Archive for Transport

Calais Immigrant Violence

Posted in Britain, England, Europe, European Union, Immigrants, Immigration, News, Police, Politics, UK with tags , , , , on 13/11/2015 by floroy1942

A report out today reveals that lorry drivers travelling through Calais are having to endure increasing violence from immigrants who wish to get to the U.K.

Immigrant Violence

Immigrant Violence

The boss of a British haulage firm, Toby Ovens, is claiming that his drivers have had to suffer severe attacks on their vehicles saying, “I had two drivers attacked by missiles thrown by immigrants at my vehicles and damage done to the vehicle. One of the drivers was female and they attempted to open the doors to her vehicle and when they didn’t succeed they attacked the vehicle, leaving her very shaken. This situation is completely unacceptable. We, as hauliers, need someone we can go to in order to sort this situation.”

The Road Haulage Association (RHA) said migrants were becoming “increasingly frustrated” at not being able to board trucks bound for Britain. RHA chief executive Richard Burnett said, “This has become an absolutely untenable situation,” he said. “We are now getting reports of extreme violent migrant activity on a daily basis.” He went on: “As we predicted several months ago, it is the port approach roads that need increased security. Our observer spoke to drivers who have witnessed migrants standing on port approach road bridges, throwing rocks onto truck windscreens, forcing them to stop. The situation must be resolved now. Waiting until someone gets killed is simply not an option.”

Any Way - Any How.

Any Way – Any How.

The most despicable thing about this whole affair is that the French Police are doing next to nothing to stop these attacks because the French authorities in Calais insist it is a British problem. I have to ask how they come to this conclusion, for this sorry affair is taking place on French territory!

Do we have to wait until a lorry driver is killed for the French authorities to take action? Currently there are in excess of five thousand migrants living in the camp called ‘The Jungle’, and so long as these people think they have a chance of getting into Britain more will come, but it is not the responsibility of the British government to solve this problem for it is happening on French soil.

Driver Under Attack

Driver Under Attack

It is time for the French government to bring in the Army and round up every one of these migrants, put them on a military aircraft and ship them back to where they came from. Failure to carry out this measure will only make things worse with winter coming on.

The ball is firmly in the French court!

Roy.

The Next Generation Of Car?

Posted in America, Britain, Conservation, England, Environment, Health, Nature, News, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 06/11/2014 by floroy1942

Innovation is not dead thank goodness, for there are people out there who continue to advance the world of science, especially in areas where advancement is essential. This is very true when searching for ways to fight the continuing contamination of our atmosphere that is causing global warming, especially considering the grave warnings given out by scientists this last week (see my last post).

Apart from industry, one of the biggest pollutants on the planet are cars and trucks that leave in their wake clouds of CO2 and other pollutants because we use oil by-products to fuel them. So what is all the fuss about?

It would seem that Tata Motors of India have come up with a solution you will never have believed possible. A car that runs on air! That’s right you read it correctly – Air!

The Air-Fuelled Engine

The Air-Fuelled Engine

This is a car engine that runs not on polluting gas or diesel, or even batteries, but just the air around us. Tata Motors of India has scheduled the Air Car to hit Indian streets next year.

The CAT - The First Car NOT To Need Oil Products!

The CAT – The First Car NOT To Need Oil Products!

The vehicle was developed by ex-Formula One engineer Guy Nègre for the Luxembourg-based company MDI and uses compressed air to push its engine’s pistons and make the car go. The Air Car, called the “Mini CAT” could cost around 365,757 rupees in India or $8,177 US.

Guy Nègre - A Very Clever Man

Guy Nègre – A Very Clever Man

The CAT is a simple, light urban car, with a tubular chassis, a body of fibreglass that is glued not welded and powered by compressed air.  A microprocessor is used to control all electrical functions of the car.  One tiny radio transmitter sends instructions to the lights, turn signals and every other electrical device on the car.  Which are not many. The temperature of the clean air expelled by the exhaust pipe is between 0-15 degrees below zero, which makes it suitable for use by the internal air conditioning system with no need for gases or loss of power.

The Catmobile - Just What The World Needs

The Catmobile – Just What The World Needs

There are no keys, just an access card which can be read by the car from your pocket.  According to the designers, it costs less than 50 rupees (80c) per 100 KM, that’s about a tenth the cost of a car running on petrol or diesel.  It’s mileage is about double that of the most advanced electric car, a factor which makes it a perfect choice for city motorists.  The car has a top speed of 105 km per hour or 60 mph and would have a range of around 300 km or 185 miles between refuels.  Refilling the car will take place at adapted gas stations with special air compressors.  A fill up will only take two to three minutes and costs approximately 100 rupees ($1.78) and the car will be ready to go another 300 kilometres.

