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Thursday, 22 August 2019

UK transport planning - post Brexit

For the past forty years, Europe's transport network has evolved on a spoke and hub basis for upgrades, new infrastructure and prioritisation. The hub is somewhere around Frankfurt, with a sort of Zone 1 extending to the Netherlands and Berlin. The rest of us are on the spokes. It's all part of a huge 'transport corridor' masterplan developed by the EU under the 'Tentec' badge. The UK has gone from Airstrip One to Euroroute E15.

The plan's corridors include road, rail and sea routes and it has led, as I have previously posted, to the absurdity of a container from China to Munich taking eleven days longer via Rotterdam or Hamburg than it would need to travel if transshipped at an Adriatic terminal. This is largely due to the route masterplan having been corrupted by the power of national interests rather than being designed on economic, or even ecological, grounds.

Thus the entire HS1 / HS2 concepts are integral parts of an EU transport masterplan, a masterplan that for forty years has set in steel, stone and concrete the EU hub and spoke network. It has less to do with reduced journey times or British economic or business interests than with forced Euro integration. As such, we must welcome the government review, which must now view the UK's transport planning from a fresh perspective.

AEP in the Telegraph cogently dissects why we must now do the same for ports - the predominance of Dover in truck movements, which have grown from 14% to around 30% of UK-EU trade since the early 1990s, has left us wide open to EU blockade (though AEP politely doesn't use that term). Saint Greta would deprecate the waste and pollution of (as AEP writes) trucking Scotch Whisky to a ferry at Dover rather than via a container from the Tyne.

Now that we're no longer under the boot-heel of the EU's transport planners, we can take pointless freight off the roads by better use of container ports, eliminate Romanian and Polish truckers with their dodgy LHD rigs by using ro-ro trailers (hauled by UK rigs on UK roads) and use the Chunnel for what it's meant - a thrumming artery for containerised freight, not a luxury passenger route for our bloated Gauleiters to shuttle back and forth from the Chancellery in Brussels. 

To our transport experts - I'm happy to be corrected on any of the above in the comments. 

29 comments:

JPM said...

As I understand it, there has never been any compulsion from the European Union re infrastructure projects.

No compulsion equals no boot heel.

Raedwald said...


"An estimated EUR 500 billion of financial investment is required for projects necessary for the implementation of the TEN-T in the current EU programming period, 2014 to 2020. By 2030, the completion of the TEN-T Core Network Corridors alone will require approximately EUR 750 billion worth of investments. The largest percentage of this amount will come from the national budgets of Member States. EU grants will form another significant contribution.

Further EU funds will be assigned to innovative financial instruments such as loans, guarantees and other risk bearing mechanisms. These instruments are specifically designed to draw private investment into commercially viable TEN-T projects by lowering project risk profiles and engendering confidence among private investors."

It's how the protection racket works - do what they want, or they will block, sabotage, undermine or bypass your own schemes.

Just 4 today for you JPM - the natives are getting restless.

Sackerson said...

Never seen rationing for trolls before! Though to be fair to JPM, he does more than mere trolling.

Mark said...

Massive burdens on national budgets. Massive deficits due to Euro. Left hand, right hand. Arse, elbow.

Can't see Fritz paying to finish all this.

Anonymous said...

I had a car damaged by a LHD trucker from Lithuania, and one of my sons had his car written off my a trucker from Spain, in both cases on a motorway with the trucker changing lanes when the car was alongside. If left to me, I'd ban LHD trucks from our roads entirely.

DiscoveredJoys said...

@ JPM

We'll only let you have some of your own money back if you spend it in ways we approve of.

Not compulsion 'at the end of an EU Army bayonet' perhaps but still being compelled to do things the EU way.

r_writes esq. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
r_writes esq. said...

To not realise that EU wide infrastructure projects are a reality, and that they are devoted to only one cause, namely the creation of the federation that might well be known as "Greater Germany" once it is too late, is somewhat crass.

It might not be compulsory, but it is damn close. The landowners are under constant siege, the politicians are coming in their pants at all that lovely taxpayers money that they can fritter, and the Brussels wonks can just sit back and watch, without any of it costing them a penny.

A brother in law of mine is a landowner and he was subjected to an EU "project"... The upshot was that neither he, nor his "town hall" were given anything until the project was complete. Building that network of E routes across Ireland broke the country, and it is a wonder to behold that fifteen years after the completion of the network, the roads are still mostly empty.

Indeed, I would say that these projects are not different in any respect to Hitler's "autobahn" network, more important for troop manoeuvres than for normal folk to go about their business.

As to whether any of this will be discussed or disputed during this "enquiry", I suspect is by the by, since this is really about persuading real Brexiteers That Boris is different to Treezon...

...Which he isn't.

wg said...

@JPM

It still remains one of my unanswered questions - this thing about power, money, and 'infrastructure' - as you put it.

