May 07, 2003
£2 to use first toll motorway
Good. From the Telegraph.
First toll motorway in Britain to open January 2004
TransportBlog links to a Daily Telegraph article on the “Midland Expressway,” also known as the “Birmingham Northern Relief Route,” a...
on May 8, 2003
isn't it going to cost £3 for cars and £11 for lorries (reduced to £1 and £9 at night)
the disparity in costs could be put down to the savings on maintennance made as lorries cause more damage to the road surface. Which will mean that the public picks up the tab as commercial companies eschew the new road and stick to congested public roads.
And still the road haulage industry whines that the proposed toll is too high. As usual, they want to keep on externalising their costs, just like they've always done.
Looks like the Telegraph got it wrong.
in today's guardian
The Australian owner of Britain's first toll motorway, the Birmingham northern relief road, has boasted that the business is effectively a "monopoly" which is likely to yield huge profits by imposing punitive prices on motorists.
A director of the Macquarie Infrastructure Group said the road had among the lightest government regulation of any motorway in the world.
"If [motorists] don't complain about it being too high, then we won't have done our job," said Denis Eagar, director of infrastructure investment at Macquarie, in an interview with The Australian newspaper.
His remarks will infuriate freight operators and motoring organisations, which were dismayed at the level of tolls set on the motorway this week - £3 for cars, £11 for lorries.
Under a contract drawn up by the Conservatives during the 1980s, Mr Eagar said the motorway was one of only three in the world with no government control over prices.
"We can put up the tolls by whatever we like and... we can start the tolls on day one by whatever we like," he said.
Ministers have privately expressed dismay at the tolls although they have concluded that they have no power to intervene.
The Liberal Democrat transport spokesman, Don Foster, said he was "astonished" by Mr Eagar's remarks: "This guy is basically saying he's screwed the government and he intends to screw the motorists who are going to use his road."
The Telegraph article says that the toll is £3 for cars, but there is a £1 discount for the first 10 million users. Hence the net toll for the next year or so is £2.
BTW, the price differential on toll roads between cars and trucks/lorries is hardly unique. U.S. toll roads often charge per-axle, with large trucks being charged 4-5 times as much as passenger cars. The differential is hardly unjustified, especially considering that heavier vehicles wear much more on road surfaces than light ones.
(Incorporating the fixed costs of collection, the marginal toll paid by trucks is significantly higher; much of the car toll goes to pay for maintaining the collection machinery and pay for the attendants.)
I mentioned this to Patrick before, but when briefing investors in Australia about the road, Mr Egar once said that "When deciding how high the toll should be, one should be careful not to be a hog. However, it is okay to be a pig.
Macquarie owns several motorways in Australia. In Australia, tolls are normally tightly regulated by government, and this is something that is negotiated when the government accepts bids from companies to build the road in the first place.
Most of the problem here is the "monopoly" factor. If motorists have a reasonable choice of routes, then the tolls will be set more reasonably.
November 23, 2004
'Captain commuter' wins Sydney a free day on the trains
Darling's saver ticket for slow-train Britain
- he's going to do everything but close them
November 21, 2004
Tollroads Jamaican style
- worth it if only for the pic of the toll plaza
November 20, 2004
Postive externalities come to DC
- sort of
Railways safer than ever
- says Christian Wolmar
Is graffiti art?
- LFTTR think the question misses the point. FWIW I think many artists clearly have a lot of talent and it's a shame they don't have an appropriate, nay, legal outlet.
- Subterranean Railway by Christian Wolmar
One airline, 4 crashes, 8 dead: the real price of sugar snap peas in November
November 17, 2004
British Transport Films Collection DVD Volume One
- Surely a must for any transport afficionado. It will be released just in time for Christmas.
