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How eco-warriors are using Covid as an excuse to drive cars off the road–David Rose

August 25, 2020
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By Paul Homewood

 

 

 

Good to see David Rose back on form.

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Roads narrowed so that pavements can be widened. Streets reduced from two lanes to one. Extra cycle lanes.

Town-centre parking spaces suspended. Major diversions. Under the guise of protecting us from Covid, councils all across the country have introduced a host of tough restrictions on motorists.

Of course, everything necessary must be done to prevent the spread of coronavirus but many believe this is being done as an excuse to punish drivers as part of a wider campaign against car use.

What’s more, these measures are killing trade on high streets at a time when the economy is in desperate need of all the help it can get.

Measure like this, in Manor Lane, Lewisham, are being introduced by councils across the UK as the Government invest £225m in making the country more sustainable during pandemic

Measure like this, in Manor Lane, Lewisham, are being introduced by councils across the UK as the Government invest £225m in making the country more sustainable during pandemic.

Motorists say new restrictions in favour of cyclists and pedestrians are making traffic worse

Motorists say new restrictions in favour of cyclists and pedestrians are making traffic worse

Typical is what is happening in Bristol, where van driver Steve Weeks is at his wits’ end.

He says: ‘These measures are adding about 20 minutes per hour to every journey. Which means I’m working longer for less. It’s crazy.’ I spoke to Steve as he sat stuck in traffic at a junction on Lewins Mead, one of the main routes through the city.

‘It was 3pm on Wednesday, when traffic would usually be light, but a tailback snaked behind and ahead of Steve for more than a mile.

‘On August 3, the council reduced the space for powered vehicles on Lewins Mead from two lanes to one.

‘Since then, the nearside lane has become a thoroughfare for bicycles. Incidentally, while at the junction for 30 minutes, I saw only one cyclist use the bike lane.’

Narrowing roads to create super-wide bike lanes isn’t the only measure Bristol has introduced.

On-street parking has been suspended in several locations, roads have been closed and some key left and right turns are about to be banned.

One result is that cars and vans have effectively been banned from the road into the city centre from the main railway station, Temple Meads – forcing drivers to use a long, circuitous alternative.

The impact on businesses has been devastating, but more road closures – another 12, the city council warns – are imminent.

The Government is spending £225 million on similar measures across the country, most notably in London, Oxford, Manchester, Birmingham, York, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Derby and Cardiff.

There has been scant public consultation but everywhere the justification is the same: Covid offers an ideal opportunity to provide a green stimulus to economic recovery, encourage people out of their cars and, in the process, to get fit and lose weight to protect them against the virus.

Bristol’s Labour mayor, Marvin Rees, says the changes will help the city ‘emerge from this crisis in a more inclusive and sustainable way’ and that they will ‘protect public health and unlock barriers to inclusive economic growth, with cleaner air, safer and better public transport, and improved walking and cycling routes for everyone’.

His enthusiasm follows a major initiative launched by the Department for Transport in May.

It has set aside £225m for ‘emergency active travel schemes for local authorities due to the pandemic’. (Active travel is Ministry-speak for walking and cycling.)

The department says the money will enable local authorities to produce ‘new cycling and walking facilities’ and its altered road and parking schemes will promote recovery.

However, Emergency Active Travel Fund money comes with a string attached. Councils must satisfy officials ‘they have swift and meaningful plans to reallocate road space to cyclists and pedestrians (both groups rather than one or the other), including on strategic corridors.

Schemes that do not meaningfully alter the status quo on the road will not be funded.’ Motorists, in other words, must lose out.

Many, though, see this Government initiative as deeply misguided.

In Bristol’s Galleries shopping mall, about a third of the stores are closed or boarded up. Others risk shutting for good or are barely clinging on.

‘When we reopened after lockdown, at first things were good,’ says Naheed Iqbal, 45, proprietor of House of Colours, an Indian clothing and jewellery store.

‘But customers now say they just can’t get here. They want to drive and park because they’ll have heavy bags.

‘The council says closing roads will encourage business to come back but it’s killed mine. I’m giving up – though it means I’m going to lose everything I invested in it.’ Manzar Nawaz, 40, co-owner of high-end men’s outfitters Suits Plus, tells me he had only one customer all morning. He claims the road closures led to an immediate reduction in the number of customers.

‘The impact on us is simple: we’ve almost no trade left,’ he adds. ‘We’ve been here 30 years, but I don’t think we’ve done more than £400 business all week.’

He’s had to let three staff go and he fears he might have to close.

At his empty hairdressing salon, proprietor Toni Carobene says he was ‘flat-out busy for ten days’ after he reopened. But after the council closed the roads, trade crashed.

‘Many of my customers come from outside the city, and now it’s completely dead.’

Oxford, pictured, is in line to get Government funding to install cycling and walking measures along with London, Manchester, Birmingham, York, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Derby and Cardiff 

Oxford, pictured, is in line to get Government funding to install cycling and walking measures along with London, Manchester, Birmingham, York, Edinburgh, Nottingham, Derby and Cardiff

Of course, for some, banishing motor vehicles is a long-cherished dream. Last year, the Left-wing think-tank Common Wealth – its board members include Ed Miliband – published a report entitled Away With All Cars, arguing that to meet emissions targets, Britain must reduce overall traffic by between 20 and 60 per cent by 2030.

‘That,’ it commented drily, ‘is a lot of traffic to lose.’

By the same date, it suggested, London should be ‘private-car free’.

The report’s author, Leo Murray, wrote in The Guardian in November, applauding Bristol’s new, diesel-free clean air zone. But he wanted the council to go further and ‘make private cars completely obsolete’.

Central to this ‘war on cars’ is UK100, which describes itself as a ‘network of highly ambitious local government leaders, who have pledged to secure the future for their communities by shifting to 100 per cent clean energy’.

Founded in 2016, its members include dozens of Labour council chiefs and major figures on the Left, such as London Mayor Sadiq Khan, his Manchester counterpart Andy Burnham, and Bristol’s Marvin Rees.

One of UK100’s main funders is the European Climate Foundation (ECF), which is funded in turn by an array of American green billionaires. ECF also makes hefty donations to radical groups such as Extinction Rebellion.

Last October, UK100 called on the Government to give councils ‘the powers and funding they need to deliver zero emission transport networks, [and to] encourage and enable behaviour change, including the promotion of active travel’ – by cracking down on motorists and boosting cycling and walking.

UK100’s influence is significant: it currently has one of its staff seconded to Bristol City Council. Crucial, too, is the support of the Department for Transport.

For the fact is that Covid, as more honest anti-car campaigners admit, has accelerated changes that otherwise might have taken years.

Meanwhile, in the real world, drivers are taking a huge hit.

In Oxford, the roadway on Magdalen Bridge, the only route across the River Cherwell between the city centre and the suburbs of east Oxford, where tens of thousands live, has been narrowed to make way for two super-wide bike lanes.

As a result, the road is only 15.7ft wide. And with double-decker buses being a minimum of 9.2ft wide, two can’t pass each other without having to go into the cycle lanes and risk flattening cyclists.

Similar bottlenecks abound in London. For example, since June, Park Lane has been reduced from three lanes to one to accommodate new cycle lanes – even though less than 50 yards away inside Hyde Park, a long-established cycle path runs exactly in parallel – and has the advantage of being away from cars.

One of the worst of several new, almost permanent, jams in London is on the formerly three-lane Euston Road, a key east-west artery.

Now, to drive the new single lane from Regent’s Park to King’s Cross – a journey of 1.5 miles – can take up to 30 minutes.

Traffic jams in Park Lane, London, caused by coronavirus related road restrictions

Traffic jams in Park Lane, London, caused by coronavirus related road restrictions

All of these changes have had a dramatic effect but many more are in the pipeline.

Eventually, the Department for Transport intends to spend £2 billion on Active Travel.

In a foreword to a report on the subject last month, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he looked forward to ‘the most radical change to our cities since the arrival of mass motoring’.

Part of this initiative included handing out 50,000 Fix Your Bike vouchers worth up to £50, to be used by people to get their bicycles roadworthy.

Indeed, several cities plan to restrict drivers from travelling between areas except via outer ring roads.

For example, it is planned for Birmingham to be divided into six ‘segments’.

According to the city council, ‘to move from one segment to another in a private vehicle you would have to go back out on to the A4540 Middleway [the city’s inner ring road]. Movement between the segments would be unrestricted… for public transport, pedestrians and cyclists’.

The result is that journeys that now take a few minutes will be much longer – and, ironically, considering this is part of a drive to make us more green, they will produce more exhaust emissions.

Oxford faces something similar. In the name of creating ‘low traffic neighbourhoods’, the Tory-lead county council is rushing forward a scheme for gates that allow only buses to pass through.

This will sever great parts of the city from each other unless drivers go via the ring road.

The inevitable consequence is that local journeys by car such as a supermarket shop or to the John Radcliffe Hospital will, for thousands of people, become much longer and more difficult.

Significantly, documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by fledgling opposition group Reconnecting Oxford show there has been no assessment of the scheme’s likely impact on traffic, pollution or business. There has also been no formal consultation.

However, such niceties are not legally necessary.

By using Emergency Traffic Orders, valid for up to 18 months, councils can do with their roads pretty much what they want – and assess the impact afterwards.

Oxford’s Labour deputy leader, Tom Hayes, claimed last week that camera-monitored bus gates with signs and road markings to prohibit general traffic would ‘increase footfall’ in the city’s shops and restaurants, by ‘encouraging more journeys from cyclists’ and creating ‘cafe culture streets’.

The Government has assigned £225 million for local councils to install new cycling measures in a bid to make people fitter and the country more sustainable in the aftermath of Covid-19

The Government has assigned £225 million for local councils to install new cycling measures in a bid to make people fitter and the country more sustainable in the aftermath of Covid-19

And yet no one in business seems to agree.

‘They’re justifying this as a way of helping the city out of Covid,’ the veteran hotelier and restaurateur Jeremy Mogford says. ‘The truth is that it’s going to make it far more difficult.’

Besides the bus gates, planned new parking and loading restrictions and further pedestrianisation would create still more pressure on trade, he says.

‘It’s as if the extreme end of Extinction Rebellion has got some hold over the policy-makers. They’ve become zealots – they just don’t want motorised vehicles.’

Understandably, we are witnessing a backlash – from local residents’ groups and national organisations, such as the Alliance of British Drivers and the Road Haulage Association.

Duncan Buchanan, the latter’s director of policy for England and Wales, says: ‘The Covid emergency is being exploited to push through fantasy projects.

‘People are forgetting that we need to move around – that our food comes on trucks, for example. There are innumerable necessary road journeys made every day, but we’re in danger of following a dogma that’s destroying the road network, destroying business and competitiveness, and so ruining people’s lives.

‘Roads are functional places where we connect with each other, and they need to be managed for all users’ benefit – not just cyclists.

‘The Government needs to remember: this isn’t being driven by ordinary people, it’s totally alien to them.

‘It’s artificially constructed congestion created by people who don’t care about ordinary citizens’ lives.’

Stuck in the Bristol tailback, van driver Steve Weeks agrees. ‘They should have picked a different time – not now, when we’re trying to get over Covid.

‘It’s too much. The traffic was bad before but now it’s just silly. It’s unsustainable.’

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8654475/How-councils-closing-roads-creating-cycle-lanes-guise-saving-virus.html

 

It has been obvious for some time that the powers that be want to get us out of our cars. Certainly the compulsory switch to EVs will have just that effect.

What is particularly telling about this article is the reference to is the role of the far left European Climate Foundation:

Central to this ‘war on cars’ is UK100, which describes itself as a ‘network of highly ambitious local government leaders, who have pledged to secure the future for their communities by shifting to 100 per cent clean energy’.

Founded in 2016, its members include dozens of Labour council chiefs and major figures on the Left, such as London Mayor Sadiq Khan, his Manchester counterpart Andy Burnham, and Bristol’s Marvin Rees.

One of UK100’s main funders is the European Climate Foundation (ECF), which is funded in turn by an array of American green billionaires. ECF also makes hefty donations to radical groups such as Extinction Rebellion.

Last October, UK100 called on the Government to give councils ‘the powers and funding they need to deliver zero emission transport networks, [and to] encourage and enable behaviour change, including the promotion of active travel’ – by cracking down on motorists and boosting cycling and walking.

UK100’s influence is significant: it currently has one of its staff seconded to Bristol City Council. Crucial, too, is the support of the Department for Transport.

 

The statement from David Buchanan perfectly sums it up:

The Government needs to remember: this isn’t being driven by ordinary people, it’s totally alien to them.

‘It’s artificially constructed congestion created by people who don’t care about ordinary citizens’ lives.’

43 Comments
  1. August 25, 2020 10:31 am

    What will happens is that the bigger stores and supermarkets, who have the financial ability to do so, will either reopen or relocate their stores to the out of town commercial centres, such as Bluewater in Kent. This will be the death of the city centre unless someone sees sense.

    • August 25, 2020 3:49 pm

      Many city centres in the States have been half-dead for years. Suburban malls took over.

    • DrNobby permalink
      August 25, 2020 6:10 pm

      So, if we aren’t to be allowed cars in the future, how do we get to out of town shopping?

      • August 25, 2020 6:16 pm

        But you will have ELECTRIC cars. All you will need to get to your out-of-town shopping centre is a charging point and sufficient electricity from the grid. Hmm – I see your point, both of those seem unlikely at the moment…

  2. JimW permalink
    August 25, 2020 10:36 am

    ‘Ordinary people’ are completely expendable, indeed this covid thingy just isn’t doing its job well enough, where are the vast number of deaths in the 30-60 yr old range? Better get the next one right.

    • CheshireRed permalink
      August 25, 2020 12:47 pm

      Jim is on the money here. How do you reduce car use, industrial activity or the population if not by making it harder for the population to do things? Harder car restrictions = less car use = Happy Marxists but misery for everyone else, including personal, work and economic misery.

      Don’t mistake this as an exaggeration. We’ve just seen our Great n Good spend 4 years publicly attempting to subvert democracy. (Six in the case of bonny Scotland). These people are the Enemy Within and should be treated as such.

      • Ariane permalink
        August 25, 2020 2:02 pm

        Cheshire Red, ‘these people’ are not Marxists. Marxists believe that poor working people should be in control … of the means of production …etc. They certainly would not want to harm working people, make them poorer, increase their energy bills and make accessing local food shops harder. ‘These people’ are very well-heeled with good jobs, access to pots of money and good assets (security) and have loud voices and/or positions of power in schools and universities and local authorities thus able to influence policies and developments at these levels – to create the world they want.

      • Bertie permalink
        August 25, 2020 5:28 pm

        Ariane, You have a strange view of Marxism.

      • Ariane permalink
        August 26, 2020 8:10 am

        Bertie, in your opiniion, what is Marxism?

  3. Thomas Carr permalink
    August 25, 2020 10:47 am

    There is a long history of road capacity confiscation in favour of fit singles who ,while cycling, are not part of an economic output — Deliveroo etc excepted. In the centre of Norwich (UK) elaborate roadworks have been going on for at least a year and a 20 mph limit limit introduced in which policing has no part. According to some the money was made available and it has to be spent.
    The more the confiscation and restriction in the central area the more the out-of-town retail estates and business parks thrive.

  4. bobn permalink
    August 25, 2020 10:52 am

    We used to go to events, concerts in London and Oxford. Even before the Flu closed things down we had stopped going due to the impossibility of travel. Likewise with deliveries of product to shops, hotels and restaurants. It was becoming a nightmare. Would try to deliver to London only after 8pm to avoid the extra charges but then shops needs to be open to receive then. The city centres are going to die and its part of Govt (National and local) planning. We no longer exhibit at shows in city centres (too difficult logistically).
    Motorway service areas should be expanded to include retail parks and exhibition areas since these can actually be accessed. They’ve killed off the urban centres. Guess they’ll all convert to housing. The commute will reverse as people leave the dormitory cities to work and shop outside and commute back in in evenings.

    • Gerry, England permalink
      August 25, 2020 2:31 pm

      Couldn’t have put it better myself. Or that Cities become polos, everything around the outside with greenspace – or dereliction like Detroit – in the centre.

      • Russ Wood permalink
        August 29, 2020 11:59 am

        Personally, having been reading American conservative news-blogs for years, I would assume ‘Detroit’ as the direction that mismanaged city centres may take.
        We have had an example here in South Africa, where Johannesburg city centre, once a REAL centre, is now a decaying residential mess, while business moved to Sandton. The Sandton area was once called the ‘mink and manure’ belt, because of its stables and luxurious houses – and little else. And THIS started when Jo’burg DELIBERATELY limited car parking for office buildings, while only supporting a limited (radial) public transport service. Result: companies move their head offices OUT! So, bye, bye ‘The City’!

  5. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 25, 2020 10:59 am

    He forgot Brighton and Hove, I’ve mentioned what has been happening there.

    It’s insane, because of CV19 policy you have near empty buses and underused trains, everyone forced into their cars, a completely dishonest narrative about the popularity and impractical nature of cycling (some people stuck at home bored have taken it up for exercise whilst the weather was nice – it is not a mass transport shift), and then you have a tiny minority of green nutters and local officials who can cycle to work remodeling the roads according to their wants without any democratic process.

    https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/18659796.brighton-city-centre-traffic-grinds-halt-amid-road-changes/

    Of course they are unable to hear other opinions. Even a 90% objection rate in the poll and protests outside their door (and you have to remember these polls are always circulated and swamped by eco-activists). The left’s favorite jibe at the right – tone deaf.

    https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/18668528.anti-cycle-lane-protesters-gather-outside-hove-town-hall/

    https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/18670892.environment-chief-brighton-hoves-new-cycle-lanes/

    But Grant Shapps and the Tories are ultimately responsible for this – it was obviously a stupid policy and a further waste of money. But then the Tories have lost the plot on failing to abort and call out the green movement as dishonest, they have put their head in the mouth of the crocodile.

    • Steve permalink
      August 25, 2020 12:20 pm

      I took my bike along the A259 sea front bike lane from the roundabout to Hove. The new wide lane was hardly used as cyclists ignored the scrubbed out directions on the existing cycle path, which was two way and now is supposed to run one way from East to West. There is a continuous single lane of queuing traffic all along the 259 and backing up the main road from the North to the pier roundabout. The council are now planning to close this road further and put traffic lights in with pedestrian crossing at this main junction of the main coast road and the road from London. More narrowing of the road is planned right out to the outskirts of town.

      The ‘temporary’ wide cycle lane running west along the main road to Shoreham is rarely used and cyclists prefer the coast cycle path away from traffic. The journey by car takes twice as long because only a single line of vehicles can pass the many traffic lights along the road.

      On Sunday we decided to drive to Worthing and Littlehampton on the A27 bypass and were delayed for miles by the closure of the inner lane for a mile to the traffic lights at the end of the two lane road. We diverted to the 259 coast road, along with many others. It took 90 minutes to travel 15 miles.

      Littlehampton was closed off at the seafront junction with the river and we could not find a parking space. Worthing has also reduced the main road to the centre from the North to one lane to install a wide and unused lane for cyclists who wish to do their shopping using a pannier and braving the rain and wind.

      The gay green leader of the new council is Phelin MacAffery. Really. For giving these looneys the means to close down transport and create pollution in the middle of the epidemic economic crisis, Shapps should be hung, drawn and quartered.

  6. Messenger permalink
    August 25, 2020 11:21 am

    David Rose is so right. In Scotland the movement to alter the traffic flow in towns, which has not had full local consultation, is being fostered by the money on offer from the government
    (in other words, our money) via the single-issue unelected pressure group SUSTRANs (Sustainable Transport) who declare themselves as follows:
    SUSTRANS Scotland successfully influences policy development to ensure that more people have the choice to walk, cycle or take public transport for more of their everyday journeys. We work closely with the Scottish Government, Local Authorities, government agencies and politicians in order to achieve this aim …………….In order to respond fully to the climate crisis, we need to reduce our dependency on cars altogether.

    I wrote to the council five weeks ago;
    “It is evident that these proposals have very little to with Covid 19 but are the result of the SUSTRANS group’s climate change and “sustainability” concerns. During the epidemic travel by car has obviously been a much safer way of getting between two points. The recorded cases are now in decline here and in many other places. The whole local populace have not been asked for their opinion, why should we accept the decisions of an unelected pressure group?…
    In my opinion there is no evidence that climate change is an especially important problem, no evidence it deserves special attention, given the long-term drop in the annual number of deaths from weather-related disasters. ……….There are many more pressing problems such as the economic situation, on which this money could be better spent. However the link with SUSTRANS means that if these changes were to be implemented it would be most unlikely that the traffic situation will ever be returned to the status quo.
    There would be significant increased pressure on local parking with the removal of [74] car parking spaces [without any replacements available and no local park and ride facilities]. Such action will discourage many people from outside the town centre from coming to the shops at all, at a time where an increased footfall is urgently needed to improve the dire economic situation. Car parks, other town centre roads and many of those beyond are already full of parked cars in normal times. ….
    With the proposed changed traffic flow, two roads will become the major circuits for the town, and the difficulties of emerging from side roads …will be greatly increased, as there would most likely be a continuous stream of traffic on those two routes. The jammed situation already often occurs in warm weather, in the summer and on Bank Holiday weekends such as Easter when people and cars pour off the beach and there is gridlock. What measures will be put in place to avoid these problems?”

    I sent this twice to four local councillors and the chairman of the council. Three councillors have ignored me, I had a reasonable reply from one councillor after the second attempt, and a letter from someone who I presume is on the council who signed herself Climate Change Consultant.

    • Ian Wilson permalink
      August 25, 2020 4:38 pm

      I was a Sustrans member for some years as they do a great deal of valuable work, especially on off-road cycling routes and building splendid bridges. This benefited motorists too, as sensible schemes reduce car use and cut congestion. i resigned when they did a deal with Ecotricity and climbed on the climate hysteria band-wagon.
      Encouraging cycling is excellent but there has to be a sensible balance – keen cyclist as I am I acknowledge you cannot carry a bag of cement, a Labrador or elderly granny on a bike.

      • Russ Wood permalink
        August 29, 2020 12:06 pm

        My weekly shopping usually ends up with 4 or 5 bags full – some plastic, the others fabric. Way back when I was unemployed in the UK, I DID do shopping by cycle, but (a) that was EVERY DAY and (b) they were all local shops, within a kilometer of home. Not really practicable in these days – and anyway, I’m not as fit as I was….

  7. fretslider permalink
    August 25, 2020 11:31 am

    Saving us from the virus..

    Given that the data is questionable, the death rate in the UK from Coronavirus is ~0.06%

    In other words, 99.9% of people haven’t died.

    • tonyb permalink
      August 25, 2020 2:51 pm

      the vast majority according to the stats would likely have died anyway within 2 weeks. Presumably if there had been a bad flu season in the preceding year the numbers who unfortunately died of/with covid would have died of flu last year or this year.

  8. Penda100 permalink
    August 25, 2020 11:35 am

    Motorists contribute around £40 billion in taxes every year and the Government spends about£5 billion on the road network. When all private cars are banned who will pay the missing £35 billion? Cyclists? Rail users?

    • fretslider permalink
      August 25, 2020 12:34 pm

      At present electric vehicles get a free pass, but they’ll be in for a nasty non-electrical shock when ice cars are going going gone.

  9. Harry Davidson permalink
    August 25, 2020 12:45 pm

    Personally, one change I would like to see is the American all way stop at every junction in a residential areas, with priority for pedestrians. If you know you will have to stop every 50 metres, it makes rat runs un-attractive and it keeps the speed down.

    • bobn permalink
      August 25, 2020 1:48 pm

      Rat runs have become necessary because of the lack of suitable roads. Build the needed by-passes and ratruns disappear. Rat-runs are a symptom not the problem.

  10. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 25, 2020 12:47 pm

    And of course eliminating most private cars will not ‘cure’ supposed air pollution.

    Apple car mobility data relative to their baseline:

    Before lockdown 0 to +20%
    Lockdown + 2 weeks -75%
    Increasing to August +45%
    August remains +15 to +45%

    And how has that affected roadside air quality on one of the busiest and most congested main roads in W.Sussex?

    https://uk-air.defra.gov.uk/data-plot?site_id=WTHG&days=170

    So cutting 75% of private cars had no dramatic affect, and apart from the slight (probably heatwave related – clearest on NO2) raised levels in mid August, there appears little correlation to private car use – air quality did not gradually deteriorate as car use gradually recovered back to ABOVE pre-lockdown levels.

  11. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 25, 2020 1:12 pm

    More people getting annoyed!

    https://www.thegwpf.com/a-revolt-against-road-closures/

  12. Graeme No.3 permalink
    August 25, 2020 1:36 pm

    Perhaps an exemption could be made for a truly renewable energy powered, non carbon (sic) emitting car.

  13. Broadlands permalink
    August 25, 2020 1:52 pm

    The sad irony of all of this is the fact that the Earth’s climate cannot be substantially affected by the lowering of carbon fuel emissions, even to zero. The only thing that can lower the atmospheric level of CO2 permanently is industrial carbon capture and long-term geological storage of CO2. A technology that is quantitatively inadequate at the global scale needed. Nature was able to bury carbon long-term but it took millions of years. And the carbon that was buried was not in the form of CO2. It was biomass and carbonates. The green deal activists need to understand that. Seems unlikely, unfortunately.

    • bobn permalink
      August 25, 2020 4:16 pm

      Need to understand that CO2 does not influence the Climate. And if it did warm the climate that would be a good thing!

