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Thursday 30 September 2010

australia Price cut has little effect on empty toll tunnel
  • Courier Mail - "Clem 7 tunnel toll discount has little effect on boosting traffic".

    indonesia Jakarta Tolls as "Retribution"
  • Berita Jakarta - "ERP Rate to Become Retribution".
    Though it may be a while before the punishment starts - Jakarta Globe - "Traffic Pricing Plan Far Down the Road".

    britain" chimaera Does cryptic speech from Shadow Secretary mean that road pricing will be a new generation Labour policy?
  • Labour Party - "Sadiq Khan's speech to Labour Party Conference".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Two edged sword - NY - "Toll-discount protection for crossings, including Staten Island bridges, gains in D.C.".
    Though toll discounts are good for residents, they make it more likely that there will be more border tolls, which will be bad for America as a whole.

  • More on the wonders of etolls - ABC - "NW Indiana residents get big I-Pass bills".

  • Sundry stories - NY - "Toll-discount protection for crossings, including Staten Island bridges, gains in D.C."   DRPA - "Time's up for bistate patronage pit, the Delaware River Port Authority".

    britain" Top Ten
  • Daily Mail - "How rush hour lasts THREE hours... and how Britain's most gridlocked road is jammed for 92 hours a week".
    "The Kingsway Tunnel Approach in the Wirral near Liverpool endures 90 hours of misery" refers to the entrance to the tolls where queues can stretch for a mile - BBC - "Wallasey Tunnels' queue levels exposed in survey". The only surprise is that the Dartford Crossing which has a similar problem, apparently didn't make it into the top ten.

    britain" Board to have another go at raising tolls
  • BBC - "Humber Bridge toll rise bid prompts public inquiry"   Hull Daily Mail - "Motorists face possible Humber Bridge toll increase"   Hull Daily Mail - "Motorists face possible Humber Bridge toll increase".
    After the last Inquiry, the Government decided not to increase tolls, this time it is more likely that they will say "How high do you want them?"

    britain" chimaera Does cryptic speech from Shadow Secretary mean that road pricing will be a new generation Labour policy?
  • Labour Party - "Sadiq Khan's speech to Labour Party Conference".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Two edged sword - NY - "Toll-discount protection for crossings, including Staten Island bridges, gains in D.C.".
    Though toll discounts are good for residents, they make it more likely that there will be more border tolls, which will be bad for America as a whole.

  • More on the wonders of etolls - ABC - "NW Indiana residents get big I-Pass bills".

  • Sundry stories -   DRPA - "Time's up for bistate patronage pit, the Delaware River Port Authority".

    britain" Top Ten
  • Daily Mail - "How rush hour lasts THREE hours... and how Britain's most gridlocked road is jammed for 92 hours a week".
    "The Kingsway Tunnel Approach in the Wirral near Liverpool endures 90 hours of misery" refers to the entrance to the tolls where queues can stretch for a mile - BBC - "Wallasey Tunnels' queue levels exposed in survey". The only surprise is that the Dartford Crossing which has a similar problem, apparently didn't make it into the top ten.

    britain" Board to have another go at raising tolls
  • BBC - "Humber Bridge toll rise bid prompts public inquiry"   Hull Daily Mail - "Motorists face possible Humber Bridge toll increase".
    After the last Inquiry, the Government decided not to increase tolls, this time it is more likely that they will say "How high do you want them?"

    australia chimaera Professor pushes road pricing
  • Supply Chain Review - "'Turn the whole system upside down' on road charges"   ABC - "Congestion tax must cover entire road network".

    south Doomsday nearer
  • Business Day - "Road agency closer to introducing toll roads".

    britain" chimaera Yes Minister
  • We make quite a few information requests to the authorities, some are refused and we may then complain to the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). One feature of these complaints is that they usually fail, another feature is that the ICO take years to reach a decsion. Even if they rule in our favour, the information is usually no longer of any interest.
    A typical example is a request that we made to the Cabinet Office on 7th January 2008 about the Petitions to the PM facility. Soon after the facility had been created at the end of 2006 we had written suggesting that there should be a facility (as in Scotland) for those who signed a petition to say that they agreed to their details being passed to the petition creator. We were told that this suggestion would be discussednetrate the Whitehall Night and Fog. All that the authorities would admit existed was legal advice which we could not have. The ICO eventually accepted this and so after two years of effort we, as is often the case, got nowhere - ICO - Case FS50209723 (pdf).

    earth AGW
  • Royal scientists tone down the dogma a little bit - BBC - "Royal Society launches new climate change guide"   Royal Society- "Climate change: a summary of the science: September 2010" pdf download.

    Wednesday 29 September 2010

    costarica Questions on tolling of uncompleted road
  • Inside Costa Rica - "Presidenta Orders Investigation Into The San José - Caldera Highway Irregularities".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - DC region - "Next destination for HOT lanes may be I-66"   Pennsylvania - "Upper Providence supports 422 Master Plan, but not tolls"   "Illinois Tollway probes billing complaints"   Land Line Mag - "Reform sought for Delaware River Port Authority"   West Virginia - "Putnam commissioners approve tolls on U.S. 35".

    london Designed to be bad
  • Burnham-On-Sea - "Motorist in seven month legal fight over congestion zone fine".
    The difficulty in paying the Con is an extra deterrent to discourage traffic from entering the zone. And if it were not for the penal charges then the scheme would probably make no money. To March 2009, the cumulative surplus on the scheme was just under 400 million pounds, which is less than the cumulative gross enforcement income of of 650 million pounds - our London page.

    russia europe chimaera Russian rival for Galileo
  • Reuters - "New satellites seen invigorating satnav industry".

    ireland Toll road to nowhere
  • Independent - "Highway robbery and road tolls" letter.

    Tuesday 28 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup - later stories
  • Some governors worried that Congress may limit private tolls - Reuters - "US govs to Senate-Leave private partnerships alone".

  • More on the Governor who is breaking a promise - Charlton County Herald - "Political promises go down the drain"   AJC - "On charging a toll for motorists to use Ga. 400 after it was slated to expire" (an interesting picture of the toll board meeting).

  • More trolls wearing an economist's mask - NY Times - "Right-Turn Signal: Privatizing Our Way Out of Traffic".

  • Sundry stories - W Virginia - "Putnam commissioners approve tolls on U.S. 35"   Pennsylvania - "Best way to cut spending is to increase taxes"   NY - "MTA To Experiment With E-ZPass Only On Henry Hudson Bridge" video   NY - "Pilot program aims for all MTA bridges, tunnels to go cash-free".

    canada Toronto's tolls champion drops out of mayoral contest
  • Star - "Smitherman’s budget plan wins over Thomson"   National Post - "Sarah Thomson bows out of mayoral race, backs George Smitherman".

    australia Truckers say "Keep road charges simple"
  • Transport & Logistics News" - Fat Chance!

    usa USA Roundup
  • Cyclist says that it is them paying for the roads and it is drivers who get the free ride - GRIST - "Why an additional road tax for bicyclists would be unfair".

  • Tolls discourage car poolers - Contra Costa Times - "Fewer Bay Bridge carpoolers, but more in toll revenues".

  • Louisiana etolls farce - WWLtv - "Audit says CCC misspent toll money" video   Fox - "Audit of Crescent City Connection Division" video   Nola - "Crescent City Connection losing $110,000 monthly, legislative audit says" comments.

  • Sundry stories - NY - "The bell will toll for Hudson cash lanes"   Texas - "Metro plans 'HOT' offer for drivers who go solo"   DC / Virginia - "Kaine's legacy of mismanagement"   Land Line Mag - "Caltrans calls hearings for truck-only toll road"   Georgia - "Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Slams GA 400 Toll Extension, Calls it "Breach of Public Trust""   not the DRPA - "Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission to consider Gov. Chris Christie's request to abolish free rides for employees".

    india Tolls bureaucracy
  • Mid-Day (Mumbai) - "A taste of babudom".

    wales Western Mail says there is less traffic on bridge because drivers are taking the train
  • "Switch to public transport behind Severn toll decline".
    If train traffic to Bristol and London is up by more than the national trend it probably has little to do with the tolls. It will be more to do with changes in the relative ease / difficulty of travelling between the two modes. These are factors that will have no effect on trucks and vans and little effect on families.

    france France to increase tolls a bit to further subsidise trains
  • Connexion - "Motorway tax for loss-making trains".

    earth AGW
  • Government quango wants even bigger subsidies for wind - BBC - "UK 'needs domestic wind energy industry'".

    Monday 27 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • Selling the Big Con # 1 - Huffington Post - "It's Time to Enact Congestion Pricing in New York City". Part of the Con here, is the idea that New Yourk will be fine with one million more people providing that they have road tolls.

