Economic Myths: innovation, employment and wages
6 hours ago
Former Justice Secretary Jack Straw is calling for motor insurance companies to stop selling motorists' details to personal injury lawyers without permission.
The Blackburn MP described the soaring cost of insurance - caused by referrals to 'no win, no fee' firms for up to £1,000 a time - as "a racket".
Writing in The Times today, he said: "The quicker it's ended, the better it will be for the law-abiding motorist."
Mr Straw was alerted to the problem by constituent Phil Riley, who was "bombarded with texts and personal calls" following a minor "fender bender" in which he suffered no injury.
The most expensive road per mile is the Limehouse Link. The 1.1 mile (1.8 km) tunnel in London's Docklands opened in 1993 at a cost £293m. Adjusted for one measure of inflation that would be £445m or £230,000 per yard (£250,000 per metre). It was designed and built in seven years and at the time was the second biggest engineering project in Europe after the Channel Tunnel.
"It was almost insane," says Sir Peter Hall, Bartlett professor of planning at University College London. "But Margaret Thatcher would stop at nothing to get the Isle of Dogs developed." The price tag can be explained by the fact it had to avoid other tunnels and a river basin and incorporate a junction within the tunnel.
The advent of the road protest movement - personified by Swampy at the Newbury bypass protests of the 1990s - showed that attitudes had changed. Governments saw roads as potentially controversial and took seriously the arguments against.
Nowadays the motorway is more likely to be associated with long tailbacks than speed, as summed up by Chris Rea's song about the M25: "This ain't no upwardly mobile freeway, oh no, this is the road to Hell."
We will be releasing a million tickets some time next year, when it finally dawns on the current crop of successful applicants that they've shat away the price of a foreign holiday to watch some obsessive nobody fuck about in a canoe.The thing with the Olympics tickets is that they're like exotic foreign holidays. People don't go to the Caribbean because the sun shines longer or the sand feels better than Spain, it's so they can show off to their friends that they aren't going to Spain. It's pure oneupmanship.
Ministers have announced plans for the next generation of UK nuclear plants.Excellent.
The government confirmed a list of eight sites it deems suitable for new power stations by 2025, all of which are adjacent to existing nuclear sites.
Last summer the council slashed parking prices in the centre of Swindon from £1.20 for an hour and £4.80 for four hours, to £1 an hour, or £2 for four.
Now, a report coming before the cabinet on Wednesday has hailed the move a success, and the council wants to extend it permanently to stop town centre trade falling.
But it also states the cut-price parking rates take an estimated £500,000 out of council coffers each year.
The Brunel Shopping Centre says because of the move, there have been 286,000 more visitors so far in 2011, compared to the same period in 2010 when the car parking prices were still high.