Tuesday, February 12, 2008

On yer bike!

That seems to be the message from Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, as reported by NaturalChoices today.

Can't argue with any of the ideas at all; it all looks very sensible and would be for any major urban conurbation. But just look at that cost, £1 Billion! That seems an awful lot of bucks for a few cycle ways!

And I'll be interested to see what any 'out of city' local equivalents might be. An express cycleway from Shrewsbury to Ludlow? I can't quite see it happening somehow.


Peter said...

I was going to make mention as it has cropped up around a lot of the majors, too, but it came across as a bit of a stunt spoiler on Boris, who does at least seem a decent advocate.

Ken, I believe, is more an advocate of taxis, a highly polluting, elitist mode of 'public' transport whose support in this regard beggars belief.

However... £1B!!! This is where enviROI comes in, and my 'rule' about the lower cut-off, whereby the money could be btter spent on more pressing and effective measures.

Whatever gets done, it will not address weather, traffic and time, which means this currently seems more of a 'looking green' rather than being it measure, at the expense of much better ones.

This lobby seems to be in denial as to what the majority face and, whiel they can, will opt for.

I will not allwo my kids to go on the public highway as the cars are insane, and to do so on the one 'stretch' of cycleway (protected by a white lien that keeps you in the gutter and potholes) requires most of the trip on the main road.

If it rains they don't have the facilities or time to change.

And while they could from here, most of their mates face an uphill and down dale epic, plus meeting homework targets.

As you say, I don't quiet see it happening here. But maybe London. Heck of a price to pay to find out.

Peter Shield said...

Well it is £1 billion over I think 10 years or so, which when you compare it to the alledged 130 billion for the new Tridentover the next 20 years, or what was the cost of decomissioning the out of date nuclear power stations. Infrastructure costs, which is why it is better done by the public sector than the private one- at least that way it tends to be slightly better planned, and have a social as well as an economic return on investment- though saying that I can think of a range of schemes that make a nonsense of what I ahve just written!

Peter said...

Oh, dear, I think with that end comment our rather quizzical eyebrow-cocking here may be rubbing off on you.

Divving up funds is the job of government, and doing it wisely, by priority, is not one I envy.

And one's politics can get in the way a lot.

For instance, and I merely post a hypothetical 'for instance', a host of gently turning wind turbines genrating self-sustaining 'leccy might not be the best coastal barrier should Mr. Putin's heirs decide we need to get back with the big oil programme back home, and have the nukes to back up the sales pitch.

The clean-up argument of domestic nuke power is much more potent, though I would reiterate my wish for actual, honest numbers on this as I would wind power. WHAT IS IT??? ROI and enviROI please!!! They must be known, and clear. And there must be someone rare out there both pragmatic and without agenda who we can trust to outline the options sensibly.

Or, maybe not.

Meanwhile, I have to say that I can see better CO2-reducing ways to spend £1B than what I suspect, which will be a load of symbolic pathways in odd places that will get dug up along with the roads if and when we figure that it's the gadding about that's the problem as much as what the pipe pops out on the machines to let us do it.