back to article BT will HATE us for this one weird 5G trick

I cycle in London. It halves my journey time to the office and being nicer than sweating on the tube lets me substitute muscles for my Oyster. It also gives me a chance to think. One of the things I think about is how much I hate buses . They don’t mix with bikes. Having something which weighs twelve tonnes share road space …

  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    I'm a cyclist myself but find these suggestions less than helpful. Want to make travel safer for all? Then you need to separate and prioritise the different flows as the Dutch have been doing for years and more recently the Danes in Copenhagen. Bad news: it usually means more street furniture to keep the flows apart.

    As for lights: my understanding is that Sodium lights are very efficient because they're single spectrum, which is why they're still being adopted for road lighting even though LEDs are much cheaper than they were. I'm not an expert in this field but I seem to recall an article on El Reg about them being rolled out in Canada as low power and low maintenance.

    1. Velv Silver badge
      Boffin

      Edinburgh's been rolling out LED streetlights for nearly two years.

      They're still trying to resolve problems in the different beam pattern and they had initial problems with the brightness level, but overall they appear to be good.

      1. Nifty

        So at a future date they'll be able to swap those LEDs for LiFi LEDs?

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Worcestershire has been rolling them out. You often get complaints about the brightness from houses near the lampost, but usually a quick back plate fixes that issue.

        So much better at night now. And I have no issues with many of them being turned off between say 1am and 5am.

        1. druck Silver badge
          FAIL

          LED street light fail

          We have 3 street lights near the house, and since they went LED the level of light is intolerable, and we've had to fit blackout curtains. They have also made the roads less safe at night for all users, as with the familiar orange street lighting you could tell if a vehicle was approaching while still around a corner, from the white light of the headlights, now the street lights are also white there is no extra warning.

          1. Roger Mew

            Re: LED street light fail

            That is down to the incompetence of the lighting people. Almost exact matching could be done, colour, light emission etc. Complain, and vociferously. There are actually laws about light intrusion to property in the UK, they will have to reduce the intensity or make a guard. I remember at Gold Hill in Gerrards Cross in the 1960's going up and painting the inside of the lens in thick black paint to protect the houses further down the hill. (Terrifying going up on the useless bit of kit on that steep hill, Ugh.0

      3. Halfmad

        Another benefit is LEDs tend to be more directional, less complaints from people who have streetlights outside their houses as few have any adaptions on them to block the light leaking towards houses.

        1. Roger Mew

          They have an easy option, paint the lens. They all have a lens cover in a plastic to protect them from idiot problems, a lens is relatively cheap, a lamp is not! So paint the lens!

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Paint can only remove (subtract) colors if the light already emits that part of the spectrum. They can't subtract a color that was never there to begin with. You can't really change the color of an LP sodium light because its emission spectrum is extremely narrow and on the warm (red) end at that.

    2. theModge

      Sodium Lights

      Come in two flavours: Low Pressure, which look orange and are a very narrow spectrum indeed. These are actually very efficient, much like LEDs, expect unlikely LEDs they're not available (because it can't be done at that frequency?) coated with a phosphor that re-emits on a broader, almost white spectrum. These give the classic street light look, which is almost black and white - your eyes can't make out colours with this little information and, very positively, your body isn't tricked into thinking it's day time because there is no blue in there spectrum.

      High Pressure sodium is more expensive and similar to other arc lamps - a bluish white. Also pretty efficient in terms of lumens / watt.

      As a cyclist in Birmingham, all I really want is for the council to fix the sodding pot holes: serving round them puts me in the way of things and they're easily big enough to have me off my bike

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Sodium Lights

        "As a cyclist in Birmingham, all I really want is for the council to fix the sodding pot holes: serving round them puts me in the way of things and they're easily big enough to have me off my bike"

        A few substantial damages/injury claims tend to make councils revise their liabilities. One Yorkshire council ended up paying out in excess of £30k to a cyclist who broke his arm and unsurprisingly the roads there are now very good.

        1. Locky Silver badge

          Re: Sodium Lights

          "One Yorkshire council ended up paying out in excess of £30k to a cyclist who broke his arm and unsurprisingly the roads there are now very good"

          I can guarantee that this wasn't in Leeds.....

          1. Kevil

            Re: Sodium Lights

            Seconded, the roads in Leeds are TERRIBLE.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sodium Lights

          I have a friend who is in the process of a similar claim... but he's looking at >£100k - damages + reduced earnings for life.

          Funnily enough, the pothole that caused the incident was filled very quickly afterwards.

      2. Gerry 3
        Thumb Down

        Re: Sodium Lights

        High Pressure Sodium certainly isn't bluish white. It's golden white, the 'Electric Sunshine' that's become the default throughout the UK.

        Low pressure sodium lighting is utterly vile - you can't see any colours (which makes it useless for CCTV) and it makes people seem ill because skin looks filthy. It's become a no-no, especially for residential and pedestrian areas.

        1. Roger Mew

          Re: Sodium Lights

          Having been an electrician and completed to my design a large street lighting system in 1967 controlled by electronics and also taught for one of the manufacturers as a teacher, think I can comment on the lighting. All these lamps were to get a high efficiency with available technology, which they did and well. SON, that is HP sodium improved its colour rendition over the years but was not exactly economic but was good for roads as the clarity was good, lamp life excellent and could replace the MBFU ghostly white from the late 30's almost like for like with a huge increase in usable light. The lamp though has a comparatively huge start up current, does not like low voltage and is expensive. The SOX, low pressure sodium, is extremely cheap to run, and has normally a long life but expensive to make and colour rendition is poor BUT does not cause night vision to deteriorate therefore very good for security lighting. There is no reason that LED cannot be construed to equate to a warmer light, they do not have to be cold white or blue etc. there are many available in shades of warmer white and there is no reason why as existing lamps fail or for that matter existing stocks used up, that an equivalent value and colour rendition and light output LED should not be available or used. I have for example several 6' fluorescent tubes that are not available here in France, so I shall use those up and then change to LED. I can get coolwhite, colour matching, white or warm white. Incidentally do not use "white" in home or office enviroment, use coolwhite or warm white.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Dutch have been doing for years and more recently the Danes in Copenhagen

      They did the Dutch thingie to Cambridge on Hill's road last year.

      Initially, there was a peasants revolt as it was a full redo after less than 2-3 years. The drivers revolted, the cyclists revolted - everyone.

      And funnily enough - it is actually good. The only problem - it is HALF done. While they put the Dutch style raised cycle lanes, they did not widen the road and did not narrow down the previously widened sidewalks (which were made to accommodate a rather useless and dangerous cycle lane 4-5 years before that).

      They want to do it elsewhere now and on every street they are trying to do it they are facing a new peasant's revolt in the form of a resident petition.

    4. Lord M4x

      Correct about the Dutch (lived there for a few years). The cycle lanes are off-limits to motorised traffic and instant death to wandering pedestrian tourists.

      Re the sodium lighting : nowhere near as energy efficient as LED, but the main problem is exactly the single spectrum light radiation. This only stimulates the retina at a (more or less) single frequency and contributes to a perceived colour blindness - distinguishing coloured signs is near impossible.

