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Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by ABB125, 24 Jan 2019.
Unless it is hot or cold, at night, plus everyone charging their phones.
One person talking meetings are easy on conference calls.
They are a mess when multiple people are talking at once, which is often needed if multiple groups are trying to solve an issue. Much easier then to be round a table.
But 20 years' ago, would you have had clients so spread out geographically, or would the greater need to have face-to-face meetings have meant that they would be choosing accountants closer to home?
For my part, my own accountants are just under an hour's cycle ride away. That doesn't really bother me because I only need to go there once every year or two: As you say, most business is conducted by email. But if email didn't exist and I had to go and see them more frequently, I'm pretty sure I'd have taken more trouble to find one that was quicker to get to.
And this is all well and good if you are an accountant who can and does sit behind their desk all day but theres simply too many jobs out there that require people to be onsite or somewhere else where that sort of work just will not lend itself to such an action - and we have already had this discussion about remote working before - and there was no agreement then either
I don't knbow how EVs manage heating and ventilation/cooling but I assume that heating relies in part of heat given off by the battery when working. Maybe that will drive better insulated vehicles and better ventilated cooling systems as well.
Even if four passengers with their phones with fully flat batteries all charged then at the same time, that would be no more than 10W x 4 for less than an hour, - a drop in the ocean given that even now, EV batteries are upwards of 30kW* so the phones would only deplete them by less than 1/750th of the total.
* I wouldn't count the current range of sub-100mile range cars as being relevant as we are talking about the future.
Air con uses plenty of power though, especially if stuck in traffic on a hot day (when the batteries would presumably need cooling if they are warm enough to heat a cold car)
I get nervous enough about having enough petrol but at least i know I can pop into a garage, almost never have to wait, and be out again in minutes. I don’t want to be stuck in a service station on a rainy night waiting for charge.
And if you get really short you can stop and just need a can of petrol to be on your way again. Going to need a chunky old battery from somewhere to get topped up in an EV.
Whilst I reckon going by train, long distance, is preferable than by car, even an EV.... They do have so many advantages, and very few draw-backs, quite apart from them being infinitely better cars to drive anyway:
Whilst I suspect that some of it is repeat announcements, perhaps there could be a discussion of whether £25bn of road spending constitutes a series of vanity projects that would be better spent on capital projects in the NHS, education and defence.
Perhaps you are very young, but if you think announcements = project delivery from a desperate government, you might be in for a surprise.
I agree that an announcement isn't the same thing as actually building it. Nevertheless the announcement does seem worrying to me, because it suggests that the Government has gone back to the 'lets build lots of roads' approach to transport, which as I'm sure most of us here know, is not a sustainable way to improve transport. To my mind, that makes it more important that we focus on getting HS2 and other railway improvements done in order to keep shifting traffic from road to rail.
(And by the way, imagine the transformation that £25 billion could achieve if the Government decided to invest that amount instead in building safe walking and cycling routes and decent cycle parking in cities across the UK!)
Do road building projects have to demonstrate a BCR in the same way that rail projects do?
No, not even close.
Yes. https://www.transport-network.co.uk/10-of-RIS-1-schemes-shelved-on-value-for-money-grounds/15817 includes a line about roads schemes must have a BCR above 1.5 to continue.
https://assets.publishing.service.g...nt_data/file/411417/ris-economic-analysis.pdf is from 2015, but has analysis of several schemes including their BCRs.
HS2 is set to create (gross) carbon emissions of 1,492,000 tonnes for its construction & maintenance of the 330 mile length over a 60 year period.
This compares to the same emissions (on a per mile basis of the total Highways England asset emissions) as 350 miles of the strategic road network.
Therefore it's better to close 350 miles of the strategic road network and build HS2 than it is to cancel HS2. In addition it would reduce emissions from exhaust fumes which are likely to take some time to be mostly EV vehicles.
(Note, that this is based on an average km of the strategic road network and the actual miles closed could shorten/lengthen the length required, for instance a section of lightly used dual carriageway would have lower emissions than a section of the M25.
It should also be noted that the length would be much shorter of assessed over a 120 year period).
I'm a big fan of rail travel and I don't drive. But you can't seriously suggest we'll get the same benefit from HS2 as from 350 miles of the road network?
If you compare how many long distance journeys currently made by road that are transferred to rail, to how many new (maybe shorter) journeys are added to new roads, you would have to define what you regard as 'benefit'.
No, it's really for the Ham to define what s/he regards as a 'benefit', since they are the one making the claim to begin with.
And which 350 miles are we talking about? If you take the whole of the M1 plus the first 150 miles of the M6, then frankly you'd be crazy to make that sort of comparison, on any definition.
