andrewk wrote:1. There is no single silver bullet solution to congestion, I also suspect that no complete solution is possible. Rather the solution is one of lessening the problem and of mitigating its effects through many measures, each of which may contribute in a small way, ie. the salami slicing type solution.
OK... seems a bit like motherhood and apple pie.
andrewk wrote:2. The prime drivers of congestion are too many people concentrated in too small a geographic area, commuting and deliveries.
Are they? I thought too many short journeys in large vehicles, too many conflicting desire lines and too many more lanes in than out were prime drivers.
andrewk wrote:3. In the past there used to be something called regional policy that aimed to encourage businesses to move out of the capital, this was I beleive discontinued in the 80s. I think that such a policy should be reinstituted and not merely in order to ease congestion (which it would to a very small degree).
That sounds like just spreading congestion around rather than tackling it. It may be a valid tactic but it doesn't itself ease congestion at all, not even to a small degree, because there's still demand for the relocated businesses to communicate with those who didn't relocate, as we've seen with the post-war London relocations (including some to King's Lynn and Thetford) and places like Milton Keynes, plus new businesses take up most of the smaller London premises vacated by the relocated ones.
andrewk wrote:4. Outer London is not severely congested outside of the rush hour, congestion being caused primarilly by commuters, central London however, seems to be permanently congested. Home working for all or part of the week being technologically possible for many occupations ought to be encouraged as it could greatly ease congestion.
That's a fairly good idea IMO but how would it be encouraged?
andrewk wrote:5. There seems to be a fashion for people to have their internet purchases delivered to their place of work. Were employers to ban such deliveries a great number of delivery vans would be taken off our most congested streets.
I'm not convinced because I suspect people would just have them delivered to collection points on their way home like InPost or Amazon lockers, Argos and so on, which are also mostly in the most congested areas.
andrewk wrote:6. Shops could be restricted to accepting deliveries of stock overnight thus removing many vans and HGVs from our streets at peak times.
And screw anyone who lives in town near a shop and wants to sleep at night, or what? It was bad enough when I lived where Mucky D started crashing their delivery cages across the cobbles at 7am. I shudder to think how bad it would have been if all the shops did that and I suspect the richer townhouse occupants would have a few court cases trying to block it or extract compensation for the reduction in property value.
andrewk wrote:7. Build more motorways, widen and improve existing ones, increase motorway speed limits. The UK has the most congested motorways in Europe not because we have more cars but because we have the most inadequate trunk road network. We need to encourage through traffic off local roads.
Building more motorways will just induce demand. The UK maybe hasn't tried it headlong, but some places in the US pretty much has and studying the US has found these fundamental laws of road congestion:
- The number of vehicle-kilometers traveled (VKT) increases in direct proportion to the available lane-kilometers of roadways. The additional VKT traveled come from increased driving by current residents and businesses, and migration.
- Building new roads and widening existing ones only results in additional traffic that continues to rise until congestion returns to the previous level. Such attempts to “cure” congestion are thus both expensive and ineffective.
- Increasing the lane kilometers for one type of road does not significantly reduce congestion on others — for example, widening highways does little to reduce local congestion.
- Metropolitan areas appear to construct new lane-kilometers of roadway “with little or no regard for the prevailing level of traffic.”
- Because roadways have “natural” levels of congestion to which they always return, mass transit projects will not reduce traffic.
There seems no reason to think that wouldn't happen again here.
Increasing motorway speed limits would use more fuel, lead to more KSIs and make bunching-up so-called "phantom jam" congestion more
likely, not less. That seems like a backwards step.
Does the UK really have the most congested motorways in Europe? Dutch motorways seem far busier in general. I guess it depends whether it's the most congested individual motorways (the M25, M32 and M6 are probably up there) or the most congested motorways system
(the UK has a lot of pretty quiet motorway, like the massive A1M Huntingdonshire section most of the time).
andrewk wrote:8. Institute a high daily charge for lorries for entry to cities during working hours. The objective being to encourageHGVs to stick to by pass roads and ring roads and to restrict necessary city entry eg. deliveries to times outside of the working day.
9. Congestion charges for cars for entry to city centres (as presently in London), the daily charge probably needs to be raised a bit.
Yes, this is one of the few tactics that seems to work.
andrewk wrote:10. Further investment in public transport, preferably rail not bus.
11. More subsidy for public transport to create lower fares encouraging more use.
Good things IMO but basically irrelevant to congestion, according to the fundamental laws.
andrewk wrote:12. Encourage walking and cycling as a means of short distance transport.
Cool, but how?
andrewk wrote:13. Encourage and facilitate rail freight, get transport of bulk goods off the roads.
Another good but irrelevant thing.