  14. tonyb permalink
    August 25, 2020 2:47 pm

    It is disturbing to see all the enemies of the planet posting here. If your job is within 15 miles it is your climate duty to cycle there. Hitch on a little trailer if you have to transport stuff. Get good lights to cope with the long dark morning and evening. Invest in some nice warm gloves, a thick coat, a good rainproof and two sets of thermal underwear.

    Sing for joy and praise St Greta as you cycle merrily in the dark, the rain, the cold, whilst your computer gets soaked. Its surely not too much trouble if you can delay global warming by a nano second?

    • bobn permalink
      August 25, 2020 4:21 pm

      But – I want Global Warming! Problem is i cant get enough of it, and humans cant generate it!

  15. Gerry, England permalink
    August 25, 2020 2:53 pm

    Point of information: They are NOT emergency Traffic Orders but TEMPORARY Traffic Orders. The DfT amended the regulations for making Traffic Orders to allow Covid-19 as a reason to make a Temporary TMO. That provision is only in place until September 2021 at the moment. TTMOs have a maximum life of 18 months unless the associated works will take longer – Crossrail for example.

    But it is absolutely true that they see this as a chance to sneak things in permanently and in some cases an Experimental Traffic Order will be used where there is no prior consultation as comments and objections are to be made in the light of operational experience. It is known that this power is abused to put in changes without consultation. Any experiment must have metrics by which it is monitored.

    It is no surprise that no research is done prior to the changes as that would take time and in most cases produce a result they don’t want to hear. The GWPF had a note on the pushback that is coming from businesses and residents about this with the suggestion that some councils are now backtracking. The photo from Lewisham is quite funny because online there is video of a queue of drivers – mainly vans – going round a closure via the footway.

  16. Stephen Lord permalink
    August 25, 2020 3:57 pm

    Same thing is going on in my town Encinitas in California. The supporters are very vocal and the motorists who are impacted are trying to get on w
    With their lives so dpnt speak out.

  17. DrNobby permalink
    August 25, 2020 5:06 pm

    Es ist für Ihre Sicherheit, alles für Ihre Sicherheit

  18. Tom Scott permalink
    August 25, 2020 5:52 pm

    In my West Sussex town they have made the A24 single lane and used the other lane as a cycle lane. Total traffic chaos, parking removed for local shops and the Parish Church has lost its parking for wedding cars and hearses. Large petition against the lane supported by virtually the whole town.

    Likely to be ignored though because the council know what is best for us.

  19. Gordon permalink
    August 25, 2020 5:53 pm

    I don’t see many drivers shopping as they speed/crawl along the Hugh street. Cars already get more space than cyclists and pedestrians and they do cause more pollution, especially noise.

  20. Ben Vorlich permalink
    August 25, 2020 6:34 pm

    Both Central and Local Government are, so they claim, worrying about empty town centres and, so they claim, encouraging people to go back to work in town centres. Yet they are making it more and more difficult to get into the town centre. Both Central and Local Government are, so they claim, are worried about empty shops in city centres, yet they make it difficult and expensive to get into a city centre.

    As Ian Wilson says there are some things that cannot be carried on a bike or ob a Park and Ride bus.

    You can only wonder about the thought processes of the people we’ve voted to run our country, towns and cities.

  21. MrGrimNasty permalink
    August 25, 2020 8:32 pm

    COVID E&W deaths all but ‘irrelevant’ (1.5% of all deaths in latest week) as of 14th August data. Overall deaths very close to average, very slight uptick possibly heat related.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending14august2020

  22. M E permalink
    August 25, 2020 9:01 pm

    I beg to differ. Perhaps those who think about this virus pandemiic could look at MedCram .
    It is available on Youtube or you can use the web site on MedCram.com
    The latest informational episode, from a doctor who is treats patients with pulmonary diseases, is about the difference between the two. 102

    • MrGrimNasty permalink
      August 25, 2020 9:40 pm

      Completely irrelevant to my point and waste of 20 minutes.

  23. Paul Weeks permalink
    August 26, 2020 11:45 am

    Think I’ll buy some more Amazon shares having read this post.

    • August 26, 2020 12:10 pm

      Careful – with the city centres in the state they’re in, the Amazon vans won’t be able to deliver. Buy shares in black paint – a Norwegian study has found that painting one of the three turbine blades on wind turbines black reduces bird kill by 80 percent. That’ll please the greenies and the ornithologists and me!

      • Gerry, England permalink
        August 26, 2020 3:43 pm

        Black paint can also be used to paint out the new cycle lanes….

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