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  • HeartfeltdawnHeartfeltdawn Frets: 10684
    Fretwired said:
    There wasn't any internet when BT was privatised. Waiting time for a phone was 6 months and call charges were high. The service improved greatly.

    If you want to moan about internet speed then blame Thatcher. BT worked out that copper wasn't the way to go and designed a world beating fibre network. They tested it and started to roll it out. Thatcher stopped them and banned BT from fibre networks and gave the work to US companies. The argument was competition. The US firms set up UK companies that went bust ... this should have been investigated as there was something seriously fishy.

    Thatcher put the UK back 50 years. We could have led the world.


    Wow. That's been one of the things on the 'to research' list and that link is excellent. Competition for the sake of competition, ideology before doing what is best for the country. 
    I make Jeremy Paxman look like Fingermouse. 
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15343
    edited May 21
    Fretwired said:
    There wasn't any internet when BT was privatised. Waiting time for a phone was 6 months and call charges were high. The service improved greatly.

    If you want to moan about internet speed then blame Thatcher. BT worked out that copper wasn't the way to go and designed a world beating fibre network. They tested it and started to roll it out. Thatcher stopped them and banned BT from fibre networks and gave the work to US companies. The argument was competition. The US firms set up UK companies that went bust ... this should have been investigated as there was something seriously fishy.

    Thatcher put the UK back 50 years. We could have led the world.


    Wow. That's been one of the things on the 'to research' list and that link is excellent. Competition for the sake of competition, ideology before doing what is best for the country. 
    I worked for an IT company at the time in a junior role and we were working on the project. Something was not right as the government shut the project down and the tech and IP went east ... someone made a lot of money. That's what we thought .. Tories lining their own pockets. The UK could have led the world ... our tech was years ahead.

    The same thing happened to ICL - they had database tech and a mini computer that was years ahead of anything elsewhere. The Yanks played hard ball .. Fujitsu stepped in and did a nice asset strip job on it.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 5096
    crunchman said:
    Chalky said:
    So let me get this straight...

    A free standing company. Except it has one shareholder, the government. Except that shareholder can't tell it what to do. Except when it can, like limit fares...

    A not for profit company. Except it can borrow money that can be paid back in future years from its income that will somehow be surplus to operational requirements in future except that surplus won't be an operating 'profit' no sirree...

    And its not going to be managed by civil servants but by the current directors who will somehow choose to work for a not for profit company where the all powerful union who enjoy beer and sandwiches with Jeremy will insist the directors income is capped way below what they could earn elsewhere.  And all the engineers of the private companies will happily move to this not for profit company rather than take jobs elsewhere that pay more money. And somehow we will get 'new employees' who will have the right attitude and replace the private company folks who do the work today...

    Be honest, this thread is not overly burdened with business acumen. May as well ask for a magic wand while you're at it.....
    Privatising it worked so well!

    Railtrack collapsed

    Tube PPP collapsed

    East Coast Mainline has collapsed twice.
    So the fact that the suggestions so far are incoherent and in some cases mutually exclusive is unimportant?  Dismantle the current setup and replace it with anything is the right thing to do?  Thank god you aint a doctor.

    "Doctor, we're losing him, what should we do?"

    "Cut his leg off, inject him with the first thing you find the drug cupboard, fan him with a wet lettuce....er....try anything, something should work!!"
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15343
    edited May 22
    Chalky said:

    So the fact that the suggestions so far are incoherent and in some cases mutually exclusive is unimportant?  Dismantle the current setup and replace it with anything is the right thing to do?  Thank god you aint a doctor.

    "Doctor, we're losing him, what should we do?"

    "Cut his leg off, inject him with the first thing you find the drug cupboard, fan him with a wet lettuce....er....try anything, something should work!!"
    Not really. We went from having:

    "Doctor, we're losing him, what should we do?"

    "Get the defibrillator .. stand back everybody"

    "He's responding .. we have a heartbeat and pulse .. he's saved"

    To ...

    "Doctor, we're losing him, what should we do?"

