Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Cyril Haearn
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby Cyril Haearn » 17 May 2020, 4:54pm

Lot of people continue to work at home, fewer trains are needed, timetables shall be thinned out
+1
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atoz
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby atoz » 28 Jun 2020, 1:12pm

This says it all about this gentleman
https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/ ... ssion=true

Pete Owens
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby Pete Owens » 28 Jun 2020, 3:20pm

You mean he won't splash out a large amount of taxpayers money to support your particular pet project?

mikeymo
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby mikeymo » 28 Jun 2020, 4:50pm

Pete Owens wrote:You mean he won't splash out a large amount of taxpayers money to support your particular pet project?


I agree.

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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby Cyril Haearn » 28 Jun 2020, 4:52pm

atoz wrote:This says it all about this gentleman
https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/ ... ssion=true

Right again atoz
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atoz
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby atoz » 29 Jun 2020, 11:15am

mikeymo wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:You mean he won't splash out a large amount of taxpayers money to support your particular pet project?


I agree.


Not mine personally, I think you'll find this project has a lot of local support, supported by evidence-based costings. The alternative is to plug up the tunnel and let it collapse, at greater public expense. I wouldn't want to be a homeowner whose property is above the tunnel should that happen.

The evidence suggests that cycle schemes are only being considered because they are a cheapskate solution. They were not taken seriously pre covid. And this project is in an area that was not part of the Red Wall collapse. I rest my case.

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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby mikeymo » 29 Jun 2020, 11:38am

atoz wrote:
mikeymo wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:You mean he won't splash out a large amount of taxpayers money to support your particular pet project?


I agree.


Not mine personally, I think you'll find this project has a lot of local support, supported by evidence-based costings. The alternative is to plug up the tunnel and let it collapse, at greater public expense. I wouldn't want to be a homeowner whose property is above the tunnel should that happen. Simples...


The emergency filling of one of the shafts was done to prevent the tunnel collapsing, according to Highways England. Although some of the people campaigning to keep it open mocked that as a concern, see 15:30 here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-loPcnwGWM

Graeme Bickerdike, the man wearing the woolly hat, speaks very authoritatively on railway matters. Professional qualifications and experience may not be the be all and end all, but it is worth pointing out that, at least as far as I can tell, he does not have any qualifications in civil or structural engineering. Or to have worked in those fields. A quick internet search may give you the impression that he has, but if you read carefully you will see that he hasn't. Again, at least as far as I can tell, correct me if you think I am wrong. I think he's a cameraman, writer and website developer. I wouldn't go so far as to say he deliberately misrepresents himself, but I think he's fairly close to it. I think he would certainly like others to gain the impression that he's a professional engineer, and maybe has even convinced himself of that.

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/graeme-bickerdike-56965783

So his criticism of Highways England's actions, who actually do employ professional, suitably qualified and experienced engineers, should be treated with a great deal of caution.

It's worth pointing out that I live in West Yorkshire, and ride a cycle. I'm not a disinterested party. The entire scheme would cost £24 million, and the population of the WYCA area is about 2.25 million. That works out at about a tenner each. I'm more than happy to pay that, if you tell me where to send the cheque.
Last edited by mikeymo on 29 Jun 2020, 11:23pm, edited 1 time in total.

mikeymo
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby mikeymo » 29 Jun 2020, 11:52am

atoz wrote:
mikeymo wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:You mean he won't splash out a large amount of taxpayers money to support your particular pet project?


I agree.


Not mine personally, I think you'll find this project has a lot of local support, supported by evidence-based costings. The alternative is to plug up the tunnel and let it collapse, at greater public expense. I wouldn't want to be a homeowner whose property is above the tunnel should that happen.

The evidence suggests that cycle schemes are only being considered because they are a cheapskate solution. They were not taken seriously pre covid. And this project is in an area that was not part of the Red Wall collapse. I rest my case.


Here is HE's response to an FOI request asking for the evidence they used for their emergency infilling of one of the shafts:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/663564/response/1583653/attach/3/Final%20Response%20to%20Mike%20Anderson%20Freedom%20of%20Information%20Request%20101091%20Redacted.pdf?cookie_passthrough=1

mikeymo
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby mikeymo » 29 Jun 2020, 12:09pm

atoz wrote:
mikeymo wrote:
Pete Owens wrote:You mean he won't splash out a large amount of taxpayers money to support your particular pet project?


I agree.


Not mine personally, I think you'll find this project has a lot of local support, supported by evidence-based costings. The alternative is to plug up the tunnel and let it collapse, at greater public expense. I wouldn't want to be a homeowner whose property is above the tunnel should that happen.

The evidence suggests that cycle schemes are only being considered because they are a cheapskate solution. They were not taken seriously pre covid. And this project is in an area that was not part of the Red Wall collapse. I rest my case.


The estimated costs to repair the tunnel vary immensely, from £1.2 million to £35 million. Some of the variation no doubt reflects the difference between what is considered remediation and what would be suitable for a publicly accessible cycle way. Presumably another factor for the wide variation in estimated cost is the possibility of hidden defects in the tunnel. It is easy to see from published photographs of inspections that even the act of carrying out inspections is one that might produce at least some trepidation in the inspecting engineers.

http://www.queensburytunnel.org.uk/reports/QueensburyTunnelCostComparisons(Feb2017).pdf

Given both the known knowns, known unknowns, and unknown unknowns, it isn't surprising to me that central government would not be willing to take on the risk of spiralling costs for a project that would be of benefit to only a tiny proportion of the population, and mainly in one very limited location.

