London post Congestion Charge

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Tony Raven, Mar 7, 2003.

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  1. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Cycled in Central London for the first time since the congestion charge was introduced - round
    Westminster and across to Liverpool Street and back. While there were some advantages, as far as I
    could see it was definitely a change for the worse. The roads were much clearer of cars but those
    that were there were mostly "professional drivers" i.e taxi cabs, delivery drivers etc and
    motorbikes. They now have clearer roads which means their speeds have increased but their
    consideration for other road users hasn't. Especially at roundabouts/junctions I felt much more
    vulnerable as they now charged across lanes at speed where previously they would probably have been
    edging across in traffic. Motorbikes/scooters were the worst. Had several shoot past me at speed at
    close quarters when I was attempting to move across my lane with hand out. At one junction I was
    waiting in the middle of the right hand (right turn and straight on) lane at red lights to turn
    right on an empty road. As I moved away on the green light a motorbike shot past me on my right
    going straight on just as I was starting to turn.

    Have other people had similar experience or was I just having a bad day

    Tony
     
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  2. Stephen \

    Stephen \ Guest

    "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Cycled in Central London for the first time since the congestion charge
    was
    > introduced - round Westminster and across to Liverpool Street and back. While there were some
    > advantages, as far as I could see it was definitely
    a
    > change for the worse. The roads were much clearer of cars but those that were there were mostly
    > "professional drivers" i.e taxi cabs, delivery drivers etc and motorbikes. They now have clearer
    > roads which means their speeds have increased but their consideration for other road users hasn't.
    > Especially at roundabouts/junctions I felt much more vulnerable as they
    now
    > charged across lanes at speed where previously they would probably have
    been
    > edging across in traffic. Motorbikes/scooters were the worst. Had
    several
    > shoot past me at speed at close quarters when I was attempting to move across my lane with hand
    > out. At one junction I was waiting in the middle of the right hand (right turn and straight on)
    > lane at red lights to turn right on an empty road. As I moved away on the green light a motorbike
    shot
    > past me on my right going straight on just as I was starting to turn.
    >
    > Have other people had similar experience or was I just having a bad day
    >
    > Tony
    >
    Sounds like a regular day to me. Bad driving is bad driving whether it's got worse since the CC
    started or not. Just because these idiots who've paid (not bikes I know) can go a couple of miles an
    hour faster shouldn't spoil it for the rest of us. To be honest I think we'll see cars creep back in
    but for the time being I'm enjoying the extra space.
     
  3. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:
    > Have other people had similar experience or was I just having a bad day

    I haven't been in the zone during the charging time yet. Is it really worse than late nights or
    weekends? I thouroughly enjoy central London on a bike at those times. The speeding cars and
    motorbikes there rarely cause me any problems.

    --
    ~PB FA: 62cm Ti frame: http://tinyurl.com/6stt
     
  4. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Stephen (aka steford) <[email protected]> wrote:
    >>
    > Sounds like a regular day to me. Bad driving is bad driving whether it's got worse since the CC
    > started or not. Just because these idiots who've paid (not bikes I know) can go a couple of miles
    > an hour faster shouldn't spoil it for the rest of us.

    My perception was not of a couple of miles an hour but a combination of the same bad driving with a
    much higher speed. Most of the motorbike incidents wouldn't have happened before from my experience
    because they too would be threading their way through the mass of cars, taxis etc. The traffic light
    where the bike shot past me would normally have been three or four cars deep behind me rather than
    an empty road for example.

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them
    their job."

    Samuel Goldwyn
     
  5. "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]
    >
    > Have other people had similar experience or was I just having a bad day

    You had a bad day. I've noticed an increase in speed and also a bit of extra trouble at the
    roundabouts, but otherwise, no big deal.

    Maybe I'm unusually lucky or unusually optimistic, but I find black cabs to be far nicer to me than
    the City types driving their Mercedeses/BMWs/Jaguars/etc and a damn sight nicer than White Van Men,
    as a rule. I can't recall any problems I've had so far that involved an overly-aggressive black cab,
    but I can think of bad vans right off the bat.

    All the new scooter-riders do make me a bit nervous though.