    Doctor one .. "don't ask me I'm an ear nose and throat man"

    Doctor two .. "sorry outside my area of expertise .. I'm here to see the government gets value for money"

    Doctor three .."I'm out of here .. can't earn enough when the fee is shared between 10 doctors"

    Doctor four .. "Get the defibrillator nurse"

    Nurse .. "not sure we have one in here .. it got removed to save space and money"

    Doctor five .. "he's really not worth saving"

    Doctor six .. "privatisation really is efficient. Just look at all the expertise in one room"

    Nurse .. "he's dead"

    Doctor seven .. "we did our best"




    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8435
    ICBM said:
    The dogma of ‘competition’ has a lot to answer for...
    In the words of Capt. Blackadder, "There was one teensy weensy little problem with the 'competition' theory ...

    ... it was bollocks"
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8435
    Fretwired said:
    Fretwired said:
    Fretwired said:
    She privatised firms like BT which needed to innovate which required access to capital. She also wanted to open up telecoms to competition. Neither made sense with the railways or the Post Office.
    Didn't really make sense with telecomms either.
    Yes it did. Call charges have dropped and there's more competition. BT were able to raise billions of pounds to fund R&D and develop new products.
    Call charge dropped and more competition, eh? Fly-by-night company buys bandwidth of BT at yea much and then sells it several times over to its customers for cheaper than the BT price, but the sum of its sales is a lot greater than the BT prices. Works until everybody wants to use the same bandwidth all at once and that's where it all falls down.
    There wasn't any internet when BT was privatised.

    Doesn't matter. There is now, and that's exactly how these people manage to sell bandwidth at less than the BT price. And it DOESN'T WORK.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8435
    Fretwired said:

    The same thing happened to ICL - they had database tech and a mini computer that was years ahead of anything elsewhere. The Yanks played hard ball .. Fujitsu stepped in and did a nice asset strip job on it.
    Correct. They had CAFS, they had a Perq that could execute Pascal p-code, and the ME29 thing that I wrote microcode for could have executed lots of other instruction sets besides the 1900 PLI which they sold it for.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 5096
    Fretwired said:
    Chalky said:

    So the fact that the suggestions so far are incoherent and in some cases mutually exclusive is unimportant?  Dismantle the current setup and replace it with anything is the right thing to do?  Thank god you aint a doctor.

    "Doctor, we're losing him, what should we do?"

    "Cut his leg off, inject him with the first thing you find the drug cupboard, fan him with a wet lettuce....er....try anything, something should work!!"
    Not really. We went from having:

    "Doctor, we're losing him, what should we do?"

    "Get the defibrillator .. stand back everybody"

    "He's responding .. we have a heartbeat and pulse .. he's saved"

    To ...

    "Doctor, we're losing him, what should we do?"

    Doctor one .. "don't ask me I'm an ear nose and throat man"

    Doctor two .. "sorry outside my area of expertise .. I'm here to see the government gets value for money"

    Doctor three .."I'm out of here .. can't earn enough when the fee is shared between 10 doctors"

    Doctor four .. "Get the defibrillator nurse"

    Nurse .. "not sure we have one in here .. it got removed to save space and money"

    Doctor five .. "he's really not worth saving"

    Doctor six .. "privatisation really is efficient. Just look at all the expertise in one room"

    Nurse .. "he's dead"

    Doctor seven .. "we did our best"




    Lol for the right reasons  :3
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15343
    My Tory MP is now calling for my local line to be taken into public ownership and TfL is interested in running it. A new timetable will see train times to London increase by 10 minutes with some fast rush hour services cut. It's for efficiency, claims the rail company,  but smacks of cost saving to me.

    Another franchise unravelling.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • crunchmancrunchman Frets: 3352
    Fretwired said:
    My Tory MP is now calling for my local line to be taken into public ownership and TfL is interested in running it. A new timetable will see train times to London increase by 10 minutes with some fast rush hour services cut. It's for efficiency, claims the rail company,  but smacks of cost saving to me.

    Another franchise unravelling.


