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On The Bus

Horse trams on the wrong track

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33 minutes ago, On The Bus said:

Then what do they do when they're not working? Cooped up in a tiny stables for 6 months of the year! 

You don't know very much about how they are kept, do you? They are certainly not 'cooped up in tiny stables' when not on a working day

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1 hour ago, Non-Believer said:

2. Cost. May well be "modest" as above, in your opinion. But that's just the operating loss to the taxpayer every year. With no sign of it being turned around. DBC were quite right to get it off the Douglas ratepayer's backs, at lower loss figures than they're making now. Unfortunately Bullshit Gawne spouted imaginary "better" operating figures that it has yet to meet and dumped the lot on the general taxpayer. Now we're spending X £M so we can carry on losing £0.5M every year.

Actually the Corpy only decided to get rid of them when the councillors refused to let them build expensive new stables.  Before then they were only too keen to use them as an excuse for splashing the cash just as the DoI are.  Only once they were stopped awarding contracts, they suddenly discover it was a terrible drain on the ratepayers and the operating deficit magically doubled overnight.  Judging by comments from Ashford, they had been loading overheads onto the operation, though I doubt they sacked any Corpy managers when they transferred the horse trams to the DoI.

The DoI claimed that they actually lost much less in the first year of operation, but as I pointed out above it's impossible to get honest figures out of them.  It's not completely implausible because even the DoI are better at running a transport operation than the Corpy (mind you so would the horses be).  It's also possible that they were better at collecting fares, though some of claimed increase in passengers could just be better recording of people with season tickets, passes and so on (the same thing probably applies to the increase in bus passengers over the last five years).

I suspect that the horse trams could be run at only a small loss or maybe break even if you kept it modest, encouraged volunteer input and so on.  But that would be against the whole ethos of the way things are done by the Manx Government at the moment.

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41 minutes ago, Roger Mexico said:

Actually the Corpy only decided to get rid of them when the councillors refused to let them build expensive new stables.  Before then they were only too keen to use them as an excuse for splashing the cash just as the DoI are.  Only once they were stopped awarding contracts, they suddenly discover it was a terrible drain on the ratepayers and the operating deficit magically doubled overnight.  Judging by comments from Ashford, they had been loading overheads onto the operation, though I doubt they sacked any Corpy managers when they transferred the horse trams to the DoI.

The DoI claimed that they actually lost much less in the first year of operation, but as I pointed out above it's impossible to get honest figures out of them.  It's not completely implausible because even the DoI are better at running a transport operation than the Corpy (mind you so would the horses be).  It's also possible that they were better at collecting fares, though some of claimed increase in passengers could just be better recording of people with season tickets, passes and so on (the same thing probably applies to the increase in bus passengers over the last five years).

I suspect that the horse trams could be run at only a small loss or maybe break even if you kept it modest, encouraged volunteer input and so on.  But that would be against the whole ethos of the way things are done by the Manx Government at the moment.

I can't argue with any of that, Roger, but the constant harping on about the cost bewilders me. It is buttons. Pocket money in the grand scheme.

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4 hours ago, woolley said:

Oh dear. Horse trams again. Don't we have a lot of people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing? If the horse trams are all you have to complain about then there really isn't a lot wrong in your life.

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Anything I didn't cover?

Yes, why are twin tracks required? As I asked. 

At very, very, most a passing place somewhere midway. A single track would be ample and would resolve many of the traffic problems.

I'm not against the Horse Trams. I just cannot understand why the obvious opportunity to lay a single track wasn't taken.

I am happy to be enlightened, but if a civil servant tries to tell me it is to cater for peak times then they deserve to have their job and pension taken off them.

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47 minutes ago, woolley said:

I can't argue with any of that, Roger, but the constant harping on about the cost bewilders me. It is buttons. Pocket money in the grand scheme.

Are you happy to think in five years time they’d have spunked £25m on it? 

Im aware that things Government must provide which lose money year after year, libraries for example, but to waste this money on a Victorian plaything is ridiculous. If they lose 500k per year but had upto date modern tramway system across the prom all the way to Ramsey I’d happily accept this. But a Fuckn Horse, give me strength. 

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1 hour ago, woolley said:

I can't argue with any of that, Roger, but the constant harping on about the cost bewilders me. It is buttons. Pocket money in the grand scheme.

Because it's not buttons. The annual losses are equivalent to the salaries of 10 nurses or 10 primary school teachers. 

If the Government started looking after the pennies (buttons) then the pounds would look after themselves. The horse trams don't attract tourists. They're a massive waste of money and cause unnecessary pollution with all the traffic that gets stuck behind them. 

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1 hour ago, gettafa said:

Yes, why are twin tracks required? As I asked. 

At very, very, most a passing place somewhere midway. A single track would be ample and would resolve many of the traffic problems.

I'm not against the Horse Trams. I just cannot understand why the obvious opportunity to lay a single track wasn't taken.

I am happy to be enlightened, but if a civil servant tries to tell me it is to cater for peak times then they deserve to have their job and pension taken off them.

I don't believe the "peak time" thing at all. I did comment on this in the post above:

Yes, a single track with passing places may have sufficed. Yes, it might have been better to put it alongside the pavement on the seaward side, but Tynwald could not agree on any alternative. This is why we have the status quo - double track down the middle. A single track down the middle would have been a hazard with the trams squeezed by traffic taking liberties.