    On a side note: I explained the Charge to a friend of mine--"see, two wheels good, four wheels,
    bad." To which she reacted "it should have been humans good, engines bad."

    now *there*'s a thought

    -Luigi
     
  6. In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] family.com says...
    > Cycled in Central London for the first time since the congestion charge was introduced - round
    > Westminster and across to Liverpool Street and back. While there were some advantages, as far as I
    > could see it was definitely a change for the worse. The roads were much clearer of cars but those
    > that were there were mostly "professional drivers" i.e taxi cabs, delivery drivers etc and
    > motorbikes. They now have clearer roads which means their speeds have increased but their
    > consideration for other road users hasn't.
    ...
    > Have other people had similar experience or was I just having a bad day
    ... Using the #10 cycle map to avoid major roads & getting off & crossing at the lights works well
    for me. I'm sure the couriers (and most readers of this ng) think I'm a wuss, but I aim for lowest
    (no) stress rather than speed. I agree that speeds & hassle on major roads have definitely
    increased, but the side streets are never fast for cars & are a lot emptier than before the charge.

    --
    Your site's most important visitors are completely blind, totally deaf, and use browsers you've
    never seen.
     
  7. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Jacqui or (maybe) Pete <[email protected]> wrote:
    > ... Using the #10 cycle map to avoid major roads & getting off & crossing at the lights works
    > well for me. I'm sure the couriers (and most readers of this ng) think I'm a wuss, but I aim for
    > lowest (no) stress rather than speed. I agree that speeds & hassle on major roads have
    > definitely increased, but the side streets are never fast for cars & are a lot emptier than
    > before the charge.

    Probably right - I did go round Parliament Sq, up Whitehall, round Trafalgar, down the Strand &
    Fleet Street and then up to Broadgate and Lvpl Street, so major roads all the way.

    Tony
     
  8. Markk

    Markk Guest

    "Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    > Cycled in Central London for the first time since the congestion charge
    was
    > introduced - round Westminster and across to Liverpool Street and back. While there were some
    > advantages, as far as I could see it was definitely
    a
    > change for the worse. The roads were much clearer of cars but those that were there were mostly
    > "professional drivers" i.e taxi cabs, delivery drivers etc and motorbikes. They now have clearer
    > roads which means their speeds have increased but their consideration for other road users hasn't.
    > Especially at roundabouts/junctions I felt much more vulnerable as they
    now
    > charged across lanes at speed where previously they would probably have
    been
    > edging across in traffic. Motorbikes/scooters were the worst. Had
    several
    > shoot past me at speed at close quarters when I was attempting to move across my lane with hand
    > out. At one junction I was waiting in the middle of the right hand (right turn and straight on)
    > lane at red lights to turn right on an empty road. As I moved away on the green light a motorbike
    shot
    > past me on my right going straight on just as I was starting to turn.
    >
    > Have other people had similar experience or was I just having a bad day

    I'm not at all surprised, it's exactly what I predicted when discussing it with a friend the week
    before it came in. I would expect the seriousness of accidents to rise and possibly the number. The
    friend agreed, suggesting that part of the motivation for reducing congestion was to enable
    emergency vehicles to get to the scene quicker.

    My view on congestion is that we should leave it to the "free market", because it is self-limiting
    and only those who contribute to it suffer delays (ignoring pollution).

    I would suggest that a sharp increase in road fatalities among pedestrians, cyclists and
    motorcyclists, as a consequence of reduced congestion, would strengthen the anti-congestion
    charge lobby.

    OTOH many motorists will be resorting to LPG conversions or false plates, so maybe congestion will
    return sooner than expected, and the accident problem will fade away.

    Mark
     
  9. In message <[email protected]>, Luigi de Guzman
    <[email protected]> writes
    >"Tony Raven" <[email protected]> wrote in message news:<[email protected]
    >>
    >> Have other people had similar experience or was I just having a bad day
    >
    >You had a bad day. I've noticed an increase in speed and also a bit of extra trouble at the
    >roundabouts, but otherwise, no big deal.
    >
    >Maybe I'm unusually lucky or unusually optimistic, but I find black cabs to be far nicer to me than
    >the City types driving their Mercedeses/BMWs/Jaguars/etc and a damn sight nicer than White Van Men,
    >as a rule. I can't recall any problems I've had so far that involved an overly-aggressive black
    >cab, but I can think of bad vans right off the bat.
    >
    >All the new scooter-riders do make me a bit nervous though.
    >
    >On a side note: I explained the Charge to a friend of mine--"see, two wheels good, four wheels,
    >bad." To which she reacted "it should have been humans good, engines bad."