    With government subsidies cut, this kind of thing will happen if the railways have to be self sustaining.

    Why are we willing to heavily subsidise roads out of taxation and let people use them for free, but not subsidise other transport infrastructure that is far better for the environment?

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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30902
    crunchman said:

    Why are we willing to heavily subsidise roads out of taxation and let people use them for free, but not subsidise other transport infrastructure that is far better for the environment?
    Because private/personal freedom/car good, public/collectivisation/bus/train bad.

    Or so has gone the mantra of the last forty years, anyway.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15343
    ICBM said:
    crunchman said:

    Why are we willing to heavily subsidise roads out of taxation and let people use them for free, but not subsidise other transport infrastructure that is far better for the environment?
    Because private/personal freedom/car good, public/collectivisation/bus/train bad.

    Or so has gone the mantra of the last forty years, anyway.
    Except for commuters. I live in a dormitory town - from 06:45 onwards people are marching off to the railway station to catch their train. The platforms to London will be overcrowded as will the trains while the ticket prices are sky high. There will now be fewer trains. The backlash could see our local Tory MP booted out. The vitriol on social media is worse than for the Brexit vote .. :-)

    I agree with you on the mantra of freedom - it was all about boosting the car industry and building new roads so that even an average working man could afford to run a car.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • exocetexocet Frets: 500
    edited May 22
    ICBM said:
    crunchman said:

    Why are we willing to heavily subsidise roads out of taxation and let people use them for free, but not subsidise other transport infrastructure that is far better for the environment?
    Because private/personal freedom/car good, public/collectivisation/bus/train bad.

    Or so has gone the mantra of the last forty years, anyway.
    Whilst in Denmark recently, I was reminded of their approach to funding public transport. They apply a tax / duty on new car sales to the tune of 100% of the list price of the car (strictly speaking it is a vehicle registration fee...this costs £55 in the U.K). If you have a "Luxury Car" it's 150%. Pretty sure there would be a massive public rebellion if our government attempted anything like this in U.K but life appears to carry on in Denmark.
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15343
    edited May 22
    exocet said:
    ICBM said:
    crunchman said:

    Why are we willing to heavily subsidise roads out of taxation and let people use them for free, but not subsidise other transport infrastructure that is far better for the environment?
    Because private/personal freedom/car good, public/collectivisation/bus/train bad.

    Or so has gone the mantra of the last forty years, anyway.
    Whilst in Denmark recently, I was reminded of their approach to funding public transport. They apply a tax / duty on new car sales to the tune of 100% of the list price of the car. If you have a "Luxury Car" it's 150%. Pretty sure there would be a massive public rebellion if our government attempted anything like this in U.K but life appears to carry on in Denmark.
    I worked for a Danish company and when we had job vacancies in the London office we'd email them out with images of the company car that went with the job  - BMW, Audi, Mercedes ... we were inundated .. :-)

    Denmark didn't do it to protect the environment but because they didn't have a car industry and importing cars hit their balance of payments etc. I worked in Copenhagen and you didn't need a car to get around. The public transport was first class unless they were on strike (which happened every few months).
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • exocetexocet Frets: 500
    Fretwired said:
    exocet said:
    ICBM said:
    crunchman said:

    Why are we willing to heavily subsidise roads out of taxation and let people use them for free, but not subsidise other transport infrastructure that is far better for the environment?
    Because private/personal freedom/car good, public/collectivisation/bus/train bad.

    Or so has gone the mantra of the last forty years, anyway.
    Whilst in Denmark recently, I was reminded of their approach to funding public transport. They apply a tax / duty on new car sales to the tune of 100% of the list price of the car. If you have a "Luxury Car" it's 150%. Pretty sure there would be a massive public rebellion if our government attempted anything like this in U.K but life appears to carry on in Denmark.
    I worked for a Danish company and when we had job vacancies in the London office we'd email them out with images of the company car that went with the job  - BMW, Audi, Mercedes ... we were inundated .. :-)

    Denmark didn't do it to protect the environment but because they didn't have a car industry and importing cars hit their balance of payments etc. I worked in Copenhagen and you didn't need a car to get around. The public transport was first class unless they were on strike (which happened every few months).
    I don't disagree with you on the original motives for implementing the tax, but the proceeds are definitely used to subsidise the public transport nowadays. The 150% rate was reduced from 180% only a few years ago! 
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8435
    Fretwired said:
    even an average working man could afford to run a car.
    he still can't if the truth was known, but he has to just to get to some crappy job in the next town - as if there weren't crappy jobs in his own town.

