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All across the Great Western territory => Across the West => Topic started by: Clan Line on October 01, 2022, 01:47:32 pm



Title: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: Clan Line on October 01, 2022, 01:47:32 pm
I do not wish to go into the rights/wrongs of the current rail disputes - that will just generate a pointless, endless argument.     But............I have to ask, are the strikes having much, if any, effect ? I have never worked on the railways and do (used to !) actually like travelling by train. Apart from the BBC, no one appears to be getting very worked up about the odd train free day.

In the past few months there have been 3 times when I would have definitely gone by train. The first time I already had bought tickets, a strike was called, I got a refund from GWR. The second two times I just didn't even consider the trains, I don't know if they did or didn't run those days - I just took my car. I possibly would have considered a few additional "days out" by train over the summer............not even considered ! If I need to go to Glasgow, I'll fly, if I need to go to Birmingham, I'll drive. I was considering getting a new car - I am not "considering" it any more, I AM getting a new car. If the Rail Companies/rail Unions don't don't want me to spend my money on the trains then I am quite happy to oblige both of them. I am not being self-centered - I am being realistic.

There seems to be little effect elsewhere - the supermarket shelves are full, industry generally appears to be getting along reasonably well. After the Covid lockdowns the odd rail strike, now and again, can almost be ignored by those who still have to use the trains - WFH, change dates or send it by road.

We seem to be approaching a state rather like the miner's strike, two sides that are too stupid/stubborn to see that they are cutting each others' throats. My "trade" was in the defence industry - we had an acronym for it: MAD .. "Mutually Assured Destruction" !     We won't need another Dr Beeching - drastic financial cuts are going to have to be made in many areas before long anyway - drag out and dust off his map.   The railways are an obvious target, HS2 has already risen to the top of the candidate pile again. The Government (of any colour) will be more than happy to cut the subsidies to the railways in the coming years. 


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: ChrisB on October 01, 2022, 01:58:00 pm
We’ll have to wait & see about any infrastructure cuts - Truss is on record as actually wanting to speed up HS2 (the current bits already approved, at least) plus East West Rail (only earlier this week) & Northern Powerhouse.

It seems that ‘improved’ staff contracts are going to be more likely - getting ticket office staff out from behind their counters with retirees not being replaced and NR staff having changed working practices - again with reductions by not replacing leavers- for example. Plus major cuts in public sector & reduction in benefit increases.

We’ll find out soon enough


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: Clan Line on October 01, 2022, 03:04:15 pm
Truss is on record as ..........

.........wanting to abolish the Monarchy, remain in the EU..............etc, etc  ;)


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: ChrisB on October 01, 2022, 03:09:14 pm
Many moons ago - those I mention since she became PM


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: broadgage on October 01, 2022, 04:25:58 pm
I suspect that an increase in car ownership and car use will result.

For commuting, many more will consider a car to be essential for strike days, and having purchased the vehicle and paid the fixed costs of ownership, then might as well use it daily. The petrol costs will be less than train fares, and the fixed costs less relevant as these represent money already spent for strike days.
Although commuting has been reduced by the pandemic there are still many jobs that require being present.
Rail commuting was already becoming less attractive due to ever increasing fares, general unreliability resulting from wind, rain, hot weather, and breakdowns.
Strikes will only make it worse.

For holiday travel, rail was already becoming less satisfactory due to high and complex fares, overcrowding, and general discomfort/lack of facilities.
Strikes are another good reason not to consider rail. For a holiday booked months in advance, who knows if the trains will even be running on the date required.

For environmental reasons I am in general pro-rail, and anti car, and even more opposed to air transport. However it is hard to recommend rail travel under present circumstances. So that leaves staying at home, walking or cycling !


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: Electric train on October 02, 2022, 06:28:47 am
We’ll have to wait & see about any infrastructure cuts - Truss is on record as actually wanting to speed up HS2 (the current bits already approved, at least) plus East West Rail (only earlier this week) & Northern Powerhouse.

It seems that ‘improved’ staff contracts are going to be more likely - getting ticket office staff out from behind their counters with retirees not being replaced and NR staff having changed working practices - again with reductions by not replacing leavers- for example. Plus major cuts in public sector & reduction in benefit increases.

