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June 2011 NEWS

Thursday 30 June 2011

london London tolls law going very quietly through Parliament
  • Parliament "Transport for London (Supplemental Toll Provisions) Bill [HL] 2006-07 to 2010-11".
    This Bill started in 2006, during Ken's reign. We only became aware of its existence today as having been agreed by the Lords it today passed to the Commons. If Boris has no plans to toll London's roads, then what does he want these increased tolls powers for?

    britain" More on highwaymen consulting their victims
  • Thurrock Gazette - "Consultation for double toll hike at Dartford Crossing launched"   DfT - "Dartford-Thurrock river crossing charges consultation"   Kent Online - "Consultation starts on Dartford Crossing toll charges" we had this yesterday but some comments have been added.

    newzealand No longer best to pay the trolls over the phone
  • Followup to yesterday's story - NZ Herald - "Toll-road rises hit cheats hardest".

  • An organisation that represents the construction industry wants to toll existing raods, presumably so that the loot can be handed to them to build somehing or other - Scoop - "Proposed LTMA reform fail to address the funding challenge".

    china Chinese Triad
  • Toll in trouble - Business Insider - "The Default Heard Round The World? Chinese Highway Tells Investors It Can't Pay".
    Given the very high toll rates and the lack of any alternative routes, it is amazing that any road is not making a huge profit.

  • Another story today on the tolls racket - Epoch Times - "China’s Toll Highway Headache".

  • More on the token toll reduction - China Daily - "Expressway set to see more vehicles as tolls are lowered".

    taiwan Trouble with the other China's etolls
  • On the 7th June we reported Government threats to the tolls operator because of low etolls use, this seems to be the response - Focus Taiwan - "Free on-board units to be given next year for highway tolls".

    south Drivers to be bled more gradually
  • New Age - "Toll reduction still poses financial burden"   Fin24 - "Thumbs down for reduced Gauteng toll fees"   Politics Web - "Suggested tariff for Gauteng tolls 40c/km - Transport"   ITWeb - "E-toll tariff cut?".

    scotland england More on the weak English
  • On Tuesday we had a report in the Scotsman contrasting tolls on the Forth and Mersey, today an English MP complains though he was and is a supporter of bridge tolls - Runcorn & Widnes Weekly News - "Warrington South MP David Mowat blasts ‘raw deal’ over Mersey Gateway funding".

    wales Welsh WWF wants congestion charging and no new roads
  • Wales Online - "Wales must do more to deliver on its climate ambitions".
    According to a report this week the head of the World Wildlife Fund in the US gets 486,394 USD. Not a bad sum for saving tigers and promoting tolls.

    britain" Feast of stats today from DfT
  • "Road traffic statistics"   "Road lengths statistics"   "Reported road casualties in Great Britain: main results 2010"   "Free flow vehicle speeds statistics".

    earth Pop
  • Britain's pop was up last year to 62.3 million - BBC - "UK population sees biggest increase in half a century"   Daily Mail - "UK population grew by half a million last year - the fastest rate for half a century"   ONS - "Annual Mid-year Population Estimates, 2010" pdf   ONS - this is a zip file which produces Excel sheets with the data   You Tube video from ONS.
    The impression is given by the ONS that just over half the increase is due to Britain's birth rate and that immigation is a declining factor. What is not made clear is that immigrants have higher fertility rates than those who have been here longer - one quarter of all births are to mothers not born in the UK. If births to second generation immigrants are included then the figure will be even higher.

  • The US Census Bureau have recently revised their International Data Base, though they do not say how this revision compares with the last one - "U.S. Projected to Remain World's Third Most Populous Country Through 2050, Census Bureau Reports"   International Database.
    Interestingly the Census Bureau figure for UK population in mid 2010 was 62,348 thousand, which is a bit higher than the ONS one of 62,262 thousand.

    earth AGW
  • Britain's CO2 emissions rose by 3 per cent in 2010, though the target was a fall of 3 per cent - BBC - "Climate policies 'need new tools', advisers say"   Committee on Climate Change - "3rd Progress Report" various links, though they don't seem to work.

  • There may be a catastrophe!!!   BBC - "'Fatigue' in the climate system".

  • Give us your money, but don't expect it back - Guardian - "Why Bangladesh doesn't want climate adaptation loans".
    The writer says that "there will be 30 million more displaced people due to climate induced problems in next 50 years". According to the UN's "median variant" forecast there will be 44 million more people in Bangladesh in 50 years time, or 105 million if fertility remains unchanged. Will these extra bodies not "displace" people?

    Wednesday 29 June 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • AoL Autos - "Is The E-ZPass Box A Trojan Horse For Privacy Invasions?".

  • Sundry stories - California - "Big rigs to pay more to cross SF Bay Area bridges"   NJ /Pa. "Higher bridge tolls, PATCO fares anger commuters"   NJ /Pa. "DRPA toll hike may mean traffic increase on Burlington County bridges"   Texas - "Toll rate to increase Friday"   Virginia - "Four-Car Crash at Hampton Tolls"   Maryland - "Second toll hearing in area draws huge crowd"   Maryland - "HdG toll hearing draws huge crowd"   Texas - "County to consider tollway's financial impact"   Ohio River Bridges - "Second bridges project meeting attracts 250 in Louisville"   Louisiana - "Mapping the future of the Crescent City Connection toll: An editorial".

    hongkong Problem of picking where to queue at the tolls
  • 7th Space - "utomatic toll collection system of tolled tunnels and roads".

    britain" Highwaymen to consult their victims
  • Kent Online - "Consultation starts on Dartford Crossing toll charges".

    wales Institute of Advanced Motorists says that tolls work on the M6 and could be introduced on some Welsh roads
  • One Council Leader is concerned about road tolls, but the IAM back them - Wales Online - "Charges could act as a barrier for visitors’".
    The IAM is a registered charity, and as usual the Charity Commission believe that charging tolls is charitable, while opposing them is political.

    china Token toll reduction
  • CriEnglish - "Tolls Reduced for Capital Airport Expressway".
    It is "estimated that the flow of traffic on the expressway will increase by 15 to 20 percent after tolls are reduced". Presumably this is because airport parking and even the flights are free!

    newzealand Best to pay the trolls over the phone
  • On Saturday we had a story about the Northern Gateway road planning to chase those who do not pay. They have now issued the latest Northern Gateway Toll Road six-monthly operating report. It says that it costs them "$3.85 per transaction for telephone payments". The toll for most vehicles is two dollars, so perhaps they should all pay by phone till the trolls put the charges up - NZ Herald - "Drivers face new fees at toll kiosks".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Toronto's Mayor blows cool on latest from the toll touts, though he does not reject tolling new roads - Star - "We need to get creative with transit, not force tolls: Doug Ford" comments   CBC - "Gridlock a grind on Toronto's economy: report" comments   Sun - "Consider road tolls and parking charges: Report" comments.
    Sun - "No road tolls necessarily, but tolls if necessary" comments   Globe & Mail - "Private toll tunnel under Gardiner appeals to Doug Ford" lot of comments   Global Edmonton - "Would you support road tolls if you could cut your commute time?" poll   City News - "Toronto needs road tolls: board of trade" comments.
    CTV - "Politicians urged to think about road tolls for GTA" video   National Post - "Funding to tackle gridlock ‘a critical issue’: Toronto Board of Trade".
    The population of the region has grown from 4 to 6 million in just over 20 years. As usual the establishment wants more people as it provides cheap labour and puts up property prices, and if the roads gets crowded then their solution is to fleece the drivers while encouraging more growth.

  • Vancouver region Mayors want more tolls to pay for mass transit - BCLocal - "Metro mayors, province close to deal on Evergreen Line"..

    south Bit more on new tolls
  • ITWeb - "E-tolling here to stay".

    britain" Another potty idea from Lib Dems
  • BBC - "Nick Clegg says business rates will be localised".
    National Non Domestic Rates are currently pooled and then shared out amongst local authorities on the basis of needs. The Deputy PM says that this will be changed so that the NNDR will go to the area where the businesses are located, and that the local authorities will be able to spend it as they see fit. He also says that no local authority will lose out. Does he also believe in fairies?

    earth French maintain their domain over IMF
  • Various Frenchmen have ruled the IMF for 35 out of the 65 years since it was created. It is now time for a Frenchwoman to have a turn at screwing - BBC - "Christine Lagarde named IMF chief".

    greece Greek MPs to vote on whether to accept the drink of hemlock
  • BBC - "MPs set to vote on austerity package".

    earth AGW
  • Scientists who go along with AGW share in a pot worth billions for their research. Scientists who have alternative theories receive little and are pilloried if they get any money from fossil fuel industries, e.g. - Mother Jones - "Did ExxonMobil Break Its Promise To Stop Funding Climate Change Deniers?".

    Tuesday 28 June 2011

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • Interesting - Brisbane Times - "Prepaid account interest adds up - but you won't see a cent".

    scotland england More on the weak English
  • Scotsman - "Uncertainty at the heart of the Union appears to provide a bridging loan to Scotland".
    The new Forth road bridge - even though it is not to be tolled - is not needed, as the old bridge is not falling down and it copes with the traffic. Neither, despite what this story says, is the bridge near Liverpool falling down; another bridge is planned to cope with high levels of traffic. But English politicians being what they are, the new bridge is to be tolled. As no one would use it the existing free bridge is also to be tolled. Many of those who use the existing free bridge are blissfully unaware of this, a tribute to England's "free" press.

    earth Pop
  • WSJ - "Population bomb: 9 billion march to WWIII" comments.
    Many of those commenting attack the writer for his gloom and it is suggested that there is no problem as birth rates will soon be so low that the global population will actually be falling.
    It is correct that the birth rate has been falling significantly for the last 60 years - UN - World Population Prospects 2010 revision (pub 3 May 2011) Crude Birh Rates (Excel table), and probably for a lot longer. So why has population been doubling every generation? Partly this is due to lower death rates, but partly it is because birth rates are still well above the level needed for a constant population. In many developed countries the birth rate is already below the population maintenance level of about 12.5, but worldwide it is currently about 20 per 1,000 pop. The global fall in the birth rate accelerated about 1970, but the rate of decline started slowing down about 1995 and is currently looking as if it will stick at around the 18 mark. At this level the global population would increase by about 50 per cent every 30 years.

