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2 hours ago, melmerby said:

Not true

I was in the GPO/PO/BT Pension fund and we had some people recruited from Philips Electronics after their place of work closed. They were allowed an equivalent amount of their Philips' FSP contributions to be added to the BT scheme which they joined.

 

Even the BT (ex Civil Service scheme) has been neutered by a change from RPI to CPI as a calculator for any increases, thanks to a post retirement Government ruling.

Both true. You are citing a particular case revolving around treatment of pension funds in receivership. 

 

See also, posts above re Gordon Brown's changes to tax relief on contributions, all part of the overall picture 

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1 hour ago, DK123GWR said:

For those wondering what path the thread has taken, I believe is as follows: HS2>Current planning laws>Historic planning laws>Life in the mid-20th Century>Pensions>Rather bizarre claims that one cross-dresser not being killed is evidence that there was no problem with racial or sexual discrimination (with some climate change denial, ill-informed debates on migration, and a discussion of advances in healthcare technology along the way).

 

Now when we were discussing current planning regualtions, I think we still had a clear and obvious link to HS2 - it's clear that the way planning works now will have an impact on future transport demands. I struggle to see how ignorant claims about discrimination in the mid-20th Century feed into the discussion though. If those involved are unable to enlighten us about this mysterious link, perhaps they ought to consider whether this is the right forum for their discussion. Suggestions for more suitable fora available on request. They might also consider reading a book, or talking to people beaten up by the National Front about their experiences of discrimination.

 

In the mean time, there appears to be some speculation that Leeds City Council are seeking to develop the land safeguarded for HS2. Surely they aren't that short-sighted?

https://www.constructionnews.co.uk/hs2/hs2-urgent-call-for-review-of-development-on-axed-route-25-11-2021/

 

In my defence, my off-topic comments below refer to the aging of our population.  Older people are more likely to be uncomfortable using the private car for long journeys.  This therefore demonstrates a growing potential demand for long distance travel, which HS2 will make easier.....

 

5 hours ago, Northmoor said:

Much of what you've described was a symptom of there being a much higher proportion of people in work compared with those not yet in work*, or drawing a pension.  The retired now make up a much greater proportion of the population and as people now live longer, they are susceptible to more illnesses that are expensive to treat or manage (like dementia, very rare in the under-70s).  You can't get an appointment at a GP because the population has grown and aged, but the system hasn't grown to cope.  It's the same reason why final salary pensions are so out of fashion now; the maths only work if you have a large and growing number paying into the scheme compared to those drawing from it.

 

*For those that worry about these things, for the Europeans who came to the UK in the last 20 years, the proportion in work is much, much greater.

 

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On 26/11/2021 at 22:17, rockershovel said:

Both true. You are citing a particular case revolving around treatment of pension funds in receivership. 

 

 

AFAIK the Philips scheme was still active but their jobs weren't and when they joined BT they got some years credited to their Pension for Philip's service.

N.B. Final salary pensions do not have a 'pot of money' as such, the pension is soley based on years of service and "as it says on the tin" the final years salary.

You could be a low paid cleaner for 39 years then become the manager for the final year, the salary is on service years and the manager's salary.

 

BT have paid dearly for their "Pension Holiday" courtesy of Gordon Brown.

They have now paid far more back into the scheme to keep it viable than they saved due to the non payment period.

Edited by melmerby
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It seems to me that those who oppose HS2 regularly say "we don't need it", "it's a vanity project" and "it's a white elephant".  On that basis imo a conversation about changes in demographics and the availability in particular age groups of disposable income for discretionary travel, and by extension, possible future passenger flows, is relevant.

 

Incidentally, when I, as a wide eyed graduate engineer, joined the nascent BT a few weeks after it ceased to be PO Telephones, someone told me the average life expectancy of a PO pensioner after retirement was 3 years; and the retirement age was 60!  I think it's safe to say things have changed!

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8 hours ago, melmerby said:

AFAIK the Philips scheme was still active but their jobs weren't and when they joined BT they got some years credited to their Pension for Philip's service.