We’ll find out soon enough

The NR maintenance is the part that is being restructured, not Operations staff (Signaller, Control, ECR etc) Despite the fact there are job cuts, a reduction of about 2000 maintenance head count Nationall, there are shortage in some disciplines and grades which NR want to recruit and or promote into, although the industrial action is mainly about pay and working conditions recruitment and promotions in the Maintenance organization is currently frozen, which is causing issues in some locations as rolls and tasks are not being covered or are by managers which means the managers are not doing their day job.

The working conditions being put forward are seen as very disruptive to personal life by the maintenance staff.


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: stuving on October 03, 2022, 06:48:13 pm
I suspect that an increase in car ownership and car use will result.

Here's some support for that view - though since it comes from Auto Express (https://www.autoexpress.co.uk/citroen/ami/358925/were-witnessing-start-transport-revolution-courtesy-citroen-ami) you might say "well they would say that...".
Quote
‘We’re witnessing the start of a transport revolution - courtesy of the Citroen Ami’
Mike Rutherford thinks the all-electric Citroen Ami will be a huge success in the UK
by: Mike Rutherford                2 Oct 2022

Now, this is my idea of wrong place, wrong time. I’m in rural suburbia, it’s early morning, I have a busy day ahead and my car is parked up, in town, 20 miles away. But there’s a train station about three miles from me, and I must head for it – despite the threat of more strikes from railway workers. There’s little evidence of buses (also affected by strikes) or taxis (for those who can afford their fares). So I have to walk to the shabby station, wearing out my shoe leather and losing an hour of my day.

I languish on the platform for 20 miserable minutes. Miraculously, the train shows up for my 45-minute ride. After that, 25 mins of walking, waiting for, and being hauled by bus. Yuck!
(https://media.autoexpress.co.uk/image/private/s--SoXkHgRq--/f_auto,t_primary-image-desktop@1/v1664533485/autoexpress/2022/09/Opinion%20-%20Citroen%20Ami.jpg)
My circa-20-mile trip therefore robbed me of almost three hours of my life and cost around £20. Actually, make that six hours and £40 if – heaven forbid – some poor sod has to endure this sort of slow, soul-destroying schlep as a daily commute from home to work and back again. During a typical five-day working week, that’s equivalent to nearly 30 hours of punishing travel and waiting time, plus £200 on train and bus fares. No wonder millions of employees now work from home.

Coincidentally, a few days earlier, in and around a famously busy town, I drove Britain’s cheapest (£7,995), slowest (28mph) EV. And genuinely, I’ve never driven anything (not even VW’s £100k XL1) that’s more appropriate, usable or satisfying on increasingly tight inner-urban streets and parking spaces. I’m 100 per cent convinced that if I’d had a Citroen Ami about my person on the morning of my time-sapping commute from rural suburbia, my journey would’ve been massively quicker, cheaper, cleaner and happier.

Forget three hours of walking and waiting, and two modes of lousy, subsidised public transport collectively resulting in a pathetic door-to-door journey time averaging 7mph. The unsubsidised Ami is purpose-designed for exactly this type and length of trip; travelling for about an hour, at an average speed closer to 20mph. That’s not, and isn’t supposed to be, particularly quick. But it’s fast enough – and perfectly reasonable during rush hour, which is when and where this runt of an electric car thrives – although it’ll also happily plod 24/7 in all weathers, unlike trains, buses, blistered feet or skinny tyres on pushbikes.

I don’t think Citroen, drivers of all ages and incomes, politicians or ailing public-transport bosses and unions have yet fully appreciated the significance of and huge potential for the Ami. Leasing starts at a stupidly low £19.99 per month (admittedly after stumping up a sizeable deposit). Alternatively, put down next to nothing before paying £100 monthly and you can buy/own one outright. Such prices render rural taxis (if you can find one), commuter trains (assuming they can be bothered to turn up), and buses (ditto) almost – but not entirely – redundant. What we’re witnessing here is the beginning of a (transport) revolution – courtesy of (who else but) the French.

