Polly

But escalating door-to-door delivery is yet another example of the destructiveness of bringing competition into a national utility. That was done in the name of choice, price-cutting, investment and efficiency – but wrecking Royal Mail has helped cause traffic congestion and air pollution that no one chose.

Look how bringing pointless competition to utilities has caused an explosion of roadworks with all its extra trucks, as competing companies dig up miles of roads and slow the traffic, which idles at blockages. Although better public transport, congestion charging and congestion itself have cut car-use dramatically in London, traffic speeds are falling – down to 7.5mph in the mornings and predicted to reach walking speed soon unless there is change. Steep road pricing would force more consolidation of journeys and deliveries.

At privatisation, utilities were given a statutory freedom to dig up roads, with little regulation. Under Tottenham Court Road, for example, 80 different utility companies have their lines and pipes, digging up more or less at will. They refuse to share space or facilities with competitors.

Bus deregulation has also been a disaster. Competition meant 250 buses an hour in the toxic air of Oxford Street, until Sadiq Khan got a grip. But elsewhere in the country bus deregulation sees absurd competition for popular routes and bus-deserts in less profitable ones.

It’s almost as if choice, lower prices, more accountability, greater efficiency and so on count for nothing in Polly’s World.

31 comments on “Polly

  1. Polly also neglects to mention that London isn’t periodically held hostage by bus and delivery drivers since, unlike with tube trains and the old Royal Mail, there’s no self-serving monopoly to abuse.

  2. I always love it when the clueless start giving opinions about infrastructure and roadworks.

    First off, you can’t always run different services in the same ducts/trenches, thanks to either interference or safety concerns.

    Secondly, London’s had pipes and cables laid under it for 200+ years, nobody’s going to pay to tear them all up and re-lay them in nice tidy trenches.

    Thirdly, the only utilities that have an uncontrolled right to dig up roads are water, gas and electricity (as it always was IIRC), and even then its mainly for emergency works. Openreach (BT), Virgin Media and all other 3rd party comms firms have to request permission from the authority to dig up roads, leading to serious delays. Also, Openreach is forced, by law, to allow competitors access to its ducts and poles for rates set by the regulator Ofcom.

  3. Facts are a stranger to Polly. Unlike money, however, meaning choice, lower prices, more accountability and greater efficiency being of no consequence.

  4. I’ll bet there’s an article of Polly’s somewhere ranting about how those water companies digging up the roads were environmental criminals for not stopping water leaks 🙂

  5. Unless it’s an emergency it’s a difficult and long winded process to get permission to open up a road which involves all other utilities who may have an interest. It’s one of the main reasons it takes so long to get, say, a new fibre connnection to a building.

  6. “…wrecking Royal Mail has helped cause traffic congestion and air pollution that no one chose….”

    People aren’t ordering more stuff because there’s a plethora of options, are they? People are just ordering more stuff! If it was still Royal Mail, THEY’D be sending out extra trucks…

  7. If it was just the Royal Mail the two main benefits of online purchase would be lost: the cost of delivery would negate any online saving and the time taken to deliver, assuming it didn’t get lost, would make it more convenient to go to the nearest city to purchase.

  8. Fewer buses but more stabbings under Saddick Karn eh? Of course neither of those are likely to affect Pol unless her luck runs out–so she cares not for that which affects her not.

    The rest of you can walk and wait and have your gas/elec off regularly while govt pricks take far longer bungling than private concerns (tho’ privatised is not really private).

    Pol doesn’t give a rat’s arse. A necessary sacrifice for the socialist cause. Not on her part of course but eggs/om-lattes(sic) so to speak.

  9. In this backwater of technology that is the Basque Country in Spain, I have as a customer, Inkolan.

    A small private company set up by several utilities to include all the supply lines of the different utilities giving public service city-wide.

    On-line 24 hours a day, very often for under €50 you get instantly the layout around where you want to supply to see if you can take advantage of current infrastructure but also making it feasible to instantly contact the rest of ther utilities and see who wants to take advantage of the works, if that is the way you have to go.

    I presume this happens in the UK?

    Cataluña has its own service and Navarra (Pamplona – bulls?) presumably too. The rest of Spain is covered by Inkolan

  10. Oh, and Polly is a poltically motivated hypocritical idealogue of limited intelligence and talent selling an out-of-date mind-set to simple lefties.