      1. the Kris

        Efficacy

        Other way around, LP sodium lamps are more efficient than any LED assembly (driver+actual led's) currently available at a reasonable price. On the other hand, LED's allow for a more directional lighting so you could get away with less lumen (and less watts) for the same road area.

    5. Karl H

      I agree, traffic separation is the answer

      What I can never work out in a crowded places like London is why do Taxi's get preferential treatment over private cars ? They're taking up the same amount of carriageway for transporting a similar amount of people.

      Yes someone is going to say about private cars needing parking space, but the key point still stands taxis take up approximately the same amount of carriage space per passenger when driving along as private cars.

      If I was Mayor of London, Transport Minister etc ( never going to happen ) I wouldn't allow taxis in bus lanes. Only buses, motorcyclists and cyclist should be allowed to use bus lanes , and the cyclists should really have their own lane.

      Now I'm waiting for all the "hate" comments from Taxi drivers.....

      1. auburnman

        Re: I agree, traffic separation is the answer

        It's an incentive for citizens to not own their own car. Ideally the best way of achieving this would be cheap & reliable taxis, but with the various interest groups keeping cab fares up this is probably the next best option. Ideally someone can do 95+ percent of their travel on foot/bus/tube, and very occasionally shell out for a taxi if they have an urgent journey, heavy shit to carry etc, and they still don't have to queue with the hoi polloi.

  2. Stuart 22

    Which London?

    Ahem, I cycle and use buses in a different city. A city where bus drivers are not perfect but Gods compared the the average black cab driver with whom one also shares those great wide cycle lanes which are confusingly marked as bus lanes as opposed to lanes marked for cycles which are only for very slim guttersnipes, one at a time.

    Indeed the larger the vehicle then generally the better the driver. The supermarket artics must be monsters to drive through my London but (apart from the build trade skips and tippers) are rather better than the average Addison-Lee.

    My buses are crowded and even though I may look older than my years don't get offered a seat by those bright young things. Indeed Boris' decision not to order more new buses is going to create a real crisis within a few years.

    Oh - could your London be north of the river? You know the place that has undergrounds and investment in even more. Down sarf a bus is a lifeline when you are not taking the bike. Otherwise it it is shank's pony or even "we apologise for ..." Southern.

    No, its not buses that are the problem. Its the car lanes that need to go!

    1. Graham Cobb

      Re: Which London?

      I like the idea of renaming "bus lanes" as "cycle lanes" (but still allowing buses and taxis to use them as guests). I wonder if the nudge unit have looked at that?

      1. Simon Rockman

        Re: Which London?

        Both.

        You are quite right, North and South London are completely different cycling experiences. And not just because the north is hilly and the south flat.

        I live in Finchley and work in Old St. But my girlfriend lives in Brixton.

        Simon

        1. Paul 195

          Re: Which London?

          Ahem. As a South Londoner (admittedly I don't live there anymore as it's far too expensive now), I can promise you plenty of hills south of the river. Like Shooters Hill in Blackheath.

      2. Gerry 3
        Alert

        Re: Bus AND Cycle Lanes

        It's already been done, there's a bus and cycle lane at St. George's Circus in south London.

        Unfortunately a Boris Bus 'nudged' a cyclist there recently...

        1. Simon Rockman

          Re: Bus AND Cycle Lanes

          I know that stretch. It's part of my commute and it's great. You can deliberately cycle slowly to annoy the buses.

          Did I mention that I hate buses?

          The court date for my altercation with a Metroline Number 4 is set for the middle of December.

    2. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Larger vehicles

      Unfortunately, large trucks are notorious for squashing London cyclists dead, breaking the pattern of careful drivers of large vehicles. I gather that steps may be taken. And some of the fault is with cyclists getting too close to large trucks.

      However, London had buses before it had bicycles. Well, stagecoaches anyway. So if the combination is foolish, then, the buses were around first.

    3. ATG

      Re: Which London?

      I'm still getting my head around empty pavements - uhm... where???

  3. abedarts

    Declutter!

    I agree wholeheartedly with anything that declutters our urban landscapes. The problem is town hall planners; they never have a meeting on a Friday afternoon that goes 'Thats it, we've got enough signs and lines and traffic management blight everywhere, we can all quit now.' Oh no indeed, they keep on adding new stuff every week making it harder and harder to walk down the pavement or drive down the road, and a good deal harder to enjoy the beauty of our villages, towns and cities.

    If this gives quicker, more reliable mobile broadband too, that's icing on the cake.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Declutter!

      And don't forget the trees... They can be pulled up, and put on the top of the street light... From above London could look like the Amazon rain forest!

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Declutter!

      "Oh no indeed, they keep on adding new stuff every week "

      That's to keep the lawyers at bay. Not signed sufficiently? Accident? Profit!

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: Declutter!

        But can't that backfire as well? TOO MANY signs results in confusion, accident, profit?

  4. Gideon 1

    Buzzword fail

    "With 5G the world is looking at a MIMO – (multiple input multiple output) – which combines signals over lots of different frequencies to get more bandwidth."

    No, it means using the same frequency over different paths to get more bandwidth.

    1. Oh Matron!

      Re: Buzzword fail

      Came here to say that.

      I think he's confused MIMO (multiple antennas) with Orthogonal frequency-division multiplexing.

      1. tin 2

        Re: Buzzword fail

        I also came here to say that :)

        1. Hero Protagonist

          Re: Buzzword fail

          I came here for an argument

          1. scrubber

            Re: Buzzword fail

            No you didn't.

            1. Mephistro Silver badge
              Coffee/keyboard

              Re: Buzzword fail

              Ahhh, God bless the old MPFC show!!!

            2. Johnny Doe

              Re: Buzzword fail

              That's not an argument - that's contradiction!

            3. This post has been deleted by its author

            4. magickmark

              Re: Buzzword fail

              Yes you did!!

      2. MichaelHayes

        Re: Buzzword fail

        Indeed. *Carrier Aggregation* is the combination of different frequencies...

  5. Harry the Bastard

    i see what you are saying, but...

    ...i expect the reality will be...

    to trench and badly fill many more roads, then allow them to further degrade, increasing the misery of sunken, cracked, potholed roads ever further as rain, frost and traffic take their toll, in central london there are holes big/deep enough to damage cars let alone cyclists

    add more poles because sharing with other public/private entities is too complicated or seen as a revenue stream by desperate local councils

    or maybe we end up like much of the world where the streets are lined with dangly cables, and poor sods making a living up dodgy ladders maintaining them once we exit the eu and its pesky health and safety rules

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: i see what you are saying, but...

      You can't keep adding Poles, thanks to Brexit.

      Oh sorry that's wrong capitalisation and wrong thread, let me go back where I came from.

      (which is in London, actually)

  6. YetAnotherLocksmith

    Great plan, so it'll never happen

    This is brilliant, so in 15 years, when we've got Brexit put to bed & we've finally got those trade agreements sorted, and finally manage to invite a foreign firm back to the UK with cut-price Marmite, they'll insist we install it, so they don't have to put up with patchy 3g/4g that's 20 years behind.

    Of course, everywhere else will be on 6g by then...

