Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Boris "emperor with no clothes", say experts

"The direction of the mayor's transport policies is becoming depressingly clear", says the latest newsletter of the London group of the Campaign for Better Transport. It is a pdf document which you can download here.

Johnson has adopted a misguided notion of 'mode netrality', abandoning the progressive road user hierarchy, which puts the needs of pedestrians and cyclists first, public transport users in the middle and car traffic last. Now TfL is required to develop plans to pursue Boris's impossible dream of reducing congestion by smoothing traffic flow. Increasing capacity at traffic light and other junctions will increase traffic -- this is road building without building any roads. It can only make congestion worse. Will no-one tell the emperor that he's wearing no clothes?

The report goes on to note that, as well as the cancellation of various tram and DLR schemes, "even Boris the cyclist has started to disappoint", with the halving of funding for the (so far woefully inadequate) cycling network.

In conclusion,
Time after time increasing capacity has been shown not to work as a means of tackling congestion; now it is to be tried yet again. In the last few years London had shaken off its reputation as the laggard among major European cities and had become one of the pioneers. Now it's losing its status as a leader in progressive transport policies.
I feel increasingly vindicated in my decision to spend a lot of time campaigning for Ken Livingstone last spring.

1 comment:

Jamie said...

The good news is that it appears that the fully-clothed emperor will be back: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/7952207.stm