Council tax and budget in Barnet

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Eugenio Mastrov, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. I've just received a booklet from my local council,
    explaining in some detail why I should count myself lucky
    for paying more council tax this year, and all the exciting
    ways my money will be spent, including a special access fund
    for disabled budgerigars and the preservation of a piece of
    pavement S.T. Coleridge was sick over once (no, in case
    someone is wondering, I made these up: but it's revealing
    that you wondered for a second, isn't it?). I counted the
    times the word "cycling" and its derivatives appeared in the
    booklet, then I counted them again, just in case I'd made
    some mistake, but the result was still zero.

    Now, there is an email address at the end of the booklet,
    for "suggestions and questions", and I have 2 questions for
    the group:

    1) Is it worth it? I mean, is the mailbox symlinked to
    /dev/null, or is there a slight chance that a human
    being, or at least a councillor, will read my email?

    2) What kind of cycle-friendly initiatives/structures/road
    improvements are easiest to set up? My two personal
    favorites, speed bumps with integral landmines, and the
    weekly public flogging of bus drivers (not those guilty
    of something: all of them, on general principles) are
    apparently illegal or impractical in this country, and it
    appears the majority of cyclists find cycle lanes more a
    liability than an asset. What's left, then?

    Eugenio

    P.S. To all owners of disabled budgerigars: I didn't mean to
    offend you, it was just an example, and I admire your
    dedication and spirit of sacrifice. Honest.
     
    Tags:


  2. Have you read the latest issue of 'Barnet First'? There were
    several points within that made me want to SCREAM!

    I live in Brent (just - Barnet frontier is <1/4 mile, as is
    Harrow) so comments tend to go elsewhere.

    Jeremy Parker might have some ideas.

    Secure cycle parking and better traffic law enforcement
    would be a start...

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
  3. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "Eugenio Mastroviti" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > I've just received a booklet from my local council,
    > explaining in some detail why I should count myself lucky
    > for paying more council tax this year, and all the
    > exciting ways my money will be spent, including a special
    > access fund for disabled budgerigars and the preservation
    > of a piece of pavement S.T. Coleridge was sick over once
    > (no, in case someone is wondering, I made these up: but
    > it's revealing that you wondered for a second, isn't
    > it?). I counted the times the word "cycling" and its
    > derivatives appeared in the booklet, then I counted them
    > again, just in case I'd made some mistake, but the result
    > was still zero.
    >
    > Now, there is an email address at the end of the booklet,
    > for "suggestions and questions", and I have 2 questions
    > for the group:
    >
    > 1) Is it worth it? I mean, is the mailbox symlinked to
    > /dev/null, or is there a slight chance that a human
    > being, or at least a councillor, will read my email?

    Looks like Mike Freestone is your man: http://www.barnet.g-
    ov.uk/local_democracy/how_we_work/highways2.php3

    2) What kind of cycle-friendly initiatives/structures/road
    improvements are easiest to set up? My two personal
    favorites, speed bumps with integral landmines, and the
    weekly public flogging of bus drivers (not those guilty
    of something: all of them, on general principles) are
    apparently illegal or impractical in this country, and it
    appears the majority of cyclists find cycle lanes more a
    liability than an asset. What's left, then?

    20 mph zones, homezones, ASLs, off road cycle tracks, speed
    humps, cul de sacs open for cyclists, more Sheffield stand
    racks, more bus lanes, cutting dual carrigeways in half,
    better traffic light detector strips in the road, bike
    lockers at the station etc.

    --
    Simon Mason Anlaby East Yorkshire. 53°44'N 0°26'W
    http://www.simonmason.karoo.net
     
  4. "Simon Mason" <[email protected]>typed

    > 20 mph zones, homezones, ASLs, off road cycle tracks,
    > speed humps, cul de sacs open for cyclists, more Sheffield
    > stand racks, more bus lanes, cutting dual carrigeways in
    > half, better traffic light detector strips in the road,
    > bike lockers at the station etc.

    Barnet is busy tearing out speed humps...

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
  5. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "Helen Deborah Vecht" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Simon Mason" <[email protected]>typed
    >
    >
    > > 20 mph zones, homezones, ASLs, off road cycle tracks,
    > > speed humps, cul
    de
    > > sacs open for cyclists, more Sheffield stand racks, more
    > > bus lanes,
    cutting
    > > dual carrigeways in half, better traffic light detector
    > > strips in the
    road,
    > > bike lockers at the station etc.
    >
    > Barnet is busy tearing out speed humps...

