Simple Measures, Big Consequences

Articles, LondonUnlockedEditor

Two stories in the news today highlight the belief held by the LondonUnlocked team that there simple ways to make a big difference to the quality of transport in London.

Firstly, Harry Phibbs writes in Comment Is Free about the implementation of speed-bumps in the London borough of Barnet and the issues caused by them:

The argument that humps reduce road accidents is increasingly discredited. The humps serve as a distraction and an irritant to motorists... The London Ambulance Service estimate they cause well over 500 deaths a year in London.

It is true that there is little in the way of proof to state that road humps deliver any safety benefits at all. Indeed, they lead to greater amounts of C02 emissions.

Simply removing unnecessary speed bumps and re-phasing traffic lights - both almost revenue neutral schemes - would make taking any form of road transport in London faster, more efficient and cheaper.

Secondly, EDIE reports that the LDA and Ken Livingstone have launched a £24m programmed to decide how to deal with waste through a 'Dragon's Den' style process:

London Mayor Ken Livingstone and the London Development Agency (LDA) announced details of the programme, which aims to support the development of infrastructure that can reduce the amount of waste being landfilled or incinerated. A panel of waste, energy and financial experts will be appointed this summer to drive the programme and find innovative waste and recycling facilities for the capital. The Mayor's office said companies could be invited to pitch to the panel in a similar manner to contestants on the BBC2 show Dragons Den.

Any scheme that encourages innovation is welcome (though this one may be a dubious use of taxpayer's funds).

London is in a unique position to deal with this issue however - by utilising the under-used canals running the length of the city, London has the chance to make a real impact in waste retrieval and removal. Containerisation would mean less journeys, less pollution, and less traffic on our roads. Any serious candidate for Mayor should at the very least consider this option.