The Ranty Highwayman)
Build cycle tracks and pedestrian crossings on main roads. Filter through traffic from residential streets. Default urban speed limit of 20mph. Default rural speed limit of 40mph. Pursue a policy of motor traffic reduction. Stop building new roads.
I’ve been trotting this out on Twitter for a couple of weeks and unsurprisingly it seems to be resonating with many people, although so people have disagreed with my take (hey, people have opinions, but as I will show, they are wrong).
This week, I thought it might we helpful to expand on these points because a tweet doesn’t convey the full picture. Before I continue, I am going to modify what Green London Assembly Member and Islington councillor Caroline Russell called a 280 character transport manifesto (give or take a few letters).
The modification came from Mark Strong of Transport Initiatives who felt it needed a slight addition; “stop building car dependent developments”. So, there we have it a really simple statement which can be used to describe what is needed to transform local active travel in the UK and to tackle all of the other problems we have which can either be linked to or influenced by transport choices;
Build cycle tracks and pedestrian crossings on main roads. Filter through traffic from residential streets. Default urban speed limit of 20mph. Default rural speed limit of 40mph. Pursue a policy of motor traffic reduction. Stop building new roads and car-dependent developments.
Build cycle tracks and pedestrian crossings on main roads
Even with the clouds of motorisation blocking the view, it is clear that motorised vehicles are here to stay and there will need to be main roads on which we have bus networks, emergency routes and delivery routes operating. We are of course not going to see the end of private cars, but they need to take less of a priority. Yes, we’ll still have taxis and minicabs, but numbers need to be controlled with the free for all for the latter being tackled.
Because main roads are still going to convey traffic, we must separate people from it and this has to mean cycle tracks for people cycling and pedestrian crossings (either zebra or signals, depending on location). I accept there will be difficult locations and difficult decisions to be made, but dealing with those shouldn’t detract from dealing with the rest of the network – not making perfection the enemy of good and all that.