  • Selling the Big Con # 2 - Huffington Post - "Swedes Love Congestion Pricing, Why Don't We?". This story and the research behind it is based on the fallacy that the Swedes voted to ratify the Stockholm Con. The reality is that those inside the toll cordon were mainly in favour of it, and those outside were mainly against it. The referendum included suburbs outside the city boundaries, but usually only the results inside the city boundary are reported and this of course included a greater proportion of people who were also inside the toll cordon.

  • A voice that is unlikely to be heard - Penn Live - "Modernize fuel tax for a fair distribution".

  • Sundry stories - "DRPA Brass Admit More Scandals, But Given Free Passes"   New Mexico - "Projection shows clogged river bridges" video   North Carolina - "More details about toll road".

    britain" chimaera Does cryptic speech from Shadow Secretary mean that road pricing will be a new generation Lobour policy?
  • Labour Party - "Sadiq Khan's speech to Labour Party Conference".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Two edged sword - NY - "Toll-discount protection for crossings, including Staten Island bridges, gains in D.C.".
    Though toll discounts are good for residents, they make it more likely that there will be more border tolls, which will be bad for America as a whole.

  • More on the wonders of etolls - ABC - "NW Indiana residents get big I-Pass bills".

  • Sundry stories - NY - "Toll-discount protection for crossings, including Staten Island bridges, gains in D.C."   DRPA - "Time's up for bistate patronage pit, the Delaware River Port Authority".

    britain" Top Ten
  • Daily Mail - "How rush hour lasts THREE hours... and how Britain's most gridlocked road is jammed for 92 hours a week".
    "The Kingsway Tunnel Approach in the Wirral near Liverpool endures 90 hours of misery" refers to the entrance to the tolls where queues can stretch for a mile - BBC - "Wallasey Tunnels' queue levels exposed in survey". The only surprise is that the Dartford Crossing which has a similar problem, apparently didn't make it into the top ten.

    britain" Board to have another go at raising tolls
  • BBC - "Humber Bridge toll rise bid prompts public inquiry"   Hull Daily Mail - "Motorists face possible Humber Bridge toll increase"   Hull Daily Mail - "Motorists face possible Humber Bridge toll increase".
    After the last Inquiry, the Government decided not to increase tolls, this time it is more likely that they will say "How high do you want them?"

    gibraltar spain More on Rock and tolls
  • Panorama - "Alejandro confused about what is a toll".

    vietnam Vietnam considering the long term replacement of tolls with a fuel tax
  • Vietnam News - "Highway fund hits opposition".

    hongkong More on big toll increase
  • RTHK - "Pan urges government action over tunnels".

    Saturday 25 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • More on Georgia's trolls taking the suckers for a long ride - Mind Your Own Damn Business - "State of Georgia demonstrates reason for distrusting government"   Neighbour Newspapers - "GDOT, SRTA vote to extend Ga. 400 tolls"   Fresh Loaf - "State extends Ga. 400 toll until 2020, whether you like it or not".

  • Sundry stories - NY - "MTA Sets Drivers On The Road To Higher Bridge, Tunnel Tolls".

    gibraltar spain More on Rock and tolls
  • Gib Chronicle - "Sanchez Accuses Gib Govt Of Discrimination In Upper Rock ‘toll’".

    Friday 24 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • Trolls assume (probably correctly) that Georgia's drivers are suckers and can be taken for a long ride - Atlanta Business Chronicle - "Georgia 400 tolls to stay until 2020"   11Alive - "GA 400 Tolls Extended 10 Years" video   AJC - "Ga. 400 tolls to be extended to 2020".
    Some stories before the vote - AJC - "Toll extension would be latest change of course for Ga. 400"   AJC - "Sonny Perdue will weigh in on extension of Ga. 400 toll" lot of comments   WSB Radio - "Vote Expected On Ga. 400 Tolls" comments.

  • A couple of people who don't like tolls - Philly Post - "Tolls…And Why I Hate Their Guts - Is it time for a revolution?"   Tracy Press - "Commuter toll lanes tarnish the Golden State".

  • Academics selling tolls - NCPA - "Tolling by Time Reduces Congestion and Improves Air Quality".
    Not surprisingly "sponsors" of the Texas Transportation Institute include the North Texas Tollway Authority.

  • Sundry stories - W Virginia - "Transportation officials take next step on U.S. 35 tolls"   California - "American Lung Association Uses Bogus Stats To Endorse CARB Mandate"   NY - "E-Z Pass users may escape toll hikes as those paying with cash may get slapped by increase"   Ohio River Crossing - "Metro council passes non-binding resolution opposing tolls on existing bridges".

    canada Minister not concerned that tolls may increase congestion
  • News 1130 - "Shirley Bond not worried about Pitt River Bridge congestion" comments.

    gibraltar spain Bit more on Rock and tolls
  • Panorama - "We reveal the Sanchez toll plan after his Brussels visit".

    india You don't get what you pay for
  • Mid-Day (Mumbai) - "Tolls abound as roads go to pot".

    hongkong Small protest over big increase
  • Standard - "Tunnel fees protest by drivers".

    canada Big mass transit quango in big trouble
  • CBC - "Premier and mayors debate TransLink funding crisis" lot of comments.

    london London Toll Ken to have another go
  • Guardian - "Ken Livingstone vows to end Boris Johnson's run as London mayor"   Evening Standard - "It's Ken v Boris again — Labour picks Livingstone for Mayor rematch"   BBC - "Ken Livingstone wins Labour nomination for London mayor".

    earth AGW
  • The answer ain't blowin' in the wind - Kiowa County Signal - "15 reasons wind power is vastly overrated"   Scotsman - "Green policies tilting at windmills" letter.

  • Neither is it likely to involve batteries - NY Times - "Amid Tension, China Blocks Vital Exports to Japan".

    Thursday 23 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • On the possible reneging on the promise that tolls would stop - Atlanta Journal - "Quiet plan to extend Ga. 400 tolls sends loud message"   Atlanta Journal - "Ga. 400 toll: A broken promise would mean new projects".

  • Sundry stories - Florida - "Toll hearing on I-4 connector set for Sept. 30"   Pennsylvania - "Upper Providence supports 422 Master Plan, but not tolls"   Ohio River crossing - "Louisville Metro Council to vote on anti-toll resolution"   "Pa. Senate panel questions DRPA leaders" comments.

    indonesia Bit more on Jakarta Con
  • Berita Jakarta - "ERP to Be Applied on 3-in-1 Roads".

    britain" Britain can't make cars unless the immigrant floodgates are left open
  • BBC - "Carmakers in migrant cap warning".

    britain" Latest from the Let's make Inflation gang
  • BofE - "Minutes Of The Monetary Policy Committee Meeting 8 And 9 September 2010"   BofE - "Inflation, Inflation, Inflation".

    earth More AGW
  • What's up doc?   BBC - "Oceans divide over 1970s warming".
    The answer is not very much, as this latest "discovery" proves nothing either way.

  • More on possible ditching of IPCC head - BBC - "UN climate chief resignation call".

    earth Wot, no cars?
  • Like 99.99 per cent of the world you may have missed it, but yesterday was "World Car Free Day" - World Car Free.

    gibraltar spain More on Rock and tolls
  • Panorama - "Spanish Govt 'will not allow toll,' says minister"   Gibraltar Chronicle - "PP Urged To Over-Rule Sanchez On Toll Plan".

    earth AGW
  • The unacceptable face of AGW - Telegraph - "Pressure mounting for Rajendra Pachauri to resign as IPCC head".
    They may ditch Dr Pachauri, but the people who are really a problem for AGW are those who make money out of the carbon trading scam or the various uneconomic "green" alternatives to fossil fuels.

  • BBC - "'Warmist' attack smacks of 'sceptical' intolerance".
    Though this is story is a criticism of one or two AGW believers, it implies a bigger criticism of ""sceptics", "deniers", as you wish" being intolerant.
    The AGW faith is like a certain church which has a dogma that is so strong, that since it lost the power to have "heretics" tortured and killed, it usually ignores them.
    Those who are not in the AGW church have a very wide spectrum of beliefs ranging from 90% acceptance of the approved dogma to complete atheism. It is true, particularly in America, that many of those who don't accept the AGW faith, on the other hand believe that the world was created as per the bible. Their acceptance of one religion and not the other, seems not to be based on any knowledge of the AGW arguments but because they believe that AGW is a left wing conspiracy designed to constrain consumption, procreation and exploitation, while promoting health care and other public services. Their views (correct or not) are not rational and they may sometimes be abusive of others. But there are many people who are rational and are AGW "sceptics" or "deniers" because they understand and know enough to doubt whether there really is any significant AGW.

