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TOPIC: Bus Travel and Cycle Enfield: TfL Freedom of Information Act responses

Bus Travel and Cycle Enfield: TfL Freedom of Information Act responses
02 Feb 2018 23:13 #3597

I was active on streets issues when the cycle lanes were first mooted by the council, and the 'possible' effect on bus services was certainly raised. I forget the precise details, but the council recognised that at places like traffic lights and pedestrian crossings tailbacks could/would at first be longer given the reduction in carriageway space. Which was seen as an advantage because people driving short, driver-only journeys would be incentivised by longer delays into cycling instead. Which, assuming it happened, would in turn improve the available carriageway space for the traffic that remained. Of course it was understood that this change would take time to work through.

I dropped out shortly after those preliminary ideas were being discussed, and until I cycled on the cycle lanes never gave a thought to the fact that the new bus stops would be a contentious because they usually/often mean that traffic cannot move on until the bus pulls away. Now that I’m aware I assume that this is also seen as an advantage by the council because it adds to the frustration of drivers, making it more likely that they will leave their car at home and walk, or cycle, or use public transport.

Short of banning car use I see this as inevitable and moral because cars are greedy of space and resources, easy to use selfishly and dangerously, and have detrimental effects on other users – notably children – of street space. As I see it Mini-Holland has done more than facilitate cycling for those who want to cycle; it has positive effects in terms of equality, fitness and health, the democracy of travel, and liveable streets . It has also forced into the limelight the 'sense of entitlement' drivers have taken to themselves at the expense of other users of urban space.

Locally I cycle, Colin Younger uses buses, my wife walks and uses buses. None of us young. If we can do it so can a myriad others.

Because I’m ancient I was able to walk to school when five years old, probably a kilometre or more accompanied by girls of eight or so. Other than in villages and some small towns perhaps that circumstance cannot be replicated now, but we can, and the council is doing, create residential areas – Quieter Neighbourhoods - protected from rat-running and fast traffic. Personally I think 20mph – which should be represented as 30kph – is too fast, and 20kph, about 12mph, would be better.

Cars like trains are a means of travel. Train speed is regulated by the system, but car speed is regulated mainly by drivers who have become blind to the common good and feel hard done to if there habits are called into question. The balance has to change, that sense of entitlementhas to change.

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