This car can also be filled at home with it’s on board compressor.  It will take 3-4 hours to refill the tank, but it can be done while you sleep.  Because there is no combustion in the engine, changing the 1 litre of vegetable oil is only necessary every 50,000 km or 30,000 miles. Due to its simplicity, there is very little maintenance to be done on this car. This Air Car almost sounds too good to be true.

As you  can imagine, this invention is not going to be popular with the oil companies if the world switches over to this technology, because they will see their bulging profits fall radically as the demand for oil slumps. If this idea really does take off they will be doing everything they can to sabotage the product, for they do not give a damn that their product is driving the human race to extinction,  just so long as they continue to make huge profits.

If Mr Tata and Mr Nègre  succumb to a mysterious illness or die in an accident, then you know how the the oil companies have reacted, as they have done in the past when faced with the prospect of sudden diminished demand for their oil.

Like you, I will await the outcome of this brave new idea, which will be good for the planet if it succeeds.

Roy.

The Flying Farce

Posted in America, Britain, Europe, Insanity, Modern World, News, UK, USA with tags , , , , on 01/11/2013 by floroy1942

I read a report today that we can expect flying cars to take off within the next few years. The report indicates that this could be the mode of travel for many in the future, but to be honest, I doubt it.

The Future?

The Future?

A vehicle of this type would need not only certification from the body governing aircraft, but also from those who regulate vehicles on the road, but manufacturers seem to think they can satisfy both requirements. At the moment there are such vehicles but they are still restricted to taking off from airports and not from the road.

Companies are currently developing flying cars that will take off vertically, presumably from just about anywhere, but that is a few years down the line. It will be strange to see cars zipping along the highway with a set of wings folded down each side, but even stranger to see these wings unfold and then for it to take off on the road ahead. Even scarier would be a situation where you are driving down a road and see one land in front of you!

Inside A Flying Car

Inside A Flying Car

What gets me about this whole scenario is the inevitable chaos we can expect if this sort of thing becomes the norm in the future. Can you seriously imagine cars taking off and landing on roads and zipping across the sky like a flock of out of control birds? I sure as hell can’t. We have enough chaos on the roads as it is what with careless drivers, drunken drivers, speeding drivers and those on drugs. Every day of the week there are hundreds of thousands of crashes across the world and now they want to give these people the opportunity to fly! The mind boggles!

Look to the sky anywhere in the future, and especially in or near big cities, and we would probably have the significant possibility of mid-air collisions and could find these things dropping out of the sky like pigeon excrement! Its one thing to say we would have traffic lanes and avoidance systems built in, but they are not infallible with an idiot behind the wheel. A crash on the road gives you at least a reasonable possibility of surviving, but from hundreds of feet in the air, no chance! And what about those underneath who are going merrily on their way only to have some idiot drop on top of them. For me, I have to say that we have more than enough problems on the roads without adding the chaos to the skies above us.

City Traffic Of The Future?

City Traffic Of The Future?

I too have seen the sci-fi movies where flying vehicles move around a city in orderly fashion in specific lanes, but does anyone really think such a thing will work in practice with the crazy individuals we see behind the wheel of a car these days? I for one don’t hold out much hope, plus the fact that those vehicles usually operate on an anti-gravity system which is a lot different than relying on a propeller.

It may be possible that a few of the rich and super rich will avail themselves of this new phenomena but hopefully it will never get into the hands of ordinary people. Looking at the price quoted by one company, Terrafugia, their Transition model will be available for the princely price of a mere $280,000 (£173,000) which is only a little less than what you would pay for a Cessna Skyhawk fixed-wing plane, so the chances are slim at best. The company has already received around 100 orders for the new craft, so when they begin to roll off the production line, it might be a good idea to keep one eye on the sky just in case some pilot/driver has had one too many, if you know what I mean.

Roy

‘Car-less’ Cities By 2050? A New EU Plan.

Posted in Britain, England, Environment, Europe, Germany, Government Spending, Modern World, Spain, Traffic, Travel, UK with tags , , , , , , , , on 28/03/2011 by floroy1942

A possible solution to the problem of cars in city centres has been put forward in the latest report from the European Commission. They suggest that all petrol and diesel cars should be banned from european cities by the year 2050. This would suggest that if you have an all-electric car there should be plenty of parking spaces!

Paris Traffic Madness! 

http://www.youtube.com/embed/TTtsmBYIShATransport

Siim Kallas - A Man Of Vision?

Commissioner Siim Kallas is of the opinion that apart from banning these cars in cities, he would like to see what he calls, ‘middle-distance’ journeys moved from road to rail. He states that all journeys of more than +/- 186 miles could be made by train instead of by car. 

