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Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

7 November 2014 - 8:37am
toomsie wrote:A company can try to kill competition by buying them up. It is a process that can never succeed. The more a big company buys off competition the more competition appears. It becomes so expensive for the big company to buy of smaller ones that it has to rise its prices thus becomes uncompetitive.

There generally aren't lots of smaller ones, just a few. And you don't need to buy them all up - just a couple. Once you have market share you can use various underhand techniques to put your competitors out of business or reduce their value so low the stockholders would fall over themselves to sell out.
Then of course there's price fixing. When you and your mates control most of the supply of something then a few words during a round of golf and it's all sorted.

Of course these sorts of things are regulated against - and with good reason.

Once you have more money than most countries there's not a lot you can't do. Corporations already apply far too much political pressure on our governments.
Folk are slowly waking up to the reality of what that actually means but personally I think it's almost too late.

Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

7 November 2014 - 8:31am
toomsie wrote:Good question. Safety and standardization can both be handled in the free market. Safety regulation do not have to be handled by government the free market does a good job without it the need for central control.

That's right. Because without intervention and the setup of the necessary bodies that overview this sort of stuff we'd definitely have seat belts, air bags, crush zones, safety cabins and there'd definitely be pressure to improve the safety of people outside the car as well as those in it.

The free market has time and time again been shown to not work. When it does work in the manner you claim it does so by doing the absolute minimum to get by.
Why would it work any differently? Ford don't make money by fitting expensive safety products to their cars, they make money by fitting the cheapest they can get away with - and without any control it turns out the cheapest is very cheap.

As for people buying the 'safest' car in a free market, that's been shown time and time again to be false. It's particularly false where the safety is those outside the car rather than in it.

Do you seriously believe we'd have safer lorries in London with all the extra tech they're being forced to fit if we left it to the lorry drivers to fork out for them or relied on the goodwill of the manufacturers to add several hundred £££'s worth of extras for free?

Feel free to believe in the utopia of unfettered capitalism without government control. IMO it barely works now so why anyone would think it'll get better is frankly a mystery.

Re: M324 Pedals - You couldn't make it up

7 November 2014 - 12:13am
A friend started on the clipless road and bought the shoes instore froom Evans and wanted to buy the pedals too but they didn't have them in stock at the time so I said pay instore and they'll post them out in a few days to home. He opted for the OEM version cause of the price once assured they came with cleats. A few day later the retail packaged pedals arrived at his home.

Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

6 November 2014 - 11:32pm
A company can try to kill competition by buying them up. It is a process that can never succeed. The more a big company buys off competition the more competition appears. It becomes so expensive for the big company to buy of smaller ones that it has to rise its prices thus becomes uncompetitive.

The banks cannot destroy bitcoins( potential competition) by buying them all up, or the bitcoin minors. It will only create deflation in the currency and more investors would hold onto the currency in the hope that they can sell it to the banks at inflated prices some investors might even enter the bitcoin market to do the same thing.

Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

6 November 2014 - 11:13pm
toomsie wrote:kwackers wrote:And who makes sure these cars are safe? Who makes sure they all have standard features rather than arbitrary indicators or lights?

The idea that we'll all be better off because you as a consumer has a choice (albeit a limited choice) is frankly nonsense - why do you think we created the monopolies and mergers commission in 1949?


Good question. Safety and standardization can both be handled in the free market. Safety regulation do not have to be handled by government the free market does a good job without it the need for central control.
In a free market, there can be independent safety inspectors. If you are willing to buy a safe car, you can buy one that has been inspected by one of those companies. A safety inspection company, has an incentive to do a good job , or lose out to a competing safety inspection company. If a car ends up being dangerous that has been certified good, the CEO, owners can be sued by the shareholders and victims. You can even bet that competing safety inspection companies are willing to point out flows in another company inspection for obvious reasons. Who do you think checks that the government’s safety inspection is good, its a law until itself.
Car insurance companies do a good job to incentivize folk to be safe. In most cases they will not insure dangerous vehicles or people who are too much of a liability. I guess this also can include cars with non standard lights.
Standardization has already worked in the free market. HTTP(Hyper Text Terminal Protocol) is not a standard that is enforced by law. But in order for your web servers to communicate with others it needs to communicate in HTTP, your free to use any protocol you choose or build yourself however.
Monopolies in a free market can only happen if the CUSTOMER is happy with the product or service relative to the competition. If everyone buys iphone and not other phones such as Android, it only means customers are happy to buy an iphone.
There was a company who was a monopoly in aluminium production. They used to overcharge for their aluminium. But companies that use aluminium started to find cheaper substitutes. Coca-Cola, started to use glass bottle instead of aluminium. As a result the market forced the aluminium company to reduce its prices to a more acceptable amount.
A government is a monopoly. So how can it create an act that prevent a monopoly, which it is. A monopoly in force. Forces you to pay for products that you do not want or need.

