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Old November 24th, 2012, 08:18 PM   #41
spindrift
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Which ones? If you are going to compare to Berlin, then give me a road that is wide enough to fit 1 uninterrupted cycle lane, 1 uninterrupted bus lane, 2 lanes for general traffic in each direction for at least 3 miles.

Compared to Berlin?

Let’s look at a selection of main roads, mostly in central London.

Piccadilly -







Clerkenwell Road -



Grays Inn



High Holborn:



The Strand (this is just one side of the gyratory) -



Uxbridge Road -



Statford Highway:




Aldgate -



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Bizarrely people seem to have an insistent belief that London’s streets are ‘narrow’. At a guess I would imagine this belief stems from an assumption that because London has, in some places, a medieval street pattern, its streets are necessarily medieval in layout. But while the City of London, in particular, has largely retained its original layout, the history of construction in London is generally one of a desire to impose order with wide, grand streets.

Looking at these pictures it is worth noting both the huge distances between the building frontages in every single case, and also that, in the great majority of examples, the entire road width is given over to the passage and storage of private motor vehicles. The pictures tell us that the real issue in London is not ‘physical constraints’ or ‘a lack of space’ but rather how that space is allocated. In other words, how those ‘other road users’ might be affected.

Part of the congestion problem [in London] is that people don’t see a realistic alternative to driving. Buses aren’t much of an alternative if they’re caught up in the same congestion as the cars.

For most people, cycling isn’t an alternative because even residential roads are perceived as too dangerous for cycling – mainly because they’re full of the rat-running traffic I referred to earlier trying to avoid the congestion hotspots.

So people are driving distances of less than a mile in some cases, distances that are cyclable by anyone of average fitness. We know at least 50% of London car journeys could easily be cycled – we also know the main reason people don’t cycle is fear of traffic, although 30-40% of people would like to cycle. In simple terms, there is no good reason why London can’t be like Amsterdam.
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Old November 24th, 2012, 09:29 PM   #42
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I see you've conveniently ignored Oxford Street, Charing Cross Road, Essex Road, Fleet Street, King William Street etc etc ... Of the main arteries into and out of London only a handful barely manage 2 up and 2 down, most not even managing to separate out parking bays. Pavements aren't usually wide enough to be cut for cycle lanes either.

There are some sections of roads which can be modified to accommodate decent lengthed cycle lanes but they are very much the exception not the rule.

For perspective, this is the standard road and pavement width of Berlin's radial roads.

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Old November 24th, 2012, 10:58 PM   #43
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Your argument would be more convincing if:

1. You didn't summarily judge and deride anyone in a car as "fat and lazy". Way to make friends and influence people.

2. You acknowledged the reality that a living world city will need to cater to significant amounts of motorised traffic regardless of how much good work is put into public transport and cycling provision.

3. You hadn't been deceptive by originally arguing that road tax was the only direct contribution motorists to the cost of the roads rather than the far more significant sum of fuel duty (including VAT on fuel duty and the wholesale price) raised.

4. You had understood what £20 billion cost to the economy of congestion actually means. It is the cost of the time lost due to sitting in traffic. If everyone had to get around by pedal bike, there would be no congestion, but even more time lost due to extended journey times.

5. Assuming despite the errors noted, motoring is subsidised overall, disregarding that motorists, ie most people in the country, pay plenty of other taxes too, which help fund the roads.

6. You didn't act childish by starting a thread using aggressive and insulting language to large sections of the population at large and probably also contributors here and then get snippy when, having set the tone of the thread, responders give you a little back.

7. You hadn't ignored the fact that users of most transport types receive subsidies, be they bus, train, bike and maybe car. It's what responsible governments of developed countries do. They use general taxation to fund infrastructure to enable people and goods to move about relatively easily.

8. You didn't conflate London and the whole country by making this thread about London while using statistics applicable to the country as a whole. Your use of national statistics, as well as some other remarks, implies your tirade is against motorists up and down the land. This shows a lack of sympathy for the reality that outside of (inner) London, the car must be the primary mode of transport for many journeys.

9. You hadn't contradicted your tirade against "fat, lazy" people driving to the corner shop for no good reason, by giving special attention to HGVs. You think London would function without HGVs delivering food to the Tesco Metro etc?

10. You had considered that a person might have legitimate reasons for including a motor vehicle in their journey.

But to the question, pompous though it is, there may be a good case for an outer congestion zone. It would have helped a lot if the London Motorway Box aka Ringway 1 had been built in the 70s as it would have formed an appropriate boundary for an outer zone with the inner ring road being the inner, extra premium, zone as it is now.

Outside of that area, the character of settlement becomes quite different, with greater sparsity of alternative transport links and greater distances between amenities, so penalising motorised traffic would be a case of cutting off the nose to spite the face.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 01:05 AM   #44
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Only if you ignore the externalities. Once you deduct the cost of policing, infrastructure, congestion and pollution it's a very different story.