    Monday 27 June 2011

    m6toll Professor rubbishes our idea that tolls on M6 should be removed
  • Birmingham Post - "For whom the Road Tolls? The M6 Toll Road Debate revisited".
    The idea that regulating tolls is a solution is laughable. It may be that the real idea is not to benefit drivers but to bail out the company, as the regulation would be an excuse to give them a massive subsidy, while the inefficient tolls system was kept and while most drivers continued to avoid the road if they can.

    south Decision day close
  • Though the only possible decision will be to charge as much as they think they can get away with - Times Live - "No decision on Gauteng toll tariffs yet"   Business Report - "'No decision yet' on Gauteng tolls"   Star - "Open-road tolling shock"   Times Live - "Gauteng road tolling likely to go ahead" comments.

    london "379 TfL executives paid more than £100,000"
  • Evening Standard.

    earth Interesting
  • BBC - "Interest rates must rise worldwide, says BIS"   BIS - "General Manager's speech: Building a lasting foundation for sustainable growth".
    It is amazing that anyone was allowed to say this, as those who benefit from low interest rates, high demand and cheap and plentiful labour rule the roost. And in Britain, there is no chance that David, George and Mervyn will pay any attention.

    earth Pop
  • Three stories from Oz. The first is about people being paid to move out of one crowded area - Illawarra Mercury - "$7000 cash incentive to leave Wollongong". The other two are about food - Hume Weekly - "Deadliest form of food fight"   National - "New burdens put pressure on global supply chain and prices".

    earth Peacekeeping
  • BBC - "Fierce fighting south-west of Tripoli".
    There is little evidence that any of the rebels enthusiastic shooting or firing has ever hit any Government forces. The reality is that it is NATO which is doing the damage according to - their last media update , they have so far flown 4,748 "strike sorties" including 45 on Saturday. Their aim is to scare the Government forces into deserting, and thus cause the Libyan Government to fall.
    PS The establishment aim to try the Libyan leader and two of his associates for "crimes against humanity" - BBC - "ICC issues arrest warrant for Muammar Gaddafi". Presumably the aim is to show that you can't beat the establishment, though this is not likely to encourage the Libyan leader to stand down. The court also has a warrant out against the Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir for the alleged genocide of 300,000 people - BBC - "China defends visit by Sudan President Omar al-Bashir".

  • Meanwhile the Premier of one of the worlds great democracies is being lauded by our own PM - BBC - "Chinese premier Wen Jiabao in trade talks at No 10".
    China, of course, has massive armed forces and nuclear weapons. One thing that it does not have is any "rebels". Which is perhaps not surprising as according to Amnesty - "In China, serious human rights violations continue to be committed. This includes torture, execution (in which China is world leader), excessive use of force in public order policing, repression of dissent ..".
    Another one of Britains allies was due to publicly behead yet another immigrant maid who claimed that she was defending herself from rape, but it has been announced that the Indonesian Government is to pay blood money to the Saudis to stop it - Arab News - "Indonesian maid saved from execution".

  • CNN - "Victims eye closure as ex-Khmer Rouge leaders stand trial".
    The chances, of those who were directly and indirectly responsible for miilions of deaths standing trial, is zero - Third World Traveller - "On the Side of Pol Pot: U.S. Supports Khmer Rouge"   You Tube - "U.S. Support of Pol Pot and CIA Secret Wars ".

    Sunday 26 June 2011

    britain" chimaera The Futureworld of ITS, or the Road Tolls Trojan Horse
  • Daily Mail - "The dark science of the traffic jam: Ever wondered why you're stuck in one when there's no jam?".

    usa USA Roundup
  • A story, originally published in 1958, on the implementation of the Inter state system. The authors thought that it would have an adverse impact on existing and potential toll roads. Unfortunately for drivers, the Government got round this by incorporating most of the toll roads into the system while keeping themn tolled - Fortune - "The great highway program".

  • Sundry stories - NJ / Pa. - "Abolish the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission"   DC / Va. "Hunt is on for money to build Dulles Rail"   Pa. - "Route 422 tolls study explained" video.

    Saturday 25 June 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Another toll operator is apparently in trouble - NWI - "Report: Indiana Toll Road operator may default".
    Republican Governor Mitch Daniels, after a few years slog, forced through this concession 5 years ago. In return for allowing roads users to be robbed for 75 years, the state gets nearly 4 billion dollars. At the time a lot of people thought that the concessionaires (a joint venture of Cintra (who own 75 per cent) and Maquarie Atlas Roads(25 per cent)) had overpaid. If there is a default it will be interesting to see how this affects MAR some of who's other "assets" are making losses.

  • A firm with some snags - SeattlePi- "Tolling company has trail of problems across the nation".

  • Policing of America's tolls, which can be very expensive - - "Not all area bridge operators employ own police, like DRPA does".

  • Sleight of hand by Georgia's political bosses - Land Line Mag - "Out with the old toll, in with the new toll".

  • Sundry stories - Georgia - "A toll free weekend with traffic troubles" video   "Toll Hikes Take Maryland off the Road to Recovery"   Ohio River Bridges - "Bridges project manager: Tolls a must"   Maryland - "Bridge toll boost proposal decried".

    london Bit more on "Effective road and traffic management"

  • The transcript for the session on Tuesday 14th is now available - Parliament. There is little of interest except for someone from TfL saying that the aim of the Con was not to reduce congestion but to enable the taking of roads space away from cars - "In central London, what you have seen is that the creation of the benefits of introducing the congestion charge in terms of reducing traffic volumes and congestion is being taken in different ways now in terms of allowing more road space to be used for pedestrians and things like that. So on any street and with any highway authority, whether it is Transport for London or any of the boroughs or anywhere else in the country, councils and highways authorities are making decisions about how they best use that space and how much space to give over to vehicular traffic, pedestrians, cyclists, loading and unloading, and freight movements, which is a key function that has to go on in those streets. What you have seen in central London is a changing of that balance that has been facilitated or brought about by the reduction in traffic from the congestion charge."

    italy People who don't love tolls are brainless
  • AGI (the Government news agency) - "Euro Mp Says Romans "Need Brain Transplant" Re Tolls".

    britain" More on Humber toll increase
  • Grimsby Telegraph - "MPs call for delay in Humber Bridge toll hike until publication of review".

    newzealand Kiwis to chase non-payers
  • TVNZ - "NZTA goes after Gateway toll evaders".

    indonesia More on Jakarta's Con plan being back On (sort of)
  • The on / off scheme is now said to also cover four other cities - Jakarta Post - "One legal boundary to go for Jakarta ERP "     Jakarta Globe - "Indonesia's 5 Biggest Cities In Line For ERP Launch".

    britain" More fantasising about electric sheep
  • Guardian - "Electric cars: kiss petrol stations goodbye".

    earth Pop
  • Two examples of the way that the public is misled into believing that population growth is good for most people - NineMSN (Oz) - "Population growth to esae jobs pressure"   Palm Beach Post (Florida) - "Population will grow again in a few years, aiding economy".

    earth AGW
  • The front page story in today's Daily Express - "KILLER HEATWAVE".
    The Daily Express usually has a nonsense headline, but this one is loosely based on this from the Met Office - "Hot weather triggers Heat-Health alert ".

  • One of our frequent topics is the way in which the fact that we are in an Ice Age is obscured, even by many scientists. Yesterday, Watts Up had this posting (with some interesting graphs)- "Run Away! The “Anthropocene” is coming!!!".

    Friday 24 June 2011

    usa USA Roundup
    It is a week since we covered stories from America. Here are some of the more recent ones -

  • Sundry stories - Michigan - "Competition equals communism according to parody anti-NITC bridge ad"   TCPalm - "Drivers will do a lot to beat Florida's Turnpike tolls"   Maryland - "The higher price of going to Virginia"   Pa. / NJ - "State Rep. Calls For Moratorium On Toll Hikes" video   Pa. / NJ - "Delaware River bridge toll hike hurts businesses, protesters contend"   Georgia - "Ga. 400 toll is free for a week"   Virginia - "Drivers skirt toll hike on bypass to Outer Banks"   Washington State - "When will tolls start on 520? Delays leave state with no date".

    earth Peacekeeping
  • BBC - "Rwanda: Ex-women's minister guilty of genocide, rape".
    Rwanda was given to the Belgians after the First World War, though they did not treat the Rwandans as badly as their treatment of those in their neighbouring colony of the Congo. After independence the French got involved, and supported the Hutus against the Tutsis. The UN eventually got round to sending troops in to try and stop the killing. The troops that went in were all French. Perhaps there would have been a prompter and better response to the killing of about 500,000 people if there had been oil there.

    britain" Minister defends toll increase
  • Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Humber Bridge toll: MPs ask ministers why rise not delayed".
    The Minister is the one who is supposedly busy reviewing the impact and future of the tolls. No prizes for guessing what his "conclusions" will be.

    indonesia Jakarta's on / off Con plan is back On
  • The Government now seems to be bowing to the desires of the City Council, though the details are not clear including how it will affect the already widespread tolled roads (and six new ones which are to be built in the city) - Berita Jakarta - "ERP PP Signed by the President"   Jakarta Post - "ERP system coming to Jakarta soon: Govt"   Jakarta Post - "Govt to help with city traffic".
    PS This later story says that the Government have still not signed the necessary laws - Berita Jakarta - "Equipment Procurement, ERP Needs Govt.`s Finance Regulation".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Toronto's toll touts keep it up - National Post - "Privatize bridges before they fall".

    ireland Irish voters prefer tolls and other stealth taxes
  • Independent - "Economic glass is half full, but expect more hikes in taxes".

    malaysia Most Malayasian drivers don't claim toll rebates
  • News24 - "Motorists urged to change views on tolls" lots of comments.

    south Trolls say drivers should support tolls
  • ITWeb - "E-toll decision by end of July".

    india Indian trolls make big profits due to high inflation and low interest rates
  • DNA - "When high inflation helps toll revenues".

    earth Oil
  • World's oil pump gradually running dry - WSJ - "Rising Saudi Thirst for Oil Drives Plans to Go Nuclear".

