halted in transport rethink"   Western Mail - "Rethink on M4 relief road makes sense". Strange that the groups who want a new road did not complain about the road being tolled or even that this scheme was all but dead anyway.
    Though things could be worse as the Deputy First Minister said "Evidence from the M6 relief road near Birmingham showed that drivers would avoid using a toll road if there was a free alternative available. That would have forced us to toll both the new relief road and the existing M4." If this had been England instead of Wales, then both roads would have been tolled.

    france More tolls for lorries on French roads
  • HGVUK - "Environmentalists question French road charging scheme"   HGVUK - "France poised to introduce HGV road charges".

    Wednesday 15 July 2009

    usa USA Later stories
  • Oklohoma toll rise - NewsOK - "Toll increase approved for Oklahoma turnpikes" lot of comments   Tulsa World - "Oklahoma turnpike fees to rise" lot of comments   News Channel 8 - "Turnpike Authority Approves Toll Increases" comments.

  • Other - Florida - "Toll Runners Don't Pay Due To Faulty Cameras"   North Carolina - "Bond insurance for toll road to cost $11.5M"   DC / Virginia - "Highway Robbery At Toll Road" letter   "Indiana, Kentucky agree commissions will oversee bridges project"   Louisiana - "Lafourche Council seeks toll waivers for Leeville Bridge".

    wales Welsh tolled motorway abandoned
  • BBC - "M4 and airport road plans dropped". The Deputy First Minister said that putting tolls on the new road would have reduced its economic effectiveness. That has been obvious all the time, the answer is also obvious - if there is an economic case for building a road, then it should be built without tolls.

    britain" Official Unemployment up
  • BBC - "Record rise in UK jobless total"   Guardian - "Unemployment jumps by record 281,000"   Daily Mail - "Record job losses push unemployment level to 14-year high of 2.38m"   Independent - "Record rise hits jobless total".

    nigeria Another example of tolls in the Third World
  • Daily Sun - "With corrupt police, you can’t rebrand Nigeria".

    usa USA Roundup
  • London comes to New York State - Reuters - "NY's governor taps ex-CFO, London expert to lead MTA"   Streetsblog - "It’s Official: Paterson Taps Jay Walder to Head MTA".

  • Sundry stories - New Jersey - "Cash-free toll plan does not make sense"   Oklahoma - "Taking a toll"   Florida - "Islands question plan to alter toll discounts"   Louisiana - "Officials criticize tolls for new bridge"   North Carolina - "Toll could quickly repay Triangle Expressway loan".
    Rhode Island - "Toll increase “inevitable” for Pell Bridge"   Texas - "Amnesty proposed for Central Texas drivers who skip out on tolls" a few comments   Texas - "TxDOT considers toll road amnesty" video and comments   Florida - "Panel: Don't roll back expressway toll hike"   Virginia - "Drivers may detour around new $2 toll".

    malaysia More on toll reductions for frequent users
  • New Straits Times - "20 per cent toll rebate to benefit 85,000"   Star - "Analysts: Too early to estimate impact on toll operators’ earnings". There has also been a suggestion that the toll roads should be taken into public hands to reduce the costs - New Malaysian Insider - "Nationalisation of toll operators not viable?".

    jamaica Toll increase on empty road
  • Jamaica Observer - "TransJamaican Highway seeks toll hike".

    wales chimaera Welsh greens want less roads, more tolls
  • BBC - "Groups call for congestion charge"   South Wales Evening Post - "Campaigners call for congestion charges".

    britain" Low Carbon = High Cost
  • Government plan to make Britain cold and poor - BBC - "Government to map low-carbon road".

    britain" Where did all the school children come from?
  • - BBC - "Pressure rises on school places". As is the case 99% of the time the news media turn a blind eye to the likely effect of immigration. This is particularly significant when it come to births and the number of children entering schools. It has been reported that in London half the children entering school are either immigrants or are the children of immigrants - Daily Mail - "Immigration and births to non-British mothers pushes UK population to record high". The data on this subject on the official ONS site is hard to find.

    Tuesday 14 July 2009

    europe chimaera Bit more on European satellite tolls
  • Sat News - "No Road Rage Here — GMV To Bring Financial Accuracy To Road Charges".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Appeal Democrat (Cal) - "Fast lanes for the rich on track"..

  • Austin American Statesman - "TxDOT may forgive tens of millions in toll fines"..

  • Tolls r not for us - Post Standard (NY) - "Onondaga Legislature committee clears Thruway commuter bill"..

