Excl: case studies show Labour investment WILL pay for itself

A very important post from the Skwawkbox

The SKWAWKBOX

In a bid to divert attention from the wet blanket of Philip Hammond’s budget last week, the Establishment has been attacking Labour’s plans for borrowing (only) for investment.

Channel 4’s FactCheck issued an article criticising Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell’s supposed lack of understanding of how government borrowing works – allowing Tories to crow briefly and erroneously – only to have to issue a corrected version. Other ‘MSM’ piled in with similarly-misplaced attacks.

The push-back against this nonsense has started. A group of twenty-three renowned economists also made a firm, public statement of support for the sound economic principle of government borrowing to invest to strengthen the economy – and the tax take.

Now the impact of government investment – and the reality that it pays for itself in economic growth and improved tax-receipts – can be seen in these previously-unreleased case studies of three planned Labour investment projects:

Crossrail for…

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Southwestern Publicity Materials

Some publicity materials fro,m the Southwest.

INTRODUCTION

This is the final post I shall be producing about my first visit to my parent’s new home in Cornwall. There will be photographs of all the publicity materials that I picked up while down there, captioned where appropriate with links to the posts that they relate to, except for one section where I am following the route of my journey to Penzance and flag that at the start of the entire section. Thus, this post will contain links to every other post I have produced about the visit.

THE PUBLICITY MATERIALS

We start with…

THE RAME PENINSULA OFFICIAL LEAFLET

This is the particular area in which my parents new home is located, so in one sense it relates to all of the previous posts in this series…

Rame 1
The posts that relate most closely to this are those relating to Thursday, Friday and Sunday.

Rame 2

Next we have…

A DOUBLE SIDED RAILWAY MAP

This features the Great Western Railway network map on one side and the whole national railway network on the other:

GWR Map
This map particularly relates to the posts for Wednesday, the first of the Saturday posts and Monday.

Network Rail mapGWR Map cover

Our next port of call is…

A SOUTH DEVON GUIDE

This is a stout little booklet, with a pictorial map as a centrepiece:

South Devon mapSouth Devon Guide

Next we come to…

A SELECTION OF RAILWAYANA

These are all unrelated to anything I blogged about, but represent things to consider for future visits…

Riviera line 1Riviera line 2Avocet Ambles 1Avocet Ambles 2Avocet Ambles 3Avocet lineScenic railways in Devon

We are now going to cover…

CORNISH TRAIN JOURNEYS

For most of this section we will be following the route of my journey to Penzance, but first a couple of pics to set the scene…

Scenic RailwaysScenic Railways 2

Now starting our survey of stuff that relates closely to my Saturday journey we begin with the St Germans Walk…

St Germans Walk 1St Germans Walk 2St Germans Map

Our next staging post is Bodmin Parkway, for the Bodmin & Wenford Railway:

Bodmin & Wenford 1Bodmin & Wenford 2

Continuing our westward journey our next diversion is at St Austell where those so minded can catch a 101 bus to The Eden Project (the officially recommended way of visiting that great attraction – they are not great admirers of the motor car).

Eden 1Eden 2

Before arriving at the destination for our next section we give a passing wave to Camborne Town:

Camborne townCamborne Town 2Camborne Heritage Trail

It is now time to move on to…

PENZANCE

Here are some maps of the Penzance area…

Discover Penzance 1
These maps relate to my post about my day in Penzance. The first two pictures are of the only item in this collection that had to be bought, for a whopping £1!

Discover Penzance 2Penzance mapPenzance map close upPenzance town mapPenzance town map close up

We have almost reached the end of this post, which we do with…

A FEW LAST PICTURES

These are the last few bits…

GWR timetable
The official mainline timetable
Devon & Cornwall Railcard
I will not be able to make use of this, but some of you might.

Devon & Cornwall Railcard 2Cross Country 1Cross Country 2

Homeward Bound

My account of the homeward journey from Fort Picklecombe.

INTRODUCTION

We have reached the penultimate post about my Cornish holiday – the last day. This post details the long journey home.