    Hear hear. I've just spent a week riding round London (to museums and other central attractions, on
    holiday). I felt that the standard of driving was better, and the streets a lot clearer, than before
    I moved out 10 years ago. On the whole I find the professional drivers quite easy to get on with.
    Assertive drivers, observant, competent, and even courteous.

    I agree that the new scooterists were not an advantage, and Hyde Park Corner was even more horrid
    because of the speed increase. A couple of cycle shop assistants - Evans and Condor - both said that
    they hadn't noticed any increase in sales of bikes, and I didn't notice any obvious increase in the
    numbers on the roads. The few with whom I struck up conversations all said they'd been riding since
    before the Charge.

    I'll be interested to see how the casualty and cycle-usage figures turn out. Hoping for zero and a
    large increase respectively...

    --
    Richard Keatinge

    http://www.keatinge.net
     
  10. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Richard Keatinge <[email protected]> wrote:
    > A couple of cycle shop assistants - Evans and Condor - both said that they hadn't noticed any
    > increase in sales of bikes, and I didn't notice any obvious increase in the numbers on the roads.

    I didn't notice any increase in cyclists either.

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them
    their job."

    Samuel Goldwyn
     
  11. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    MarkK wrote:
    > My view on congestion is that we should leave it to the "free market", because it is self-limiting
    > and only those who contribute to it suffer delays (ignoring pollution).

    Cyclists do suffer delays (and various unpleasantness) because of congestion. Cycle journeys are
    quicker at off-peak times in central London.

    > I would suggest that a sharp increase in road fatalities among pedestrians, cyclists and
    > motorcyclists, as a consequence of reduced congestion, would strengthen the anti-congestion
    > charge lobby.

    If that happens/will happen, then we should deal with the problem by making motorists drive better
    and slower, eg. enforcing speed limits, perhaps introducing lower speed limits and certain traffic
    calming measures, etc -- not by letting the congestion get continue and get worse. That's a bizarre
    and horrible idea, I think. I'm disappointed that any cyclists are pro congestion!

    --
    ~PB FA: 62cm Ti frame: http://tinyurl.com/6stt
     
  12. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    I've just come back from a ride in London this morning, and went through the west end. Obviously,
    traffic speed is much higher on Sundays than weekday day time - but it's not so fast that it can't
    be dealt with on a bike by good _normal_ cycling skills - just like it can in the rest of London. In
    fact, I find cycling in central London late at night (when there's very little traffic) safer than
    cycling in the suburbs at any time.

    The argument seems to be that we do anything and everything to reduce cyclist casualties. Cyclists
    have to take some of the responsibility themselves (ourselves) because we can ride on the road
    safely without the roads having either no cars or so many cars that nothing moves. Excuse me, but I
    LIKE cycling on ordinary roads in ordinary conditions - and that's what CG should produce in the
    Zone. Filling the roads up with cars is just as repugnant as banning cycles from the roads.

    --
    ~PB FA: 62cm Ti frame: http://tinyurl.com/6stt
     
  13. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Pete Biggs <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:
    > I've just come back from a ride in London this morning, and went through the west end. Obviously,
    > traffic speed is much higher on Sundays than weekday day time - but it's not so fast that it can't
    > be dealt with on a bike by good _normal_ cycling skills - just like it can in the rest of London.

    Traffic in central London on the weekend is completely different from traffic during the week. It
    much more relaxed and considerate compared with the "I'm late for my next appointment" aggression of
    a weekday. Its a doddle on a bike compared to during the week and not a good guide to congestion
    charged periods. I suspect accident rates will go up during congestion charge periods just because
    average speeds will have gone up.

    Tony

    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them
    their job."

    Samuel Goldwyn
     
  14. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Tony Raven wrote:

    >> I've just come back from a ride in London this morning, and went through the west end. Obviously,
    >> traffic speed is much higher on Sundays than weekday day time - but it's not so fast that it
    >> can't be dealt with on a bike by good _normal_ cycling skills - just like it can in the rest of
    >> London.
    >
    > Traffic in central London on the weekend is completely different from traffic during the week. It
    > much more relaxed and considerate

    To a certain extent yes, but that was more true some years ago before Sunday shopping and more
    people generally working on Sundays, etc. I can't say I noticed more consideration today than I
    see/get during the week (when I do go into central London during peak times - haven't done
    since CG).

