TFL & "Managed Decline"

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It often strikes me reading arguments about "paying their way" - especially when figures are broken down so well by some posters like above - that it's necessary not only to agree that facts are facts, but that Public Transport either has a social role to play in an urbanised Society like ours or it doesn't.

So much of what people vote for seems conditioned on what they are told is real, and not necessarily on what actually is real.

London, and the South East do NOT vampire up all the financial goodies meaning the people of Ramsbottom can't have a tram-system.

The Mayor of London isn't responsible for what goes on in Berwick.

Tube Workers being adequately paid for their knowledge, skills base and accountabilities aren't stopping Midwives and Cleaners from getting a decent living wage.

The economics of running a bus in London are just different from trying to run one in rural Shropshire. They just are.

If you actually had competent, fair, economically literate Govt that could accept a few such "facts" without having to view everything through the prism of selfish personal politics (selfish from their point of self interest first) it wouldn't be necessary to have to view every funding decision as a zero sum game with cheerleaders actively wanting "the other side" to lose.

But we don't have that, and haven't been anywhere near it in a Generation and more.

London doesn't "need" higher bus fares - ultimately they end up counter productive to all kinds of benefits - including environmental targets (remember those?)

London doesn't need "punishing" because they don't want to vote for mismanagement and impunity, that they vote against such "should" be viewed as a necessary rebuke to those in power that they should be forced to take account of. And strive to improve their act. But they don't.

Cutting provision only ends up precipitating a spiral of decline that ultimately costs Society as a whole - the 70s/80s actually taught us that.

TfL Bus services - like anything else in life - could be better organised and rearranged if necessary - but not just because a hostile entity with one eye on its money and the other on its opposition's throat knows the process they can force will "damage" that same opposition, and ultimately everyone else too.

Whatever your Politics, that shouldn't be something to disagree on.
 
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43066

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It often strikes me reading arguments about "paying their way" - especially when figures are broken down so well by some posters like above - that it's necessary not only to agree that facts are facts, but that Public Transport either has a social role to play in an urbanised Society like ours or it doesn't.

So much of what people vote for seems conditioned on what they are told is real, and not necessarily on what actually is real.

London, and the South East do NOT vampire up all the financial goodies meaning the people of Ramsbottom can't have a tram-system.

The Mayor of London isn't responsible for what goes on in Berwick.

Tube Workers being adequately paid for their knowledge, skills base and accountabilities aren't stopping Midwives and Cleaners from getting a decent living wage.

The economics of running a bus in London are just different from trying to run one in rural Shropshire. They just are.

If you actually had competent, fair, economically literate Govt that could accept a few such "facts" without having to view everything through the prism of selfish personal politics (selfish from their point of self interest first) it wouldn't be necessary to have to view every funding decision as a zero sum game with cheerleaders actively wanting "the other side" to lose.

But we don't have that, and haven't been anywhere near it in a Generation and more.

London doesn't "need" higher bus fares - ultimately they end up counter productive to all kinds of benefits - including environmental targets (remember those?)

London doesn't need "punishing" because they don't want to vote for mismanagement and impunity, that they vote against such "should" be viewed as a necessary rebuke to those in power that they should be forced to take account of. And strive to improve their act. But they don't.

Cutting provision only ends up precipitating a spiral of decline that ultimately costs Society as a whole - the 70s/80s actually taught us that.

TfL Bus services - like anything else in life - could be better organised and rearranged if necessary - but not just because a hostile entity with one eye on its money and the other on its opposition's throat knows the process they can force will "damage" that same opposition, and ultimately everyone else too.

Whatever your Politics, that shouldn't be something to disagree on.

Excellent post.
 

johncrossley

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Whilst fare increases in London are considered essential by most commentators, across the Irish Sea in Dublin they have done something unique in the British Isles, an integrated bus/tram/train single ticket. Not only that, they introduced the fare at 2.30 as an introductory offer, planning to increase it to 2.50, but have actually cut it to 2.00. Ireland has a slightly worse credit rating than the UK. So if Dublin can afford a cheap, proper integrated fare, why not London?
 

