Friday, 30 September 2016

Stupid Idea Of The Day

From the BBC:

Thousands of lorries could be banned from London to make the roads safer for cyclists, under plans proposed by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

He wants a rating system from zero to five stars for heavy goods vehicles based on the driver's level of vision from the cab. The 35,000 zero star-rated HGVs currently operating in London would be banned by 2020 under the proposals...

Nine cyclists and 66 pedestrians were killed in the capital last year, according to Transport for London. The mayor's office said that over the past two years HGVs were involved in 23% of pedestrian fatalities and 58% of cyclist deaths in London, despite accounting for just 4% of the miles driven in the city.

Motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians just do not mix. Motor vehicles go on roads, pedestrians go on pavements and unfortunately there isn't really space for a decent network of cycle paths. It would be lovely if we had them, they are a joy to use, but we don't and that is the end of the matter.

Lorries only make up 4% of miles driven? So what? They bring in 90% of all the goods consumed in London and take 100% of the rubbish. Far more relevant to point out that only 1% of commuter journeys are by bicycle. London would manage just fine if nobody ever used a bicycle again, ban lorries and we're screwed. If politicians really cared about cyclists being killed and injured, they'd do a far better job by banning bicycles.

Further, for every one large lorry they ban, they will have to use a dozen smaller vans, so that will increase traffic volume by forty or fifty per cent, and I don't think anybody wants that, not even cyclists. Except all the people selling and driving the vans, I suppose.

Rant over.


ThomasBHall said...

Some rubbish leaves London by river- just saying! Agreed though- stupid idea.

DCBain said...

Ban pedestrians; gives a much more satisfying statistic.

Barnacle Bill said...

You seem to forget Sadiq Khan RoP is only preparing the streets of Londondanistan for all the donkeys & mules his followers will be bringing with them.

Of course there will be a segregated lane for all pedestrian only women.

Mark Wadsworth said...

TBH, damn, I knew I'd forgotten something.

DCB, but things would grind to a halt if you did that. Banning bicycles would be a minor inconvenience for cyclists but a huge relief for everybody else.

BB, that's going a bit far.

Bayard said...

"unfortunately there isn't really space for a decent network of cycle paths. It would be lovely if we had them, they are a joy to use, but we don't and that is the end of the matter."

I'm prepared to bet that the vast majority of cyclists either getting killed or annoying other road users is on the main roads. London, however, has a comprehensive network of residential and back streets that are effectively cul-de-sacs after years of local authorities stopping off rat runs, but make perfectly good cycle routes. So yes, there's space, all it takes is a bit of planning and some advice from an elderly taxi-driver and then cyclists could be banned from most main roads without inconveniencing anyone.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, maybe, maybe not. I don't really see it myself.

Shiney said...

Oh dear... and I thought you lot were sensible.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Sh, every now and then you have to be a bit controversial.

But look at how people live their lives and how roads are laid out. What would cause least disruption and inconvenience and have the lower cost relative to the number of deaths and injuries avoided…

a) Banning lorries above a certain size in towns and cities
b) Banning cyclist from using roads in towns and cities?

In a perfect world, we would have a decent network of safe cycle paths separate from pavements and roads. But we are where we are.

The government, in its infinite wisdom, frowns upon or even punishes certain kinds of risky behaviour, for example walking or cycling on motorways, jaywalking, jumping red lights, base jumping from tall buildings, train surfing etc. Let alone banning drugs, smoking in public buildings etc.

Why? In order to minimise injuries and deaths to those who do it or inconvenience to others. Which brings me back to the question above. It's not a serious policy proposal, it is a practical question.

Lola said...

Have you seen the suicidal manner in which London cyclist ride their bikes? My cabbie last week 'saved the lives' of about half a dozen of the kimi khasi nut jobs by thinking and looking out for them.