Sadiq Khan is threatening to shut the Tube for days on end and close bridges and tunnels across the capital as a black hole in London’s transport budget balloons to £1.5bn.
Introducing a road tax, increasing council tax and extending a congestion charging zone will not be enough to balance the books at Transport for London (TfL), board papers published on Tuesday reveal.
Entertaining thought. It should work better than the driverless cars.
One imagines the train would think, ‘But there shouldn’t be anything on the line so I can just go straight ahead.’ Splendid way of getting rid of any protesters blocking the tracks.
See how much better and more efficient the system* is when its’ ‘nationalised’ and run by politicians…….
*That’s ANY system obviously.
I don’t really understand why this isn’t automated already.
There are signals telling the driver when to stop and go. It isn’t hard to have a system that recognises those signals and make train go forward. Or stop as appropriate.
Londoners are getting it good and hard.
GMT had a talking head/ gaping maw in liverpool on GMT saying we need our levelling up money to subsidies transport just like london gets. Sheesh.
How much can it cost to run Zoom and Zil Lanes?
Bit risky when people have just shown they can easily switch to work from home, isn’t it? For longer periods than Khant would like?
Maybe one answer would be to scrap the congestion charge and emissions’ and take some of the pressure off public transport?
The Victoria line trains are essentially automatic and the technology was originally tested in the early 1960s. They just need a person to open and close the doors and for appearances.
The Docklands Light Railway has been automatic since it opened.
They were going to automate the Jubilee line when they built the Docklands extension, but the unions objected.
Serious question here for any experts.
How easy or difficult is it to convert the whirring clanking rolling stock on the Tube? Do they have to have some killer robot on board to operate the Dead Man’s Handle ?
Works in Singapore…
I’m not an expert but we’ve discussed this here before. As I recall it’s easy for lines with dedicated track but difficult for lines that share track.
From what I understand it’s a huge expense and also, many of the tunnels or whatever just aren’t suitable. Even if you do it, it’s going to take a long time to recoup the investment.
The real problem is that we’ve killed a lot of commuting to offices. It’s not going to come back, and it’s only going to get worse. The cost of innovating in the remote work space, compared to the cost of train tickets and/or higher rent makes it a no brainer. A few million on a new feature is spread across millions of people around the world. So, it’s pennies per month. It saves you a train ticket, you’re going to do it.
At some point in the not-too-distant future, we might not even need the underground.
One argument is that drivers are needed to respond to any obstacles on the line that automation can’t identify, a significant subset of which are suicide attempts. It’s interesting that you rarely hear of suicides on the automated DLR (much of its lines and platforms are fenced off, but not all of them). It would seem that it’s important for some people that they be killed by a machine with a person in control, rather than a robot.
The “home working revolution” is a fad, one that doesn’t affect most of the world and isn’t even the choice for most of the UK office workforce. Its adherents are mainly over-40s with nice houses and home office space (especially those musing early retirement), misanthropic autistic types and skivers of all stripes, but especially in the public sector.
Beware: the McKinsey types promoting this trend will soon be telling companies that what can be done from Berkshire can be done for a fraction of the price from Bangalore.
They’ve been talking about automating the Glasgow Subway for years. It’s a single enclosed circle, and there’s no technical reason it couldn’t have been done when they virtually rebuilt the thing in the late ’70s. (In fact, given the layout, I’m fairly sure the Victorians could have made it automatic from Day 1 if they’d put some thought into it.) The new trains which were supposed to go into service in 2020 are capable of fully automated running, but nobody seems to know whether they actually will.
So I wouldn’t hold my breath for London.
“what can be done from Berkshire can be done for a fraction of the price from Bangalore.”
Doesn’t really need McKinsey types to tell us that.
The misanthropic autistic types like working from home because they don’t waste time commuting during which they usually# can’t do any work (occasionally a tiny bit) so they can work thirteen or fourteen hours a day. For them it’s not a fad.
I have been intermittently working from home for three decades and agree that I find the office’s advantages outweigh the burden of commuting for most of my work – not all: there have been a few jobs where I just wanted to shut the world out until I finished.
The McKinsey types saying that it can be done for a fraction of the price from Bangalore will face incredulity from all those who had set up call centres in India and then on-shored them – or who had suffered dealing with Indian call centres.
#20-odd years ago my team leader explained why I should never do any work on a plane, but mostly one cannot do it even if one tries (apart from reading one column of the FT).
“The “home working revolution” is a fad, one that doesn’t affect most of the world and isn’t even the choice for most of the UK office workforce. Its adherents are mainly over-40s with nice houses and home office space (especially those musing early retirement), misanthropic autistic types and skivers of all stripes, but especially in the public sector.”
Yes, but the misanthropic autistic types are a big reason why companies have their offices in Bristol, Reading and London. Why did the Met Office struggle to get programmers into Exeter? Because if it all goes titsup, where are you going to go and work? You’re going to have to move again. Fuck that. Place yourself in Reading. It’s why all those tech companies are in Silicon Valley, why so many top end shoemakers are in East Northamptonshire. There were network effects around programming people.
It’s not because of the admin and accounts staff. You can find those people in Exeter or Peterborough or Swansea. It’s to get the rare skills. But then, of course, you have to put all the admin people there, too, as part of the big office. If you decide that the autists can be anywhere, what is keeping your company in London? Why pay all that money for rents and higher salaries?
“Beware: the McKinsey types promoting this trend will soon be telling companies that what can be done from Berkshire can be done for a fraction of the price from Bangalore.”
We’ve already done this years ago. We’ve learned the lessons. Offshoring has overheads. Harder to recruit, or to get someone in when you need them, timezones, culture, language and so forth. It delivers savings when you have some scale, but it’s not as cost effective for small teams, which is why most software projects in the UK are 2-3 developers.
Having worked for an organisation running an automated system I can attest there are suicides but they do seem to be at a lower rate, they are pretty much all throw yourself from the platform at last minute types as the tracks have intrusion detection systems, sensitive enough that snow can be a problem. One advantage of no drivers is a machine isn’t traumatised by a suicide though it might need a good pressure cleaning