STARTING OFF

The length of time it took to get from Plymouth to Fort Picklecombe on the Thursday was playing on my mind, and I wanted to be sure that we were away before 9AM, since my train was due to depart Plymouth at 10:44, and I reckoned that a single ticket from Plymouth to London bought on the day (London-Lynn would still have been valid on the original ticket) woulkd probably cost more than my original ticket (in this assessment, to borrow from history, there was the proverbial “cubit of error my way that does not obscure the 99 cubits of error the other way” – actually said ticket would have been fractionally less. Nevertheless, I did get a few lasy pictures before leaving the fort:

Sun on waterthree boatsTwo boats

Heron
A first for me – the first time I have captured a heron on camera.

On the journey into Plymouth I managed to snap two pictures from the back of the camper van:

Water viewBridge, Plymouth

I had some time to kill at Plymouth station and did so by taking photographs…

Platform 7, Plymouth

Gull waiting for train
An avian passenger?

Posters 1Plymouth PosterPenzanceDevon PosterDevon Poster 2Departure Board

PLYMOUTH – LONDON

This train was a service called “The Cornish Riviera”, which starts in Penzance and snails up through Cornwall stopping pretty much everywhere and then makes up time by calling only at Exeter St Davids and Reading between Plymouth and London. Although I had an aisle seat on this journey, and no opportunity to move to the window seat I was not going to be denied at least some photos. I got a good few between Plymouth and Exeter and a handful thereafter…

Across the water from the trainAcross the Water from the train IIBridge from trainThe seaCliffsAcross the water from the train IIIHeadland from the trainTown across the water from trainBoats and buildings through the windowBoats and Buildings from train IIBoats and buildings from train IIIAcross the water from train IVBoat and housesboat and buildingsRed cliffsRed cliff and two big housesStately homeRed cliffs, buildings and treesRed cl.iffs and red houseWaterfront buildingsWaterside viewView through the bridgeAcross the riverLarge churchLarge church IILarge church IIITwo towersSpire through treesSpire II

Plat 1
Exeter St Davids (two images)

Exeter St DavidsMonument

Chalk Horse
This chalk horse, carved directly out of the hillside, is visible at distance at a time when the train is at full speed.

Chalk Horse II

Reading
Reading station
Royal Oak
Royal Oak – the Hammersmith & City line’s last station west of Paddington. The next station towards Hammersmith, Westbourne Park, used to offer an interchange with mainline railways but nowadays Ealing Braodway is the last mainline station before Paddington. Back in the old days there was a connection – the first locomotives to run over what was then The Metropolitan Railway were supplied by the Great Western, while this extension to Hammersmtih opened in 1864, only one year after the original.

LONDON TO KING’S LYNN

I crossed to the Hammersmith and City line platforms, nos 15 and 16 of the main station, and waited a long time for an eastbound train, then discovering that it was terminating at Edgware Road (very odd indeed for a train from Hammersmith), so I had to change again. I arrived at King’s Cross and was just in time to catch the 14:44 to King’s Lynn, which was not overfull (as the 15:44, the next service, certainly would have been). This means that I was at home and unpacking by 5PM. 

Paddington 1View from the Hammersmith & City line platformsPaddingtonH&C trainCablesTrainEdgware RoadEdgware Road from aboveEdgware Road Plats 1&2

Hammersmith & City line
This picture was the cause of minor quarrel – I was challenged by another passenger as to why I was taking pictures of his friend, and it took my a while to get the point across that I was not, and that it was this map which was my target. His friend’s hat did appear in the uncropped version, but no face was visible, and my only interest was the map. I was perhaps a little harsh as I was fully expecting to miss my intended connection at Kings Cross due to the delays on this leg of the journey.

Great Portland StreetEuston Square

Kings Cross clock
The platform from which the train to King’s Lynn was l.eaving was revealed with a mere eight minutes to spare, and if you going to Lynn you have to go to the front of the train (or else get out and dash along the platform at Cambridge).

Kings Cross arched roofTrains at Kings CrossKing's Cross just before departureJourney PlannerAeroplaneStansted ExpressStansted Express 2

Ely Cathedral
Ely Cathedral.

 

The Journey To Penzance

An account of the journey to Penzance, setting the scene for my next post, about Penzance itself.

