Green and Accessible Public Transport

Discussions about serious topics, for serious people
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Bird on a Fire » Sat Aug 21, 2021 4:44 pm

A lot of food delivery drivers in Portugal have electric mopeds or motorbikes. They seem pretty handy for zipping about in urban traffic.

And yeah, driving into big cities like Lisbon or London always seems like false economy to me if you have to spend ages trying to find a space and it costs a packet anyway.
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Imrael
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Imrael » Sun Aug 22, 2021 12:08 pm

I've commuted cross-country by car for nearly 20 years now - the 30 mile each way journey would literally take 2 days return by public transport. And actually I'm not that much of an outlier - only 3 of our 50 employees live within 10 miles of the office.
Even that may not be so unusual - outskirts of villages and small towns are dotted with office/light industrial units that are mostly impractical to get to by public transport, and for anything remotely specialist I suspect they recruit from a wide geographic area.

Which I think means that my life style, and my employers, are exactly the ones that need to be gotten rid of. For the moment we're remaining committed to a lot of WFH, preparing to festoon the office with solar panels and probably putting an EV charger or 2 in the car park. But in the end that may not be enough - the widely scattered workforce we currently have may not be sustainable.

So heres my (semi serious) program.
Force all but the biggest businesses to cluster around transport hubs. Use planning laws to prevent future rural general business development - only genuinely local stuff allowed. And use rates/taxes to render those already in place uncompetitive so they either move or close.

Flood rural communities with good internet and incentivise mixed mode WFH via NI or other tax adjustments

Flood the transport hubs with options from bus to future auto-uber to train and light railway

Build a bunch of cheap rent controlled non-luxury flats ringed around the transport hubs. Be relaxed if someone uses them during the week and retains a "proper" home for weekends and holidays.

Personally I'd probably hate that life, but it would all take long enough I probably wouldnt live to see it :)

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FairySmall
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by FairySmall » Tue Aug 24, 2021 9:30 pm

What does the hive mind think about e-scooters? Bristol is part of a pilot rental scheme and they're everywhere. Personally I've found them brilliant for getting to some work meetings (the grand total of 3 that I've had since lockdown easing) and various errands that are too far to walk. Saved me a fair few car journeys, which I'm guessing is part of the point. But then I used to scoot (of the non-electric variety) to work before our office moved to just one hill too far away, so I'm not your average punter. Are they a good option for cities?

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bolo
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by bolo » Tue Aug 24, 2021 10:40 pm

I haven't used them, but they are everyfuckingwhere in DC. For some reason, people who use them never ever ever leave them anywhere other than the middle of the sidewalk when they are finished with them. It's bad enough for a regular pedestrian like me. I can't imagine the frustration for anyone in a wheelchair.

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nekomatic
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by nekomatic » Tue Aug 24, 2021 11:04 pm

Seem like a great idea in principle (make it easy to extend the range of pedestrian journeys, low barrier to use as all you really have to do is stand on them) suffering from some teething issues in practice (conflict with pedestrians in shared spaces, bit riskier for injuries than established alternatives, implemented by private sector with no liability for these externalities). Not a panacea for the less able bodied.

Maybe if a city’s public transport authority really committed to supporting them city wide. they could work well. In this country at least, I don’t think the legislation has even caught up with deciding where you should be allowed to ride them yet?
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monkey
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by monkey » Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:14 am

We had one company come in and they were moved on because they didn't do things like get a business license. Being disruptive only gets you so far.

Now we have a law about them and things are ok. The problem I have is that they don't really fit with existing traffic. Too fast for the pavement, too slow and wobbly for the road. They could go on a nice protected bike lane with no door zones, but we don't have them.

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Martin_B
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Martin_B » Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:37 am

monkey wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 12:14 am
Now we have a law about them and things are ok. The problem I have is that they don't really fit with existing traffic. Too fast for the pavement, too slow and wobbly for the road. They could go on a nice protected bike lane with no door zones, but we don't have them.
I don't like e-scooters. I come across them on cycle paths all too often recently. They have a claimed top speed of ~25 km/h, but most aren't ridden that quickly, or if they are seem to be ridden continually out of control. But I generally cycle at more than 25 km/h (unless going uphill) and coming up behind them and ringing my bell (yes, I do this!) seems to cause more problems than it solves. I've had:
- riders try to speed up to try and stay ahead of me.
- riders crash because they look over their shoulder and unbalance (which suggests that there should be some sort of scooter proficiency test).
- riders move to the middle of the path to try and block me coming past.
- riders give me abuse for "not sharing the path" (?)
- riders moving erratically on paths, especially when overtaking pedestrians as they never look to see if it's safe to pull out. (Most cycle paths in Perth are combined cycle/foot paths, and I rarely have much issue with pedestrians, apart from the one who ignore the bell.)
- on a couple of occasions when I've not rung my bell I've gone past e-scooters and had them crash due to the sudden appearance of another, faster, path user.