Especially with HGVs:



http://www.bettertransport.org.uk/me...l_2008/lorries
The issue with putting down a cost on externalities such as pollution is that it is very subjective.

The fact is that fuel duty and vehicle excise duty are respectively 1.7% and 0.4% of GDP. This is estimated to be £38.3 bio this year, or 7% of all government receipts.

That compares to £9 bio of investment by central and local governments on roads. Basically, excluding externalities, the government is left with a profit of £29 bio on the taxation of road users.

One could have a very long argument about whether this covers the cost of pollution or not. However, the government charges barely any tax on domestic electricity or gas, although they are much larger carbon emitters than transport.

What is disappointing is that of the £29 bio of "profit" on road users, the government puts only £12 bio into public transport and uses the remaining £17 bio for non-transport related causes. If one assumed the logic of road tax is to improve transport, including its externalities, the UK government could spend 2.5 times what it is spending on public transport right now and still spend as much on roads.

Concerning HGVs, there finally is a solution. If the government had increased their duties, all British hauliers would have gone out of business to be replaced with French, Polish hauliers. So the only way to tax HGVs more is to also subject foreign-registered HGVs to this British tax. The government has announced it will do this. Once this is in place they can push up those taxes without killing off the entire UK haulage industry (because foreign hauliers will be playing by the same rules).

The more fundamental issue is that road tax receipts are going down because the number of hybrid / electric cars is increasing. Whilst tax makes up more than 50% of the petrol price, it makes up close to 0% of the electricity price. Last year only 9.4% of all electricity generated in the UK was renewable, everything else remains a very polluting business. Unless the government starts taxing domestic energy the way it taxes petrol, everybody will use this loophole with as a consequence more pollution, more congestion and a smaller tax take so less investment in transport.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 12:55 PM   #45
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I see you've conveniently ignored Oxford Street, Charing Cross Road, Essex Road, Fleet Street, King William Street etc etc ... Of the main arteries into and out of London only a handful barely manage 2 up and 2 down, most not even managing to separate out parking bays. Pavements aren't usually wide enough to be cut for cycle lanes either.
And you conveniently ignore the fact just how much space is being wasted on pointless traffic islands. Spindrifts photos illustrate this perfectly.
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Old November 25th, 2012, 07:08 PM   #46
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One of the most infuriating things about the existing cycle network is how patchy and thoughtless it is.

Take a very well used example: Heading to Hyde Park from Buckingham Palace. There is a cycle lane there which is separated from the road, but it's more dangerous than the road (which is wide) because it's very close to pedestrians and quite narrow. To make matters worse, when you get to Hyde Park Corner, there are two separate long delays crossing before you're in the park. Once in the park, again you're having to use a cycle lane which is right next to a pedestrian path.

I long-ago stopped using this route and instead just go down Piccadilly and then through the underpass and cut through Knightsbridge. It's far faster, and despite the dense traffic, I've had far fewer near misses with other road users.

So, I'm all for segregated cycle routes, but they have to be continuous, properly separate from pedestrians too and not introduce large delays in comparison with using the road... Otherwise people just won't use them. I think getting this sort of network setup in London is a tall order, but it would be great if some multi-billionaire decided to fund a network of cycling tunnels!

In fact, if I become a gazillionaire, I'd like nothing more than to give that gift to my home town. It would make me feel happy when I'm about to snuff it that I did something really good.


P.S. Someone mentioned Oxford Street. It's not really a suitable route for cycling because it's totally overwhelmed with shoppers and buses. I worked for a while north of Oxford Street near Tottenham Court Road, and it was far better using the roads to the north to head east or west than to try my luck on Oxford Street. The stink alone from 5 buses all heading off at the same time was too choking, and if there's one road user less predictable and more rule-breaking than the cyclist, it's the pedestrian!
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Old November 25th, 2012, 07:25 PM   #47
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However, the government charges barely any tax on domestic electricity or gas, although they are much larger carbon emitters than transport.
They also don't charge any tax on new buildings, despite the construction industry being responsible for a vast amount of CO2 release.

This is actually a serious point when you consider how often buildings are torn down after just 30 years or so and replaced... never has the argument for good design and longevity of use been more valid than today, but unfortunately, most large buildings are designed and built to have a short shelf life, and few buildings are missed when they are bulldozed because so few people fall in love with them and want them preserved.