INTRODUCTION

This is continuing my account of my visit to Cornwall. We have reached Saturday, which for me featured a trip to England’s westernmost commercial railway station (note England not Britain – Arisaig on the Glasgow-Mallaig line in Scotland is further west), Penzance. The closest station in time terms to my parent’s new home is St Germans, and that is where my train journey started.

ST GERMANS

St Germans is completely unstaffed, and therefore, since there is no one to maintain it, has no ticket machines either. Tickets are purchased from the conductor once you are on the train. You are only allowed to do this at unstaffed stations – boarding without a ticket at a station where you can purchase one renders you liable to a penalty fare of £20 (I heard another passenger who had done this escaping with a warning not to do it again).

I had a bit of time at St Germans (given that the next train to call at St Germans was two hours later this was indubitably the sensible position to be in. Here are some photographs from the station…

TimetablesRoute mapSGRUGSt Germans MapSt Germans waiting areaView from the footbridgeView from the footbridge 2Holiday accommodationsgrug@btinternet.comHelp Point, St GermansHoliday accommodation IISt GermansDisplay, waiting area, St Germans

GWR

www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk

The ticket issued by the onboard conductor is much bigger than a standard train ticket. 

Tickets

THE JOURNEY TO PENZANCE

Taking pictures through the windows of a moving train is not especially easy, although I did at least have a window seat for the entire journey, so was never shooting across people. After leaving St Germans the train called at Liskeard (change for the Looe branch line), Bodmin Parkway, Lostwithiel (although the name might suggets otherwise as far as I am aware no elves live here!), Par (trains to Newquay depart from here), St Austell, Truro (Falmouth services diverge here), Redruth, Camborne, Hayle, St Erth (branch line to St Ives from here) and Penzance. Here are the pictures from this journey…

View from the train, just beyond St GermansFrom the trainLiskeard through the windowLiskeard stationThrough the window IIThrough the window IIIWoodland with visitor centrebirds through the windowLostwithielLostwithiel StationDiscover LostwithielLostwithiel signNew build, LostwithielThrough the window IVParbranch line train, ParBodminBodmin IIBodmin IIIEng worksSt AustellSt Austell 2Discover the Tarka LineHouseTruro CathedralTruro Cathedral IIITruro Cathedral IVLeaving TruroTownscapeTruro (1)TruroRedruthWaiuting area, RedruthWaiting area, Redruth IICamborneCamborne IICamborne Townbench, CamborneCamborne platformHayleHayle platformPlatform InfoWHHTownscape IISt Erthapproaching PenzanceApproaching Penzance II

PENZANCE STATION

These pictures were taken both on arrival at Penzance, and towards the end of my time in Penzance.

GWR mapChanges to train times

Tiles, Penzance
This was my first effort at capturing this tile picture…
Tile Picture
…and this, later in the day, was my second and final effort.

Penzance Welcomes YouPenzance StationIncoming traintrain at Penzance stationPoppy displayThrough train to London PaddingtonPenzance Station, looking outWall picturesWay OutNational Rail MapPenzance Station 1Incoming

 

Downham Market

A photographic account of Downham Market, an old market town in Norfolk.

INTRODUCTION

As those of you who read the post I put up earlier today will know I spent part of Saturday in the town of Downham Market. These post showcases everything I saw there other than the Town Hall. 

THE STATION

This was my first visit to Downham Market, as opposed to passing through the station en route to further afield destinations. The pictures here were taken at two distinct periods, in the morning immediately post arrival, and in the afternoon when I had rather more time to kill than I would have wished. The only way across the tracks at Downham Market is by way of a level crossing, and the train from London to King’s Lynn arrives just before the one going the other way. The crossing gates close a couple of minutes before the King’s Lynn train arrives and stay closed until the London train has departed, which means that if you are looking to catch the King’s Lynn train, which departs from the far platform from the town centre and the crossing gates close you have missed it, and such was my fate on Saturday. For those affected this also explains both my later than usual arrival at the venue for Musical Keys and the fact that I was a tad breathless when I got there – I had stepped off a train at 15:20 at King’s Lynn and walked straight out to the Scout Hut in something of a hurry.