  7. StuartFawcett

    And add in capability for IOT device data collection and you fix another problem for free - almost.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "capability for IOT device data collection and you fix another problem"

      The fix for IoT problems is a hammer.

      1. Karl H

        soon they'll have IoT hammers.

        I can't think of a good reason to have an IoT hammer, but someone, somewhere will make a 4G enable IoT hammer.

  8. Warm Braw Silver badge

    If you're looking for something to hang from a lamp post ...

    with a simple web page needing many hundreds of kilobytes of data there is a need for more bandwidth

    With a simple web page needing almost as many kilobytes of data as there are pixels on a screen, there is a need for an extensive culling of web "designers", pour encourager les autres.

    1. IanRS

      Re: If you're looking for something to hang from a lamp post ...

      But the beauty of this solution is you have plenty of posts to hang the web designers from too.

    2. Mephistro Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: If you're looking for something to hang from a lamp post ...

      Although I wholeheartedly agree with your post, this particular measure you propose would worsen the issues related to the shortage in IT professionals in the UK as discussed today in another of Elreg's fine articles.

      I reckon that a few months in a torture-education camp would suffice. Lamp posts should be reserved for repeated offenders only.

  9. Velv Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Great, you've solved the deepening problem of coverage in the already well covered city centres.

    Now what about the remaining 99.9% of the country. Are you seriously suggesting the phone companies are going to replace street lights in our villages never mind cover the currently unlit roads?

    1. defiler Silver badge

      Shoosht!

      London will be just fine.

      I SAID LONDON WILL BE JUST FINE!!

      1. Spanners Silver badge
        Pint

        Re: Shoosht!

        Stop subsidising the reclaimed swamp.

        Fit 5G, cycle lanes,serious public transportation systems and provide relocation subsidies to the true middle of the UK - Morecambe!

        1. defiler Silver badge

          Re: Shoosht!

          "Fit 5G, cycle lanes,serious public transportation systems and provide relocation subsidies to the true middle of the UK - Morecambe!"

          How Wise!

          ...

          Aww give me a smile at least - it's Friday!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @velv

      "Replace"? You mean you have street lights already? Luxury!

      1. magickmark

        Re: @velv

        "Replace"? You mean you have street lights already? Luxury!

        <Northern Accent> <Hovis Music>

        When I were a lad you had t' walk down street wi'h a match over your head, And if it were really dark you had to light it!

        </Northern Accent> </Hovis Music>

  10. Nick Kew Silver badge
    Flame

    Don't ghettoise cyclists.

    Pavement cycle lanes have a long history of being ill-considered, poorly implemented, and rather worse than useless. Not to mention much more dangerous than the roads, according to accident statistics. Please don't wish more of them on us!

    1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Don't ghettoise cyclists.

      Think yourself lucky that you don't live in a 'cycling city' like Bristol where the cyclists bomb along on the pavements at 30 mph and pedestrians have to dodge out of the way. Nobody does anything about it, because the police are chronically underfunded, and the cyclist mafia have such a hold on the city council that a campaign for safe cycling would be political suicide.

      1. Ray Foulkes

        Re: Don't ghettoise cyclists.

        carry large steel pole, held horizontally.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Don't ghettoise cyclists.

          They counter with steel poles held VERTICALLY. They have the weight AND the inertia. Cyclist will win every time AND they can uphold it in court since at least a vertical pipe that doesn't go above the cyclist's head wouldn't be in anyone's way.

  11. jason 7

    Well come to Norwich then...

    our deranged Council is putting cycle paths in all over the city...that no one uses. Just narrowing roads and causing massive confusion. People cannot be bothered to come into the city now but I don't think that's the level of 'urban preservation' they had in mind. It seems the Council just wants to get all the offices to close so they can turn them into student flats and rename Norwich the "UEA Super Campus".

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Well come to Norwich then...

      Two possibilities - the cycle lanes are really designed by petrol heads and designed to fail.

      Or 2 - never put down to malice anything that can be put down to stupidity.

      1. jason 7

        Re: Well come to Norwich then...

        Oh it's stupidity. Plain and simple. Labour/Green council you see.

        Ancient city with narrow lanes cannot handle two way traffic and cycles. Which do you keep? The traffic that allows commerce and makes money or the occasional foreign student on their bike?

        The Council thinks the student.

        1. Korev Silver badge
          Go

          Re: Well come to Norwich then...

          Over here (Basel, Switzerland) there are lots of one way streets that are open in both directions to cyclists. They work pretty well, no idea why they don't try it in the UK.

          1. David Nash Silver badge

            Re: Well come to Norwich then...

            "Over here (Basel, Switzerland) there are lots of one way streets that are open in both directions to cyclists. They work pretty well, no idea why they don't try it in the UK."

            There are quite a few of those in the City of London (the financial district). Not sure if there are in other parts of the city (lower-case "c").

            They are not bad except that pedestrians are never ready for a cyclist coming the "wrong" way.

        2. smartypants

          "Ancient City with Narrow Lanes"

          A bit like Amsterdam?

          http://www.treehugger.com/urban-design/when-it-comes-cycling-amsterdam-wasnt-always-amsterdam.html

          Sometimes you just have to ignore the people who say something isn't possible, because they're wrong.

          30% of journeys in Amsterdam are by bike now. In less enlightened places, it's nearer 2%.

          1. Charles 9 Silver badge

            Re: "Ancient City with Narrow Lanes"

            "Sometimes you just have to ignore the people who say something isn't possible, because they're wrong."

            Works the other way, too. Many times, you just have to ignore the people who say something IS possible because THEY'RE wrong.

            Simple question. How do you fit 13 eggs into a carton built for only 12 without breaking egg or carton?

      2. nijam

        Re: Well come to Norwich then...

        Milton Keynes (yes, stop laughing at the back) has excellent cycle lanes (through the new sections at least), *completely separate* from the roads. Only problem is that too many cyclists see it as their right and duty to obstruct other road users, and so decline to use the cycle lanes.

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Well come to Norwich then...

          Milton Keynes (yes, stop laughing at the back) has excellent cycle lanes

          This may be true but it has a fucking awful traffic system so there isn't that much benefit in having good bike lanes. And what about the roundabouts? I actually like roundabouts but Milton Keynes can teach you to hate them.

          1. Moeluk

            Re: Well come to Norwich then...

            You say that, but actually it's fantastic because it means there is always a way to get around a jam and everything can avoid everything else!

            I love it, and the cycle lanes and everything else about this place!

            Much better than Norwich. (and I say that as a person that is half Norwichish)

      3. 2+2=5 Silver badge

        Re: Well come to Norwich then...

        > Or 2 - never put down to malice anything that can be put down to stupidity.

        Never put down to malice anything that can be explained as desperately scrambling for a few crumbs of Government grant money in exchange for some cheap daubs of paint on the road or pavement.

    2. J. R. Hartley Silver badge

      Re: Well come to Norwich then...

      What's your view on the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre?

      1. Jan 0

        Re: Well come to Norwich then...

        > What's your view on the pedestrianisation of Norwich city centre?

