How to cause chaos!

November 18th, 2015, 4pm

It was 13°C with scattered clouds. The breeze was brisk.

So, my office is on a busy street on the edge of the Bloomsbury area of central London, and the local council has decided that this week is the week to do some major street alteration work. The aim is to close the street completely for all westbound vehicles except bicycles - quite a bold experiment IMHO.

Anyway, that means that today it got to the point where they needed to close the road entirely to scrape the existing cycle lane surface away. And boy has that been causing chaos!

I suppose the fact that this is partly a residential street, with some small (cheaper) hotels thrown in for good measure means that they can’t do this kind of super-disruptive work during the night when the traffic levels would be much lower. And I suspect cost is the reason why they’re not doing this at the weekend either. So as the workmen get on with their work, horrendous traffic queues have been building up in the surrounding streets.

Perhaps once the work is completed, the road re-opened and drivers have got used to the new restrictions, this experiment may prove to be popular. But I suspect not. Partly because one heavy user - the taxi driver - will no longer be able to use this road as a handy east-west cut-through, and partly because the increase in bicycle traffic will probably lead to an increase in accidents. I’m sorry to say that cyclists are probably the most hated road users in central London now, but perhaps more of that another time…

David Wade said thanks.

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Adrian Tribe

A follower of Jesus Christ, a husband and father, a Kentish Man (not a Man of Kent), a commuter to London

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