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Author Topic: Climate Change Emergency - Implications for UK Transport Strategy  (Read 3238 times)
IndustryInsider
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« Reply #15 on: May 12, 2019, 01:42:51 pm »

I see nothing absurd in my suggestion that some leisure travellers could use canals.

I guess it depends on your definition of a leisure trip.  For example a leisure trip to see your aunt at the seaside, or going shopping for the day, is very unlikely to be a sensible prospect by canal when compared to the car or a train. 

A very small percentage of day out short range leisure trips by canal might be worth doing for the experience, and as a holiday it's a most relaxing way of spending some time.  But of course canal boat hire for holidays is already pretty well established, and if you wanted to increase canal usage many new boats would have to be constructed and places to moor them created on many of the more popular waterways.  Existing canals are often very busy.  You wouldn't get very far if you tried squeezing many more boats up and down the single boat section of the Llangollen Canal near Llangollen for example and the queues would soon build up at Pontcysyllte Aqueduct!

Capacity is also an issue on other routes, especially on canals with lots of locks, and the number of navigable canals is very low still, so there would have to be a lot of money spent on restoration of old canals which could provide a useful tourism and leisure facility, such as the Cromford Canal, to provide more capacity.

I think it should be filed under 'a nice idea in principle'.

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« Reply #16 on: May 12, 2019, 01:51:11 pm »

From Wired

A very interesting article looking at the green credentials of various modes but concluding ...

Quote
... believes the current trend towards more trips by train is happening despite the rail companies, not because of them. Although Eurostar offers through tickets to destinations in France, the Netherlands and Belgium, beyond that travelling internationally by rail is disjointed and fragmented process. “Rail needs to get its pricing and booking sorted,” Smith says. “They should make it as easy to book a train as booking a flight.”

Just the sort of thing the EU could, should and is likely to do... ...look forward to the EU forcing UK rail companies to offer through tickets at some time in the future like they forced telecoms companies to abolish roaming charges. Ahh but we are supposed to be leaving aren't we because they force companies to do awful things like this.

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broadgage
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« Reply #17 on: June 18, 2019, 02:20:25 am »

Nice to know that the government are taking low carbon travel seriously ! Huge Heathrow expansion plans now published.
Third runway, extra terminals, river to be diverted, M25 to be put into a tunnel under the expanded airport, and other grand plans, to be staged over several decades.

I strongly suspect that a fraction of this money if spent on rail would eliminate the need for extra airport capacity, by transferring many short haul passengers to rail.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #18 on: June 18, 2019, 04:47:21 am »

I strongly suspect that a fraction of this money if spent on rail would eliminate the need for extra airport capacity, by transferring many short haul passengers to rail.

Hear, hear
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #19 on: June 18, 2019, 05:53:46 am »

Nice to know that the government are taking low carbon travel seriously ! Huge Heathrow expansion plans now published.
Third runway, extra terminals, river to be diverted, M25 to be put into a tunnel under the expanded airport, and other grand plans, to be staged over several decades.

I strongly suspect that a fraction of this money if spent on rail would eliminate the need for extra airport capacity, by transferring many short haul passengers to rail.

It's called HS2, and it's already looking some way North of £80 billion. How much more money would you like?
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #20 on: June 18, 2019, 11:17:32 am »

The Taxpayers Alliance, no friends of HS2, have published a report on a competition they ran last year to find alternative transport schemes. The winners were:

Quote
ProjectCost £
A1 - DUAL CARRIAGEWAY FROM DURHAM TO EDINBURGH1,300,000,000
REOPEN THE SKIPTON-COLNE RAILWAY LINE100,000,000
REOPEN THE BEVERLEY TO YORK RAILWAY300,000,000
ASHINGTON, BLYTH & TYNE RAILWAY50,000,000
BRITAIN’S S-BAHN NETWORK: LEEDS1,000,000,000
REOPEN THE KESWICK TO PENRITH RAILWAY110,000,000
UPGRADE THE SETTLE & CARLISLE RAILWAY30,000,000
REOPEN BLACKBURN TO HELLIFIELD15,000,000
HIGH SPEED UK-NORTH18,100,000,000
THE WHITACRE LINK400,000,000
REOPEN STOURBRIDGE TO LICHFIELD120,000,000
UPGRADE THE RUGBY TO BIRMINGHAM RAILWAY LINE1,500,000,000
UPGRADE THE A5 TO EXPRESSWAY STANDARD500,000,000
REOPEN THE SUTTON PARK LINE TO PASSENGERS100,000,000
CHILTERN MAIN LINE ELECTRIFICATION1,000,000,000
MIDLAND MAIN LINE ELECTRIFICATION5,000,000,000
IMPROVE THE FELIXSTOWE TO NUNEATON FREIGHT ROUTE1,500,000,000
REOPEN THE MARCH TO WISBECH LINE TO PASSENGERS110,000,000
A NEW STATION ON THE BURY ST EDMUNDS TO ELY LINE40,000,000
EXTEND CROSSRAIL TO STANSTED AIRPORT & CAMBRIDGE4,000,000,000
LOWER THAMES CROSSING6,800,000,000
BRIGHTON MAINLINE 2: SUSSEX PHASE500,000,000
IMPROVE CONNECTIVITY TO BRISTOL TEMPLE MEADS125,000,000
REBUILD CULLOMPTON STATION15,000,000
EXETER TO PLYMOUTH VIA OKEHAMPTON500,000,000
REOPEN THE BODMIN TO WADEBRIDGE RAILWAY LINE25,000,000
CROSS CORNWALL RAIL LINK125,000,000
BUILD CYCLE PATHS NEXT TO MOTORWAYS & A-ROADS1,820,000,000

Given this report's provenance, it is heartening that only three of these are road schemes (A1, A5 and Lower Thames Crossing) and one is even an investment in cycling (Cycle Paths next to Motorways and A-Roads). Note that the scheme for improving connectivity to Bristol Temple Meads is very much from a North Somerset perspective - most people would have called it 'Reopen the Portishead Railway'!

You can read it in full here: https://tinyurl.com/y5bt6y6f

« Last Edit: June 18, 2019, 12:00:14 pm by Red Squirrel » Logged

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ellendune
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« Reply #21 on: June 18, 2019, 11:46:36 pm »

Nice to know that the government are taking low carbon travel seriously ! Huge Heathrow expansion plans now published.
Third runway, extra terminals, river to be diverted, M25 to be put into a tunnel under the expanded airport, and other grand plans, to be staged over several decades.

I strongly suspect that a fraction of this money if spent on rail would eliminate the need for extra airport capacity, by transferring many short haul passengers to rail.

It's called HS2, and it's already looking some way North of £80 billion. How much more money would you like?

I am afraid there is so much misinformation going round these days (not just about HS2) I cannot take such estimates with any credibility.  It seems to me that when campaigning today it has become perfectly acceptable, if you cannot make you case on anything, just to dream up what you want to say and find some so called journalist who will publish it as fact. Others will then repeat and before long it has become the truth. 

So do you have an authoritative source for this information? 
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #22 on: June 19, 2019, 06:07:23 am »

Nice to know that the government are taking low carbon travel seriously ! Huge Heathrow expansion plans now published.
Third runway, extra terminals, river to be diverted, M25 to be put into a tunnel under the expanded airport, and other grand plans, to be staged over several decades.

I strongly suspect that a fraction of this money if spent on rail would eliminate the need for extra airport capacity, by transferring many short haul passengers to rail.

It's called HS2, and it's already looking some way North of £80 billion. How much more money would you like?

I am afraid there is so much misinformation going round these days (not just about HS2) I cannot take such estimates with any credibility.  It seems to me that when campaigning today it has become perfectly acceptable, if you cannot make you case on anything, just to dream up what you want to say and find some so called journalist who will publish it as fact. Others will then repeat and before long it has become the truth. 

So do you have an authoritative source for this information? 