        As Mahatma Gandhi said: " I think it might be a good idea". However, we've been waiting for its completion for over 50 years. (We have three streets that claim to be pedestrianised, but strangely manage to have cars and delivery vehicles on them all through the day.) If Venice can manage without cars, why not Norwich? Oh, is there really a shortage of handcarts in Norwich? Why not try load carrying bicycles?

        1. jason 7

          Re: Well come to Norwich then...

          "f Venice can manage without cars...."

          Have you ever been to Venice*? Doing anything other than wandering around as a tourist is a logistical nightmare. Whilst you do have the canals to get heavy stuff around, not everything is canal facing, However, I don't think we have the funds in Norwich to put canals in, plus the cyclists would complain. Venice doesn't also claim to be a standard city of offices and commerce. It's purely a tourist trap selling trinkets to US day trippers.

          Cities or towns need to state clearly their mission statement for the next 100 years.

          Either -

          1. We are going to become a heritage tourist location so commerce and industry best go away.

          or

          2. We are to be a centre for commerce and business development.

          So anyway...back in the real world.

          *been there twice for two weeks in total.

    3. magickmark

      Re: Well come to Norwich then...

      Somehow I had a feeling you were talking about Norwich before I got to the bottom (the heading helped)!!!

  12. johnfbw

    Empty pavements and buses

    I don't know where you live, but its obviously not rush hour in London. Every bus I see is crammed to bursting and the pavements aren't much better in central. The reason the pavements SEEM clear is when a mad capped cyclist is riding at speed along them swearing at people they tend to jump out of the way.

    Yes I do cycle to work (on the road) and I tend to have more problems with the taxis. They weave in and out of bus lanes cut everyone off, just to provide a chauffeur service to people who don't want to sully themselves with public transport

    I do like the idea of mobile phone companies sponsoring street lights, it might mean they actually get put in sensible places and fix when broken

    1. nijam

      Re: Empty pavements and buses

      Remember that public transport is a symptom, not a solution.

    2. james 68

      Re: Empty pavements and buses

      How about educating road users (cyclists included) as to the actual rules of the road.

      When I commute I chose to do so either by motorcycle or bicycle and I would like to point out that I have had many many issues with cyclists as they choose to cross lanes without looking even through oncoming traffic and their tendency to view stop lights as a novelty suggestion. Motorcyclists can be just as bad, lane changing without thought for traffic and giving it the beans to cross junctions as the lights switch to red or to take a turn at a junction when they obviously do not have the needed space to safely do so causing oncoming traffic to shit bricks. Cars, buses and lorrys etc have a bad tendency to ignore any vehicle which is smaller than theirs and will happily run them off the road.

      Every type of driver/rider has their mentally deficient asshats who ignore both the law and other forms of traffic. Educate them and ensure that they can no longer get away with it and the problem will be a long way towards a solution.

      1. theModge

        Re: Empty pavements and buses

        As a cyclist, pedestrian, driver of cars and quite often vans, you missed one:

        Sodding pedestrians. Especially around the uni (where I am an older PhD student). They're fecking mental I tell you. The A38 is NOT a country lane and the cars on it are doing a good solid 40mph whatever the signs say (unless it's rush hour, then they aspire to 4), so don't just womble across without looking and headphones in. How any of them survive to graduation beats me.

        1. Paul Shirley

          Re: Empty pavements and buses

          Sodding pedestrians survive because drivers are far too scared of what happens to insurance premiums if they don't survive...

      2. Blotto Bronze badge

        Re: Empty pavements and buses

        Can't agree more

        DVLA should be running adds on print tv, net and roadectronc signage promoting the rules and expected behaviour. Things like move over if your not over taking or mirror signal manoeuvre.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Empty pavements and buses

          People just respond with the digitus impudicus. The people have to be receptive to the law first. You can't enforce a law no one wants to obey; force the issue and eventually the people turn on you.. Look what happened with America's Prohibition.

  13. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Boffin

    A small point

    In the UK street lights are not run off a separately run power cable. They pick it up off the nearest building supply. They are triggered either by photocells or timers in each light, usually cell as they are a bit cheaper.

    1. Vinyl-Junkie
      Boffin

      Re: A small point

      I think it varies by area - we've had power cuts that have taken out the buildings but not the street lights, and vice versa; so clearly a whole different infrastructure. They all went off when our local substation underwent a Forceful Unplanned Catastrophic Kinetic Equipment Disassembly though!

      1. Charles 9 Silver badge

        Re: A small point

        Hmm...I've tended to know it as a Forceful Unplanned Catastrophic Kinetic Unraveling Point.

    2. Richard 45

      Re: A small point

      Not so. Streetlights are mainly run off a feeder post – this is where the electricity company's cabling terminates, allowing the council to run its own cabling from that point (often parallel to) to its streetlights.

  14. Richard 45

    Streetlights? What are they?

    Ah yes, something they only have in cities. Out here in the shires, the vast majority have been turned off because of budget cuts. Then again, it would be nice if we had 2G GSM around here, let alone 3G, 4G, or 5G.

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Streetlights? What are they?

      What is this 2G you write of? Cant even get a phone signal here - EE took over orange and then BT took over EE and it looks as if they've worked out a way of saving 20p in electricity by turning the signal down!

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Streetlights? What are they?

      You proles! We had a street light in our village, people used to come from, well, nowhere really, to come and bask in it's modern yellow glow!

      I've no idea why it was there, to light up the telephone box perhaps?

      We can also get 2G. Well, in first floor rooms on one side of the house anyway. Add that to the stonking 0.8Mb DSL and we're practically in the twenty first century!

      (I just checked on streetview, it's not there any more)

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Streetlights? What are they?

        You were lucky you had a streetlight, sheer luxury.*

        The village my parents live in has no street lights never did and the BT phone box which does have a light in it has a blown bulb. The mobile signal outside is patchy on some networks and non existent on others, inside go to the top of your house near a window and pray. Broadband does work but it ain't anywhere near fast, never mind though Brexit will fix all this.

        *with apologies to Monty Python, Tim Brooke Taylor et al.

        1. BongoJoe

          Re: Streetlights? What are they?

          You're lucky.

          We have one streetlight in our village and that's about a quarter of a mile from the phone box; which is due to be removed in a few weeks as no-one has made a call from it in years. Not surprising as it doesn't accept coins and no-one understands how these are supposed to work.

          We don't even get mobile coverage worrth speaking about apart from one bar of Vodaphone every now and then. No data unless one accidentally gets 'downwind' of EirComm over the water...

  15. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't have a problem with cyclists..

    .. after all, I come from a country where that is a major means of transport.

    It's the lycra I hate - some people should be banned from wearing it because it seems to affect blood flow to their brains. It inhibits any ability to realise that moving from perfectly usable cycling paths* to the main road IS going to lead to accidents, especially since wearing lycra seems to infuse the wearers with the assumption they are invincible and won't lose out in a collision with a car.

    Thus, they'll drive two or three wide - not that traffic rules allow it, but apparently traffic rules such as observing priority, properly indicating and stopping for red lights do not apply to lycra wearers either.

    So, please, stop the lycra.

    * In the nations set up for bike travel. I wouldn't count the UK amongst them - I have seen London and it seems suicidal, and that's before we mention the prevailing weather there :).

