Tag Archives: speed

The cost of a letter, I don’t care.

Recently the Post Office has increased the cost of posting a letter. I really don’t care as I’ve almost stopped using the post. I’ve been using e-mail and other social networking type stuff for my messaging for many years, however the main reason I don’t use the post anything like as much as I did is because of the Post Office itself. Or more specifically, when the Post Office stopped their early morning delivery. I have no problem with them going from two deliveries a day down to one, but their shift of (the now single) delivery time from early morning to late morning has been a killer for me.

Let’s take the ’before’ situation. I could write a letter (the request) on Monday, get it off in the afternoon, and assuming 1st class post, the other party would get it before they headed off to work on Tuesday morning. They could then pen a reply during the day (response), get that off in the evening post. I’d get it Wednesday morning and get a reply (acknowledgement) off by the evening and they would then get it Thursday morning. They could then get a final note (confirmation) off on Thursday which I would get on Friday morning

So we have a request, response, acknowledgement, then final confirmation, all done within a working week. In fact this is not really any slower for those computer users who are not that geeky and just check their e-mail once a day.

However let’s look at the same situation since the Post Office ’updated’ their delivery service.

I write my letter on Monday (request) and get it off in the post. It gets delivered on Tuesday after those I’m writing to have left for work, so they won’t see it till Tuesday evening. They sort out a reply (response), this will be too late for Tuesday’s collection so won’t get into the system till Wednesday. This should then get delivered to me on Thursday morning, but after I’ve gone to work, so I won’t see it till the evening. I get my reply (acknowledgement) written on Thursday evening but this in turn won’t get into the postal system till Friday, arriving at the other end on Saturday morning. Even living in a city, my Saturday last post collection time is around lunch time, so even if they get their final reply (confirmation) written on Saturday it won’t get collected till Monday. This should get to me late Tuesday morning, but I won’t see it till Tuesday evening.

So our request, response, acknowledgement and final confirmation has now stretched from just a few days to a week and a half!

I’m sorry, but that’s just crap, so I’ve shifted even more of my communication across to electronic messaging. The only thing I now regularly use the post for is birthday and Christmas cards. I would be happy to use the postal system more, it’s not so much the cost of a letter but this reduction in quality of service that I find so distressing.

With service like it is no wonder the Post Office is losing business.

Motorway speed limit

People have been talking recently about increasing the motorway speed limit to 80 mph. I’d like to see this happen, even if just given a trial on one or two roads.

At the moment when a motorway has reasonably free running traffic people tend to drive around 80 mph naturally. It’s not as if it is just one or two drivers, but a significant percentage (who are of course distracted from paying proper attention to what is in front of them by worrying about being nicked). So all this would do would bring the law into line with the reality of what’s actually happening on the roads. The real problem is with inappropriate speed, not high speed, and that’s best sorted out by proper education and getting people to drive at the speed they are comfortable with.

Britain’s speed limit is lower than many other countries in Europe while some roads in Germany have no restriction on them at all (though there is a recommended 130 Km/h (81 mph) limit), yet even on the unrestricted autobahns you very rarely hear of any accidents. Remove the distraction of worrying about being caught may even reduce the number of motorway incidents.

However what I’d really like to see is more ‘active’ speed limit controls, especially on urban motorways. So often the limits on these roads are set to cater for the rush hour traffic situation which is totally different from the rest of the day, let alone week-end. Driving down an almost empty, 50 mph limited motorway on a Sunday morning just generates contempt and disrespect for speed limits, and this contempt is then carried across to other situations. Adjust the limit as the situation changes (morning, afternoon, night; weekday, weekend) and then however vigourously enforce the limits. The technology is there to give variable limits, urban motorways are quite heavily monitored with video cameras feeding back to control centres, people are quite used to seeing electronic signs around the place, so there’s no technical reason why this could not happen, just a matter of politicians making decisions!