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Martin Cassini's Blog (364)

Different cuts

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.

Added by Martin Cassini on October 8, 2012 at 11:30 — No Comments

The point about Poynton

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.

Added by Martin Cassini on September 30, 2012 at 17:46 — No Comments

Will 20mph save us?

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,…

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Added by Martin Cassini on August 15, 2012 at 10:01 — No Comments

Tangled up in red

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.…

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Added by Martin Cassini on July 18, 2012 at 14:41 — No Comments

Rise in road deaths

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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Added by Martin Cassini on July 18, 2012 at 14:39 — No Comments

Ode rage

Andy Andy this is massive

When you play just don’t be passive

Attack attack attack the Fed

Win or lose you’ll still have cred

Added by Martin Cassini on July 8, 2012 at 10:30 — No Comments

Get a new plan, Stan

After seeing my video The Case for a No-Lights Trial, Westminster’s traffic chief linked up with TfL (historically resistant to my proposals), and the GLA/Boris (ditto), to announce the removal of 145 sets of lights. During his tenure, Livingstone saddled London with 1800 new sets of lights, conjuring congestion where there was none before. So why does the new plan stop at removing only 145 sets? Of course deregulation is not enough on its own, and should be undertaken as part of a…

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Added by Martin Cassini on May 6, 2012 at 10:39 — No Comments

The brain dead give us brain damage

You can be the safest, most aware driver, but the bass turds are out to get you and get you they will. Paid savants devise cryptic regulation that builds into the vast public disservice known as traffic management. The other day I drove along Cromwell Road to experience Exhibition Rd as a driver. As you know, but in case you don't, Exhibition Rd is a flagship shared space scheme, where life on the road is supposed to be sweeter. But they have already found ways to sour it. First, they've…

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Added by Martin Cassini on April 28, 2012 at 18:00 — No Comments

Fuel tax fraud?

Apparently the Chancellor has ruled out cutting fuel tax, which as we know adds over 60% to the cost of fuel. Tax cuts could, of course, be funded by traffic system reform. Maybe my arguments haven't reached the Chancellor's ears. Or maybe he won't reform a traffic system which maximises journey times and fuel use, and his tax take.

Added by Martin Cassini on February 25, 2012 at 12:12 — No Comments

Funding tax cuts

Shadow Chancellor, Ed Balls, wants to raise the tax threshold. Don't we all? Balls wants to fund it by cutting VAT to raise the £12bn needed. The government rubbished the proposal. But they are just as myopic in failing to see that tax cuts for the poor and a VAT cut could be funded from traffic system reform (which at the same time would bring untold other benefits).

Added by Martin Cassini on February 19, 2012 at 16:00 — No Comments

Caught in the net

In devising methods of repressing hypothetical (minority) misbehaviour on our roads, the traffic control net is spread wide. Like the wrong fish caught in a trawler’s net, good people are ensnared and brought to their knees (you, me and Chris Huhne come to mind). Apart from being based on the fatal flaw of priority, the twin-headed monster of traffic control and enforcement is out of hand, run by unelected public “servants” whose mafia tactics amount to a gross public disservice.

Added by Martin Cassini on February 19, 2012 at 15:58 — No Comments

Calls for 5mph limit in Exhibition Road

A pedestrian was hit by a lorry in Exhibition Rd on Monday 13 Feb 2012 (story here). This is not an argument for abandoning shared space, but it supports my view that streetscape redesign is not enough on its own. The call for 5mph limits is right and wrong. Motorists should drive at walking pace when pedestrians are around, but they…

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Added by Martin Cassini on February 17, 2012 at 0:00 — No Comments

Red light Ken (and my road rage)

Ken Livingstone, who during his reign added 1200 sets of traffic lights to London streets, now “pledges to install traffic lights to give cyclists a 5 second head start,” reports The Times. Boris too “is considering early green lights,” chirps the Evening Standard. In an editorial, it says, “this is a simple and sensible idea. We need more imaginative thinking to make our city safer for cyclists.” This pitiful coverage lays bare the total ignorance among editors and politicians alike of the…

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Added by Martin Cassini on February 10, 2012 at 22:00 — No Comments

Is streetscape redesign enough?

Often cited as places where drivers behave considerately are car parks, because they are not part of the regulated road network. In a Tesco par cark yesterday, when I was on foot and asserted my equal right to the road space, I was given the finger not only by the male driver, but by his wife. They were in a big car with a personalised number plate, whatever that tells us. The unpleasant experience reinforces my belief that street redesign – while an essential component in the quest for…

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Added by Martin Cassini on February 6, 2012 at 15:13 — No Comments

19th v 21st century resistance to rail

PM (Radio 4) had an item about Victorian resistance to railway development, implying there was a parallel with today’s opposition to HS2. Seems a narrow comparison, because in the 19th century, there were no telephones, cars or Internet, was there?

Added by Martin Cassini on January 10, 2012 at 18:15 — No Comments

Gulliver's travails

Congestion caused by volume of traffic is acceptable. We’re in the same boat. No problem. But congestion caused or aggravated by unnecessary traffic control – you know, making us stop for no reason other than the light is red – is unacceptable. Human intelligence is a superior, wondrous thing. Yet traffic control reduces us to the level of unthinking robots. The red light brigadiers are Lilliputians disabling Gulliver.

Added by Martin Cassini on January 6, 2012 at 15:40 — No Comments

Red tape, red lights

According to today’s news, NHS red tape is being cut to release nurses from the burden of form-filling so they can devote more time to patient care. As we know, there are moves to cut police red tape too, presumably so they can devote more time to their proper job. Same goes for traffic lights. Isn't it time for a major cull of those weapons of mass distraction and delay so that all road-users could squander less time stopping needlessly and devote more time to the proper job of getting from…

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Added by Martin Cassini on January 6, 2012 at 13:17 — No Comments

Crocodile tears

Yet another cyclist is killed at traffic lights in London (story here). These “tragedies” are a direct consequence of the infamous rules and design of the road. It means yet more blood on the hands of the authorities who adhere to a lethal priority system and ignore solutions based on equality.

Added by Martin Cassini on December 6, 2011 at 10:53 — No Comments

Fuel prices

A few decades ago, when income tax hit 98%, most high earners went into tax exile. Now the top rate of tax is a reasonable 50%, although it’s due to drop to 40% (also reasonable) as soon as the government can swing it. Tax on fuel is an unreasonable 66% but people hit by the artificially high price can’t afford to fill their tanks, let alone decamp. Ministers justify the unjustifiable by saying they need to raise another £1.5bn. As I keep saying, traffic system reform offers kind cuts in the…

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Added by Martin Cassini on November 15, 2011 at 20:40 — No Comments

Death of another cyclist

How many roads ..? And how many deaths will it take 'til he knows, that too many people have died? Sorry tale here(http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/standard/article-24009578-second-fatal-collision-at-cycle-route-roundabout.do). Brian…

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Added by Martin Cassini on November 14, 2011 at 18:00 — No Comments

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