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Transport infrastructure?


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How long have you got.

 

Fully integrated transport system controllled at local level. Not necessarily privatised, but clear rules i.e. bus companies that run highly profitable routes ahev legal obligation to subsidise non profitable (currenlty) routes.

 

Clarifty on fares and again any increases subject to a local "authority" control i.e. MPTE or GMPTE as was.

 

Fully manned stations 18 hours a day with secure car park free to all pre-purchsed rail ticket users.

 

Introduction of Park and ride facilites in all cities and say next 100 towns (population based). Omega in Warrington is ideal for this and if we get in quick might avoid the prison. Birchwood park also and Daresbury for M56. Worked at Christmas when free and say charge ?1 per trip e.g Chester.

 

Reduced RFL for lorries who operate outside of peak periods on motorways. NPR cameras are already rife and could easily pick up and fine (heavily) defaulters

 

This will leave the motorwasy free at peak periods for cars to use.

 

Railway reorgansised so that one sompany operates and owns the infrastructure (network rail dont run most stations) one company owns the stock and the government uses the receipts to pay the say 5 companies in 5 large franchises (i.e. Scotrail, Network South East, Cross Country, Inter City, provincial rail) a management fee to run them.

 

How abotu that for starters.

 

Locally, park n ride, western by pass, cross town busses, free parkign at rail stations wouldl all be welcome.

 

Money - hmmm ?40bn from the motorist p.a. shodul cover it when ?9bn spent on roads and ?7bn on rail. A bit of cash spare there.

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Won't argue with them Adrian - however, it would actually make sense in employment creation terms to invest our money in a massive programme of infrastructure projects - that's how the Germans built an Autobahn system - but perhaps for different reasons! :wink:

 

Hitler didn't have to deal with the planning process. :wink::)

 

Interestingly the US embarked on massive infrastructure projects during the great depresssion. And I wouldn't be against such projects provided that they were meaningful and did provide value for money.

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Too many working class oiks with cars hindering my vehicular progress on the Queen's Highway.

 

Safeway, you are begining to sound like a bloody union rep..... not everyone hates the working class you know; its only Brown and Darling who do!

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enough civil engineering projects required in boosting our transport infrastructure, creating energy self sufficiency etc - to keep the next two generations in work and thus able to pay the taxes for them?!

 

How about ther reopening up of the Canal system for low-priority light goods? They worked right up til the Steam Engine!

 

1. Takes manual labourers off the dole and the building sites, [providing all year round work and more job stability)

2. Takes cars and vans off the roads- reducing congestion

3. Re-use of some already existing facilities (houseboat marinas etc)

4. New industry, such as boat building and chandlery

5. Potential environmentally friendly- habitats for wildlife and alternative leisure facilities

6. Less problems when handling potentially hazardous cargoes (due to lower speeds) and larger cargo capacity per unit (ie longboats can potentially hold more cargo than a van)

7. Potential for mechanical development and invention- car engines may be more @green@, so can this technology lead to more efficient boat enginess? (Heck, if we wish to go REALLY green, use the oldest green power supply of all- horses- imagine the explosiion in stables, feed companies, and therefore a knockon effect into farming!)

 

Or is this thinking a little too radical?

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It's an interesting idea, I wonder just how practical it would be, could it be done in a cost effective way?

 

I knew that the Bridgewater Canal was one of (if not the first) man made canal in the UK. But I didn't realise that the Sankey canal was one of the first natural ones - i.e. it began as a river.

 

Is this true?

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according to various websites it was

 

'......originally proposed as a river navigation, following the Sankey Brook - hence the canal's original name. However, the engineers had other ideas, and used a loophole in the Act of Parliament to build a ten-lock canal instead......'

 

more details about the canal on here.....

 

http://www.waterscape.com/canals-and-rivers/st-helens-canal-sankey-canal

 

http://www.pittdixon.go-plus.net/sankey/sankey.htm

 

http://www.scars.org.uk/history/index.html

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How about ther reopening up of the Canal system for low-priority light goods? They worked right up til the Steam Engine!

 

A few years ago I wrote to a canal carrying company with a suggestion which could have worked but it never came to anything.

HJ Heinz use thousands of tonnes of imported beans and at that time they came into the country through Avonmouth Docks and carried to Wigan by road. My suggestion was that the beans could be shipped through Liverpool and taken to Wigan via the Leeds / Liverpool Canal. The canal runs through Crooke Village which is around half a mile from the Heinz plant at Kitt Green. The beans could be run by conveyor belt up to the factory for processing. The initial supply would take some time but once established there would be a steady supply chain. It would be economic due to the canal being a wide canal and can handle boats carrying around 60 tonnes of beans at a time. It would also remove thousands of HGV journeys off the already congested roads.

