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Old October 27th, 2012, 04:13 AM   #3121
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London non congested? Where? Hyde Park?
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Old October 27th, 2012, 09:30 AM   #3122
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London non congested? Where? Hyde Park?
London is congested, but if you compare with other 5+ million cities it's not bad at all. Moscow or Beijing, for example, are far worse.

Not that I would ever attempt to drive a car in any of them
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Old October 27th, 2012, 08:18 PM   #3123
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London is relatively non congested given it's giant size.
Are you kidding me? Did you ever try to drive in London? Or even take a bus for more than few stops?
Sure, it is not as bad as Moscow, but just because something doesn't feel like hell it doesn't mean it is OK.


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Seriously, it's just one type of tax which allows the government to pay for things most of us expect it to provide. That includes good roads, but not only...

Would we really be happier if instead of fuel and road taxes we'd have to pay extra in income tax or value added tax? I doubt it...
The problem with such approach is that government becomes too reliant on this sort of taxes. Also, high cost of road transport rises cost of goods as they are mostly delivered by road. High coast of motoring also prices poorer people off the roads which means they can't find jobs outside their close neighborhood. It sort of becomes luxury for the affluent. Are we heading back to middle-ages when only rich noble could travel and poor peasants always stayed in their village?
I think value added tax or personal income tax should be main sources of government money. Road taxes should be spend on improving transport infrastructure.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 08:25 PM   #3124
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London non congested? Where? Hyde Park?
How does it compare to, say, Paris?
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Old October 27th, 2012, 08:27 PM   #3125
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Are you kidding me? Did you ever try to drive in London? Or even take a bus for more than few stops?
Sure, it is not as bad as Moscow, but just because something doesn't feel like hell it doesn't mean it is OK.




The problem with such approach is that government becomes too reliant on this sort of taxes. Also, high cost of road transport rises cost of goods as they are mostly delivered by road. High coast of motoring also prices poorer people off the roads which means they can't find jobs outside their close neighborhood. It sort of becomes luxury for the affluent. Are we heading back to middle-ages when only rich noble could travel and poor peasants always stayed in their village?
I think value added tax or personal income tax should be main sources of government money. Road taxes should be spend on improving transport infrastructure.
Yep. This is why I'm completely opposed to increasing the gas tax: it's regressive.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 08:40 PM   #3126
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How does it compare to, say, Paris?
Paris is not much better, but it has a much better network of roads.
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Old October 27th, 2012, 09:20 PM   #3127
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Exactly Paris has what London lacks, urban highways.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 03:41 AM   #3128
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So which London size (at least 4-5 million) cities have a significantly better trafic? In cities of this size there are limits to what could be done without paving over the entire place. Public transport should be a dominant mode of transport in large cities.

Higher fuel taxes in EU compared with US is the prime reason why cars here are smaller, more energy efficient, there are less km driven per person per year and public transport is much better developed (in most areas). All those effects are for the better considering that energy prices are only going to go up long term with or without extra taxes.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 06:16 AM   #3129
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Paris is not much better, but it has a much better network of roads.
I assumed you were talking about Central London, so the relevant comparison would be Paris proper ("intra muros," as the French call it, i.e., inside the Périphérique). What's your (or anyone's) experience of those? Moscow and Beijing are somewhat meaningless to me as far as their traffic is concerned.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 06:26 AM   #3130
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So which London size (at least 4-5 million) cities have a significantly better trafic? In cities of this size there are limits to what could be done without paving over the entire place. Public transport should be a dominant mode of transport in large cities.

Higher fuel taxes in EU compared with US is the prime reason why cars here are smaller, more energy efficient, there are less km driven per person per year and public transport is much better developed (in most areas). All those effects are for the better considering that energy prices are only going to go up long term with or without extra taxes.
Are European fuel taxes really the reason public transport is better developed, or just that European countries didn't make the idiotic decision we did to put everything into roads and cars?

It's all well and good to say, okay, increasing the fuel tax will encourage people to use public transit, but that's really not a realistic option for most Americans, so you just end up dramatically increasing the amount of money working people have to spend on gas (which has effects on other areas of the economy because they can't spend that on other things, the producers of those other things suffer...you get the idea).

Encouraging public transit, encouraging energy-efficient cars, and so on are worthy, even necessary, goals, but penalizing people for using them when they don't exist yet is not a reasonable or fair way to finance them.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 08:12 AM   #3131
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Quote:
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Exactly Paris has what London lacks, urban highways.
I'd be interested in a direct comparison between the two cities by those with extensive experience of driving in both (without hopefully descending into argument) as to their drivability.

London, apart from a few bits of highway here and there, didn't invest in a large urban motorway network, whereas Paris did.

Is it easier to commute by car into Paris for example than London? Or is Paris not much better than London in this regard, as has been suggested? Essentially what I'm getting as is: has Paris's large scale road investment been worth it?
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Old October 28th, 2012, 10:17 AM   #3132
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Are European fuel taxes really the reason public transport is better developed, or just that European countries didn't make the idiotic decision we did to put everything into roads and cars?

It's all well and good to say, okay, increasing the fuel tax will encourage people to use public transit, but that's really not a realistic option for most Americans, so you just end up dramatically increasing the amount of money working people have to spend on gas (which has effects on other areas of the economy because they can't spend that on other things, the producers of those other things suffer...you get the idea).