N.B. Final salary pensions do not have a 'pot of money' as such, the pension is soley based on years of service and "as it says on the tin" the final years salary.

You could be a low paid cleaner for 39 years then become the manager for the final year, the salary is on service years and the manager's salary.

 

BT have paid dearly for their "Pension Holiday" courtesy of Gordon Brown.

They have now paid far more back into the scheme to keep it viable than they saved due to the non payment period.

It's a large, complex subject with numerous possible outcomes. My wife's final salary pension, as a teacher and eventually head of department for Cambs County Council was based on her last five years' earnings, not the last year. I never heard of a pension based on one years' earnings. 

 

Private sector pensions varied considerably from each other and from public sector arrangements - no index linking, for one thing. One of the few good things New Labour did for pensioners was to break the link whereby pensioners forfeited the companies' contribution when moving; this was related to tax as it then stood. 

 

Lack of index linking meant that many private sector pensioners face the option of eroded pension service resulting from "buying in" to the new scheme based on the transfer value, or an accrual of historic pensions based on small fractions of their earnings, decades before.

 

The TUC was well aware of this, hence the public sector pensions in the nationalised industries - the same ones drawn by people now abused in the press as "selfish pensioners" for expecting their contracted benefits.

 

Of course, everything comes at a cost and Blair's (or Brown's, really) free-ing up of historic pension contributions was an effect of the long-term erosion of tax benefits, just as you describe.

 

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1 hour ago, DY444 said:

It seems to me that those who oppose HS2 regularly say "we don't need it", "it's a vanity project" and "it's a white elephant".  ………


In almost all cases because they have no idea of what HS2 is and what it’s actual purpose is.

There’s a misguided notion that HS2 is some sort of additional rail service that few will use and general ignorance of the fact that the existing IC services on the routes being served, will almost all transfer onto the new HS line.

 

Upgrade the existing rail lines instead?

HS2 is the largest capacity enhancement to the “classic” rail network in many decades.

 

 

.

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1 hour ago, DY444 said:

It seems to me that those who oppose HS2 regularly say "we don't need it", "it's a vanity project" and "it's a white elephant".  On that basis imo a conversation about changes in demographics and the availability in particular age groups of disposable income for discretionary travel, and by extension, possible future passenger flows, is relevant.

 

Incidentally, when I, as a wide eyed graduate engineer, joined the nascent BT a few weeks after it ceased to be PO Telephones, someone told me the average life expectancy of a PO pensioner after retirement was 3 years; and the retirement age was 60!  I think it's safe to say things have changed!

 

 

There are only 3 practical passenger modes available: road, air and rail. 

 

If "we don't need" additional long-distance rail capacity then growth in movement must be accomodated by either extra flights or more road traffic.

 

I do not see any suggestion of duplicating the M1 , the M6 and the M62, all of which are currently pretty saturated.

 

Regardless of one's views on climate change and possible future climate change , and the costs of attempting to stop it, it's quite clear that both air and road transport are under some pressure from "decarbonisation" strategies.

 

The French are banning domestic air travel. Runway capacity in the South East is already a serious problem. We've been even less capable of building new runways than we have been at building high-speed railways

 

Electric cars are clearly going to be inferior to cars driven by internal combusion engines - much more expensive and relatively limited in range. I might get to the NEC in an electric car , and have all day for it to recharge before driving home. They will do for trips of perhaps 100 miles in a day , with overnight recharging - so will be adequete in rural areas.  But Greater London to Scotland's Central Belt is going to be impractical with electric vehicles - you'll need a break of several hours in the middle to recharge.