Re: The financial cost/loss of UK Road incidents £15Billion

6 November 2014 - 11:07pm
kwackers wrote:toomsie wrote:When I bought a smart phone last month, I wanted a very good phone for very little money. Most folk said get an Iphone. Looking back at it, it was a good move, I don’t think there is much chance that evil corporation like Blackberry will have the power to manipulate me, or less intelligent folk to buy a Blackberry phone.

And in the meantime the government - oh wait, sorry - Europe have forced the service provider for your phone to lower charges - several times.

How about cars, I bought a Ford focus Mk2 because I see so many on the roads. Guess what, they have the best reviews and very good value. There are even online review comparing old cars to new.

And who makes sure these cars are safe? Who makes sure they all have standard features rather than arbitrary indicators or lights?

There's a entire raft of things that government 'meddling' prevents and when that fails European meddling steps in.
As big corporations become the norm we need more not less protection from them. The idea that we'll all be better off because you as a consumer has a choice (albeit a limited choice) is frankly nonsense - why do you think we created the monopolies and mergers commission in 1949?
Even back then we were enlightened enough to know that given free reign corporations want to control your choice by buying up and removing competitors and setting the price, quality, features etc of the product you buy with nothing other than a view to extracting as much cash from you as possible.

Whatever you think, removing controls and restrictions from companies and corporations isn't a good thing. It leaves them free to fulfil their prime directive - extracting cash from you. That the Conservatives do this under the banner of 'growth' is disingenuous at best since it's predominantly growth for the top percentile while the rest of us pay the price and stagnate.

Re: Acceptable overtake?

6 November 2014 - 11:00pm
Of course it'sa dodgy overtake. The 3rd car has met the oncoming vehicle before he has fully returned to his own side of tthe road. There would possibly have been a clash of wing mirrors if the oncoming driver had not moved to the very LH edge of the road. And probably braked/slowed down.

Re: Reporting some horrible driving

6 November 2014 - 10:52pm
Always worth reporting, i do ... often get the response that they have spoken to the driver, or reminded their drivers in general of their responsibilities.... whether it is true or not is unknown... but at least it lets the transport manager or whoever is in charge, know that the public are watching their drivers....
I also contact and report particularly courteous driving.

Re: Acceptable overtake?

6 November 2014 - 7:26pm
LollyKat wrote:stork wrote:They've reviewed it again and come back with a response which is slightly less supportive of the driver (describing the overtake as a 'bit tight'). I agree that the danger here was less to me than to the oncoming vehicle.
But if they had collided, even if only a glancing blow, the chances are that one would have spun into your path.

Which is the entire point of the matter. With overtaking into oncoming traffic you're always worried the driver will panic and yank the wheel to the left to avoid a head on and if you're alongside at the time..

Re: Aggressive Camden Council Driver – Worth Reporting?

6 November 2014 - 5:57pm
I would say yes (reporting it to the council, not Police).

And when reporting it, say how they clearly have not trained their drivers to be aware of cycling practices, etc. and encourage them to start a training program for all council drivers ensuring they are all aware of how cyclists are meant to ride, the issues facing cyclists, etc.

Ian

Re: Claiming compensation after being knocked off your bike

6 November 2014 - 5:30pm
In 2005 a motorist opened a door on me. I contacted the CTC solicitors and they eagerly took on the case. They immediately predicted they'd get me £1000, and about a year later I got exactly that amount.

In 2012 I had an incident where a demented Porsche driver got out of his car and rushed back to rant at me and pushed me off my bike while I was stood over it listening to him. I grazed my knee. Unfortunately for him there were witnesses and he was eventually cautioned for assault.

However, when I contacted the CTC to pursue a claim the CTC's firm of solicitors told me new rules had recently come in and minor cases were not worth taking up like they used to be. Apparently there are new government rules designed to avoid litigation in minor cases.

Re: Aggressive Camden Council Driver – Worth Reporting?

6 November 2014 - 5:30pm
Slow Loris wrote:Are there any forum members here involved with Camden council, or Camden LCC?

I am with Camden CC. I'll check who's the best person to send it to.

Re: Reporting some horrible driving

6 November 2014 - 5:15pm
It might be worth reporting to Roadsafe London. From the little I know, they do seem to hand out warnings for poor driving.
I only know this from watching near misses of cyclists on youtube and their responses from Roadsafe.
Wish we had similar in Manchester.

Re: Aggressive Camden Council Driver – Worth Reporting?

6 November 2014 - 4:16pm
Slow Loris wrote:I've noted his numberplate but am unsure which department to contact. Any thoughts?
Call 020 7974 4444 (8am-6pm Monday-Friday) and explain the problem and see who they suggest.

In general, the answer to "Worth Reporting?" is almost always "Yes". The only company OTTOMH that I wouldn't bother with is Addison Lee and even then I might go to the police if it was bad enough.