    Oh dear :-( Hull City Council is now installing its 120th
    20 mph zone and residents want even more. Maybe the Merc
    driving middle classes have too much sway in Barnet
    council :)

    --
    Simon Mason Anlaby East Yorkshire. 53°44'N 0°26'W
    http://www.simonmason.karoo.net
     
  6. "Helen Deborah Vecht" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > "Simon Mason" <[email protected]>typed
    >
    >
    > > 20 mph zones, homezones, ASLs, off road cycle tracks,
    > > speed humps, cul
    de
    > > sacs open for cyclists, more Sheffield stand racks, more
    > > bus lanes,
    cutting
    > > dual carrigeways in half, better traffic light detector
    > > strips in the
    road,
    > > bike lockers at the station etc.
    >
    > Barnet is busy tearing out speed humps...
    >

    Good. I wish they'd take them out in Haringey too.

    Rich
     
  7. "Simon Mason" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    snip

    > and it appears the majority of cyclists find cycle lanes
    > more a liability than an asset. What's left, then?
    >
    > 20 mph zones, homezones, ASLs, off road cycle tracks,
    > speed humps,

    I don't agree that speed humps are useful for cyclists at
    all. They are quite literally a pain in the bum - and the
    spine, and the wrists. They are more unpleasant to go over
    on a bike than in a car. As a cyclist, I hate them, as a
    driver, I merely detest them. In a car it is no effort to
    speed up and slow down as required, as a cyclist it is. As a
    cyclist I get held up behind cars approaching bumps and
    harassed by them immediately after as they want to
    accelerate quickly before the next bump comes. And all for
    what? Just extra pollution and noise in most cases. They
    certainly don't do anything useful in my residential area,
    where the main limiting factor on speed is two-way traffic
    and a road that is too narrow for cars to pass in both
    directions without pausing for gaps between parked cars.

    Having just received my council tax bill for this year, if
    there was any chance of saving any money by voting for
    someone who pledged not to spend one more penny on such
    'traffic calming' measures I'd gladly do it.

    Rich
     
  8. Richard Goodman wrote:

    > Good. I wish they'd take them out in Haringey too.
    >
    > Rich

    Likewise in Lewisham. There's a road I use sometimes in New
    Cross Gate which is beautifully surfaced and avoids the A2,
    but is clearly being used as a rat run, as on Monday I went
    hurtling down it as usual only to be launched skywards by a
    kerb-to-kerb Lump. Bah!

    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  9. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "Simon Brooke" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:nutji1-b
    > Face it, if your council is spending zero on cycling, this
    > is an unqualified Good Thing. Council-built cycling
    > 'facilities' are at best neutral, and many are actively
    > dangerous.

    It depends. Hull is now only behind Oxbridge as a "cycle
    city". The fairies did not wave a magic wand to make this
    happen. Our council spent millions on cycling and now 11.5
    % commute by bike as against 2% average. I for one am
    grateful they did.

    --
    Simon Mason Anlaby East Yorkshire. 53°44'N 0°26'W
    http://www.simonmason.karoo.net
     
  10. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "Richard Goodman" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > > and it appears the majority of cyclists find cycle lanes
    > > more a liability than an asset. What's left, then?
    > >
    > > 20 mph zones, homezones, ASLs, off road cycle tracks,
    > > speed humps,
    >
    > I don't agree that speed humps are useful for cyclists at
    > all. They are quite literally a pain in the bum - and the
    > spine, and the wrists. They
    are
    > more unpleasant to go over on a bike than in a car. As a
    > cyclist, I hate them, as a driver, I merely detest them.
    > In a car it is no effort to
    speed
    > up and slow down as required, as a cyclist it is. As a
    > cyclist I get
    held
    > up behind cars approaching bumps and harassed by them
    > immediately after as they want to accelerate quickly
    > before the next bump comes. And all for what? Just extra
    > pollution and noise in most cases. They certainly don't do
    > anything useful in my residential area, where the main
    > limiting factor
    on
    > speed is two-way traffic and a road that is too narrow for
    > cars to pass in both directions without pausing for gaps
    > between parked cars.

    Depends on their design -ours specifically have cut outs
    for cycles and I'd rather be hit by a car doing 20 mph than
    40 mph. The more the merrier I say. They've changed our
    city for the better - our ped and cyclist injury rates have
    been slashed dramatically and are at an all time low even
    given the increase in traffic.

