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Different cuts

Posted on October 8, 2012 at 11:30 0 Comments

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.

The point about Poynton

Posted on September 30, 2012 at 17:46 0 Comments

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.

Will 20mph save us?

Posted on August 15, 2012 at 10:01 0 Comments

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,…


Tangled up in red

Posted on July 18, 2012 at 14:41 0 Comments

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.…


Rise in road deaths

Posted on July 18, 2012 at 14:39 0 Comments

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…


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At 21:20 on July 25, 2010, Mary Ainscough said…
Good forum.
At 8:31 on March 21, 2010, Karen Sherlock said…
Hi Martin, thanks for the welcome and I fully support your sentiments. As yet I am a mere novice in this area but I am an enthusiastic learner. BTW the Chideock puffin was being installed last night apparently!
At 12:08 on March 13, 2010, David Neylan said…
The story of how we lost our Zebras and gained a Pelican is less about conspiracy and malice by local officials but the low status of traffic on anybody's agenda and the poor state of local democracy.

We had a two year consultation that I managed to contribute to along with six others independently arguing against these backward measures versus three who were supportive (anti pedestrian and hoping for a solution).
What this really showed was the bias of one officer who went through the whole consultation document refuting line by line any dissent. The counter arguments put were as unconvincing as they were biased, but did at least reveal the lack of any engineering analysis as well as the criteria that the council will use to judge the new scheme's success or failure.

When Easter comes we hope to be able to show failure on their own criteria. Bridport has very seasonal traffic and Easter marks the start of the season with much more market activity and many more pedestrians.

The important thing with all this is that if it hadn't been for your Newsnight film a few years ago and the ripples of media interest there would not have been much more than grumbling opposition here. Bringing out the ideas of Shared Space has given a way forward for all town uses and this has had the effect of changing a significant number of peoples attitude. The ghost crossing in the photo is still unofficially in use - drivers stop for pedestrians there and this has spread. People seem to be using the town as they need/want largely ignoring the signs and crossings although drivers are still forced to obey the lights.

Your awareness raising has already changed things!
At 15:42 on August 12, 2009, Andrew Staton said…
It is so plainly clear that removing traffic light improves traffic flow
> that there are only two rational explanations as to why the opposite is
> happening:
> (a) Virtually every person responsible for developing and implementing
> this policy is extremely stupid or
> (b) It is a deliberate, undeclared strategy to make the life of the
> motorist more and more unpleasant and to increase congestion to the point
> where - it is hoped - motorists abandon their cars for the utopia of
> public transport.
> It's not just the continual increase in new traffic light installations
> that should come under scrutiny: it is also the relentless increase in the
> number of 24-hour bus lanes being proposed (I'm currently fighting such a
> proposal in Bristol); it is also (can only be) the deliberate refusal to
> phase traffic lights at roundabouts to allow continuous progression to
> one's exit; and it's the refusal to even consider making traffic lights at
> roundabouts (or anywhere for that matter) part-time.
> I am no conspiracy theorist; but this one is staring you in the face.
At 10:43 on July 16, 2009, Tim Jones said…
Ian Callaghan studying PT for an MA in Urban Design at Oxford Brookes University.
At 10:09 on July 16, 2009, Tim Jones said…
Hello Martin. Looking forward to following your Blog. I am an academic researcher and I'm currently supervising an MSc Urban Design student studying shared space in the Netherlands (Haren) and UK (Ashford) - a cross-cultural study of attitudes to shared space amongst cycle users. He will shortly be arriving back from his fieldwork and I'm keen to find out his results which I will encourage him to publish. Bye for now.
At 22:06 on March 9, 2009, Paul Luton said…
Hello Martin - the traffic light video was linked from the Cyclenation Forum.
At 0:28 on February 26, 2009, Peter Colmer said…
That's what's good about life. Each to their own. My companion of 40 years in August swears she would sever the relationship were it ever to come off. Having said that, it did about 10 years ago and she said it was like sleeping with a new man.She quickly added she preferred the old one! Good to banter. I will add something constructive soon, but not tonight.
At 0:15 on February 26, 2009, Peter Colmer said…
Why thank you, young sir!
maybe something for you to consider. Might give you an extra air of authority!
At 23:01 on February 5, 2009, Martin Cassini said…
Sounds familiar. The traffic control industry and councils, drugs companies and the medical profession - is there an analogy here?

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