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Infrastructure Collapse?

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2014387/Value-money-Cash-strapped-council-considers-spending-100-000-just-zebra-crossings.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

This article made me think about a modern civilised society.

Is there a point where a society becomes so complex, monopolised and bureaucratic that nothing can get done?

Ok, so in this article the task of erecting a few lights and painting lines on the road can easily be achieved (albeit at an horrendous cost) but many other engineering tasks cannot even be completed in Britain anymore.

I heard on the radio about the Edinburgh tram line, stating that they have spent £0.5 billion on building a tramline and achieved absolutely nothing, but they have come to the conclusion that the only firm that can build it is German.

I would have thought the main part of the problem is regulation and bureaucracy. Nowdays you literally need a risk assessment, method statement and a thousand other health and safety documents just to do one task. You think I'm exaggerating? I have worked on tasks and needed to do masses of H&S paperwork for something as simple as a truck delivery.

The next problem is de-industrialisation and de-skilling. As industry suffers from foreign competition and strangled by H&S, businesses become uncompetitive. The result is monopolization by foreign firms or large MNC firms. These firms can then charge massive amounts for their works.

But the real issue is, as time goes on councils and people won't have the money to pay extortionate prices to carry out a task, so will these tasks actually be completed? Throw in other factors such as rising commodity prices and you have a bag full of bombs. What will happen in the future when roads have to be resurfaced? When bridges have to be structurally engineered? When new schools have to be built? When traffic light systems need to be replaced?

Modern infrastructure is so complex, that I believe its maintenance and upkeep is unachievable in times of stagnating economies and resource shortages. Over the next few years does anyone believe we will see infrastructure crumble under our very own eyes?

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2014387/Value-money-Cash-strapped-council-considers-spending-100-000-just-zebra-crossings.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

This article made me think about a modern civilised society.

Is there a point where a society becomes so complex, monopolised and bureaucratic that nothing can get done?

Ok, so in this article the task of erecting a few lights and painting lines on the road can easily be achieved (albeit at an horrendous cost) but many other engineering tasks cannot even be completed in Britain anymore.

I heard on the radio about the Edinburgh tram line, stating that they have spent £0.5 billion on building a tramline and achieved absolutely nothing, but they have come to the conclusion that the only firm that can build it is German.

I would have thought the main part of the problem is regulation and bureaucracy. Nowdays you literally need a risk assessment, method statement and a thousand other health and safety documents just to do one task. You think I'm exaggerating? I have worked on tasks and needed to do masses of H&S paperwork for something as simple as a truck delivery.

The next problem is de-industrialisation and de-skilling. As industry suffers from foreign competition and strangled by H&S, businesses become uncompetitive. The result is monopolization by foreign firms or large MNC firms. These firms can then charge massive amounts for their works.

But the real issue is, as time goes on councils and people won't have the money to pay extortionate prices to carry out a task, so will these tasks actually be completed? Throw in other factors such as rising commodity prices and you have a bag full of bombs. What will happen in the future when roads have to be resurfaced? When bridges have to be structurally engineered? When new schools have to be built? When traffic light systems need to be replaced?

Modern infrastructure is so complex, that I believe its maintenance and upkeep is unachievable in times of stagnating economies and resource shortages. Over the next few years does anyone believe we will see infrastructure crumble under our very own eyes?

No.

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You can pick up milling machines and the like for almost the cost of transporting them, so if you know how to use one shove it in the garage and grease it up ready for the collapse of China/civilisation ~ whichever comes first. Seriously though, we are going to have to buy in nuclear technology when once we led the world in it.

The Edinburgh trams are just the latest in a long line of scam projects that netted lots of people a lot of money for nothing. Check out Hollyrood and how that cost so much and who was a director on the firm of architects and the bank that lent the money and how many contractors were mates of the prospective inmates of the place. How about the guided busway between Cambridge and St Ives. The list goes on and on. You don't have to go to Africa for 3rd world bribery and corruption, we have plenty of home grown scams.

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The guided busway is meant to start operating next month, only 2, or is it 3, years late. :lol:

At least the service road next to it makes a nice cycle path.

What's even funnier is that apparently there are plans to build another down by Luton and the contractor.... is the same one who f*cked up the Cambridge busway. :lol:

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The guided busway is meant to start operating next month, only 2, or is it 3, years late. :lol:

At least the service road next to it makes a nice cycle path.

What's even funnier is that apparently there are plans to build another down by Luton and the contractor.... is the same one who f*cked up the Cambridge busway. :lol:

Madness is they pulled up disused train track for part of the guided busway. Trains would have been far better. They're just scared of the unions.

Should never had let the Cambridge to Oxford train track be built over either. Totally scandalous.

Edited by payback period

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2014387/Value-money-Cash-strapped-council-considers-spending-100-000-just-zebra-crossings.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

This article made me think about a modern civilised society.