Back in the early 2000s there was a lot of discussion on 'Regionalisation', and when the question was asked "Is regionalisation an EU requirement?" or "Was John Prescott imposing regionalisation to fall in line with the EU's NUTS scenario?" - I was told that these things weren't true.

It always seemed that we had this thing known as the Committee of the Regions, and yet they seemed not to do anything, cost nothing, and had absolutely no influence on anything. What was it for?

HS2 IS part of the EU integrationist planning machine (I could fall back on the old 'get our tanks there faster' routine; although, seeing France at present is food for thought)

I'm finding much amusement with the provincial lefties at present regarding HS2 - they are fighting furiously to hang on to their beloved EU, but are having to acknowledge that funds for regional rail are not available because it is all going on their precious EU's HS2.

John Brown said...

I’ve always thought that HS1 was designed by the EU so that our civil service could enjoy away-day jollies in Brussels restaurants and become pro EU, which is the way the EU works.

I’ve never understood why HS2 would not start from the same station as HS1 if it were meant to provide better rail communications for the Midlands and North. I also read that research in other countries, such as Spain, has shown that HS pulls business in towards the existing bigger centres.

Such high speeds, and consequently high fuel costs, will make the project very ungreen and the very high ticket prices will ensure that only those travelling at the expense of the taxpayer will be able to afford it.

HS is the train equivalent of Concorde, designed for the few and not the many, when what is needed is cheaper priced, higher capacity trains equivalent to the large wide bodied jets.

Perhaps instead of high speed tracks we need wider tracks (Brunel’s 7ft ¼”) ?

JPM said...

Nations are not compelled to introduce vaccination schemes or other beneficially-coordinated measures, but rational people recognise their benefits.

The UK is free to cancel HS2 as it always was, and its conception was little to do with the European Union.

But compulsion is an absolute, You either are or are not subject to it, and member nations of the European Union, on this point are not.

There is no boot heel upon them.

Yes, it may choose to spend some of the nominal one percent of GDP contributions in ways that right-wing governments might not in the respective countries.

Good on it.

Mark said...

I think the fuhrer's breitspurbahn is perhaps a better analogy. Certainly in the context of a flatulent vanity project by an empire in the process of coming apart before it's even been properly formed.

JPM said...

Even without the European Union, the countries of Europe would probably have come together to agree a coordinated transport strategy rather like this, as has happened in other parts of the globe.

Yes, point taken on the poor lambs, Raedwald, I'll make this my last.

jim said...

Don't be harsh on JPM, he prevents this blog becoming a monoculture, you need him.

As for whisky, the biggest European buyers are the French, so trucks via Dover makes perfect sense. Hotly pursued by the USA and India for which the big container ports are Tilbury, Felixstowe and Southampton, all err on roads down south. Not just any old port will do, the above three are popular for a reason. Container mix is important, some containers must truck to and from Rotterdam.

The market for freight seems pretty well balanced, the trade routes are as they have looked for a thousand years, whining that the wicked EU has choked us off is TBH a bit silly. Geography does not change just because we leave the EU, but sorting out the paperwork is our problem, we asked for it, we knew what we were getting into and now we must stop whining and face the consequences of Brexit.

r_writes esq. said...

".... now we must stop whining and face the consequences of Brexit."

Which mainly seem to have been created by those that would rather we stayed.

Fortunately the damage is not as great as it could have been, but we must watch for Boris now. If we take our eye off the ball for even a moment, in the blink of an eye, we will be back in.

It's coming down the track and it is coming fast.

What?

The Boris U turn...

This one is going to run and run.

Domo said...

Don't forget planning is handled by EU Regional Development Agencies.

I'd like planning permission for a container port in xyz

No, sorry not sorry.

Raedwald said...

jim

.. the trade routes are as they have looked for a thousand years ..

The problem is, that isn't actually the case. The pope banned catholic Europe from all trade in the 16th century - which dramatically altered our trade routes, and in place of the old routes we sought out new and alternative sources of goods and new markets across the oceans.

Between 1914 and 1918 and 1939 and 1945 these trade routes were also radically altered.

During all the other various wars - with Portugal, Spain, France, the Netherlands - and during periods of European internal strife when commerce was not secure, our ports, trade routes and imports / exports also changed.

It's just not rue to say that trade routes are certain and constant. rather, they have been, throughout history, in a constant state of flux. As they are again now. And each change has seen ports rise and fall, wax and wane.

This is just another stage in that cycle.

And yes, I value JPM as I value anyone who visits the site - but of necessity must curb his more abberant instincts to dominate the comment board ;)

jim said...

Interesting re the Pope banning trade, a reference to this would be good, always glad to learn.

Meanwhile I am pretty sure an ancient Roman administrator would look at the EU and UK road network and say 'we would do it like that'.

An interesting thread to watch is the Brexit Blame Game. Dear Ambrose's piece attempts to put the blame on the wicked old EU, purely as a deflection of blame away from the Tories (and the Telegraph). This will intensify as it become clear to everyone that there are no Brexit unicorns or Sunny Uplands. Amusing that the Telegraph and Mail encouraged the masses into the Brexit lark and the Mail was first into the backpedal position. Way to go.