 

The demand for transport has risen consistantly for the last 300 years. This has been driven mainly by people travelling more and further - only partly by population growth 

 

Avoiding an increase in demand for long-distance electric trains in the absence of substantial additional road and air travel therefore means believing that the inexorable force of the last 300 years will go into reverse, for no obvious reason. Our population ius still rising, and likely to continue to do so. Since the form of travel most vulnerable to shock is international travel (see Covid, "net zero" and Brexit) and there is likely to be some substitution of domestic travel (if you can't visit Greece or Las Vegas you may end up going to Blackpool or St Ives) , demand for long distance domestic rail is likely to be resiliant.

 

And if we need more road capacity for goods , then that road capacity will need to be freed up by moving passenger transport out of cars onto electric trains . (That seems to be much easier than getting freight on rail) 

 

I take issue with Rockershovel's comment that the alternatives to HS2 are widely known , at least as far as Anglo-Scottish traffic are concerned. HS2 will at most reach Wigan , barely half way to Scotland. I know of no proposals to reduce journey time or increase capacity on the WCML north or Preston.  How the 2.5 hrs from Wigan to Glasgow Central are to be cut, in order to get Anglo -Scottish rail transit times down to competitive levels, I really have no idea. How exactly is the conventional WCML to be upgraded to do this? A suitable curve should enable Glasgow  trains to reach Manchester Piccadilly via the Golborne spur, but otherwise I can see nothing

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11 minutes ago, Ravenser said:

I take issue with Rockershovel's comment that the alternatives to HS2 are widely known , at least as far as Anglo-Scottish traffic are concerned. HS2 will at most reach Wigan , barely half way to Scotland. I know of no proposals to reduce journey time or increase capacity on the WCML north or Preston.  How the 2.5 hrs from Wigan to Glasgow Central are to be cut, in order to get Anglo -Scottish rail transit times down to competitive levels, I really have no idea. How exactly is the conventional WCML to be upgraded to do this? A suitable curve should enable Glasgow  trains to reach Manchester Piccadilly via the Golborne spur, but otherwise I can see nothing

Hear hear on your post above.

While not the WCML North of Preston, I've wondered about how the ECML could be speeded up, in three sections North of Darlington, where the average speeds drop significantly: 

  • Darlington - Newcastle, straight-lining (perhaps using something close to the Ferryhill route) that section could help,
  • Over the Border; what time could be saved North of Berwick if the line was diverted inland with a fairly straight route towards Dunbar? A beautiful area but much lower population to complain and protest than in Bucks/Oxon/Warwicks, it would also have the long-term benefit of moving the railway away from the retreating cliffs around Burnmouth.
  • Diverting the railway around Morpeth to avoid the painfully slow curve on a high-speed link.

However, as with extending HS2 into Scotland, I'm not sure that a Nationalist Scottish Government would be keen on funding transport links that help people to leave the country more quickly.

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Just a few points there, Ravenser....

 

18 minutes ago, Ravenser said:

.....The French are banning domestic air travel.....

 

No they're not.

They are banning certain flights, which is effectively a number of main trunk routes, with some exemptions, but that leaves a large proportion of domestic flights untouched.

 

 

19 minutes ago, Ravenser said:

.....Electric cars are clearly going to be inferior to cars driven by internal combusion engines - much more expensive and relatively limited in range....

 

Most users of EV's do not consider them "inferior" at all.

In fact they're superior in many respects.

 

While it's true that the current, relatively early generation vehicles are expensive, prices will fall over time and the motor manufacturing industry expects price parity in a few years, followed eventually by cheaper prices in due course. Lower cost EV's are already in the pipeline.

Range, is something of a moving feast and a much more nuanced discussion than simply stating outright range.

 

 

24 minutes ago, Ravenser said:

.....I might get to the NEC in an electric car , and have all day for it to recharge before driving home.

They will do for trips of perhaps 100 miles in a day , with overnight recharging - so will be adequete in rural areas......  

 

Unless you have a car with a very low range, or have to travel over 100 to 150 miles to get to the NEC, then a full charge should get you there and back.

If you need to charge on your return, you only need to top up what you need, not necessarily fully charge.

Even still, the time required is much less than you are imagining.

 

As for 100 miles in a day, that accounts for a very small portion of all daily car journeys.

