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“East to West, Embankment best.” That’s what taxi drivers used to say about driving across London. Ask them about the Embankment today and the response is unprintable.

The stretch between Westminster Bridge and Tower Hill is London’s most important east-west carriageway. It links the fast-growing Docklands area with central London. It’s one of the main routes out from the centre towards the Blackwall Tunnel, Kent and the Channel ports. Jobs in places such as the City, Canary Wharf and London City Airport all depend on it.

Never the most free-flowing of London’s roads, since 2016 the congestion has grown even worse, affecting construction workers, hauliers, freight drivers and white-van drivers, people who don’t get a say in London’s bitterly contested transport politics but who keep our city working and growing.    

In 2016 TfL removed one of the two eastbound traffic lanes on the Embankment to make way for a cycle superhighway. At a stroke, this reduced one of London’s busiest A-roads to the capacity of a village high street. Everyone knows this was a mistake but TfL and the Mayor won’t say so for fear of upsetting the powerful cycling lobby.      

Yes, we need to get more people out of their cars and onto bikes. But roads aren’t just for moving people, they’re also about shifting stuff, and east London is poorly served in this way.

It’s why Victoria Embankment and Upper and Lower Thames streets have an outsized importance in connecting the east and centre of the capital. One recent study found that up to 18,000 east London businesses are no longer within a 30-minute drive of Westminster because of delays on this route. This is damaging for business. With Brexit looming we should be making our city more productive and better connected, yet this road does the exact opposite.   

Also, data suggests the cycle superhighway has delivered limited safety benefits to cyclists. This is not surprising. The Embankment wasn’t chosen for a cycle superhighway because it was an accident blackspot but because TfL owns the road and could grant itself planning permission.  

I’m not suggesting we rip up the superhighway. Far from it. What we need to do is look at how to improve its traffic flow. One option originally considered by TfL was to route the cycle lane through the City of London at Blackfriars Bridge.

Moving it into the City would restore the original purpose of Upper and Lower Thames streets: as the main through-route for essential traffic wanting to cross the City. It would also mean cyclists could avoid the dangerous levels of air pollution caused by the high buildings and traffic around Blackfriars.     

Sadiq Khan said he’d be the most pro-business Mayor that London has ever seen. If he wants to live up to that title he cannot allow another year of blockage on one of the capital’s most important roads.

Source : Evening Standard. 

from Taxi Leaks
via IFTTT Editorial January 19, 2019 at 09:35AM Before Charging For Pollution ... You Have To Creat It : Call 01908 263263 for airport taxi service Milton Keynes Area