Travel patterns

The Covid lock down and interruption to normal working lives has had a big impact on travel patterns. It has made people keener on personal transport and on road deliveries at the expense of buses, trains and tube.

The latest figures compared to the travel pattern just before covid struck in March 2020 is a complete recovery in vehicle traffic overall. Use of vans is up by 14% and of heavy goods vehicles by 5% reflecting greater on line ordering and road deliveries to individual addresses which trains cannot manage. Car use is 5% down, probably reflecting more home working and on line ordering.

Rail use is 14% down, tube use 33% down and buses outside London down 15%. Much of the decline in tube and other public transport use is probably brought about through less commuting to work and more office workers staying at home part of the week. The tube has suffered most, reflecting the reluctance of many office workers to resume five days a week commuting given the difficulties and cost of these public transport journeys.

The greens who want to discourage travel altogether will presumably be pleased that more people stay home to work as there is less overall travel. They will however be disappointed that the motor vehicle has once again proved more useful and popular and is increasing in use for deliveries. Green Councils will continue to make it more difficult for these important commercial  vehicle journeys to run smoothly and to time. This paradoxically will add to congestion, emissions and fuel use as much needed supplies sit in long traffic jams brought on by traffic mismanagement policies.

202 Comments

  1. DOM
    September 16, 2022

    Mandated travel driven by vehicle digitalisation (CV2X, Lidar, DMS, OMS) is just around the corner. It is the result of people not truly understanding what they are voting for.

    The EU and no doubt the British government will at some point implement freedom impacting technology into new vehicles that will prevent the user from using their vehicle when they so desire. Drivers will be confined to a certain number of miles per week and prevented from travelling to certain destinations without a temporary licence to do so.

    State overreach (maybe digitalisation and State control of our economic life) will at some point trigger a change in voting patterns when people wake up from their free-lunch hypnosis.

    Reply If they tried that we would not buy new vehicles

    1. Lifelogic
      September 16, 2022

      While I support the monarchy this wall to wall coverage, the cancellation of sporting events, hundred of cancelled flights, cancelled and delayed medical procedures (that will certainly kill several tens of people) and the endless other disruption is getting completely over the top and is hugely damaging.

      Very tedious listening to any radio or tv station too with all the waffle. If I hear anyone else say “no one ever expected her to die, they just thought she would go on for ever” Or other such crass drivel I will smash chuck Alexa out of the window.

      1. Mitchel
        September 16, 2022

        In 1453 when Sultan Mehmed II’s armies surrounded Constantinople (apart from a few scattered fragments,all that remained of the once Universal Christian (Byzantine)Empire),his more superstitious advisers suggested he might hold off from taking the city as it was a Holy City.He waved them away,saying that it was “living on ceremonial and borrowed time”.

        We are running out of bread,so one last colossal circus will have to do.

      2. Peter
        September 16, 2022

        Lifelogic,

        ‘Very tedious listening to any radio or tv station too with all the waffle.’

        Perhaps that is how some readers feel with your extensive multiple postings – much of it rawmaish. It does not bother me as I can skip bits or play Lifelogic bingo, but recent comments by others suggest not everybody is happy.

        1. Lifelogic
          September 16, 2022

          If you think it is nonsense then say why and in what way – then I can perhaps explain why it is not at all? Just saying “much of it is is untrue” is rather pointless (which bits and in what way)? It rather suggests you do not know.

      3. No Longer Anonymous
        September 16, 2022

        +1 and the Queen would not have wanted this.

        Virtue signalling Britain . Rather like the NHS clap people are too scared to break rank. This is almost Soviet, literally to the point of death and hardships in the case of cancelled operations.

        1. jerry
          September 16, 2022

          @NLA; “the Queen would not have wanted this. “

          Did you ask her, or is that just your rather bitter & jaded opinion?

          These State events are planned down to the last paper Doily, so to speak, years in advance, and the persons whose funeral it will be is in on that planning. If our late Queen had not wanted such a fuss made there would be far less opportunity for the public to be involved, and far less access given to the media.

          Back to politics…

          “This is almost Soviet, literally to the point of death and hardships in the case of cancelled operations.”

          Strange how some do not sound so bitter about the possible consequences, “death and hardships in the case of cancelled operations”, caused when the NHS is starved of the necessary funding, especially when the reason is a govts wish to make income or corporate tax cuts. Just saying…

          Reply Corporation tax rate cuts usually increase revenues!

          1. Mickey Taking
            September 16, 2022

            starved of necessary funding ….yeah right. How could I forget.
            I’ve had that broadcast at me every few months for years and years…..
            The country’s biggest employer and biggest budget?

          2. Peter2
            September 16, 2022

            Jerry is on a never ending roll NLA
            Give any opinion…and Jerry will respond with another.

          3. jerry
            September 17, 2022

            @JR reply; Yes, and Corporation tax rate cuts usually benefit the private medical provider companies, not the NHS. Whilst he increased revenue in to HMT is all to often used to fund personal income tax cuts, NOT vastly extra money to the NHS!

            @MT; Remind us how many were waiting for medical procedures, even before Covid?…

          4. Mickey Taking
            September 17, 2022

            jerry – – you don’t have medical procedures for Covid in the queue sense. Certainly NHS and /or GPs stopped referrals to react to the patients often needing weeks to recover (and I ignore the ones who insist it was all a hoax). So those took up disproportionate space in wards compared to day clinics and more significant ops. It is interesting that every year more funding goes to NHS without making any impact. More is never enough, or it is spent ineffectively.

          5. jerry
            September 17, 2022

            @MT; No, I meant people waiting for consultant-led treatments, as of March 2020.

            I’ll answer my own question, having looked at the BMA website, apparently there were 4.2 million people waiting for consultant-led elective care at the end of February 2020, with an average referral-to-treatment waiting time of 9 weeks, that was clearly an already malfunctioning health service, even before Covid hit.

      4. John Hatfield
        September 16, 2022

        “Very tedious listening to any radio or tv station too with all the waffle.”
        I thought I was the only one Ll. But my wife appears to be mesmerised by it all.

      5. Fedupsoutherner
        September 16, 2022

        We were only just saying exactly that LL. It really is overboard. Yes it’s sad but really expected at any time given her age. Yes we all respect the fact she was a brilliant monarch but I think we’re all a bit fed up of it all now. Quite frankly the funeral can’t come too soon. I shall watch it with great interest but want to get back to normal afterwards.

        1. Lifelogic
          September 16, 2022

          +1

        2. rose
          September 16, 2022

          When there is saturation coverage of the Royal Family as there never used to be, one has to wonder whether it is because most of the media are republican now and deliberateley taking away the mystery and putting people off.

          1. Mitchel
            September 17, 2022

            The Republicans co-opted the toothless monarchy sometime ago.Window dressing and distraction that allows them to get on with their projects.

    2. Cuibono
      September 16, 2022

      But the U.K. has signed up to that EU maximum speed thing hasn’t it?
      You can’t ( or soon won’t be able to) take a new car above a certain speed?

      1. X-Tory
        September 16, 2022

        Yes, despite being out of the EU the government has meekly followed their rules and imposed speed limiters on all new vehicles sold here. WHY??? Why have we not taken this opportunity to diverge from EU regulations, by BANNING these limiters? Cars made for the EU market have, in any case, to be built differently because they drive on the wrong side of the road, so there is no reason not to have other differences too. We should stop accepting filthy EU rules and regulations in the UK. We are governed by traitors!

        1. Cuibono
          September 16, 2022

          +many
          If we follow their rules we aren’t really out are we?

      2. Know-Dice
        September 16, 2022

        Wasn’t Mrs Truss mooted as saying we should be like Germany with no speed limit on motorways?

        1. Cuibono
          September 16, 2022

          “On speed limits, we need to be prepared to look at that … I can’t give you a precise answer…”
          They never can give a precise answer..to busy waiting to do a U turn!

      3. anon
        September 16, 2022

        Wonder if that will apply to car thieves etc , who may just decide… you know, to over-ride the limitations.

      4. glen cullen
        September 16, 2022

        Local Councils are, at the behest of Government, experimenting with 20mph zones… I wonder where they got that idea

      5. Mickey Taking
        September 16, 2022

        as I understand it the ‘limiter’ can be switched off, otherwise it is indeed intended to stop speed over and above the setting. Rather like the cruise device except that works to maintain the selected speed.

        1. Shirley M
          September 17, 2022

          Agreed. I have heard that too, but it’s going to put the cost up whether you want it or not!

          1. Mickey Taking
            September 17, 2022

            There are lots of things – toys is usually the term, that cars have now with very little value to comfort, safety, speed, looks.
            The one I really like is colour changing cabin lighting with little LEDs….the young probably love it their bedrooms, but in a car?

    3. Alicia
      September 16, 2022

      The old ones will be forced off the road so you’ll end up staying at home or taking public transportation which is the whole idea.