 

32 minutes ago, Ravenser said:

........But Greater London to Scotland's Central Belt is going to be impractical with electric vehicles - you'll need a break of several hours in the middle to recharge.....

 

"Several hours" - Nonsense.

A Tesla Model S has done London to Edinburgh without a charge, although that was a range and endurance (for the driver) test.

Realistically, you would normally, and sensibly take a couple of breaks on such a long trip.

Toilet and fatigue breaks.

You can add a lot of mileage with rapid charging, during a 20 to 40 minute break.

Amply demonstrated hundreds of times by drivers of these cars.

 

 

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9 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

"Several hours" - Nonsense.

A Tesla Model S has done London to Edinburgh without a charge, although that was a range and endurance (for the driver) test.

Realistically, you would normally, and sensibly take a couple of breaks on such a long trip.

Toilet and fatigue breaks.

You can add a lot of mileage with rapid charging, during a 20 to 40 minute break.

Amply demonstrated hundreds of times by drivers of these cars.

 

 

.


Even setting aside your eminently sensible comments, Ravenser’s comment about range limitations is simply not true. There are already EVs on the market with a range north of 450 miles (albeit at the expensive end of the market — check out the Mercedes EQS), and cars with a WLTP range >500 miles arrive in the new year. 
 

For my use case, it’s already clear that ICE cars are vastly inferior to EVs. YMMV, of course. 
 

Paul

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As I wrote several pages ago the WCML problem with the Golborne spur starts immediately at Wigan North Western, 60mph speed limit through the s curves either end of the station then 8 miles of very busy double track to Coppull.

 

North of Preston is another matter. Will the new HS2 trains tilt - they will need to over Shap etc.

 

With Covid, climate, energy, state of the nations finances etc I think a lot of HS2 talk is pie in the sky. We will be lucky to see it get to Crewe, or perhaps even cut back to the 4 tracks at Stafford. I even doubt it getting to Manchester. Time will tell.

 

Brit15

 

 

 

 

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Chilterns Tunnel progress.

 

The latest update from HS2 Ltd, which is 6 days old now....

Florence - 2.256 km

Cecilia - 1.609 km

 

At a stated average of 15 metres/day, I guesstimate those figures for today (28th) should be approx.

2.346 km

1.7 km

 

 

.

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23 minutes ago, APOLLO said:

North of Preston is another matter. Will the new HS2 trains tilt - they will need to over Shap etc.

They won't - there's no design of tilting train available that can do the necessary speeds. 

 

Some years ago it was estimated that not having tilt would extend journey times by 15min between Golborne and Glasgow/Edinburgh, which was more than offset by gains by using high speed line further south.  People are looking at higher speeds for non-tilting trains on parts of this section, which is only limited to 110 because nobody has wanted to run a faster non-tilt train until recently (and Virgin would have been very unhappy about potential competition!).  For example there are straight sections either side of Preston and around Lockerbie where it ought to be possible to save a few minutes.  

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The electric car will evolve into a very different beast as time and technology march forwards , charging points will multiply  giving  easy journeys.I hope the costs come down over time but think it will be a slow progress as other factors will slow progress plus many people will not give up thier existing vehicles . HS2  will offer a good alternative and should go all the way across the border ,if the government in scotland  will pay .This will be an interesting senaro if a certain person gets independance  she will not want the cost to come from her coffers . The wcml north of Crewe needs work but will passengers put up with multiple works causing closures etc as happenned when the wires went up. These are all factors which will influence people decisions as to wether or not they can be bothered to use public transport. All in all we are in for a very interesting time over the next fifteen years but this page willprovide an interesting commentary as the years go by.

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1 hour ago, Ravenser said:

But Greater London to Scotland's Central Belt is going to be impractical with electric vehicles - you'll need a break of several hours in the middle to recharge.

 

Not if you swap out the battery for a freshly recharged one. That would take no longer than stopping for petrol. It would surely make sense to treat car batteries the same way as Calor gas bottles -- take back the empty one and get a re-filled one.

