Lancashire County Council Squanderbugs !
Lancashire County Council were renewing the drains on the main road from Chatburn into Clitheroe recently, ( even though the work was probably not that essential ) where I noticed a ton of 20mm pipe bedding tipped which was obviously not from a local quarry. I did ring them and complain about the same, next time the pipe bedding could have been local or from Marshalls Brookfoot quarry other side of Halifax !
The following is from an article I wrote in 1995, and was published in the then Lancashire Evening Telegraph, it was also published on Toronto based PDE Publications web sight in September 1996, but someone hacked the original date in 2996 when I was officially proven to have been right all along !
To use fuel efficiently, the driver of a heavy vehicle needs to store the energy contained in the vehicle. Traffic calming is perhaps the greatest waste of fuel ever devised. One new roundabout, causing an average speed reduction of 30 Kph, traversed five times loaded at 32.5 tonnes, and four times at 11.5 tonnes, used on average 2 gallons extra fuel per day. This can be proved by mathematical calculation, but I have never seen the equations in any text book.
I have undertaken a rough calculation of the extra fuel used by causing a heavy vehicle to stop or slow. The roundabout calculation shows that fuel consumption is doubled over a certain road section from the start of braking, to the end of acceleration. This will be true for all vehicles forced to stop or slow. The same principle applies to all vehicles if the stored energy has to be wasted through the brakes.
I have recently heard that all new or improved major roads in
Lancashire must have roundabouts at all junctions with less than 1 km
vision in both directions. The roundabout recently constructed on the
A59 near Clitheroe is so tight for Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs), that it
will reduce speed to under 20 Kph for vehicles traveling up grade. It is
also guaranteed to increase congestion, therefore using extra fuel.
Even though the road is dual carriageway, the roundabout has only one
true lane through it, unless everyone drives a Nissan Micra. If anyone had deliberately set out to design a death trap for
cyclists, it is doubtful whether they could have made a better job of
Before the new roundabouts were installed on the A59 on summer evenings the local Clarion Club ran Time Trials from the big roundabout at Bramley Meade up the hill to the Clitheroe Pendle Road junction and back, they stopped after the first roundabout was built at the Golf Club exit.
Miles per Gallon is not a true measure of fuel consumption. The true measure is grams per kilowatt hour, as used by transport engine manufacturers. The total amount of time under power is the factor which determines Mpg. Almost all internal combustion engines are most efficient at or near full load. This is because the heat lost through cooling and the exhaust ( 70% average ) is almost constant under any load condition. Its a bit like trying to fetch water in a bucket with a significant hole in the bottom, the longer it takes you to get from the well the less you have left to make use of at your intended destination !
Lancashire County Council and Lancaster City Council politicians were on local TV this week congratulating themselves on the partial opening of the new Morecambe Bay Gateway by-pass to alleiviate traffic congestion for especially HGV Heysham Port Traffic. The TV didn't show much of the new road though, but it would appear that the bent bastards have kept the original 20 Mph max curve junction off the M6 and wasted Squillions on a new bridge over the River Lune when the obvious thing to do was to make a new junction up the hill towards Carnforth.
Said new junction could have costly environmental impact studies regarding the river, and they did promise to to plant 20 new probably diseased ( to blame on Global Warming ) imported new trees for every mature tree cut down, and why do we still tolerate these university boffin parasites when UK kids go hungry, care of our sick and elderly are neglected !
I rode ode shotgun to Carlisle & back on Wednesday, not a breath of wind yet three wind turbines next to ( and easy to be seen by motorway traffic ) zooming round as if in a near gale. It would appear that some Wind Turbine and SolarPV Farm owners have got a diesel generator wired in series to milk the feed in tariff. Perhaps they are also using Orangutan Murdering biodiesel ( provided to them free ) the oil suppliers can't sell because if you use it in an old tractor it wont pull the skin off a traditional Lancashire home made rice pudding made with an ample knob of best butter !