      Please get with the plan, Mr Redwood.

      1. Donna
        September 16, 2022

        They’re already doing it by making new practical, efficient, cheap petrol/diesel vehicles illegal from 2030.

        Replacement vehicles (if you can afford one) will have all the technology needed to control usage, as standard.

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        September 16, 2022

        It’s already impossible to find E5 petrol where I live.

    4. Dave Andrews
      September 16, 2022

      Then just as you pull out of your drive, you will get charged per mile for your road use, because the Council has sold off the road network to a foreign investor, to plug holes in their finances.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 18, 2022

        +1 they already have in a way with resident parking and car club parking. Just follow the money.

    5. acorn
      September 16, 2022

      What makes you think “voting” for anything will still be allowed? Nobody will BUY anything; “all products will become services. “You’ll own nothing and you’ll be happy”. Whatever you want you’ll rent and it’ll be delivered by a drone.” (Danish MP Ida Auken. Used by the World Economic Forum in its video “8 Predictions for the World in 2030”. knowyourmeme.com)

      1. Peter Parsons
        September 16, 2022

        And yet many people already seem perfectly happy with this model, for example:

        People whose car is on a PCP plan or some other form of lease rather than on HP, a bank loan or a cash purchase.
        People who use Spotify rather than buy CDs.
        People who use Netflix or Amazon Prime rather than buying DVDs or Blu-Rays.
        Then there’s all the food box companies, shaving gear, even toilet rolls.

        1. Mickey Taking
          September 16, 2022

          perhaps we will be able to order a coffin, have it delivered, family load it, then call collect services who will take it cremation services?

    6. Bloke
      September 16, 2022

      Dom:
      It would be sensible for new vehicles to be fitted with a cut-out device which police could activate.
      Police currently engage in dangerous chases at high speed and even throw a Victorian style metal stinger to puncture an assailant’s tyres. How crazy is that?

      1. glen cullen
        September 16, 2022

        why not get everyone in the country to wear a ‘tag’ to help the police

        1. Bloke
          September 17, 2022

          Your face is a tag which technology can easily identify, as with the gait of your walk, purchasing behaviour and other movements. Eyeballs assist too.

          1. glen cullen
            September 17, 2022

            All the teenagers I see are wearing full-face balaclavas on stolen e-bikes

          2. Mickey Taking
            September 17, 2022

            glen – why insist e-bikes are all stolen and ridden by teenagers? You have amazing sight to see-through (geddit) the disguise.

      2. R.Grange
        September 16, 2022

        If it works, Bloke, not crazy at all.

        Are you seriously suggesting that a police force that behaves in the arbitrary way we saw during the Covid crisis, and now with republican demonstrators (who I don’t support), should be able to cut your car engine out if they want to?

        You and I may have grown up in an era when the police didn’t behave like that, but concentrated on catching criminals. Times have changed, I’m afraid.

        1. Bloke
          September 17, 2022

          The Police Force exists to enforce the law. It should do so safely and efficiently, not like a Keystone Kops test of skill vs kill. Errant police officers are a separate matter. Leadership should deal with that.
          Those who misuse or exceed their authority would be disciplined or penalised.
          Restricting freedom of speech is a serious offence against everyone.

    7. glen cullen
      September 16, 2022

      DOM – I fear that your predictions will come to pass by stealth, (remember our ‘level playing field’ agreement with the EU)

    8. Ian Wragg
      September 16, 2022

      Reply to John.
      When all parties support the bet zero nonsense no doubt they will support control over us travelling.
      We will have to clean out the stables before common sense returns

      1. jerry
        September 16, 2022

        @Ian Wragg; “We will have to clean out the stables before common sense returns”

        Some have been saying that for the last 43 years! 😛

    9. Wanderer
      September 16, 2022

      Reply to reply. They’d surely just expand an existing policy… road-taxing the older cars so highly that only the very wealthy could afford them.

      1. miami.mode
        September 16, 2022

        They’ve already started Wanderer. 2011 petrol car VED to Jan 2015 – £123.75, VED to Jan 2023 – £275.00 = 122% increase.

        1. miami.mode
          September 16, 2022

          Whoa, hold that thought.! £123.75 was for 6 months. VED to Jan 2016 – £225.00 = only 22%.

          1. glen cullen
            September 17, 2022

            why is it free for EV, they share the same foot-print on the road…..oh yeah government social engineering !

    10. Peter
      September 16, 2022

      Car driving is often an unpleasant experience in London. Road works all over the place. The rush hour experience. Cycle lanes halving road space in many locations – Waterloo Bridge, Tooting High Road, King Street Hammersmith etc. Then you have to find a parking spot. Recently Mayor Khan has introduced the ULEZ ultra low emission zone with charges to enter it.

      Fuel costs are going up. Easier and cheaper for many Londoners to use public transport. Tubes always look busy enough to me.

      Driving out towards a shopping mall or golf club is the only easy drive for Londoners these days.

      1. Peter
        September 16, 2022

        Tubes at the weekend are busy. Trains too. Cutting the number of carriages to save money generates overcrowding.

        Maybe working from home/skiving has an impact? Leisure time use is the same as ever.

      2. Mickey Taking
        September 16, 2022

        you didn’t mention the 20mph limit – and in a few places you might even reach it!

    11. Mark
      September 16, 2022

      If we don’t buy new vehicles the number of vehicles will decline as old ones eventually become increasingly costly to maintain. See Cuba.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 16, 2022

        Maintaining the old ones is cheaper than buying new EVs and produces less CO2.

        1. dixie
          September 16, 2022

          As long as you are able, maintaining an old ICE is cheaper than buying any new car, ICE or EV but neither it nor a new ICE car produces less CO2 during it’s lifetime than an EV, if that is an important factor for you.

          1. glen cullen
            September 16, 2022

            Its all about freedom of choice and our government restricting that freedom of choice

          2. dixie
            September 17, 2022

            @ glen
            That is not the argument LL is presenting. Freedom of choice is a different topic entirely

          3. Lifelogic
            September 17, 2022

            Keeping your old car saves more CO2 than causing a new EV car to be built this is even true (almost always and certainly on average) even if you charge it only on low carbon electricity. But we have no spare low carbon electricity so this will not even happen anyway. This due to the high embedded energy needed to make the EV car and battery, the short battery life and the electricity production for charging.

          4. dixie
            September 17, 2022

            The battery life is not short as you keep claiming and if when is no longer suitable for traction applications it is repurposed for domestic use.
            Your clunker generated CO2 as part of it’s build and every time you have used it and will use it as will be the case with a new ICE vehicle.
            We do have “spare” low carbon electricity – PV panels and Octopus claims it’s electricity tariffs are 100% renewables based. So despite 95+% of my charging being done from my roof, any grid usage is renewables based.
            If you wish to deny it then prove it, prove Octopus does not operate 100% renewables based electricity provision. How about providing details and proof for all your claims.

    12. Mickey Taking
      September 16, 2022

      reply to reply…..sorry Sir John but you have no idea what the space available in processor chips could and does contain. It could lie dormant until the manufacturers agree to access codes making it operational. It could be years before humble devices are revealed as containing control coding. Your car with (innocent) internet access could be programmed to allow not only permission to drive but hours of day, GPS coordinates for access or NOT!
      We sleepwalk into authoritarian control.

      1. miami.mode
        September 16, 2022

        German car manufacturers proved that with their diesel cheating.

        1. dixie
          September 17, 2022

          No they didn’t, the German auto manufacturers changed the code in the EMS to sense when a test dynamometer was being used and changed the engine performance profile to a more “sympathetic” mode.
          I believe MT is referring to the modular architecture of modern computer chips where they are not one processing device but multiple devices and it was revealed that Intel’s CPUs actually contained a separate micro-computer (ie CPU, memory, I/O and software) that performed “management” functions.
          Windows 11 requires your PC to have a TPM, a “Trusted Platform Module” to function. The TPM is an auxillary but mandatory cryptographic processor so could do anything really and operates outside of your control and knowledge.

          1. Mickey Taking
            September 17, 2022

            Thats it dixie – now you have frightened lots of people to death.

    13. MFD
      September 16, 2022

      My thoughts precisely Sir John, I have just purchased a large new Subaru with a 2500cc petrol instead of a diesel. Hoping it will last my life time,
      Once a petrol head- always a petrol head!

  2. turboterrier
    September 16, 2022

    With these figures especially on commuter services one question that springs to mind “what price HS2 when the demand is falling”.
    How much impact on travelling to work and working practices has been changed to take into account video conferencing?
    Especially on the south coast grid lock can be an everyday occurrence at peak times. All the while the population grows, all these people need transport and for some it is better to use cars and vans to freely travel without drawing too much attention to themselves.