    Yes, the weather is still awful here. Been peeing down for nearly 2 months for the wettest start to winter for nearly 70 years!!

  11. Polly will have forgotten how long one had to wait for a new telephone connection when the GPO had a monopoly.

  12. Although better public transport, congestion charging and congestion itself have cut car-use dramatically in London, traffic speeds are falling – down to 7.5mph in the mornings and predicted to reach walking speed soon unless there is change. Steep road pricing would force more consolidation of journeys and deliveries.

    And so will slowing down traffic. People will avoid driving if they can’t drive at a reasonable speed. This ought to be a plus in Pollyworld. But by all means, let’s move to a more market based solution where those that want to pay for speed can pay for speed. You know, competition and deregulation.

    At privatisation, utilities were given a statutory freedom to dig up roads, with little regulation.

    We are still using some utilities laid down in the Victorian period. Early Victorian period in some cases. Future generations will thank us for spending lots of money now to insure they have infrastructure in the future. Well not future generations. Future Urdu-speaking inhabitants of these Bless’d isles. They won’t be able to maintain them of course, but it is the thought that counts.

    Bus deregulation has also been a disaster. Competition meant 250 buses an hour in the toxic air of Oxford Street, until Sadiq Khan got a grip.

    250 *empty* buses by any chance? She really thinks that competition means people are driving buses no one wants to use? Takes government regulation to do that.

    But elsewhere in the country bus deregulation sees absurd competition for popular routes and bus-deserts in less profitable ones.

    Buses go to places people want to go and they do not go to places people do not want to go. Why this is a scandal escapes me.

  13. @bilbaoboy
    D’y’wanna Fedex a few litres down to here. I think we’ve had 3 day’s rain the whole winter. (But 2″ of snow on the beach, one morning.) Be cleaning our teeth in G&T’s soon. Ice cubes’ll be no problem though.

  14. from Wikipedia” The Birmingham Gas Light and Coke Company and the Birmingham and Staffordshire Gas Light Company were locked in constant competition ,in which the city’s streets were continually dug up to lay mains.(Joseph) Chamberlain forcibly purchased the two companies on behalf of the borough …even offering to purchase the two companies himself”.

  15. @DBC Reed

    And what has that given us? Lots of ready installed gas pipe or, as in the case of the now defunct London Hydraulic Company, lots of pipe for running fibre optic lines through.

  16. I love the idea that Polly thinks all these hundreds of private contractors are just digging the road up, for no reason, just coz they are, well, PRIVATE AND EVIL. I suppose it’s like the old Left’s solution to unemployment, getting people to dig ditches and then fill them in again. Sort of like a public/private partnership – the public sector provides the insane ideology, the private sector supplies the labour.

    Then again, maybe she’s talking shit and the reason there are more roadworks these days is because these private contractors have provided the capacity which would previously have been sat at the depot on its arse reading the Mirror and refusing to work coz of regulations, init?

  17. Been peeing down for nearly 2 months for the wettest start to winter for nearly 70 years!!

    Huge snowfalls in the Alps too. Who was it who said that within ten years the Alps would be snow-free in Winter (said more than ten years ago) because of Global Warming?

  18. Although better public transport, congestion charging and congestion itself have cut car-use dramatically in London, traffic speeds are falling – down to 7.5mph in the mornings and predicted to reach walking speed soon unless there is change. Steep road pricing would force more consolidation of journeys and deliveries.

    Stupid woman. Traffic has been deliberately slowed down, largely by creating all these new cycle lanes, which are usually unused outside of rush hour. It’s the old trick, beloved of councils, create a problem so you can charge for the solution. If you read what Sadiq Khan has planned for London, motoring will soon be a hobby for the rich all the way out to the M25. The tragedy is that the Tories have basically the same policies, having ceased to be the Tory party, leaving little choice for the electorate.

  19. BiS

    If only I could!

    Puddles on the lawn which is halfway down a slope and has boulders underneath with good drainage. We are waterlogged!

    Rob
    I got into the scandal which is warble gloaming ‘cos I have an apartment in a ski resort in the Pyrenees. Reading the MSM some years back, I decided to calculate when I ought to sell it as there was gonna be no snow. Heh! off for a few days skiing in 10 days with an old mate from Blighty and his wife.

