Friday, February 18, 2011

Citizens Say "Pods Off!" Again in Daventry

Do the pod people ever give up? Not in Duluth and not in Daventry.

The last time The Personal Rapid Transit hucksters came to Daventry, the citizens turned en masse to say "Pods Off!". Some Daventry residents even posted a Daventry anti-pod page on Facebook. The Daventry Town Council - a separate governing body than the pod-promoting Daventry District Council (DDC) agreed with the citizens, saying:

"Daventry people have not been apprised of the full extent of the infrastructure required to operate the proposed PRT system. This lack of information clearly denies them the opportunity to make reasoned judgement and comment. "

After listening to a report by a councilor who had visited Heathrow 5 and saw the much-hyped transportation revolution first-hand, the Daventry Town Council voted to reject the pods:

RESOLVED: That Daventry Town Council reject Daventry District Council’s proposals for a PRT system and/or pilot scheme in the town, on the basis that it is inappropriate for and unacceptable to the people of Daventry.

The Daventry Express (The Gusher) reports:

Council puts brakes on pod plans

DAVENTRY District Council (DDC) has told the Gusher it will not be pursuing plans to build a pod network in the town.

Despite revealing at a European transport conference last week that pods were the preferred option to “solve the town’s transport problems” DDC has now said it will be looking into the possibility of bringing cyber buses to the town.

The buses, known as group rapid transit (GRT), do not require a driver and travel ‘on demand’ in specially built lanes.

The council says this makes them more attractive, energy efficient and much cheaper than pods.

The Daventry Express has received dozens of letters from readers after Simon Bowers, the council’s corporate manager for development and property, revealed that building a pod network in Daventry would cost around £85 million.

But DDC said this week: “The council is not pursuing a PRT (pod) system because of the level of costs and in response to the concerns that have already been expressed by residents on the subject....

A sample of comments from the anti-pod letters:

"I find it incredible that DDC are reconsidering reinstatement of the PRT pods after the tsunami of opposition from what seems like the entire population of Daventry."

"Seriously, I would like to know if an assessment survey has been carried out to predict what impact the pods will have and I would also like to know, and I don't think I am alone here, how much money has already been spent on this idea and how much more will be squandered in the future if this comes to fruition?"

"Come on DDC – wake up! We cannot afford the pod system. Look at the original figures that were discussed (presented in a very optimistic manner that will probably have to be multiplied by a factor four or five for a much more limited service than linking to Long Buckby rail station)."

"It is evident if you speak to people on the street in Daventry the majority think the pods/PRT are a complete waste of money for a town the size of Daventry."

Recent news about the ongoing, worldwide pod boondoggle:

Duluth News Tribune article about Taxi 2000 trying to restart Duluth pod project - hilarious comments.

PRT is so not happening at Heathrow.

Pod people invade Newport News ( the article quotes retired professor Vukan Vuchic)

Bizarre hearing for wacky Jpods proposal for Hull, Massachusetts. Video: Bill James Pitches Jpods Resolution to Hennepin County.

Taxi 2000 Corporation spent nearly $80K on lobbying in Minnesota in 5 years. Taxi 2000 lobbyist and Bachmann pal Ed Cain also lobbied for the phony U.S. Navy Veterans Association charity.

The Swedish/Korean PRT prototype malfunctioned in front of the media.

The Masdar PRT (actually computer-guided golf carts that follow magnets imbedded in the roadway) has been scaled way back, This setback got a mention in the NY Times and confirmed in this Bloomberg article.

The so-called Morgantown PRT (it's a mundane people-mover) was the subject of a student newspaper editorial after a malfunction created a "fireball" and filled a vehicle with smoke. The cost of fixing the Morgantown boondoggle is $93 million. Twitter Reveals Morgantown WVU Personal Rapid Transit's Frequent Breakdowns.

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