I can't say I've seen a lot of these latterday bubble cars scudding around here, though Wokingham's Jeunesse dorée might at least have access to that sort of money. The category of "light quadricycle"  came in in 2013 as an EU-wide thing, though the usage regulations were up to member states. The basic limitation is 6 kW maximum power and 425 kg mass. Local rules here and in France had a 350 kg limit for something - perhaps the lowest age. The .gov page about it (https://www.gov.uk/ride-motorcycle-moped/bike-categories-ages-and-licence-requirements) does not appear to allow anything over 350 kg even now, so I'm baffled as to what this Ami qualifies as.

In France, these were called "licence free" and were, and the minimum age was always 14, scary as that might sound. From this year there is a licence needed for those newly 14. There is also a class of "heavy quadricycle", and the goods ones can go up to 15 kW, 90 km/hr, and gross weight of 4t or more. For those you now need a small van licence, though with major law changes this year it's hard to be sure what the current situation in.

I wonder if they might catch on, despite the cost, for those living in town who have decided to give up their car to save money and feel virtuous, despite that shortcomings of public transport, and then realise that a bike (or a scooter) involves getting cold and wet.


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: broadgage on October 03, 2022, 09:51:17 pm
These lightweight vehicles sound like either the same thing, or something very similar to the VSPs used in parts of Europe.
See post #7 and replies thereto in this thread  http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=24837.0 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=24837.0)


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: CyclingSid on October 04, 2022, 06:54:09 am
Excess of cars in Northern cities?
https://inews.co.uk/news/northern-cities-risk-filling-up-with-cars-as-ownership-surges-faster-than-population-1881918 (https://inews.co.uk/news/northern-cities-risk-filling-up-with-cars-as-ownership-surges-faster-than-population-1881918)
Public transport systems that don't work partly to blame.


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: Electric train on October 04, 2022, 07:02:48 am
I wonder if they might catch on, despite the cost, for those living in town who have decided to give up their car to save money and feel virtuous, despite that shortcomings of public transport, and then realise that a bike (or a scooter) involves getting cold and wet.

The Amsterdamer's had an electric car share in the mid 1970's



https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witkar


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: stuving on October 04, 2022, 09:40:10 am
These lightweight vehicles sound like either the same thing, or something very similar to the VSPs used in parts of Europe.
See post #7 and replies thereto in this thread  http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=24837.0 (http://www.firstgreatwestern.info/coffeeshop/index.php?topic=24837.0)

That's exactly what they are (VSP being the French label). Introduced here as a licence category in 2013,  I think, though of course we had light vehicle before in the form (mainly) of three-wheelers. Similar vehicles had been more popular elsewhere, notably in Italy and (differently) France, after the war but had almost died out in most places. So, when the new pan-EU licence categories came in in 2013, the regulations and the market varied widely.

Even in France, with more recent background in this area, few of this new breed have been sold, and I imagine even fewer here. So far imagining is all I can do, as I can't find any statistics that use helpful categories. "L-category vehicles" is the most official-sounding label, but that's a licencing matter and registration uses different groupings! But some partial data from MCIA (as the market segment is still lumped in with mopeds and tricycles) suggest sales have been rising fast from a very low base. The question "will they catch on in a way that impacts urban road usage, and how soon?" remains open.


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: broadgage on October 04, 2022, 03:15:59 pm
Most, perhaps all, VSPs are powered by a small petrol engine as used for a moped or even a ride on lawn mower.

It should be possible to produce an electric version, the modest size battery needed could be charged in a reasonable time from a 13 amp socket. No need for fast chargers or extra wiring. A range of 50 miles should be ample, not many will want to go further than that at a top speed of 28 MPH and a likely average of nearer 20.

With a maximum speed of 28 MPH and a maximum power output of 6 kw, and a restricted vehicle weight, I would have no problem with a 14 year old driving one after an hours instruction and passing a very basic test.
Arguably safer than a moped, allowed from age 16, or a horse, no age limit.

We need to move away from the idea that bigger, faster, and heavier is the way forward for cars. Even electricity has environmental costs and these are less for slower and lighter weight vehicles.


Cant see this being allowed in the UK. The civil service will wish to make use as complex and restricted as possible.


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: stuving on October 04, 2022, 03:28:17 pm
Cant see this being allowed in the UK. The civil service will wish to make use as complex and restricted as possible.

