Free to Choose

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All Blog Posts Tagged 'London' (8)

Importuned at every turn

I’m just back from a necessary drive across central London and back, made twice as long because of innumerable traffic lights that block progress, whether there is conflicting traffic or not. Every urban trip you make, on foot or on wheels, is plagued by impositions on your time and insults to your intelligence. As if we can’t decide for ourselves when it’s safe to go! Indeed, being…


Added by Martin Cassini on February 28, 2011 at 14:00 — No Comments

Confessions of a London cyclist

It goes without saying there are too many cycling deaths on our roads, and the idea of extra mirrors to boost lorry driver awareness of cyclists is welcome. I'm not one of those who call for segregated cycle lanes – I'm for integration on Equality Streets. But last night I nearly became another statistic. Cycling back to central London through Oakley Square in Camden, as I pulled out…


Added by Martin Cassini on February 15, 2011 at 10:00 — No Comments

Wrong end of telescope, Kulveer!

Boris’s transport adviser, Kulveer Ranger, was quoted as saying, "There are few things more annoying than sitting at a traffic light on red for no apparent reason, and we've now identified 145 sites where we think the signals may no longer be doing a useful job." Of course I agree with his first point, but his second? Out of 6,000 signals in London, he and his well-paid team can find only 145 useless sets? Jeez. I wish I was…


Added by Martin Cassini on July 5, 2010 at 15:30 — No Comments

Joykill and ride

Isn’t it a thing of beauty to see the individuals of a species interacting spontaneously? A kindle of cats, a murmuration of starlings, a colony of bats, a passell of possum, a scatter of skateboarders, a relish of road-users negotiating movement without the "help" of traffic controls. Are traffic managers blind to the beauty of natural flow? Certainly they seem bent on forcing us, like unforgiving parents, to submit to their…


Added by Martin Cassini on July 1, 2010 at 19:00 — No Comments

More improperganda

I don't buy the improperganda peddled by TfL and broadcast by The Evening Standard. Roadworks the biggest cause of congestion in the capital? Come off it. No doubt the additional traffic lights make things even worse, but the main cause of congestion is traffic control itself. As usual, the authorities deflect the blame, and the media lap it up. I've been trying to get The Standard to take an article with a dose of truth, but…


Added by Martin Cassini on June 29, 2010 at 18:30 — No Comments

London cycling deaths

In London this evening there was a mass bike ride to mark the recent deaths of three cyclists: David Vilaseca, 46, Haris Ahmed, 21, and Shivon Watson, 28. The aim is "to raise awareness of the dangers that lorries pose to cyclists". Ms Watson's father, Maxwell, said, "I am very grateful to them for highlighting how bad the traffic is in London and how irresponsible drivers are." It might seem harsh to be critical when death and bereavement are involved, but it seems to me the point is being… Continue

Added by Martin Cassini on March 26, 2010 at 22:47 — 3 Comments

Alien nation

Having already paid the odious con charge (odious in its operation and odious because it was imposed before deregulation was even tried), I drove to the City of London to check the new building on the skyline (the Heron Tower by Liverpool Street). I might regret the decision because of an unforced error, which I'll describe in a minute. The number of red light stops that are forced on you is farcical. One set of lights after another,…


Added by Martin Cassini on March 24, 2010 at 18:30 — 1 Comment

Once Upon a Time in the West (of London)

18.11.09 In the early evening winter dark, cycling down Park Lane towards Hyde Park Corner, near the Hilton, a bus overtakes me then pulls in to stop. At first I assume he is going to leave a gap for me to carry on through (my flashing cycle lights are on front and back) but no, he blocks and forces me to stop. He is at an angle to the kerb - as I brake, I thump the side of the bus hard with my open gloved hand, twice, to express my fury. There is just room between kerb and bus for me to reach… Continue

Added by Martin Cassini on November 20, 2009 at 0:00 — No Comments

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