London ConnectionsRailway MapGNNGN

signal box
The signal box at Downham Market
Station building
The station building – very impressive, and I was to discover quite typical of 19th century Downham Market buildings in the use of Carr (the brown coloured stone).
Local Map
A handy little map for working out one’s route from the station.
Terrace
I reckon (though I am opne to correction) that this little terrace was built to accommodate railway workers.
Bennett & Son
This building is visible from the station platform.

Date stone

THE REST OF DOWNHAM MARKET

I start with two pictures to set the scene, a huge pictorial map which can be seen in the town centre and the information board about the railway:

Giant MapThe Railway 1

The ‘Downham’ part of Downham Market comes from Anglo-Saxon (afterall, we are in the lands of the North Folk of the East Angles) and literally means ‘homestead on a hill’, and indeed the market town that grew up around that homestead (it has been a market town since Anglo-Saxon times) is slightly elevated from the surrounding countryside, which in Norfolk constitutes being on a hill! These photos are presented in the order in which they were taken.Georgian housePedimentDoorShelley CottageSemi-detachedbirdStone shieldGarden CentreThe Railway 2Garden Centre 2Garden Centre 3sunclock 1sunclock 2The Railway close up 1Railway Close Up 2The Railway close up 37098Sculpture 1Sculpture 2Temple like buildingBlocked windowDate plaque 1Date plaque 2

Info signs
There will be more about Civray in the next section.

InfoGiant MapsignsShopClock 1FountainMP sculptedStone bird82 Bridge Street

CIVRAY

I realised that there could be only one explanation for a signpost in cengtral Downham Market giving the distance to the town of Civray, namely that the two towns are twinned. Civray for the record is pretty much exactly halfway between Poitiers and Angouleme, due east of La Rochelle. I include a map as well as a close up of the sign.

Civray 628Civray

 

Shared Space Roads ?

Some thoughts on shared space streets and Exhibition Road in particular.

INTRODUCTION

Much of this post will also be appearing on my London Transport themed website as well as here because of the location of the particular shared space road that brought this issue to my attention. That location is of course Exhibition Road, London – a location very familiar to me from when I lived in London and was a regular visitor to museums. Here is a map for you to orient yourselves:

ER

WHAT IS A SHARED SPACE ROAD?

A shared space road is a road without pavements, with no clear distinctions between where cars, cyclists and pedestrians should be. According to some this arrangement reduces accidents. However, a recent incident on London’s Exhibition Road has called this into question. Here is a tweet from campaign group Transport for All:

SS

This (to me) raises two questions to be taken in turn:

CAN SHARED SPACE ROADS WORK?

I am uncertain on this one and will welcome evidence from people with experience of shared space roads in their localities. My own view is that they could work but the following is necessary:

  • Clear signage explaining what a shared space road is and what that means.
  • A very low speed limit for motor vehicles (even lower than the 20mph which is now commonplace in the vicinity of schools) fiercely enforced – speeding on a shared space street should be punished more severely than speeding elsewhere because of the greater risk of hitting someone.
  • Referring back to my first bullet point it needs to made clear that motorists are always expected to give way to cyclists and pedestrians.

Given what I know of London drivers I do not think that London is the right city to be trialling these (although Rome and Paris would both clearly by even worse options!)

SHOULD EXHIBITION ROAD BE A SHARED SPACE ROAD?

Absolutely not – it should be completely pedestrianised. There are excellent public transport connections in this part of the world. 
Continue reading “Shared Space Roads ?”

Links, Puzzles, Pictures

Links, puzzles and pictures. Public transport features, as does some general politics, and mathematics. The pictures are of course my own.

INTRODUCTION

I have many links to share with you, and wilkl be setting a puzzle. I will be putting up another of my tree posts immediately after this one, so my pictures feature stuff other than trees.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

This section comes in two parts, starting with…

NEWS FROM MY LONDON TRANSPORT WEBSITE

Just before lunchtime today I received the following email:

Dear Thomas.

I am writing regarding http://www.londontu.be 

My name is Andrew and I work for Nicola at Tour London. Nicola is a tour guide in London UK who takes individuals and groups to the most famous landmarks in London, as well as discovering hidden gems along the way! We were wondering if it were possible for us to appear on your “links” page in any way given that we share such a similar topic.