    Wednesday 22 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • "California Air Resources Board" wants to increase driving taxes and tolls by 400 per cent - Mercury News - "Opinion: Air board overreaching in greenhouse gas reduction targets".

  • Sundry stories - DRPA - "Philly-area bridge, transit agency comes under more fire"   Virginia - "Pay to drive 95?"   Colorado - "New way for E-470 drivers to pay"   West Virginia - "Mason County Residents Meet to Discuss Tolls on New Route 35"   DC region - "How to get Dulles Metrorail built, affordably"   Land Line Mag - "Tolls, taxes and fees among options sought to fund Pennsylvania roads"   Georgia - "400 tolls could be extended to fast-track interchange".

    australia Oz likely to fall for Con
  • Australian - "Congestion fees likely in charges overhaul".

    britain" Chambers of Commerce say that private roads are "inevitable"
  • - "Spending cuts to leave new roads in jeopardy".

    wales One reaction to the Earth shattering event
  • If Ryder Cup cheerleaders are worried about congestion as drivers bung up the road to the bridge, why don’t they drop tolls for the week it’s here? Just lift the barriers and let the traffic flow. That’s what real World Class Cities would do. And they could always absorb the cost out of the millions they say are coming our way." - South Wales Echo - "It’s only golf and most of us don’t care".

    gibraltar spain Rock, baccy and tolls
  • Gibraltar Chronicle - "Spanish Workers Demo As Tobacco Flows Past".
    Perhaps one thing that would help would be for Gibraltar to stop the sale of cheap cigarettes.

    indonesia Coalition of "Transportation Demand Management" want Jakarta Con profits to go to mass transit
  • Jakarta Post - "ERP system requires account to contain gridlock revenues".

    earth AGW
  • The writer welcomes the alliance between greens and businesses who realise that "There's money to be made" - Atlantic - "Why Big Business Is Defending California's Climate Regulations".

    Tuesday 21 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • Tolls too popular - SF Chronicle - "New I-680 express lane gets off to rough start".
    One puzzle is that if there are only 200 vehicles an hour using the toll lane, how come that their switching into the toll lane caused a three mile back up. The answer is that we will never know, because the authorities will never admit anything that casts doubt on their plans for tolls Über Alles.

  • Sundry stories - DRPA - "It’s Time for the DRPA Leadership to Go"   DRPA - "Transit unions target veto by Christie"   DRPA - "Tale of two bridge tolls is revealing" letter   Ohio River Crossing - "Jeffersonville City Council won’t say no to tolls"   Ohio River Crossing - "JJeffersonville City Council votes no to anti-toll resoltion" video   North Dakota - "Moorhead considers toll bridge request".

    wales Bit more on the Earth shattering event
  • Free Press - "Minister steps in to get card payments for Severn bridge tolls".

    indonesia Latest on proposed Jakarta Con
  • Berita Jakarta - "City Ready to Implement ERP".

    britain" Record August public spending deficit
  • BBC - "UK public sector borrowing hits record for August"   ONS - "Public sector finances August 2010".
    One reason for the increase was indexation of some of the Government borrowing. The Government recently withdrew that type of savings, so that anyone with savings is being hit twice - their gross interest will be less than inflation, and then the Government taxes the interest.

    ireland Bonus if you only fail 5 percent of the time
  • Irish Trucker - "Toll staff pay bonus claim".

    britain" Energy Secretary backs "green" taxes
  • Daily Mail - "Huhne says yes to £22bn green tax: Petrol could soar under LibDem minister's drive".

    earth Plants
  • 60% of all known plants have been wiped out at a stroke by scientists - BBC - "Global plant inventory cuts 600,000 species records".

  • Meanwhile some plants survive at Chernobyl - BBC - "Chernobyl plant life endures radioactivity". Perhaps more amazing than a few plants is that there are over one million people living in the city of Hiroshima.

    earth One view on how we are all conned
  • Activist Teacher - "Some Big Lies of Science".

    Monday 20 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • It seems there is at least one person who is not happy with the proposal to turn the DC region's roads into streets of gold for the authorities - Inside Nova - "Tolls are taxes in disguise".

  • Sundry stories - Washington State - "Seattle City Council to vote on $20 car tabs increase, street tolls"   California - "I-680 toll lane may not be final one for commuters"   Florida - "Remember, Crosstown tolls are now cash-free"   DRPA - "Still out of touch"   California - "FasTrak use on Bay Area bridges speeds up".

    london Confirmation that LEZ tolls are postponed
  • BBC - "London van and minibus emission zone delayed until 2012"   Mayor Watch - "LEZ 3 introduction set for January 2012".

    london Mayor explains why he didn't try to Con the Pope
  • Telegraph - "Pope's visit: Blimey. What to say to the Pope? A good joke ought to clinch it. . .".

    britain" Labour to join the fat cats call for more road tolls?
  • Item number 2 of "what the left needs" is "Use co-payments to increase the cash available for public services. If tax revenues are not big enough, other sources of money must be found. An obvious example is road pricing. New technology allows us to use smart means to charge motorists for driving on our roads, with different rates for different types of road and different times of day." - New Statesman - "The recovery position".
    The writer was a politicial analyst for the BBC and is currently President of YouGov polling.

    netherlands Bit more on Dutch officials still pushing tolls
  • We reported on the 15th that a quango which in English has the title "Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency" had published a report advocating a "Kilometre tax". The temporary Dutch Government is tomorrow to unveil its Budget and De Telegraaf (the biggest newspaper) is warning the Government to ignore the tolls pushing and also attacks the Dutch FOE.

    london TfL continues its policy of welcoming vistors to London with toll tax bills
  • Evening Standard - "Embassies owing £42m in C-charge fines claim diplomatic immunity".

    britain" Handle fallen off inflation pump
  • BofE - "Provisional estimates of broad money (M4) and credit (M4 lending): August 2010"   Reuters - "Lending to UK firms falls, M4 growth at new y/y low".
    The year on year increase in M4 for August is 1.8%. Given that current economic growth is less than 1.8%, it is an inflationary increase, but the increase seems to be the lowest annual one for 30 years at least. The situation is similar for M4 Lending.
    We currently have and are expected to have for some years interest rates which the Old Lady is forcing to be well below the rates of inflation. This will be fuelling demand and thus inflation. The puzzle is that the banking system as a whole seems to be frustrating the Old Lady's efforts to create a bigger inflationary boom. So will we have more helicopter money?

    britain" The cats that get all the cream push for less welfare payments and more road tolls
  • FT - "Employers urge Osborne to cut deeper to fund projects"   BBC - "Protect infrastructure from cuts, CBI tells government"   CBI press release - "Cbi Says Spending Review Must Galvanise Growth"   "CBI Submission To The 2010 Spending Review" pdf.
    The press release talks about "user contributions", but the submission is more explicit - "The contribution of user payments will need to increase. For road, this should take the form of tolls to fund new road infrastructure (including potentially tolled additional lanes to enable widening for existing roads at congestion pinchpoints). Local authorities may also need to investigate road toll schemes to fund local transport improvements ...".

    wales Severn tolls traffic down
  • Western Mail - "No sign of an end to Severn bridge tolls".
    The chances that the politicians will ever do anything to get the tolls removed seems to be zero.

    australia Another toll tunel on the way for Brisbane
  • Sydney Morning Herald - "Successful Northern Link tender announced".

    newzealand New Zealand's fat cats want "congestion pricing"
  • Voxy- "Businesses Put Forward Plan To Accelerate Auckland".
    On congestion pricing, the business bosses cite "similar systems overseas which have cut traffic 25% while growing retail sales by 6%". The lowest paid worker in New Zealand would realise that this is daft.

    britain" The less svelte cats in the public sector
  • BBC - "9,000 in public sector get more pay than prime minister".
    The biggest group who are laughing all the way to the bank are the GPs, one of whom is "earning" £475,000 a year.

    Sunday 19 September 2010

    britain" Sell out
  • An MP who campaigned against the tolls claims victory - he says that the toll booths will be replaced with a London Con style camera system - Kent News - "Dartford crossing booths 'to go, but tolls stay'".

    britain" Badge blues
  • Telegraph - "Blue badge abuse is out of control".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - New Jersey / Pennsylvania - "Set DRPA reform sights on leaders"   California - "Sign of commutes to come: Toll lanes throughout Bay Area".

    Saturday 18 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • A businessman who supports Washington State's "" - Vancouver Voice - "Meet the head troll".

  • Latest twist in the DRPA resistance to part of the cleanup - - "DRPA board now sides with gov on toll issue"   Fox- "Full Text Of DRPA Apology"   NBC - "Gov. Christie Vetoes DRPA Perks".

