Transport needs of the UK requires re-thinking and planning for a better future. A greener, safer, more affordable future, with no polluting HGV’s on our roads.
Train networks are a system that were for the future, 150 years ago.
The future of U.K transport lies in the next 150 years. The dual role of passenger transportation, and the need of freight / goods transportation needs readdressing. Polluting HGV lorries need transporting off the roads and onto rails.
A trains system to move passenger traffic should not need restricting to the heavy duty infrastructure requirements needed for “heavy goods” transportation. These are 2 separate objectives and requirements.
Both passenger and goods traffic currently use the same 4ft 8 & 1/2 inch gauge system. The Victorians prioritised freight over people transportation.
Transport planners need to provide for the next 150 years of rail passenger movement. Look ahead for railways development, not back as we have always done on this subject.
At present there is a regular train service in China (Shanghai Airport to Shanghai city), which presently operate the worlds fastest trains at 268 mph. A potential city centre to city centre alternative that is a realistic competitor to domestic air routes. The new technology is out there.
There is a Hyperloop “train” which is due to open this year (2020) in Abu Dhabi which will travel at up to 760 mph
Such technology is available and in service, but not considered in the UK. Any U.K investment in that technology is much more justifiable than the HS2 project. A project which this Government seems determined to proceed with regardless of any sense or reasoning.
What is the point of HS2 transport?
A pointless waste of money and of our historic environment. A white elephant before it’s even started. A typical Tory pig headed venture.
Goods traffic needs transporting by using the existing rail system / network. Passenger rail traffic could congest the scheduling of freight traffic on the rails. Freight trains need loading during the day, and moved in off peak times, throughout the night.
Lorries / HGV’s
Get HGV’s off our major arterial roads.
Lorries / HGV’s (Heavy Goods Vehicles) after Brexit will continue to arrive at our ports, and will continue to pay no road tax. That issue needs addressing. Revenue needs generating to help pay for the maintenance of our roadways. Maintenance costs need recouping from those who use our transport systems.
Long distance HGV lorry journeys need taking off our major roads and carried using the existing railway system. Similar to the Euro-Tunnel arrangement, the railways could feed the various lorry hubs around the U.K, supported by a transportation charge. U.K lorries who use that method should be able to claim a Road Fund Licence refund for each train journey made. U.K lorries pay tolls in various parts of the E.U
The London registered Marco Polo container ship can carry up to 16,000 containers (TEU’s). 1 container from each ship = 1 HGV road journey. Not a green future carrying on as normal.
The U.K receives no revenue from E.U lorry journeys using our roads.
After Brexit, E.U registered HGV’s will land at Dover and drive across England and Wales to meet the ferries to Ireland, (still E.U), using Britain as a short cut.
British Tax payers will continue to pick up the bill for the U.K road repairs & accidents etc That needs to stop.
Canals for heavy cargo transport?
Perhaps we should revisit the ideas of the past when planning future transport in the UK.
Canals were a success until the railways were developed shortly after the completion of a canal network in Britain.
Trains of the 19th Century became much preferred over canals due to the distance that needed covering and at the greater speed achievable. Trains could travel at speed through the night. Building a railway is quicker than digging a canal.
Canals however were capable of transporting very heavy loads directly to or from the heart of city centres. That option still applies to today. Canals could be used once again to transport much of our substantial needs, city center to city center.
It is also possible to combine the recent and no doubt regular future flooding in the North of England, with the lack of water in the South due to demand, global warming and droughts, by physically linking the two problems with drainage / reservoirs connected by a “super highway” canal.
Using 21st century canals for the transportation of mass heavy goods which don’t need to be anywhere in a hurry, i.e taking a week to deliver, then the canal ideology becomes an acceptable greener alternative.
Canals are still in use today. This suggests that such a project is worthy of consideration today as being a part of our transport networks.
Canal management offers a means of collecting revenue, while solving the problem of balancing the UK water needs (South) / excessive rainfall (North), and heavy cargo transportation within the UK.
See also … Green issues in the UK