Wolfie

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From speaking to Londoners I get the feeling many rather reluctantly voted for Khan last time, for various reasons. Not hard to see why when one looks at the utterly vile candidate the Conservatives put forward - it’s almost as though the Conservatives want to self-destruct themselves in London. I don’t think Khan is by any means popular, just regarded as least worst or that people don’t wish to vote Conservative.
Voting least bad is not that uncommon. Khan has at least delivered more than the total oxygen thief waste of space who preceded him.

Seconded.
Thirded.
 

43066

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Khan has at least delivered more than the total oxygen thief waste of space who preceded him.

Khan has given us flower pots blocking roads, and a financially dubious fares freeze. Johnson gave us (or at least claimed credit for) bikes and badly designed buses. Livingstone gave us anti semitism and cheap bus fuel via deals struck with a dubious South American dictatorship.

Not much of a track record for the office, is it? The mayoralty also seems to attract controversial and borderline unsavoury characters, notably including the most recent Conservative candidate. It also introduces an unnecessary layer of political footballing between the government and the mayor’s office which, arguably, is why the office was established in the first place, of course.

Perhaps it should simply be abolished.
 
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Wolfie

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Khan has given us flower pots blocking roads, and a financially dubious fares freeze. Johnson gave us (or at least claimed credit for) bikes and badly designed buses. Livingstone gave us anti semitism and cheap bus fuel via deals struck with a dubious South American dictatorship.

Not much of a track record for the office, is it? The mayoralty also seems to attract controversial and borderline unsavoury characters, notably including the most recent Conservative candidate. Perhaps it should be abolished.
You missed the massively loss making cable car and the cancellation of most of Livingstone's planned transport enhancements from Johnson's "achievements". I agree though that many of the candidates are unappealing at best. Still a damned sight better than many national politicans though.

Oh and abolishing bodies where the electorate has the temerity to reject their candidate seems to be a Tory trait. See Thatcher and the GLC.
 

43066

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You missed the massively loss making cable car and the cancellation of most of Livingstone's planned transport enhancements from Johnson's "achievements".

Yes. A complete and utter white elephant going from nowhere useful to nowhere useful. Not even at a location where it could ever have been a feasible tourist attraction.

I must say I think Khan was quite right to cancel the “garden bridge”.

Oh and abolishing bodies where the electorate has the temerity to reject their candidate seems to be a Tory trait. See Thatcher and the GLC.

I expect they’re fairly happy with the Scottish Parliament given what the SNP has done to Labour north of the border. Blair didn’t see that one coming! :D

(apologies off topic for this thread).
 
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bramling

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Excellent post.

Indeed. I’m sure I remember a time when governments were expected to govern for *everyone*, including those who won’t have voted for the winning party.

Khan has given us flower pots blocking roads, and a financially dubious fares freeze. Johnson gave us (or at least claimed credit for) bikes and badly designed buses. Livingstone gave us anti semitism and cheap bus fuel via deals struck with a dubious South American dictatorship.

Not much of a track record for the office, is it? The mayoralty also seems to attract controversial and borderline unsavoury characters, notably including the most recent Conservative candidate. It also introduces an unnecessary layer of political footballing between the government and the mayor’s office which, arguably, is why the office was established in the first place, of course.

Perhaps it should simply be abolished.

Very much agree with this summary. The whole thing is a complete shambles, and I’d very much like to see it abolished. One odious piece of work is unfortunate, two is bad luck, but three is a trend - and, as you say, the opposition candidates have been dire too.

Remembering back to the 90s, of course, it came alongside Scottish and Welsh devolution, all three of which were expected to be a shoe-in for Labour.
 

SynthD

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Some of those things you don’t like, like LTNs, will be made by any truly democratic London body. The only way to get what you want is to stop Londoners having what they want.
 

43066

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Some of those things you don’t like, like LTNs, will be made by any truly democratic London body. The only way to get what you want is to stop Londoners having what they want.