- Disc 1 - On The Rails
- Blue Pullman (1960)
- Elizabethan Express (1954)
- Train Time (1952)
- Rail 150 (1975)
- Diesel Train Driver (1959)
- On Track for the 80's (1980)
- Cybernetica (1972)
- Disc 2 - Off The Rails
- Under the River (1959)
- Snowdrift at Bleath Gill (1955)
- This Year - London (1951)
- This is York (1953)
- The Great Highway (1966)
- A Day of One's Own (1955)
- John Betjeman Goes By Train (1962)
November 15, 2004
November 11, 2004
Brake fault forces Virgin to cut speed on flagship tilting trains
- you know, just for once it sounds as if the HSE could be right
November 08, 2004
"When trains crash", 1930 Channel 5 tonight. Talk about timing
November 07, 2004
Ufton Nervet crash
- 6 now confirmed dead
November 06, 2004
One person dead as train derails
November 04, 2004
FirstGroup wants to add the tracks to its trains
- that's brave
November 02, 2004
Car charge to rise to £6
October 30, 2004
Psst wanna buy a railway station?
October 26, 2004
- He tears around Quebec City at 100mph. In a go kart. At night. Wearing black. And he films it. Spotted by Jay Jardine
October 24, 2004
The downside of auto-mobile bans
- drivers text instead
Councils ban shrines to road crash victims
- a story that neatly combines both transport and the issue of the day: mawkish sentimentality
October 20, 2004
The air hostess, the long hair and the sun roof
- one of the more imaginative ways of staying awake at the wheel.
Wheelchair-using MP travelled in 'cattle truck'
- so, that's just the same as the rest of us then
23 escape from burning train
Wikipedia accuracy under fire
- so, it's back on with the Glossary
October 19, 2004
Rail chief quits after four months
- walking away from £130,000. Golly
October 14, 2004
New comment on old posting
- Tim Hall explains the story of the Highland Railway, its new locos and its soon-to-be-ex-Chief Mechanical engineer
Out now: DVD version of leaves on the line
October 13, 2004
- Transport Watch UK. Lots of facts, lot of comparisons. Doesn't look good for rail
October 11, 2004
Take the car and save the planet
- walking kills, apparently
Hybrids better than the real thing
Don't invest in mega-projects
- says Peter Gordon
October 05, 2004
Prescott backs plan to reopen branch rail lines
- well, he says he does
October 04, 2004
New Glossary Entry
- the Advanced Passenger Train
October 03, 2004
People are building their own speed cameras
- One fellow is even selling fully functioning ones
Pendolinos and Voyagers may prove to be one of privatisation's disasters
- says Christian Wolmar
- Tech Central Station on the 40th anniversary of the Shinkansen
October 02, 2004
Compulsory purchase to go
- in US? Johnathan Pearce has some musings
October 01, 2004
Indian railway runs out of wheels
- because it refuses to import
All for sprawl
- Tyler Cowen links to a couple of articles including one from the NY Times magazine which is attracting a lot of attention
Underground maps as art
- according to Brian
September 30, 2004
- Uncle Roger on the difficulty in working out accurate subsidy figures
Europe by train
- Tim Hall on Stephen Karlson's adventures
Carpool lanes = communist gulags
- Tim Hall is beginning to get it, possibly
September 29, 2004
P&O axes 1,200 jobs as ferry travel sails into past
September 27, 2004
Hurtling towards a £7.6bn bill at full tilt
- Alistair Osborne on the WCRM fiasco. Actually, I thought £7.6bn was on the low side
September 26, 2004
A double-decked shame
- RJ3 laments the passing of the Routemaster. It's those EU bastards
, I tell you
Tilting trains are rubbish
- according to Ross Clark. Now he tells us
Delays plummet by 28%
- says Network Rail
September 25, 2004
New glossary item
- the Health and Safety Executive - in which I demonstrate my almost complete ignorance of this institution
Scant improvement in train times
- according to latest figures
September 22, 2004
EU plan will hit safe women drivers
- and it's all in the name of sex equality
Unions gang up to demand railway renationalisation
- they mean it isn't already?