 

It needs an interchangeable design of car battery, and a lot more infrastructure at "filling stations" to drive over the robot machine which changes the battery. But recharging a battery while you wait makes no sense in the middle of a journey.

 

Sorry if this starts yet another off-topic diversion. :)

 

Martin.

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13 minutes ago, lmsforever said:

......HS2  will offer a good alternative and should go all the way across the border, if the government in Scotland  will pay .......

 

The problem is that once you get from London to Manchester, all the business case for HS rail has been exhausted, as clearly laid out by NR in their study that spawned the HS2 project.

 

 

It would be difficult to justify the enormous additional cost, for what is a relatively tiny proportion of the UK rail market.

I haven't looked at recent, pre-Covid passenger stats, but less than 10 years ago, the London & the SE of England to Scotland market, represented something like 0.2% of all rail journeys.

 

 

.

 

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1 hour ago, APOLLO said:

North of Preston is another matter. Will the new HS2 trains tilt - they will need to over Shap etc.

 

 

The need to tilt south of Crewe was necessitated by slower trains occupying the same tracks as higher speed trains - as time goes on, the slower trains are getting faster meaning the differential between slow and high speed trains is shrinking, this allows the permanent way cant on corners to be altered in favour of higher speed running.

 

North of Crewe, they are going to look at the line speed through improvements in the severity of curves where they can to remove the need for tilt once the Pendolinos are done with plus other cant improvements.

 

The APT was the first tilting train in the UK, it's cousin the Pendolino will be the last, the old railway that needed the technology has passed.

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11 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

 

The problem is that once you get from London to Manchester, all the business case for HS rail has been exhausted, as clearly laid out by NR in their study that spawned the HS2 project.

 

 

It would be difficult to justify the enormous additional cost, for what is a relatively tiny proportion of the UK rail market.

I haven't looked at recent, pre-Covid passenger stats, but less than 10 years ago, the London & the SE of England to Scotland market, represented something like 0.2% of all rail journeys.

 

 

.

 

I note the the Government are looking at a 2-3 minute saving by moving the Golborne Junction with HS2b, I imagine unless there are other economic factors i.e. it's cheaper, then I doubt they will be making massive changes to the link with HS2 south of Preston.  Once past Preston, what is the point in a high speed line when the only trains beyond Carnforth are going to be express trains or high speed intermodals, at worst a few more loops would give greater capacity and kill any feasibility for another line north.

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4 minutes ago, woodenhead said:

I note the the Government are looking at a 2-3 minute saving by moving the Golborne Junction with HS2b, I imagine unless there are other economic factors i.e. it's cheaper, then I doubt they will be making massive changes to the link with HS2 south of Preston.  Once past Preston, what is the point in a high speed line when the only trains beyond Carnforth are going to be express trains or high speed intermodals, at worst a few more loops would give greater capacity and kill any feasibility for another line north.

 

Although lacking in actual substance, the Union Connectivity Review has at least highlighted the obvious benefits of making substantial improvements north of Preston, including new and straightened stretches of line where appropriate.

Such upgrades would appear to make eminent sense, but I doubt we'll see much of it happening in the next 10 to 15 years, minimum, unless there's a political imperative brought into play.

 

 

.

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41 minutes ago, Ron Ron Ron said:

 

Although lacking in actual substance, the Union Connectivity Review has at least highlighted the obvious benefits of making substantial improvements north of Preston, including new and straightened stretches of line where appropriate.

Such upgrades would appear to make eminent sense, but I doubt we'll see much of it happening in the next 10 to 15 years, minimum, unless there's a political imperative brought into play.

.

It will have to be in line with the progression of HS2, until there is stock to deliver services north of Birmingham, north of Manchester even then the Pendolino holds sway and the improvements are not required.

 

Of course, the sensible approach from a political perspective is to begin making the changes now, show a desire and willingness to improve the connection down the WCML to those north of the border and sway votes away from partition.

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