    --
    Simon Mason Anlaby East Yorkshire. 53°44'N 0°26'W
    http://www.simonmason.karoo.net Simon
     
  11. "Simon Mason" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...

    > Depends on their design -ours specifically have cut outs
    > for cycles.....

    The cutouts are usually where the road planners would
    like us to be rather than what is the safest road
    position to be in.

    I would avoid any road with humps even if meant going
    further as they are a menace to cyclists.
     
  12. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    "Richard Goodman" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...

    > I don't agree that speed humps are useful for cyclists at
    > all. They are quite literally a pain in the bum - and the
    > spine, and the wrists. They are more unpleasant to go over
    > on a bike than in a car. As a cyclist, I hate them, as a
    > driver, I merely detest them. In a car it is no effort to
    > speed up and slow down as required, as a cyclist it is. As
    > a cyclist I get held up behind cars approaching bumps and
    > harassed by them immediately after as they want to
    > accelerate quickly before the next bump comes. And all for
    > what? Just extra pollution and noise in most cases. They
    > certainly don't do anything useful in my residential area,
    > where the main limiting factor on speed is two-way traffic
    > and a road that is too narrow for cars to pass in both
    > directions without pausing for gaps between parked cars.

    Furthermore, a significant minority of motorists ignore the
    speed bumps anyway and simply whack them at whatever speed
    they feel like doing at that moment. Presumably a number of
    them subsequently have mysterious accidents when their
    suspension unaccountably collapses in a bend.

    --
    Dave...
     
  13. Dave Kahn wrote:

    > Furthermore, a significant minority of motorists ignore
    > the speed bumps anyway and simply whack them at whatever
    > speed they feel like doing at that moment. Presumably a
    > number of them subsequently have mysterious accidents when
    > their suspension unaccountably collapses in a bend.

    Which are, of course, attributed to the existence of sp++d
    c+m+r+s...

    Not that they are likely to care, with their motorcars being
    presents from grateful employers.

    --

    Dave Larrington - http://www.legslarry.beerdrinkers.co.uk/
    ===========================================================
    Editor - British Human Power Club Newsletter
    http://www.bhpc.org.uk/
    ===========================================================
     
  14. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Simon Brooke wrote:
    > Face it, if your council is spending zero on cycling, this
    > is an unqualified Good Thing. Council-built cycling
    > 'facilities' are at best neutral, and many are actively
    > dangerous.

    ...Like the narrow green cycle lanes on the extreme outside
    of roundabouts. Barnet has some of these but I suppose it
    would cost money to get rid of them.

    ~PB
     
  15. In article <[email protected]>, Dave Kahn wrote:
    >
    >Furthermore, a significant minority of motorists ignore the
    >speed bumps anyway and simply whack them at whatever speed
    >they feel like doing at that moment. Presumably a number of
    >them subsequently have mysterious accidents when their
    >suspension unaccountably collapses in a bend.

    Round here the worst offenders take care to use big heavy
    vehicles with long suspension travel designed to travel over
    bigger bumps off-road without problems. Added bonus feature
    being scarier when deliberately driving at pedestrians or
    cyclists....
     
  16. Ah yes, Barnet, home of Brian Coleman, Cabinet Member for
    the Environment. That's transport, and parks (and their bike
    paths) and planning (and how to cross the North Circular
    Road at the Brent Cross/Cricklewood regeneration scheme). I
    wonder if Brian Coleman will influence his fellow Tory Steve
    Norris, Tory candidate for Mayor of London, and chair of the
    National Cycling Strategy Board. Small hope for influence
    the other way.

    What I said in my last letter to the Barnet Times, it made
    the Mar 11th issue, was that Barnet should put in enough
    bike racks at the E. Finchley tube station to match the
    great increase in cyclists using
    it.

    The worst thing Barnet has done is cancelling bike
    education. this is certainly a disaster, two disasters,
    actually, since it got canelled in two steps, adult
    education in the spring, and children's education in
    the autumn.

    Cancelling bike education might increase your council tax,
    not decrease it. Education has not been quite cancelled. The
    bike trainer will go round the schools giving road safety
    lectures. I think Banrnet has to pay for that, since
    classroom lectures are generally regarded as useless, so
    they can't get a subsidy. Proper bike education, however, is
    getting essentially unlimited subsidies now, from tranpsort
    for London, and Barnet won't get any of that.