September 21, 2004
Top car makers support road-jam charging
- Ford, GM, Honda, Daimler
Journey times cut as 125mph tilting train sets record
- after £8bn and the odd bankruptcy tilting trains that actually tilt are finally here
September 18, 2004
ABD calls for environmental audit of public transport
- all those particulates
Camera Partnerships must come clean on real causes of accidents
- says ABD
September 16, 2004
The Green Quadratic
- ASI paper on planning from 1988. Now available on-line
September 14, 2004
Up with conductors
- they're really good, you know
Speeding Britons fined in car race to Spain
- "Among the cars were Ferraris, Porsches and Rolls-Royces."
MPs to lose free airport parking
- oh, how my heart bleeds
The case against driving licences
- Paul Clark in Lew Rockwell
September 10, 2004
Drivers trade privacy for insurance discounts
September 08, 2004
Free mints infuriate delayed commuters
- some even threw them away, ingrates
Privatize the roads! Liberate the streets! All we have to lose are our parking tickets!
- Anthony Gregory in Lew Rockwell
M6 Toll hits 10m journey mark
- er, about a month ago
September 07, 2004
California high-speed rail plan
- all sorts of claims being made but Peter Gordon doesn't like the precedents
September 06, 2004
Swedish farmer fined 1,211 kronor for illegally parking a snowmobile in Warwick
- Krister Nylander lives 205 north of Stockholm and has never been to Warwick. "They can wait till Hell freezes over and I can get to Britain on my snowmobile to pay the fine.”
September 05, 2004
"Obsession is not too strong a word to describe how railway enthusiasts feel about railways"
- Matthew Parris goes to Peru and meets some trainspotters
September 03, 2004
Hidden costs do not justify the level of tax on petrol in Britain
- says Graham Seargeant
- utilities to pay for digging up roads
Alistair Morton, builder of the Channel Tunnel, is dead
Government 'willed' Railtrack to fail
- says Corbett
Cyclists saddled with seafront speed trap
- in Bournemouth
Historic Amsterdam tram photos
Aaaah. Where's amg going to pitch up next?
Why so little US electrification?
- Tim Hall ponders the answer
September 02, 2004
London Underground Map
- as it really is.
Electric v steam
- in 1923. But who won
Freight or passenger in the US?
- they're in conflict. Stephen Karlson considers the options
September 01, 2004
Fares and charge up in London
- says Livingstone
'Fair fines' planned for speeding drivers
Railtrack is cleared over Hatfield crash
August 31, 2004
Thousands 'ready to quit Aslef'
- where would we be without brotherly love
August 30, 2004
Rural watchdog attacks road sign blight
- See it's not just me who can't abide the avalanche of street furniture
What the traffic will bear
- Bob Poole discusses the merits of tolling
- photos. Aaah
August 24, 2004
What if you can't drive?
- Catallarchy's Sean Lynch considers the options
97% of accidents within speed limit
- according to the ABD
August 22, 2004
Prosecute motorway lane hogs
- says RAC
August 20, 2004
Radio tags for congestion charge?
World's longest road opens
- in Russia
Sprawl is cheap
- says Iain Murray
August 19, 2004
Strike threat to BA and Eurostar
Toll roads are safer
- at least according to my reading of this Marginal Revolution post
Peking metro to hit 1000km mark
- I'm not sure even London's is that long
August 15, 2004
Squander Two calmly talks about speed cameras
Parking anarchy in St Albans
- Police withdraw traffic wardens, Herts council won't have any until October, it's bedlam!
The future of transport
- as seen from the past
Trains less efficient than cars
- yes, I know, it's old news
Ferry solution, please
- Eamonn Butler wonders how you could introduce competition to a subsidised ferry service in the Western Isles
August 14, 2004
Drink less, speed less, save on insurance
- Marginal Revolution has the story