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: I don't have a problem with cyclists..

      It's better than nylon. Can you imagine the EM noise from 1.2 million sets of thighs rubbing against each other in a dynamodic symphony of cycling chaos if we had to go back to nylon? Still, it would probably reduce the need for street lighting, all those tiny blue sparks.

  16. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    A better solution might be to reduce the amount of data bandwidth. Then the pedestrians might watch where they're walking instead of being fixated by their phones.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Then the pedestrians might watch where they're walking instead of being fixated by their phones.

      I suspect the next phone "innovation" may be a third, 45º angled camera on the front, feeding live into the screen..

      1. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Just needs a series of lenses and mirrors built as an attachment that clips onto the phone and gives you a forward looking view from your existing camera. I expect someone will have it on Dragons Den soon looking to get £100,000 for a 1% stake.

    2. Charlie Clark Silver badge
      Coat

      Or, wait for Google to introduce "autonomous pedestrians".

      I'll get my coat even if I suspect there's some sense behind this: pedestrians are definitely the most reckless form of transport. After dogs, that is.

    3. Charles 9 Silver badge

      "A better solution might be to reduce the amount of data bandwidth. Then the pedestrians might watch where they're walking instead of being fixated by their phones."

      Opposite effect. They'll just be at it for longer waiting as things load piece by piece. You want the faster bandwidth so people finish faster.

  17. David Webb

    Money

    What the government could do instead is put a sort of tax on cycles, lets call it a road tax, we'll go with £10 a year, this will give the cyclist full access to all the roads in the UK (except motorways), they could then spend the money they get from this (which will be around £120 a year) on beer.

    1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

      Re: Money

      £10 a year would be uneconomic. This is why things like dog licences were scrapped.

      The economic arguments for not charging cyclists are that: they are generally healthier and thus require less maintenance for chronic conditions like obesity; they disproportionately reduce traffic, ie. the more of them you have the less you have to spend on roads.

      E-bikes have the opportunity to dramatically increase the use of bikes for commuting and they also offer great economic benefits because they're expensive to buy and require regular maintenance, ie. more bike shops with skilled employees. But for this to succeed will require significant investment in road planning and safety. Note that anytime someone starts talking about helmets they're trying to avoid difficult questions about planning for road safety.

      1. Blitheringeejit
        Coat

        "£10 a year would be uneconomic. This is why things like dog licences were scrapped."

        But that was in the days where payments had to be made by cheque, or in person at a post office. We now have a huge array of micro-payment platforms which make it very economic for organisations to take large volumes of small payments.

        Of course this depends on some kind of coherent IT implementation by HM Gov, which is a rare thing - but not totally impossible. At the risk of attracting major downvotery and a hail of rotten tomoatoes, I'll stick my neck out and say that I think they've done a half-decent job with the DVLA.

        Raincoat icon in anticipation of rotten-tomatoes --------------------------------------^

        1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: "£10 a year would be uneconomic. This is why things like dog licences were scrapped."

          We now have a huge array of micro-payment platforms…

          That may by fine when you've got something to sell but that wouldn't be the case here. The fee has to cover collection and enforcement.

          Let's do some maths: the UK has around 60 million people, most of whom don't regularly use a bike but let's assume they all cough up, then that's £600 million in potential revenue. Let's assume people are well behaved and you can collect it all, you're looking at around 30% for handling. Enforcement will be about as much which is going to leave you with, in an absurdly optimistic best case, £240 million. Now compare that to the amount that is spent annually on the roads funded by vehicle and fuel duty. It's a rounding error.

        2. Jan 0

          Huge Array?

          > We now have a huge array of micro-payment platforms

          If we have such a huge array, how come I can't browse an online tabloid without being deluged with advertisements?

          (OK, adblockers are available, but won't keep El Reg afloat.)

      2. thunderghast

        Re: Money

        This is a dog licence with the word "dog" crossed out and "bicycle" written in in crayon.

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Money

        "This is why things like dog licences were scrapped."

        And the problem with that has been the numerous fatal attacks we see from dangerous dogs. Trying to counter that by outlawing specific breeds has been an easily predictable failure so that now some regulation is being reintroduced with compulsory micro-chipping.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Money

          Which fighting/vicious dog owners will simply ignore. And if the law starts snooping, they'll either cut and run or let the dogs loose. What good is a fatal dog attack when the dog's found to have no chip and no way to trace it to its owner?

        2. Charlie Clark Silver badge

          Re: Money

          And the problem with that has been the numerous fatal attacks we see from dangerous dogs.

          I seem to remember that that issue was raised at the time only for the police to say that the owners of dangerous dogs generally didn't bother with licences: the fines were negligible and rarely enforced.

      4. Mario Becroft
        Thumb Up

        Re: Money

        I don't live in London (Auckland, New Zealand here) but we have the same problem of only a half-hearted attempt to make roads and footpaths friendly to all.

        Agree 100% especially re electric-assisted bikes and (my addition) novel transport modes such as electric-assisted foot-scooters (take a look e.g. at Israeli brand Inokim). These are the machines that have the potiential to revolutionise 'last mile' transit or replace cars entirely for short commutes.

        I applaud cyclists (used to commute 20km on one) but personally find it too scary sharing dual carriageways with fast moving trucks and cars that give no way for cyclists.

        I've noted that in some countries, it is commonplace for pedestrians, cyclists and riders of novel transport modes to share broad pedestrian/cycleways with no problems. Councils everywhere need to learn from this, and change by-laws and urban design to encourage the use of cycles and novel transport modes rather than designing around the car.

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Money

          "I've noted that in some countries, it is commonplace for pedestrians, cyclists and riders of novel transport modes to share broad pedestrian/cycleways with no problems."

          That's usually based on culture, though. If few people in the country have cars, then they may be more willing to share. I don't think the culture is compatible here. Too much distance traveling.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Money

      "put a sort of tax on cycles, lets call it a road tax"

      They'd also have to have some sort of identification to tie enable TPTB to check tax is paid, let's call them number plates.

      As a useful by-product we'd them have something of a handle to identify the very few (!) misbehaving cyclists.

      And whilst we're about it, how about compulsory insurance, cycling tests and cycling licences so that cyclists would be under the same sort of regulation as drivers.

      1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

        Re: Money

        They'd also have to have some sort of identification

        Switzerland, uniquely?, has such a system but the numbers are for insurance purposes only. So it's definitely doable.

        Anyway, why stop at cyclists? Why not also make pedestrians pay?

      2. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: Money

        "And whilst we're about it, how about compulsory insurance, cycling tests and cycling licences so that cyclists would be under the same sort of regulation as drivers."

        Why?

        Personally Ive had more accidents with other pedestrians than with cars or bikes... lets just say that anyone out in public needs to be identifiable, have insurance and pass a test before they are allowed out...

        1. 2+2=5 Silver badge
          Big Brother

          Re: Money

          > lets just say that anyone out in public needs to be identifiable

          But they already are.

      3. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

        Re: Money

        Since cyclists have negligible carbon footprint, their Road Fund tax is zero anyway. Sorry(notsorry)

      4. J.G.Harston Silver badge

        Re: Money

        Are *you* going to try and get a bill through Parliament to make it illegal for under-18s to ride bicycles?