No one who claims that HS2 would be an environmental disaster have said anything about the impact of maintaining the truck road network.
If HS2 is environmentally too costly then why is nothing being said about reducing the emissions from the maintenance of the road network, with consideration being given to closing some roads?
Closing roads wouldn't necessarily reduce emissions. How would you decide which roads to close?
IMHO the best way to reduce emissions to make all vehicles electric and build some nuke stations.
Almost read that as nuke stations, which seemed a little harsh.
It's not feasible to stop all road travel, but it's fairly clear that some road trips are much more damaging than others so sensible policy can focus on maximising benefit and minimising harm by gradually reducing traffic. Roughly in priority order of trips to get rid of (starting with least benefit/greatest harm):
Trips through but not originating or stopping in urban areas
Trips entirely within urban areas
Trips between different urban areas
Trips between urban areas and rural or smaller urban areas
Trips entirely outside urban areas
The first category can be reduced by improving (access to) bypassing roads and curtailing routes through town centres, for example through pedestrian zones, modal filters, congestion/emissions charges, parking restrictions/charges and reducing road space for cars while giving more space to other road users (bus lanes, bike lanes, wider pavements etc.)
Those measures also improve trips within urban areas by making non-car transport relatively more attractive and encouraging cars away from the most densely populated parts of town where they do the most harm. All of these should be combined with improved non-car transport options so people can still access the centre and get around easily. Oxford and London are examples of a small and large city that do most of these fairly well (at least by UK standards) while remaining extremely prosperous and popular with visitors.
Reducing trips into and between urban areas is where trains come in. Once you've reduced these trips, you also free up capacity on the strategic road network. Although they're the busiest roads, they're generally the safest and best separated from people so closing them would be a bad idea, but by taking away people making long trips between cities they can accommodate more of the other trips, keeping cars away from urban areas.
The final categories - trips that start and/or end in rural areas or small villages, are much harder to do by train or other public transport and probably best met at least in part by electric cars. That means maintaining the large network of rural roads.
So of all the roads that one might want to close, we come back to what seems like an obvious answer. Don't close the motorways because they're relatively safe and space-efficient and they keep cars away from people. Don't close the rural roads because they're the only way to access much of the country. Do restrict road travel in urban areas, with the greatest restrictions in the most densely populated places, while converting the space to be used by more efficient, less harmful forms of transport like walking, cycling, buses and trams. At the same time, adapt the strategic road network by improving access to allow more short trips so the motorways become a way of keeping traffic out of towns rather than being optimised for long-distance, high-speed trips.
As a bonus, this is also the most politically feasible kind of road downgrading to do. People in cities are more likely to want their roads to be made worse for cars because they suffer the direct consequences of air and noise pollution. People in the countryside think they want access to the motorways to be improved even though it will slow down traffic and turn them into glorified bypasses. Doing that will also push more passenger and freight onto the railways.
Roads require maintenance, that maintenance results in emissions. As an example the Highways England emissions from their assets is 330,000 tonnes a year.
Therefore if we can reduce the account of road space we need by using better use of the road surface that we have it would reduce the amount of maintenance required.
The other thing to bear in mind is that an EV car will (assuming it is driven for 150,000 miles) will result emissions of ~75g/km. Whilst a cycle (even an electric one) would result in a lot less emissions.
By people cycling they require less triad space, for those who can't cycle of they can go by bus or train they take up less roadspace than if they drive.
As an example, transport planners (when working out capacities) assign vehicles a value relative to a car. A bus is counted as two cars, so a bus carrying 15 people is more space efficient than two cars with 5 people in each. However most buses can easily carry 50 people and most cars have an average of not quite 2 people. Which means that the now people who walk, cycle and use public transport the less roadspace we need to maintain.
By removing cars from being a good option for key journeys you reduce the likelihood of people owning a car (or at least owing a second car in a household).
EV cars will reduce our emissions, however the best way to reduce emissions is not to use a car unless there's no viable option (this could include walking short trips).
This is all rather simplistic.
Railway maintenance also results in a lot of carbon emissions. I would guess that a kilometre of twin track railway generates much more carbon through maintenance than a 6 lane motorway. You don’t need to tamp a motorway, for example.
Your EV figure of 75g/km is a figure over the life of the ‘asset’, assuming a certain carbon mix of electricity generation. It would be interesting to see the carbon footprint of a new 4 car EMU on the same basis.