    1. MPC
      September 16, 2022

      HS2 was no more than the back of a fag packet idea by Andrew Adonis, he’s even admitted as much. The damage to the landscape wrought by its construction goes on near where I live. The government might as well have paid HS2 Ltd to dig holes and fill them in again, at least that would have done less damage. There’s no better reason for building it.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        September 16, 2022

        Dear MPC–It remains blindingly obvious that HS2, to justify its existence, should be joined to HS1 (perhaps somewhere on the M25 though where exactly is secondary. All the good stuff about having to go in to London, find Euston and save 20 minutes getting to Birmingaham of all places is bonkers. Why it should end at Euston is beyond me.

        1. miami.mode
          September 16, 2022

          LS, it was probably planned by a government committee.

          1. Shirley M
            September 17, 2022

            My view too. It was designed to benefit wealthy London commuters, AGAIN. The rest of it (to benefit the North) was just a stunt which was always going to get cancelled, but fraudulently used to justify the ridiculous costs being spent on London, AGAIN, for very little benefit to the majority of Londoners and none at all to the rest of the country.

      2. Lifelogic
        September 16, 2022

        The appalling EUphile, satirically named and unelected Lord Adonis. Still desperately trying to get us back into the dire anti-democratic EU.

        1. Leslie Singleton
          September 16, 2022

          Dear Lifelogic–Trying to extract something positive from the damn thing there might be a real chance of doing something useful and real on levelling up if there were an HS3. Manchester not to mention Scotland sending goods overnight direct to Madrid, Milan, Marseilles etc for a start. I bow to no-one in my deprecation of the EU especially recently but there is no doubt we are going to continue trading with the continent–even were the EU to collapse. The twaddle about businessmen and their laptops was almost amusing.

      3. Mickey Taking
        September 16, 2022

        Some insist it offers higher capacity (just London to Birmingham!) due to no steps being taken to improve current signalling allowing closer train running which could lead to more capacity. Similarly no bypass tracks are being provided to allow express trains to go past slower moving passenger and freight trains.

      4. glen cullen
        September 16, 2022

        HS2 is an EU transport plan that also keeps europeans employed to dig and refil those holes

        1. Mickey Taking
          September 17, 2022

          and German tunnelling machines?
          I noticed that a second machine (the first was called Flo – love it!) was called Cecilia – and just like Paul Simon sang ‘Cecilia you’re breaking my heart!’

  3. Lifelogic
    September 16, 2022

    Indeed but doubtless the government road blocking, using bus and bike lanes to constrict roads, low traffic areas for some (but giving higher traffic areas for others) will all continue.

    Also remember cars are hugely over taxed (and we suffer the government controlled mugging cameras too). Whereas trains, buses, tubes, trams hugely subsidised and with very little or no tax on them at all. If they competed on a level playing field we would have even less using public transport. It can already be up to 20 times more expensive to catch a train than to take five people in a car the same trip plus the car goes directly door to door without the end connections needed (and these are usually double journeys too – a partner or taxi drops you off or picks you up from the station).

    It is also generally quite false to claim that public transport saves CO2 when you consider the full journey door to door with end connections, average occupancies of buses and trains, the staff needed, ticketing, track & station maintenance, the indirect convoluted routes, all the stopping and starting at stops and stations. Furthermore public transport is hugely restrictive not much runs at all in the early hours.

    Plus you have to keep carry all you luggage/shopping/tools all day and cannot leave it in the car boot while you do other things on route. Last minute changes to plans are far easier in cars too. One fallen tree or a few leaves can completely kill a train journey but a car can just divert round it. Also the unions can hold the public transport system to ransom and often do especially over peak or holiday periods.

    1. Shirley M
      September 16, 2022

      Excellent points, LL. Most of all, we can be free and impulsive in a car and not need to spend a day or two planning how to get somewhere at reasonable cost on our dire public transport. It may be quite comfortable if you can afford to use first class/HS2 and have limos to complete the journey at either end.

      Such a pity that all UK politicians seem determined to price us off the roads, force us onto ridiculously expensive
      and inconvenient public transport and/or treat us as cash cows.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 16, 2022

        Exactly.

      2. Fedupsoutherner
        September 16, 2022

        Shirley. Public transport? What’s that? We have one bus an hour and nothing into the capital of Shropshire ( Shrewsbury) after 6pm. It’s dire in this modern age.

        1. Lifelogic
          September 16, 2022

          +1

    2. Lifelogic
      September 16, 2022

      Interestingly government publish this CO2 per mile table by different modes of transport.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/transport-energy-and-environment-statistics-notes-and-definitions/journey-emissions-comparisons-methodology-and-guidance#methodology

      It quite wrongly claims that walking and cycling produce no CO2 direct or indirect which surely shows conclusively it was compiled by ignorant fools, propaganda pushers, daft art graduates or just blatant liars. What on earth do they think powers the walkers and cyclists moon dust? Five people walking actually causes much more CO2 than sending them by car!

      It also gives a table showing a journey from London to Glasgow rather than a more typical journey with end door to door connections. Even so using their figures a full car (they assume 1.6 occupancy) is more efficient than a train, coach, motor bike or aircraft and far cheaper too.

      This even more so if you correctly include the end connections and the often rather indirect nature of journeys by public transport plus the output of staff employed, track, ticketing, stations…

      1. dixie
        September 16, 2022

        “Five people walking actually causes much more CO2 than sending them by car!”
        Please provide your workings out so the audience can verify your assumptions and math.

        According to nature.com emissions for walking, based on an average global diet, are up to 0.11 kg /km, so 5 people would generate up to 550 g CO2/km. CO2 output from a car will of course vary but Statista.com suggests the average petrol car in the UK in 2021 emitted about 174 grams per km while diesels emitted about 168 g per km.
        So your 5 people do generate more than a car per km.
        However, I rarely see more than one person in a car, sometimes two which makes your car journey more expensive in CO2 terms than walking. So as long as your car has up to 3 adults or say 2 adults and 2 children you asserting is false/on shaky ground. Which is of course why you keep using the example of 5 people.

        1. Lifelogic
          September 17, 2022

          An efficient car can do about 4 miles per KWH of fuel. It could actually do far more still if you designed one to go at just walking speeds or cycling speeds. A person walking burns about 0.1 KWH of food per mile. So five people four miles is far more energy if you do the sums. But also human food especially meat and dairy is also far more energy intensive to produce than diesel or electricity. So far, far more energy for 5 walkers than one full car!

          1. dixie
            September 17, 2022

            According to JDPower (search for “what-is-kwh-per-100-miles”) US EPA has established that one gallon of petrol equals 33.7 kWh of electricity, so you are claiming your car does 134 miles per gallon!
            Carwow lists the most economical petrol cars of 2022 with no.1 being the Mazda 2 at 60.1 mpg. So what car exactly are you talking about?
            And I didn’t say 5 people generated less CO2 than a car I said your choice of 5 people suits your claim but is in no way representative of average car usage.

  4. SM
    September 16, 2022

    Regarding car use: my daughter lives in a market town in the Home Counties. Last week, she suffered what may have been a stroke, and her partner took her immediately to the nearest district general hospital, approximately 30mins away by car, at least an hour and a half by public transport. Waiting for an ambulance was out of the question. She left the hospital with a packet of an aspirin after 7 1/2hrs, without having seen a doctor.

    After 2 days of fighting the NHS, she managed to get a GP referral to a specialist stroke clinic which is an hour’s drive away (more than 2 hours by public transport, although she was in no fit state for undertaking such a journey). Once again – no doctors were available to see her, so this week she was advised to go to another specialist unit, an hour’s car drive away in the opposite direction, approximately 2hrs by public transport, but she was still to ill to consider undertaking such a journey.

    This morning, she is on her way to an 8am appointment for scans and hopefully a full diagnosis at hospital no 2, being taken by car once again, as public transport would be out of the question in her current condition, as well as not functioning so early in the morning.

    I apologise for the length of this post, but want to emphasise that a great deal of our modern life is postulated on personal/private transport being quite easily available to carry out the necessities of life, rather than the pleasures.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 16, 2022

      Indeed is it any wonder excess non covid deaths are up about 13% given the dire state of the rationed, delayed and often grossly incompetent NHS? How many extra will die due to the funeral NHS bank holiday and all the cancelled procedures?

      1. Shirley M
        September 17, 2022

        That is my experience too. You have to fight, and fight bloody hard to get any life extending treatment these days (in our area at least. I do see better care being given in other areas from reading dedicated forums). This is cruel when you are ill to start with, yet you have to go through this extremely stressful process to get care that should be offered willingly and is part of the patients charter. The NHS looks for any excuse to save time and money and can’t wait to load you off onto palliative local care until you die sooner than necessary, but at least the NHS got shut of you! I doubt any politicians, celebrities or people with influence will have to fight for treatment so will never have this experience.