How about the chap that devised Network Rail's project costing model, commissioned by the DfT? - now there's irony!  Smiley

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/hs2-high-speed-railway-most-expensive-world-403-million-mile-michael-byng-a7843481.html

https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/building-of-hs2-to-cost-403m-a-mile-drzrdzthw
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 06:14:30 am by TaplowGreen » Logged
TonyK
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« Reply #23 on: June 19, 2019, 10:23:51 pm »

Blimey! Where to start on a thread like this? Here, I think:

The railway industry owns or controls a great deal of property, and should set a good example by generating renewably as much electricity as possible.

Agreed, but how would that be generated?  Probably Solar - would refection for solar collectors near the line cause problems for drivers?

It certainly can be done. Travelling to Narita Airport from central Tokyo, the railway was reduced from four to two tracks at some point when plans for a parallel Shinkansen route were dropped. In its place is a 10Km long solar array called, with traditional Japanese romanticism, the SGET Chiba New Town Mega Solar Power Plant, which is quite a sight. Of course, I wouldn't have seen it were I not on my way to catch a plane in Japan, so there go my credentials, although I did go by sea from Dubai. At 12.5MW output, it could actually power a train. Another 270 similar installations would give around the power of Hinkley C when built, at least by day. Japan has a number of other big solar arrays, some not as discreetly positioned.

Therefore consider building a small fleet of high powered DC EMUs, with every axle motored and about twice the power per ton of standard designs.
These designed to work in multiple with existing DMUs. On the electrified part of the route, the DMUs are to be hauled "dead" with the new electric unit hauling and powering on board services.
At the limit of the electrified area, the diesel engines are to be started and the electric unit detached.
Why detach them? Why not haul the electrified bits “dead”, with housekeeping power from the DMU? Or why not build a fleet of EMUs with diesel generators that can work it where there is no OHLE?
This is really about buffet cars and hard seats, I reckon!
And for leisure travel, and for non urgent freight, we should make more use of coastal shipping and of inland waterways.
Canal barges use very little diesel fuel, and could be powered by batteries charged from solar energy.
A return to sail power is a distinct possibility for coastal shipping.

Tesco tried it. In 2007, they began to transport bulk wine, just arrived in Liverpool from South America, by barge to Manchester to be bottled. There's an article in the Grauniad about it. I would be surprised if it lasted very long, particularly with competition from Australian imports transported by train to Bristol from Tilbury for bottling, but every little helps. The purist, of course, would advocate drinking English wine as a green alternative.
Like grahame, I have enjoyed holidays on canal boats – the fastest way of slowing down! Very enjoyable.

I have also been on a number of cruises on ships of various sizes. Marine oil is very dirty. From crude oil, petrol, diesel, and a few other bits are subtracted at the refinery. The thick goo that is left is marine diesel fuel. I don't know enough about whether the scale of the vessel makes it cleaner overall, but I do know that some passenger ships use ordinary diesel in port, some ports are looking to make them use dockside power, like aircraft often use "ground power" on the floor in aiports, and several cruise lines are looking to LNG as a future fuel. I also know from talking to senior crew that they may have a lot of power at their disposal, but they don't waste it.
The problem with slow freight is that it increases the amount of working capital a business needs to hold in stock as it is being transported for longer.  That is why express freight is so popular with business.
They “just in time” economy, where the lorry load of parts arrives just as the fitter needs them. I’m sure adjustments could be made, and speed by canal is remarkably predictable. But there isn’t a convenient canal in Swindon, and soon there won’t be a car factory either.
The biggest growth in road use in London is for delivery vans (all those Amazon orders etc.).
And another major, and growing, draw from the grid is the internet. Those electrons don’t excite themselves, you know! Bitcoin mining (I don’t know either) now uses more electrical power than 159 countries, including Ireland and most of Africa, use for everything. My source is here
Quote
For leisure use and short distances active travel has to be encouraged more. Walking and cycling; and possibly horse (I am still thinking of Graham's comment on horses and wonder which transport fund will pay for a hitching rail outside Melksham station)
Yes, well. Moving on…
Well, although it has flown slightly under the radar due to our current Brexit-dominated political agenda, the idea of introducing Universal Basic Income (UBI) has gained a lot of traction in both Labour and Scottish Government circles, with both seemingly moving closer to endorsing UBI trials as a start point.