Encouraging public transit, encouraging energy-efficient cars, and so on are worthy, even necessary, goals, but penalizing people for using them when they don't exist yet is not a reasonable or fair way to finance them.
First of all I didn't really think about US when I wrote this, although your biggest city has a pretty good public transport system. Most people living there don't even own cars...

In my opinion higher fuel prices while not the only reason is a major factor influencing driving culture. Gas in my city costs ca 8 $/gallon. Obviosly with prices like that most folks pay close attention to fuel efficiency when buying a new car. Also results in public demanding and willing to pay for public transport systems.

There of course other reasons as well - higher population density, different zoning laws, lack of parking etc. Additionally some older cities have roads so narrow that anything bigger than a standard simply wouldn't fit on the road.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:06 AM   #3133
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While the amount of miles driven per capita is significantly higher in the U.S., public transport usage as a percentage of passenger miles (modal split) is fairly similar between the U.S. and EU.

87.4% of passenger transport in the United Kingdom is by car. This is 88.6% in the U.S.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:35 AM   #3134
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While the amount of miles driven per capita is significantly higher in the U.S., public transport usage as a percentage of passenger miles (modal split) is fairly similar between the U.S. and EU.

87.4% of passenger transport in the United Kingdom is by car. This is 88.6% in the U.S.
From the point of view of energy conservation miles driven is more important than percentages.

Do you know how exactly are those percentages derived? Looks a bit suspicious to me with millions of people using a subway in London every day... I can't really comment on public transport in smaller towns in UK, but here in Switzerland it's vastly better and more used than in small town America (have lived there as well). How can it still be the same percentage?
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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:56 AM   #3135
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Well, London is not a measure stick for the rest of the United Kingdom, it's more like a statistical outlier (just like New York is for the U.S.). Another issue that's often overlooked is that commuting traffic constitutes only about 30% of all travel. Public transport usage is much lower for other travel than commuting. Most public transport figures quoted are only for commuting to and from work.

Another issue is that public transport in most larger U.S. cities is mostly bus-based instead of rail-based. A lot of people travel by bus in the U.S. that would have been by urban rail in Europe. Over 80% of U.S. public transport travel is by bus.

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Old October 28th, 2012, 02:04 PM   #3136
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I have traveled both to London and Paris by car. i don't know about commuting but when i stayed in a hotel at the outskirts of the city, i managed to drive to Central Paris on Saturday's and Sunday's in 15 minutes without traffic at all on free flow urban motorways and surpsingly find free parking spaces without paying!

In london instead driving from M25 to central London it would take at least 40+ minutes even on Weekend.

What some people dont understand is that a city cant rely only on public transport...
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Old October 28th, 2012, 05:01 PM   #3137
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I think everyone agrees that driving in London is a nightmare. Took me a whole hour to drive from the first traffic light on A3 to the city center. In a weekend. The opposite trip was "only" half an hour. Not even Rome is worse when it comes to driving. Thank God Londoners accelerate briskly from traffic lights and squeeze the most out of every green light.

Public transport in London is not bad at all, but travel times are. If I was to enter Madrid from its outermost ringroad in a weekend, it wouldn't take me more than fifteen minutes.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 08:49 PM   #3138
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Well, London is not a measure stick for the rest of the United Kingdom, it's more like a statistical outlier (just like New York is for the U.S.). Another issue that's often overlooked is that commuting traffic constitutes only about 30% of all travel. Public transport usage is much lower for other travel than commuting. Most public transport figures quoted are only for commuting to and from work.

Another issue is that public transport in most larger U.S. cities is mostly bus-based instead of rail-based. A lot of people travel by bus in the U.S. that would have been by urban rail in Europe. Over 80% of U.S. public transport travel is by bus.
Even in London only about 40-45% journeys is done on public transport. Pretty much the percentage same by car and about 15% cycling and walking.
I have found this number on one of the reports done for the TFL but I don't remember where it was. It was some longish report in Pdf file.

People underestimate how big London is and how many people living in outer boroughs depend on cars. Not everyone is a banker commuting to City or bureaucrat heading for Whitehall. There are plenty of people working around M25. Add builders, tradesmen, delivery drivers and all sort of people who depend on cars even in central London. Cars are essential for any city. There is no way around it.
Outside London it is probably about 90% commuting done by car.

Last edited by geogregor; October 29th, 2012 at 04:05 AM.
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Old October 28th, 2012, 11:00 PM   #3139
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Certainly most people in Outer London travel mainly by car
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Old October 30th, 2012, 06:04 PM   #3140
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Quote:
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Even in London only about 40-45% journeys is done on public transport. Pretty much the percentage same by car and about 15% cycling and walking.
I have found this number on one of the reports done for the TFL but I don't remember where it was. It was some longish report in Pdf file.

People underestimate how big London is and how many people living in outer boroughs depend on cars. Not everyone is a banker commuting to City or bureaucrat heading for Whitehall. There are plenty of people working around M25. Add builders, tradesmen, delivery drivers and all sort of people who depend on cars even in central London. Cars are essential for any city. There is no way around it.
Outside London it is probably about 90% commuting done by car.
I think you are thinking of the Travel to London reports?

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/corporate/abou...ions/1482.aspx
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