    Thursday 23 June 2011

    britain" Official reveals a bit of lorry toll plan
  • Roadtransport - "Foreign hauliers to pay £9 daily road tax by 2014".
    From the brief details it seems that the Government are going for the simplest system which is a vignette similar to that used by the Swiss. Even so, depending on what the charge is, the scheme may not cover its costs.

  • There is also this story on the same site today - Roadtransport - "Stopped haulier pays tax twice on same fuel".
    The present system encourages the hauliers to fill up their tanks (and any spare containers) in whichever country the fuel is cheapest. As we have said before, there should be more equal fuel taxes (particularly on diesel) and there should be severe restrictions on how much fuel lorries can bring into Britain. If this upsets the EU, then it seems like another good resaon for leaving this expensive club.

    london Cyclists remind drivers and pedestrians who is the boss
  • Londonist - "Bikes and the City: The Future Of London’s Roads" - "The future of road congestion in London" inc link to full report.

    britain" Bit more on Humber tolls increase
  • Trolls decide rise will take effect on 1st October - Grimsby Telegraph - "Humber Bridge chairman defends decision to raise fee to £3"   BBC - "Humber Bridge toll will rise to be UK's most expensive".

    ghana Patriotism is paying more in tolls
  • Ghana Web - "Tollbooth across the country, are there any benefits?".

    earth Oil
  • BBC - "Oil price drops on reserve sale".
    The reality is that this latest dip in the crude oil price makes almost no difference to the steady upward trend which began 30 months ago. In January 2009 it averaged about 40 dollars a barrel, it is now about 90 dollars a barrel.

    earth Peacekeeping
  • CNN - "Karzai welcomes U.S. troop withdrawal".
    This trumpeted withdrawal only puts the Americans back to where they where before the President ordered in another 30,000 troops at the end of 2009. Whether Western troops leave tommorrow or in another ten years, Afghanistan will get back to their civil war. America and Britain seem to prefer more of their own troops killed than to lose face.

    britain" RAC to fly the Dollars flag
  • BBC - "Aviva to sell RAC for £1bn to private equity group".

    britain" Another daft and corrupt Lib Dem idea
  • BBC - "Give public bailed-out banks shares says Nick Clegg".
    Most politicians are not only amoral, they are also generally innumerate and clueless when it comes to economics. The British taxpayer already owns these banks and gains from any dividends. If they are sold, when the time is right, then Government debt will fall (though its assets will also fall). In an ideal world, there would be a funded public pensions scheme, that could hold and trade in assets such as these. To instead give them away in penny shares to every person on the electoral roll (many of whom pay little or no income tax, and many who are not even British), is likely to mainly benefit spivs and the banks and others who profit from the inefficient way that savings, and pensions are dealt with in Britain.

    Wednesday 22 June 2011

    south Still waiting on report
  • The report was done some time ago, presumably they are waiting for an opportunity to bury bad news - ITWeb - "E-toll decision by end of July".

    britain" Trolls give away money taken from drivers
  • Liverpool Echo - "Mersey Tunnel toll overpayments to be donated to charity, say Merseytravel".

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • More on proposal to toll the coastal highway from Brisbane to Cairns - MySunshineCoast - "David Gibson must rule out Bruce Highway tolls - now and in the future".

    hongkong Trolls appeal against freeze
  • Standard - "Tunnel firm pushes for hikes after Exco swipe".

    china More on China's ball and chain will be tackled
  • After agreeing to moderate tolls for truckers, the Government later quietly arrested the protestors - FT - "China drives road through social unrest".

  • There is also another report today on the more recent official announcement about controlling tolls, presumably this is as unreal as what happened in Shanghai - Xinhuanet - "China launches crackdown on illegal highway tollbooths".

    wales Bit more on Welsh bureaucrats wanting to toll the roads
  • South Wales Argus - "Council chief slams Heads of Valleys tolls idea".

    europe War on road users
  • Britain's Energy & Climate Sec wails over setback where "Reducing pollution from cars is a major element in the EU's green agenda" - BBC - "UK says Poland blocked EU deal on CO2 emissions".
  • The Spy in the sky gets reallocated money - BBC - "Europe's Galileo sat-nav in big cash boost".
  • Another report on the new rules for trucks - Budapest Business Journal - "EU drive for new road tolls".

    earth Oil
  • Globalist - "The Elusive Quest for Energy Security".
    The writer says that one response that is needed is to control demand and quotes from what the IMF said in 2008 - "relatively low gasoline taxes in the United States, low domestic prices in China and heavily subsidized and controlled prices in many oil-exporting and other developing countries discourage the demand-side response that is needed.". If anything, since 2008, both the US and China have moved further away from fuel taxes and towards road tolls that are less effective in reducing use of oil.

    scotland england English Quislings
  • BBC - "Scotland Bill passed by MPs in House of Commons".
    Not a single MP voted against a law which will give further powers to politicians "north of the border", while other Scottish politicians at Westminster will continue to vote on laws that do not apply in Scotland. In was in 1977, that an MP raised the question of whether this was fair. The MP was from the West Lothian constituency. It seems that no English MPs are brave enough to stand up for fairness.

    Tuesday 21 June 2011

    china Claims that China's ball and chain will be tackled
  • China Daily - "Tollway system on target list"   China Daily - "Action on road tolls".
    Due to corruption, there is no chance of China's tolls being controlled. One of the bodies which is now supposed to be doing something is the "National Development and Reform Commission". This body is the last one which "abolished" tolls and replaced them with a fuel tax. No doubt the trolls will continue to ignore it, while the central Government does nothing.

    britain" Tolls warning
  • BBC - "Clifton Suspension Bridge work will lead to closures".
    The Clifton Suspension bridge is run by a charity. The idea it seems is to take from the drivers and spend it on objects which should be paid for by the authorities.

    britain" Pop!
  • Mail - "Coalition 'will miss its migrant targets' unless they rip up the rulebook" comments   Telegraph - "Net migration target to be missed, warn academics"   BBC - "Migration cut target 'unlikely to be met', report finds"   Mirror - "David Cameron attacks Nick Clegg over immigration and benefits"   Migration Observatory - "Off Target: Government policies are not on track to reducing net-migration to the tens of thousands by 2015".
    In an ideal world there would be no inflation and no increase of population in an already overcrowded country. But British politicians with the help of the news media are able to sell the idea that the ideal is, for example, "only" 100,000 more a year immigrants. This target is meaningless for two resaons. Firstly, because they are unable to have any significant impact on net immigration; and secondly because even if they did the impossible and actually limites net migration to zero, then Britain woulkd still become more overpopulated due to the high birth rates of those already here.

    Monday 20 June 2011

    ghana Attempt to stop the new King's tolls
  • Peace FM - "Minister Stops Chief Over Tolls".

    wales Wales's bureaucrats want to toll the roads
  • Wales Online - "Motorists could face toll roads to pay for Wales’ transport upgrades".

    australia Toll tales from Oz
  • Denial of plan to put toll on coastal highway from Brisbane to Cairns - Observer - "War of words about Bruce tolls"   My Sunshine Coast - "Queensland motorists slugged under Newman's toll plan for the Bruce".

  • Further turning of the screw - Courier-Mail (Queensland) - "Motorists who evade tolls to be hit with extra fee".

    indonesia Jakarta's plan for Con may be replaced with scheme determining which cars are allowed on the road on any one day
  • Jakarta Globe - "Jakarta Plans to Tighten Traffic Rules for Southeast Asian Games"   Berita Jakarta - "Reducing Traffic Jam, Odd-Even License Number Trialed".

    zimbabwe south Questions over Zimbawe road deal
  • Financial Gazette - "ZINARA partner probed".
    Countries with road tolls seem to be relatively free from Western criticism and intervention. This has been the case since Zimbabwe started tolling nearly two years ago. A little corruption is a small price to pay!

    japan The right wing trolls in Japan's news media wail over toll concessions in earthquake area
  • Daily Yomiuri - "Toll-free expressways not priority in reconstruction".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • More from Toronto's two wheeled trolls - National Post - "Time for congestion pricing".

    britain" Last week's debate on "Motoring fuel costs"
  • Hansard for Westminster Hall.
    As mentioned before, this debate seems to be part of a barely visible establishment campaign to bring in road pricing.

    europe No chance of house of cards falling down
  • BBC - "Greece: Eurozone ministers delay decision on vital loan"   This is Money - "How UK banks could pay for Greek crisis".
    Greece is bound to get whatever it needs. If it didn't then there would be instability and higher interest rates. The rich and powerful, who like Greece live on debt, will not allow that to happen.

    earth AGW
  • More pouring of cold water over the idea that possible changes to the Sun may make the Earth cooler. This report on an AGW believers site says that any cooling will have little effect compared with the 4 degrees Celsius increase by 2100 due to AGW - RealClimate - "What if the Sun went into a new Grand Minimum?".

  • The NOAA announcement on May global temperatures, surprisingly agrees with their data and says that last month was the 10th warmest ever May - "Global temperatures were 10th warmest on record for May".
    GISS have also published their data for May. It shows it as the 8th warmest, but the GISS data seems to be more manipulated than the NOAA interpretation of the underlying data.

    earth Peacekeeping
  • Technical error kills babies - BBC - "Nato suggests 'weapons systems failure' in Tripoli raid".
    NATO's claim that it was bombing a SAM site would only be believed by the tame and ignorant western news media. If Libya was capable of firing such weapons then why has it not done so during the three months that Tripoli has been bombed? The truth is that Tripoli is being bombed to scare the people and force the removal of Gaddafi. NATO will be doing its best not to target civilians, but civilians will inevitably be killed.

    Friday 17 June 2011

    britain" Putting lipstick on the Phantom
  • BBC - "Planned public sector pension changes to be outlined".
    Britain's "second" pension system with its multitude of schemes each with different benefits, may of which are unfunded, and virtually none of which are related to what people actually contributed over their working lives, neesds to be scrapped and replaced with something a lot fairer and simpler. The chances of this is about zero, particularly as MPs and comapny directors are amongst those who unfairly gain from the present system.

    earth AGW
  • Scientists and the BBC pour cold water over the idea that possible changes to the Sun may make the Earth cool - "Solar predictions bring heat and light".
    It is amazing how most people on both sides of this question misuse the term "Ice Age". We are already in an Ice Age, though we are currently in a relatively warmer phase which is known as an interglacial. The so called "Little Age Age" which stretched between 1550 and 1850, was nowhere near the severity of a full glacial period. As we have pointed out before the Earth - whether AGW exists or not - is currently in a temperature range which only applies about one per cent of the time. Nearly all of Earth's time it has been flipped between two relative extremes. The more common one is that it is a lot hotter and sea levels are a lot higher. The less common one is that it a lot colder and sea levels are a lot lower. By the time that it is clear which way we are heading, man will be too busy fighting over space, food and resources to worry about whether it is hot or cold.

    Thursday 16 June 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Some comment on the DC rail scheme that is being mainly financed from road tolls - Town Hall - "The Conspiracy Against the Car".

  • Californian trolls are giving away free tolls - Patch - "Aliso Viejo Student Wins $1,000 in Free Tolls".
    The authority gets 100 million dollars a year from tolls. How stupid can Californian drivers be, if they are grateful that a few of them are let off?

  • How to make lots of money from tolls, without building anything - King5 - "WSDOT consultant makes millions more than first reported" video.

  • More on Maryland tolls - Cecil Whig - "Rudolph plan would save $10 Hatem decal"   Cecil Whig - "Chamber members’ concern? The MdTA toll"   ABC - "Hundreds protest proposed Bay Bridge toll increase" video.

  • Sundry stories - Penn. - "Rep. Geist urges public-private effort on transportation"   Columbia River Crossing - "Changing tune on tolls is deceptive" letter   "North Texas Tollway Authority to conduct intensive job review of director"   Pa. - "All Montco commissioner candidates oppose Route 422 tolls"   Ohio River Crossing - "Advisory group gets look at possible tolls and scaled-back bridges plan".

    europe Complaint about the new toll rules for lorries
  • Focus-Fen (Bulgaria) - "Koycho Rusev: Lobbying interests in the EU Parliament for revision of the Eurovignette Directive".
    Britain's FTA have still said nothing about the new rules.

    ghana More on the new King's tolls
  • Joy Online - "Ga King makers condemn installation of new chief "   Modern Ghana - "The cunning old fox has been exposed!".
    The second story says "It is interesting to note that the first official proclamation from the palace was the need to collect tolls from drivers. In other words, the need to extort money is at the heart of the palace coup.". Sounds familiar, even out of Africa!

    britain" More on Humber tolls increase
  • Grimsby Telegraph - "Demands to delay hike in Humber Bridge toll%"   Road Transport - "Humber Bridge toll rises 11%"   Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Council leader - We will keep on pushing for Humber Bridge tolls solution"   Yorkshire Post - "Anger as tolls soar on Humber Bridge".

    britain" Call for dictatorship
  • Two charitable organisations which seem to have links to the Sainsburys want City Mayors so that they could force through policies like the Con - Manchester Evening News - "City-region elected mayor could have 'brought in congestion charge'".

    newzealand Robbing the robbers
  • NZ Herald - "Toll kiosk destroyed in possible theft attempt". An unusual feature of this toll is that there are no booths and toll payment is on foot.

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • In a new twist from the Toronto trolls, we have the suggestion that people will accept tolls if they call them something else, and while they are at it they should also convert parking lots into farms - Now Toronto - "".

  • Chronicle-Herald (Nova Scotia) - "Toll may stay same for decade"   CBC - "Despite toll increase, bridges still owe N.S.", one of the people commenting on this story says that the congestion is because of drivers queuing to pay the tolls.

    britain" From the ABD
  • A few of their recent press releases - "Government Announces 'Free for All' For Councils On 20MPH Speed Limits"   "Government Should Scrap £5k 'Gift' to Buyers of £25k Electric Cars"   "11% Vehicle Excise Duty Surcharge On Poorer Drivers Excessive".

    britain" "Effective road and traffic management"
  • The Transport Committee of MPs had another session on Tuesday. The transcript is not available yet, but here is a link to the video, plus details of previous sessions - Parliament.
    Most of the members of the committee are probably trolls but realise that there is no point pushing tolls (for now) as drivers will not fall for it. Despite that in the sessions so far, the Institute of Logistics & Transport and the AA have both spoken in favour of tolls, with the latter saying of the M6 Toll - "Most people I speak to say that is wonderful and it is worth every penny they pay to go through there.".

    The written submissions to the Inquiry are here (pdf version).
    The few mention of tolls include the RHA referring to the M6 Toll as "a national scandal"; they want the Government to pay for a scheme of reduced tolls for lorries.
    Capita Symonds (consultants) suggest that tolls could be introduced on bus lanes so that car drivers willing to pay can use them.
    Kapsch TrafficCom (who sell etolling equipment) mention the planned introduction of "Free-flow tolling" at Dartford Crossing but say that - "However, there is an issue around open tolling with regard to foreign vehicles and the proximity to the UK’s ports; it is likely, therefore, that HGVs will still need to pass via toll plazas thus limiting the impact that this measure will have on congestion.". The assumption seems to be that British drivers will all pay up. It is true that British drivers are very weak but if enough drivers did not pay, then they could not all be taken to Court and the Government might end up with no tolls.

    The above are the only explicit mentions of tolls, but various submissions support "congestion charging" or "road pricing" or other euphemisms for tolls. The groups supporting charges are - London Travel Watch, Local Government Technical Advisers Group, Passenger Transport Executive Group, Network Rail, Kapsch TrafficCom, Stagecoach Group, Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport in the UK, Institution of Engineering and Technology, CTC (the national cyclists’ organisation), Halcrow, Motorcycle Action Group, Intelligent Transport Systems, Chartered Institution of Highways and Transport, Green Light Group ( as well as bodies already mentioned, this road pricing advocacy group includes the Institution of Civil Engineers, Transport Planning Society, and Royal Town Planning Institute).

    earth AGW
  • The May global temp figures have not yet been published by GISS. One of the other two sources - the NOAA - have not yet sent out their press release but the data is on their site (You have to select and download "The Monthly Global (land and ocean combined into an anomaly) Index (degrees C)". The AGW centres frequently change past figures (to make older figures cooler) but the latest update is based on a major revision to the land component - "GHCN-Monthly Version 3". We have no idea of the effect of this change, but assume that it will tend to give a stronger impression that things are getting warmer.
    Having got the health warning out of the way, the latest figures show that May was the 10th warmest ever (i.e since 1880). The ranking of Mays is now said to be - 2010, 1998, 2005, 2003, 2001, 2007, 2002, 2009, 2006, 2011.

  • "Denial" from Michael Mann that possible changes to the Sun may make the Earth cool - Wired Science - "Sunspot Drop Won’t Cause Global Cooling".

  • Power companies in Scotland are to spend money (probably coming from UK Government) to pump CO2 into the North Sea - BBC - "Energy giants' plan for new Scots onshore CO2 pipeline".

    Wednesday 15 June 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Business Insider - "America for Sale: Is Goldman Sachs Buying Your City?".

  • News Times (Conn.) - "Lawmakers were right to let tolls plan fade away".

  • Cosy deals may be kept in the bottom drawer - Public Broadcasting - "Possible NTTA Firing Revives Concerns Over Secrecy".

  • More on Maryland tolls - Baltimore Sun - "Give residents of Cecil county and the Shore a break on tolls"   Baltimore Sun - "Maryland toll increases are indefensible"   Gazette - "Toll hearing draws small crowd in Gaithersburg"   Cecil Whig - "Upset about $8 tolls? Speak up Thursday"   Patch - "Businesses: Tolls Would Hurt Us "   Baltimore Sun - "Sen. Jacobs: Sun gets it half right on proposed toll increases"   Baltimore Sun- "Hearing on bridge toll increases set for Perryville Thursday"   City Biz List - "Baltimore Hearing On Tolls A Yawner – But Some Getting A Free Ride".

  • Sundry stories - Texas - "Toll option coming to stretch of Grand Parkway"   Columbia River Crossing - "Madore withdraws from Port of Vancouver contest"   "C-Tran director: Most Columbia River Crossing concerns settled"   Florida - "Express Lanes, Tolls Coming to I-75"   Florida - "Officials should be able to find a way to build the Wekiva Parkway"   California - "Toll rates to go up in July"   Texas - "Toll proposed for Highway 290 West".

    britain" More on Government agree Humber tolls increase
  • Scunthorpe Telegraph - "Humber Bridge toll hikes a crippling blow to region"   Insider - "Chamber slams toll hike"   BBC - "The Humber Bridge is to become Britain's most expensive crossing" video   FT - "Humber Bridge tolls poised to increase 11%".

    britain" More on "Britain's gridlocked roads are busiest in Europe"
  • Independent- "Brussels tops European traffic congestion hotspots"   Left Foot Forward - "It shouldn’t be the case that prosperity means more traffic".
    The Left Foot story refers to a Campaign for Better Transport report - "2010 Car Dependency Scorecard" pdf, and implies that roads are less congested where there is less dependency on cars.
    The CBT report only covered 19 urban centres in England and only three of these match cities in the published TomTom report (which was the 30 most congested in Europe). If there is a correlation then it is the opposite of what you might expect. Here are the the six congested English cities with their European ranks and their ranks according to CBT -
  • 3. London (most congested in England and 3rd most in Europe); 2nd best English city out of 19 according to CBT.
  • 10. Manchester; 4th best according to CBT.
  • 11. Bradford; not in CBT scorecard.
  • 13. Oxford; not in CBT scorecard.
  • 15. Birmingham; 8th best according to CBT.
  • 29. Nottingham (not as bad as the others but still the 6th worst in England); best according to CBT.
  • ghana Dispute between mayor and "King" over who gets tolls
  • Joy Online - "Accra Mayor calls bluff of Dzaasetse"   Modern Ghana - "Go To Fishermen For Tolls – Angry Drivers".

    south Bit more on new tolls
  • Times Live - "Sanral defends Gauteng highway fee structure".

    ireland Bit more on - Reduced traffic means that the Irish Government has to pay the trolls
  • Limerick Leader - "Truckers swerve Limerick Tunnel as NRA bails out operators".

    china More on China's ball and chain
  • Long report over 2 pages - China Daily - "Tolls on road take a rising toll on drivers".

    britain" Tory raises spectre of tolls on roads
  • Conservative Home - "Robert Halfon MP: Motorists are being fleeced by sky high petrol prices. It's time for reform" comments.
    For a politician to suggest that reducing fuel taxes and bringing in road tolls will be for the benefit of drivers suggests that he must believe that drivers (or at least that who read this Tory blog) are completely stupid.

    britain" Official unemployment down by 88,000
  • BBC - "UK unemployment total falls sharply"   ONS - "Labour market statistics June 2011" pdf.
    The fall in unemployment is mainly due to a big rise in private sector employment in the retail and services sectors. Other factors include people taking part time jobs even though they wish to work fulltime, the official estimate is that there are now 1.2 million of these. The number of people between 16 and 64 who are "economically inactive" is also going up and is now nearly 9.4 million.

    earth Pop
  • FT - "India struggles to keep pace with urbanisation".
    The story says of Banglaore - "Traffic was horrendous .. four-mile commute .. could take up to an hour each way". The answer is apparently more spending on infrastructure.
    According to the UN's median forecast the Indian pop will grow by 480 million over the next 40 years, and if fertility remains unchanged then the growth would be over one billion. Strange that no one considers that more family planning might be better than more concrete.

    earth Peacekeeping
  • Republicans have asked the President to stop bombing Libya, where the rebels have now taken control of the main Misrata road. Meanwhile the President is asking Sudan to stop bombing its breakaway "oil-rich" South - BBC - "Sudan: Barack Obama calls for ceasefire".

    earth AGW
  • There is nothing in the British news media, but there has been some speculation following yesterday's story from the American Astronomical Society meeting in New Mexico, which mainly came from NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. Here is one report from Oz - ABC Science / AFP - "Scientists predict rare solar hibernation".
    The Watts Up site have been going to town with this story - "“All three of these lines of research to point to the familiar sunspot cycle shutting down for a while.”"   "NASA JPL on New Insights on How Solar Minimums Affect Earth"   "BREAKING – major AAS solar announcement: Sun’s Fading Spots Signal Big Drop in Solar Activity".
    What does all this mean? Well, it may mean nothing at all, but it could mean that we are in for some cooling, in which case we need to hope that AGW is real and is large enough to offset the cooling. Though in the longer term the Sun's activity will almost certainly pick up again, and if AGW is real, then we would be back in the fire.

    Tuesday 14 June 2011

    earth AGW
  • Though we are definitely in a new Solar cycle and we have had occassional peaks in Sun spot activity, things seem to be still weak. At a conference today of the American Astronomical Society in New Mexico it was suggested that sunpsots may "disappear". This would have implications for the weather / climate.

    usa USA Roundup
  • More on the Maryland tolls - Patch - "Protests, Tolls and Trolls: The Hatem Bridge Conundrum"   Cecil Whig - "Toll hike foes get advice from MdTA board member"   Cecil Whig- "Fight the state on toll plan"   WBAL - "Drivers Decry Proposed MdTA Fee Increases" video   Baltimore Sun - "Proposed toll hikes draw hostile reception"   Dagger - "Harford Campaign for Liberty: Toll Increase Protests in Perryville and Havre de Grace / June 13, 2011"   Patch - "Weigh In: Should Maryland Transportation Officials Increase Tolls?"   Baltmore Sun - "Senator responds to column on tolls".

  • Sundry stories - Ohio River Crossing - "No 2 Bridge Tolls group will host meeting"   Washington State - "Eyman fights Highway 520 tolls with Initiative 1125"  Florida - "Billions To Build New Highway Turned Down".

    canada Toll tale from Canada
  • Straight (BC) - "NPA mayoral candidate Suzanne Anton favours carbon, gas taxes over road tolls".

    m6toll More on "Give us our road back"
  • Radio 5 this morning covered our call for the Government to buy the M6 Toll and remove the tolls. The BBC gave us less than a minute and then read out a Company statement which said that if it were not for tolls then the road would never have been built. Though somehow Governments managed to build the other 3,600 miles of motorway without any tolls!
    We have taken the opportunity to update our M6 Toll page.

    britain" Government agree Humber tolls increase
  • The Inquiry in March into the proposed tolls increase gave the authorities and the Government an easy ride, so today's news is far from being a surprise - BBC - "Humber Bridge 11% toll increase approved"   DfT - "Humber Bridge toll review application - decision letter and inspector's report".
    The Government have the cheek to accompany this toll increase, which makes the Humber tolls the most expensive in Britain, with a press release about "reviewing" the effect of the tolls - NDS - "Transport Minister Norman Baker and Economic Secretary to the Treasury Justine Greening today launched the second phase of the Government’s Humber Bridge review.".

    britain" "Britain's gridlocked roads are busiest in Europe (...and London is third most congested city in the continent)"
  • Mail.
    Measuring congestion on a road is one thing, but ranking congestion on a whole city basis begs the questions of what has been taken as the city limits, and within those limits have all journies / roads been included?
    Despite that reservation, the figures are probably a rough guide to where congestion is worst. And it is not surprising that Britain is bad, as we have one of the highest growths in population, one of the lowest spendings on roads, and a culture amongst politicians and thetr officials which seeks to slow and impede traffic rather than speed it up.
    PS A different spin on the London figures - London Net - "London's Roads Get Less Congested, Says TomTom Survey".

    britain" CPI at 4.5 per cent, RPI at 5.2 per cent
  • BBC- "UK CPI inflation holds steady at 4.5%"   ONS - "Consumer price indices May 2011" pdf. The figures include a 1.3 per cent monthly increase in pump prices between
    April and May. The year on year change is 13.7 per cent.

    The inflation which has been created by the Old Lady and the Government mainly affects the poor. The relatively well off experience lower inflation on the things that they tend to buy while gaining from low interest rates on mortgages - BBC- "Inflation 'is higher for the poor than for the rich'"   IFS - "The spending patterns and inflation experience of low-income households over the past decade" pdf.

    earth Pop
  • Views of writer from a right wing think tank on those miserable people who are worried about pop growth - ABC (Oz) - "Population and misanthropy".

  • A few reports about effect of pop growth on parts of Africa - All Africa - "Rwanda Parliament Calls for Population Growth Control"   Washington Times - "Uganda’s soaring population a factor in poverty, deadly riots"   Business Day - "Cape Town nearing its water supply limit".

    Monday 13 June 2011

    usa USA Roundup
  • Another dodge to get Federal money to in effect pay for a toll road - Orlando Sentinel - "State deal for Wekiva Parkway could save billions".

  • More from the trolls - Baltimore Sun (Maryland) - "Getting There: Bridge, tunnel toll increases cruel but fair".

  • Etolling difficulties - New Tribune (Washington State) - "Tacoma Narrows bridge tolling contractor has had problems in other states".

  • Sundry stories - Delaware / Maryland - "Bay Bridge toll hike doesn't worry Del."   Connecticut - "Crumpled Bills and House Bill 6200: Tolls in Connecticut "   Connecticut - "Tolls or no tolls, planning for Route 11 will move forward".
    Maryland - "EDITORIAL: MdTA needs to know we’re at our limit"   West Virginia - "New Toll Roads Less Likely"  "ODOT says big bucks from leasing Ohio Turnpike would be spent in northern Ohio"   Penn. - "Tolling Rt. 422 not the answer — but what is?".
    NJ / NY - "No toll deal for now"   Penn. - "Tolling Interstate 80 is back on the table"   "160 constituents make a difference with bill on North Texas Tollway Authority".

    malaysia Don't try to use your tolls card as a passport if driving into Malaysia from Singapore, particularly if you are a woman
  • Asia One - "They were ordered to strip by Malaysian customs".

    greece Go slow
  • Greek Reporter - "The Movement ‘ I Do NOT Pay’ in Tolls of Rio-Antirio Bridget Today".

    south Bit more on new tolls
  • ITWeb - "E-toll report done".
    It is a foregone conclusion that there will not be any significant changes. So what are they waiting for?

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • Support for Toronto tolls - Raise the Hammer - "Ford Wrong About Toll Roads".
    The writer includes a link to a Transport Canada report which "proved" that drivers were subidised from general taxes. The report said that the income from roads useds was betwen 15.1 and 17.2 billion dollars (depending on what was included). The expenditure was 13.9 billion dollars (just over half was ongoing maintenance, the rest was capital costs). They then added two things on to the costs in the accounts to arrive at notional costs for which they did a low and and a high estimate. They added an estimate for the cost of policing which went from 610 million to 3.7 billion dollars (which was 60 per cent of all police costs!). They also added on an estimate for depreciation and the opportunity cost of capital, which they estimated as between 4.5 and 7.5 billion dollars. They then said, hey presto, the roads are running at a loss!

  • Letter suggesting that Toronto needs better planning , not tolls - Star - "Reducing commuter problems".

    britain" Itchen toll bridge strike ends tomorrow
  • This is from Southampton City Council, who run the toll bridge - "Toll collection staff at Itchen Bridge will be on strike from Tuesday 7 June for seven days. The Itchen Bridge will remain open and there will be some staff coverage during this period. A flat fee of 50p will apply for vehicles to cross the bridge during peak hours so please be prepared to pay the toll if asked. Motorcycles will not be charged to help keep traffic flowing. We are doing all we can to minimise inconvenience to customers while this action is ongoing.".
    The usual toll for cars is 60 pence in the peak and 50 pence off peak, but the tolls for other vehicles go up to 25 pounds for a HGV with more than two axles. Perhaps the hauliers could pay the toll collectors to go on a permanent strike!

    ireland Reduced traffic means that the Irish Government has to pay the trolls
  • Part of the reason for low traffic is that some of the measures that would have forced drivers to use the tolls have not yet been implemented - Independent - "State paying €111,000 a week to toll road operators"   Irish Times - "Dwindling road traffic costs State €500,000 a month".

    Sunday 12 June 2011

    m6toll Give us our road back
  • Sunday Mercury - "Road campaigners want £1 billion government buy-out of M6 Toll".

    canada Couple of letters on latest Toronto toll push
  • Star - "Opposition to road tolls is misguided"   Star - "Let’s stop cheating ourselves".

    earth Peacekeeping
  • Fieldmarshal Hague's next target?   BBC - "Hague condemns Syria repression".
    Though Syria is in an important strategic position and America would like to take control, it is unlikely that the bombs will ever be falling on Damascus. America and its allies have their hands full elsewhere, and Syria has not got oil or assets in foreign banks that the West can seize. Also there is the difficulty that Syria has links to French politicians and, like Libya, has in recent years been an opponent of Islamic militancy though it also opposes Israel. If the West starts bombing Damascus then America's oil sheikhs might worry that it would be their turn next.

    britain" More bad advice
  • BBC - "Chris Huhne urges energy customers to switch suppliers"   Observer - "Chris Huhne attacks energy companies over price increases".
    Switching suppliers can be a waste of time, as the new supplier may then increase their price to a level higher than the previous supplier.
    Before politicians fell for bad advice from free market economists we had a very simple system for supply of utilities. For instance the system with gas was that there was only one supplier (British Gas), so customers did not have to waste time on choosing which middleman was nominally supplying the gas. The price was fixed by a regulator and included a cost through factor so that changes in the prices charged to British Gas by the natural gas suppliers were reflected in the retail price that British Gas charged. Now we have a confused situation where the only gainers are those retail "suppliers" and their staff who tell the biggest lies to customers, while the Government does its impression of Pontius Pilate.

    earth AGW
  • A bit of weather - BBC - "Summer snow falls on summit of Snowdon".

    earth Pop
  • Filipinos protest against proposal to try and limit pop growth - Philstar - "Pro-life advocates stage rally vs lawmakers pushing RH bill".
    In 1950 there were 18 million people in the Philippines, there are now 95 million. At constant fertility rates, the last UN estimate was that in 2050 the pop would be 190 million and in 2100 would be 430 million.

    britain" Looking through opaque glass
  • low carbon vehicles partnership - "LowCVP study demonstrates the increasing importance of measuring whole life carbon emissions to compare vehicle performance" pdf.
    This study admits that when production and disposal costs are included, then the reduction in CO2 by using electric vehicles rather than petrol or diesel is not large - petrol or diesel is 24 tonnes of CO2, hybrid is 21 tonnes, and plugin vehicles is 19 tonnes.
    The report says that the figures for plugins are based on "500g/KWH grid electricity". This very round figure seems to be the deemed average CO2 in Britain's electricity supply and the assumption that there is no loss in efficency beween the electricity put into the Grid and its use in the vehicle.
    About 25% of Britain's electicity comes from non nuclear sources, but any increased use of electricity all comes from fossil fuel as the non fossil "generators" are used before fossil fuels. So the claimed reduction in CO2 is just hot air, meant to fool politicians, their advisers and the affluent consumers who think that they are saving the planet.

    Saturday 11 June 2011

    london Dave Hill selling tolls again in the Guardian
  • "Congestion charging: the unmentionable solution".
    According to his Guardian profile, Dave lives in Hackney and has six children. So it seems that he is doing his best to see that London is not an empty city!

    usa USA Roundup
  • For a change it is not the trolls getting all the money - Seattle Times - "Freeman gives measure against tolls $500,000"   Sound Politics - "Kemper Freeman Supports I-1125 -- Thanks To All Of You, We've Got Incredible Momentum".
    And another rich no tolls supporter, who opposes tolling Columbia River Crossings, is standing against the trolls - Columbian - "David Madore files for Vancouver port position".

  • More from the trolls - Daily American (Penn.) - "More user fees".

  • A toll that should have ended this summer, but the politicians are keeping the loot, is to be temporaily removed so that they can put in new tolling equipment - Atlanta Journal - "Construction at Ga. 400 plaza could suspend toll".

  • Sundry stories - Maryland - "Proposed toll increase is not small change" video   "Should Maryland Transportation Officials Increase Tolls?"   Landline Mag - "Pushback against Maryland tolls in full swing".
    Connecticut - "Greenwich Leaders Want to Keep the Toll Booth a Phantom"  Connecticut - "Ignoring Route 11 bill is a mistake"  NJ - "Fuhgeddabout bridge/tunnel hike"   Washington State - "Drivers' glee aside, delay in 520 bridge toll costs state".
    NJ - "Gordon, Wagner and Eustace Speak Out Against Port Authority Toll Hike"   DC / Virginia - "Something ‘terribly wrong’ with Dulles rail line’s payment structure".

    britain" Warwick Tories propose Toll War on drivers
  • Warwick Courier - "The future of Warwick open to debate".

    earth Pop
  • "The mother of all problems that we are facing at the present" - Times of India - "'Education a must to check population'".

    britain" Knighthood for man in charge when they nearly broke the Bank
  • BBC - "Birthday Honours: Mervyn King and Brian Souter knighted".
    The Queen, like most very rich people with property (Balmoral and Sandringham) and at least a hundred million in other investments, will benefit from the bank's policy of cheap money and high inflation.
    The Bank have just issued their latest opinion survey "Bank of England/GfK NOP Inflation Attitudes Survey". As with previous surveys most people support the Old Lady and their policy of low interest rates. Most of the gain from the Bank's policy of robbing savers will be going to the Government, the banks and people such as the Queen, but even if part of the loot is going to other borrowers they are making a lot of money - This is Money - "Savers lose £36bn as inflation bites hard".

    earth AGW
  • It is getting hotter after all - BBC - "Global warming since 1995 'now significant'".
    If you accept the official data as true there is no doubt that it has been getting warmer for many decades. But if the warming is mainly due to increased CO2 and there are high positive feedback effects as claimed by AGW believers then you would expect that the trend line would be getting steeper. In fact - based on the official data - and (because there are significant peaks and troughs) using a polynomial curve, the upward trend taking the last 30 years is flattening out.

    Chart Anomalies in degrees Celsius

  • Guardian - "Ice cores: archives of past climate".
    Anyone who "investigates past climate using ice cores" should not say "glacial periods ("ice ages")". It is common for the last "glacial period" to be mistakenly referred to as the "Ice Age", but no expert would use the term "glacial period" and then define it as "ice age". It is also odd that someone is still pushing the correlation between CO2 and temperature, when it is known that it is the temperature change which causes the change in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  • More proof that the "Earth is now at boiling point" - Energy Collective - "Earth at Boiling Point".

    Friday 10 June 2011

    europe The Fourth Reich expands
  • BBC - "Croatia cleared for EU membership in 2013".
    Croatia was one of the few Axis allies that had concentration camps and the only one that had an "extermination" camp where most of the systematic killing of minorities took place - Holocaust Education & Archive Research Team (based in America) - "The Jasenovac Extermination Camp"   H.E.A.R.T. - "The Holocaust in The Independent State of Croatia: Genocide between Political Religion and Religious Politics".

    earth Peacekeeping
  • The outgoing Defense Secretary says other countries are not doing enough in wars in Libya and Afghanistan - ABC News - "Gates Blasts NATO, Questions Future of Alliance"   CBS News - "Gates: Prospects for U.S.-NATO alliance "dim""   CNN - "Gates warns of 'dismal future' for NATO without urgent changes".

    usa USA Roundup
  • News Tribune (Washington State) - "Crazy retro idea: Pay tolls with cash, call it ‘Good Enough'".

  • More on the Maryland toll plans - Patch - "Transportation Authority Holding Toll Meetings"   WJLA - "Residents frustrated over proposed toll hikes" video   Cecil Whig - "Voices needed to protest tolls" letter   Dispatch - "Chamber Poll Finds Toll Increases Too Much, Too Fast"   Patch - "Special Session Called Monday for Hatem Tolls".

  • More on the plan affecting Pennsylvania - Patch - "Local Republican Representatives Speak Out on Tolls" video   Times-Herald - "Vereb decries 'Hoeffel Tolling Plan' for Route 422; legislators weigh in" video   Reading Eagle - "Tolls on Route 422" poll   Patch - "Tolls on Route 422" letter   WFMZ - "Lawmakers, Drivers Sound Off On Possible 422 Tolls" video.