  • More of the usual congestion pricing myths - National League of Cities - "U.S. Cities Consider Congestion Pricing"..

  • More on Federal loan for North Carolina toll road - News14 - "$384M loan approved for Triangle Expressway's future" video..

  • Other stories - Florida - "Cyclists predict Rickenbacker Causeway problems"   Oklahoma - "Where OK's Toll Money Ends Up" video   Oklahoma - "Toll Rates Could Go Up" video   Texas - "NTTA Sets $1.7B of Debt, With Big Chunk of BABs"   Florida - "Express lane popularity waning".

    britain" chimaera More on "C" Day is 21 July
  • Cambridge News - "Transport commission's final verdict".

    scotland australia Tolls are good for you
  • At least they are according to company (owned by a French bank) that leases cars and operates a fuel card - Ayrshire Post - "Driving lessons from down under". It would be interesting to know why such a company wants to encourage people to "drive less and share vehicles".

    canada Novel road charging proposal
  • Leader Post (Saskatchewan) - "Frontier Centre calls for 'user-pay' system on rural roadways".

    canada Drivers rush to buy toll tags
  • Vancouver Sun - "Golden Ears Bridge commuters leave TransLink scrambling for toll devices".

    Monday 13 July 2009

    britain" chimaera "C" Day is 21 July
  • Cambs24 - "Decision Day looms for decision on future of County's transport hopes". This is a masquerade, as the Tory County Council appointed a Commission that they knew would favour road tolls. One good thing that may come out of this is that motorists will know that if they vote Tory they will get just as unfair a deal as if they voted for Labour.

    austria Austrian toll increase
  • Automotive World - "Austria: Polluting trucks to pay higher road tolls". More of the usual nonsense - if trucks are causing excessive pollution then the law should stop it, not try and make money out of it.

    usa USA Roundup
  • The Federal Government lends money to build North Carolina's first toll - DOT Press release   News14 - "Federal loans will help fund state's first toll road" video   WRAL- "Turnpike Authority receives $386M loan for state's first toll road".

  • Yesterday's toll increase on the MTA bridges - NY Daily News - "MTA jacks up bridge and tunnel fares by 50 cents to help subsidize the bus and subway systems"   PolitickerNJ - "Where Is Governor Corzine On Toll Increases On Tunnels And Bridges?".

  • Sundry stories - Louisiana - "Leeville Bridge tolls subject of meeting"   Texas - "Driver would like to give two cents to tollway authority"   Massachusetts - "Pike toll suit adds $100M to its case"   West Virginia - "Discount plan will not affect turnpike toll revenue"   Oklahoma - "Recession May Drive Up Turnpike Tolls" video   Oklahoma - "Shortfall takes toll on Oklahoma roads".
    Florida - "Toll increase, privatization not off the table for Alligator Alley"   Florida - "Interstate 95 express lane study approved by Broward planners"   Massachusetts - "Turnpike workers dig into taxpayers' pockets"   Maine - "Yard sale aids Tollbooth group effort".
    New Jersey - "Business, environmental interests clash as parkway expansion begins"   New Jersey - "Millions already spent on parkway"   Texas - "Sheffield says Trans-Texas Corridor dead"   West Virginia - "".

    Saturday 11 July 2009

    malaysia Possible toll reductions
  • New Straits Times - "Lower toll rates on the cards".

    italy Possible Mountain toll
  • Independent - "An Alpine view worth paying for?".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - West Virginia - "No apologies for turnpike toll increase"   Texas - "Mobility authority looks to renegotiate contract with developer"   Land Line Mag - "Kentucky authorizes bridge-authority plan, toll option"   "Kansas Turnpike rolling out new K-TAGs"   California - "Highway Toll Lane Construction Bill Stalled in State Senate Committee".

    Friday 10 July 2009

    usa USA Roundup
  • A novel way of suggesting that tolls be increased by over half a billion dollars a year while making it sound as if you are doing drivers a favor - NY Daily News - "Crazy bridge pricing scheme has taken its toll long enough".

  • Courier Post (NJ) - "Man bests DRPA in battle over privacy". Mr Ingerman may have kept his Social Security number confidential, but does he realise that he is applying for a device which to some extent will allow his movements to be monitored?