    > compared with the "I'm late for my next appointment" aggression of a weekday. Its a doddle on a
    > bike compared to during the week and not a good guide to congestion charged periods.

    Ok, I will make a point of going down to the Charging Zone in the Charging Time to see for myself,
    and I'll report back.

    > I suspect accident rates will go up during congestion charge periods just because average speeds
    > will have gone up.

    Probably will, but hopefully the authorities will do something to help - like introduce and enforce
    20 or 25mph zones where needed. I'll be suggesting it to Red Light Ken if I find motorists are
    taking the mick.

    --
    ~PB FA: 62cm Ti frame: http://tinyurl.com/6stt
     
  15. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    Pete Biggs wrote:
    > .....when I do go into central London during peak times - haven't done since CG).

    I don't know why I'm writing "CG"! Sorry. Should be CC.

    --
    ~PB FA: 62cm Ti frame: http://tinyurl.com/6stt
     
  16. Tony R

    Tony R Guest

    "Pete Biggs" <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]...
    >
    > I've just come back from a ride in London this morning, and went through the west end. Obviously,
    > traffic speed is much higher on Sundays than weekday day time - but it's not so fast that it can't
    > be dealt with on a bike by good _normal_ cycling skills - just like it can in the rest of London.
    > In fact, I find cycling in central London late at night (when there's very little traffic) safer
    > than cycling in the suburbs at any time.

    I used to love cycling in central London at night but I think Tony Raven is right about the peak
    period drivers being way less relaxed/considerate etc. I enjoyed cycling at these times also, though
    and never really felt unsafe probably because of the lower speeds. The unpleasant thing about the
    congestion for me was the dirt, fumes and noise. Is the centre less noxious now? Tony R.
     
  17. Pete Biggs

    Pete Biggs Guest

    tony R wrote:
    > I used to love cycling in central London at night but I think Tony Raven is right about the peak
    > period drivers being way less relaxed/considerate etc. I enjoyed cycling at these times also,
    > though and never really felt unsafe probably because of the lower speeds. The unpleasant thing
    > about the congestion for me was the dirt, fumes and noise. Is the centre less noxious now?

    There won't be fewer buses and taxis - which is where much of the black stuff comes from (literally
    - diesel particulates), but hopefully, there won't be so many vans about (with diesel engines), and
    less poisonous gas from petrol motors can't be a bad thing as well.

    --
    ~PB FA: 62cm Ti frame: http://tinyurl.com/6stt
     
  18. J-P.S

    J-P.S Guest

    On Sat, 8 Mar 2003 20:27:58 -0000, MarkK scrawled: ) My view on congestion is that we should leave
    it to the "free market", ) because it is self-limiting and only those who contribute to it suffer )
    delays (ignoring pollution).

    As long as you ignore a sufficient number of disadvantages, then free- market advocates are able to
    apply the theory to anything. Remember what town Keynes had named after him, and feel a chill
    running down your spine.

    J-P
    --
    "Welcome, our friends. You may have the arms of fat women but your work smells of men. Return to
    Bangor and let the shout of revolution ring out in your gigs."
     
  19. Tony Raven

    Tony Raven Guest

    Pete Biggs <pLime{remove_fruit}@biggs.tc> wrote:
    >
    > There won't be fewer buses and taxis - which is where much of the black stuff comes from
    > (literally - diesel particulates), but hopefully, there won't be so many vans about (with diesel
    > engines), and less poisonous gas from petrol motors can't be a bad thing as well.

    Curiously I found the bus lanes to be the most crowded place now. Often the adjacent lane was
    virtually empty while the buses were all queued up in the bus lane.

    Tony
    --
    http://www.raven-family.com

    "I don't want any yes-men around me. I want everybody to tell me the truth even if it costs them
    their job."

    Samuel Goldwyn
     
  20. Dave Kahn

    Dave Kahn Guest

    "MarkK" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:<[email protected]>...

    > OTOH many motorists will be resorting to LPG conversions or false plates, so maybe congestion will
    > return sooner than expected, and the accident problem will fade away.

    Do you seriously believe that motorists will resort to committing a serious criminal offence in
    sufficient numbers to have a significant impact on the number of cars in the charging zone?

    --
    Dave...
     
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