I’m a Londoner. Nobody asked me whether I wanted a “LTN” but it has been imposed anyway with no consultation. The local residential streets have been blocked with the result that the “main” road has been made more congested and therefore another area has been rendered a “higher traffic neighbourhood”.

It makes about as much sense as Brighton council blaming Brexit for weed growth when they themselves banned weedkiller two years ago. Pure political posturing.

Also worth remembering that Londoners on average make a significant net contribution in terms of tax revenue.
 

Mikw

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It often strikes me reading arguments about "paying their way" - especially when figures are broken down so well by some posters like above - that it's necessary not only to agree that facts are facts, but that Public Transport either has a social role to play in an urbanised Society like ours or it doesn't.

So much of what people vote for seems conditioned on what they are told is real, and not necessarily on what actually is real.

London, and the South East do NOT vampire up all the financial goodies meaning the people of Ramsbottom can't have a tram-system.

The Mayor of London isn't responsible for what goes on in Berwick.

Tube Workers being adequately paid for their knowledge, skills base and accountabilities aren't stopping Midwives and Cleaners from getting a decent living wage.

The economics of running a bus in London are just different from trying to run one in rural Shropshire. They just are.

If you actually had competent, fair, economically literate Govt that could accept a few such "facts" without having to view everything through the prism of selfish personal politics (selfish from their point of self interest first) it wouldn't be necessary to have to view every funding decision as a zero sum game with cheerleaders actively wanting "the other side" to lose.

But we don't have that, and haven't been anywhere near it in a Generation and more.

London doesn't "need" higher bus fares - ultimately they end up counter productive to all kinds of benefits - including environmental targets (remember those?)

London doesn't need "punishing" because they don't want to vote for mismanagement and impunity, that they vote against such "should" be viewed as a necessary rebuke to those in power that they should be forced to take account of. And strive to improve their act. But they don't.

Cutting provision only ends up precipitating a spiral of decline that ultimately costs Society as a whole - the 70s/80s actually taught us that.

TfL Bus services - like anything else in life - could be better organised and rearranged if necessary - but not just because a hostile entity with one eye on its money and the other on its opposition's throat knows the process they can force will "damage" that same opposition, and ultimately everyone else too.

Whatever your Politics, that shouldn't be something to disagree on.
Couldn't agree more. The more things are trashed the more expensive they are to be brought up to scratch again.
 

Wolfie

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I’m a Londoner. Nobody asked me whether I wanted a “LTN” but it has been imposed anyway with no consultation. The local residential streets have been blocked with the result that the “main” road has been made more congested and therefore another area has been rendered a “higher traffic neighbourhood”.

It makes about as much sense as Brighton council blaming Brexit for weed growth when they themselves banned weedkiller two years ago. Pure political posturing.

Also worth remembering that Londoners on average make a significant net contribution in terms of tax revenue.
I'm a Londoner too and l'm damned if l want to breathe more pollution to make your car journeys easier
 

43066

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I'm a Londoner too and l'm damned if l want to breathe more pollution to make your car journeys easier

I don’t have a car and haven’t for a couple of years.

My objection is to LTNs being unilaterally imposed on boroughs and not necessarily changing things in a good way on a local level.

I admit I do delight in driving dirty polluting diesel trains into Islington(ish), apparently we’re getting new electrical-magical ones soon.

I’m afraid you’ll just have to suffer the fumes until then, sorry old bean. :D
 
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The Ham

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Some of those things you don’t like, like LTNs, will be made by any truly democratic London body. The only way to get what you want is to stop Londoners having what they want.

LTN are in part due to getting national government funding.

I don’t have a car and haven’t for a couple of years.

My objection is to LTNs being unilaterally imposed on boroughs and not necessarily changing things in a good way on a local level.

I admit I do delight in driving dirty polluting diesel trains into Islington(ish), apparently we’re getting new electrical-magical ones soon.

I’m afraid you’ll just have to suffer the fumes until then, sorry old bean. :D

In theory LTN's should be useful.

However traffic volumes are so high that in some locations they can do more harm than good.

Where roads have always been not able to be driven through the main roads are still busy but have self limited traffic grown so don't have the same level of problems.