    Even when you've got (or could get) a decent job, the recruiters would still rather have you driving tens of miles to work than working in the place where you live.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • exocetexocet Frets: 500
    edited May 22
    Fretwired said:
    There wasn't any internet when BT was privatised. Waiting time for a phone was 6 months and call charges were high. The service improved greatly.

    If you want to moan about internet speed then blame Thatcher. BT worked out that copper wasn't the way to go and designed a world beating fibre network. They tested it and started to roll it out. Thatcher stopped them and banned BT from fibre networks and gave the work to US companies. The argument was competition. The US firms set up UK companies that went bust ... this should have been investigated as there was something seriously fishy.

    Thatcher put the UK back 50 years. We could have led the world.


    Wow. That's been one of the things on the 'to research' list and that link is excellent. Competition for the sake of competition, ideology before doing what is best for the country. 
    Genuinely makes me sad to read accounts like this, how different things might have been. Even the Post Office had a fair old crack at revolutionising telecommunications with its “System X” digital exchange. I can remember a tv program on the subject about 15 years ago, had System X been accepted as a global standard, the U.K GDP growth was forecast to have been 2 percentage points higher for a number of years. I can’t remember what went wrong?

    One sentence in that Techradar article sums up the U.K for me right now....even though it was published pre referendum.

    “In the UK there's no vision, mission or plan, we're engaged in a random walk into the future".
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8435
    exocet said:
    Even the Post Office had a fair old crack at revolutionising telecommunications with its “System X” digital exchange.
    They did, but it took a government to right royally f__k it up. Plessey were good at making processors (eg S250). GEC had experience in switches. What did the Government do? They dictated that "expertise should be spread around", so GEC were told to make the processor and Plessey were told to make the switch. The POPUS was shite and so was the switch. Basically they told the people with no experience or who weren't good, to make the thing they weren't good at.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • exocetexocet Frets: 500
    exocet said:
    Even the Post Office had a fair old crack at revolutionising telecommunications with its “System X” digital exchange.
    They did, but it took a government to right royally f__k it up. Plessey were good at making processors (eg S250). GEC had experience in switches. What did the Government do? They dictated that "expertise should be spread around", so GEC were told to make the processor and Plessey were told to make the switch. The POPUS was shite and so was the switch. Basically they told the people with no experience or who weren't good, to make the thing they weren't good at.
    Shame, a lot of my HND Electronics course was based on System X approach to digital...8KHz / 8 bit sampling, 30 x 64 KB/s voice channels TDM’d onto a 2.048Mb/s bearer....happy days. I can remember my Digital Communcations Systems lecturer waxing lyrical about System X. Don’t think Huawei was even a word back then...
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8435
    @exocet there was a lot of good engineering common sense in System X and there were some good engineers working on it, despite Government and despite upper management. Plessey got to the point where you could press a button and a whole computerised telephone exchange would roll off the production line. Every part down to the tiniest washer had a "Common Code" and everything was accounted for on a "Parts List" or BOM. You knew for any component which assembly it was used on, and for s/w modules which version would work with which other versions of the s/w.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8435
    crunchman said:

    Why are we willing to heavily subsidise roads out of taxation and let people use them for free, but not subsidise other transport infrastructure that is far better for the environment?