        Why is the postcode lottery allowed to continue? Why do we treat foreigners who have paid nothing but the NHS neglect those who worked and contributed for 53 years? I worked 8 years into my retirement and with hindsight it was a foolish thing to do given my circumstances. I won’t get to enjoy many years of my retirement, but I’m still luckier than many who die much younger, but maybe needlessly due to NHS neglect? Mistakes happen, but it seems the NHS is guilty of deliberate neglect. There are far too many instances of neglect to be ‘accidental’. Still, we must ensure all NHS staff are indoctrinated with diversity and woke’ism beliefs and expensive training and managers provided and people invited from other countries for cancer treatment that is being denied to Brits!

        Yes, I’m bitter. There are thousands like me being let down by the NHS. They hope I will go away and die quickly. I won’t, especially not to save them more money to spend on illegals, foreigners, sex changes on 80 year olds, wokeism, Halal food, wasted money galore to save someone a little bit of effort, etc.

        1. Lifelogic
          September 17, 2022

          Indeed and not easy to fight when you are seriously ill, asleep or unconscious.

        2. Lifelogic
          September 17, 2022

          Indeed and not easy to fight when you are seriously ill, perhaps sleeping or unconscious.

        3. Mickey Taking
          September 17, 2022

          Ah. But hand over enough £thousands and suddenly the surgeon and operation is now available.

    2. Donna
      September 16, 2022

      I hope your daughter makes a full recovery. (No thanks to the No Help Service).

    3. Fedupsoutherner
      September 16, 2022

      SM. I do hope you have good news regarding your daughter.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 16, 2022

        +1

    4. Richard II
      September 16, 2022

      A very sobering thought there, SM. Those who would ‘get us out our cars’ have no answer to that.

      I hope you have better news soon.

    5. dixie
      September 16, 2022

      This is a very unsettling situation, I hope your daughter succeeds in getting proper treatment ASAP.

      1. SM
        September 16, 2022

        Thanks to all of you for your kind wishes – unfortunately it was confirmed today (10 days after the event) that she has had a stroke and is currently under constant observation (at last) in hospital.

        1. Fedupsoutherner
          September 17, 2022

          SM. I’m very sorry to hear that. I trust the outcome will be good. Best wishes to you and your family.

    6. Mark B
      September 17, 2022

      I hope that your daughter is OK and makes a full recovery.

  5. Nottingham Lad Himself
    September 16, 2022

    Green policies are not aimed at making life harder for ordinary people.

    They are intended to reduce the actual necessity for people to consume energy, e.g. by improving home insulation and by planning towns so that people can shop and work conveniently without undue travel.

    Sir John’s suggestion that they want to do just that is yet another desperate attempt to rope science notionally into The Enemy, in the Tories only game now, their culture war.

    1. R.Grange
      September 16, 2022

      ‘Shop and work conveniently’: Conveniently for whom?

      Who runs your utopia, lad?

    2. Lifelogic
      September 16, 2022

      The enemy is not real & sound science it is the climate alarmist religion and the bogus net zero lunacy.

      “Green policies are not aimed at making life harder for ordinary people” – well perhaps not – but that is very clearly the direct effect of this net zero group think lunacy.

    3. Peter2
      September 16, 2022

      If green policies were popular NHL they would have more than one MP.
      They impact people’s standards of living, their freedoms and their quality of life.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 16, 2022

        The MP for Brighton Pavilion I think. Pleasant enough but a deluded English graduate with zero understanding of energy, climate, physics, economics or anything very much?

        1. rose
          September 16, 2022

          She seems one of the more unpleasant members of the opposition to me. Just going on her behaviour in public.

    4. Bryan Harris
      September 16, 2022

      Well said.

    5. IanT
      September 16, 2022

      Whatever the “aims” of green policies are NLH, the actual impact of them has been in fact been to make life more expensive and a lot harder for ordinary people. Much of the Net Zero nonsense doesn’t seem to actually reduce the total carbon “cost” at all, it just ships it elsewhere or hides it from obvious view by focusing on theoretical running costs, rather than lifetime or actual costs.
      For instance – my favorite car brand will only be producing mild and plug-in hybrid vehicles going forward. Their first mild hybrid is more expensive than my recently purchased petrol vehicle but the (claimed) combined 47 mpg is just 7.3 mpg more than the 39.7mpg claimed for my car. Last week I averaged over 46mpg on a long run using active cruise set to 70mph whilst motorway driving, so was not displeased.

      What about a plug-in? A recent Autotrader report looked at a DS4 plug-in hybrid with a (claimed) 230mpg, which (with an 8.8 gallon fuel tank) gave a theorectical range of over 2,000 miles. Complete nonsense of course, so they tested the vehicle without plugging it in and they got 29mpg – far less that the 43mpg that the mild plug-in version can manage and also less than the standard ICE version can manage. So, PHEVs are great if you actually plug-in them but not so great if you are just dragging all that extra weight around. And yet we are already buying more PHEVs than pure ICE vehicles, even though they may not suit every user and are more complex & expensive.

      1. IanT
        September 16, 2022

        Sorry, it’s not a mild “plug in” of course – you don’t plug “mild” hybrids in…

        1. Mickey Taking
          September 17, 2022

          mild- so called because at best you might only obtain a mild improvement in mpg.

      2. Lifelogic
        September 17, 2022

        The problem with full EV car batteries is that they are expensive, very heavy, environmentally very damaging, need load of energy to manufacture, do not hold much energy, leak energy, not that good when cold, waste energy in charging, decay rapidly and are slow to recharge. One EV car battery can instead be about 12 plug in hybrid batteries that do circa 30 miles on the battery (the city miles). These do not then have the range and slow recharging issues and you can have a smaller more efficient petrol engine too. They make a lot of sense. Also you do not need two cars – a city electric one and a long journey holiday car. It can do both.

    6. Bryan Harris
      September 16, 2022

      Green policies are destructive – FULL STOP.

      Based on a myth the indoctrinated go along with the false science because they have some immature notions that can only be described a cross between a death wish and fantasy land.

      Creating policies that rob us of a future is bordering on the insane.

      We can make the world better/cleaner, but nature controls the climate.

    7. Mickey Taking
      September 16, 2022

      Green policies are all very well, but it is the constraints and execution of them that people quite rightly object to.

    8. outsider
      September 16, 2022

      Dear Lad, If only it were true that policies are designed to reduce the need for travel. I am ashamed to say that I have only visited Nottingham once long ago but in London, vast sums of money have been used and carbon released to build CrossRail (now named after our late beloved Queen) for the main purpose of extending the London commuter belt yet further East and West. Vast new office blocks have been erected all round central Elizabeth Line stations to accommodate the extra commuters. Virtually no-one would have travelled daily by car from the extremes to the centre so there will be precious little diverson of traffic.
      Likewise, the argument for phase 1 of HS2 is that extra capacity will be needed, in the absence of a credible financial case. Faster trains may indeed generate extra travel but, given that there are already two train routes from London to Birmingham, little diversion from roads is likely.

    9. No Longer Anonymous
      September 16, 2022

      NLH

      A few months ago you were taking to your high horse about saving granny from Covid but now you seem relaxed about killing granny by hypothermia.

      I’m sure green policies aren’t aimed at making life difficult but – as with mask mandates – there are people who LOVE the righteous feeling they get when enforcing restrictions and rules. They do so with sadistic zeal.

      Your support of masks never was about saving granny, was it !

      What is making life difficult as regards green policies (of which I am broadly supportive), however, is the bringing forward of climate targets by twenty years before replacement technology is here – and the idea of that WAS to force change by making things more challenging (difficult.)

      Again. Sadism and righteous virtue signalling/ambition. Of which we’ve had plenty during the Queen’s departure and the Stalinist NHS clap.

      Also the rank stupidity of cutting off our own gas and coal supplies, relying on Putin and then poking him with a stick…

      I really could go on and on about the cognitive dissonance of so called intelligent and educated people with lots of medals and awards.

  6. Donna
    September 16, 2022

    But still the HS2 bandwagon will roll on, because the vested interests demand it.

    There was never a proper business case for it, pre Covid. Now there is no business case whatsoever. But using the sunk cost lunacy (£10 billion) the in Whitehall/Westminster will continue to demand that we pizz another £110 billion (and the rest) down the drain in order to shave 20 minutes off the time of a journey from central London to Birmingham.

    Dom is quite right. The longer-term intention is that every car journey will be tracked and you will be charged accordingly. And it is then just a short step for the Government to restrict private car use – either through cost (with peak travel/congested roads attracting a higher charge); through a system of purchasing annual mileage, or through car disabling equipment if you venture outside an authorised area. And that is after you have been forced to buy an expensive, impractical, impossible-to-charge, environment-destroying* EV because your petrol-driven one has been banned.

    * but only the environment in Africa, so that doesn’t matter.

    The point is, only the Elite and affluent will be permitted to have private vehicles.

    1. Lifelogic
      September 16, 2022

      Seems so.

      HS2 is surely driven by corruption/vested interest/party donors/paying MPs etc. as consultants or similar. I simply cannot belief it is merely gross negligence, incompetence and general stupidity. Can anyone else?