  • Desparate to have more tolls - Orlando Sentinel - "Osceola County wants toll roads but must find money for board first".

  • Sundry stories - California - "I-680 Express Lane through Fremont to open"   Georgia - "State might keep collecting tolls on Ga. 400, the Northside's most expensive parking lot".

    wales Latest news flash on the Earth shattering event
  • BBC- "Severn tolls 'still quicker with cash'".

    gibraltar spain europe More on Spanish Mayor involving EU in border toll plan
  • Gibraltar Chronicle - "Sanchez Seeks EU Blessing For Toll Plan".

    britain" chimaera Another report on Quango saying that it is "inevitable"
  • TRL - "The introduction of road pricing 'is inevitable".
    TRL, by the way, used to be called the "Transport Research Laboratory" till the the Tories privatised it in 1996.

    zimbabwe Painting a black picture
  • The Daily Mail has a go at President Mugabe and briefly mentions road tolls, which they suggest go to him - "Mugabe's darkest secret: An £800bn blood diamond mine he's running with China's Red Army".
    What they don't mention is that the tolls didn't exist till a year ago, when the country moved a bit towards Western "democracy".

    mexico Drug trolls
  • Drug gangs making a little money on the side - of the road - KENS5 - "Explosion of narco-violence near Texas border claims 22".

    bangladesh Unofficial tolls increasing "prices of daily essentials"
  • Financial Express - "Top cop to hold talks with businesses in every quarter".

    earth Don't panic
  • Suggestion that there is no peak oil problem and that prices will fall - Oil Price - "Could Oil Prices Sink to $20 a Barrel".
    With an extra 75 million people every year and more consumption per head, the demand for oil will rise and prices are bound to rise in the long term.

    Friday 17 September 2010

    tajikistan No escape from tolls, however far you go
  • Eurasia Net - "Tajik Toll Road Raises Public Ire, Stokes Corruption Concerns".

    wales Earth shattering event
  • South Wales Argus - "Card payments set for Severn bridges – but only for Ryder Cup".

    europe Academic Tollsland
  • A German professor of economics says "The time has come for general road tolls on all roads in Europe" - Vox EU - "Tolls instead of traffic jams".
    Amongst the other nonsense is the section "Won’t this cost a lot of money?" which talks about the amount of the tolls, and ignores the issue of the cost of collection and enforcement. As an academic paper this would get an "F" grade.

    usa USA Roundup
  • A lesson in democracy - Columbian - "Council may clarify rules after outburst".
    One of the protestors must have had a hidden camera, so you can see what really happened on You Tube - "Vancouver Council 13 Sep". Apart from the councillor who seems to go insane about the no tolls speaker, it is interesting to see the ineffectual performance of the Mayor who was elected on a "No tolls" ticket.

  • Governor fights the DRPA resistance to some of the reforms - - "DRPA's New Jersey Commissioners fire back to veto by Gov. Christie concerning free tolls for workers"   Gov Monitor - "Governor Christie Sends DRPA Another Wakeup Call". - "Gov. Christie wants to end free tolls, rides for N.J.'s transit employees" lots of comments - "Gov. Christie vetoes DRPA's actions to restore free bridge passage, train ride perks to employees" comments.

  • Sundry stories - Georgia - "Ga. 400 toll extension: Broken promise or understandable?"   Georgia - "Ga. 400 toll may not expire as promised"   Bond Buyer - "Future for California Tollways Looks HOT"   Louisiana - "Algiers residents sound off on proposal to remove tolls on Crescent City Connection"   Florida - "As Crosstown tolls change, dozens lose jobs".

    portugal Portugal to go ahead with introduction of tolls on motorways
  • Portugal News - "All set for Algarve motorway tolls by next April".

    gibraltar spain More on possible border toll dispute
  • Leader - "Gibraltar Toll Controversy Continues"   Gibraltar Chronicle - "Gib MEPS Bombard Commission".

    britain" No fuel duty increase, please
  • BBC - "AA wants government to scrap planned rise in fuel duty".

    britain" Some are more equal than others
  • BBC - "Bedford bus lanes open to taxis and bicycles in trial".
    Dedicated lanes are a waste of road space and slow down traffic in other lanes. Letting taxis use them, reinforces the point that other drivers can safely be treated with contempt by the authorities.

    earth AGW
  • America does a leapfrog - Some years ago most of the world, but not America, abandoned the phrase "anthropogenic global warming" for ambiguous phrases such as "climate change" and "climate chaos". The President's scientific adviser has now come up with a new one - “global climate disruption" - Fox - "White House: Global Warming Out, 'Global Climate Disruption' In".

    Thursday 16 September 2010

    london Batty mobile
  • BBC - "London mayor requests C-charge exemption for Popemobile".
    Whatever makes the Mayor think that the Pope would have to pay? There will be the usual diplomatic exemption (though TfL pretends that it does not apply) and the vehicle will not be registered in Britain, and 90% of the drivers of such vehicles never pay anyway.

    usa USA Roundup
  • Some comment on private roads - The Atlantic - "High-Speed Rail and the Case Against Private Infrastructure".

  • More etolls fun - WPRI (Rhode Island) - "Unmounted E-ZPass will cause extra fees".

  • DRPA plans to reinstate toll perks as it would be "tough" and "unfair" for staff to have to pay - Fox - "Free Rides Back At DRPA?" video   Philadelphia Inquirer - "DRPA votes to restore workers' free tolls and keep CEO John Matheussen".
    Courier Post - "DRPA revives free rides"   Philly - "For DRPA, lasting reform seems a bridge too far". But they may be stopped - Fox - "Christie May Veto Free E-ZPasses" video.

  • Sundry stories - Florida - "Electronic tolls roll out Friday on Lee Roy Selmon Crosstown Expressway"   Louisiana - "Crescent City Connection Tolls Renewal Stirs Debate" video   Indiana / Kentucky - "Metro Council committee passes anti-toll resolution for existing roads"   DC - "Council plans public survey on regional toll road project"   W Virginia - "U.S. 35 tolls could stay more than 30 years"   New York - "Tuscaroras make toll booths over NY tax" video   Utah - "HOV lanes are faster, safer — but some drivers there illegally".

    britain" The sheep continue with their electric dreams
  • DfT - "Mass market electric cars moved a step closer today as Transport Secretary Philip Hammond awarded £24 million to further develop the UK's low carbon vehicle capability".

    britain" Latest survey on the success of hoodwinking people about inflation
  • BofE - "Bank of England/GfK NOP Inflation Attitudes Survey".

    earth More AGW
  • In defence of the faith - in her short speech at Holyrood welcoming the Pope the Queen said "The Holy See continues to have an important role in international issues ... and in addressing common problems like poverty and climate change.". Presumably there were no AGW agnostics to be seen.

    australia What the Trolls say
  • Australian / Wall Street Journal - "What infrastructure industry leaders think".

    wales Much ado
  • BBC - "Plea for Severn Bridge card payments before Ryder Cup".
    If the MPs do succeed, then many drivers may face even longer queues to pay. A pity that MPs don't use as much energy to get rid of tolls, as then this issue would be irrelevant.

    earth AGW
  • Get your wellies ready - BBC - "'Rapid' 2010 melt for Arctic ice - but no record"   NSIDC - "Arctic sea ice reaches lowest extent for 2010".
    It seems that Watts Up helped the NOAA / NSDIC to correct an earlier report on the extent of ice - "NOAA’s sea ice extent blunder".
    Whatever the melting of Arctic sea ice is, it has of course no direct effect on sea levels, and if it was sustained would be a boon to shipping, so we have the usual hype about all the animals under threat - CNN - "Arctic species under threat, report warns".

  • The quango that we reported yesterday was urging "road pricing" as the best way of reducing CO2 "pollution" has today issued another report - BBC - "Climate change advisers urge UK to prepare for change". Fortunately this time the report makes no mention of any form of road tolls.

    Wednesday 15 September 2010

    china Monster jams continue
  • Asia News - "Monster road gridlocks, physiological on Chinese expressways".

    britain" Anti tolls petition
  • Dartford Times - "Dartford Crossing Times campaign goes to parliament".

    ireland Another two stories from the Republic
  • Meath Chronicle - "Tolls 'too expensive for HGVs', council hears".