Is there a point where a society becomes so complex, monopolised and bureaucratic that nothing can get done?

Ok, so in this article the task of erecting a few lights and painting lines on the road can easily be achieved (albeit at an horrendous cost) but many other engineering tasks cannot even be completed in Britain anymore.

I heard on the radio about the Edinburgh tram line, stating that they have spent £0.5 billion on building a tramline and achieved absolutely nothing, but they have come to the conclusion that the only firm that can build it is German.

I would have thought the main part of the problem is regulation and bureaucracy. Nowdays you literally need a risk assessment, method statement and a thousand other health and safety documents just to do one task. You think I'm exaggerating? I have worked on tasks and needed to do masses of H&S paperwork for something as simple as a truck delivery.

The next problem is de-industrialisation and de-skilling. As industry suffers from foreign competition and strangled by H&S, businesses become uncompetitive. The result is monopolization by foreign firms or large MNC firms. These firms can then charge massive amounts for their works.

But the real issue is, as time goes on councils and people won't have the money to pay extortionate prices to carry out a task, so will these tasks actually be completed? Throw in other factors such as rising commodity prices and you have a bag full of bombs. What will happen in the future when roads have to be resurfaced? When bridges have to be structurally engineered? When new schools have to be built? When traffic light systems need to be replaced?

Modern infrastructure is so complex, that I believe its maintenance and upkeep is unachievable in times of stagnating economies and resource shortages. Over the next few years does anyone believe we will see infrastructure crumble under our very own eyes?

Slight correction - they gave the contract to a German company in the first place... THATS why it's so screwed up.

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Project Management - Prince 2 - is a huge part of the rot in this country.

It does nothing IMPO other than create lots of work for paper shufflers who have no real skills and who do not actually deliver anything other than their Prince 2 methodologies.

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Slight correction - they gave the contract to a German company in the first place... THATS why it's so screwed up.

No, it is screwed up becase some arses in the Edinburgh council thought that for some reason because lots of other European cities had trams then Edinburgh had to have one too....

Now we are in a position that we are getting a half arsed scheme that goes only half the distance of the proposed initial line whilst at the same time it is alleged that Edinburgh's 'award winning' (I have to agree it is pretty good) bus company which is mostly council owned (and profitable) will need to be sold to pay for the tram. Where the rest of the money will come from has not be disclosed....

Typical council nonsense, involving bad planning, inflated egos, 'unlimited' budget and all done to fulfil the need to be seen to do something.

I would much prefer to have councils that you didn't notice as they were simply getting on with their jobs with the minimum fuss and hiderence to the citizens they are supposed to represent.

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I would have thought the main part of the problem is regulation and bureaucracy.

This is the biggy. The last government clearly believed that new regulations could be introduced for free. In reality the cost is just added to the project, and so in the end we get less stuff built.

A personal "favourite" : stupid Nulab regulation

Edited by the shaping machine

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half a billion for a half completed tram system? They could just have bought every driver in the city a new car! Or let's say a moped, that way congestion is not compounded.

But I agree with your point about beurocracy. All the health and safety stuff seems to have multiplied at the same pace as the bloated compensation "no win no fee" industry which seemed to have multiplied like bacteria since 1997.

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http://www.dailymail...o=feeds-newsxml

This article made me think about a modern civilised society.

Is there a point where a society becomes so complex, monopolised and bureaucratic that nothing can get done?

Ok, so in this article the task of erecting a few lights and painting lines on the road can easily be achieved (albeit at an horrendous cost) but many other engineering tasks cannot even be completed in Britain anymore.

I heard on the radio about the Edinburgh tram line, stating that they have spent £0.5 billion on building a tramline and achieved absolutely nothing, but they have come to the conclusion that the only firm that can build it is German.

I would have thought the main part of the problem is regulation and bureaucracy. Nowdays you literally need a risk assessment, method statement and a thousand other health and safety documents just to do one task. You think I'm exaggerating? I have worked on tasks and needed to do masses of H&S paperwork for something as simple as a truck delivery.

The next problem is de-industrialisation and de-skilling. As industry suffers from foreign competition and strangled by H&S, businesses become uncompetitive. The result is monopolization by foreign firms or large MNC firms. These firms can then charge massive amounts for their works.

But the real issue is, as time goes on councils and people won't have the money to pay extortionate prices to carry out a task, so will these tasks actually be completed? Throw in other factors such as rising commodity prices and you have a bag full of bombs. What will happen in the future when roads have to be resurfaced? When bridges have to be structurally engineered? When new schools have to be built? When traffic light systems need to be replaced?

Modern infrastructure is so complex, that I believe its maintenance and upkeep is unachievable in times of stagnating economies and resource shortages. Over the next few years does anyone believe we will see infrastructure crumble under our very own eyes?