      Similarly, the pushing of the Covid Vaccines, which we now know were largely ineffective & often very dangerous (and for the young certainly did far more harm than good) was surely driven by similar vested interest drivers. The vaccine regulators in the UK and many other countries were surely grossly negligent at best. Will we get any serious criminal investigation?

    2. Peter Wood
      September 16, 2022

      I think, hoping really, HS2 will be soon cancelled, the work done so far will be ‘abandoned’ meaning it will be quietly turned into nuclear bunkers, (the secret plot all along?) and the remaining cash spent on fuel subsidies to great celebrations.
      But I’m an optimist…

    3. Wanderer
      September 16, 2022

      +1 Donna. If the elite were to share the pain, none of this would be happening.

    4. X-Tory
      September 16, 2022

      The business case for HS2 was fraudulent from the start, as it could only be made to seem justified by stating that the travelling time of businessmen going to and from meetings was wasted time. This deliberately failed to acknowledge that businessmen work on the train. Travelling time is not dead, wasted time at all! And now that there is far less business travel the original calculation is even more invalid. This is why the rationale for HS2 was changed from speed of travel to network capacity.

      Whether there is, in reality, a need for greater capacity is open to debate, but if so the solution is very simple: introduce double-decker trains, as they have in virtually every other country I have been to. ‘Ahh’, they say, ‘we can’t have those because of our low bridges’. But there has never been a costing done to compare the cost of HS2 to that of changing the bridges! And anyway, we do not need to touch the bridges, as the easiest solution is simply to LOWER THE TRACK for a two-mile stretch (to get the right gradient) at each low bridge (1 mile before and 1 mile after the bridge). This is far, far cheaper than building a whole new rail line, with new stations, compulsory purchase of homes and land, etc. But of course, it doesn’t suit the vested interests, and so was never even considered. The government is totally corrupt and incompetent.

      1. glen cullen
        September 16, 2022

        +1

  7. Julian Flood
    September 16, 2022

    Sir John,

    The increase in van and lorry use presents us with an opportunity to demonstrate our Green commitment by lowering the carbon footprint of those larger vehicles. They have the space to easily accommodate large compressed natural gas tanks. With encouragement by government we could within a decade have a transport fleet emanating half the CO2, with gas* stations all over the country encouraging users of non-commercial vehicles to change to that clean fuel which emits only half the CO2 and incredibly low particulates.

    Do we have anyone who knows the exact proportion of energy produced from the C and H4 constituents?

    If we were to use our own onshore fracked methane we could, within a decade, be painlessly on the road to Net Zero almost without trying. The benefits to the balance of payments and the points scoring bragging rights are obvious.

    A methane economy that replaces liquid fossil fuels is halfway to hydrogen without the pain, and with minor infrastructure change. A repurposed Nudge Unit should easily be able to create a slogan out of that. Halfway to hydrogen has a pleasing ring.

    One question must be put to policy makers. Why are we still proceeding with HS2?

    JF
    *How confusing to US tourists.

    1. Alicia
      September 16, 2022

      Why bother because there isn’t any climate change anyway as the refusal of the Greenland ice to melt this summer clearly demonstrates. It was also a very good year for the Arctic ice cap.

    2. Original Richard
      September 16, 2022

      JF :

      You are absolutely correct.

      Methane should be used for transport instead of diesel and petrol to cut CO2 and NOx emissions.

      All existing ices can be relatively easily converted which saves an enormous amount of money compared to replacing existing vehicles with impractical evs with their heavy weight, environmentally unsound batteries, limited ranges and charging difficulties. In addition methane can power HGVs whilst batteries cannot.

      Methane gas can be easily distributed to filling stations whilst the local grid will not be able to cope with the power required to charge evs and re-charging times will be a fraction of those required for evs.

      It also means that we are not dependent upon China for the raw materials for batteries, motors and generators.

      Furthermore, green methane, produced either biologically (biogas) or through an industrial process, where CO2 has been removed from the atmosphere in its production, is fully compliant with Net Zero and hence should be allowed as a competitive alternative to electrification.

      The use of green methane should be promoted by Government by making its fuel duty equivalent to that of electricity.

      1. acorn
        September 16, 2022

        Methane gas at 250 bar (3,600 psi) has about 9 MJ per litre. Petrol has about 34 MJ per litre. You are going to need a high pressure tank four times the volume of your vehicle’s current fuel tank to get a similar miles per litre.

        1. Original Richard
          September 16, 2022

          acorn :

          You are correct. The energy density of CNG (compressed natural gas) is 4 times lower than that of diesel by volume but far better than the 16 times for batteries, so it is 4 times better than batteries, which is the competitor for Net Zero.

          And batteries cannot cope with HGVs and large agricultural machinery, whilst these are no problem for CNG.

          There are already in existence millions of CNG vehicles running on our roads and throughout the world. It is not new technology. So it also has the advantage of enabling our vehicles to travel abroad without worrying about re-charging.

          1. acorn
            September 17, 2022

            Richard. You may have seen this short video about the CHEN system; liquid nitrogen cooled liquid natural gas. Designed for ships but being trialled by BOC and Stobart trucking. https://youtu.be/D4G3bcggw_M

      2. dixie
        September 16, 2022

        We are not dependent on China for raw materials for batteries, motors and generators, though some suppliers choose to be.
        Lithium comes from, Australia and South America and motors do not need rare earth magnets (they make motors about 5% more efficient). Smaller electonics goods such as phone vibrators and hearing aids do rely on rare earth magnets but superior replacements based on Iron Nitrides are being developed.
        We are dependent on Norway, the USA, Africa and the middle east for natural gas/oil.

        Do you want sustainable and secure supplies or do you want cheap?

        1. Original Richard
          September 16, 2022

          dixie

          I read that China currently controls the processing of nearly 60% of the world’s lithium, 35% of nickel, 65% of cobalt, more than 85% of rare-earth elements and large proportion of graphite.

          The West is scrambling for these elements. For batteries, the mining is bad for the environment, the processing is very energy intensive and scrappage also has environmental issues and hence is expensive.

          I would not be going down the Net Zero path of the electrification of heating and transport where the products perform poorly and our local grid cannot cope with the power required leading to volatile pricing and rationing. Plus giving those in control of the smart meters the ability to determine who does and who does not have power.

          There is absolutely no energy security when 95% of wind turbines and 100% of solar panels are supplied by China.

          1. dixie
            September 17, 2022

            The West has been scrambling for some time to replace such “hostage” minerals (Lithium, Neodymium) or obviate them entirely (Cobalt).
            We need to properly recycle such material here not ship all the valuable already-refined materials back to China, India etc simply to buy them over again. The reason we have this cycle today is to avoid the excessive pollution from poor reclaimation processing which arises from poor design and unwillingness to pay the true costs of products.
            Take Lithium for example. An EV is a very demanding application for the battery in working environment and power transfer, for more demanding than a domestic or even some industrial applications. So when these batteries is no long suited for EV use, less than 80% capacity, they can and are re-purposed as domestic batteries. After than the Lithium can be recycled and so the cells will have seen 25 – 30 years usage owing to the more sophisticated battery management systems, unlike your phone, watch or laptop batteries today which last 3 years or so, maybe more.

          2. dixie
            September 17, 2022

            I have PV panels, they were produced in China because .. globalisation. They could easily be produced in the USA, Europe as they were initially, or even here.
            Now I have them I can produce energy independent of China or other energy imports so that energy production is quite secure and you offer a specious argument.
            It is also under my control so I can power my house and fuel my EV independently of anyone – government or commercial enterprise.
            I have far more freedom than I had with an ICE.

    3. Mark
      September 16, 2022

      A chemistry website reports

      CH4 (g) + 2 O2 (g) → CO2 (g) + 2 H2O (l); ∆H0 = – 890.3 kJ mol-1

      CO2 (g) → C (s) + O2 (g); ∆H0 = + 393.5 kJ mol-1

      So the hydrogen burn is about 500kJ mol-1.

      1. acorn
        September 16, 2022

        So your Methane powered vehicle will be emitting Oxygen and solid lumps of Carbon out the exhaust.

      2. dixie
        September 16, 2022

        please provide the reference, particularly for the CO2 activation.
        And how do you derive H2 energy on combustion from your mangled chemistry.

        PS the energy from burning hydrogen is around 286 = kJ per mole.

        PPS you are LifeLogic pretending to be a chemist and I claim my £5

        1. Lifelogic
          September 17, 2022

          No I have no chemistry beyond my A at A level many moons back, so can I have my £5? Maths, physics electronics, business are my areas.

          1. dixie
            September 17, 2022

            I didn’t say you were a chemist.

    4. Mickey Taking
      September 16, 2022

      I smell a doubtful methane proposal.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 17, 2022

        Methane has no smell that is added.

