United Kingdom

HS2, High Speed Line proposals (the 5th), just an opinion

High Speed Rail networkI’m all in favour of Birmingham to have greater access to the jewel of income that is London, but is it me that thinks this investment is only going to be utilised by those least in need? I could be wrong, but most jobs carried out by the 70 million or so occupants of the United Kingdom are fairly basic, or work ‘by hand’. So your average teenager is not likely to take the train to London only to work at MacDonalds, and even if you were able to get an office job, it will have to be very well paid in order to make enough money after travel expenses.

So hold on, keep open minded, the greater access to the capital could allow Northern/Midlands business owners to have more convenient and all important meetings, thus providing more work to employees. That’s a pretty desperate attempt to justify such an enormous cost to the TAX paying residents, perhaps put to better use elsewhere. May be it should be spent overhauling the Midlands, improving security and making Birmingham a more appealing place to live or work. More education to reduce accidental pregnancies (to protect unemployed numbers), better facilities to keep teenagers occupied and out of trouble and I’m guessing the £40 billion could go towards ‘prettying’ the place up a little. Who knows though, perhaps the average weather is just never going to make the place appealing, I’ve only been there a few times so I’m hardly in a position to perceive what’s best for the area.

Any massive investment by the TAX payer should naturally see some return, and after 4 previously failed attempts to have the HS2 project put in place, there must be some doubt by those that make decisions on behalf of us all. Wider roads make sense (not to say I’m in favour), because more drivers can populate the road, leading to more road TAX and less time spent on the road and more time spent in offices making money for everyone.

I think the most important aspect of life is to minimise commute time and increase quality time with the people closest to you, if you have them. Of course a high speed line will do this, but it will only benefit those who have made it enough, and if they have, surely they’d just move closer to their daily pot of money?

Utilising Council resources properly

Yet again I receive a leaflet from a local political party wishing to have feedback on the general condition of the town I live in. Whether it’s clean and tidy, if there are suspension damaging or even accident causing potholes and so on. For many years I’ve had a simple solution for this – most public highways have council paid staff and vehicles navigating them every day of virtually every week. In these vehicles there are two sitting and not having to do anything other than look out the window. Perhaps these eyes could be used to identify these public nuisances, if you hadn’t already guessed, I’m referring to dustbin men, or ‘Refuse Collectors’ which sounds respectable.

You may have a similar thought process to me, you don’t just consider the benefits to yourself of your own ideas, but also think of anyone that might object to them. In this case I can, that must be the Refuse Collectors themselves. In their shoes I might be angry if I heard of this proposal, after all, when I’m not sitting in the truck, I’m expected to wheel hundreds of very heavy loads over uneven ground for unloading. If it were me proposing this, I would talk to those people first – those that are most likely to object and those that I’m adding extra tasks too. I would hope they could see the benefit and know that it would prevent damage to their own personal vehicles. If they had children, removing a pothole could avoid a vehicle swerving to avoid them and knocking their own kid off a bike. It shouldn’t be necessary to reach out to the selfish characteristics hard-wired within us all, but invariably it’s the only way good ideas can be adopted.

Now, will these Refuse Collectors want extra pay for this extra duty? I would hope not to be honest, I would hope the satisfaction that they’re improving the highways for their fellow residents and drivers would be thanks enough. In this case, I would suggest they’re provided with technology that allows them to accurately record the location of potholes with ease. As I’ve never been on a Refuse Collecting Unit, may be they do have a duty while they’re in transit. In this event, I’m positive that some form of technology that can detect road defects, can be attached to the vehicle.

You might say, “why don’t you record potholes or anything else and report it to your local authority?’. A completely fair suggestion, I’m not going to claim I’m so busy I can’t afford the time to do this, because I probably can. But hopefully like yourself, when I reach my destination, my mind is distracted by the reason I went to the destination in the first place. I don’t have the memory or inclination to write down where I saw a public problem – perhaps when I see a defect, I should pull over, get a pen and paper out or my mobile phone, and make a recording of it. How many people are really going to do that though?

How did I think of this? If you’re reading this, you know it already. It’s because I don’t spend my time in a parliament building, as far away from real public life as possible. My opinion is that MP’s governing UK residents is equivalent to a Plumber telling an Electrician how to do their job. Anyway, just another opinion to be stored on the internet, sorry about that.