Friday, June 02, 2006

Tories turn left

On the face of it some of the Redwood's proposals sound quite sensible: removing dangerous cycle lanes, letting taxis etc share bus lanes, having no all red phase on junctions.
But think about what some of these mean, and the potential impact of the headline of allowing left turns at red lights.
What do they mean about dangerous cycle lanes? Given the 10 point plan is intended to increase road capacity for cars by 10-20%, I presume they mean cycle lanes that take up road space instead of cars. So Dave's tories want to move one set of road users onto the pavement to join pedestrians.
Turning left at traffic lights is a recipe for accidents. It works in the States because you have wide roads, and fewer pedestrians/cyclists. But when you'll have cyclists running down the inside lane approaching traffic lights on red, before occupying the advanced stop line, then there will be accidents with cars turning across cyclists. (Having a car/van turn across you is horrible as there is so little you can do apart from take the hit and hope that you come up with all limbs in one piece.)
Introduction of underpasses and footbridges would seem to be a step back. Underpasses are notorious, and are magnets for graffiti and anti-social behaviour. Indeed the current vogue is to bring all forms of transport onto one level (e.g. the buss mall/Masshouse development in Birmingham).

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