It is Critical Mass day, but it's lunchtime. Total, utter gridlock. Again, Trafalgar Square, and this time it's totally stationary. No-one's going anywhere - except pedestrians and cyclists.
Above - looking south towards Admiralty Arch...
The cause? A broken down bus on Waterloo Place. As I walk back, I see a suited businessman abandon his taxi in frustration. This situation arises because London traffic is usually close to saturation levels, so it just takes one incident to create a domino effect. Congestion fans out in all directions, and as junctions get blocked, you have gridlock. As I've pointed out before, this is in nobody's interest, least of all drivers. Even with the congestion charge, there's still too much motor traffic. It's no use blaming private cars, because they make up a low proportion of central London traffic these days. It's mainly taxis, private hire vehicles and commercials (small and medium-sized vans). Unless journeys involving these vehicles are reduced, we'll continue to see congestion on this scale. But at the moment, there seems to be no political debate about how it might be done. So I'm going to start one...
Friday, September 24, 2010
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