Transport

As I have become more and more interested in road safety, my attention has focussed on the ways in which we get about. Less than one hundred years ago, transporting ourselves 50 miles was a mission – it needed to be planned. Today, no one would bat an eyelid at the thought. Some travel a couple of hundred miles to work on a daily basis.

Travelling has become so important in our lives. Therefore, the transport we use needs to be focussed on. As you may have noticed from my website or elsewhere, I am a fan of the bicycle. This does not make me anti-car. What makes me feel slightly anti-car sometimes is those few drivers who are anti-bicycle.

The most common way in which people get around is on the surface of the planet on channels called “roads”. The road was not invented for the private motor vehicle but the private motor vehicle currently dominates it. When the inventors came up with cars, the axle width was made to fit the room available on the roads. Roads between houses, in streets or towns and villages exceed the car. Historically, owing to the lack of space available – with bicycles, horse-drawn carriages, buses and trams on the road, cars were smaller. The average car is now bigger. Jeeps and SUVs seemingly grow upwards and outwards.

Think of the space an individual takes up. Think of the space a car takes up. If each individual who physically could use a car, did just that, the roads would be at a standstill. They would be clogged. Bicycles are a solution. Buses are a solution. Trams are a solution. Trains are a solution.

When I think of it, I will come back and update this page. I haven’t proof read it properly so there may be the odd mistake. I will leave you with the video below.

It looks at the junction design in the Netherlands.

It makes sense.

Here are some useful statistics when considering the allocation of space for transporting people.   The statistics are from here and are regarding London and the situation with cycling.  I need to weave them into this article, or another, at some point.

Approximately 5% of the roads in London are owned by TfL.  95% are owned by London boroughs.

Every day approximately 1.3 million people come into central London for work.  59,000 come by car.  This is just 5% yet the private car gets the vast share of surface of London.

Cyclists cause alarm by riding on the pavement with the number of people killed by cyclists in London averaging 0.5 – 1 a year.

Motorists cause alarm by driving on the road and pavement with the number of people killed by motorists in London averaging 100 – 200 a year.

There are 15,000 miles of road in central London.  12 miles in total has got cycle lanes on them.

 

As the population continues to grow, we cannot afford to continue our love with the private motor vehicle. It can no longer be deemed a right, as some people see it, to own a car. The very idea of owning one is that it gives you freedom but with congestion and pollution increasing, this mentality needs to shift.   Here’s a video which shows the absurdity of a tiny individual in a big box.  We have been convinced that if it is a car someone is in, the space they take up is almost “natural”.  It isn’t at all.  In fact, it is bizarre that this is how a growing number of people are choosing to get about.

And this video asks the questions London specifically needs to think about regarding its transport planning policies over the next few years:

When someone goes to a venue with their car, they seek somewhere to park it. It is a requirement for commercial developments to have a certain number of spaces otherwise the planning permission to build will not be passed. For each parking space, approximately 30 square metres of land is needed to accommodate the parked car and then to allow the vehicle to manoeuvre in and out of the space. Land is expensive and houses need to be build. But more and more land is handed over to parking spaces. These spaces attracts car which attracts congestion. What is needed is a good public transport and cycling network to link residential areas and commercial outlets.

 

 

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