Free to Move
If as a driver, pedestrian or cyclist, you have ever fumed at traffic lights – fumed in both senses – this forum could be up your street.
George Osborne (Today Programme) wants to "tackle unfairness" by making welfare cuts of £10bn. Meanwhile, as I've been saying for years, the traffic system, which always escapes scrutiny, can provide annual cuts of £50bn that will hurt no-one except the traffic managers and signal salesmen who have been ruling our lives to our detriment for too long.
Last week I finished a draft edit of a film about Poynton, a community thriving again after liberation from decades of oppressive traffic engineering. More material needs to be shot, so it's still a couple of months away from publication, but it shows how public money can be spent for the good, rather than the misery of all.
Deaths and serious injuries are up in 20mph zones but up even more in 30mph. Official commentators say the jury is still out on the value of 20mph. My view is that true road safety will never be achieved by numbers. We should drive according to context. Let us go at walking pace on busy streets, especially when children are around, and at our own chosen speed when conditions allow, e.g. on a clear motorway. In other words, let us use our own judgement, preferably informed by education,…Continue
Why stop at a red light? Once you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. Seriously, why should we stop when there is no conflicting traffic? Adulthood is supposed to be about independence and responsibility. What do traffic lights and speed limits do? Outlaw independent thought and action. Remove responsibility. Infantilise us. Yesterday I had the dubious pleasure of driving through Oxford and Swindon. In Oxford especially, there is a hardly a crossing that is not governed by traffic signals.…Continue
The transport select committee, chaired by Louise Ellman, is concerned about the rise in road deaths, 51 up on last year to 1901. It took no notice of submissions from me and Kenneth Todd about the role of traffic lights in causing congestion, so it’s doubtful they would listen to our critique of road safety policy. Is it surprising there are fatalities when the root cause of danger on the road – priority – goes untreated? Ellman is “shocked” that 27% of young male drivers are involved in…Continue