I remember having a rant about "justin time" (whoever he is)

Shortly after - we had the Japanese Earthquakes!

Shortly after that - Honda, Toyota and others ran out of parts and their workers were put on short time!

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half a billion for a half completed tram system? They could just have bought every driver in the city a new car! Or let's say a moped, that way congestion is not compounded.

But I agree with your point about beurocracy. All the health and safety stuff seems to have multiplied at the same pace as the bloated compensation "no win no fee" industry which seemed to have multiplied like bacteria since 1997.

No no no no. It is half a billion for ONE 11 mile tram line from the City Centre to the Airport. And this was already mostly served by a very popular bus that was already running on some designated bus only roads. Not just bus lanes - but proper separate bus roads.

And to replace this with ONE tram line and extend it by a few miles (Which is the only real difference between this and the existing bus service) is expected to cost more like three quarters of a billion pounds.

PS - in case anyone is wondering this is 100% factual. I know - difficult to believe.

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No no no no. It is half a billion for ONE 11 mile tram line from the City Centre to the Airport. And this was already mostly served by a very popular bus that was already running on some designated bus only roads. Not just bus lanes - but proper separate bus roads.

And to replace this with ONE tram line and extend it by a few miles (Which is the only real difference between this and the existing bus service) is expected to cost more like three quarters of a billion pounds.

PS - in case anyone is wondering this is 100% factual. I know - difficult to believe.

Mind boggling. Right, I'm off to register my new company - I'm thinking of becoming a tram manufacturer ;) In fact - no I'm going for Special Tram Enterprise Assured Linkage (S.T.E.A.L) as my new company - we manufacture nothing, but just have a comfy chat every few months at exotic locations around the globe for just a few million quid per meeting. Wish me luck everybody! All I need to do is get insider information on the tender requirements I guess?

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Mind boggling. Right, I'm off to register my new company - I'm thinking of becoming a tram manufacturer ;) In fact - no I'm going for Special Tram Enterprise Assured Linkage (S.T.E.A.L) as my new company - we manufacture nothing, but just have a comfy chat every few months at exotic locations around the globe for just a few million quid per meeting. Wish me luck everybody! All I need to do is get insider information on the tender requirements I guess?

You would have probably got a few quid from Edinburgh council in the past few years. Sadly - whilst I say that in jest - it may not actually be a joke. :(

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Madness is they pulled up disused train track for part of the guided busway. Trains would have been far better. They're just scared of the unions.

Should never had let the Cambridge to Oxford train track be built over either. Totally scandalous.

The good thing about building over old train tracks is that they cant reinstate the service ever again. As planned re 1960;s/70s/80s politics. Anyone not driving is a cretin, I think is what the 80's tories view was. (however recent labour no better)

No no no no. It is half a billion for ONE 11 mile tram line from the City Centre to the Airport. And this was already mostly served by a very popular bus that was already running on some designated bus only roads. Not just bus lanes - but proper separate bus roads.

And to replace this with ONE tram line and extend it by a few miles (Which is the only real difference between this and the existing bus service) is expected to cost more like three quarters of a billion pounds.

PS - in case anyone is wondering this is 100% factual. I know - difficult to believe.

EAirport is also close to the train line and would have been a short spur off it. However as per tram fiasco, suspect would have cost 10 billion.

All this of course is what is happens when you swap a real economy for a paper jobbie. Everything has to been 'paper-ised' to the full extent then we put professional desk jockey's in charge of engineering projects. Have noticed in all my jobs over the last 20 years or so that something deemed from above as expressed on their spreadsheet analysis is treated as the laws of physics, regardless of the physical impossibility of it being so.

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The good thing about building over old train tracks is that they cant reinstate the service ever again. As planned re 1960;s/70s/80s politics. Anyone not driving is a cretin, I think is what the 80's tories view was. (however recent labour no better)

EAirport is also close to the train line and would have been a short spur off it. However as per tram fiasco, suspect would have cost 10 billion.

All this of course is what is happens when you swap a real economy for a paper jobbie. Everything has to been 'paper-ised' to the full extent then we put professional desk jockey's in charge of engineering projects. Have noticed in all my jobs over the last 20 years or so that something deemed from above as expressed on their spreadsheet analysis is treated as the laws of physics, regardless of the physical impossibility of it being so.

Nothing wrong with some paper stuff when doing a project like this. Makes sense. But yes - seems to have gone far too far in that direction. By a mile.

Although what happens today in the UK IMO is not different to what happens to any other corrupt country. People buy other people off.

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No, it is screwed up becase some arses in the Edinburgh council thought that for some reason because lots of other European cities had trams then Edinburgh had to have one too....