However, evidence from other countries has tended to show reluctance to fully roll out UBI after trials have been completed. Therefore, an alternative in the UK context has been put forward in the form of Universal Basic Services (UBS). This is based on providing universal access to 7 services, free at the point of use, which would be Healthcare, Education, Legal & Democracy, Shelter, Food, Transport and Information.

In terms of Transport, the UBS proposal prices 2 separate options, either universal access to free local bus services only, or universal access to free local bus services, plus local underground, tram, light rail and local train services too.

In terms of paying for the overall UBS package, the proposal advocates reducing the value of the personal allowance for income tax by £7,200, from its 2017-18 value of £11,500 to £4,300. According to the proposal, this would raise around £45bn, almost precisely offsetting the cost of providing the UBS services free at point-of-use.
The second longest suicide note in history? It would certainly give the Conservatives some hope, for sure. I think you will find that there is a reason why UBI never got beyond pilot schemes, which is that it didn’t do much beyond enrich the people who got it. It remains a key demand for some small groups. The idea of free transport sounds good, until the true greens who walk everywhere realise that they would be the ones paying for it.

"Oose gonna pay for it?" has long been a battle cry on this electrically-powered forum. That, when extravagant greening promises are made (sometimes by Justine Greening) we need to add "Oose gonna power it?" Politics has become full of ideas to win votes combat the climate emergency, a term that is already beginning to sound as tired as things like "global downturn". We have heard plans to have all vehicles powered by electricity and all heating the same, but nothing to say how we are going to supply the energy, beyond the odd vague mention of a few wind turbines, and storage of the excess power from renewables. I have news - there is no excess power from renewables. We simply turn the gas down at the power stations whenever it is sunny and windy. Which is a good thing, because there is no reliable mass storage. South Korea has been working on this, but has stopped after 23 fires at storage plants - giant collections of batteries to you and me. Add to that the shortages of the metals needed for the batteries and motors that will power our cars, because the Chinese have most of it, and things begin to sound less certain. An electrician was reported in my newspaper (sorry - went out for recycling ) that he was asked to install electric heating and hot water in a development of eight flats somewhere in London, but couldn't, because the supply to the street wasn't up to it. So as well as Hinkley D, E, F, G and H and the long-delayed upgrade to the National Grid, we would need new supplies to every street, and probably 3-phase supply at every house. I haven't seen that on the side of a bus yet.

If I sound a little alarmist, I am not alone. Scotland is known less these days for haggis, kilts, and that furry thing they wear over the todger than for its governments obsession with wind power. Councils refuse them on the grounds that they are blighting the lives of residents outside the cities, spoiling the natural beauty and desecrating ancient burial and historical sites, but the government overrules them. Problem solved? Not quite, according to the report on energy by the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Read through it by all means, but the nub of the report is that not enough has been done. Scotland's last two nuclear plants are scheduled for closure around 2030, just as electricity demand begins to rise in response to the other measures being introduced. As demand peaks, around 2040, all the wind turbines currently operating and almost all of those currently being built will be dead. It is written by scientists with no axe to grind, yet it makes for sober reading.

Am I a climate change denier? No. Am I doing anything about it? Yes. My house has an A-rating for energy, and every bulb is LED. The only thing incandescent here is my wife, although she has a bit of a cold just now. And I switch the heating off whenever I go to Japan, South America, Alaska, or wherever, so I'm not such a good boy.

Tricky one.
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 10:30:26 pm by TonyK » Logged

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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #24 on: June 20, 2019, 11:27:37 am »

The problem with slow freight is that it increases the amount of working capital a business needs to hold in stock as it is being transported for longer.  That is why express freight is so popular with business.
They “just in time” economy, where the lorry load of parts arrives just as the fitter needs them. I’m sure adjustments could be made, and speed by canal is remarkably predictable. But there isn’t a convenient canal in Swindon, and soon there won’t be a car factory either.
There'll still be the bodypanel pressing plant for the not-miniature MINIs. I think.
« Last Edit: June 20, 2019, 12:54:49 pm by Red Squirrel » Logged

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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #25 on: June 20, 2019, 01:40:47 pm »

Blimey! Where to start on a thread like this?