Quite apart from the sense of entitlement which I've come across with far too many e-scooter riders, I think there's an issue with them due to their potential speed and the fact that just anyone can buy/hire one. That's also true of bikes, but you do need some skill to get on and stay on a bike at speed. The skill needed to get on an e-scooter and make it go is significantly lower (stand-up and twist a throttle), and you can get up to speed without the skill to control it.

And don't get started on their lack of helmets! ;)
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:19 pm

Yeah, in Lisbon they're mostly used by tourists (often drunk ones) who go ploughing through crowds of pedestrians, f.ck up at traffic junctions, and then just dump the scooters in the middle of the pavement or wherever and wander off.

But I think that's more a problem with people than the scooters. I don't mind people using them sensibly, and if they extent people's practical low-carbon range that's great.
You can shove your climate crisis up your arse!

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by dyqik » Wed Aug 25, 2021 3:53 pm

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:19 pm
Yeah, in Lisbon they're mostly used by tourists (often drunk ones) who go ploughing through crowds of pedestrians, f.ck up at traffic junctions, and then just dump the scooters in the middle of the pavement or wherever and wander off.

But I think that's more a problem with people than the scooters. I don't mind people using them sensibly, and if they extent people's practical low-carbon range that's great.
The latter half of this problem is solved by docked bike share schemes, and docked scooters would work fairly well. Of course that has other problems instead.

Scooter docks would need a while lot less space than bike docks, and could be more widespread, I guess.

Is anywhere doing docked e-bike shares?

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by monkey » Wed Aug 25, 2021 4:12 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 3:53 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:19 pm
Yeah, in Lisbon they're mostly used by tourists (often drunk ones) who go ploughing through crowds of pedestrians, f.ck up at traffic junctions, and then just dump the scooters in the middle of the pavement or wherever and wander off.

But I think that's more a problem with people than the scooters. I don't mind people using them sensibly, and if they extent people's practical low-carbon range that's great.
The latter half of this problem is solved by docked bike share schemes, and docked scooters would work fairly well. Of course that has other problems instead.

Scooter docks would need a while lot less space than bike docks, and could be more widespread, I guess.

Is anywhere doing docked e-bike shares?
We used to have a docked bike share here, they did have e-bikes as part of their fleet, which was pretty sensible because of the hills, but it didn't catch and closed a few years ago. One of the problems was that they didn't have enough money to put in enough docks in about the place and they didn't get enough people doing a regular commute. The e-bikes were popular for people having fun at the weekend though. A few other cities had docked e-bikes from the same supplier, not sure how many still exist now though.

The scooter and bike share companies we have now are dockless, but the city put loads of "corals" in - a parking space with bollards around it and a bike and scooter painted on the ground. If you leave the bike/scooter in one of them, you save a bit of money. It's kind of a hybrid system. It seems to work, I don't get as annoyed at badly parked scooters as I have in other places, and it's probably cheaper than physical docks, so you can put in more. One of the companies does e-bikes too.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by discovolante » Wed Aug 25, 2021 5:54 pm

dyqik wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 3:53 pm
Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 1:19 pm
Yeah, in Lisbon they're mostly used by tourists (often drunk ones) who go ploughing through crowds of pedestrians, f.ck up at traffic junctions, and then just dump the scooters in the middle of the pavement or wherever and wander off.

But I think that's more a problem with people than the scooters. I don't mind people using them sensibly, and if they extent people's practical low-carbon range that's great.
The latter half of this problem is solved by docked bike share schemes, and docked scooters would work fairly well. Of course that has other problems instead.

Scooter docks would need a while lot less space than bike docks, and could be more widespread, I guess.

