The road network in central London is being destroyed by the actions of Transport for London (TfL) and local boroughs. When roads are closed or congestion made worse by bus or cycle lanes, then the whole network grinds to a halt. Recent new examples are:
King Street/Chiswick High Road Cycle Lane Scheme. See photograph above of the congestion this has caused. The cycle lane impedes emergency vehicles, is dangerous for pedestrians and cyclists, increases congestion and hence pollution, ended the King Street bus lane, and reduces parking space which negatively affects local businesses. The congestion doesn’t just stop on King Street. Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith Gyratory, and Fulham Palace Road have all become completed jammed at peak hours which affects the entire Borough.
There is now a petition on Change.org calling for its removal. Please go here to sign: https://chng.it/65WC85hWgD
London Bridge and Borough High Street. In the east of London, TfL introduced an experimental scheme on London Bridge and in Borough High Street in Spring 2020 using the Covid epidemic as an excuse. They are now proposing to extend these schemes for another six months. It effectively closed London Bridge to all traffic except pedestrians, cyclists, motorcyclists, buses and taxis.
TfL are now proposing to extend both schemes for a further six months using an experimental traffic order with another consultation exercise. They claim it has reduced bus journey times but that is hardly surprising when traffic and people in central London have been much reduced by the Covid pandemic.
This scheme is totally unjustifiable as it removes one of the key London river crossings for most traffic and effectively closes that part of the City to vehicles. You can send comments on the latest decision to firstname.lastname@example.org
Aldwych Scheme. While I was writing this blog post I received a telephone call complaining about the revised road layout on Aldwych and Kingsway. This has substantially increased traffic congestion in the area and many taxi drivers are complaining about it. It’s yet another defective traffic scheme introduced by TfL for no clear benefit.
Slowing Traffic with 20 Limits. Apart from slowing traffic with more congestion caused by the above schemes, TfL is now proposing to impose lower speed limits on several major roads. Four 20mph speed limits will be introduced, including the A10 – A503 corridor in Haringey, the A13 Commercial Road in Tower Hamlets, the A23 London Road in Croydon and the A107 corridor in Hackney. In addition, a 30mph speed limit has been introduced on a section of the A10 Great Cambridge Road in Enfield and Haringey.
These reductions are aimed at cutting casualties as part of its Vision Zero commitment to reduce road danger and enable more walking and cycling in the capital. The central London Congestion zone had a 20-mph limit imposed in 2020 and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) will significantly increase speed enforcement by increasing MPS capacity to enforce up to one million offences by 2024/25, introducing new technology to improve effectiveness of enforcement and rolling out new powers to Police Community Support Officers so that they can stop speeding vehicles and take enforcement action against drivers.
Comment: This is of course an example of how the MPS under Cressida Dick has lost track of its priorities. Instead of cutting knife crime and keeping the roads open the MPS prefers instead to spend money on speed limit enforcement.
This is yet more harassment of drivers which will have little impact on road casualties. Vision Zero is failing to achieve its objectives in cutting accidents because reducing speed limits alone by just putting up signs does not have any impact as is clear from studies published by the DfT. To cut accidents roads need to be re-engineered and money spent on driver education.
Central London is becoming a “no go” area for private car drivers and making life very difficult for taxi/PHV and delivery vehicle drivers. This is simply encouraging businesses and retailers to move out and will impoverish London in due course.
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