Is congestion in London any better with fewer private cars on the roads?

Is congestion in London any better with fewer private cars on the roads?

This is a very interesting article in the Guardian written by Gwyn Topham because, rather unfortunately, it flags what I’ve often been worried about. Namely, the decrease in private cars being offset by the increase in both Uber (drivers) and Amazon delivery vans. The article provides interesting points regarding congestion in London streets and how it hasn’t improved at all since Uber first hit our streets back in 2003.

Surely it’s time we took stock of ourselves and really question whether our perceived attempts to make the earth greener are truly effective. Simply doing away with your own private car has undoubtedly led you to be more dependent on other people’s cars – be it an Uber driver’s or an Amazon (Prime!) delivery driver’s.

This line from the article is my favourite: “The myth of the anti-car lobby is that it’s someone in a Rolls-Royce flicking cigar ash out of the window at the cyclists. It’s the working class that are driving the commercial vehicles in central London, and they are being forced out by the wealthy inner-London elite, who can afford to live in Islington and want to ride their bike to St Pancras. They want to sit in Oxford Circus and drink their skinny caramel coconut latte without any thought about how the constituent parts got there. And they want something, they buy it on their phone and they expect it delivered the next day.”

Well done if you’re cycling around town more, or taking the bus more. In the case of the former, you’re likely much fitter. And in both cases you’ll likely be saving yourself some money, too. But convincing yourself that you are leading a greener lifestyle because you no longer own a car might be slightly wide of the mark. Unless of course you have also become a vegan, haven’t purchased new clothing in ages and only travel internationally by sailboat. If any of this applies to you, then I doff my hemp-based cap to you.

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