    5. Iago
      September 16, 2022

      A truly excellent proposal and may I ask, would gas turbines, powered by natural gas of course, be more efficient for heavier vehicles rather than noisy, reciprocating engines?
      ‘halfway to hydrogen without the pain’ – yes, no continuously leaking, permeable pipes and tanks with methane, made by nature millions of years ago, containing hidden hydrogen right in front of us.

    6. Lifelogic
      September 16, 2022

      Why are we still proceeding with HS2? Stupidity or rather more likely vested interests and/or corruption or a blend of all three?

    7. acorn
      September 16, 2022

      JF. The Hydrogen to Carbon ratio is 4 to 1 for Natural gas; Petrol 2 to 1; Coal 1 to 1. The more hydrogen per carbon, the more energy release on combustion and the less CO2 generated in a ratio of 1.2 for NG; 1.6 for Petrol and 2.0 for Coal.

    8. dixie
      September 16, 2022

      What is H4?

    9. dixie
      September 17, 2022

      You would never get your proposal accepted by the green lobby since Methane is a significant green house gas and apparently atmospheric CH4 spikes have been measured coincident with the start of fracking activity.
      A better solution would be to process the green H2 to a liquid fuel and then you’d need far less change to distribution, re-fuelling systems and vehicles, though I’m not sure what performance changes you’d see.

  8. Michelle
    September 16, 2022

    I read through a portion of the Green Party policies a few years back and remember thinking it was akin to something my Daughter would write in a fairy story at age 7 or 8.
    A sort of ‘they all lived happily ever after, and everyone was best friends’ childlike naivety.

    What do the greens actually want? They seem so contradictory all the time.
    I’m all for keeping our green and pleasant, green and pleasant. I’m all for cleaner air etc. but the Greens do not seem to grasp that much of what they advocate doesn’t really bring any of these things.
    We can have forests of the ‘bat chompers’ as some people name them, but they are just that along with requiring more concrete poured into the ground.
    You can slap the word ‘sustainable’ on as many new housing estates as you like, for the Greens believe everyone has the right to migrate to wherever they wish to live, but it’s still pouring concrete into the ground alongside ruining wildlife habitat, farming land etc. It’s possible they may have changed their stance on this if enough of them have been impacted by mass housing estate builds near them. I find it changes many a mind pretty quickly.

    I did read where a Green councillor took a flight to Glasgow for the last climate shindig. Whether true or not I’ve never tried to find out, but it is the sort of contradictory thing they seem to do, without any hint that they are aware of their own hypocrisy. Childlike naivety perhaps?
    With that I shall hitch Dobbin to the cart and trot off to do some shopping. If that is where the future lies I’ll get a head start.

    1. Dave Andrews
      September 16, 2022

      The Greens are phoneys from what I can tell. Add to your Green councillor a certain Green MP who takes long haul flights to see her son in New York, and then has the gall to say people shouldn’t be judgemental, all the while she goes around preaching what everyone should do.
      They go on to say how they want to build houses. What? Have they no regard to the CO2 generated from baking bricks and burning lime, then bringing materials to site? Then when the house is built it requires the burning of fossil fuels to keep the occupants warm.
      When they start shouting we should end immigration I might take them more seriously. As far as I’m concerned, they are just another left wing protest group without a joined up policy.

    2. Neil Sutherland
      September 16, 2022

      Recent interviews with supporters of Green ideology have shown that many don’t even know percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere. Why listen to such ignorant people?

      1. Lifelogic
        September 16, 2022

        Why indeed listen to them, but almost all MPs are scientific illiterates & equally ignorant. So they all nod through May’s moronic net zero agenda without any serious costing or even a vote!

    3. IanT
      September 16, 2022

      I’m afraid that after chomping on your lawn (I assume it’s a self-charging horse?) poor old Dobbin will still be ’emitting’ (another word did come to mind) too much methane for the eco-purists. Maybe you will have to do a ‘Dads Army’ and have him retro-fitted fitted with a gas bag?

  9. Cuibono
    September 16, 2022

    Commercial vans have become travelling offices. In Summer the vehicles sit by the side of the road thrumming with air conditioning, engine obviously running while the driver/workman munches sandwiches/listens to music or writes up “reports” and fills in much rot to do with compliance.
    In winter it is the same except that the heater is running.
    All done with the connivance of companies who can no longer or no longer want to fork out for expensive offices. And no night time parking needed since the operative takes his huge van home to blight his neighbourhood.

  10. Cuibono
    September 16, 2022

    Train services have been purposely cut making a simple journey tortuous.
    Buses have also been cut mercilessly
    I very much doubt if tube travel feels particularly safe now.
    It’s what all the politicians wanted isn’t it?
    What does it mean? It means…. No More Travel. Stay at Home!

    1. glen cullen
      September 16, 2022

      +1

  11. Cuibono
    September 16, 2022

    This hateful iPad is bad enough…deciding it knows better than I what I want to type.
    Imagine a self driving car!
    Or worse …a supposed self-driver actually being remotely controlled by some robot-run central observation place.
    Oh joy!

    1. hefner
      September 17, 2022

      On iPad, go to Settings > General > Keyboard > Auto-correction then turn it off. Do the same to Predictive.

  12. Narrow Shoulders
    September 16, 2022

    You omitted bus journeys inside London Sir John – any reason?

    The car, for those who can afford it will always win out over sharing space with other people. It is a door to door arrangement and is almost always more convenient

    1. a-tracy
      September 16, 2022

      NS, us motorists, we’re reliable – we‘re not going to go on strike (in my local area there were no buses at all for at least four weeks this August during the school holidays!) Not many missed them running their empty old double deckers from the Cities around all day but those few that did rely on them had no alternative other than expensive taxis, not be able to get to work on time or home on time, they held everyone to ransom for more money when passenger numbers fell. They‘re happy to drive around all day in empty vehicles at inconvenient times because who cares when they get paid more for less. Now they‘ll get rewarded with their back pay and excessive pay rise and higher ticket prices for those poor few that need them. Then today I learned that in a nearby rural town they just cut the school bus over 20 kids (most have to pay because of the miles limit) not able to get to school for a week and parents rallying around to try to get their kids lifts. There is talk the school bus won‘t be replaced. I give up. Thank god I don‘t have to rely on public transport.

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        September 17, 2022

        Thank god I don‘t have to rely on public transport.

        Yet!

  13. Richard1
    September 16, 2022

    So Her late Majesty’s coffin is to be preceded by NHS doctors and nurses (i assume not care assistants, cleaners and managers, Pharma R&D workers or workers in animal testing labs, though they also are essential). Other countries must find this very odd. We cannot imagine eg a US president’s coffin being accompanied by selected doctors and nurses. Of course these people do important work, but so do many others. Taxi drivers eg or supermarket workers. Sewage workers and dustbin men (I’ve never seen a dustbin woman). City workers indeed, after all we need all their taxes, and efficient capital markets are essential. Software engineers for goodness sake, where would we be without them?!

    I know we had this sort of thing at the London olympics, but the govt needs to take a lead now in stopping it. Mawkish NHS worship acts as a bulwark against reform and means we have a worse health service than we otherwise would, and that other countries have. More people suffer and die as a result.

    1. Donna
      September 16, 2022

      Well said. It’s just more virtue-signalling from a cowardly Government which doesn’t DARE state the obvious: the NHS has failed the British people and must be reformed.

      I doubt if any NHS practitioner (doctor or nurse) actually attended Her Majesty anyway.

    2. Fedupsoutherner
      September 16, 2022

      Richard. It’s turning into entertainment and a farce. It reminds me of the pathetic Olympic opening.

    3. Sir Joe Soap
      September 16, 2022

      Unbelievable! I wrote a few days ago that the NHS would be dragged into this circus (for that is what it is becoming) somehow. Totally ridiculous. As said, prove to me that Her Majesty ever went through the standard NHS GP etc route and I’ll concede that this might be relevant. I somehow doubt it.

    4. a-tracy
      September 16, 2022

      You‘ve got to give it to David Beckham that he is reported to have stood in line since 2am in the morning to pay his respects to the Queen, and Susanna Reid. I agree with MPs being allowed to go in but not their hangers on extra 3 fast track passes.

      Her Majesty‘s Vigil is a spectacle I bet those lucky people in the queue who pass during this time will be thrilled with their good fortune to see it. It‘s a shame they don‘t ride past the entire queue in an open or glass carriage.

      1. a-tracy
        September 17, 2022

        Oh goodness, I just read King Charles and Prince William went one better and walked along the embankment today talking to the public in the queue, the thrill on those people‘s faces!

  14. Pat
    September 16, 2022

    Might it be that the reduction in commuter traffic in the southeast is due to it’s preponderance of civil service, NGO and quango workers, or even the recent phenomenon of ‘quiet quitting’? We may never know, as this would require transparency on absenteeism.

