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Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for July 20th, 2006

Tories are starting to clear their clutter of inheritance

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Guardian Unlimited | Columnists |

Virgin’s east coast route, profitable under British Rail, runs on a subsidy of £400m a year, half what the whole of BR cost in 1989.

The only thing I found to nit pick. Virgin runs the West Coast mainline. The East Coast is run by GNER, a subsidiary of James Sherwood’s Sea Containers, and makes a significant profit.

Written by Stephen Rees

July 20, 2006 at 11:36 pm

Financial crisis looms at TransLink

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Financial crisis looms at TransLink

“Surrey Coun. Marvin Hunt said Vancouver has dozens of traffic lanes connecting it to other municipalities while Surrey has just five — over the Port Mann Bridge — and they are seriously congested.”

Let’s be charitable and assume that he was misreported – because, if not, this is so inaccurate that it makes my eyes water.

As it happens I crossed in and out of Surrey twice yesterday and did not use the Port Mann Bridge at all. The Patullo and Alex Fraser at mid-day worked fine. Of course, the Alex Fraser is technically in North Delta. Doesn’t Surrey have really easy access to Delta – and Langley come to that? Not to mention the US border crossings. And we know that Surrey does not recognise the existence of White Rock. Or, seemingly, the Albion ferry.
For the story as a whole, I am afraid it is exactly as one would expect. The only remarkable thing is that it has taken so long for Translink to admit that its current trajectory is unsustainable. It was always based on a lot more coming from senior governments – especially Canada – and new sources of revenue. Bridge tolls are a regular red herring, but that’s because of the political difficulty of congestion charges, which work by pricing off marginal road users. And, as noted here before, the lack of a credible transit alternative for most of those priced off the road network.

The other thing wrong with bridge tolls is the huge east west movement along the Burrard peninsula which does not cross any bridges, and would remain unaffected by this measure. And, of course, Translink does not control crossings to the North Shore, or all the others on the provincial highway system

Written by Stephen Rees

July 20, 2006 at 11:11 pm