  • Sundry stories - "Ohio Turnpike to lay off 22 toll collectors; drivers using E-Z Pass more"   Michigan / Canada - "Ambassador Bridge owner Moroun's son: Taxpayers would be 'annihilated' by Rick Snyder's bridge"   Connecticut - "Route 11 tolls bill dies"   "Metro Council approves Columbia River Crossing resolution"   "Facing budget crunch, R.I. eyes I-95 tolls".

    sweden Stockholm may do a London
  • Some Swedish politicians want the Con tax increased to reduce increasing congestion - The Local - "Stockholm congestion fee 'too low': politicians".
    The last published official report claimed that Stockholm traffic was still a lot down than before the Con (even if true, as in London it does not mean that journey times improved). The maximum daily Con charge is currently 60 Swedish krona (about 6 British pounds or 9.50 US dollars) - Swedish Transport Agency - "Congestion tax in Stockholm".

    greece Greek road tolls may be reduced
  • Ana-Mpa - "Road tolls to drop".
    It will be interesting to see if this will make any difference to those who are currently not paying at all.

    china Chinese Comedy
  • The Government says that tolls will be cut for "logistics vehicles", the number of tolling stations reduced and etolling introduced - Global Times - "State Council delivers boost for logistics".
    Given the corruption there is no chance that a promise to cut tolls will be honoured. There may be etolling, as someone can make more money out of it, but would they actually reduce the mumber of toll collectors?
    PS Amazingly, a Chinese politician has taken the effort to support the tolls when there is no chance of them being reduced or removed - Shanghaiist - "Quote of the Day: Guangzhou Vice Mayor Su Zequn on road tolls".
    The "Chinese" site that says this is the "quote of the day" is based in the City of Seattle, home to other billionaires, cyclists and trolls!

    singapore "Chasing the jam"
  • Today Online - "Before and after ERP peak periods, Electronic Road Incentives?".
    Singapore motorists already drive more miles than British ones, though they live in an area smaller than London. Do they really need an incentive that might encourage them to drive more?

    britain" Bit more on Tax free toll tax for sale
  • Daily Mail - Cross to the tax free side: This charming toll bridge and home in Herefordshire will pay their way...".

    south Bit more on new tolls
  • IoL - "Avis joins e-tolling critics".

    earth Peacekeeping
  • The CIA chief was interviewed yesterday to confirm his appointment as Defense Secretary. America has 47,000 soldiers in Iraq, who are "deployed in a training and advisory role", he suggested that some will stay past the promised pull out date - BBC - "Iraq will ask US troops to stay post-2011, says Panetta". Does America want troops to remain because it has no accommodation for them at home, or is the aim to ensure that Iraq will continue to be unstable due to the presence of foreign troops?
    He was also asked about Afghanistan where America (and Britain) have been even longer than in Iraq. He said that "recent gains are fragile and reversible" - CNN - "Panetta draws bipartisan praise in confirmation hearing".

  • Western nations are giving money to the Libyan rebels. Presumably a small cut from the many billions of assets that the West have seized and the billions that Italy owes in reparations for its last involvement in Libya. It is also said that Libyan Government forces are being given Viagra and then told to rape civilians - BBC - "Allies step up funding to rebels".

    earth AGW
  • Ex bureaucrat is a non-believer - Daily Mail - "'We must stop pandering to climate scaremongers': Ex-Civil Service chief blasts ministers for global warming 'evangelism'".

  • A comparison of predictions with experience to date - Clive Best - "1990 IPCC predictions confront the data".

    Thursday 9 June 2011

    canada More from Toronto toll touts
  • Open File - "Why we need to pay to drive: a case for road tolls".
    And some of the opposition - Star - "Hepburn: Ford is right, toll roads are nuts"   Star - "Cohn: Legislature united against road tolls and carbon taxes".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Infrastructurist - "The Secret History of America's Interstate Highway System".

  • More toll pushing - Lincoln Tribune - "Feds Push for National Vehicle Mileage-based Tax"   PR Web - "Texas Transportation Institute Weighs In On Road User Fees".

  • The Bill that would have brought back tolls to Connecticut has died, as it had not passed the State Senate when the annual legislative session ended this week - Eyewitness News - "Route 11 Tolls Bill Dies In Legislature"

  • Star-Ledger (NJ) - "And while we're on the subject of tolls ....".

  • Sundry stories - Penn. / NJ - "Stop the Toll Trolls on 422"   Penn. / NJ - "Tolls on Route 422? Readers say NO"   Penn. / NJ - "Commissioners divided on 422 tolling plan" video   Land Line Mag - "Maryland’s double whammy for truck tolls"   Maryland - "First hearing on toll hikes set for Thursday"   Maryland - "Toll increase would punish Cecil County".

    london More wailing from Dave Hill in the Guardian
  • "London Tories are confused about the congestion charge".
    You might think that if people like him got their way, and there were no motorists and no fifty billion a year going to the Government than he would really have something to wail about. BUT according to a link to one of the comments, the fact is that it is not drivers who are paying for the roads, it is that philanthropic band - cyclists - I Pay Road Tax.

    australia Tales from Oz
  • Australian bureaucrats to come up with rules to make sure that private tolls make profits - Australian - "Officials on a drive for perfect tollroad forecasts".
    The solution is simple - just make sure that drivers have no practical choice and that the news media tell drivers how lucky they are to be able to use a toll road!

  • Politicians toll pushing - Herald-Sun (Melbourne) - "Minister Anthony Albanese says congestion taxes should be considered".

    japan Bit more on toll ups and downs
  • Reuters - "Japan to scrap highway toll cap, may hurt fuel demand".

    europe RHA's reaction to the new toll rules for lorries
  • RHA press release - "Eurovignette Directive: “Improved performance but at a considerable cost” says RHA". At least the RHA beat the FTA who have still said nothing.

    britain" Latest Trade Stats
  • ONS - "UK Trade April 2011" pdf.

    earth Peacekeeping
  • BBC - "Clinton tells allies to step up pressure".
    As the American VP encourages the oil sheikhs to more actively join in the attack on Libya, the NATO "United Protector" operation is a bit of an enigma. Since NATO took over (after the earlier missile and bombing raids by the US, France and Britain), there have been according to NATO 10,290 sorties against Libya of which 3,907 were "strike" sorties. Yet according to the news media such as the BBC, there have been almost no casualties, and the Libyan army is still threatening "civilians". Are NATO dropping only water bombs on Libya?

    britain" No surprise from Toytown bank
  • Interest rates still almost nothing - BBC - "UK interest rates kept on hold at 0.5%"   BofE - "Bank of England maintains Bank Rate at 0.5% and the size of the Asset Purchase Programme at £200 billion".

    britain" British pop forecast as nearly 80 million in 50 years time
  • Three quarters of the pop growth in EU will be in one country - Britain - Eurostat - "Population projections 2010-2060" pdf.

    earth Oil prices "rise"
  • BBC - "Oil prices rise in after Opec holds oil production".
    This story is a bit of nonsense. The Brent price has gone up a bit this week, but is below the peak that it reached two months ago around the time of the start of the Libyan war.
    Of more interest is the info from BP - "Statistical Review of World Energy 2011".

    Wednesday 8 June 2011

    south Avis boss comments on new tolls
  • IoL - "Use the fuel levy to build freeways, not e-tolls".

    britain" Bosses collect tolls
  • Toll collectors on Southampton's Itchen toll bridge went on strike yesterday as part of a protest against Council cuts. Drivers still had to pay, as bosses manned the toll booths. The strike was continuing today.

    usa USA Roundup
  • More fantasies about the London Con - Infrastructurist - "The Case for Congestion Pricing".

  • Possible dodge for tolling existing roads - WPRI - "Why Rhode Island may be able to put tolls on I-95 after all"   Stateline - "States push to convert interstate highways into toll roads".

  • The boss of General Motors has suggested that the Federal gas tax should be raised - CNN - "GM CEO calls for $1 gas tax hike".

  • Yesterday, the New Jersey Governor denied that he knew anything about a plan to increase tolls, today he is backing it - Star-Ledger - "Gov. Christie says he would consider raising tolls 25 percent on Port Authority bridges, tunnels" comments   FoxNY - "Port Authority May Seek Toll Hike" video.

  • The ex Illinois Governor has been on trial, part of the charges relate to the Tollway - FoxChicago - "Rod Blagojevich Finishes Testimony in Corruption Trial" video.

  • Sundry stories - Maryland - "Szeliga: Toll Increases Not the Solution"   Georgia - "Toll road bonanza"   Pennsylvania - "Inquirer Editorial: Toll idea is wrong route"   NJ / NY - "Staten Island pols blast possibility of toll hikes on New Jersey crossings"   Rhode Island - "Senate commission proposes tolls, higher driving-related fees"   Washington State - "Narrows Bridge users not on the hook for startup hiccups"   DC / Virginia - "LaHood can't fill Dulles Rail's 'bottomless pit'"   California - "Cameras could help catch Bay Area toll cheaters".

    earth Peacekeeping
  • BBC - "Pro-Gaddafi forces attack Misrata".
    This story fails to point out that Government forces have been in occupation of most of Misrata since the war started. Given the NATO support for the rebels it is unlikely that the Government side can do much other than hold on, and rebel causalties may be the victims of friendly fire, possibly from the green nations of Norway and Sweden who seem to have been as keen as Britain and France to bomb Libyan Government targets.
    PS After we wrote the above, the BBC altered their story to "Rebels seek to break out of Misrata".

    europe More on the new toll rules for lorries
  • International Road Transport Union press release - "Eurovignette: EU Member States must now earmark revenues to effectively green road transport!"   IEWY - "Road charging: Heavy lorries to pay for costs of air and noise pollution" (later version of yesterday's report)   IEWY - "Road haulage: EP introduces “polluter pays” principle"   EurActiv - "EU to start taxing road freight to contain pollution".
    Britain's RHA and FTA have not bothered to issue a press release on the changes.

    vietnam Vietnam moves even closer to West
  • It has been announced that etolling will be introduced using "on-board-units" which will automatically pay road tolls. The aim is to reduce congestion at the toll booths.

    london More delusions about electric cars
  • Independent - "London on the road to a cleaner, low-carbon future".

    canada Some reaction to latest toll touting in Toronto
  • Star - "Pros and cons of road tolls".

    earth Pop and AGW
  • One of the infrequent articles that says pop growth is a problem - NY Times - "The Earth Is Full".
    99 per cent of those who comment on AGW turn a blind eye to the real problem - pop growth. Thomas Friedman seems to be in the one per cent.
    In the case of those who write sceptically about AGW, it seems that a similar 99 per cent also say that pop growth is not a problem. The AGW believers tend to be green and left wing and therefore it is heresy for them to mention pop growth (Telegraph 10 Dec 2009 - "Copenhagen climate conference: Who will dare mention population growth?"). The AGW sceptics tend to be libertarians who don't support trying to control anything or are right wing and want more people so as to drive down wages and increase prices.