I suppose that my suspicions about the integrity of Lancashire County
Council Environment Directorate ( as headed by Graham Harding ) policy were first raised in 1989 when
LCC decided to replace its long standing fleet of Ford D-Series 13 ton
gross short wheelbase drop side tippers with 3.5 ton gross twin wheel
Transit van based tippers. The old Ford’s did need replacing and they
already had a few later model Cargo SWB 13 ton tippers already and the
logical thing to do would have been to replace like for like, said SWB
tippers would carry an 8 ton load and were really useful tools for the
work the council did.
Jobs like collecting 8 tons of tarmac for hand lay jobs just enough for a gang to lay in a morning or afternoon as a repair to the side of a minor road before the whole road was resurfaced with cheap yet effective tar spray and blue metamorphic grit-stone chippings, which the 8 ton tipper collected from the strategic chipping dumps around the area at that time. The same principle applied to footpaths, load of 20mm bit base course in the morning, back to the local quarry for 6mm dense bit for the surface in the afternoon, they also had a few Massey Ferguson 135 tractors pulling tipping trailers for short trip small jobs with a bucket on the front to load the chippings from the once many strategic roadside dumps onto the 8 tonners in the summer season and any muck shifting jobs throughout the year.
I expect that most people were glad to see the back of the tractors
which were a menace travelling to their jobs in a morning and then back
at late afternoon, and all the LCC drivers could see the Transit policy
was lunacy when they had to tip off to be legal after loading the
minimum 1.5 ton batch out of No1 and 3 under the tar plant at
Perhaps nobody complained too much because they were
still getting HGV driving rates of pay although they probably lost the
unofficial perk of getting a few quid for any tar left over from someone
who could make use of it instead of taking it to the tip. The result
was that all the old county 8 ton tipper work was given to the quarry
and LCC had to pay the minimum haulage rate for 10 tons for most jobs
which eventually led to private contractors getting most of the council
work because they used at least 7.5 ton no HGV tippers which could carry
4 tons. Another possible alleged unintended consequence was that it
gave Ford the excuse they needed to close its Langley truck plant and
sell the land close to Heathrow as part of its collaboration with IVECO
and take all the Cargo tools to the US and build it there and sell it
successfully for many years after.
It would appear that LCC are now paying the Quarry for a minimum perhaps 20 ton load of tar, plus alleged £50 an hour to wait around all day and little wonder many of the Corporate Gravy Train Truckers all have spanking brand new imported wagons with sleeper cabs ?
Something similar happened to LDV as I was informed when I went on a
locally organised coach trip to the Motor Show around 1999 and got
talking to the old guy on the LDV stand then still selling the old 1970s
Leyland design Sherpa van. They had made some minor improvements like
using plastic for the bonnet instead of potentially rotting steel but
it was clear that its main Achilles heel was it 1900 Peugeot diesel
engine which had replaced the original BMC engine and made it well
underpowered by then standards. The heavier twin wheel derivative had a
Ford engine as used in its main competitor the Transit. They had
considered using a turbo version of the 1900 engine but their main
problem was that several big Labour controlled local authorities had
excluded them from tendering for fleet contracts because the Sherpa
didn’t have all the very latest safety bullshit like air side bags etc.
were basically forced to invest in a completely new design which
probably lost them the price competitiveness they once had, and perhaps
the significant small trader market they had didn’t like the new front
wheel drive design anyway so as soon as the new model went into
production they were basically trading insolvent.
They thought they were saved when a Russian oligarch stepped in and perhaps bought all their outstanding liabilities for £1 or something similar like in many cases, but the new design wasn’t selling and they closed down anyway. Meanwhile the oligarch had taken all the old tools to build the Sherpa to Russia and with a few minor mostly cosmetic to make it look more modern alterations and a new state of the art small powerful Cummins engine to successfully sell it Russian markets.
Skip back in time to 1991 when I was working at Ribble Clitheroe depot
which was under threat of closure in order for the site to be sold to
build posh houses but perhaps survived after I started because of the
simple things I did like checking the engine oil properly and topping up
with the correct amount instead of the previous practice of putting a
full gallon in whether it needed it or not. It was the same with the
cleaning and the guy in his fifties I worked with who showed me the
ropes and gave me the stiff inch thick short brush as standard issue
which was totally useless if you took any pride in your job however
I soon started using one of the soft short handled brushes the
part time day shift women alleged deep cleaners used and did a better
job quicker and easier and I’m pretty certain I even swept buses
theoretically already cleaned by him thinking they hadn’t been done
yet. It soon became obvious that the guy was angling for the depot to
close in order to get his long service redundancy and he always did his
level best to hinder the efficient operation of the depot as much as he
could get away with under the protection of the union even though his
son in law worked as a fitter in the garage.