        And £10 is too much. Vehicle tax (there's no such thing as road tax) is generally based on the amount of wear a vehicle places on the road, which is generally propotional to the cube of the vehicle weight. That means a bicycle licence would be something in the region of 2x10^-4 pence.

        Alternatively, as vehicle tax is moving towards, carbon dioxide emissions - so a bicycle licence would be in the region of 6x10^-8 pence.

    3. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Money

      "What the government could do instead is put a sort of tax on cycles, lets call it a road tax, "

      Oh god another one...

      I cant even bring myself to write a proper comment to this.

    4. David Nash Silver badge

      Re: Money

      "What the government could do instead is put a sort of tax on cycles, lets call it a road tax, we'll go with £10 a year, this will give the cyclist full access to all the roads in the UK (except motorways),"

      Would they not need to put a similar tax on cars and other road users? NB there is no UK "road tax", cars pay VED which as I understand it is linked to emissions.

    5. smartypants

      Re: Money

      If you're going to insist on road tax for cyclists, it would only be fair to place a road tax on cars too.

  18. Anonymous Blowhard

    Not that I wouldn't welcome 5G, but why does "a simple web page" need "many hundreds of kilobytes of data"?

    OK, there are a few use-cases where you need tons of Javascript to make the page work as desired, but most of this is advertising shit that I'm having to pay money, in the form of increased download limits on my broadband and mobile contracts, for.

    The excessive bloat of sites that expect you to have city-centre connectivity is part of the problem for rural internet users; maybe browser preferences that allowed you to get simpler pages depending on your connectivity would be nice?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Nine times out of ten, you just won't get anything. That's why WAP flopped.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Why does a website need hundreds of kilobytes?

      Because Marketing pretends its relevant.

  19. spegru

    Frequently Confused

    The writer thinks that data rates have driven a need for higher frequencies - not so

    All current mobile networks operate in the 800 & 1800Mhz bands and have done since almost the beginning of mobile.

    The major solution to increasing traffic including Data has been increasing frequency re-use - enabled by smaller cells and hence more towers (or lampposts)

    Some cells are now so small it's even possible to argue that modern mobile networks are actually fixed networks - with radios on the end!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Frequently Confused

      I came here to say that.

      Higher cell density is down to frequency re-use for the bandwidth requirements. Nothing to do with propagation.

      1. Karl H

        Re: Frequently Confused

        although to be fair higher frequencies don't propagate as well, so will need more base stations.

        900MHz 2G GSM is still useful in relatively unpopulated areas where its hard to justify the extra base stations that run at higher frequences.

  20. Richard 45

    Lampposts etc

    This article assumes the use of hollow, lampposts inside which the fibre and microcell can be installed. For the majority of cases in town and city centres, streetlights tend to be wall-mounted. Shrewsbury town centre is a good case in point. In suburban areas, it's common for streetlights to be mounted on the electricity company's wooden poles.

    1. David_H
      Flame

      Re: Lampposts etc

      If only! Ours are concrete posts complete with concrete cancer. The Parish Council don't want them, a majority of the parishioners don't want them, but because a few, vocal people want them, we will have to replace them at around £1200 (fitted) each.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Lampposts etc

        SOLID Concrete? I don't think so. Almost all of them (for weight issues if nothing else) have hollow cores, and you can fit the stuff in them in that case. As for wall-mounted setups, a little box right below the entry point will probably do.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The article is silly nonsense but the headline (current one) made me chuckle

  22. Dan Wilkie

    Come to Gosport in the sunny south, we have loads of cyclepaths and outside of the school run they're usually empty apart from me. Seemingly our cyclists prefer mixing with the cars and buses on the roads and inexplicably shun the cycle paths...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Same here. "I've paid my taxes, and if I want to cycle in the middle of the lane at 5MPH I bloody well will." They rarely* get nicked for it, so they don't care, until they get tipped off their exercise machine, and then they'll scream blue murder about how it's everyone's fault but theirs.

      *I did see the police recently stopping cyclists who sailed though red lights. Not sure if they got a ticket and points on their licence, or just a good bollocking. A good sign either way.

  23. Dwarf Silver badge

    Surely ...

    The point about a big heavy thing and a smaller thing not being in the same space applies equally to busses / lorries and bikes in the same way it does with a bike and a person.

    This is the reason that bikes were taken off the pavement in the first place, since having a piece of steel / plastic/ aluminium / carbon fibre inserted into you at 30mph can put a real downer on your day.

    There' are a couple of small problems with your plan

    • The footpaths are raised to prevent vehicles coming into that space
    • many places have large bollards to stop lorries parking on the pavement
    • There is always some hoarding for the current re-development that narrows it to half a person width
    • Dropped kerbs that make it difficult to walk along the pavement
    • The moron coming the other way with their head in their phone.
    • The kamikaze cyclist who slows for nothing

    I'd suggest that we connect EVERYONE up to some high voltage source where the ability to activate is controlled by near-field communications, that way the bike can zap the lorry / bus driver who is too close, the walker can do the same to the idiot on the bike that is screaming towards them or the person with their head up their mobile phone that is just about to walk into you.

    The other obvious way to solve this is to just do away with the commute, remote working is easy, the technologies are there, so it would reduce the amount of traffic in all forms, thus reducing the problem.

    1. Custard Fridge
      Flame

      Re: Surely ...

      Well typed Dwarf!

      Living and working in the Surrey Hills, as one does, means cyclists are everywhere now, especially at the weekends.

      A road, B road, single lane with passing spaces - all are blocked by cyclists who shouty-shout their way around and are mortified when you point out that Pelotons are pointless and illegal unless racing.

      Frankly I blame Boris for all of it. Mind you I blame Boris for most things at the moment.

      Get everyone home-working, and walking everywhere. Get the cycles off the pavements.

      Tax the cyclists using Oyster cards and use the money to get the cycle lanes working properly again.

      I know it's not really practical and everyone would ignore it anyway, but I will feel better as a result.

      And, no, I can't ride a bike so am totally biased. And cross. Clearly.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Surely ...

        "And, no, I can't ride a bike"

        This is the only point on which I disagree (apart from not living in the Surrey hills). I used to ride a bike and one of the things which makes me cross is that all the highway code points that I had to learn then are so widely disregarded now.

      2. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Surely ...

        The other obvious way to solve this is to just do away with the commute, remote working is easy, the technologies are there

        Get everyone home-working, and walking everywhere.

        The only "obvious" thing is that it is complete bollocks. Return to an economy based on cottage industries? Where do you think that would leave the wider economy?

        Who manufactured the device on which you typed those posts? Someone working at home? Did you buy it from someone working at home? If it goes wrong will it be repaired by someone working from home? How will you get it there? The idea of a postal service based on people working at (not from) home is rather amusing.

        Sick? No hospitals because their employees would not be working at home. No point in going to the doctor; he has no drugs to prescribe because they cannot be made in homes, other than the illegal and dangerous variety. Bicycles made at home? Good luck with that one as well. Haircut? Give yourself a headshave.

