Monthly Archives

October 2018

New campaign group calls for total vehicle BAN on the Embankment at weekends

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A new campaign group called Open Embankment is calling for a complete ban on vehicles on the Embankment at weekends. This would of course spell complete chaos for drivers.

The A3211, which runs along the Victoria Embankment, is a vital east-west through route, relied upon by taxi drivers, freight vehicles and tradespeople trying to cross London. The loss of a lane on the eastbound route has already significantly increased journey times, which even TfL admits. Shutting it down completely at weekends would make a bad situation much worse.

It’s also completely unnecessary. Open Embankment say their aim for the Embankment to be “London’s best new public space for pedestrians and cyclists to breathe and explore”. But cyclists already have the advantage of the £47 million East-West Cycle superhighway, which is fully segregated along the Embankment (hence the loss of the eastbound traffic lane). Pedestrians wanting to get out of the central London melee have access to the picturesque Whitehall Gardens or Victoria Embankment Gardens.

Unblock the Embankment fully accepts that many parts of London need to make more provision for pedestrians and cyclists. But this clearly is not one of them. On your bike Open Embankment!

Bus boss blames bikes for blockages

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John Trayner, boss of London bus operator Go Ahead, has given a rare interview, slamming “white, male, middle-class” cyclists for riding roughshod over the needs of other road users.

Trayner told journalist Dave Hill that the cycle superhighways have led to intense competition for limited road space, undermining a bus network that the poorest Londoners rely on to get from A to B.

TfL figures show that some buses now crawl along at just 4.6mph during the morning rush hour, meaning it can almost be quicker to walk.

Rebutting the claim that cyclists are the most efficient users of road space, he pointed out that a double-decker, which can carry 80 people in a ten metre by three metre block, is even more space efficient than a bike.

“If someone else takes that road space, whether it’s a cycle superhighway or for pedestrian movement or taking out road space because you want to calm traffic, it makes a difference.”

Speaking about London’s influential cycling lobby, Trayner said: “You challenge them at your peril. They are powerful and they will put a good argument together.

“If I try look at it dispassionately, in the peak travel periods – two hours in the morning and two hours in the evening – I get their argument. At those times it is like the Tour de France ten times over. All those lanes are being used. But if you go to one at 11:00 in the morning, it’s an empty space.

He added: “That for me is a waste of public network that could otherwise benefit more people.”

City of London’s new transport plans will make Embankment congestion even worse

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The City of London Corporation has just unveiled its new draft transport strategy. And it’s bad news for Embankment road users.

Over the next few years the City plans to ban cars from half its roads, impose a 15 mph speed limit and build a 2-metre wide cycle superhighway all over the City.

This will put more pressure on roads around the City – including the Embankment – as traffic is displaced off City streets and forced to take alternative routes. It will mean worse congestion and more exposure to pollution from drivers struck in traffic.

And will put further strain on the bus network, with the boss of bus operator Go-Ahead London, warning that passenger numbers are falling because of delays caused by London’s endless traffic schemes. That means less revenue for TfL and ultimately fewer buses.

There has to be a sensible balance between the needs of all road users and the City’s plans do not strike that balance. Something’s got to give. We strongly urge the Corporation to reconsider their strategy.