If many of you drive in central London on a regular basis you may have experienced the enormous amount of current reduced road space being given over to cycle lanes.
A prime example currently is the East/ West route along the Victoria Embankment from Tower Hill to Westminster and Blackfriars Road from St Georges Circus through to Ludgate Circus and Kings Cross although this is only a fraction of what is now actually being built.
The net effect of all of this work is to greatly reduce the road space for motor vehicles of all types. This inevitably will raise existing high pollution levels, which will far exceed the current EU Guidance Legislation and therefore the EU will have no choice than to impose far higher swingeing financial penalties than they currently do. All of this will be as a direct consequence of traffic travelling at half the speed it previously did.
Therefore TFL in its planning,will have every excuse it needs to legislate against all vehicles using fossil fuels. Many may welcome this as a good move to keep pollution levels down.
The point of this blog is no matter where you currently live this will reach your city and town shortly, and the cost of changing over to electric or hybrid transportation will not be cheap. Its part of Environmental Globalisation and it’s moving at a greater speed than we think.
Are you ready, and do you currently have the resources to meet this brave
Update The process has already started, Mayor of London asks for the public’s opinion on London cycle lanes.
Update on New Measures
New Measures to tackle air quality including five low emission neighbourhoods set up across eight London
Update on London ULEZ (ultra low emission zone)
The zone is due to start in September 2020 and will only take place in the current Congestion charge zone. This could change eventually to bring in more areas.
It will include all vehicles, although there will be some exceptions.
A charge will be made to vehicles that wish to come into central London without meeting the new ULEZ emission standards. The charge will £12.50 per day for car, van or minibus. The scale of charges go up for HGV,s buses and coaches they will pay £100.00 per day. All charges are in addition to a current daily congestion charge in-place at the time .
Update on the effects of London cycle lanes.
In this JPG the cycle lane is to the left of the forward movement of traffic at present it appears to be sparsely populated with cyclists.
The road is an important East-West thoroughfare through central London, public opinion at the moment varies immensely as to the use of the lanes outside of peak periods.
The super traffic computer, currently in use London
London has for some time now used the resources of a UTC or
Urban Traffic Computer.
This feeds back constant information from sensors implanted into urban roads and highways.
It also monitors separate traffic flow in each lane, occupancy, speed and vehicle type .
Transport For London, now use these sensors and other devices, to allow quicker cycling journeys through the city. This has led to a backlash, from motorists, transport companies and pedestrians who daily have to deal with its effects.
The use of this technology arguably for better or worse has increased frustration for other road users including existing public transport vehicles, i.e. buses and licenced taxis
Many now have rightly or wrongly have come to regard this as an extreme form of social experimentation, carried out without any proper public consultation.
TFL for its part had placed at various times web base surveys asking the public to comment on the schemes. As the plan went ahead one can only assume unfortunately that the public did not care, or indeed the public did not either understand or fully realise the consequence that might occur if these plans were to be fully implemented.
Cyclists organisations, on the other hand were vociferous in voicing their approval for London Cycle Lanes. As both a cyclist and a motorist I can see the wisdom on both sides.But I believe the inevitability of a rise in traffic pollution will eventually decide the outcome for both sides.
Traffic For London from its inception in the year 2000, has assumed one might argue a dictatorial or even draconian stance in the governance of London traffic. There may also I believe in the near future be many costly and legal challenges to its current and ongoing proposals.
This might take the form of local class actions, from large haulage companies disgruntled citizens and small business operators, such taxi drivers, vendors who have seen an effective and damaging loss of earnings due to the implementation of its traffic schemes and on-going further proposals.
London Cycle Lanes and its effects on the population.
London does have major traffic problems and the TFL model for a future cleaner city is in one sense sensible. But on the other hand one might say, it is being conducted arguably with a total indifference to the effects on the general population. Cycle accidents and deaths are on the rise. The majority of Cyclists are law abiding but have no identification and therefore regularly ignore traffic signals. This has led to an increasing number of accidents, and some fatalities involving cyclists and pedestrians on pavements and roads. The point of this blog is not to just level criticism at any particular group. TFL in its headlong rush for a cleaner city has failed dismally to address major issues such as how does it control this brave new world it has created. TFL may regularly put out statements that they are increasing the number of police and PCSOs on our streets leading to hopefully, improved traffic regulation but as many Londoners both living in and commuting to the metropolis will tell you they currently see very little or no evidence of this.
One might argue, effectively all TFL are trying to achieve is a revolution in city transportation at minimum cost.
The pressure for clean air is mounting
A recent article in a respected London tabloid stated that a major London Road had breached its limit just 120 hours into the new year.
A concentration of toxic nitrogen dioxide had exceed 200 micrograms per cubic metre since after the new year 2017 came in.
The world health organisation has said there is no “safe ” level of exposure above 200 micrograms.
On-going press and public criticism of Cyclist’s
The transition to cycling via purpose built cycle lanes as an alternative form of transport is not
with out its detractors, recent press headlines in a major
tabloid newspaper screamed.
Is London Safe from Lycra Louts ?
The article (not quoted verbatim) inferred, they have now got their cycle and introduction of these is raising pollution to unacceptable levels because of a reduction in general road space. Many argue that cyclists ignore lights regularly that is coupled with the added danger of when impeded they use pavements to continue their journey and use threatening behaviour if impeded and in some rare cases have mowed down pedestrians. This one might add is a minority of cyclists but many of the public including motorists and pedestrians are concerned that TFL and the authorities have no means of identification of these miscreants and have not pursued any legislation to do so.
TFL for its part does provide general information regularly on changes that are happening to surface transport in the city, but many would argue that that this information appears to be skewed toward cyclists and the cycling community.
To the detriment of many others particularly people who have to use the reduced road space on London already polluted and congested road.
The mayor currently rightly or wrongly believes he is gaining public support for his proposals, for a cleaner car free city. I believe his proposals are worthy but the hasty implementation of these is leading to much needless disruption and anger from many groups now beginning to form.