    I don't think we do. Last I heard only a fraction of VED went to the roads the rest went in the general coffers. Fuel duty likewise doesn't get spent on roads. Road users (other than pedestrians or cyclists) would seem to be cash cows.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30902
    Phil_aka_Pip said:

    I don't think we do. Last I heard only a fraction of VED went to the roads the rest went in the general coffers. Fuel duty likewise doesn't get spent on roads. Road users (other than pedestrians or cyclists) would seem to be cash cows.
    Who paid to build the almost unimaginably vast network of roads that we all drive on? Everything from motorways down to the smallest residential street that's not actually on a privately-built housing estate.

    All of that has been built in the last hundred years, roughly - from general taxation. So it's absolutely right that a large amount of VED and fuel tax revenue gets put back into the public pot.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8435
    @ICBM I see where you're coming from and would wholeheartedly agree that if mechanised powered transport has taken over the roads then taxation from it should pay Joe Public back. But weren't the roads given metalled surfaces before motoring became hugely popular? Wasn't it done for the benefit of horse-drawn traffic?
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30902
    edited May 23
    @ICBM I see where you're coming from and would wholeheartedly agree that if mechanised powered transport has taken over the roads then taxation from it should pay Joe Public back. But weren't the roads given metalled surfaces before motoring became hugely popular? Wasn't it done for the benefit of horse-drawn traffic?
    No, mostly not. The enormous growth in tarmacadam surfaced roads is all post-motor car, and the vast majority of the mileage is post WWII. Just look at an old road map of Britain...

    It’s very unlikely that there’s any road in the UK with a pre-War surface now, even if the underlying road was built earlier.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • exocetexocet Frets: 500
    ICBM said:
    @ICBM I see where you're coming from and would wholeheartedly agree that if mechanised powered transport has taken over the roads then taxation from it should pay Joe Public back. But weren't the roads given metalled surfaces before motoring became hugely popular? Wasn't it done for the benefit of horse-drawn traffic?
    No, mostly not. The enormous growth in tarmacadam surfaced roads is all post-motor car, and the vast majority of the mileage is post WWII. Just look at an old road map of Britain...
    Whatever the history of it, the current approach doesn't work and needs looking at. We need to spend more on roads irrespective of what type of traffic will use it (man powered, horse drawn, petrol, hybrid or electric, driverless etc). 
    I don't know why we didn't do something years ago - dropping Road Tax / VED and adding a levy on Fuel. At least we might have captured a contribution from foreign users as well as ensuring that those who use the most, pay the most.
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8435
    Hmmm ... I found this from http://www.cbrd.co.uk/articles/timeline

    Making a start

    The motor car first became a real concern for the authorities just before the Great War, when the inadequacy of the unsurfaced and largely unmaintained road network was acknowledged by the government. They reacted by setting up the Road Board, which collected taxes from motorists and spent the money on surfacing and improving the roads.

    The main problem that the Road Board faced was not financial - its members acknowledged that the taxes they collected left them swimming in funds. The problem was actually that they couldn't spend the money fast enough. A substitute for real action was found in simply having as many roads metalled as possible, with relatively few improvements, bypasses or new alignments being considered.

    The Board began to address this in 1914 by carrying out the preliminary work necessary to classify the roads of the United Kingdom, through extensive traffic surveys, and it was hoped that eventually this would give them a clear picture of which routes required prioritisation and where actual improvement work was needed.

    The delays caused by the First World War and the lethargic progress of the Board led to the government starting to help itself to what should have been ringfenced funds. Eventually, deciding the Board was too slow, the government replaced it with the Ministry of Transport. The new body was much more powerful but didn't have the luxury of a guaranteed income. Nonetheless, it completed the surveys, classified the road network and gave the roads numbers that helped to organise its maintenance and also aided navigation. The system of A and B roads was unveiled to much acclaim in 1922.

    Between the wars, progress on the road network was accelerated, but still really quite slow. London gained a number of new dual carriageways running out of the city to the countryside (but rarely any further), with grand names like the A4 Great West Road. The industrial north saw the occasional new route, like the A580 Liverpool to East Lancashire Road, the Queensway Tunnel under the Mersey (both opened 1934) and a handful of others. This progress was, of course, halted immediately on the outbreak of war.