        A society based on home working will not last very long, and there is no point in pretending otherwise. In principle it is no different from the once popular idea that "financial services" should and could be the mainstay - if not the sole means - of supporting an economy. How can an economy work based only on people sitting at keyboards?

        OTOH it would render the need for phone cells on lamp posts in London wholly unnecessary, which might not be a bad thing.

        1. TechnicalBen Silver badge

          Re: Surely ...

          Lots is going to cottage industry. But that is by the by. Supply and demand vary slightly back and forth, but the majority will stay centralised.

        2. Custard Fridge

          Re: Surely ...

          As a former 'O' level economic history student, I should point out that 'home-working' should not be equated with 'cottage industry'.

          On the other hand everyone did used to walk in their clogs to the mills...

          The rise of the robots will mean everything is delivered by robot anyway (bring it on) most of it will be built by robot, meaning less and less people will need to drive - and those that need to travel will be driven by robots as we will be too expensive to insure - "A human driver in control? Certanly sir - that will be a £500,000 excess of course."

          Face it, would you rather walk to work or commute via train / car? Strive for a future you want rather than the one you think you have to have.

          Blimey - we are off topic, but I'm rather liking it.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Surely ...

          Most 'work' done these days is office type roles, done on a computer, so doesn't need to be done in any specific location.

          So unless you are in a hands-on manufacturing job, or need to be face to face with customers/clients (retail, hospitals etc.), then there should be no reason why the vast majority of workers these days (likely 70%+) couldn't simply work from home, or at least somewhere closer.

          This is nothing to do with 'cottage industries', most major corporations, at least the forward thinking ones, now encourage working from home, as it reduces their overheads, and makes for a happier, and therefore more productive workforce. It's a win-win for them.

          Plus the more people that there are working from home, the less commuters there are on the road, and so makes the commute easier for those that do need to go into the office/factory/hospital etc. So again a win-win, at least for the commuters themselves.

          Personally, if I was looking for a new job, I wouldn't even consider working for someone who doesn't have flexible working practices.

          1. d3vy Silver badge

            Re: Surely ...

            Most 'work' done these days is office type roles, done on a computer, so doesn't need to be done in any specific location.

            >> I dont think thats right at all.

            So unless you are in a hands-on manufacturing job, or need to be face to face with customers/clients (retail, hospitals etc.), then there should be no reason why the vast majority of workers these days (likely 70%+) couldn't simply work from home, or at least somewhere closer.

            >> 98% of statistics are made up on the spot.

            This is nothing to do with 'cottage industries', most major corporations, at least the forward thinking ones, now encourage working from home, as it reduces their overheads, and makes for a happier, and therefore more productive workforce. It's a win-win for them.

            >> It makes for lower bills for the company.

            Working from home if you need any kind of team interaction is terrible, even the little bits of interaction that you get in an office... Im not going to skype some remote worker to have a conversation about my holiday plans or to find out if his father in law is still staying with him, but Ill talk to someone over a desk in an office about these things, Maybe not good for productivity but certinally good for your social/psychological well being.

            Plus the more people that there are working from home, the less commuters there are on the road, and so makes the commute easier for those that do need to go into the office/factory/hospital etc.

            >> And prices higher (Assuming your talking mass transit)

        4. Dwarf Silver badge

          Re: Surely ...

          @wonk

          You seem to have confused the word "reduce" with "eliminate". You also seem to be confused that who you work for didn't change. There are no new "cottage industries"

          Office drones (like me) who used to spend 3+ hours a day (63 h/month -> 3 DAYS A MONTH) getting to and from the office to sit at a desk with lower levels of technology than I have in my home office, who then spend hours in virtual meetings, office automation apps or just a $ | # | C:> | PS1> prompt benefit from this approach.

          Remote working is becoming more of a norm. Companies don't need to have big flash offices, with high operating costs, so they benefit too.

          As to your point about hospitals. By reducing the need for travel, you reduce the likelihood of them getting run over on their way to work in the first place. I can't recall seeing a bus or cyclist on my stairs or in my hall, however if I were to suffer an injury, my local hospital would probably have shorter queues than the ones in central London.

          This is where the word reduce comes in handy again - those who physically do have to be somewhere can get around more easily. In time, I fully expect that the same technology that is used to remotely fly a military drone to some bad guy and allow a remote surgeon to operate on a person via robotic machinery will just become more main stream in other area.

          As to the interface being a keyboard, that will change in time too, VR will become more, er. realistic.

          1. Commswonk Silver badge

            Re: Surely ...

            @wonk

            You seem to have confused the word "reduce" with "eliminate".

            I fear the confusion is yours. You were the person who suggested "do away with the commute"; had you suggested reducing it then your argument would have been rather stronger. But "do away with" means "eliminate", not "reduce".

            I am of an age that would suggest that I am unlikely to see the fruits of your imagination, and for that I am, I think, grateful. I don't think I would find the sort of society that you seem to see as desirable all that attractive. I might even go as far as to suggest that it is a metropolitan view trying to force itself on everybody else, at which point I would have to agree that my argument is the reverse - trying to prevent a metropolitan - centric view taking hold everywhere. (Shades of "Brexit"?)

            Having said that I have to agree that the roads are hell, the trains are hell, and the pavements (at times) little better. Round here part of the trouble is small children on scooters; they are training to be bigger people on bicycles, still on the pavements and with no regard for pedestrians.

            1. Dwarf Silver badge

              Re: Surely ...

              @wonk

              Don't try and take it out of context. What I said was :

              The other obvious way to solve this is to just do away with the commute, remote working is easy, the technologies are there, so it would reduce the amount of traffic in all forms, thus reducing the problem.

              As you can see, it say reduce, reducing, not eliminate. Its a relative rather than an absolute term, much in the same way we say "reduce your speed", "reduce your calorie count", "reduce your alcohol units".

              Practice a bit, you'll soon get the hang of it.

              1. Commswonk Silver badge

                Re: Surely ...

                Practice a bit, you'll soon get the hang of it.

                Patronising, aren't you.

                Grow up.

          2. peter_dtm
            Meh

            Re: Surely ...

            except

            there are now more accidents at home than in the work place. So you won't see as many car smash victims; but you will see a lot more domestic accidents. There may be mental health risks as well caused by the apparent isolation if you always work from home- apparently it turns out we haven't adapted yet to phone/video as a substitute for face to face in the body interactions.

            Swings & roundabouts on this

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surely ...

      "I'd suggest that we connect EVERYONE up to some high voltage source where the ability to activate is controlled by near-field communications, that way the bike can zap the lorry / bus driver who is too close, the walker can do the same to the idiot on the bike that is screaming towards them or the person with their head up their mobile phone that is just about to walk into you."

      Nice try...until we discover the electro-erotic masochist who GETS OFF on being shocked...

  24. plunet

    Take a look at China

    The principle of using lamp posts for overlay networks is already well established in China, somewhere where the sheer density of devices and demand for bandwidth already outstrips the capacity of the spectrum.

    In urban areas and some highways you can see that the two main networks - China Mobile and China Unicom have a box of tricks on alternate lamp posts that offer Wifi with 802.1x network auth or other picocell technology as an alternative backhaul for each networks subscribers.