Is anywhere doing docked e-bike shares?
I think I saw one in Falkirk...
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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Aug 25, 2021 7:42 pm

We're meant to be getting one in Barreiro. But so far there's just docks with no bikes of any sort in them.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by FairySmall » Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:53 pm

I don't know how people can just dump their scooter. Here it won't let me end the journey unless I park in a designated spot (not docks but sensibly located areas, for the most part). And you have to take a photo of your parked scooter to confirm and get shirty emails if they don't think you've parked well enough (with the threat of a fine but I wonder how many of these they've given out).

On ours the battery cuts out if you're riding anywhere you shouldn't. Obviously you can still move but pushing 11kg of unwieldy scooter isn't going to get you anywhere fast. And there are slow areas which cap you at 10mph (you're capped at 20mph everywhere). That goes a long way to mitigating some of the big issues. They're definitely not perfect though and I wonder how much they're providing a green alternative - think I'll be reading the trial report when it comes out. On the whole though I'm glad to have more options.

I am probably the only person in Bristol wearing a helmet on one tho.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by dyqik » Wed Aug 25, 2021 9:24 pm

FairySmall wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:53 pm
I don't know how people can just dump their scooter. Here it won't let me end the journey unless I park in a designated spot (not docks but sensibly located areas, for the most part). And you have to take a photo of your parked scooter to confirm and get shirty emails if they don't think you've parked well enough (with the threat of a fine but I wonder how many of these they've given out).
That's not a requirement in many systems. You just lock the scooter via the app somewhere.

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Bird on a Fire
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Bird on a Fire » Wed Aug 25, 2021 11:13 pm

A lot of places don't proactively regulate new things. AirBnB and Uber are obvious examples where allowing move-fast-and-break-things app-powered services to move fast has led to things being broken.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Millennie Al » Thu Aug 26, 2021 2:41 am

Bird on a Fire wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 11:13 pm
A lot of places don't proactively regulate new things.
Just as well. Otherwise we would have very few new things.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Holylol » Thu Aug 26, 2021 9:49 am

dyqik wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 3:53 pm
Is anywhere doing docked e-bike shares?
Several cities where bike share systems are in place have added e-bikes to their fleet.
Paris for example:
https://www.velib-metropole.fr/en_GB/service

Lyon has a different system where they added "hybrid" e-bikes. The idea is that the user rents the battery, and it can be plugged (or not) to the hybrid bikes.

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FairySmall
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by FairySmall » Thu Aug 26, 2021 10:23 am

dyqik wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 9:24 pm
FairySmall wrote:
Wed Aug 25, 2021 8:53 pm
I don't know how people can just dump their scooter. Here it won't let me end the journey unless I park in a designated spot (not docks but sensibly located areas, for the most part). And you have to take a photo of your parked scooter to confirm and get shirty emails if they don't think you've parked well enough (with the threat of a fine but I wonder how many of these they've given out).
That's not a requirement in many systems. You just lock the scooter via the app somewhere.
Sorry, I should have said I don't know how people manage to dump their scooter here in Bristol (because they still seem to, although not quite so much. Guess I've not found a way round the system). I totally get that other places might be less regulated/controlled. It's kind of amusing that they've chosen to be quite so strict here given Bristol's reputation for being anarchist...

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Woodchopper » Mon Dec 27, 2021 10:40 pm

Back to chargers in car parks:

The government has quietly backtracked on proposals to require every shop, office or factory in England to install at least one electric car charger if they have a large car park, prompting criticism by environmental campaigners.

The original plan required every new and existing non-residential building with parking for 20 cars or more to install a charger. However, the Department for Transport (DfT) has now revealed it will only require chargers be installed in new or refurbished commercial premises amid fears over the cost for businesses, according to a response to a consultation.

[…]

The DfT’s consultation response said it wanted to find “a more tailored approach” for existing non-residential buildings. Despite worries over the financial costs, the cost of about £1,500 for installing a charger point can be recouped within a few years by charging users for electricity.

The DfT declined to share the identities of those who objected to the policy on cost grounds. The consultation responses showed the most common objection was a lack of ambition for the number of charging points for larger premises. Only a “small number of respondents raised concerns about who would pay”. The DfT said it would draft an alternative policy.

All the large UK supermarket chains, led by Asda, Sainsbury’s and Waitrose, have already started installing electric car chargers to try to lure shoppers – who can top up on energy while they shop.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... olled-back

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by IvanV » Tue Dec 28, 2021 2:00 pm

Woodchopper wrote:
Mon Dec 27, 2021 10:40 pm
Back to chargers in car parks:
[…]
The DfT’s consultation response said it wanted to find “a more tailored approach” for existing non-residential buildings. Despite worries over the financial costs, the cost of about £1,500 for installing a charger point can be recouped within a few years by charging users for electricity.