The only decent guy there was the charge-hand fitter, another fitter ( the son in law ) they had was pretty gormless despite his paper qualifications and one night I saved the service next day when I electric welded a broken battery carrier on a National because he couldn’t weld. There was another fitter as well who had been a gas fitter in the army and retrained who was totally incompetent and often made more work than he solved yet he still kept his job, probably because the official depot engineer was originally a maintenance fitter in a carpet factory at Chorley and had no idea about automotive engineering either.
As usual I digress but getting back to the government subversion angle
around 1991 the then Tory government transport minister ( perhaps Ken
Clarke ) allowed local councils to install traffic calming measures
despite the fact that it broke all the original department of transport
rules as based on experience. However, it was Labour and Lib-Dem
controlled local authorities who were the most enthusiastic to take up
the new idea and none more so than Labour controlled Hyndburn as then
led by a now long dead quasi-religious socialist old guy from Gt
Harwood, likewise Blackburn and Burnley and there particularly in poor
Asian dominated areas.
Very soon after Hyndburn Corporation Transport
was in financial difficulties, and I was later informed that a brilliant
coach-builder in his 30s I knew well who worked at Ribble Blackburn
depot had been offered the job as chief coachbuilder at Hyndburn and
taken it only to quit two weeks later because he couldn’t cope with the
workload. Ribble had welcomed him back with open arms because he was
so good at his job but they were already having problems with the long
rear overhang on the National’s swiping keep left bollards even with
their best drivers when people first stepped out into the road before
bothering to look at junctions and they were forced to deviate from
Hyndburn Transport was particularly badly afflicted as all their fleet was coach built and wore out quick style as the new humps etc made the body flex so much so all the rivets soon worked lose and they were soon in dire straights. Despite being diametrically opposed to their theoretical socialist ideology the council were forced to sell out Hyndburn Transport for a pittance to Stagecoach complete with the big old original tram depot on a prime development site close to the town center and especially the railway station. Almost immediately Stagecoach closed down Hyndburn Transport and sold the depot which although in perfect condition and well suited to its original function was demolished and the land developed into a retail park, buses probably sold to Paul Sykes of Barnsley as scrap.
Blackburn Transport lasted considerably longer and they succumbed when
the fleet needed replacement at the end of its natural life and perhaps
difficulty getting spares even if they could have kept them longer, and
eventually Stagecoach even got Burnley & Pendle although by then the
Stagecoach group interests in Lancashire had been split into new
various subsidiaries in a restructuring.
There was a big fuss in the local paper at Blackburn when one of the new private operators diverted one of the long standing services to avoid one particular key road with traffic calming after they could no longer cover the cost of the damage caused by the humps to the low floor alleged disabled access buses. Apparently it left lots of older residents not that good at walking stranded and perhaps one subtle possible objective was to force them to move out from the home they owned outright into rented accommodation or even go into a private care home ?
Perhaps if it were not for the influx of Polish bus drivers services would have been disrupted by a driver shortage as drivers were being scapegoated for accidents with pedestrians in new town center layouts caused by the fact that it was impossible for the long wheelbase long front and rear overhang buses to negotiate the road without significantly impinging on the pavement. No problem for the Poles at they simply went home to avoid proceedings in what had by then become virtual Kangaroo courts as festered by media propaganda.
I don't expect to see anything about this on our local ,Granada Reports or particularly BBC North West Tonight local TV as I know from personal experience that their Key Transport & Environment reporter Dave Guest is as bent as a nine bob note. Furthermore its highly probable that any alleged stolen expensive posh car subsequently involved in a fatal accident had probably given their contract criminals the keys safe in the knowledge that they would get paid out on an insurance scam !
Perhaps Corporate Hit Men are sent to Private Prisons and allowed out to live the " Life of Riley " just so long as they are back in their cells in good time for probably know about well in advance Government Inspections ???