The Commissioner also advocates a 40% reduction in shipping emissions, which he suggests when combined with the saving by vehicles, would reduce carbon emissions by around 60% and reduce our dependence on oil. Without doubt, a lofty target but is it possible? Hmmm! Doubtful!

London Traffic:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/XRh6_D3hslA

The only trouble is, it would take an unprecedented amount of coöperation from governments (something they have never gotten used to), and a major shift in public behaviour (which I doubt will ever happen). At the moment, to travel by train, or even bus, costs an arm and a leg so that is the first hurdle. Second is the fact that with the buses in particular, they don’t pick you up at your door and drop you outside your favourite shop or  bar, and most irritatingly, after a night out they stop running about an hour before you need to journey home. Typical!

People have an aversion to using their legs these days, a fact you can see every day by the lazy so-and-so’s who double park three car lengths from an empty slot or block an exit: “I’ll only be a minute” says he/she! There is little doubt that for many legs are going out of fashion. This has led, inevitably, to our current dependence on the car.

Rome Traffic:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/PyqWPdXZCpc

Damn! Damn! A Jam!

So, first things first! To begin with, bus and train companies would have to lower their fares to such an extent that the general public find it cheaper to use these forms of transport than their own car. It really is a basic economic exercise, if you increase the turnover you can make the same profit achieved by high prices (i.e. 2×50 = 100/10×10 = 100). The only problem with this scenario is that it takes time to generate the numbers that compensate for the reduced prices. During this period it is most likely bus companies would be running at a loss until people took up the offer. Dangerous ground!

Secondly, the logistics surrounding bus routes and train stops would be a major headache in more ways than one. Let us deal with buses first. How do you plan your bus routes, not only through the city, but more importantly the residential areas outside the centre to maximise passenger pickup? If someone lives half a mile from the nearest bus stop they will use the car. Logical! The same goes for anyone who has a long walk to the office once in the city, as few people like to change buses to get to their destination.

In answer to this problem, many major cities like London and Paris have a Metro system which compliments the buses very well, so for this plan to go ahead a massive investment in such a system would be necessary. Whoops! Now we are talking about spending money!

Other cities have tram systems that serve the inner city quite well, but how far would you want to extend the tram network, and how costly would it be?

Bucharest Traffic:

http://www.youtube.com/embed/rzV1LLXOZcc

With train services we have a similar problem. If a train stops at every station to provide the necessary links to the city, the journey becomes intolerably long. If the train does not stop at every station many would-be passengers will use the car. In this day and age, many people travel 30 to 50 miles to work each day, a result of people wishing to live outside the city in surrounding towns and villages. It is a fact that many City of London workers actually live in Northern France and travel daily to work on the Eurostar!

Eurostar

The one thing the report has failed to mention, which has surprised me somewhat, is getting the long distance trucks off the road. Huge 25 ton HGV’s are travelling the length and breadth of Europe 24 hours a day (I hate 24/7) and yet they seem to have been overlooked in the study. It would without a doubt be a huge relief to see all these 16/18 wheel monsters disappear off our motorways, which is something I covered in a post a couple of years ago:

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2009/12/05/truck-rail-a-way-to-beat-congestion/

There is little doubt such a move would certainly prompt people into buying electric cars for their daily commute into the city, but therein lies a beast waiting to pounce. Should we see a predominance of electric vehicles, which by necessity will be in their tens of thousands for every major city in Europe, we will without doubt run out of power generating capacity, i.e. electricity!

https://floroy1942.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/electric-cars-a-viable-alternative/

I must admit, I think the basic plan has many good points and may be some sort of blueprint for the future, but its implementation will be a major headache for governments across the continent, and it will probably never leave the drawing board.

Pity, for at some time in the future the oil will start to run out and then only the mega-rich will be able to afford the luxury of a car. For the rest of us it will gather dust in the garage and become a fading memory of the good times.

Roy.

Update 28/03/2011 1900hrs:

Norman Baker Says: On 'Yer' Bike!

Since posting this article more information has come to light via the BBC. It would seem that although this is only a proposal, it has been rejected ‘out of hand’ by the UK Transport Minister Norman Baker who said: “We will not be banning cars from city centres anymore than we will be having rectangular bananas.” In his rejection he said that the EU Commission should not be involved in “individual cities transport choices”. He stated that the UK is aiming to reduce carbon emissions by investing £400m to support electric cars (oops), and by promoting walking and cycling! (Wow Norman, that’ll certainly help!!!)

This attitude doesn’t surprise me, because british politicians have never been able to decide if they want to be ‘in’ Europe or not. Whatever comes out of Strasburg or Brussells is usually met with scepticism and distrust, mainly due to the the negative spin put on it by the British press. It never ceases to amaze me that the idea of a united Europe works for everyone except the bloody British!

 

%d bloggers like this: