Appoint him Fat Controller immediately!

As we all know Richard Murphy is insistent that a properly planned economy – properly having a distinctly flavoured definition there as meaning planned by him – will be more efficient, better, provide a higher living standard in those true and proper things that we all value, than something that’s just the outcome of random market interactions.

Therefore we should make him the Fat Controller immediately:

Richard Murphy says:
November 10 2021 at 1:05 pm
I have not

I believe the tram critical to the future – including in rural areas

Reply
Willie John says:
November 10 2021 at 4:26 pm
Trams require rails, and just to get those rails laid will require a massive investment. However there is also the problem of disruption whilst they are being laid – the project in Edinburgh should be a lesson to anyone considering it.

However that does not mean electrified public transport is a non starter. I remember that there used to be ‘trolley buses’ which although they still needed the overhead power lines did not need streets ripped up to lay rails. These had the advantage that they had a bit more mobility as they did not need to stay on a rigid route.

With the addition of battery power this could allow them to deviate from fixed power lines then return to their route and recharge whilst continuing on their merry way.

Reply
Richard Murphy says:
November 10 2021 at 4:46 pm
Rails are investment

That he’s been hired to teach economics at a British university or three still astonishes me.

17 thoughts on “Appoint him Fat Controller immediately!”

  1. But a trolley bus is Just A Bus. It’s irrelevant what it’s powered by, it’s still Just A Bus, crammed with 78 other people, filled with filth and stinking of BO and smokers, and screaming brats.

  2. Trams, trolley buses, railways, whatever, are 19th century solutions to a 21st century non-problem.
    Why do these people think other people moved away from those modes of transport(Chestertons’ fence etc)?
    Does Spud own a car?

  3. Does Spud live in rural Norfolk? With no hills?
    Rails with their inerrant low friction and hills are a bad combination. Just look at all of the cuttings, embankments, tunnels and viaducts the Victorian engineers needed to get trains across the countryside. Now that’s infrastructure.

  4. Rails would only be an investment if they were used.

    By his definition, every redecoration of 10 Downing is an investment.

  5. @AndyF
    Does Spud live in rural Norfolk? With no hills?

    Nah – Cambridgeshire with even fewer hills than Norfolk

  6. I’d like to propose a nationwide underground system.

    I’ll be on the Northern Line but I’d prefer it not be coloured black on the map.

  7. My infrastructure programme would be an off ground system, linking strategically placed strips of land with amenities like security, hotels, meeting rooms, shops and warehousing, and all connected by some really fast driverless machine.

  8. Locally we have trolley buses not uncommon to see them stop and the driver pop around to the back, grab a long pole and have to reattach the arms on the bus to the overhead wires, also leads to some awkward turn setups at junctions where they can’t change lanes in advance.
    Other disadvantage is that on overlapping routes one bus can’t pass another on a shared section of cable
    Lots of fun issues with trolley bus systems

  9. Ely is on a hill, and there’s another two, oh, somewhere east of Cambridge. The mighty Gog-Magogs. Nearly 250 feet.

  10. @Adolff… Yes and no. Given the choice of the train and underground or driving to get across London, I’d take the former. The same applies to all large conurbations. Driving and even riding a motorcycling in those hellholes is an utter misery. Rail on a discrete system has its place. A system that mingles with the road, less so, as it becomes part of the problem. Also, there are people who either cannot or choose not to drive, so a system of public transport makes sense and again, a discrete system avoids traffic congestion. There is room for both. Sure, the system we have is something of a clusterfuck, but that’s a political problem not a pragmatic one.

    As a motorcyclist, I’m not keen on trams for obvious reasons.

  11. Bloke in North Dorset

    Trams in rural areas?

    I’ve spent most of the day pondering how even Spud can be not only stupid enough to have that thought but then go on to advertise that stupidity.

  12. Can anyone, anyone at all, explain one single way that trams are better than buses? And no “doesn’t have to wait behind traffic” doesn’t count. If you can build a dedicated tramway, you can build a dedicated bus road.

    They aren’t cheaper to build or run, you can’t easily vary them based on demand and change routes, and you’re stuck with monopoly suppliers rather than tapping into markets.

    The cost of the Edinburgh tram would have paid for free buses for everyone in the city for years.

  13. @BoM4 Trams are a hybrid that are neither fish nor fowl. There are enthusiasts that drool over them, but frankly, they solve nothing. An underground metro on the other hand takes traffic away from the roads completely – whether it is a rail system or a bus one.

    In Brizzle they introduced a metro bus system. It’s just more buses on the same routes, sitting in the same traffic with a fancy name. Had they gone ahead with their light rail plans with a line from Patchway to Temple Meads down Filton Bank, then people could get into the city completely avoiding the traffic on the A38. From an operational perspective, the main line would have had another couple of lines to shift trains in and out of Temple Meads more efficiently.

    As I said above, trains have their place – freight being one of them as you can shift a lot of freight by rail intercity and take trucks off the busy roads. It’s just one of a range of options available to us.

  14. Longridger,

    OK, but instead of building a light railway, why not just have a dedicated bus road? Both are going to take up the same dedicated space. The bus will be fast enough for that route. Make it a toll road and you can put competing operators on it, which drives down the price. You can also then integrate it with the rest of the bus network, so people travelling from various places outside Bristol travel down the M4/M5 and straight onto the bus route.

    Rail will cost a fortune to build, take years, and then ASLEF and the RMT will want gold plated salaries and pensions and run a shitty service on it.

  15. As I said above, trains have their place – freight being one of them as you can shift a lot of freight by rail intercity and take trucks off the busy roads. It’s just one of a range of options available to us.

    US rail is 99% freight, almost all of it bulk loads (coal, oil, grain, ore and motors) or ‘intermodal’ (containers). In the UK the number of bulk loads is ever decreasing, and containers struggle because you need a road journey at each end to ferry it from its origin/destination to the nearest railhead, and by the time you’ve done that, you might just as well take it all the way by road (whereas in the US, 100 miles by road, 1,000 miles by train and another 100 miles by road can make perfect sense). UK container traffic is between the ports and ‘inland ports’.

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