London traffic is getting worse
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When is it safe to use a bicycle?
Over the height of the winter, I barely cycled anywhere. In the past few days I have been out and about again, on the bike, rather than on the Tube.
Two things occur to me. On a bike I can time my journeys perfectly. On the Tube, the changes to the Circle Line and the Hammersmith and City Line have had an adverse effect. I have regularly spent between 15 and 17 minutes standing on a platform at Aldgate East station waiting for a Hammersmith and City Line train. At first I couldn’t believe it was that long, so lately I have been timing it. The timetable says every 8 to 12 minutes (off peak) and the reality is 15 to 17 minutes.
So, I am back on the bike. And in the past few weeks, lots of new roadworks have sprung up. Some junctions have been modified, and (what are they doing to Oxford Street?) everywhere seems to be narrower. Motorists who sometimes cycle, do at least try to allow some space for cyclists. Motorists who never cycle are obviously identified by their ill thought conduct.
I also drive in central London from time to time, and it looks to me as if the initial impact of the congestion charge has worn off completely! I know all the main routes and many quick work arounds. You know, the sort of route which is longer, but gets you there quicker. And these are changing. One way streets are appearing where they used to be two way. Traffic light phasing is becoming ever more delayed.
It looks to me as if there is a political undercurrent which is saying “make it worse for them, and some of them will give up . . . and that will make it better for the rest”.
So, watch me cut down on personal meetings, and start investigating video “meetings” on Skype!
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Posted on 5 Mar 2010 by Proactive Paul