Alternatively would you be interested in content pieces? Nicola has a vast knowledge of London and would love to share it with your audience. 
Finally, If not content, do you have any other advertising opportunities?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Andrew | Marketing Executive
Tour London
Tourlondon.org.uk

 

Naturally, I was delighted to receive such a communication, and I have since put in some links, done a special post about this site and ‘pressed’ a couple of their pieces. Please visit londontu.be to read about this in more detail, and then explore tourlondon to see what they have to offer.

WE OWN IT – TRANSPORT

The campaign group weownit have created a resource with the catchy title Privatisation Fails. Below is a screenshot of the homepage for this resource:

pf

Of course, I followed up the bus and train links. Here is a paragraph from Privatisation Fails Buses:

Buses

30 years ago, our bus services were deregulated and privatised. This has been a disaster for our buses. Fares went up and routes that weren’t profitable were cut, meaning you now pay more for less.  In 2017, the Bus Service Users Bill was passed, which included a clause which bans local councils from creating their own public bus companies. 

On this page are the Big Five bus companies that grew out of deregulation and privatisation in the 1980s – together they control 70% of the bus travel industry in the UK. Many of these companies either own, or are owned by, rail companies as well.

Read more about bus services, and how and why we want to bring them into public ownership, here.

Next up comes Privatisation Fails Railways:

Railways

British Rail was broken up and privatised between 1994 and 1997, and since then rail services in the UK have been provided by private companies. There are 16 rail franchises in the UK, where the government gives train companies funding to run services for a certain period. 

Many of the companies that run our trains are European state-owned companies who reinvest millions of pounds a year in dividends from their British operations into their own transport systems. As you’ll see, these companies often own franchises within franchises. You might be surprised to learn who owns your morning commute! We’ve also listed three ‘ROSCOs’ or rolling stock companies, who lease trains to rail companies.

Read more about the privatisation of rail and what we can do about it here.

POLITICAL LINKS

Royal Mail workers have voted by a huge margin to take strike action. The official voting figures are:

Turnout 73.7%
Yes 89%
No 11%

This means that 65.593% of all those eligible to vote cast their vote in favour of strike action. I did this calculation myself, entirely in my head, but here for the record is how to get there…

Calling Turnout T and Yes votes Y and Overall Percent Yes as O we have O = TY/100. Putting the known figures into this we have O = (73.7 x 89)/100. To avoid decimals until absolutely necessary we change this to O = (737 x 89)/1000. To calculate 737 x 89 we can reduce to single figure calculations as follows:

737 x 89 = (700 x 89) + (30 x 89) + (7 x 89), and then splitting these up 700 x 89 = (700 x 80) + (700 x 9), 30 x 89 = (30 x 80) + (30 x 9) and 7 x 89 = (7 x 80) + (7 x 9). We now have a series of multiplications which can all be treated as single figure multiplications, with in some cases zeroes to be stuck on the end. Multiplying them out gives us 56,000 + 6,300 + 2,400 + 270 +560 + 63. Adding these together we get 65,593, and dividing by 1,000 requires a decimal point to go between the first and second five, giving us 65.593%. PS It took a lot longer writing this out than performing the calculations in my head!

I have two links for you about this vote:

A SKWAWKBOX QUADRUPLE BILL

The Skwawkbox, one of the best new media sites around, has had several particularly outstanding pieces recently:

PHOTOS 1 – ANIMALS

From Monday and yesterday:

Swan IV
Mute Swan (first four images) on the section of the Gaywood near Kettlewell lane.

Swan IIISwan IISwan IDucks and drakesMallard drakeMoorhen

Squirrel with Conker
This squirrel was sufficiently occupied by its shiny new conker for me to get this picture.

A TEASER

This puzzle comes courtesy of brilliant:

PNQ

PHOTOS 2: VIEWS

Minster Lumiere
Although all these pictures were taken in varying degrees of darkness none involved the use of the flash, which is an absolute last resort for me.

CH Lumiere VCH Lumiere IVCH Lumiere IIICH Lumiere IICH LumiereCustom House IICustom HouseNar meets Ouse, high tideWL Churchtownscape at dusk