  • Irish Times - "Doubt over €5.3m of M50 tolls".

    britain" chimaera Government's Climate Quango pushing road pricing again
    A member of the CCC gave the "keynote address" at a "Low Carbon Vehicle" conference today - AutoCar - "Government gets tough on pollution".
    This is a another example of how it is assumed that the public will accept any rubbish. CO2 is not pollution, and there could be no life without it. And to suggest that the most effective way of reducing this "pollution" is "road pricing" is fantasy. If that was their real aim then all motoring taxes, including tolls, would be replaced by a tax on fuel. So why do bodies like the CCC push tolls instead of fuel taxes?
    The person giving the "keyonote address" at day two of this jamboree is none other than the Secretary of State for Transport.

    britain" The Big Con
  • BBC - "We let it slip, Bank governor Mervyn King tells unions"   BofE - "Address To The 2010 Trades Union Congress, Manchester" pdf.
    The reason that one of the pillars of the establishment entered the lion's den is that the Government needs to fool union members. During the 13 years of the Labour Government there was a Social Contract whereby the unions did not cause any trouble in return for improved public services and a generous welfare state. Now we have a situation where wages are falling in real terms and there will be cuts to services and welfare while the fat cats again lap up as much as they can.

    britain" Unemployment figures
  • BBC - "UK unemployment falls to 2.47 million"   ONS - "Labour market statistics: September 2010" pdf.

    usa USA Roundup
  • Bit more on massive toll plan - Land Line Mag - "DC area studies 1,650 miles of toll lanes".
    The anti car people at "Greater Greater Washington" are happy about the proposed massive increase in tolls, but unhappy about more roads - "TPB's "aspiration" means HOT lanes, more pollution".

  • Toll likely to be kept to subsidise ferry users - NOLA (Louisiana) - "Crescent City Connection toll renewal on Algiers meeting agenda".

  • Sundry stories - "Texas Sidestep"   Georgia - "Buy new land to run an experiment with highway’s HOT lanes" letters   Florida - "Wekiva Parkway draws opponents"   W Virginia - "2 Putnam commissioners back tolls for U.S. 35"   Virginia - "Privatization proves difficult in two Va. deals".

    netherlands Dutch officials still pushing tolls
  • PBL (a quango which in English has the title "Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency") publishes a report saying that - Dutch News - "Kilometre tax 'best option' to cut congestion".

    australia Toll tunnel still in trouble
  • International Business Times - "Clem7 still on the red".

    earth AGW
  • A bit more on the low sunspot counts - Science Mag - "Say Goodbye to Sunspots?".

  • Yesterday a sceptics report on the Climategate whitewash was published - GWPF - "Damning New Investigation Into Climategate Inquiries".

  • Even the establishment think that they need a new sales team - BBC - "Call to replace UN climate chiefs".

  • Roy Spencer on Watts Up questions whether water vapour is a positive warming feedback - "Spencer on water vapor feedback".
    As we have mentioned before one of the puzzles of AGW is NASA's "Earth Radiation Budget Experiment" in the 1980s which concluded that clouds made the Earth 20 degrees Fahrenheit cooler - NASA - "Why Isn't Earth Hot as an Oven?". Water vapour is not, of course, the same as clouds, but it is a bit difficult to have one without the other!

  • Also on Watts Up, proof that men are really dumber than women - "Study: Women more likely than men to accept global warming".

    Tuesday 14 September 2010

    britain" chimaera Running on the spot
  • Guardian - "Charging forward".
    The chair of the UK Roads Board believes that "road pricing is inevitable at some stage". We had never heard of this body but it entirely consists of Government amd local authority reps. So who is really behind this latest toll touting?

    canada Mass transit in only half covered by fares, so abolish fares
  • Star (Toronto) - "Free roads? Why not free transit?".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Speculation about GPS - LA Times - "GPS/GSM Based Tolling Opportunities Expanding".

  • New license plate system to reduce numbers not paying tolls - Business Wire - "State proposal would hike fees for car purchases and leases".

  • Contractors in Iowa want a higher gas tax to fund better roads, but officials want to use tolls - KTIV - "Contracting group fuels gas tax talk".

  • Sundry stories - California - "Resident fumes over toll issue" letter   California - "Problems on new I-680 toll lane"   California - "1st Striping Done On Milpitas I-680 Express Lane".

    serbia Company asks for increase in Serbian tolls
  • B92 - "Demand for increasing highway tolls".

    gibraltar spain europe Toll dispute goes to EU
  • Gibraltar Chronicle - "MEP Raises Toll Question In Europe".

    britain" Latest inflation figures
  • RPI is 4.8% and CPI is 3.1% - BBC - "UK inflation unchanged in August"   ONS - "Consumer price indices: August 2010" pdf.

    britain" Nottingham best?
  • Guardian - "Nottingham named England's least car-dependent city"   CBT - "Car Dependency Scorecard".
    Almost everyone supports a good public transport system, though they will not agree on who should pay for it. Though the anti car groups such as the Campaign for Better Transport want drivers to pay and for the money to be wasted on the most expensive and inefficient forms of transport such as trams which they say are "now used by 10 million passengers a year". Assuming this means single journeys, it works out as only 14,000 return journeys a day, most of which will be off peak.

    earth AGW
  • On why greens are so concerned about AGW but ignore population growth and immigration (to America) - Daily Caller - "Anti-Immigration Environmentalism".

  • A bit more on why deniers (in Australia) should not be blacked out - The Australian - "Aunty is mistaken but not malicious".

  • Another green waste of effort - BBC - "Smart meters 'may not cut energy use'".

    Monday 13 September 2010

    britain" Gravy train for big bosses is back in the station
  • BBC - "FTSE 100 executive bonuses close to pre-crisis levels".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Comment on the President's latest infrastructure spending boost - Counterpunch - "That $50 Billion "Infrastructure" Plan: Obama's Thatcherite Gift to the Banks".

  • The DC region Trolls with financial aid from the Federal Government are to see how they can sucker drivers into "road-use pricing" - NBC - "Taking a Toll to Ease Congestion"   WTOP - "Would pay-to-drive solve congestion problems?"   Washington Examiner - "Transportation officials mull massive new toll system".
    Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments - "Briefing on the "CLRP Aspirations" Scenario, Major Corridor Studies Considering Managed/Priced Lanes in the Washington region, and a new Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Grant to Study Public Acceptability of Pricing Major Roadways" pdf.

  • Sundry stories - W Virginia - "Tolls will speed up completion of U.S. 35"   "Georgia 400 Toll Study"   California - "Bay Area's first express lane to open on I-680"   DC / Virginia - "Different Approach".

    nigeria More on Nigerian tolls
  • Next - "Lagos to concession more roads".

    britain" chimaera Looking ahead (and back)
    Talk to ABD on "How Election result affects moves to implement road pricing" pdf.

    britain" Telegraph's economist suggests selling off the motorways
  • "A sell-off of motorways to private operators able to charge for use would not only bring money into the coffers but would also spur a wave of expenditure associated with the infrastructure required, and it would also stimulate a rethink of transport requirements, which would require expenditure. The Government can say that such ideas are already under review or, as in the case of road pricing, have been rejected. But such projects are typically rejected or delayed after an assessment of whether they make sense from a micro perspective. But in current circumstances, there is an equally important macro perspective" - "It is time for imaginative solutions to boost confidence".
    This article is probably the tip of the iceberg. Out of the public eye, there is probably a lot of lobbying from the trolls and other vultures. The Government will realise that such a policy would be VERY unpopular. We would also hope that there is someone in Government who realises that adding tolls to an existing infrastruture would mean a VERY substantial reduction in its capacity as vehicles queue to pay the tolls. They could make the system barrierless, but they would then risk drivers banding together to give a two fingered salute to their toll enforcement system.

    earth Central banks pray to get a little chaster, but not yet Lord
  • BBC - "Global bankers agree new capital reserve rules".
    The job of the central banks is to try and make sure that the Money House of Cards does not fall down. The new capitalisation rules are too late and too little to really strengthen the foundations of the system.

    earth AGW
  • It seems that the "pace of global warming is so slow that it is hard for most mere mortals to grasp its implications". - "Leading article: A policy for the planet". How lucky that we have the wise men of the Church of Climate Change" who are building an ark for us mere mortals. Unfortunately, there will not be enough places in the boat as the problem of population is ignored.

    Sunday 12 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • Argument against toll lanes - North Country Times (Califorinia) - "FORUM: I-5 needs more regular lanes".

  • A candidate fo Governor who says he wants less tolls - Staten Island Advance - "GOP gubernatorial hopeful calls V-N bridge toll 'unjust taxation'"   NY Daily News - "Paladino Penance? First Disdain For NYC, Now Plan To Kill Verazzano Bridge Tol".

  • Sundry stories - Texas - "NTTA’s cashless tolls will cost about 140 jobs in Dallas-Fort Worth".

    nigeria Nigerian toll concerns
  • Next - "The mathematics of Lekki toll road"   Vanguard - "Lagos govt set to toll more roads".

    earth Let them eat soil
  • The BBC providng a platform for a suggestion that we don't need to worry about there being enough food, and should certainly not do anything that isn't "green" to increase food production - "Food figures need a pinch of salt".
    At the present annual population growth of 75 million, we will have over a billion extra people in 14 years time. Perhaps the Greens can start eating each other?

    earth AGW
  • Answer to Pascal's Wager - Market Oracle - "Global Warming, Must We Do Something, Anything?".

    Friday 10 September 2010

    earth More AGW
  • GISS have just published the global temperatures for August - "GLOBAL Land-Ocean Temperature Index" (near bottom of page).
    As we usually mention it needs to be borne in mind that the GISS is controlled by believers and they select which measurements to use and which to ignore, and they then adjust the temperatures. Having said that, according to GISS the anomaly for August is plus 0.53 degrees Celsius from the average for 1951 to 1980. This is below the August peak of 0.63 in 1998 and a bit below the figures for 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2009.

    britain" Loud Dartford protest
  • New Shopper - "Dartford Crossing: Sale protesters to descend on parliament with petition and vuvuzelas".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Story on the so far weak opposition to the Ohio bridges toll plan - News & Tribune - "Your voice needs to be heard".

  • Auditor complains that the Illinois Tollway is not being hard enough on those who have not paid - Daily Herald - "State audit finds flaws in tollway accounting"   Chicago Tribune - "Audit: Tollway can't explain 'hardship' breaks".

  • Another tale of a toll authority and who is benefitting from all that cash - Press of Atlantic City - "Polistina, Amodeo call for probe of SJTA finances after report in The Press". Previous report on the 4th - "Some South Jersey Transportation Authority workers get big pay raises".

  • Sundry stories - New Jersey / Pennsylvania - "DRPA workers' unions fight effort to end their free bridge crossings, PATCO trips".
    West Virginia - "Commission updated on U.S. 35"   West Virginia - "Toll booth locations unveiled for U.S. 35"   Virginia - "Three groups are vying to build a new U.S. 460"   Indiana / Kentucky - "Metro Council takes up proposal on bridge tolls" video   Indiana / Kentucky - "Louisville Metro Council to discuss bridge tolls" video.

    europe Eurovignette plan for more and higher truck tolls criticised by International Road Transport Union
  • Euractiv - "France, Germany only winners of green road charges". The UK was not one of the countries that was considered by the study, but as it is "peripheral" it would have been a "loser".
    From the IRU site (all pdfs) - "Internalisation of external costs" summary   "Internalisation of external costs" full report   "Detailed Observations On The Recent EU Proposal On Internalising External Costs".

    ireland Bit more on Ireland's newest and only untolled motorway
  • Irish Times - "M9 motorway to remain toll free, says Minister".

    earth AGW
  • Bit more on our next head of state and his green gospel - PA in Independent - "Prince Charles 'baffled' by climate change sceptics" comments.
    The Prince thinks that sceptics believe that "all these greenhouse gases we're pouring into the atmosphere just disappear through holes conveniently into space, it doesn't work like that.".

  • On why deniers should not be blacked out - ABC (Australia) - "Clive Hamilton and ABC balance".

  • It seems that the Sun has still not completely woken up from its long sleep as today there are no sunspots. The count of spotless days is now 40 days in 2010 and 808 since the minimum began.

  • We are currently in the Holocene interglacial period. Watts Up today has another story on the previous interglacial (Eemian) being warmer than the present one - "Study: “Arctic was 5C warmer during the (LIG) Last InterGlaciation than at present”".

    Thursday 9 September 2010

    ireland Two from the Republic
  • A motorway which opened today will be Ireland's only untolled motorway. The reason given is that too few drivers will use it - Irish Times - "No plan for tolls for new M9".

  • AA's man in Ireland airs his views - Herald - "'Motorists have always been a cash cow. For every €20 you spend on petrol, €14 goes to the exchequer'".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Sundry stories - New Jersey / Pennsylvania - "DRPA closes toll-free perk loophole"   NY (Streetsblog) - "Support for Congestion Pricing, Not Harlem River Tolls, at SD 31 Debate".

    usa canada End to toll perks
  • People working for a State owned bridge from New York to Ontario will have to start paying tolls, and so will their spouses - Watertown Daily - "Agency blasts OBPA policy".
    This seems to be just part of your everyday tolls practice. The bridge seems to have no debts and very low maintenance costs. The tolls seem to go on paying for toll collectors and various non bridge activities.

    china Chinese crackers
  • - "New energy car subsidies likely to be expanded".
    If the Chinese really wanted to reduce fuel use, they would have applied the changes already agreed - eliminate fuel subsidies and abolish road tolls. Instead there is the scam of electic cars, which will inevitably be powered by burning of coal.

    britain" Inflation gang keep interest rates negative in real terms
  • BBC - "UK interest rates remain at record low of 0.5%"   "News Release: Bank of England Maintains Bank Rate at 0.5% and the Size of the Asset Purchase Programme at £200 Billion".

    india Indian Government orders that tolls be put on free roads to stop trucks avoiding existing tolls road
  • Hindu Business Times - "Heavy vehicles taking rural roads may face State govt toll".

    gibraltar spain Spanish Mayor loses latest round in his border toll plan
  • Panorama - "La Linea mayor climbs down on traffic signs"   Gibraltar Chronicle - "La Linea Ordered To Remove Frontier Road Sign".

    canada Candidate for Toronto Mayor says he will scrap both trams and any idea of road tolls
  • Ctv - "Ford declares war on streetcars in transit plan" video   Star - "Scrap streetcars for subways, Ford says".

    netherlands singapore Bit more on Dutch road toll plan revived?
  • Channel News Asia - "Better traffic management, the Dutch way?".

    Wednesday 8 September 2010

    netherlands singapore Dutch road toll plan revived?
  • It had been reported that the Netherlands was likely to abandon its pay per mile tolls plan due to a lack of all party support. But the Dutch Tranport Minister has now gone to "learn" about ERP - Channel News Asia - "S'pore & Netherlands cooperate in urban transport solutions".
    Mr Eurlings belongs to the "Christian Democratic Appeal" which is the biggest party in the minority Coalition. Having said that, the party only got 14% of the votes in the June general election, so Mr Eurlings may be flogging a dead horse.

    turkey Turkey lifts tolls and public transport fares to reduce congestion during public holiday
  • Hürriyet Daily News - "Public transportation, bridge tolls to be free in Istanbul during holiday".

    germany Germans abandon plan for higher tolls for dirtier trucks
  • The German Government, as expected, has today announced that it will not go ahead with the scheme were "more polluting" vehicles would have paid a higher rate of tolls.

    canada Greens promise a tolls future
  • Winnipeg Free Press - "New Brunswick Green party promises highway tolls, corporate tax increase".

    australia Police action
  • Police and Sheriff’s officers in the State of Victoria are now mounting combined operations using ANPR equipment to stop and arrest drivers who have fines for not paying tolls.

    usa britain" BP divides the blame
  • BBC - "'Many failures' caused BP spill"   CNN - "BP report spreads blame across Gulf spill actors"   BP - "Internal investigation" inc video.

    canada usa Native American toll exemption
  • Standard-Freeholder - "Not time to talk of bridge tolls: Saaltink".
    The area of Cornwall Island is the only area on the long border where there is a third party - the Mohawk Nation - who have the advantage that they are not required to pay tolls.

    britain" More hot air
  • BBC - "Heat pumps 'need tighter regulations'"   EST - "Getting warmer: a field trial of heat pumps" pdf.
    This report is the usual disinformation. Despite the practical problems the "Energy Savings Trust" imply that heat pumps will save money, though they seem to make no attempt to take into account the capital costs.

    britain" Comment on Nottingham's planned parking place tax
  • Fleet Directory - "Is this the beginning of widespread workplace parking charges?".

    usa USA Roundup
  • A Virginian Democrat who in the past seems to have once complained about the Dulles Greenway tolls now seems to be suggesting a scheme that would mean that the owners gain more revenue - Leesburg Today - "Analysis Underway For 'Distance Pricing' On Greenway".

  • News Tribune (Washington State) - "State's experiment with variable tolling winning converts".
    The accompanying picture tells the real story. The toll lane is almost empty, so if it was available to all traffic, then journies would be even smoother. They would also be safer as mixing toll and non toll lanes creates driver indecision which leads to accidents.

  • News Tribune (Washington State) - "State's experiment with variable tolling winning converts".
    The accompanying picture tells the real story. The toll lane is almost empty, so if it was available to all traffic, then journies would be even smoother. They would also be safer as mixing toll and non toll lanes creates driver indecision which leads to accidents.

  • DRPA still milking the toll payers - Philadelphia Inquirer - "Delaware River Port Authority free rides continue".

  • Sundry stories - Maine - "LePage backs all-electronic tolling".

    gibraltar spain Another twist with the possible border toll
  • Panorama - "Spanish Govt takes first legal step in 'toll' row"   Gibraltar Chronicle - "PP Tirade As Spanish Govt Moves In Lawyers To Restore Frontier Flow".

    britain" More people clamouring to pay tolls
  • The Guardian has a report that says - "People will pay for some services in order to limit cuts to others". Apparently a survey done by YouGov for an accountancy firm says that "19% were in favour of congestion tolls for road use".

    canada Letter that somehow slipped into Toronto toll touts paper
  • Star - "Road tolls are no solution".

    britain" The car wrecking machine
  • BBC - "Damage criticism for Durham congestion toll bollard".
    It is widely reported that this bollard damages four cars a week, some seriously, e.g. - Northern Echo - "Rising bollard" letter. That this has been going on and the Council does nothing about it, is proof that the authorities not only see British drivers as an enemy, they also don't care about the "collateral damage" to foreign tourists.

    Tuesday 7 September 2010

    bangladesh Illegal tolls extortion making so much money that the Government may take it over
  • Financial Express - "'Toll' or 'service charge'—what's in a name?".

    britain" Possible bid from Councils to take over Dartford crossing
  • Echo - "Essex and Kent unite for growth".
    This would probably mean exchanging one bunch of crooks for another, with no real chance that tolls would be removed.

    europe chimaera Another complaint about EU
  • Express & Echo - "Don't let EU take over our country" letter.

    usa USA Roundup
  • At a Labor Day Rally, the President promised increased spending on roads, rail and air - ABC News - "Obama $50 Billion Infrastructure Plan to Create Jobs in 2011".
    What would really help the economy is to stop adding new tolls to roads and river crossings, and to phase out existing ones - starting with the 30 or so Interstates that have a toll. But this report in the NY Times - "Obama Offers a Transit Plan to Create Jobs"- suggests that part of this spending will be financed from - tolls

  • Sundry stories - Pennsylvania - "State would benefit from submitting revised I-80 tolling plan"   Washington State - "More drivers pay to use HOT lanes"   Georgia - "Toll lane on I-85 in Gwinnett: A few facts".

    slovakia Slovakia to force lorries to use toll roads
  • Radio Slovakia - "Slovakia’s regional authorities want to ban lorries from minor roads".

    wales Bit more on FTA views on Severn tolls
  • South Wales Argus - "Severn Bridge tolls a ‘threat to Wales economy’".

    nigeria Tolls are voluntary
  • Nigerian Compass - "Toll payment not compulsory, says LCC".
    One problem with bypassing the official tolls is that you may be stopped by police collecting less official tolls.

    britain" War on drivers
  • Yorkshire Evening Post - "Narrowing street brings traffic chaos" letter.
    Labour is the largest party on Leeds City Council but needs the support of the Greens. So you might think this is why they have reduced traffic lanes from three to two by constructing "a cycle lane that is virtually wide enough to drive a car down at one of the busiest pinch points". But until May, the city was run by a Lib Dem / Tory Coalition and the scheme was probably dreamed up when they were in charge.

    earth AGW
  • James Delingpole comments on recent BBC / AGW prog - Telegraph - "I'm funny: official".

  • The University of East Anglia quietly issued this statement at the end of last week to mark the completion of the whitewash - "The Independent Climate Change E-mails Review – July 2010".

  • BBC - "Climate shifts 'not to blame' for African civil wars".
    It is amazing that AGW has been cleared by the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of blame for wars in Africa. It is not amazing that the body apparently makes no mention of the effects of population growth. In 1950 the total African population was 228 million. It is now over one billion.

  • BBC - "Mars may not be lifeless, say scientists". This report starts "Carbon-rich organic molecules, which serve as the building blocks of life, may be present on Mars after all". Did the Martian AGW church fail to eradicate them?

    Monday 6 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • More examples from the gravy train - - "Delaware River Port Authority contributed $775K to agencies tied to board members, analysis finds"   Philadephia Inquirer - "DRPA donated $775,000 to groups" comments.

  • We have you tagged - SF Chronicle - "Privacy concerns grow with the use of RFID tags".

  • Sundry stories - Pennsylvania - "Officials debate tolls on Rt. 422"   Texas - "TxDOT now playing small ball".

    scotland Proposal for road tolls and other measures in Scotland to curb CO2
  • The proposal from civil servants seems to have been leaked to the Herald who published this yesterday - "War on the car"   "We must change our lives, not just our driving habits" editorial   from today - "Collision course". It is possible that this was deliberately leaked to the paper by the toll touts as the Herald has in the past supported tolls.
    The story has been picked up by other papers, though none of them seem to ask why if the enemy is CO2, then the defence is road tolls, rather than encouraging greater fuel efficiency.

    wales FTA tell MPs that they want Severn tolls capped
  • FTA - "Freeze the Severn Bridge tolls, demands FTA".

    finland Finnish greens push for tolls
  • YLE - "Greens Propose Road Toll For Heavy Vehicles".

    canada More from Toronto toll touts
  • Star - "Pay-as-you-drive meter poised to enter market".

    canada Letter of complaint
  • Province (B.C.) - "Hidden cost of bridge tolls".

    canada Prof suggests scam to sell tolls
  • Gazette (Montreal) - "Turn bridge tolls into lottery, prof suggests".

    hungary Central European greenies want everyone on their bikes
  • Budapest Report - "East Europe takes to too many cars".

    india Bit more about congestion on India's "showcase" toll road
  • India Today - "Gridlocked Delhi: Six years of career lost in jams". (Though the story omits to mention that the road in question - from Gurgaon is the "showcase" toll road.)

    europe chimaera Another report on advice to EU
  • This is Cornwall - "Motorists face tax to cross county borders" comments   This is Cornwall - "Toll on travel would risk demonising green efforts" Editorial.

    earth AGW
  • The Climate WMD - Ex PM says spend anyway, even though AGW may not be real - BBC - "Tony Blair: 'Heavy price' for climate inaction".

  • Meanwhile our next head of state spreads the "green gospel" - Daily Mail - "Prince Charles spreads the green gospel...with a £50,000, five-day Royal Train trip!".

  • For the first time this summer, the Met Office have admitted that a month (August) was cooler than their average for 1971 - 2000 (their figures had also shown May as being a bit cooler than the average but their blurb had hid this) - Met Office - "Climate summary: August 2010".
    One "anomaly" was that the Met Office had not published their Anomaly map for August, but they later published it - (depending on what the page defaults to, you may have to highlight your selection and go to ".. click here ..). According to the map most of Britain was only one degree cooler than average, and some parts were as warm as usual.

    Saturday 4 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • A suggestion that to reduce congestion, some of the toll lanes should go back to free - Orange County Register (California) - "Traffic corridors need better planning".

  • Sundry stories - New Jersey - "Atlantic City Expressway plans all-electronic tolling"   Indiana / Kentucky- "Metro Council members: no tolls on existing bridges" video.

    canada Leccy tax
  • Suggestion that when (if?) cars go electric, then it will be fairly simple to introduce a tax on the electricity at the "pump" - Wheels - "Will gas taxes go electric? Count on it".
    Interesting that the dear old friends of the motorist - the RAC Foundation - are being quoted as saying "road tolls are inevitable".

    britain" Comment on possible working place parking levy in Bristol
  • Bristol Evening Post - "Here's what I think ... the Working Place Parking Levy".

    canada Toronto toll touts say that "there is no alternative"
  • Star - "Editorial: No alternative to road tolls".
    This is the Big Lie that toll touts come up with when all else fails.

    earth Food burning up
  • BBC - "UN calls meeting on food price concerns"   Guardian - "UN to hold crisis talks on food prices as riots hit Mozambique".
    The world population is increasing by nearly 80 million a year and the population of Mozambique has in only 60 years increased from 6 million to 22 million. How fortunate that this apparently has no affect on how scarce food is.

    earth AGW
  • Earlier this year there were reports about possible link between the output of the Sun and Earth's temperature - Watts Up (14 April) - "Lockwood demonstrates link between low sun and low temps". The usual proxy (and the only one that is available for historical periods) is sunspots, but scientists using regression analysis on European temperatures between 1979 and 2008 have found that the best fit to temperatures is "open solar flux" - Environmental Research Web - "Looking to the sun". One possible problem with any attempt to correlate anything at all with temperatures, is if they are using the doctored official temperature records, which may show a spurious trend.

  • Some coment on the various feeble inquiries into AGW establisment - Cambridge Network - "Honesty is the best policy".

    Friday 3 September 2010

    usa USA Roundup
  • More on DRPA - - "Gov. Christie warns Delaware River Port Authority head to enact speedy reforms"   Courier-Post - "Christie pressures DRPA to reform"   North Jersey - "Gov. Christie tells leader of Delaware port authority clean the place up, or else".

  • Bigger delays while they introduce etolls to reduce delays - Pocono Record (Pa.) - "I-80 bridge construction equates to long backups".

  • DC Streets blog- "Our Mobile Money Pits: The True Cost of Cars".

  • Another step on the road to a tolled crosing of the Ohio river between Indiana and Kentucky. Locals are being suckered that the tolls will only be 50 cents - Courier-Journal - "Authority dismisses delaying bridge" comments  Wave 3 - "Bridge Authority takes action on long-term plans" video   WKLY - "Bridge Authority Adopts Project Objectives: Toll Opponents Ask For Alternatives" video.

  • Sundry stories - Texas - "Taking toll: County raises bridge crossing fees to balance budget"   California - "Final touches coming to new toll lane on I-680"   Land Line Mag - "Near passage: California bill would add toll lanes on 91 Freeway"   West Virginia - "The Building of a Toll Road".

    australia Possible money problem for another toll tunnel
  • Brisbane Times - "Bolton questions Airport Link forecasts".

    canada "Progress" on new toll bridge in B.C. and possibility of another
  • The definite toll - BC Local - "Editorial: Taking a toll".
  • The possible toll - Surrey Now - "Back to the (gridlock) grind: New bridge, new tolls?"   Province - "Authorities must be told: No tolls on Pattullo Bridge" letter   Province - "Don't try to con us" letter   CBC - "New Pattullo Bridge slated for 2015".

    earth AGW
  • At last! Proof that Britain's air is getting colder - alcohol sales are down - BBC - "Alcohol consumption 'continues to fall'".

  • BBC - "Openness urged on UK's emissions".
    Presumably the aim of the Prof is to try and force the Government that pays him into more extravagant promises of real cuts in CO2.

    Thursday 2 September 2010

    usa Later USA News
  • Sundry stories - Georgia - "HOT lane project launched along I-85"   Georgia - "I-85 Toll Lanes In Gwinnett Coming" inc survey   California - "Free parking is welfare".
    Pennsylvania - "Increased tolls needed to fund road projects"   Indiana / Kentucky - "Deadline Draws Near For Ohio River Bridges Funding Plan".

    china Another report on the long crawl
  • Global Post - "China: Too cheap to avoid a traffic jam?".
    The main reason for the record jam is that Chinese drivers are not obedient enough to use the toll roads. One reason for their reluctance might be that in theory there are no tolls, but the Government seems unable or unwilling to do anthing about them. This story ends - The country’s drivers .. often find out that the central government’s order is not always working on the local level... “I was once driving on a road that is regulated as free. Then, a toll booth that should not exist stopped me and asked for a fee. I told them it isn’t right, but had no choice except paying.”.

    scotland Bust reasoning
  • The Chamber of Commerce wants tolls brought back to pay for the planned "£2 billion crossing" of the Forth - Edinburgh Evening News - "Transport budget warning".
    This is a good example of the poor economics that resulted in Scotland's two main banks nearly bankrupting the whole UK. There is probably no need for a new Forth road bridge and certainly not at this inflated cost. If it is built, then tolls at the old level (£12 million a year) would not even cover the amount already spent on consultants (£100 million) never mind the cost of paying off the cost of construction.

    burma "Checkpoints and road and bridge tolls restrict movement, making trade unprofitable, and at times impossible"
  • IRIN - "MYANMAR: Rural poor hit by arbitrary “taxes”, says report".

    nigeria Bit more on Lagos Tolls dispute
  • PM News - "Lekki-Ajah Toll Gate: Suit Adjourned Till After Vacation".

    indonesia More on proposed Jakarta Con
  • The Indonesian Government is not only now backing the city's Con plans, it is proposing "Construction of more toll roads and restorations for existing roads" - Tempo Interactive - "Central Government Take on Jakarta Traffic Jam".

    usa USA Roundup
  • A scheme to find out how they can persuade truck drivers not to avoid toll roads - Transport Topics - "TTRB Seeks Trucking Input for Tolling Survey"   Truck Tolling and the survey.
    This survey is being managed by a private company but is sponsored by parts of the Transportation Research Board which works for the Federal Government and is controlled by the American Academy of Science and similar bodies. Perhaps the scientists can just advise the Government to post armed men and tanks at the entrances to non tolled roads?

  • Terminator falls for "green" cars con - Alt Transport - "Drive Your Green Vehicle Solo in California's HOV Lane".

  • Sundry stories - New Jersey / Pennsylvania - "Editorial: DRPA divvies up the loot"   Florida - "Despite warnings about toll changes, confusion on Crosstown expected"   Indiana / Kentucky - "Jim King considering resolution opposing Ohio River bridge tolls on existing highways"   Texas - "DART Mulls Tolls for Single Drivers to Use HOV Lanes".

    gibraltar spain More on possible border toll
  • Gibraltar Chronicle - "Unions’ Response To Toll ‘vulgar Blackmail’ Says La Linea Mayor".

    nigeria Some of the Police tolls removed, for now
  • Next - "Onovo orders removal of checkpoints" comments.

    europe chimaera More tolls logic
  • A "climate change consultancy" advises the EU that to stem transport's "growing greenhouse gas emissions trajectories" we need "road pricing" - "Aggressive action needed to cut transport emissions".
    Interestingly, the chairman of this "climate change consultancy" is the "Chief Executive of E.ON UK plc", which is part of "the world's largest investor-owned power and gas company".

    europe chimaera Daily Express defends drivers
  • "EU Says: Hammer British Drivers"   "Brussels Must Not Restart The War On The Motorist".
    The most immediate threats to drivers are likely to come from the Coalition, will the Express protest about them?

    ireland Some stats on latest Irish toll expansion
  • Irish Times - "Final part of M50 upgrade opens".

    australia More tolls logic
  • Oil may run out, so to ration it out we need amongst other things "road-pricing regimes" and a "congestion tax" - Crikey - "The dirty topic of peak oil: get ready to reduce your reliance".

    earth AGW
  • Scientists prove that last winter's snow was only weather - BBC - "Huge snowfall caused by rare clash of weather events".

  • Heretics who returned to the fold - The Week - "6 global warming skeptics who changed their minds".

    Wednesday 1 September 2010

    australia Bit more on the latest big toll loss
  • Sydney Morning Herald - "Flee tunnel turmoil, investors told"   The Australian - "Council commits to PPPs despite loss".

    usa USA Roundup
  • Forced by cost off the Australian owned tolls road - Loudoun Times (DC/ Virginia) - "Taking its toll".

  • Novel way of increasing income from fines for not paying tolls - KWQC (Iowa) - "Dixon Toll Plaza Pilot Programe".

  • Someone with the odd idea of scrapping tolls - Illinois - "Toll roads? Don't go there".

  • Sundry stories - North Carolina - "DOT seeks input on I-95"   North Carolina- "Monroe toll road route gets final federal approval"   Kentucky - "Bridge-related Drumanard preservation opposed"   California - "Should Carpoolers Get a Free Ride?".

    gibraltar spain Union opposition to possible border toll
  • Gibraltar Chronicle - "Campo And Gib Unions Unite To Combat ‘crazy’ Toll"   Gibraltar Chronicle - "ASTECG Plan Anti-Toll Protest".
    Later report - Panorama- "They are nervous in Gibraltar because they know the frontier toll is legal, claims Alcalde".

    india Corruption and other problems at India's "showcase" toll road
  • Economic Times - "Gurgaon expressway: A plan gone haywire".

    ireland Nearly all Irish drivers knuckle under
  • Irish Times - "Complaints down for M50 tolls"   Irish Times - "No legislation for policing of reg-plate sales".

    earth AGW
  • BBC - "Animals point to ancient seaway in Antarctica"   NERC - "Marine animals suggest recent Antarctic shelf collapse".
    So far no one seems to have mentioned the possible significance of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet being less extensive 125 thousand years ago. The current Interglacial (a slightly warmer period within what is still an Ice Age) began 10 to 12 thousand years ago. The previous Interglacial was - 125 thousand years ago - Wikipedia - "Ice Age Temperature Changes". So this latest research is a pointer that the Earth may have been significantly warmer in the last Interglacial - when the number of people was less than one million and there were very few cars!

  • A bit more on the report on the IPCC - Media Matters - "The right wing's climate change "con"".

  • James Delingpole on the "Skeptical Scientist" who believes - Telegraph - "But Lomborg was always a Warmist…".

  • Watts Up - "Chicago Climate Exchange drops 50%, new record low". Is this the start of the end of AGW as we know it?

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