Just consider the swiss centre in Leicester Square and its transformation into a hotel a few decades later. What was the Co2 consequence of the original building being 'unlovely'? What are the chances of the current building surviving its hundredth birthday? Pretty poor I'd say...
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Old November 26th, 2012, 12:05 AM   #48
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Why do cycle lanes need to be separated so much from pedestrians? Others have been arguing we should use the Japanese system whereby people are allowed to cycle on pavements. In Beijing, too, pedestrians share space often with cyclists and small motorized bike thingies. Frankly, you shouldn't be cycling so fast that you're a danger to pedestrians (if they're in sight). Because that would imply that you are the most dangerous vehicle on the road, which somewhat nullifies the cyclists' claim of the moral high ground. Just like cars, you should be cycling carefully and slowly when you're in a densely populate area; but especially so on bike when you're near invisible and completely inaudible to pedestrians.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 10:13 AM   #49
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If you are on the pavement you might as well walk
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Old November 26th, 2012, 10:26 AM   #50
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If you are on the pavement you might as well walk
Precisely. I frequently cycle to work (admittedly not in London!) - it's about 5.5 km and takes me 20 minutes there and 15 minutes back (guess which is on a hill ). If I was banned from cycling on the road and had to cycle on the pavement at a speed safe for pedestrians (seen and unseen), it would take me at least twice as long, and would be a massive disincentive to leaving the car at home.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 07:49 PM   #51
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The "freedom" of drivers to drive and park in the city impedes the freedom of the residents to get around it.
That is just tough luck I suppose

The city is the home of everyone. Not just eco warriors nd their Victorian transportation.

Anyway, lets see what all these vehicles on the roads are:

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/assets/downloa...ondon-2010.pdf

That's right, the personal vehicle has been in massive decline in central London and buses and delivery vehicles have been growing. Not a comfortable fact for cyclo warriors who realise that increasing costs on motoring shill actually increase the costs of goods delivery mainly increasing the costs of their frapuccino's and farm food muesli.

We need to spend money on road infrastructure. I have just driven back to London from Penzance and it is so noticeable what a mess roads around London are compared to the rest of the country. We need to add lanes to the M25 for a start.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 07:52 PM   #52
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Traffic expands to fill capacity, even the Americans accept that now.

Face it octoman, on the issue of the roads and how they are funded you are demonstrably ignorant and ill-informed, your opinions are founded on an irrational prejudice and lack of knowledge.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 07:58 PM   #53
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People can only drive one vehicle at a time. And the number of people is finite. Capacity can be met.

The biggest problem is over concentration of too many people in the same place. I have no idea why we are constantly encouraging more people to the southeast when there are regions crying out for population. This is a bit off the core subject I would like to see the uk adopt a more German style federal structure which would help the regions compete and gradually ease the population pressure on London. Imagine how much better London would be with 3 million fewer people!
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Old November 26th, 2012, 08:02 PM   #54
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Once again, that isn't going to happen, the population of London is increasing and traffic and congestion forecasts are grim.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 08:07 PM   #55
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I intend on using my car as much if not more than I have previously. I couldn't care less what the average left wing troll, of which there are many on this site, think of the damage, deaths and misery I cause.

If it was up to me I would enforce insurance and tax on cyclists. They are usually egotistical idealists who are generally so hypocritical that I simply laugh at them
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Old November 26th, 2012, 08:08 PM   #56
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It would be nice if drivers got insurance, since the number of uninsured drivers is larger than the number of regular cyclist commuters.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 08:14 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spindrift
It would be nice if drivers got insurance, since the number of uninsured drivers is larger than the number of regular cyclist commuters.
To be fair, they are then breaking the law and the punishment can be quite severe. Incidentally I do not support the taxation of cyclists. What I would like to see though is a voluntary pay in scheme which could provide secure lockers and community maintainance facilities to members. One of the worst things about Cyclists is how the less experienced are riding poorly maintained bikes. I only ever grasped this when I got my new bike and noticed the ride difference and improved responsiveness.

Imagine, a fiver a month could buy you space in a secure - manned - locker a short walk from your office. This can pay for a new tyre if one has work or split (Bike tyres are like a fiver...) which would be fitted whilst you work. The attendent checks your brakes regularly and tweaks them if necessary, any loose fittings are tightened and secured. The bike is safer, it is in a secure location and it is totally optional.

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Old November 26th, 2012, 08:18 PM   #58
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It would be nice if drivers got insurance, since the number of uninsured drivers is larger than the number of regular cyclist commuters.
Maybe I am suggesting the obvious, but perhaps that is because there are many more motorists than cyclists. The average uninsured driver contributes nothing to society as they are too thick to contribute. If I was in government I would make sure every uninsured motorist was castrated and put to death shortly afterwards.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 08:22 PM   #59
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Motorists and cyclists aren't separate groups, the research is that regular cyclists are often higher earners so very likely to have a car. Cyclists and motorists pay the same for highway maintenance. Which seems a little unfair since there are many motorways to which we are denied access and cars cause far more wear and tear.

Road maintenance is paid for from council tax and other national taxes such as income tax and VAT.

In fact since cyclists are on average higher earners than car drivers I would suggest that we pay disproportionately more for road maintenance than you do.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 08:28 PM   #60
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In fact since cyclists are on average higher earners than car drivers I would suggest that we pay disproportionately more for road maintenance than you do.
Yes but you cyclists are the savior of the planet so you should be happy to pay more.
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