    If you want the shortest route to understanding the scandal go to Steve Goddard (Tony Heller) on twitter and his web page:
    https://realclimatescience.com/
    His work is stunning.

    So many other reliable sources too. If you are already on the same page keep spreading the information.

    Next one to fall is the CO2 as contaminant and cause of hotter weather. The greenhouse effect exists (in the lab at least) but is the context of climate is irrelevant. There you go, I’l lbe waiting for the hitmen to batter down my door.

  20. “Polly will have forgotten how long one had to wait for a new telephone connection when the GPO had a monopoly.”

    Polly’s well connected and never had to wait for government services, which is why they’re all socialists. That’s also why she’s whingeing now, no Zil lanes for chosen few.

  21. Snowstorms in Southern Morocco the other day too. Really odd to see pics of avenues of palm trees covered in many cm of snow.

  22. There was a court case something like 200 years ago that said “if the coal man can use the public highway, then so can the gas company”, establishing in law that the supply utitlities have a legal right of access to the highway. One of the reasons that motorways are not public highways.

  23. bloke in spain – “D’y’wanna Fedex a few litres down to here. I think we’ve had 3 day’s rain the whole winter. (But 2″ of snow on the beach, one morning.)”

    Don’t you already get water from the Ebro? I believe Bilbao does. Spain clearly needs something like Britain’s 100 feet canal that would loop around the whole of Spain from the Basque country to Andalucia so that water can be tranferred wherever it is needed. They already send the Tagus south. Which must annoy the Portuguese come to think of it.

    “Be cleaning our teeth in G&T’s soon”

    Someone has got there before you, to quote the notorious but not particularly talented Kesha:

    Wake up in the mornin’ feelin’ like P-Diddy (hey what’s up girl)
    Grab my glasses I’m out the door I’m gonna hit the city (let’s go)
    Before I leave brush ma teeth with a bottle of Jack
    ‘Cause when I leave for the night I ain’t comin’ back

    I would suggest that if you slept with a girl who brushed her teeth with Jack Daniels, the police would not need to hide your texts as it would be open and shut.

    I mention Kesha partly to link to another thread but mainly because of timing. She is suing her former producer for rape, sexual abuse, psychological abuse etc etc. The whole kitchen sink. For about five years ago. I bet he thought he was going to walk before the MeToo people got in a lynching mood. Hopefully we will never have to hear from either of them again.

  24. SMFS

    Bilbao gets its water from a series of local reservoirs, the Zadorra system in Alava (600m up) near Vitoria our administrative capital and a few small more local reservoirs.

    Very good water and plenty of it. Currently at 75% capacity.

    The big trasvase is the Tajo-Segura from Castilla La Mancha to Murcia (for agriculture). There were plans to send water from the Ebro down the coast to Alicante, Valencia and Almeria but it never got off the ground due to political opposition in Aragón (Zaragoza).

    Northern Spain is Atlantic and green, great natural beaches, amazing countryside, fantastic food, mild weather (generally) and plenty of water. Tap water is not only safe (as in all Spain) but tastes as water should. Got a car? Do it. Take in the Rioja and the Ribera de Duero wine districts (just slightly out of the way and you have a 3 week motoring holiday.

  25. SMfS
    The Ebro’s about as far from me as you are from the Ebro. Have you any idea how big Spain is? This province alone is the size of England, less the west country. It’s 500 km east to west.

  26. @ my northern neighbour
    Was in Aranda de Duero, last year. Whole centre of the old town is a complex of wine cellars. Local culinary speciality is lechera. Suckling lamb. Served by the half.

  27. Oh & one of the local grua services is run by a guy restores old American cars. So if you’ve ever the urge to own a cherry 20s Studebaker or a 50s Chevvy stepside, he’s your man.

  28. Shhhs!

    We’d better quieten down, or they’ll all be wanting some, there’ll be queues for lunch and prices will go up!

  29. @ Ian Reid
    Traffic was deliberately slowed down by Ken Livingstone just ahead of the introduction of the “Congestion Charge” by a vast number of roadworks, blocking vast numbers of roads.
    But London traffic speeds have been appalling for years which is why they closed the roads to traffic during the London Marathon – the slow-moving cars would have obstructed the runners trying to overtake them, while they were trying to overtake the even-slower-moving buses.

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