To repeat, as a cyclist who lives in West Yorkshire, I don't mind paying my share of the cost of this project which is fairly near to me. But maybe taxpayers in other parts of the country might have their own cycling projects that they would like to see funded first. If I'm demanding that national taxes are used for this, then I can hardly blame people elsewhere in the UK who want their own project paying for first.

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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby mjr » 29 Jun 2020, 12:29pm

mikeymo wrote:To repeat, as a cyclist who lives in West Yorkshire, I don't mind paying my share of the cost of this project which is fairly near to me. But maybe taxpayers in other parts of the country might have their own cycling projects that they would like to see funded first. If I'm demanding that national taxes are used for this, then I can hardly blame people elsewhere in the UK who want their own project paying for first.

From where I'm sat far from Yorkshire, it looks a bit insulting that Shapps is only offering £4m towards making it a viable cycle highway when he's willing to spend £7m destroying it. Surely even the most parochial cycling champion would not begrudge an offer to spend £7m on a cycleway in that context? Then it becomes a question of how much more it merits.
MJR, mostly pedalling 3-speed roadsters. KL+West Norfolk BUG incl social easy rides http://www.klwnbug.co.uk
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby mikeymo » 29 Jun 2020, 12:36pm

mjr wrote:
mikeymo wrote:To repeat, as a cyclist who lives in West Yorkshire, I don't mind paying my share of the cost of this project which is fairly near to me. But maybe taxpayers in other parts of the country might have their own cycling projects that they would like to see funded first. If I'm demanding that national taxes are used for this, then I can hardly blame people elsewhere in the UK who want their own project paying for first.

From where I'm sat far from Yorkshire, it looks a bit insulting that Shapps is only offering £4m towards making it a viable cycle highway when he's willing to spend £7m destroying it. Surely even the most parochial cycling champion would not begrudge an offer to spend £7m on a cycleway in that context? Then it becomes a question of how much more it merits.


I don't feel the least bit insulted. And I live here. I'm willing to pay my share of the cost, which, as I said, is £10. The national taxpayer can't be expected to pay for every single thing. Though I'm grateful that you're willing to also contribute. Presumably that's what you mean?

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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby mikeymo » 29 Jun 2020, 5:28pm

atoz wrote:This says it all about this gentleman
https://www.thetelegraphandargus.co.uk/ ... ssion=true


Or of course Grant Shapps could well say - "tell you what, take it out of this":

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-51834313#:~:text=West%20Yorkshire%20%C2%A31.8bn%20devolution%20deal%20agreed%20%2D%20BBC%20News

the deal includes: "£317m to invest in public transport, cycling and walking through Transforming Cities Fund with local flexibility on delivery."

Seems fair enough, yes?

The 8 miles of cycle route which passes through the tunnel works out at £2million per km, according to that T&A report. Personally I wouldn't be the least surprised if it comes out at more than that. The other cycle route proposals round here seem to be about £1million per km, so the one which uses the tunnel looks like bad value to me.

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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby thirdcrank » 7 Sep 2020, 11:19am

It looks as though the big row-back may have started. (Sorry this is behind a pay wall.)

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/0 ... ant-green/

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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby mjr » 7 Sep 2020, 11:43am

thirdcrank wrote:It looks as though the big row-back may have started. (Sorry this is behind a pay wall.)

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2020/0 ... ant-green/

It's not paywalled to me, for some reason.

Some of Shapps's comments seem fair enough and actually point out that it's not "pandering to the cycle lobby" as the Telegraph misreport it:
Grant Shapps wrote:Where some councils have abused the cash, my message is clear: speak to local residents, get it fixed or no more cash.

Some councils have introduced random one-way systems, which don't seem to offer many benefits to anyone.

Some of those plastic barriers that have gone up in town centres to widen the pavements can actually prevent pedestrians, including disabled people, crossing the road.

They narrow the carriageway for traffic, causing congestion and increasing danger for cyclists. They reduce parking for essential visits to the pharmacy or dentist or doctor. And they don't seem to be much used by pedestrians either.


While I've criticised Norfolk for blowing its entire phase one budget on "random one-way systems" in central Norwich for being unambitious and further widening the gap between city and county, and I think that's why they suffered a 25% cut once DfT saw the plans, the extra space on those three modified streets did actually seem very well-used by people walking on my two visits to the city last week. The pavements there were too narrow for normal times, let alone social distancing.

Some of Shapps's pro-motoring comments are less encouraging but are at least ambiguous:
Grant Shapps wrote:[It is essential to] keep the main arteries of our economy flowing. For those who say we shouldn’t be building roads, I say there’s nothing green about standing still in traffic, pumping out CO2 and pollution.
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Morzedec
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Re: Grant Shapps, Transport Minister

Postby Morzedec » 7 Sep 2020, 1:05pm

"Hello, folks, I'm a politician, which means that you can absolutely trust me because every word that I say is completely true, and so by only saying things that are absolutely true you can vote for me next time in the certain confidence that what I say is absolutely true pause for breath so you can believe me explicitly when I say that what I say is absolutely true and is guaranteed to happen at the detailed cost estimated and before the end of the year at the absolute latest more breath because the estimated cost has been diligently confirmed by a government quango so is absolutely true because I am a bicycle riding person sort of cyclist thing which is absolutely true mine after much research has two wheels apparently one at each end not side by side like some pictures that I've seen so absolutely true pink it is with a natty little basket on the front which is absolutely true Covid 19 does not exist only in Handcockup's tiny mind which is absolutely true the small mind I mean not his in the garage bicycle so there you can trust me because I'm a politician which is absolutely true".

End of television interview.

Happy days? Not with this lot of wozzacks in charge of us.
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