Well, subject to having a moped (AM) licence, and so being 16, they already are allowed. And all the newer ones are electric. And you still need to register them and get insurance - the cost of which I suspect might have been critical for even younger users. But as I said, even the French are moving away from really "licence exempt".


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: stuving on October 05, 2022, 02:27:07 pm
Given that the licence categories for these diddy-cars are derived from those for mopeds, and linked to those for heavier two- and three-wheelers, what (you may be asking) about electric motorbikes? Logically they must exist, or soon will, if not yet big sellers. By chance, I came across this "Arc Vector" (https://www.arcvehicle.com/) today:
(https://www.arcvehicle.com/cmsUploads/banner/images/133A9983-Edit-brotate-1.png)
Quote
Charge time       40min
Voltage              399V
Battery capacity  16.8kWh
Weight              230kg
Range               436km (NEDC cycle)
Top speed          Limited to 200kmph


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: grahame on October 05, 2022, 03:07:36 pm
Given that the licence categories for these diddy-cars are derived from those for mopeds, and linked to those for heavier two- and three-wheelers, what (you may be asking) about electric motorbikes? Logically they must exist, or soon will, if not yet big sellers.

They do, and indeed I looked into them.  Probably just one "toy" too far personally ....


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: broadgage on October 05, 2022, 05:12:35 pm
I would like to see lightweight, limited speed, electric vehicles encouraged.
Max power-------------6 kw, less might be better.
Max speed,------------28 MPH.

Operable by anyone after an hours instruction, licence needed but granted after a basic driving test, and a theory test on highway code and road safety. NO lower age limit, if you can pass the test, you can drive it.

Such a vehicle should be a lot safer than a moped, and the licensing/testing requirements could therefore be relaxed.

Technical specs.
Maximum speed under power, 28 MPH, brake applied automatically at 32 MPH if running downhill.
Max speed in reverse 4 MPH. Renders serious misjudgment in reversing impossible.
Parking brake applied automatically when key removed. Driver cant forget parking brake.
Lights turn on automatically when dark. Driver cant forget to operate lights.
Road lights turn off automatically when key removed. Cant be forgotten.
Battery charger built in. Double insulated to remove concerns about earthing arrangements. Max mains input 8 amps.

Optional extras.
Heated seats.
Electric preheating from the charging supply.
Built in solar charging.
Parking lights that use only 2 watts, photocell controlled.
USB sockets for charging phones etc.
4 wheel drive, no increase in speed permitted but useful in snow or ice.


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: ChrisB on October 05, 2022, 05:24:19 pm
At that top speed, I would insist on insurance being required.


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: broadgage on October 06, 2022, 08:23:33 am
At that top speed, I would insist on insurance being required.

I agree, but insurance should be affordable even for the young.
A great many accidents are due to excess speed, and a vehicle limited to 28 MPH is therefore much lower risk.

There is a vast difference between a newly qualified driver doing 80 MPH on a motorway, and one limited to 28 MPH and excluded from motorways.

In the event of collision, the damage caused to the other vehicle will be limited by the low speed and limited weight, reducing the cost of insurance claims.


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: ChrisB on October 06, 2022, 11:54:30 am
I actually more concerned about the other person....28mph can cause serious harm & death. Whatever the insurance costs, sorry. Even if it can't be 'affordable'. And required for all ages if that ys what you allow.


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: broadgage on October 06, 2022, 08:30:56 pm
I actually more concerned about the other person....28mph can cause serious harm & death. Whatever the insurance costs, sorry. Even if it can't be 'affordable'. And required for all ages if that ys what you allow.

Yes I would require insurance. And a basic practical driving test, and a more detailed theory test as is for a full driving licence. And yes I would allow any age to drive one of these provided that they can pass the test.
A maximum speed of 28 MPH certainly could kill, but is less dangerous than faster speeds. Hence the need for a good knowledge of the highway code.
20 MPH is safer still and should be the new norm in built up areas.

A lightweight and speed limited 4 wheel vehicle is safer than two wheels, and probably safer than riding a horse.


Title: Re: Rail Strikes - Effects ?
Post by: eightonedee on October 06, 2022, 11:00:49 pm
Quote
A lightweight and speed limited 4 wheel vehicle is safer than two wheels, and probably safer than riding a horse.

Definitely safer than a horse. And they don't bite or kick!



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