    (my bold). It suggests that Joe Public didn't pay for the roads which only a few motorists used. The motorists paid for them.

    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30902
    edited May 23
    exocet said:

    Whatever the history of it, the current approach doesn't work and needs looking at. We need to spend more on roads irrespective of what type of traffic will use it (man powered, horse drawn, petrol, hybrid or electric, driverless etc). 
    I don't know why we didn't do something years ago - dropping Road Tax / VED and adding a levy on Fuel. At least we might have captured a contribution from foreign users as well as ensuring that those who use the most, pay the most.
    It’s certainly ridiculous to compare the state of the roads here to much of continental Europe. Drivers from the Netherlands and Germany, and even most of France, must get a serious shock when they drive in the UK.

    Driving where I live has become an exercise in avoiding the most serious potholes, and trying to remember where they are so it’s not such a last-second approach.

    Even when they're repaired the standard is terrible - no more than a couple of men with some hand-shovelled and rolled tar - just a band-aid solution.

    (my bold). It suggests that Joe Public didn't pay for the roads which only a few motorists used. The motorists paid for them.

    It says nothing about the post-WWII period when the growth in road mileage and quality was far larger.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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  • FretwiredFretwired Frets: 15343

    ICBM said:
    It’s certainly ridiculous to compare the state of the roads here to much of continental Europe. Drivers from the Netherlands and Germany, and even most of France, must get a serious shock when they drive in the UK.

    Driving where I live has become an exercise in avoiding the most serious potholes, and trying to remember where they are so it’s not such a last-second approach.

    Even when they're repaired the standard is terrible - no more than a couple of men with some hand-shovelled and rolled tar - just a band-aid solution. 
    Europe was lucky as they had to rebuild from scratch after WWII. As the head of the train system in France said they would have been able to build high speed lines were it not for the destruction of the railways by allied bombing. Same went for Germany.

    The problem with our road repair service is its outsourced. I watched a bunch of guys filling in a hole near my house. There were five others but they left them - probably not on the worksheet. Things were better when the local DLOs maintained the roads. They were local authority employees who mostly lived locally so cared about maintaining roads and furniture to a high standard.
    My pump-action drivel gun is smoking hot today!
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  • Phil_aka_PipPhil_aka_Pip Frets: 8435
    ICBM said:

    (my bold). It suggests that Joe Public didn't pay for the roads which only a few motorists used. The motorists paid for them.

    It says nothing about the post-WWII period when the growth in road mileage and quality was far larger.
    You're right. Later paragraphs address that. Our previous conversation was about why roads got metalled surfaces to start with, I had asked whether it was primarily for motorists or otherwise. That text suggests it was for motorists, and paid for by motorists.
    "Working" software has only unobserved bugs. (Parroty Error: Pieces of Nine! Pieces of Nine!)
    Seriously: If you value it, take/fetch it yourself
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  • ICBMICBM Frets: 30902
    Phil_aka_Pip said:

    You're right. Later paragraphs address that. Our previous conversation was about why roads got metalled surfaces to start with, I had asked whether it was primarily for motorists or otherwise. That text suggests it was for motorists, and paid for by motorists.
    Sorry, I was confusing it with your earlier post asking if it wasn't done for the benefit of horse-drawn traffic, to which the answer is definitely no.

    It's obviously been some of each, but I think when you look at the vast scale of the road network, it's not all been paid for by motorists. And nor should it be, since pedestrians and cyclists - and horse riders - use it too. I certainly think that the argument that vehicle and fuel tax should only and specifically go towards road maintenance is missing the point.

    In fact, given the damage they do in proportion to cars, lorries should be taxed even more heavily than they already are, but that would be self-defeating since it would massively increase the cost of everything that's delivered by one. Transport is just one of the inherent costs to society and needs to be treated as such, while also being partly paid for by the direct users... which is exactly what we have. We just need to spend more on maintenance.
    "Take these three items, some WD-40, a vise grip, and a roll of duct tape. Any man worth his salt can fix almost any problem with this stuff alone."
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