Remember that ...
First-rate managers hire first-rate people.
Second-rate managers hire third-rate people.
14 posts • joined 15 Feb 2008
What a good idea - restricting the number of degree places. But instead of selecting candidates based on wealth, why not select them based on ability? And if you only have 10% of people going to Uni instead of 50%, maybe the government could afford to pay their tuition fees for them (after all, they're going to be the high earners who will return it all in tax), and perhaps even give them some cash to live on. Then maybe we should make A-levels and GCSEs much harder so that we can tell who the good kids are.
Ah - I seem to have accidentally re-invented the system we had 30 years ago when I was doing my funded, grant-laden degree. It worked OK then ... the system wasn't broken, and didn't need fixing.
What really sticks in my craw is the use of public money for road "improvements" that benefit only public transport - or to give it its other more commercial name, Stagecoach. It's nice that public transport gets a bit faster, but the main result is that Stagecoach make more money. So shouldn't we demand that the Council get to own a bit of Stagecoach in return for our money?
It is about time that the Council were made to justify their policies. The problem is, those of us who have all the ideas are individuals and not able to make much headway on our own - so we need to get organised. Those who are supposed to be representing us (the Councillors) tend to have political agendas they'd rather follow.
So - I hereby invite any concerned residents to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and maybe together we can give the Council and Councillors something to think about.
For years, Cambridge has had a policy of closing roads (with the famous rising bollards) and putting in bus lanes, which has had the effect of squeezing the same amount of traffic into half the road space. This, together with the self-seeding traffic lights they managed to buy, are the principal causes of the congestion. You can't drive 100 yds without being stopped by something at busy times. So to expect us to pay yet again for "fixing" this is taking the piss. Besides, it's trivial to cure congestion: ban cars completely.
The basic issue is that they have failed to understand that congestion is not a single problem with a single solution. Congestion occurs first at junctions (and anywhere else where traffic is halted), and as each junction is different, with varying traffic flows at different times of day, a different mix of measures is needed at each junction. Isn't this obvious?
Furthermore, they haven't yet tried any of the following:
- getting schools to open earlier, or stagger their start times
- getting businesses to open later, and stay open later
- putting car park space info and trafficcams on the web
- allowing left turn on red wherever possible (is this legal? IANAL)
- allowing multiple occupancy cars to use the (mostly empty) bus lanes
- opening closed roads in the evenings
- improving school bus schemes
- getting Stagecoach to wise up and improve their service in many ways (through ticketing, off-bus ticket sales, fewer radial routes, pricing structure changes)
- turning off traffic lights (replacing with mini-roundabouts)
- sequencing lights better
- better junction and lane design
- understanding that all changes to road systems will cause drivers to behave differently, and anticipating these differences better
- etc etc
We even had one councillor blustering about how this decision shouldn't be taken by an "unelected quango" but by the council. He missed the point entirely - we'd just like the decision taken by competent, well-informed people without a political axe to grind who are basing their decision on science and not on the results of a carefully crafted and useless survey.
Paris, because she's probably as clued up as most councillors about traffic science.
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