I suspect that a better solution would have been a charge (say £3/day) to drive through an area (like the original congestion charge, only a little smaller) which also stopped through traffic on certain roads (especially those around the edges of the zone to limit local roads being used to bypass the charge). In doing so traffic levels would have fallen across the board and there would have been quiet streets for pedestrians and cyclists to use.

The problem is that too many opt to drive when other ways to get about would be more suitable for that trip.

It's in part due to the low cost per mile once you own a car. However in theory London is one of the areas where not owning a car is easiest, especially given that the average cost of car ownership is (well was pre Covid before fuel and car purchase costs shot up) over £3,000 a year (yes it's possible to do it for less, however few could do so for much less than £1,500 without doing fairly limited milage).

The biggest barrier to more cycling isn't the cost or not knowing what to buy, but is the volume of traffic.

As such something needs to happen to reduce traffic, especially within our urban areas with good public transport provision (& that should be being enhanced not cut), and so if the answer isn't LTN's then what should we be doing instead?

It's the question that those opposed to LTN's don't have an answer for, mostly because many don't want the LTN because it impacts on their ability to drive. The fact that it harms those living in the boundary roads is a fig leaf to cover up that base reason.

Likewise when there's complaints about cycle lanes and then they are removed and cars end up parking where they were so traffic still doesn't have that space, however neither do the cyclists.

By the way, I understand that we can never reach no cars however can anyone really justify the fact that there's currently more cars than tax payers?

Rural areas only make up 15% of the population. However even then a reasonable number of those living in rural areas will live in places with a population of between 5,000 and 10,000 where it's possible to access a reasonable amount of the things needed by walking and cycling (I know as I live in such a place; with schools, rail station, swimming lessons, pubs, supermarket, shops, doctors, dentist, Opticians, etc. all within 2 miles) meaning that more than one car isn't essential.

Whilst "access to jobs" is essential for some, the cost of car ownership means that actually a lower paid local job could actually result in the person being better off.
 

Trainbike46

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Very much agree with this summary. The whole thing is a complete shambles, and I’d very much like to see it abolished. One odious piece of work is unfortunate, two is bad luck, but three is a trend - and, as you say, the opposition candidates have been dire too.
Not a londoner myself, but I do think it is good that TfL is controlled by a local body elected by londoners which seems to give a **** about public transport, because it generally leads to better outcomes
I’m a Londoner. Nobody asked me whether I wanted a “LTN” but it has been imposed anyway with no consultation. The local residential streets have been blocked with the result that the “main” road has been made more congested and therefore another area has been rendered a “higher traffic neighbourhood”.
LTNs consistently show up in polling as being supported by the overwhelming majority of londoners, and while not all schemes are equal in quality, a lot of them seem to be working well, and politicians responsible for many of them got re-elected at the most recent elections, so I don't think it's a stretch to say that they would be introduced by any truly democratic london government!

The fact that it harms those living in the boundary roads
This is only true for a relatively small number of cases. In most cases, specifically where the design has been well thought-out, the traffic on boundary roads actually reduces!
 

The Ham

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This is only true for a relatively small number of cases. In most cases, specifically where the design has been well thought-out, the traffic on boundary roads actually reduces!

Indeed, however that party of my post was to highlight how such an argument is latched onto by those opposed to them.

Likewise the 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 created by HS2 over 120 years is latched onto those opposing that scheme, however the same people are quiet on the Lower Thames Crossing which (even ignoring the 2 million tonnes during construction) will produce 3 million tonnes of CO2 during the first 60 years of use.
 

Snow1964

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Goldfish62

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Likewise the 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 created by HS2 over 120 years is latched onto those opposing that scheme, however the same people are quiet on the Lower Thames Crossing which (even ignoring the 2 million tonnes during construction) will produce 3 million tonnes of CO2 during the first 60 years of use.
That's because it's a road scheme.
Rail - bad
Roads - good

That's at the heart of the opposition to HS2, but anyway best confine that to a separate thread..
 

