Lord Lawson, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer (and no relation to the writer although folks often call me Nigel), said in the House of Lords last week (14/12/2015) that what is happening now “has done more damage, and is doing more damage, to London than almost anything since the Blitz“. He was referring to the “Mayor’s addiction to cycling” and the introduction of the Cycle Superhighways by Boris Johnson and Transport for London.
He also suggested that the current support of cycling was hugely age discriminatory because there is a huge section of the population of a certain age (well represented in the House of Lords of course) for whom cycling is not a practical option.
Lord Higgins complained about the “appalling increases in congestion and pollution caused by the introduction of bicycle lanes” and suggested they should be shared instead during most of the day. He particularly referred to Lower Thames Street where he suggested “they are likely to die from carbon monoxide poisoning” or other pollution any moment now.
Comment: Lord Lawson hit the nail on the head. Since the road works to put in the East-West Cycle Superhighway have reduced traffic to one lane from two there has been a massive increase in congestion across the whole of central London. Queues on the Embankment and Upper/Lower Thames Street can back up for miles in peak periods and even during off-peak periods there are long delays. In addition traffic is diverting to other routes to travel East/West causing congestion in the City and West End. Indeed the whole central London road network has been seriously degraded.
It does of course affect all traffic so even bus users have suffered as a result. This situation will not get better when the road works have finished.