  • Sundry stories - New York - "MTA Bridge and Tunnel Tolls Go Up Sunday".

    india Bit more on India looking for foreign toll road investors
  • Bisiness Standard - "Govt to invest Rs 100,000 cr on National Highways in FY10".

    britain" Humber MPs meet Gordon
  • Grimsby Telegraph - "MPs take toll and port fights to Number 10". Did they really meet him, or was it a clone while the real Gordon is in Italy?

    earth Time to tighten belts?
  • BBC - "G8 summit to tackle food supplies". Based on all the news reports from the G8 summit there is no link between the demand for food and population numbers.

    Thursday 9 July 2009

    britain" RAC Foundation attacks clamping
  • BBC - "Private clamping 'legally shaky'"   Foundation press release.
    Strange that clamping is illegal in Scotland. This again raises the question of why Scottish MPs are allowed to vote for laws that don't apply in Scotland.

    usa USA Roundup
  • Another border tax for the "Union" - Jamestown Press (Rhode Island) - "RITBA outlines toll hike for out-of-state Pell Bridge users"   Eyewitness News - "Bridge toll hike proposal moves forward" video.

  • The Texas Transportation Institute have published a report on congestion and what to do about it - "2009 Annual Urban Mobility Report". It is no surprise that their solutions to congestion do not include higher fuel taxes, which would also benefit the environment and cut down on the need for imported oil.

  • Sundry stories - Land Line Mag - "Arizona lawmakers OK bill to authorize tolls, harsher OOS penalties"   Washington State - "Council examines transportation planning".

    britain" Bank of England is doing its best to encourage use of pound notes as wallpaper
  • News release - "Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate at 0.5% and continues with £125 Billion Asset Purchase Programme"   BBC - "Bank keeps interest rates on hold"   BBC - "Bank may pump more cash into UK".

    britain" chimaera Nonsense
  • New Civil Engineer - "Road pricing: is pay per km next?". The next Government whoever they are will probably try and steal more money from drivers, but large scale road pricing would waste a very large amount of the money that the Government needs.
    The tail end of this report points to the Dutch who currently have a system of relatively low fuel taxes and high fixed taxes on vehicles. They are replacing the high fixed tax with road pricing while leaving the fuel taxes as they are. As it would be better for the environment and also waste far less in adminstration, it seems that the Dutch are either mad or bad.

    britain" chimaera More nonsense
  • Crain's Manchester - "Communique wins award for anti-TIF PR campaign". This report says that the PR firm's campaign "persuaded the councils of Greater Manchester to hold its first referendum for 30 years..". A sad reflection on British politics if this were true, though in our view the authorities agreed to a poll for two other reasons. One was that some of the councils were worried about the Mayoral referendum campaign run by MART as a proxy for a road toll poll. The other reason was that the authorities believed their own propaganda and thought that they could win and whatever the result they would have removed the risk of road tolls being an issue in Council and Parliamentary elections.

    britain" Nationwide going for broke?
  • BBC - "Nationwide offers 125% mortgage". How long before the Government has to bail out its pet bank? The 2008-09 accounts already show that of £202 billion of assets, only £120 billion is "Prime residential mortgages" or cash - Nationwide 2008-09 accounts (pdf).

    earth A chilly future
  • BBC - "Key climate meeting looms at G8". Does that picture really show snow in Central Italy in July? No it can't be, as on Google there are 3,500 news reports of the meeting in L'Aquila and none of them mention the snow.

    britain" Britain's next head of state foretells disaster
  • BBC - "Prince fears Earth 'catastrophe'". Only in Britain would the news media allow such hypocrisy to go unchallenged.

    Wednesday 8 July 2009

    britain" Sad Go round
  • The Government following a PFI deal are to use funny money to widen parts of the M25 to relieve congestion - BBC - "M25 widening to four lanes begins". The sad part is that the Government are to do nothing to remove the congestion caused by the Dartford tolls, this shows either their stupidity or their contempt for drivers.

    usa USA Roundup
  • More tolls pushing - Delaware County Times - "Tolling I-80 would yield needed road, bridge funding".

  • Sundry stories - Rhode Island - "RI bridge authority sets hearings on plan to increase tolls"   West Virginia - "New toll bridge to Grand Isle, Port Fourchon now open; motorists must have a toll tag to cross"   Massachusetts - "Toll equity: Its time has come"   West Virginia - "Highway 1 bridge opens in Leeville" video.

    Tuesday 7 July 2009

    newzealand Most paying
  • New Zealand Herald - "For whom the bill tolls - 38,253 trips".

    india India looking for foreign toll road investors
  • Wall Street Journal - "India Looks Abroad for Infrastructure Investment".

    usa USA Roundup
  • It's amazing how many people buy the idea of charging tolls to in effect force poorer drivers off the road - Asbury Park Press (New Jersey) - "Would you pay higher tolls for a faster ride?".
    Big Blue is also busy selling "intelligent road systems" (i.e. tolls) - Star Ledger (New Jersey) - "Congestion ahead: New Jersey needs intelligent traffic management".

  • San Francisco Examiner - "New system leaves one less loophole for toll-skippers". The most interesting bit of this story is that the 120,000 rented car drivers who skip tolls make up 4% of the violations. So that means there are about 3 million tolls not paid each year in the Bay area. It seems that more than a few drivers don't like paying tolls.

  • Cherry Hill Courier Post (New Jersey) - "Cash-free tolls are a bad idea".

  • Other stories - Louisiana - "Troubled waters over new bridge"   Maryland - "EZ-Pass is a boondoggle"   North Carolina - "Toll road plan too optimistic"   Texas - "Keep public roads in public hands"   Land Line Mag - "Texas lawmakers say ‘no’ to toll roads"   West Virginia - "W.Va. Commerce Secretary: No plans yet to take over Tamarack"   New York - "Thruway should be toll-free for Syracuse-area commuters, legislator says".

    scotland Salmond says No
  • Press and Journal - "Salmond rules out backing toll bridge campaign"   Scotsman - "Blow in fight over toll 'crimes'". This is not a complete surprise, as the First Minister has been asked before and replied that he could not intervene in the legal process. What is new is the civil servants saying that they have checked and the tolls and the convictions were legal. Would they say anything else?

    britain" Tories suggest taxi subsidy
  • Daily Mail - "We'll run subsidised dial-a-taxi service for rural areas stranded by bus cuts, say Tories". Like a lot of "good ideas" you wonder why it needs a subsidy. And the risk is that any Tory spending plans will be funded by more tolls and taxes on the majority of roads users.

    Monday 6 July 2009

    europe chimaera "Friendly" spies
  • NXP are pushing their technology for use in road pricing - V3 - "A connected world needs connected solutions". They are members of - ITSO (Integrated Transport Smartcard Organisation) which includes a lot of members that would like to see drivers stop driving.

    britain" Plea for more spending
  • Yorkshire Post - "We must fight to end this raw deal over transport funds".

    britain" Car sales up
  • To be more correct, sales are not down as much as they were. Sales in June were 16% down on the year before compared with recent months which had shown falls of around 25 to 35%. Private sales in June were actually up 4% on a year before, but fleet sales (which exceed private sales) were down 28% - BBC - "UK new car sales drop 16% in June"   SMMT - "Slowdown in market eases as scrappage scheme impacts".
    The obsession with car sales is another symptom of Britain's obsession with consumption. Most cars sold in Britain are imported.

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - Texas - "Toll tags are good for the environment"   West Virginia- "Tolling For Dollars"   Maryland - "Free ride for EZ-Pass ends: It's about time"   West Virginia - "No tolls would take big toll on toll takers".

    earth More hot air
  • BBC - "G8 leaders to set emissions goals"   BBC - "Landslides becoming more frequent".

    Sunday 5 July 2009

    usa USA Roundup
  • We reported on the 8th June the accident on Florida' Polk Parkway involving a young girl who was hit after leaving the car to get change for the tolls. It seems that the girl has since died though this has not appeared on any news source.

  • Sundry stories - Texas - "Long a leader in toll-road pursuits, Texas taps the brakes on efforts"   Texas - "Tell us: Too many toll roads, or not enough?"   Massachusetts - "Victory for the tollpayers"   West Virginia - "So long, Charleston: Turnpike toll increase will turn traffic around"   DC / Virginia - "Greenway Revenue, Traffic At Odds"   Pennsylvania - "I-80 toll plan not dead yet"   Oregon / Washington State - "Columbia River Crossing: Toll discussions".

    Saturday 4 July 2009

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - West Virginia - "Toll hike opposition not resting"   Maryland - "MdTA's new E-ZPass charges in effect"   "New toll bridge on Louisiana 1 doesn't accept cash"   "Texas lawmakers don’t like tolls but also don’t like solutions"   West Virginia - "McDowell delegate vows to stop traffic to protest tolls"   Colorado - "E-470 going cash-free".

    earth Heatwave - a flash in the pan?
  • Britain has according to the Global Warming Office (usually known as the Met Office) been going though a "heatwave", but judging by the sunspot cycle this is just a blip, as low sunspot activity continues which should indicate low temperatures - Solen - "Solar Terrestrial Activity Report"   NASA - "The Sunspot Cycle"   Solar Science - Historical table of numbers.

    earth Recent study on fine PMs
  • Science News - "Bad Breath - Studies are homing in on which particles polluting the air are most sickening — and why".

    wales Keep away, unless you are on a bike
  • The scheme to improve the main route into North Wales is abandoned - BBC - "Seven-lane highway plan abandoned". The road that was to be improved is a bypass that avoids the main towns and forms part of the E22.
    One reason for stopping the scheme is to please cyclists. By coincidence the BBC reported yesterday that further along the same road, £2 million has been spent on building "footbridges" for cyclists - BBC - "£2m cycle path bridges are opened". If drivers were also exempt from paying taxes and obeying traffic laws, would they get better treatment?

    Friday 3 July 2009

    britain" Another world
  • MPs today again demonstrated that they don't inhabit the same world as the rest of us. They have passed into law a Private Member's Bill - "Green Energy (Definition and Promotion)", though the Government seemed to have talked out (at least for now) another Private Member's Bill -"Industrial Carbon Emissions (Targets)".

    australia Pushing for more tolls
  • Sydney Morning Herald - "More cars on road as Treasury weighs congestion charges".

    earth A timely reminder
  • This report is over three years old, but for some reason has reappeared as a report created today. Whatever the reason, it show that "Prudence" was wise to shun these "investments" - Intelligent Investor - "Prudence says no to infrastructure".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Wall Street Journal report on the switch to a system that makes it easier to get money from drivers and eventually monitor them - "Electronic Tolls Trump Cash on the Highways".

  • More are on the attempt to change Texas law - World Net Daily - "Texas trying to save 'NAFTA Superhighway'?   Gov. Perry calls special legislative session on transportation"   Waco Tribune - "Looking for trolls under the bridge"   Star Telegram - "The outlook for DFW road projects after the special session"   Houston Chronicle - "Special session comes to an end - Lawmakers save agencies and allow bonds, but say private toll road issue can wait until 2011".

  • More on West Virginia toll increase - Bluefield Daily Telegraph - "Toll hike opposition not resting"   Register Herald - "Lawmaker insists on Aug. 1 toll hike protest"   Register Herald - "Truckers say higher tolls may lead to boycott".

  • Other stories - Colorado - "E-470 goes cash-free, but expect a bill"   West Virginia - "Another Toll Road Could Be In The Future For Two West Virginia Counties"   New Jersey - "Amid criticism, ground broken for N.J. Turnpike widening"   New Jersey - "$2.7B N.J. Turnpike widening project begins"   Massachusetts - "Is a future toll hike inevitable?"   Texas - "On overdue tollway bills ...".

    india Prayer for tolls to go away - far away
  • Express Buzz - "Petition to exempt local vehicles from toll fees".

    vietnam Hanoi to close toll free route into city
  • Thanhnien News - "Transport firms bemoan new toll placemen".

    earth Global Warming makes men go bald
  • We must admit that we made that headline up, but British scientists are capable of linking anything to the new established church - BBC - "Climate change is shrinking sheep".

    london Bit more on unpaid c-charges
  • BBC - "C-charge dodgers owe London £94m".

    Thursday 2 July 2009

    scotland Trams / RBS man takes over Forth bridge
  • Edinburgh Evening News - "Ex-trams chief crosses to bridge role". The Forth bridge Authority is a classic example of the way Britons make bad compromises. The soon to be ex boss and the new boss of the now tolls free bridge were supporters of a tolls regime. Why can't the Scottish Government just take over?

    usa USA Roundup
  • Some are more equal than others - Boston Herald - "Riding the Pike for free"   WCVB - "Turnpike Giving Out Hundreds Of 'Free Rides'" video   Boston Herald - "Pike workers cruise toll free".

  • Texas toll law - Public broadcasting - "Roads Bill Slows Special Session" audio   Dallas Morning News - "At a glance: Toll road deals"   Houston Chronicle - "Toll road plan falters as special session opens"   Star Telegram - "Texas attorney general OKs North Tarrant Express contract"   Star Telegram - "Legislators make quick progress on two of three special-session issues"   Community Impact - "Texas lawmakers balk at public-private toll roads"   Austin American Statesman - "Deal In Works On Private Toll Roads"   Dallas Morning News - "Private toll road bill faces roadblock in Senate"   News Journal - "CDAs DOA in Senate?".

  • Latest Texas cashless tolls - WFAA - "Confusion on first day of electronic toll collecting on George Bush Turnpike" video   33tv - "Toll Road Takes Tag, Not Cash" video   Dallas Morning News - "NTTA toll collections: Messy and expensive, but let's hear some better ideas".

  • West Virginia toll increase - Bluefield Daily Telegraph - "Manchin praises residents for role"   Bluefield Daily Telegraph - "‘It’s certainly going to affect all of us...’"   Bluefield Daily Telegraph - "Road home costs more"   Bluefield Daily Telegraph- "Barr, turnpike authority should be fired".
    Charleston Daily Mail - "W.Va. Turnpike board OKs toll increase" with comments   WowKtv - "Drivers Weigh In On Turnpike Toll Hike" video   Register Herald - "Turnpike tolls"   WCHS - "Toll Increase Approved"   Register Herald - "Editorial: Toll hike"   Register Herald - "Like Rich Rod leaving, toll increase spurs bad feelings"   WVGazette - "Turnpike toll hike approved" with comments.

  • Other stories - Pennsylvania - "Fewer will travel, fewer will drive, even fewer will fly this Fourth of July".
    Rhode Island - "Cost of crossing Pell, Mt. Hope bridges might climb"   Rhode Island - "Tolls could rise for Pell Bridge" video   California - "Coronado’s mayor on the economy, education and ‘inconveniences’".

    britain" Threats
  • The paltry sum that Britain spends on roads my vanish out of sight - Telegraph - "Britain's transport system braced for £30 billion funding shortfall"   Guardian - "£30bn shortfall threatens rail and road plans".
  • The Telegraph also had this editorial following the problems with the East coast rail franchise - "No way to run a railway". Reading between the "lines" this implies support for tolls and road pricing. A hint of things to come with a Tory Government?

    Wednesday 1 July 2009

    usa USA Roundup
  • Dallas Morning News - "If you absolutely had to chose: Gas taxes or toll roads?".

  • Other stories - West Virginia- "Turnpike Tolls to Go Up" inc video   Indiana - "Daniels is open to tolls for bridges".
    Maryland - "MdTA's new E-ZPass charges begin today"   West Virginia - "Toll Hike Vote Happens this Morning."   West Virginia - "Turnpike toll increase to be decided today in Charleston"   West Virginia - "State could take lesson from Ky. tolls" letter   Texas - "Left unpaid, road tolls grow {ndash} and fast"   Texas - "Cash no longer accepted for Bush Turnpike tolls".
    DC / Virginia - "Airports Authority Implements First Toll Road Increases Next Year"   California - "Toll lanes on the 91 will cost a bit more starting today"   Massachusetts - "Mass Turnpike negotiates swap accord with UBS"   Texas - "Perry's transportation Band-Aids".

    london The Con exempt car that only TfL bosses, MPs and bankers can afford
  • GQMagazine - "Tesla Motors London flagship store". Though the ideal buyers for this car are BBC bosses as they can be "green" and are spared the embarrassment when the public learns that their con charges come out of expenses.

    london Two million show the way
  • Evening Standard - "Cheats rack up £200m unpaid C-charge fines".

    britain" Assurance from Gordon on Humber tolls
  • Grimsby Telegraph - "Prime Minister: 'We'll consider all aspects of toll debate'"   Scunthorpe Telegraph - "PM: Decision on bridge tolls rise soon".

    israel Israel goes back on tolls plan
  • Haaretz - "No tolls to be levied on southern sections of Trans-Israel Highway".

    britain" Hauliers going soft?
  • - "Investment in roads is 'vital'". The RHA say they "would support a degree of road pricing, if it resulted in a particular road getting built". And the FTA say "A blanket 'no to road pricing' could be a real missed opportunity". As the Government already takes fifty billiob punds a yaer from roads users it must be relieved thatthe hauliers are either innumerate or profligate.

    britain" Aerie Faerie Tale
  • BBC - "Wind 'can revolutionise UK power'".

    britain" Government takes over rail franchise
  • BBC - "National Express loses rail route". A strange tale as rail travel (partly due to subsidies) was booming.

    ulster Thinking in the round
  • BBC - "Improvements 'move M2 congestion'". The lesson from this is not that road improvements are a waste of time, it is that the road network is just that - a network - and where there is a problem you have to consider the wider picture, as illustrated by the "road network paradox" - Wikipedia.

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