Nick Clegg's options for Transport

  peter99co 22:20 28 May 2008

"We'll make polluters pay, so we can cut taxes for ordinary families, charge a toll for lorry road journeys, so we can invest in a high-speed rail network, put fair charges on air travel and support local recycling and green energy."

The idea of putting lorry loads on trains never really worked in the past due to cost issues.

Can it be made to work now? Lorries will still need to be included in the loop unless they are going to bring back the branch lines.

BR had a full door to door system but failed to keep it as it was so expensive.

This is from the following Clegg article. click here

  newman35 22:26 28 May 2008

On BBC news earlier today, in Belgium with a Haulage spokesman who also said that loads should go back to the railways. The reporter was quite mystified.
Until we try to move to a 'local' goods system to prevent the huge amount of carriage up and down motorways, we will get nowhere. How we go about doing it I don't know.

  Bingalau 22:30 28 May 2008

They used to do the job before...

  peter99co 22:46 28 May 2008

I remember the Three-wheel trucks and the small containers used by BR. The manpower needed to load and unload the trains was huge.Is the idea to have the container system operate from huge yards in various park of the UK? The canals are being used by Tesco already I think.

  Forum Editor 23:30 28 May 2008

that moving goods over long distances by rail is more fuel-efficient, and has less impact on the environment than moving them by road. So far, so good, but it's not as simple as that by a long way.

In an ideal world we would shift intercity freight between distribution hubs that were sited outside the city centres, and deliver to final destinations with smaller vehicles. Unfortunately we live in the real world-one in which there isn't a rail-freight distribution hub outside each city. Furthermore, our existing rail network probably couldn't handle the considerable increase in freight traffic anyway. It would take a long time and a lot of money to develop a high-speed rail-freight network.

I think that a partial solution to the problem of road freight might be to run larger 'trunker' trucks on our major roads, and use distribution hubs to handle the final deliveries. In Sweden they have long-haul trucks that are 25.25 metres overall instead of 18.5 metres, and this would surely help; running trucks this size on our motorways would mean an overall reduction in the number of freight vehicles on the road.

  WhiteTruckMan 23:44 28 May 2008

and one reason only - cost. Unless you want to count time, but in this want-it-right-now society time IS money.

You can look to the past and wax nostalgic about how things used to be done, but the reason its not done like that anymore is someone found a cheaper way of doing it.

And if anyone wants to get rid of all the trucks on the road today then what they have to do is very, very simple indeed.

Find a cheaper way of moving goods.


  WhiteTruckMan 00:06 29 May 2008

I was the following ads at the bottom of this page. I'm putting them here because I'm not sure how long they will stay:

Transport Logistics
Specializing in Shopfittings and Dedicated UK Road Haulage
click here

Freight Forwarders
International Freight Forwarders by road sea and air
click here

Looking for Loads?
Every day we have loads for HGV's & Vans that need covering now!
click here

I know advertising revenue is advertising revenue (and I have NO desire whatsoever to try re-opening that can of worms, thank you very much) but it seems odd-not to say suspicious-to see ads for that sort of thing on a computer forum. Unless google have a blank ticket to put up what they want.


  Forum Editor 00:46 29 May 2008

Suspicious - what's suspicious about it?

Go into the Mobile World forum, click on a mobile broadband thread, and you'll see ads that are mobile broadband related - it's an entirely automatic process, and happens on thousands of web sites - I can't see anything sinister in it.

On the subject of things not being done any more because someone found a cheaper way..........

Rail freight in the UK has increased by 60% in the past fourteen years, and the companies who have opted for rail over road say that one reason is reliability - 98% of all rail freight reaches its destination on time. Another reason is that rail shipments to many rail depots (not all) are cheaper than road transport, and a further plus is that rail freight generates 80% fewer CO2 emissions per tonne than road transport.

I've got no axe to grind here - I have no particular leaning towards one method of transport over another. It's undeniable that rail freighting is advantageous for specific loads - quarry products and coal spring to mind, for instance - and that road transport has advantages when it comes to flexibility; a lorry can go where a train can't. It's wrong however to simply say as a generalisation that road transport is cheaper, because it's not true in many cases.

  WhiteTruckMan 01:25 29 May 2008

doesnt always mean looking (or suspecting) any sinister means. In this context it was meant as an expression of curiosity towards the apparent targeting of adverts by google in connection with the thread subject. They arent the sort of ads one normally associates with this type of site.

Its not something I have any desire to make a big thing of, though.

As for the cost of road transport. Companies dont put things on trucks because they like trucks. They do it because it is the most cost effective way of moving freight. Its not true in all cases, but it is true in most. If you are moving coal in 10,000 tonne lots from a mine to a power station then a train is the cheapest way of doing it. Large volumes of liquid can sometimes be better handled by a pipeline. You can even still ship by canal if you are prepared to accept the tradeoff in time. But none can match a truck for cost effective general transportation.


  Chegs ®™ 03:16 29 May 2008

I heard on the local news yesterday that Eddie Stobbart also has started shifting what he can by train,but admitted that trucks would still handle a lot of haulage as trains couldnt reach everywhere his trucks could(Andrew Tinkler also said he was exploring air-freight options too)If one of the UKs largest haulage firms are saying fuel costs had risen so much they are trying other modes of transport,then I think its time for a reduction in the duty on fuel before I suddenly find I have to travel to a city for my shopping.

  georgemac © 07:58 29 May 2008

Couldn't the rail network be utilised through the night for moving freight - maybe this is what is done already?

Cheap air travel will disappear? Think if a lot of tax was added to aircraft fuel, it would have to be done globally, or the UK could destroy it's airline industry.

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