SynthD

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LTNs don’t have a specific cost. Road pricing, especially multiple schemes that you could cross in a commute, would not be received well. LTNs are more equal, you are stuck in the same traffic you help cause no matter how much you pay. Not even a helicopter helps.
 

Mikw

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Hope it's not too much of a decline, in comparison with pretty much all the UK, London has a brilliant system.

If i'm here for work, or leisure, it never ceases to amaze me how little time you have to wait for anything.

I remember a guy at Earls Court tube station issuing a volley of expletives when there was a ten minute service gap at midnight. Where i'm from there is no public transport at all after 11pm.
 

stuu

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I don’t have a car and haven’t for a couple of years.

My objection is to LTNs being unilaterally imposed on boroughs and not necessarily changing things in a good way on a local level.

I admit I do delight in driving dirty polluting diesel trains into Islington(ish), apparently we’re getting new electrical-magical ones soon.

I’m afraid you’ll just have to suffer the fumes until then, sorry old bean. :D
I believe Londoners recently had a thing called an election, where candidates could freely campaign for such things as removing LTNs. If they really are so unpopular, one assumes all the candidates offering to get rid of them won by a landslide
 

AlbertBeale

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That's because it's a road scheme.
Rail - bad
Roads - good

That's at the heart of the opposition to HS2, but anyway best confine that to a separate thread..

In fact, of course, people wanting a human-survivable planet are opposing both HS2 and the Lower Thames Crossing (everyone I know who's against one is against both) - since both schemes make the climate crisis worse for years to come.
 

Domh245

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My objection is to LTNs being unilaterally imposed on boroughs and not necessarily changing things in a good way on a local level.

Should just point out that it is the boroughs that bid for funding (from TfL) to implement LTNs - they don't have them "unilaterally imposed" on them
 

Nicks

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I'm a Conservative voter, but am looking forward to seeing a Labour government working with a Labour Mayor and solving all the problems that are "blamed" on the Tories. Although I suppose for the first few years problems will be explained away because of "inherited" issues.
 

Horizon22

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Shapps wants to "reset the relationship" apparently but I've no idea what this means in practice

Probably in his favour - he's right it's got to quite a toxic place although both sides have been as bad as each other at times.
 

43066

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I believe Londoners recently had a thing called an election, where candidates could freely campaign for such things as removing LTNs. If they really are so unpopular, one assumes all the candidates offering to get rid of them won by a landslide

As if that really makes a difference on a local level. It’s only ever going to be Labour who win the mayoral elections going forward. I have no particular skin in the game, not driving myself. The best thing I can do is move out to the leafy suburbs, which is in progress.


In fact, of course, people wanting a human-survivable planet are opposing both HS2 and the Lower Thames Crossing (everyone I know who's against one is against both) - since both schemes make the climate crisis worse for years to come.

The best thing that could happen to this planet in environmental terms is having far fewer humans living on it.

You must surely agree with that statement, as an avowed climate protester, with good scientific knowledge?

Should just point out that it is the boroughs that bid for funding (from TfL) to implement LTNs - they don't have them "unilaterally imposed" on them

Details, details. I live in a stabby Labour district so it was always inevitable here.
 

MikeWh

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Details, details.

As if that really makes a difference on a local level. It’s only ever going to be Labour who win the mayoral elections going forward.
Details indeed. The most recent local elections were for the individual Borough councils, not the Mayor or Assembly.
 

43066

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Details indeed. The most recent local elections were for the individual Borough councils, not the Mayor or Assembly.

I should have known that. I didn’t think we’d had a proper vote since the LTNs were introduced. I’m sufficiently disinterested to not argue the point in my usual fashion. I only pay attention to general elections, mayoral elections and Brexit referendums(!)

None of that changes the reality that London is a stabby, overpriced toilet of a place. The best thing I can do is flog the gaff and move to leafy old zone 4/5.

I must be getting old.
 

Trainbike46

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On the issue of LTNs (which I really hope we can get some here in Belfast, way too many cars around!), the borough councils are actually quite influential, in that for the most part the decisions on whether, where and how they get introduced are made by the borough councils, so those elections where actually really relevant!
 
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