Good luck with that one. Away from the inevitably pro-rail views here, the society that has evolved in the last 50 years has encouraged car use with out of town shopping, retail parks, business parks and housing estates in open countryside with no public transport, which we are stupidly still constructing. For many families with children, public transport is unlikely to ever be a "good option", but until we stop building housing, retail and employment areas with poor transport the car will be around for a very long time. Closing roads and putting extra traffic elsewhere will only add to congestion and pollution. Much traffic is goods being delivered as well as trades people going about their business. You will always need a decent road system to allow trade and business to operate efficiently , and being anti-road is unlikely to help convince people to get rid of their cars.
Yes it is fairly simplistic, and chances are the emissions from Highways England are likely to reduce as things like the electricity supply (for lighting, matrix signs, etc) gets greener.
However I've taken HS2 figures for carbon emissions for the building and maintaining HS2 for 60 years and came up with a figure which is comparable on a per km basis when comparing 60 times 1 year of asset emissions from Highways England. Hence the 350 miles of road Vs 330 miles of HS2. However the longer HS2 exists for the lower the value. For instance if you compared over 120 years the length of road would be about 220 miles.
Again it's worth noting that this is still simplistic, however it does demonstrate that those who are arguing that HS2 shouldn't go ahead because of the carbon emissions should also be talking about what are we doing to reduce emissions from the infrastructure of other transport systems (which they are generally not).
Developers will continue to build these estates that have neither local facilities nor sensible transport provision for as long as local authorities give them planning permission. If there was a refusal to pander to their requests, they would then begin to get involved in co-ordinated planning of communities, (or exit the business because the quick buck was,no longer there to be made.
I think that dissuading much of the trivial use of private vehicles will be an uncomfortable time for some, but needs to be done soon. We assume that the process will impose ever increasing congestion, however evidence from the expansion of the road network shows that contrary to the claims of the road lobby, new roads generate more traffic. Consider the behaviour of individual motorists, - if a road gets more and more congested, eventually a journey using it becomes inviable, especially if it is part of travel to work. Of course there are the die hard petrol heads who will sit in a queue come what may, but they can be dealt with by restriction on access and congestion charges. If this is managed in parallel with targeted enhancements to public transport, it would be possible to generate a modal shift.
In aware there's always going to be a need for roads, however there's a few points o would like to make:
Roads can be used a lot more efficiently if rather than 2 to 14 people (car) in a 12m length of road there's 2 to 80 (bus).
Whilst there's still a lot of housing development happening in open countryside, these developments tend to be much denser than the housing of even the 80's let alone of the 60's, dense development works better for public transport as there's a larger market in a smaller area. As an example, without increasing the amount of land used where I live there are developments adding about 150 dwellings within 300m of the train station (with more to come). Whilst at the same time another development is adding 550 dwellings within 1 mile of the same station, whilst another developer has been trying to get a further 700 homes also within a mile of the same station. (This is all in addition to the 200 homes built in the last 10 years, this isn't a large town as at the last census it had a population of less than 9,000 people).
Whilst a nearby station is looking like it's likely to gain 5,000 homes over the next 20 years, with scope to increase this to a total of 10,000 in years to come.
Also nearby there's a new development (3,000 homes) which could with some forethought (i.e. a new station and either a small length of electrification or battery trains) could see rail connected to it.
However in all those cases it's increasing the business case for bus provision and they will all improve walking and cycling facilities.
Where developments are larger and remote from facilities they tend to provide facilities like schools and shops. As well as trying to enhance non road links (like public transport and cycle facilities).
Even smaller developments will do things like improve bus stops, improve cycle facilities and improve existing crossing facilities. As well as indirect improvements, like making local shops more viable (either existing or for people starting up new business) so people have a choice.
I'd also suggest that large out of town shopping is starting to be in decline, or at least those which are thriving are likely to be attracting people from much closer than perhaps they did in the past.
This is partly due to the density of development meaning that they can serve the same number of people without those people having to travel as far. It is also down to people being more conscious of the travelling which they do, which is highlighted to them by the level of congestion in the roads if nothing else.
One person talking meetings are better done by sending out a PDF. You can read a 30min speech in about 10min.
Kent is a classic example of lots of low footfall very well served stations with virtually no homes within walking distance.
West Malling. A few miles away in Kings Hill is an old airfield. As it is 'brownfield' it has been developed from a green field by suburban housing into a small town in its own right. But too far from either station in Malling to reach other than by car or bike.
Cue 100% car ownership.
Closing roads probably would cut emissions even including from congestion if it simply forced people to stop travelling because the experience is so damn awful. It would also create terrible dislocation, pollution and congestion in local communities who find themselves being 'unbypassed'.
But true the best way to cut emissions is to cut economic activity. Not sure that is good policy though...