Where to start with addressing a climate emergency!

Some things we can do straight away:
* Take robust action to get better-insulated homes
* Electrify transport - including cars, because they can be charged overnight when there is spare grid capacity.
* Improve public transport, and penalise modes with a heavier carbon footprint once the alternative is in place

The next steps are where it gets tricky: if only we'd gone all-nuclear, like the French did, then we'd have no concerns - other than finding the infinite amount of money needed to look after deadly poison forever. Solar and wind energy are of limited use without high-capacity grid storage, but does that mean we shouldn't install any until we've got that sorted out?
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Red Squirrel
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« Reply #26 on: June 20, 2019, 02:53:59 pm »

Quote
Pressure mounts on Weca to follow Bristol and B&NES and declare climate emergency

Metro mayor Tim Bowles insists the combined authority has already made a “strong commitment to tackling climate change”

Pressure is mounting on the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) to follow Bristol city and Bath & North East Somerset councils’ lead by declaring a climate emergency.

The other local authority that makes up Weca, South Gloucestershire Council, is due to debate the issue at its next full council meeting, while North Somerset Council, which is not part of Weca but is a partner on its Joint Committee, has already made the declaration.

Metro mayor Tim Bowles insists the combined authority has already made a “strong commitment to tackling climate change” and reeled off a list of achievements at its latest meeting on Friday, June 14.

But he made no commitment to declaring a climate emergency.
[...continues]
Source: Bristol Post

If WECA were to declare a Climate Emergency, what impact would that have on its road-building schemes?
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« Reply #27 on: June 20, 2019, 03:56:27 pm »

I'd look at it the other way round: you can declare as urgent a climate emergency as you can find words for but unless it impacts your decisions on roads, power generation, public transport, third runways, etc, it's an empty manifesto.
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« Reply #28 on: June 20, 2019, 05:44:49 pm »

Quote
Pressure mounts on Weca to follow Bristol and B&NES and declare climate emergency

Metro mayor Tim Bowles insists the combined authority has already made a “strong commitment to tackling climate change”

Pressure is mounting on the West of England Combined Authority (Weca) to follow Bristol city and Bath & North East Somerset councils’ lead by declaring a climate emergency.

The other local authority that makes up Weca, South Gloucestershire Council, is due to debate the issue at its next full council meeting, while North Somerset Council, which is not part of Weca but is a partner on its Joint Committee, has already made the declaration.

Metro mayor Tim Bowles insists the combined authority has already made a “strong commitment to tackling climate change” and reeled off a list of achievements at its latest meeting on Friday, June 14.

But he made no commitment to declaring a climate emergency.
[...continues]
Source: Bristol Post

If WECA were to declare a Climate Emergency, what impact would that have on its road-building schemes?

Most road building schemes would have to be cancelled. More roads means more traffic, largely fossil fueled vehicles, which means more climate change.

The only reasonable exceptions would be minor additions to the secondary road network in order to serve new railway stations or new housing developments, or dedicated bus only roads, preferably trolley busses.
All new homes should have cycle parking spaces, a minimum of one cycle per bedroom, with facilities for charging electric cycles.
All new homes should have at least one charging point for an electric car, multiple charging points for larger homes.
All new homes should be equipped with PV modules, so as to offset the energy used by charging all those electric cars.
All new homes should have a minimum of a 100 amp single phase electricity supply, 3 phase 100 amp for larger homes.

All new, and many existing residential roads should have a 20MPH speed limit so as to make walking and cycling safer.
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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #29 on: June 20, 2019, 06:59:42 pm »

…..it's also essential in view of the catastrophic effect of cattle on global warming and the environment that GWR take steak off the Pullman menu immediately and that all those with a genuine interest in saving the planet immediately cease eating beef, in order to set an example and avoid any accusations of double standards  Wink
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