    Tuesday 7 June 2011

    usa USA Roundup
    It's nearly a week since we included any stories from the land of the "free" way, but here are those from today -

  • Sundry stories - "Frey opposes any tolls on Connecticut roads"   NJ / NY - "Gov. Christie dismisses report that toll increases on Hudson River crossings are being considered"   NJ / NY - "Port Authority proposes 25 percent toll increase on bridges, tunnels"   Maryland - "Hiking the gas tax, bridge tolls nothing short of highway robbery"   Maryland - "Toll protesters rally against hikes"   Maryland - "Proposed Toll Hike, Decal Plan Angers Residents" video   Michigan / Canada - "Anti-bridge eviction notices evoke ugliness of blockbusting"   Pa. - "422 toll plan outlined to state panel"   Washington State - "State must earn Narrows bridge commuters' trust "   Land Line Mag - "Illinois nears privatization approval"   N.C. - "Gazette is wrong about Parkway"   "Editorial: North Texas Tollway Authority shouldn’t duck change"   Washington State - "Start of 520 Tolls Delayed Again; WSDOT Urges Motorists To Start Good To Go Accounts".

    britain" Manchester Con boss back
  • Manchester Evening News - "Return ticket: Congestion charge mastermind Roger Jones set to return to transport committee".

    australia Another tale from Down Under
  • The people of Manchester, who overwhelmingly rejected a Con, might be surprised to learn what a tolls spin doctor is reported as saying - Telegraph - "Pay as you drive on roads - scrap rego and fuel tax".

    europe More on new toll rules for lorries
  • IEWY - "Road charging: Heavy lorries to pay for costs of air and noise pollution"   Road Transport - "European HGV toll network takes a step closer"   Irish Trucker - "Hauliers to be penalised"   Parliament - "Eurovignette directive could become law by autumn".

    PS Today the MEPs agreed the new tolls regime - Reuters - "EU parliament tells hauliers: polluters should pay"   Handy Shipping Guide - "European Freight Trucks to Pay Pollution and Congestion Charges - New Rules Passed by European Parliament"   Bloomberg - "Trucks in Europe Will Face EU Toll Charges for Air Pollution, Noise".

    london south A Big Con
  • London consultants selling the South Africans a rose tinted and out of date picture of the London Con - Business Day - "Charging lessons to be learnt from London".

    london Fun with the new "automatic" payment
  • Mayor Watch - "Ignorance may sometimes be bliss, but not when it comes to the Congestion Charge".

    australia Tales from Down Under
  • Trying to persuade Perth to introduce tolls - ABC - "The freeways that become peak hour carparks".
    Australia's cities (like many in the US) have two problems - sprawl and growth. Tolls will not solve these problems, in fcact about the only solution is to create cities with lower population and higher densities, but you will need a time machine for this!

  • Telegraph (Sydney) - "Charging $12 to use M2"   2UE (Sydney) - "M2 tolls to increase for truckies" audio.

  • Proof that too much lager destroys the brain cells - The Age (Melbourne) - "RACV backs global call for fuel tax switch".

  • ATN - "Gay rules out congestion tax for Sydney".

    canada Toll tales from Canada
  • On the Toronto toll touts - Star - "Denial on road tolls needs to end"   Star - "GTA needs gas hikes, road tolls, congestion charges to fund transit: Experts" lots of comments   Star - "Oslo does it, Stockholm does it, London does it"   Star - "65% of Torontonians say no to road tolls; 72% want bike lanes" comments.
    The Spec - "Environmental watchdog recommends road tolls"   CBC - "Interview with Gordon Chong on road tolls" video  CP24 - "Watchdog wants tolls to reduce traffic, pollution" comments   CityTV - "Rob Ford denies road tolls will fund Sheppard subway" video.
    Star - "Road tolls worth considering"   CBC - "Tolls won't fund Sheppard subway: Ford"   Star - "Mayor Ford won’t support tolls to fund Sheppard extension" lot of comments   Globe&Mail - "Rob Ford calls toll road idea ‘nonsense’" lot of comments   Toronto Sun - "Ford camp slams brakes on toll talk" lot of comments.

  • Other stories - Laval News (Quebec) - "Charest crosses new A-25 bridge – with assistance from PPP".

    russia No to Con
  • Moscow News - "No congestion charge for Moscow".

    britain" Bit more on Tax free toll tax for sale
  • Hereford Times - "Whitney Toll Bridge for sale again following 2002 takeover".

    south More on the new Toll Road State
  • Business Report - "Rental firms query e-tolls"   Politics Web - "FF+ questions Gauteng toll answers"   ITWeb - "Freeway project unlikely to solve congestion"   News24 - "FF Plus demands more Gauteng tolls info".

    taiwan Trouble with the other China's etolls
  • We reported on the 12th May, that the toll operator was trying to boost the rate of etolls takeup, now the Government may take over - Focus Taiwan - "Contract violations may push government to nationalize ETC system".

    newzealand Update on troubled toll road
  • Bay of Plenty Times - "Secrecy over future of Route K".

    japan More on toll ups and downs
  • Mainichi Daily News - "Gov't to make Tohoku expressways toll-free for quake-affected people"   Japan Times - "Toll break for quake survivors".

    indonesia Jakarta's rush to Con still stalled
  • Berita Jakarta - "The 17 Steps to Overcome Traffic Congestion Hampered".

    ireland Irish Government extends its welcome to the trolls
  • Connacht Tribune - "Drivers to face two tolls on Gort to Tuam motorway".

    singapore "Reduce ERP rates if there is road work"
  • Today online - letter.

    germany German right wing joins the Greens proposed war on cars
  • Bloomberg - "Germany’s CSU to Push for Passenger-Car Tolls, Passauer Says".

    bulgaria romania Border toll reduced
  • Focus-Fen - "Bulgaria reduces Danube Bridge tolls as of June 1".

    britain" Getting to work stats
  • Independent on 3rd - "The other North/South divide: why Londoners have worst commutes"   ONS - "Commuting to work - Half-hour to work for 75% in UK"   ONS - "Three out of four people work within 30 minutes of home" pdf.

    britain" Congestion stats, maybe
  • Daily Mail on 3rd - "Jams tomorrow, jams yesterday (and probably jams today): The UK's most snarled-up stretches of road are revealed"   DfT - "Road congestion statistics" links to reports and data.
    Given the state of the economy and the high price of fuel, it is not surprising that congestion is down despite the continuing efforts of the authorities to slow amd impede traffic. But the DfT have withdrawn all the figures for individual roads "for further checks" as there was an error noticed for one road. This casts some doubt on all the figures.

    earth Pop
  • The infrequent reports that express concerm about the effects of pop growth, if they have no other effect, cause lots of reports telling people that there is no pop problem - Dakota Voice - "The Myth of Over-Population"   Life Site News - "Why is the UN arbitrarily inflating population predictions?"   NY Times - "Reverend Malthus and the Future of Food".

    earth AGW
  • The Met Office have issued their - Climate summary for May. They say that the May "mean temperature was 1.0 °C above the 1971–2000 average". The western part of Britain was close to average, with the temperature anomaly mainly in the east.

    Monday 6 June 2011

    london Western Con gone results
  • TfL press release 3rd June - "TfL announces initial results following removal of the Western Extension of the Congestion Charging Zone"   BBC - "'Fewer cars' as London congestion charge zone cut back"   BBC - "Scrapping the Western Congestion Zone: What do the statistics mean?".
    The figures show that the increased traffic (8 per cent) and congestion (3 per cent) in the ex Con zone is less than predicted. The BBC however spin this as "Perhaps some drivers hadn't changed their routes and didn't realise they no longer had to pay. .... The bottom line for drivers in that area is that it now takes longer to drive somewhere and there's nearly 10% more traffic.".
    TfL seem to be keeping secret what has happened in the original Con zone, where it was expected that there would be a reduction in traffic as a lot less people now qualify for the discount given to zone residents.
    Though the BBC is not happy, at least businesses in the ex xone are - Evening Standard - "Business starts to boom after C-charge zone axe".

    britain" Pat on the back
  • BBC - "IMF says no changes are needed to UK economic policy".
    It would have been rather surprising if the IMF, who's ex boss is currently out on bail for an alleged attack on an immigrant hotel maid, did anything other than support a right wing Government which was aiming to get back into the black on the backs of the workers while with its ally France it was implementing CIA policy in Libya.

    britain" The unimportant people told not to rock the boat as the rich and powerful may get wet
  • BBC - "Vince Cable warns GMB against co-ordinated strikes"   BBC - "TUC: Wage stagnation over decades as income gap widens"   TUC - "Britain’s Livelihood Crisis" pdf.
    The Government and those in control are quite safe. The combination of the destruction of most of British industry, the fragmentation of most of what remains, and the mass immigration of both skilled and unskilled people means that any challenge to the Lords of the demesne will have little effect.

    earth Peacekeeping
  • BBC - "Libya: William Hague and rebels talk political roadmap".
    One way or another, the rebels in eastern Libya will probably win, as if all else fails NATO will further disrupt the supply of food, oil and other essentials to those who have not joined the rebels. Presumably the NATO aim is that when the rebels are put in power they will be more corrupt and cooperative than the present Government. They might even be asked to hold a motor race!   BBC - "FIA approves return of Bahrain Grand Prix to Formula 1 calendar".

    earth AGW
  • Guardian - "Energy saving Green Deal scheme comes closer".
    Another example of how politicians do not understand economics. The savings are so low that they are to be recouped over 25 years, but who is to bear the interest cost and the risk that the full amount will never be repaid?

  • Guardian - "Climate change in tropics poses food threat to poor"   ABC - "Climate Change Threatens Food Crisis as Croplands Reduced, Says Report"   BBC - "Climate to wreak havoc on food supply, predicts report"   Time - "Tropical Hotspots Face Food Woes in a Warmer World"   Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security - "Mapping hotspots of climate change and food insecurity in the global tropics" pdf.
    There is the usual deception, which does not mention that pop growth is far more important than "Climate change" whether AGW exists or not.
    Interestingly the areas that are said to be worst affected by "climate change" are a good match for the areas where the most pop growth is forecast. So it seems that those who spin these stories must be at least subliminally aware that it is pop growth which is the real problem.

    Wednesday 1 June 2011

    earth Pop
  • One of Spiked's chief writers gives his views on those who are worried about pop growth, and wish to limit it through "contraception, sterilisation or extermination" - "Beware Malthusians in reasonable clothing".

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