    Much is made of levelling up in the conservative party, and rather than increasing taxes to pay for this redistributive measure, it could be more permanently achieved, at cost saving, by relocating these publicly funded institutions ‘up north’, while removing the obvious injustice of national pay bargaining.

  15. Bloke
    September 16, 2022

    If people buy to consume what they need instead of wasting so much, travel and distribution would be smooth and efficient.

  16. Des
    September 16, 2022

    Most councils appear to think that they are at war with motorists and their road departments give the impression that none of them have ever driven a car. What they and all public employees should remember is that they work for us not the other way round.

    1. Clough
      September 16, 2022

      Agreed, Des. The question is why they think this. Metropolitan councils are overwhelmingly Labour, but Conservatives predominate in County and District councils. So does the colour of political control make any difference when it comes to policies on road travel, I wonder?

  17. Mike Stallard
    September 16, 2022

    Out here in the country, far from interfering do gooders, we have no cycle lanes so riding a bike is dangerous and most people (including the occasional electric scooter) ride on the pavements. It works because people are usually courteous – usually. We have to use our cars because the buses are half hourly and they do not go where we need them. Train stations are miles away and very expensive too.
    Both my sons are professionals in their 50s and both work from home with occasional visits to various sites and perhaps a couple of days in the office a week – or not. My son in law has a vital job abroad and he goes in most – but certainly not all – days.
    My wife orders an awful lot of stuff on the internet which saves on petrol and the deliveries (out here) are exemplary and a huge opening for immigrants too.

  18. Roy Grainger
    September 16, 2022

    Conservative transport policy is basically identical to that of Labour and the LibDems. Same for energy policy. And, to date, economic policy. Surprising as there surely must be votes in doing something different. Not pandering to cyclists would be a start which would have lots of support in my area.

  19. Cuibono
    September 16, 2022

    Following,supporting the greencr*p agenda = dereliction of duty to keep us safe.
    (Never mind the economy, defence and ever burgeoning numbers of combat-ready newcomers).
    It’s bloody cold this morning 🥶
    Sack of coal anyone?
    Our dear leaders have given everything away…virtue signalling on our behalf!

    We need a Martha’s Vineyard moment! ( They should have chosen The Hamptons…but still…)

  20. glen cullen
    September 16, 2022

    Russia leaving mass graves in its wake and invading its neighbours, China oppressing minorities and forcing people to attend re-education programmes, invading the South China Sea….tell me again why the United Nations Security Council permanent five members shouldn’t be disbanded

  21. glen cullen
    September 16, 2022

    The governments ULEZ zones are undemocratic by restricting where and when you can travel depending upon your wealth, privilege and political persuasion – what of the magna carta

  22. Ian B
    September 16, 2022

    traffic mismanagement policies – sums it all up

  23. Lifelogic
    September 16, 2022

    I see that MPs have been given queue jumping rights for themselves and four others to walk past the Queens coffin. Fair enough I suppose but let us hope the MPs use them sensibly for constituents who cannot queue. Perhaps given the huge demand they should have had ten coffins scattered around the land for people to view & walk past, leave condolences keeping it secret which one the Queen occupied. Perhaps just a lock or hair and a few weights for the others?

    As we know MP have special tax rules so I assume these will not be taxes as a “benefit and in kind” as they would be for any other employee nor are the subsidised restaurants and bars as they would be too as not available to all employees? The government scrapped the tiny lunch voucher tax break about 11 years back. But you do get £5 subsistence allowance if you are away form the office for lunch. Enough to buy a sandwich and a bottle of water just about at a supermarket then eat it sitting on a wall! How generous HMRC are?

    Still we are all in it together as they constantly lie to us!

    1. rose
      September 16, 2022

      A great deal of fuss has been made over Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales, a good thing, but not, as usual, over England which is taken for granted. London is not exactly England.

      It would have been a fine thing for Her Late Majesty to have progressed down from Scotland and through England, stopping on the way as Queen Eleanor did. Then we could have had Elizabeth Crosses in the provincial cities and towns along the way, commemorating Elizabeth the Steadfast.

      1. Lifelogic
        September 16, 2022

        Indeed the Midlands, the North East and North West, East Anglia, West Country and much of the South East was largely ignored – as usual.

    2. anon
      September 16, 2022

      Maybe next week discuss special inheritance tax rules.

  24. ukretired123
    September 16, 2022

    My wife took a 200 mile journey to see her disabled school friend and found the last 40 mile connection cancelled on a dark Saturday evening in November last year so she managed to share a taxi with 2 theatre going couples have couldn’t believe it either. I then had to drive for 40 minutes in the dark to rescue her. She got a refund but not for the taxi and the reason given was “No drivers” . She was exhausted.
    Last week she took the same journey on a Sunday and despite being 10 minutes early the train had already gone several minutes before! So I drove her to the next connection 40 miles away and returned home after wasting nearly 2 hours. On the return journey she was lucky as many other trains were cancelled either side of her train and came back before teatime.
    She can only buy affordable tickets for the weekend to for this 3 connections return journey of several days and has to buy in advance.
    Recently on holiday in Cornwall the hotel told us there were 2 different timetables you had to guess when they applied, online and at the bus stop!
    No wonder why we would rather rely on our own efficient modern diesel powered transport instead of “guess what’s happening today” reality on “Public Transport” .

    1. ukretired123
      September 16, 2022

      She has used the same 200 mile journey for over the years many times before and never had any problems.
      By the way the theatre goers were left stranded from their cars as all trains were cancelled and they were returning home @ 7pm the spoilt their nice day out obviously.

      1. a-tracy
        September 16, 2022

        Yes, UK retired I have had to rescue children because of no notice rail cancellations, one for a funeral (we only just made the funeral on time), one returning late from abroad to Luton airport no transport connections to London!

        1. ukretired123
          September 17, 2022

          a-tracy Sorry to hear that you too were badly let down at such vulnerable emotional and very anxious times twice. (The stress factor must raise the risk of higher blood pressure and related health problems – invisible consequences too).

  25. Original Richard
    September 16, 2022

    The empirical evidence shows that the climate models predicting catastrophic warming with climate breakdown/increasing extreme weather events as a result of anthropogenic CO2 emissions are wrong.

    The planet, having exited only recently from an ice age just 11,000 years ago, is far colder than average and CO2 is at historically low levels. In fact at the last ice age CO2 dropped to 180 ppm very close to the level at which plants cannot survive, 150 ppm, and in fact it would be better if CO2 levels were increased to 1000 ppm or more.

    The reason for the unilateral and economy destroying Net Zero is not to reduce our paltry 1% contribution to CO2 emissions.

    It is to force through the electrification of heating and transport because enormous power will lie in the hands of those who control the smart meters and thus the capability of switching on and off not only individual properties but even individual electrical items.

    Travel with evs will be controlled by those in control of the smart meters and recharging points.

    This is in addition to evs being expensive and impractical with volatile pricing and rationing needed anyway because the local grids will not be able to cope with the recharging power required.

  26. Chris S
    September 16, 2022

    Woe betide any future government that tries to force us to give up the car as our favourite and most convenient means of transport

    Similarly, we can all see ahead to pressure being exerted to give up our practical IC-powered vehicles in favour of inconvenient and expensive electric cars. This will start when the car industry finds it’s sales fall off a cliff when they stop offering us petrol and diesel models. The obvious move by government will then be to put up taxes on fuel and excise duty on IC-engined cars.

    That will be the last thing they will do if they want to get re-elected.

  27. Denis Cooper
    September 16, 2022

    Off topic, apparently the Irish foreign minister Simon Coveney is cautiously hopeful that Liz Truss will be prepared to make further concessions over Northern Ireland:

    https://www.rte.ie/news/brexit/2022/0916/1323722-brexit-protocol/

    “Mr Coveney said: “I have cautious optimism that we will see in a few weeks time the opening of an honest effort to try to settle some of these issues that have been outstanding for far too long.”

    He said the Government and the European Union are clear that will require compromise on the UK side as well as the EU side.

    He said there is a landing zone if there is a real effort to achieve this once both teams work on this basis and said he suspects the British government is “up for that” and British Prime Minister Liz Truss will instruct her team to move in that direction.”

    He obviously can’t think very highly of her because it is only six days since she solemnly signed the Proclamation of King Charles III declaring that “the Crown of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland” had “solely and rightfully come to him” and that he had “become our only lawful and rightful Liege Lord”, “of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and of His other Realms and Territories, King”, and note that Northern Ireland is an integral part of that Kingdom, it has not been hived off to become one of the “other Realms and Territories”, and possibly a kind of buffer zone, maybe a condominium with sovereignty shared between Charles and the EU or the Irish Republic:

    https://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/uncategorised/the-proclamation-of-king-charles-iii/

    So the compromise that is needed must come from them, not us, and failing that we must act unilaterally.