    Nobody cares about bike education though. What's causing all
    the fuss is removing the bike lanes on the A1000, Finchley
    High Road. Hurrah!!!! I'm glad to see them go. The trouble
    is, I can't tell anyone why I think they are so bad. If I
    told Brian Coleman why I don't like bike lanes, he would
    immediately put them back, being the ultimate pro motorist.

    Jeremy Parker
    ---------------------------------

    "Helen Deborah Vecht" <[email protected]> wrote in
    message news:[email protected]...
    > Have you read the latest issue of 'Barnet First'?
    > There were
    several
    > points within that made me want to SCREAM!
    >
    > I live in Brent (just - Barnet frontier is <1/4 mile, as
    > is Harrow)
    so
    > comments tend to go elsewhere.
    >
    > Jeremy Parker might have some ideas.
    >
    > Secure cycle parking and better traffic law enforcement
    > would be a
    start...
    >
    > --
    > Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
  17. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pcurrant{remove_dried_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message news:<[email protected]>...
    > Simon Brooke wrote:
    > > Face it, if your council is spending zero on cycling,
    > > this is an unqualified Good Thing. Council-built cycling
    > > 'facilities' are at best neutral, and many are actively
    > > dangerous.
    >
    > ...Like the narrow green cycle lanes on the extreme
    > outside of roundabouts.

    Deathtraps for those who try to use them, provokers of
    motorist aggression for those who don't.

    --
    Dave...
     
  18. Simon Mason

    Simon Mason Guest

    "Dave Kahn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected].google.com...
    > "Pete Biggs" <pcurrant{remove_dried_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote
    > in message
    news:<[email protected]>...
    > > Simon Brooke wrote:
    > > > Face it, if your council is spending zero on cycling,
    > > > this is an unqualified Good Thing. Council-built
    > > > cycling 'facilities' are at best neutral, and many are
    > > > actively dangerous.
    > >
    > > ...Like the narrow green cycle lanes on the extreme
    > > outside of roundabouts.
    >
    > Deathtraps for those who try to use them, provokers of
    > motorist aggression for those who don't.

    I've never seen these - they sound lethal!

    --
    Simon Mason Anlaby East Yorkshire. 53°44'N 0°26'W
    http://www.simonmason.karoo.net
     
  19. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Simon Mason wrote:
    >> "Pete Biggs" <pcurrant{remove_dried_fruit}@biggs.tc>
    >> wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    >>> Simon Brooke wrote:
    >>>> Face it, if your council is spending zero on cycling,
    >>>> this is an unqualified Good Thing. Council-built
    >>>> cycling 'facilities' are at best neutral, and many are
    >>>> actively dangerous.
    >>>
    >>> ...Like the narrow green cycle lanes on the extreme
    >>> outside of roundabouts.
    >>
    >> Deathtraps for those who try to use them, provokers of
    >> motorist aggression for those who don't.
    >
    > I've never seen these - they sound lethal!

    Must be the worst kind of cycling farcility of the lot.
    There's a small picture of a red one on this page:
    http://tinyurl.com/3ffqj

    Newer cycle lanes are green, and the roundabouts with them
    I've seen in Barnet are smaller, with narrower cycle lanes!
    It somehow seems even worse on the smaller roundabouts
    because the bends are tighter and the lane is *entirely* well-
    off the line that you would normally take, for any
    manoeuvre.

    ~PB
     
  20. "Simon Mason" <[email protected]>typed

    > "Dave Kahn" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    > news:[email protected]...
    > > "Pete Biggs" <pcurrant{remove_dried_fruit}@biggs.tc>
    > > wrote in message
    > news:<[email protected]>...
    > > > Simon Brooke wrote:
    > > > > Face it, if your council is spending zero on
    > > > > cycling, this is an unqualified Good Thing. Council-
    > > > > built cycling 'facilities' are at best neutral, and
    > > > > many are actively dangerous.
    > > >
    > > > ...Like the narrow green cycle lanes on the extreme
    > > > outside of roundabouts.
    > >
    > > Deathtraps for those who try to use them, provokers of
    > > motorist aggression for those who don't.

    > I've never seen these - they sound lethal!

    There is one about a mile from here (in LB Barnet). I can
    take a photo if you like.

    --
    Helen D. Vecht: [email protected] Edgware.
     
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