Now we are in a position that we are getting a half arsed scheme that goes only half the distance of the proposed initial line whilst at the same time it is alleged that Edinburgh's 'award winning' (I have to agree it is pretty good) bus company which is mostly council owned (and profitable) will need to be sold to pay for the tram. Where the rest of the money will come from has not be disclosed....

Typical council nonsense, involving bad planning, inflated egos, 'unlimited' budget and all done to fulfil the need to be seen to do something.

I would much prefer to have councils that you didn't notice as they were simply getting on with their jobs with the minimum fuss and hiderence to the citizens they are supposed to represent.

If you're on the right side of the tracks, pun intended, then all this extra waste and debt that is pushing the UK and the world closer to the edge of insolvency - well closer to the fact that our current insolvency will be totally apparent - is something to welcome, rather than curse. After all, there is little we can do about it.

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PS - in case anyone is wondering this is 100% factual. I know - difficult to believe.

As much as I love Edinburgh, driving through it these days is like driving through some 3rd world city.

Its streets are dirty, dusty with 1000s of potholes... With hundreds of pointless unfinished roadworks all over the place.

So, as far as Edinburgh is concerned, the infrastructure is collapsing already... :(

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Madness is they pulled up disused train track for part of the guided busway. Trains would have been far better. They're just scared of the unions.

The best bit was that to put the busway in they need to buy up hundreds of houses so they can knock them down.

Last cost I heard was £128m. Cost to put the railway back into action would be about £30m, including electrification and new rolling stock.

When backing starting to rise for putting the railway back, the council ordered the tracks to be ripped up to make putting the railway back into use even more expensive, but still far cheaper than the busway, so they built a load a sh!tty flats on the track area that approaches the station in Luton. Now to put the train back you'de have to knock lots of flats down.

Lots of talk around about senior people on the council having bought up the properties that will need to be bought and demolished for the busway. Suspected corruption on a huge scale. With the Vauxhall Vectra plant (and all the other factories etc supplying it) closed (they were open when the busway was chosen) far fewer people commute from Dunstable to Luton now anyway so christ knows who would use it.

Luton is toast anyway, when the main Vauxhall plant closed the town lost it's main income. Half the redundancy money went into the property market, with flats being rented out to foreign students, who sign up for Luton thinking it's in London because of "London Luton Airport". Highest percentage of foreign students of any uni in the UK, highest dropout rate of any uni in the UK. With course fees rising, the Uni will sign-ups will collapse.

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You would have probably got a few quid from Edinburgh council in the past few years. Sadly - whilst I say that in jest - it may not actually be a joke. :(

Fat cats, politcal elites, mandarins, media moguls, cartels, magnates, power syndicates, champagne socialists - what do they have in common? Ruthlessness on a grandiose scale. All a fellow can do is watch and learn by example, and thus comes the next generation into the fray.

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Modern infrastructure is so complex, that I believe its maintenance and upkeep is unachievable in times of stagnating economies and resource shortages. Over the next few years does anyone believe we will see infrastructure crumble under our very own eyes?

You have to disentangle Health & Safety from dwindling resources.

The fact there is a limited amount of oil in the world means that our infrastructure WILL for certain get worse over the next 50-100 years.

However, ignore H&S and you just end up like China where hundreds of people die due to shoddy working conditions. Proportionate H&S is the key.

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The best bit was that to put the busway in they need to buy up hundreds of houses so they can knock them down.

Last cost I heard was £128m. Cost to put the railway back into action would be about £30m, including electrification and new rolling stock.

And I bet it could be done cheaper than that too, without over-the-top-must-cover-everything-imaginary paperwork and designs. I saw a photo recently where the railway had replaced an old-fashioned semaphore signal with a new one (presumably because that was easier than putting a single lights one in the same location). Old one would've been an arm on a pole with a ladder. This had a huge platform around it, massively stronger support, and looked so over the top for a single signal it was laughable. I'm surprised that it still had a bit of a ladder to get to that platform instead of a wheelchair-accesible ramp.

That's where the money goes.

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Thanks for posting the Taitner lecture. I remember reading the collapse of complex societies at uni and was impressed with his thesis. The increasing cost and declining returns of innovation is a point well made and a much more real malthusian check than cr@p about climate change, I believe. But I think he makes two mistakes. One is that all previous civilisations have had static technologies, whereas ours is the only one that has gone through several scientific paradigm shifts and benefited from the productivity gains of the technology that came from them. So we are not paying out of our previously won energy capital, we are inventing new resources. The second is that it is not a matter of 'faith' that innovation occurs, it's a matter of observable empirical fact and induction, the same as it's not a matter of faith that if believe the sun will rise tomorrow morning. It may be true, however, that we are coming to the end of a long wave cycle of industrial technology and the next paradigm had better frakking well hurry up - so here's looking at you Kurzweil's singularity!

Edited by kenzdawg

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  • 284 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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