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The supply of some non-perishable goods by barge has long been advocated, as with water from the tap, you don't ask how long it took to get there. :roll: Talking of water: another idea was to use the canal system to transfer fresh water from one area of the country to drought areas, alas asking politicians to apply imaginative policies is like drawing teeth. :roll::wink:

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While using the canals to deliver certain goods is a good idea in principle, it runs up against a couple of problems of economics.

 

It's going to take boats loaded with goods at least 4 or 5 days to get from one side of the country to another - that's assuming it's moving for 15 or 16 hours a day, which in turn is going to require a crew of at least 2. Even assuming that you're always able to find a productive load for the return journey, you're looking at 8 to 10 day man days of employee cost to move a load 250 miles. That compares to about 1/2 a day for the same journey using the road network.

 

A company supplying goods by this method will also have to have a week or so's worth of additional stock tied up in the supply chain as it makes it's way along the canals. This represents another significant cost to the business.

 

I'm also not sure that a boat engine running for 60 - 70 hours is any greener than a lorry engine running for 3 hours.

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Like roads canals run both uphill and downhill...They are supplied with water from a summit reservoir and then run downhill either side. To transfer water from the north to the south would require many pumping stations which would make them both uneconomical and unpractical. I think it was John Prescott who put the idea forward but it was always going to be pie in the sky, anybody with the basic knowledge of canals could have told him it wouldn't work. The only canal I know of which provides a water supply is the Llangollen Canal which is fed from the Horseshoe Falls and supplies a reservoir at Barbridge Nr Nantwich. All downhill of course.

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I like the principle of Safeway56's beans (non-perishable products) and also the transportation of water suggested by Obs from one end of the country to where it is required. The Southern draught has not gone away.

 

With the non-perishable idea does it really matter how long it takes? We live in a society that expects everthing yesterday! This does not always have to be the case.

 

In the transportation of water and the uphill isue then why not develop a pumping system carry it up bewteen different levels. Why not get our bright engineers producing a solution to be manufactured by what skilled craftsmen we have left? Our young apprentices could help and learn from them.

 

Just think of the skill set that the North West used to have especially Warrington.

 

Where water is flowing donwhill beteen locks could a small turbine be developed to generate electricity which could be stored and used later to drive the pumps that would pump water uphill.

 

If politicians fail to realise the potential then maybe an entrepeneur could cease the opportunity. However it does need to be driven and co-ordinated at a National level. New canal links and or pipe systems may have to be constructed to connect it all up.

 

Essentially the solution could encompass solutions to a number of issues, transporting goods, water, creating jobs, inventing new solutions, better canals better boating holidays etc etc

 

Just think - the Sankey Valley canal would not have been built if people had said it can't be done.

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The water supplied to this area from North Wales and the Lake District is fed by gravity...there are no pumping stations. Whether or not the south east of the country is too far to be supplied by this method I know not but I don't think canals are the answer to this problem. The ideal solution would be to spread the general population more countrywide, but that would mean the big soft southern Jessies may have to move up here and elsewhere. They of course think they'll drop off the edge of the world if they ventured further north of Watford. The BBC are doing a good thing in moving some of their radio production to Salford Quays, perhaps more will follow.

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If the good to be transported in this way were non perishable and there was no massive rush for the delivery as things had been well planned, couldn't barges run on solar powered engines which I know aren't yet as powerful as a diesel engine but there has been a lot of progress in this field of late. They would also be pretty quiet and therefore not wake people if they ran through the night too. :)

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Your solar panels aint going to generate much power at night!!!

 

You've still got the crew cost problem, if you run the boats 24 hours a day you then need 3 crew per boat. The goods'll get there a bit quicker - but the costs will be the same.

 

I don't really see any way with current technology to automate these boats, a robot boat would have to be able to cope with locks, tunnels, traffic in both directions, moveable bridges, moored boats, anglers and all sorts of other obstructions.

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During the night the boats can run off the solar power stored during the day and during the Winter plug in at an appropriate recharging point.

 

It's true that increased traffic may interfere with the fishermen and obstacles that have appeared through the canals being underused would have to be removed. But I'm sure that these issues can be overcome.

 

The thing is this is the sort of thing that should be under consideration. The canals are just one area there are others and they shouldn't be viewed in isolation or pitted against each other. It could be part of the solution - not the solution.

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:D:D Inky batteries dear chap, but as you say quicker delivery same cost but 1 extra job created. In this day and age surely a good thing. I know the idea is simplistic and I don't think for one minute that any of this back to the future in reverse is going to happen but it could work which is what the thread seems to be all about.
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It would take a nationwide network of canals on the scale of the Ship Canal in order to allow the passage of big enough ships for the cargo/crew ratio to be economic.

 

There's just no way that paying 10 man-days wages to move a load of no more than 60 tonnes on small canals can come anywhere near competing with the cost of moving the same load by road or rail transport.

 

Better to leave the canals as they are and not risk losing a valuable and environmentally enhancing leisure resource.

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