in a bit of a Victor Meldrew mood this morning ...
today is the day that the London congestion charge area is extended ...
as the news is wittering in the background the lady wife commented that some of her work colleagues are pleased about the extension
apparantly if you live in the extension zone you get to pay a fixed fee for the year ... which is much cheaper than paying each time you enter the zone ... fair enough ... only that means that millions more people can now freely drive around the zone ... how does that cut congestion exactly ?
it is also rumoured to be increasing in price to £13 !
other countries have tolls and they work ... because they are low in price ... they raise revenues ... they are fair
why does everything have to be a rip off in this country ... and look at the figures ... does the small drop in congestion really justify all the time delays to everyone ... the mass off traffic on the outskirts of the zone (try driving over Tower bridge and head for Islington) ... i don't believe it !!
i have lived in the same street for 16 years and i have watched the local council have a half hearted stab at the recycle issue
we have a plastic box that is emptied every fortnight ... which means it is over flowing by the time it is emptied ... they only take newspapers and magazines (no cardboard) ... and glass and tins ... (no plastic at all and no tetra containers) ... in five years of doing this scheme they haven't increased the frequency of collection or the size of the boxes
the plastic boxes are badly designed (the lids fly off in the slightest wind) ... if the paper gets wet they refuse to take it (why surely they are goign to pulp it?)... the bin men flip the lids (and the brick holding the lid on) onto my garden ... empty it and sling it back vaguely in the direction of my garden ... they often leave them in the street where in stormy weather they blow cheerfully all over the place
we live in a house and own a flat next door which we rent out ... we purchased large green euro bins a few years ago for both properties and we recycle as much as we can ... we compost all vegetable and food matter that we can ... all newspapers ... bottles ... jars and cans
recently the council replaced our green euro bins with smaller black 'chipped' black bins ... they hold 2-3 black bin liners of rubbish ... they refuse to take anything unless it is in a black bin liner and in the black bin
which means if you happen to have more rubbish one week you have to keep it until it can fit in the bin ... very hygienic ... you can't tie up card for instance and leave it by the bin you have to fit it all in a bin bag
we put large bin liners in the old green euro bins and collect plastic to recycle ... 3 months fills it ... then my only choice is to run it to the recycle dump myself ... a journey of 5.1 miles ... now i don't do maths but surely the amount of carbon emissions for a round trip of 10.2 miles offsets any gain by recycling my plastic containers
why can't my plastic be collected by the lorry that is driving past my house every week ... now what do they call them... oh yeah the rubbish lorry ... that collects ... rubbish ... that my taxes presumably still pay for ... if i can be responsible and make the effort to sort and gather my rubbish why can't my council do the same
we get it we really do ... too much waste ... too much packaging ... the environment ... stop it ... you are all bad ... we get it and we are doing things about it ... but before you start making up rules about what can go in the bins and providing smaller bins and refusing to collect stuff and be all smug in your offices and meetings ... try actually providing the facilities and services that are needed to create a better system
same principle over the congestion charge ... before you start lecturing and charging people and making life hell ... (you really can't un-invent the car) ... remove the excessive rip off parking charges ... remove yellow lines where they aren't needed ... make public transport cleaner easier cheaper ... make me want to leave my car behind because the alternative is more pleasant not because you make it illegal or difficult
if the people we pay and vote in to do these jobs start being more efficient and productive and set an example they might find less resistance to the schemes and plans to improve our lives and society
in the meantime sign this petition before the government implement another way to take money from us because someone had a bright idea a couple of years ago while having their morning coffee
anyway enough grumbling i have rubbish to sort