  25. Terry 6 Silver badge

    No, please no.

    Part of where I take my three times daily exercise and dog walk the pavement has been marked on the London Cycle Route Map as being a cycle route, It's not actually marked on the route itself, there is no warning for pedestrians who may foolishly believe that they are entitled to walk along this footpath. There is no actual access to it for the cycles without at least crossing places that are not even on that route. There are a number of entrances that are at right angles to this stretch of pavement and that are concealed from the whizzing cyclists. No resident was ever consulted about making this footpath a cycle route ( I've lived here almost 25 years).

    But the cyclists who use this footpath as a cycle route clearly think that they have a divinely granted right to hurtle along, unhindered by beings made purely of living flesh. Not only do they endanger we poor mortals, but are often incredibly aggressive if we fail to jump out of the way quickly enough. Do I want to take my chances with even more of these nutters?

    No I bloody well don't!

  26. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Today with a simple web page needing many hundreds of kilobytes of data....

    I think I have a better solution....

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Today with a simple web page needing many hundreds of kilobytes of data....

      "With 5G the world is looking at a MIMO – (multiple input multiple output) – which combines signals over lots of different frequencies to get more bandwidth."

      Why are cyclists needing to watch Netflix on their phone as they pedal? No wonder they get run over by twelve tonne busses.

  27. Richard Scratcher
    Thumb Up

    Twelve twelves

    "Having something which weighs twelve tonnes share road space with something which weighs a twelfth of a tonne is gross stupidity."

    Ha! Like it.

  28. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    "Having something which weighs twelve tonnes share road space with something which weighs a twelfth of a tonne is gross stupidity."

    So a heavier bike is called for. Fill the tubing with depleted uranium, inflate the tyres with a concrete/lead shot mix and load a couple of panniers with bricks.

    Job done.

  29. Arachnoid

    Lage voices and small wallets

    All this talk about changing things for cyclists yet not a bean is paid in road tax of any form by any cyclist on the road for the services they freely use and complain so much about,

    1. Duffy Moon
      FAIL

      Re: Lage voices and small wallets

      Many of us cyclists are also motorists and therefore DO pay VED. VED by the way, does not pay for roads (which is why it hasn't been called "road tax" for 60-odd years).

      Roads are paid for out of the taxes that everybody pays.

      If every cyclist was in a car, then the roads would be even busier than they already are.

      1. Arachnoid

        Re: Lage voices and small wallets

        No you pay for your car not for your bicycle, hence my point cyclists pay nothing for the services provided.

        1. d3vy Silver badge

          Re: Lage voices and small wallets

          "No you pay for your car not for your bicycle"

          Actually you pay for your cars emissions...

          So using your own logic as the emissions from a bike are zero the cost should be zero, which it is.

          Your work here is done, take a well deserved pat on the back and go for a rest.

        2. H G

          Re: Lage voices and small wallets

          I might be wrong but I thought roads, certainly local and town centre ones were paid for by council tax?

          Anyway, as some who walks into Leeds city centre everyday I just want the bikes on the road where the highway code says they should be. I am sick of them chasing up behind me with no bell and then yelling at me to shift. Yeah good luck with that pal, if you're going to ride on the foot path you can bloody well ride at walking pace.

          Anyway, in Leeds at least that's all being fixed by the cycle super highway which is taking a ridiculous amount of time to complete, and where finished is unused.

          Anyway, beer O'clock calls.

          1. J.G.Harston Silver badge

            Re: Lage voices and small wallets

            About 15% of road are paid for by council tax*. Council tax makes up about 15% of a council's income, the huge vast majority of councils' income comes from the government, resulting in the slash and burn of local council services as the income they have no control over disappears, and the legal prohibition on raising council tax sufficiently to replace it. And the political impossibility... do *you* want your council tax to rise six-fold to replace the 85% of income the council gets from Whitehall?

            *And motorways are entirely Highways Agency (central gvt). Trunk roads used to be HA, but the government managed to shuck them off onto local councils.

    2. d3vy Silver badge

      Re: Lage voices and small wallets

      "All this talk about changing things for cyclists yet not a bean is paid in road tax of any form by any cyclist on the road for the services they freely use and complain so much about,"

      Well, thats a bit of a daft argument - skip the fact that no one pays "Road Tax" roads are paid for out of general taxation.

      Add to that the fact that

      1. Most cyclists WILL also own a car so do pay VED

      2. Alot of cars are exempt from VED because they are low emission.... I dont pay any VED and neither does my wife... does that mean our cars are not allowed on the road?

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The easiest way to protect pedestrians is ..

    .. to let British builders put the streetlights in. They will be all over the place as the idea of a straight line is in my experience entirely alien foreign to them, and it thus forces the pedestrians to pay attention as they can't predict where the next one is, especially if you also let them put down the pavement afterwards (it won't be very level).

    Easy :)

  31. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    While you're up there

    You could install transparent pneumatic tubes for transporting people where they need to go. Just like Futurama.

  32. bigdish

    No, he's confusing MIMO with Carrier Aggregation...

  33. Katy_B

    WTF?

    "Think of it as the difference between throwing a rock and a similar weight of gravel into a pond."

    This is drivel.

    I spent a large portion of my lunch hour throwing both rocks AND handfuls of gravel into the round pond in Kensington Gardens until a police patrol car hove into sight at which point I decided to be a) discreet and b) save our brave boys in blue considerable paperwork and legged it.

    At no point could I discern any difference in distance of throw or size of ripples at the pond's edge between rocks and gravel.

    I have a feeling that goes for 5G as well.

  34. Katy_B

    Oooooh!

    "lets me substitute muscles for my Oyster."

    Ooooh! Is there any way we can get together to discuss this further, preferably immediately!

  35. J.G.Harston Silver badge

    busses? plural of buss - a big sloppy kiss.

  36. JLV Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Good ol days

    A long time ago, the first dedicated bike lanes in Paris were set up as...

    - cars lanes

    - bike lane

    - bus lane

    - sidewalk

    Think of how much it must have been to cycle between buses and cars. Esp in a city known for its relaxed drivers.

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I did not read the article

    I just want to say: please don't use those stupid headlines (upity-style, whatever they're called). Not even as a joke.

    I would have read your article were it not purely because of the improper headline.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Empty Pavements

    not sure exactly where you are cycling with all this spare pavement! As I bomb down bishopsgate, the danger to cyclists mainly comes from pedestrians who are spilling off the pavement. It doesn't help that the pedestrians AND cyclists are trying to weave thoguh stationary vehicles.

    The way to fix all of this though is just to rejig the roads so traffic can come in for deliveries before and after rush hour only and ban private vehicles all together..

    And the buses - don't get me started - what exactly is the point in sitting on a bus in london when walking is clearly faster.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Empty Pavements

      "The way to fix all of this though is just to rejig the roads so traffic can come in for deliveries before and after rush hour only and ban private vehicles all together.."

      Tell that to people who have to work deep in the heart of the city (but away from any mass transit stations) midday in the middle of a downpour. And no, because of wind conditions, umbrellas are impractical and because of humidity, raincoats make the people sweat as much as the rain would.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    i guess the comma key on the OPs keyboard was broken..

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