The DfT declined to share the identities of those who objected to the policy on cost grounds. The consultation responses showed the most common objection was a lack of ambition for the number of charging points for larger premises. Only a “small number of respondents raised concerns about who would pay”. The DfT said it would draft an alternative policy.
Given what this government is, it wouldn't surprise me if they realised they had designed a poor policy which requires rethinking. Would not get the chargers in the best places. Insufficient chargers in places they would be used is the other side of chargers in places they wouldn't be used.

£1,500 gets you a slow charger, the kind that would recharge a car from near empty in 10-20 hours, like people have at their homes. Its main use would be for employees staying there most of the day. Potentially very useful for people who could not install a private charger at home, especially if the employer makes available electricity to employees at cost, rather than the high prices of commercial chargers. I'm not sure a customer visting for half an hour, or even an hour and a half, would be terribly interested in plugging into a slow charger, except in the very specific situation that just a little extra would sort them out for the next leg of their trip. A fast charger that would get you a worthwhile top-up in that time frame costs a five-figure sum to install.

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bjn
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by bjn » Tue Dec 28, 2021 3:10 pm

Google tells me I can buy a 22kW charger for £1600 ex-VAT, while that won’t recharge a BEV in 20 minutes, it would still put a non insignificant chunk of charge on while I was buying groceries for an hour or so. I’m guessing that ubiquity of such chargers will be much more useful way to invest in BEV infrastructure than on fewer more expensive rapid chargers, which would give you fewer Watts of installed charge capacity overall. Not that some 20 minute chargers won’t be useful on Motorways etc…

Needs some sums done to figure that out though.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by IvanV » Tue Dec 28, 2021 3:41 pm

bjn wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 3:10 pm
Google tells me I can buy a 22kW charger for £1600 ex-VAT, while that won’t recharge a BEV in 20 minutes, it would still put a non insignificant chunk of charge on while I was buying groceries for an hour or so.
The bare charger itself may indeed be that cheap. The reason that these higher power chargers tend to end up costing 5-figure sums to install is the cost of providing a suitable electrical supply for them. You need a 3 phase supply for a 22kW charger. If you put several in one location, as might happen in a supermarket car park, it may require upgrades to the distribution system supplying the site.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by Cardinal Fang » Tue Dec 28, 2021 6:43 pm

My view on public transport has shifted considerably

(This might end up being a long post so hang in there)

I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the start of the year and had to surrender my driving license*. I sold my car a wee while later

Which means that my only option has been to rely on shank's pony and public transport to get around (I bought a bike. It got stolen a week later. I live in Oxford which is one of the bike theft capitals of the UK. I didn't think it worth replacing the bike just to have it nicked again)

I can count on the fingers of one hand the times when not having a car or be able to drive was a massive inconvenience, and still have fingers free. Granted with lockdowns and the virus that shall not be named things aren't exactly normal, so as things open up fully that might change. But then again I live in Oxford, which as someone else pointed out has better than average public transport. If I lived where parent and sibling do, where transport is not so integrated, then it might have been much more of a hassle.

I've now been seizure free for a year (yay medicines!!!) so I can think about reapplying for my license. However after a year of basically not needing one I'm not sure I'm going to get another car. Not worth the cost of insurance/tax/fuel etc (I don't live somewhere where I can have a charging point, so electric is out), plus there's the risk I could have another seizure and go back to no license, have to sell car thing again. Overall not worth the bother. Thinking that for the handful of times I might actually need a car to get long distances I'll just rent one as and when.

But that's only an option because I live somewhere with good local and national transport links - lots of buses, coach into that there London, trains etc. If they want to encourage people to ditch their cars there has to be a heck of a lot of investment in public transport that goes where people need to go, rather than what is just profitable. Oxford at one time had a "dial a ride" type bus that picked you up and dropped you where you wanted to go, rather than running on set routes (almost like a publically owned communal taxi service in mini buses). That would have been spot on for me if that existed now. Having services like that in a lot more places, so people aren't necessarily tied to timetables or routes I have no doubt would encourage many people to use cars less. And routes need to be based on what people need rather than just what makes money. The US system of having school buses to take kids to and from school would be a great way of reducing the numbers of people having to have a second car to do the school run.