Meanwhile r_writes esq has it right. Boris is almost certain to pivot. Whether off his own bat or at the behest of some very serious very grey men is not yet decided.

Boris vin Chaud said...

We should revert to the airport in the estuary plan. Must be possible to work that into the homework Frau Merkel set us for the next 30 days.

Mark said...

Who cares about blame? That's just asinine political theatre played out by a collection of gurning half wits.

A not unreasonable surmise is that the EU desperately wants to keep its milch cow and the British vichyites desperately (for reasons we have flogged to death here) want to be branded and milked.

Between them they have been driving things for three years with project fear at warp 10 and pretty well the whole lame stream media in tow.

Yet here we are on the verge of leaving without a deal.

It could be a plot of super-machiavelian subtlety and delicacy but applying occam's razor, them being a collection of mind numbingly stupid and incompetent political pygmies would seem more reasonable.

Are they actually trying to make some apparent "compromise" to justify another "last minute" extension?

All this is doing is diverting them from their real problems. Make me wonder if they know it's all turned to utter shite and they just want us to be drowned in it along with them.

Dave_G said...


The EU wrote the content of the WA and all the UK is currently doing is telling them, as we should have done when it was first revealed to us, that some aspects are not to our liking and that they need changing.

We now see Macron defending the original WA to put a 'face' on EU reluctance when, in reality, the EU will be happy to remove THAT part and leave the rest which will suddenly become acceptable to our Pols in the face of a no deal alternative. So, yes, the stitch up is coming together.

Prepare for a GE and mass media onslaught against TBP to secure our final betrayal. This aspect of the so-called renegotiation is certainly not going to be mentioned by the media until it is too late.

Raedwald said...

jim - yes, the Roman empire DID construct such a road network spanning their subject territory, although the centre of gravity was south of the EU's

Erm, QED I think.

Nigel said...

I am currently watching the tracking link for my new apple press on it's way from Latvia. I think your comments about Polish truckers and their dodgy LHD rigs is just a little wide of the mark. From the speed it has, so far, transited the Baltic states to finally arrive in Poland, I rather suspect that they use donkey carts.

RAC Esq. said...

@ Dave_G 15;50
I can well imagine them trying to palm us off with what you say there. Though does Boris want to be remembered as the PM who put Catweazle in number ten and made the Cons., unelectable for a generation.

Dave_G said...


@RAC - I don't think there's an iota of difference between any of the leaders or potential leaders. Bliar obviously relishes his position as alleged warmonger and has done rather nicely out of it financially thank you very much. May, Corbyn, Cameron etc have no qualms or concerns for their own reputation or that of the country. Morals are meaningless.

Similarly there's not an iota of difference between the parties ideologically when considering Brexit and/or Globalism - they all want it (although their 'front' may differ) and will all sacrifice whatever it takes to reach their goals.

Placing faith in a politician is abject idiocy of the first order. They have to prove themselves by their actions, not their rhetoric. We have history as examples and we've yet to see one (in our time) with morals let alone backbone.

John Brown said...

Dave_G @ 15:50 :

“Prepare for a GE and mass media onslaught against TBP to secure our final betrayal. This aspect of the so-called renegotiation is certainly not going to be mentioned by the media until it is too late.”

“Yes”, expect BJ to call an election before 31/10 in order to be able to campaign successfully for all the Brexit supporting votes “to prevent Labour or Lib Dems winning seats” and then to push through a version of the WA treaty, just as Mrs. May hoped to do by calling the 2017 GE.

The backstop will be renamed to fool the public into thinking we have left the EU and can terminate the transition period unilaterally.

Span Ows said...

Jim @ 14:52 "Meanwhile I am pretty sure an ancient Roman administrator would look at the EU and UK road network and say 'we would do it like that'."

As a supplement to Raedwald (16:32), if you read the previous posts on the matter plus actually 'read' this one, you'll note the emphasis on the 'pointless' extra SEA milage, the western half of the Mediterranean right round the Iberian peninsula and France...

JPM's tag team?

DeeDee99 said...

@ anonymous 08.50

The frequency of LHD HGVs sideswiping led the Highways Agency to give away Fresnel Lenses to truckers entering via Dover to improve their visibility. It resulted in a reduction in the accident rate, but the scheme was scrapped as a result of the Cameron/Clegg "austerity" policy.
http://www.trucknetuk.com/phpBB/viewtopic.php?t=30234

The other major problem with foreign HGVs, particularly from Eastern Europe, was their "interesting" interpretation of vehicle safety regulations.

anon2 said...

Yes, Dee Dee @ 07:38 --- "interesting" is right, if a little generous. Aggressive, arrogant, and plain nasty was my experience of their bullying when I was driving between Glasgow and Sheffield.