Re: I Hate Virgin Trains

6 November 2014 - 4:04pm
Flinders wrote:However, it gets a bit windy and rainy and their cancelled. I mean trains are really feckin heavy. How does a blustery day cancel a train?

I can't stand Virgin either. But leaves on the line are a real problem. They grind up under successive train wheels into a paste which acts like grease on the line, making it lethal - a bit like having grease on your rims if you have caliper brakes. Trains have long stopping distances at the best of times. The solutions are running special trains with equipment to clear the leaves and/or cutting back or cutting down trees and shrubs close to lines.
Wind certainly might affect the lighter multiple units if there was a strong cross wind, especially on bridges. I think a train once derailed on the long bridge over Morecambe Bay due to a strong cross wind. Going back further, one of the contributory causes of the fall of the Tay Bridge complete with an entire train (no survivors) was strong cross winds.

Strong wind can be an issue for overhead wires, which remain a major cause of train delays on overhead electrified lines. There are a few exposed locations that need careful management in strong winds - two passing trains side-swiped in strong winds on a viaduct near Newcastle a while back, which was nearly a serious incident.

A combination of strong wind and rain in autumn can bring a large number of wet leaves down in a hurry and cause a leaves-on-the-line problem in places that wouldn't normally justify special measures to counteract it. Wet leaves are the worst kind for trains. On my line in leafy S Bucks/SW Herts, as well as actively controlling the vegetation, they also regularly spread glue-sand-mix and have a special train to do it, but heavy rain can wash it off. Whilst the braking is an important issue, another big problem is that a wodge of squished leaves can build up in front of a non-driving wheel, which then slides rather than rolling, which wears a flat in the wheel surface if it slides too far. When that wheel, now non-round, starts rolling again, it is damaging, noisy and uncomfortable.

Re: M324 Pedals - You couldn't make it up

6 November 2014 - 3:53pm
Check if they come with cleats. You may find the OE ones don't & the retail ones do (which is worth ~£9-10 retail).

OE ones are sold to companies cheaper & in bulk primarily for building bikes with so, if sold, can often be found for less than the wholesale price of the retail version to shift surplus stock..

Rick.

Re: Acceptable overtake?

6 November 2014 - 3:49pm
stork wrote:They've reviewed it again and come back with a response which is slightly less supportive of the driver (describing the overtake as a 'bit tight'). I agree that the danger here was less to me than to the oncoming vehicle.
But if they had collided, even if only a glancing blow, the chances are that one would have spun into your path.

Re: Acceptable overtake?

6 November 2014 - 2:23pm
stork wrote:They've reviewed it again and come back with a response which is slightly less supportive of the driver (describing the overtake as a 'bit tight'). I agree that the danger here was less to me than to the oncoming vehicle.

However, it's a perfect example of the low-level bad driving which, because it is so prevalent, and because enforcement resources are limited, just carries on. And it's this sort of thing which then leads to the perception that the roads are too dangerous to ride on.

I think it's right that police enforcement resources should be directed towards the worst driving, but that does leave open the question of how to improve standards across the board -- or how to improve people's perception of cyclist safety.

This particular road is a good candidate for centre-line removal to reduce speeds and perhaps to improve driver behaviour. It was a 40mph road until a few years ago, despite being in a residential area and forming part of a significant route to two local schools. Even now, speeds are often well above 30mph, and it's pretty unpleasant to walk along the narrow pavement. At the time of day when I ride this road, every car which overtakes me then has to join the back of a long queue to the traffic lights, and most cars along here are making regular journeys and will be aware of this. But still, 'must get past bike...' is the ruling sentiment here.
Good post - agree with all the sentiments here.

Re: Acceptable overtake?

6 November 2014 - 2:15pm
They've reviewed it again and come back with a response which is slightly less supportive of the driver (describing the overtake as a 'bit tight'). I agree that the danger here was less to me than to the oncoming vehicle.

However, it's a perfect example of the low-level bad driving which, because it is so prevalent, and because enforcement resources are limited, just carries on. And it's this sort of thing which then leads to the perception that the roads are too dangerous to ride on.

I think it's right that police enforcement resources should be directed towards the worst driving, but that does leave open the question of how to improve standards across the board -- or how to improve people's perception of cyclist safety.

This particular road is a good candidate for centre-line removal to reduce speeds and perhaps to improve driver behaviour. It was a 40mph road until a few years ago, despite being in a residential area and forming part of a significant route to two local schools. Even now, speeds are often well above 30mph, and it's pretty unpleasant to walk along the narrow pavement. At the time of day when I ride this road, every car which overtakes me then has to join the back of a long queue to the traffic lights, and most cars along here are making regular journeys and will be aware of this. But still, 'must get past bike...' is the ruling sentiment here.

Re: Acceptable overtake?

6 November 2014 - 1:53pm
https://twitter.com/mjray/status/530312008009527297 asks Norfolk and Suffolk Road Policing if they really think that overtake was safe.

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