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Re-Opening London

London had coped with large volumes of traffic because it has an excellent, 18th century street grid which enables cars and vans to leave the main routes and criss-cross their way around the capital.

The flood of new traffic lights, one way streets, narrowed roads and many key highways cut from two to one lane – has been disastrous and must be reversed!

In detail this means...

  • Congestion Charge/Traffic issues. Quickly abolish the ‘Western Extension’. Boris Johnson, new mayor, should now demand to know what is the total cost of the CC scheme? I suspect the true figure is north of £400m, yes really, and may include a host of secret additional payments to Capita to stop them from withdrawing from the scheme. If true, the whole scheme is unsustainable in any format.
  • Next, Tfl is acknowledged as being the slowest and least professional municipal transport body in Europe – remove most of the senior management and replace them with high-competence engineers.
  • Reverse the traffic light changes introduced by Tfl – and remove many of 3,000 additional traffic lights established by Tfl across the London – including three across Park Lane, five at Marble Arch, 13 at Trafalgar Square, two at Hyde Park Corner.
  • Reverse the many new ‘one way’ street restrictions introduced by Westminster and Camden Councils.
  • Boris might also demand to know how many bailiffs they have used, and what additional charges they have demanded from non-payers. Around £40 per visit is considered fair, but they often demand £200.
  • Boris should now commission a forensic auditor to examine the contracts agreed by Tfl/LDA, over the Congestion Charge scheme and others.
  • Buses... I believe complaints have been running at thousands per week. Most buses are driven so aggressively that a large proportion of the pensioner population of London have abandoned the buses.
  • Trafalgar Square must be re-opened – ie open the north side of the square to traffic – to reconnect the west and east parts of London. This has been hugely damaging, slicing the capital in two... It might also be a good idea to build a broad pedestrian bridge over the road, from the front of the National Gallery to the Square.
  • Lastly, hundreds of taxi drivers – the salt of the earth – are being charged with petty fines every day, on top of the hundreds of BT vans, British Gas maintenance vans, etc., mostly by Camden and Westminster Councils – the Mayor needs to make a stand against them.

 

© 2008 Marcus Gibson