Fact-Checking the "PRT Boondoggle" Blog
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

Mr. No Research

Editor's note: We continue beta-testing the change to one of the oldest editorial policies of "PRT is a Joke" IS A JOKE. For a limited time, The Name of the Minnesota anti-PRT propagandist will be shown -- although special formatting will be used.
Again a Kena Wei (Ken Avidor) post that shows he does no research!

Campaign to Protect Rural England Opposes Personal Rapid Transit

From the CPRE's paper (PDF) "Eco-towns: living a greener future - CPRE's response" that can be downloaded HERE:
an integrated approach to transport, across a district as a whole, should be taken to maximise potential for journeys to and from eco-towns to be made in a sustainable fashion, rather than relying on unproven technologies such as Personal Rapid Transit

Aside from the fact that this is another example of advocacy -- remember, it doesn't determine policy -- and CPRE is perfectly entitled to take this position, there are some oddities.

1. The CPRE is responding to this consultation paper from the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG). It does not mention PRT or podcars.

2. What DCLG does mention are:
• frequent, reliable and easily accessible public transport for longer journeys, that residents are encouraged to use to ensure that they are well connected to key destinations within the ecotown and with nearby settlements and local supply networks. This may include such measures as bus priority schemes, car clubs and additional provision of community transport, as well as good access to information on transport options, including real time information in the home and personalised travel planning for every resident.

Ooooh, how pie-in-the-sky!

What is the plan right now for using PRT in rural England? Let's see, in rural-ish Daventry, it would be a local network, eventually connecting to the train station. Is this not an "integrated approach," local, but also connecting people to "nearby settlements"?

But the point is, PRT is not being put forward for the service niche CPRE is concerned about, transit "across a district as a whole." English districts (below), or 'shire counties', are pretty big, Ken. No one is talking about PRT "across" districts.

(Note to readers: Expert recommendations DCLG has received about PRT are: (a) consider PRT as a way to avoid building a new highway, and (b) consider trams and PRT as a way to avoid creating more local congestion. And these were not general recommendations, but rather specific to two of the proposed eco-towns.)

What you should have researched and written about, Ken, is the question -- what was CPRE actually responding to?

Maybe they were motivated by this kind of thinking:
Critics characterise CPRE as
  • proponents of a drawbridge mentality (i.e. "I've moved to the countryside but I don't want others to do likewise")
  • motivated by luddite nostalgia, or
  • motivated by an egotist NIMBY stance[4]
In December 2008 George Monbiot of The Guardian interviewed CPRE head, Shaun Spiers, about the organisation's opposition to wind farms but not opencast [open pit] coal mines. George Monbiot asked why he couldn't find any opposition of the CPRE to surface coal mining over the past five years, and pointed out that the negative effects that coal mines cause by removing the soil from large areas are much greater than the negative effects wind energy might have on the countryside. [5]

One Guardian reader commented about the Monbiot interview:

Let's face it- the CPRE are there to protect the few who enjoy the country life. Not the countryside itself. Not the biodiversity. But the pretty 'midsomer murders'/'vicar of dibley' version of rolling peaceful England and the privileged few who are allowed to enjoy it.


So -- non-inclusive, upper-class, anti-technology, against new alternative energy, and OK with open pit coal mining.
Good to know who Ken Avidor supports!

* * *
Ken Avidor and friends enjoy the English countryside:

"Polish PRT?"


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