    Reply Yes they are breaking the bad Agreement, not us.The PM I think knows we need to proceed with unilateral decision as years of so called negotiating has not produced any give by EU

    1. rose
      September 16, 2022

      That is now both the EU and Southern Ireland saying we are going to cave in. Why would they say so if they were confident it was going to happen? They are preparing the ground to attribute the blame to us when it doesn’t.

    2. Mickey Taking
      September 16, 2022

      what happened to ‘in good faith?’

      1. Mickey Taking
        September 16, 2022

        oh! of course..it got redacted.

  28. XY
    September 16, 2022

    Yes, you’d think all green evangelists would be over the moon about these stats, but of course they won’t be.

    WFH reduces emissions, yet the govt constantly caves in to lobbyists who wish to preserve the status quo. Companies whose product lines consist of nothing more than ready-to-drink coffee and associated nibbles seem to believe that they can preserve their business in aspic for all time, no advances in technology must stop the endless glugging of coffee at grossly-inflated prices (why buy a cup of coffee at a price for which you can buy a whole jar/bag of the stuff that will last for weeks at home?).

    If the government were really serious about reducing emissions, they would get behind the WFH revolution instead of trying to get in the way.

  29. No Longer Anonymous
    September 16, 2022

    Rail has not just lost 14% of its traffic but that traffic happens to be its premium rate business.

    No matter what cutbacks are made it is difficult to see how increasing subsidies can be avoided in the post private car era.

    This after decades of “on yer bike” fragmentation of families so that granny lives hundreds of miles from their kids.

  30. No Longer Anonymous
    September 16, 2022

    O/T

    Olivia Pratt-Korbel (RIP)

    That the criminal fraternity has not surrendered the murderer marks a new decline in policing and criminality in this country.

    The law was enforced not just by the police and the courts but by the criminals themselves. The criminals (*wherever* they have come from) know which way the wind’s blowing and whom to fear.

    No longer the Party of Law and Order, let alone fiscal rectitude then. Nearly 13 years… 80 seat majority…

    1. No Longer Anonymous
      September 16, 2022

      Please understand what implications this has for the rest of us. It means that gangsters can take anyone out with complete impunity.

      1. Mickey Taking
        September 16, 2022

        some criminals are not bothered about collateral damage.

  31. Iago
    September 16, 2022

    Now that we have entered The Great Leap Backwards at the behest of the politicians, we should use stagecoaches again. But, instead of being drawn by horses, they should be drawn by the wreckers of our society, your colleagues in the House of Commons and the civil servants. Comfortably harnessed and suitably encouraged, I’m sure a dozen to twenty of them could manage twelve miles or so in an hour and if any of them should happen suddenly to drop down dead, I’m told this is quite unremarkable now.

  32. rose
    September 16, 2022

    The number and frequency of our buses are being cut. This sets off a vicious circle: as one has to wait longer, and then finds the bus full when it does arrive, one thinks twice about taking the bus the next time. The way to get people on to buses is to do as London does and have plenty of them running frequently and reliably.

    PS good to see two Cabinet Ministers standing guard yesterday.

  33. outsider
    September 16, 2022

    Dear Sir John:
    Under the Highways Act 1980, local authorities were given effective ownership and control of all the open roads and streets in the country, apart from designated national highways, in exchange for an obligation to maintain them. No doubt it made sense at the time. Since then, however, some councils have turned into the worst kind of monopolists. They have privatised large chunks of road space to bus companies, which are themselves mostly private monopolies. They discriminate between users, usually favouring groups beholden to their control through licensing and against independent vehicle users, who are either banned or charged. Residents and bsuinesses are routinely charged or banned from stopping outside their own premises and in some cases even charged for going in and out. Roads are shut at whim, either for supposedly environmental reasons or for the convenience of council-approved property developers. And the proceeds are sometimes used to subsidize the licensed private monopolies
    I know that you are not keen on regulation of natural monopoies but should not these road monopolies be subject to independent regulation over charges and the standards of service to consumers, including cyclists and pedestrians? Municipal elections are hardly an adequate substitute.

  34. Pauline Baxter
    September 16, 2022

    Yes we are ‘keener on personal transport’.
    Yes we have deliveries to our door. (And to our shops.)
    Do we still have that ridiculous ban on production of I.C. vehicles?
    Even if all these things could miraculously be done by E.V.s which would miraculously be produced and bought, how are the e.v.s going to be charged from an empty electricity grid?
    It is not just a matter of freedom of choice on how we live. The whole ‘carbon neutral’ policy was lunacy from start to finish.
    Hopefully our new government will now do a DETAILED ABOLITION JOB of all of it.
    I am tempted to add – hopefully our new king will keep his nose out !!
    I am also tempted to say something off your topic of today.
    The Church of England under it’s present leader is NOT working for England or for the Christian religion.
    Just one instance, it is quite happy to see an invasion of other religions flooding in.
    Unfortunately Charles 111 also fancies himself as defender of ALL the faiths.
    So I HOPE the King and the Church keep their noses out of that problem too.
    AND the E.C.H.R.. We really need to get out of that as part of Brexit.

    1. Shirley M
      September 17, 2022

      I fully agree, Pauline. Miracles do happen, occasionally, and we need one now.

  35. mancunius
    September 16, 2022

    The tube’s profitability may have been suffering, but its passengers have not. The 33% of passengers it has lost were forced to stand, pressed together like cattle in congested carriages. The remaining 66% can now usually sit down for their expensive journey.
    The inhuman conditions on tubes and suburban trains have greatly contributed to the workforce’s determination to avoid this twice-daily ordeal if at all possible, as the English cities fill up increasingly with incomers. ‘Pile ’em high, sell ’em cheap’ is an excellent business model, but works less well when human beings are the ‘product’.
    The cycling-lobby dominated councils have contributed to the general commuting misery by sadistically closing roads to motor traffic and further restricting parking. Little wonder that motorists too have gone on strike, and shoppers boycott the shops, preferring online deliveries.

  36. Freeborn John
    September 16, 2022

    The EU and British Remainers are stepping up calls for the U.K. to join the “European Political Community” and linking it to the U.K. possibly rejoining the EU in the future.
    Liz Truss has to decide by October 6 when the EU launches this community. Truss’ silence on the matter is very disconcerting. She needs to nip this in the bud immediately. We joined a European economy community once that turned into an undemocratic political superstate and must avoid repeating that catastrophic mistake again.

  37. glen cullen
    September 16, 2022

    In the old western movies they’d hanged horse thieves…the lesson; don’t mess with an individuals choice of transport, don’t ban it, don’t restrict its movement, don’t mess with its fuel and don’t tax it to death

  38. margaret
    September 16, 2022

    I remember when drivers came straight out of the pub having spent a night at the bar and with cig in hand drove swervingly home.
    I remember when you went to see your GP who had a cigarette in ashtray on the side of his desk and whisky on a corner table.
    I remember when folks used to go for a drive on sundays to see the countryside or other places of interest.
    I remember the smogs of autumn and visibility being down to 1 foot.
    I remember coal fires and coke in ovens.
    I remember collecting wood for bonfire night and playing around the bonfire and putting potatoes in the outside ashes.
    I remember workmen with open fires in a container with holes in it.

    Things change , We have to move with the times.

    1. Mickey Taking
      September 16, 2022

      I remember when folks might say ‘shall we go for a drive?’ mostly to see the countryside which could be seen from the roads.
      I remember when a worker wanted a ciggy, a packet would be handed round for everybody to start their own cancer death, but without knowing it.
      I remember plumbers were employed to thaw leaking frozen pipes, now they install ensuites.
      I remember when folks used to queue to see a GP, who often said ‘take an aspirin, have a hot drink and go to bed’ for almost everything they came in with.
      I remember when children knew what chips were made from, and mum could miraculously make meals herself.

  39. anon
    September 16, 2022

    Use of vans & hgv up. These commercial vehicles on the road almost constantly should logically be the target of the CO2 bed wetters. Not the personal likely small car with a relatively low CO2 output , particularly if used sparingly which in cities is usual. Example would be fuelcell (H2 or CH4) range extender electric battery hybrids. Batteries to provide the base range and the extender for outlier journeys. This is where the more expensive capital can be deployed with a greater mileage benefit use case.

    How can you incentivise rail & bus companies to increase traffic density per unit of capital employed. Surely falls per capita should reduce subsidy and increase should increase subsidy. Robot-taxi-cars will end railways. Thats why auto-drive s/w costs more.

    Have we banned private jet travel yet? It is ridiculous to not do so given the net zero lunacy imposed on us.
    There are few things to add to that list.

    Low flying cars and or private low flying air-buses will take over from trains.

    1. Mickey Taking
      September 16, 2022

      where will they land, or will they all be hover buses?

  40. glen cullen
    September 16, 2022

    The data below is for the 24-hour period 00:00 to 23:59 15 September 2022.

    Number of migrants detected in small boats: 617
    Number of boats detected: 14

    1. Mickey Taking
      September 16, 2022

      What about:
      Number of hotels required?

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