It was debated at length in Tynwald over recent years and they could never agree on any configuration. There were advocates of a single track with passing places on the walkway (a vociferous public protest by a few walkers against this), a single track with passing places down the seaward side of the road. (I think that would be the best option for boarding and alighting but it would strip away a fair bit of parking), a single track down the centre, but this was ruled unsafe because of the proximity of opposing movements of horse and traffic. In the end, they voted down every alternative and the only thing left was the status quo which was adopted as the least worst option.

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56 minutes ago, Gizo said:

Are you happy to think in five years time they’d have spunked £25m on it? 

Im aware that things Government must provide which lose money year after year, libraries for example, but to waste this money on a Victorian plaything is ridiculous. If they lose 500k per year but had upto date modern tramway system across the prom all the way to Ramsey I’d happily accept this. But a Fuckn Horse, give me strength. 

£25m ?? Where does that come from? I'm not sending you for my shopping.

I think there is mileage in a dual purpose track so that the MER can run through to town and so does Longworth. I believe that this is why the new track is a heavier duty profile rail to take the electric cars at some future date if desired. I also wondered if, with the advance of battery technology, this could be arranged without having to erect overhead catenary. The vehicle would charge on the run from the north sufficiently to take it along the Prom and back, or have a separate battery car to haul or propel them. Horse could run seasonally in between.

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32 minutes ago, On The Bus said:

Because it's not buttons. The annual losses are equivalent to the salaries of 10 nurses or 10 primary school teachers. 

If the Government started looking after the pennies (buttons) then the pounds would look after themselves. The horse trams don't attract tourists. They're a massive waste of money and cause unnecessary pollution with all the traffic that gets stuck behind them. 

In the context of a billion pound plus budget it IS buttons. Less than a twentieth of one percent. I bet they waste more than that on stationery and not turning the toilet lights off! Loose change.

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10 minutes ago, woolley said:

In the context of a billion pound plus budget it IS buttons. Less than a twentieth of one percent. I bet they waste more than that on stationery and not turning the toilet lights off! Loose change.

The horse trams aren’t even Manx. They were a Lancashire import of surplus stock after everywhere else had gone electric so they got them cheap. 

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3 minutes ago, MrPB said:

The horse trams aren’t even Manx. They were a Lancashire import of surplus stock after everywhere else had gone electric so they got them cheap. 

Our good fortune then. Many of the trams are Victorian treasures. Like I said, we have a lot of people who know the cost of everything and the value of nothing.

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29 minutes ago, woolley said:

In the context of a billion pound plus budget it IS buttons. Less than a twentieth of one percent. I bet they waste more than that on stationery and not turning the toilet lights off! Loose change.

If it's loose change then why are we charging school kids to get the bus to school?  The benefit of £75k extra income on an essential service v. the £300k being wasted on a novelty ride. 

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8 minutes ago, On The Bus said:

If it's loose change then why are we charging school kids to get the bus to school?  The benefit of £75k extra income on an essential service v. the £300k being wasted on a novelty ride. 

Do you really believe that if they scrapped the horse trams they would stop charging on the school bus? It doesn't work like that.

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On 5/27/2019 at 8:00 PM, SJR said:

Absolute fact..Yes on the odd occasion when I am on here I may go off on one (and who does not) it is well known that an airport fireman got a million pound lump sum.Absolute fact and I am amazed that some of you allegedly well informed punters did not know that.I have been posting on facebook  but I may have to come back in combating you clowns as you are clueless..

This thing about the millionaire fireman. Someone has mentioned it on air a couple of times. I didn't believe it then or now - am I wrong?? Surely even the most senior and long serving fireman/person could not accrue that kind of pension pot, could they? 

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Posted (edited)
49 minutes ago, Stu Peters said:

This thing about the millionaire fireman. Someone has mentioned it on air a couple of times. I didn't believe it then or now - am I wrong?? Surely even the most senior and long serving fireman/person could not accrue that kind of pension pot, could they? 

I don't believe this either. I've complained often enough about overgrown government pensions but this sounds like bloke down the pub stuff.

The highest paid government employee is on something like about £300k. That's now, not years ago when this anecdote first emerged. I don't see a fireman getting anywhere near that as a salary in the past. The best pension scheme works on the principle of 1/80th of salary for each year of service, so if you have 40 years in you can get a pension of 50% of salary, and you can exchange up to 30% of the total pot for a lump sum.

Now I am aware that there have been a couple of instances of payouts of nearly half a million pounds where people have had bespoke agreements but these must presumably have been extremely senior, head hunted staff who demanded and negotiated special terms on appointment. I honestly do not see by what mechanism anyone could approach a million. Are we saying a million PLUS a pension too? Perhaps our informant can enlighten us on how this works.

My only further thought is to wonder whether there could have been some additional insurance based enhancement for an industrial incapacity that we aren't hearing about? Or even a grievance that was settled out of court which would not strictly speaking be a pension. We know that these do happen with payouts, but that would have to be some skeleton to yield a million.

Bottom line: I still don't believe it.

Edited by woolley

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