But that would take central government front loading investment to establish proper transport networks in the first place They also need to put money in to encourage public transport use - for example companies being incentivised to offer staff transport, say from a park-and-ride or rail station, so people don't have to drive into city centres (smaller companies in the same vicinity of each other could team up to rent buses and the like), and tax credits available for those who can prove they regularly travel to work by public transport rather than driving. And the government should be prepared to back the incentives to use public transport with penalties for driving a car - say, for a start, a tax on urban parking spaces (with the tax going up the more spaces a building or company has), and taxes on privately owned vehicles entering town or city centres (with exemptions for people with disabilities, delivery vehicles and the like), say between 7 am and 9pm (because I appreciate that one can't be expected to run a comprehensive public transport system 24/7), with the ability to gain rebates for things like having to go to the hospital or some such (although having spent a lot of time at hospital appointments in the last 18 months, hospital trusts should be encouraged to operate park and ride schemes for visitors, staff, and outpatients. Most people coming to the hospital don't need to be able to park on site), so that cost savings push people towards thinking about taking public transport before hopping in their cars

CF

Oh and as an aside - disabled bus passes should be usable at all times, not just after 9:30. Technically I'm eligible for one, but don't have one (I live in walking distance of work, and it's not worth applying for for the other journeys I do). But making them only usable after 9:30 means disabled people can't normally use them to travel to work. Disabled people have enough barriers to being in work already without that one as well.
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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by IvanV » Tue Dec 28, 2021 9:55 pm

Cardinal Fang wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 6:43 pm
I was diagnosed with epilepsy at the start of the year and had to surrender my driving license*. I sold my car a wee while later

Which means that my only option has been to rely on shank's pony and public transport to get around (I bought a bike. It got stolen a week later. I live in Oxford which is one of the bike theft capitals of the UK. I didn't think it worth replacing the bike just to have it nicked again)
My sympathy. This happened to a cycling friend of mine. He fell off his bike in having his first fit. But the scar on his face is from a table in the hospital, where he had his second fit.

His initial attitude was to take taxis when a bicycle or public transport was unsuitable for the trip. For example for a big weekly shop that was too big to fit on the bike. He counted up how much he spent on taxis and other public transport during the period before he got his driving licence back, and it was only half what it cost to own and run a car.

Holding onto bicycles is a bit of a skill, if you have to lock them up in the street during the day. Plainly you need to get them off the street at night. Since I lock bikes up in the street in central London, I take a lot of care over choosing bikes I think won't be stolen, and then locking them up sufficiently well for the value of bicycle.

Cable lock - can be snipped, except for rare cable locks that are even heavier than U-bar locks. The value of bicycle that a thief will steal in broad daylight protected only with a snippable cable lock is pretty low, perhaps as little as £150-£200. Especially given steal it and look carefully at it later.
U-bar lock - needs power tools for stealing in broad daylight. The value of a bicycle that a thief will steal in broad daylight with a U-bar lock is rather higher, you are probably OK up to about £750, maybe a bit more depending upon how fashionable and hence fenceable it is.

Any bicycle can be stolen. There were always techniques suitable for stealing bicycles in the middle of the night regardless of the lock. But today the cordless angle-grinder has made it possible to steal any bicycle in broad daylight. There is no lock that resists one of them.

A work colleague has had two nice bikes stolen to angle-grinder wielding thieves, in broad daylight, in well-trafficked area in WC1. I lock my bicycle at the same bike rack, and they haven't stolen mine. I use a U-bar lock, and know how to use it. For my bicycle worth only £200 or so, a thief will look elsewhere to be bothered applying their angle-grinder.

My general choice is something off ebay that was OK 20 years ago, but which I can maintain to keep it going fine. But you need to have a fair bit of wear left in enough components when you buy it. A bicycle with too much worn out is typically uneconomic to repair, even if you do the labour yourself. So typically I keep such bikes going for 5-10 years and then have to replace them. I have lost a couple by forgetting to lock them up. And another one to being hit by car who drove straight into me while proceeding in a blind situation without priority.

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Re: Green and Accessible Public Transport

Post by nekomatic » Tue Dec 28, 2021 11:05 pm

IvanV wrote:
Tue Dec 28, 2021 9:55 pm
Cable lock - can be snipped, except for rare cable locks that are even heavier than U-bar locks.
I have one of these which claims to be on a par with U locks at half the weight - they also do tougher versions. I have not personally had the toughness put to the test.
Dervict stanord

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