Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

mattheus
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby mattheus » 11 Nov 2019, 2:25pm

That [several posts ago now!] is an argument for better PubTrans - not for more road-building.

(I wonder if Mick and his neighbours would support a toll-road in his region, with the proceeds funding a better bus service? That's just an off-the-cuff idea, more of a thought experiment really ...)

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mjr
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby mjr » 11 Nov 2019, 2:31pm

Cugel wrote:Strangeley, some areas retain a degree of public transport as paid-for-by-all infrastructure. London comes to mind. These places still have fares, often now stupidly expensive.

Point of info: Transport for London buses have a £1.50 fare for unlimited bus journey starts within an hour. That means it should be possible to get from Central London to Heathrow for £1.50 but any delays can mess it up, as these testers found: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kh9Xw0M3fag
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Mike Sales
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby Mike Sales » 11 Nov 2019, 2:33pm

People who "need" a car did not choose their home or job without taking into consideration transport.
They did not buy the house and then say, "Now how shall we get to work, or the shops or the kids get to school?"
No, they assumed that they would be driving about. So of course they "need" a car; they planned car use into their lives.
Some of us here bought a house with reference to cycle commuting, or bus routes.
Of course this car default thinking has had a fundamental effect on house prices. I guess more expensive motoring might change house prices in different areas.
I grew up in school houses, when a house for the headmaster went with the job.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby irc » 11 Nov 2019, 2:51pm

Let's face it. People like cars. The vast majority of people have access to a car and prefer using it to the bus or train. They all vote. Any major curbs on car use will not get politicians re-elected.

_99314702_transport_line_chart_v2_640-ncfinal.png.jpg
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-42182497

reohn2
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby reohn2 » 11 Nov 2019, 3:01pm

irc wrote:Let's face it. People like cars. The vast majority of people have access to a car and prefer using it to the bus or train. They all vote. Any major curbs on car use will not get politicians re-elected.

_99314702_transport_line_chart_v2_640-ncfinal.png.jpg


It would with a cross party agreement on nation infrastructure shake up in favour of moving people around a small country more efficiently with less pollution,which can only happen with a true account of the state the UK is in due to the present transport policies.
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Mike Sales
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby Mike Sales » 11 Nov 2019, 3:03pm

I suppose that people do prefer the convenience of their own car, but driving gets cheaper and public transport more expensive.
No wonder we are afflicted with too much motor mobility, and there are fewer and fewer buses

Driving a car has continued to become significantly cheaper at the expense of bus and rail passengers, official figures show.
Despite regular warnings by car lobbyists of a ‘war on the motorist’, between 1980 and 2014 the cost of motoring fell by 14 per cent – but in the same period, bus fares increased by 58 per cent.

Rail travel has also become dramatically more expensive, with comparable ticket prices rising 63 per cent.


The current government has failed to reverse the trend, with the cost of motoring falling 5 per cent since 2010 but bus and rail passengers facing rises of 2 and 6 per cent respectively.

Policy under the current Government has tended to privilege motorists at the expense of people who use public transport.

The Chancellor George Osborne has foregone millions of pounds in revenue by freezing fuel duty and even cancelling planned rises. Meanwhile, steep cuts have been made to bus and rail subsidies.



Green MP Caroline Lucas, who grilled ministers about the figures, said the Government was acting irresponsibly at a time when wages had barely risen.
“These shocking figures reveal the perverse priorities of the Government when it comes to transport,” she told the Independent.

“If the Government is serious about tackling climate change and, crucially, addressing this country’s terrible air pollution crisis, then we’d have seen the cost of public transport drop over the last few years.

Green MP Caroline Lucas questioned the Government's priorities
“To make it easier for people to leave their cars at home and take fewer domestic flights, we need to see urgent cuts in train, coach and bus fares and real investment in public transport routes, as well as walking and cycling infrastructure.”

Earlier this year the MP for Brighton Pavilion said that fare rises on trains were good evidence for the failure of privatisation.
"No wonder rail passengers have had enough. Fares are increasing much faster than wages," she wrote in the Guardian newspaper.


https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/driving-a-car-is-getting-cheaper-and-cheaper-while-trains-and-buses-just-keep-getting-more-expensive-

The aggregate of all the rational individual choices is unsustainable hypermobility.
Choking roads with traffic, choking people with filthy pollution and choking the planet with CO2 is irrational.
We can do much better if we try, but not without reducing motor traffic.
Changing the cost balance of public versus private transport has got to be a part of a sane transport policy.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby Ron » 11 Nov 2019, 3:16pm

irc wrote:d the bypassed communities are again suffering congestion due to the proportion of the vastly increased trunk road traffic which diverts into them.


Just not true. [/quote]
If it's not true, what else would account for the congestion in the other places you named?
I'm just making the point that that feeling of "Isn't this community so much more pleasant to live in since the bypass was built" really doesn't last for long. The reduction in through motor traffic is soon replaced by increased stopping traffic.

pwa
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby pwa » 11 Nov 2019, 3:35pm

Due to family connections I used to visit the Irish Republic regularly and occasionally I would have long road journeys to do. In recent years a lot of new roads have made the road network a bit more logical, but twenty years ago bypasses were rare. Every town was like Tipperary still is, with trunk roads fed into congested shopping streets and, on bad days, a twenty minute crawl for traffic to pass through.

https://www.google.com/maps/@52.4735824 ... 2?hl=en-GB

(That image taken at a quieter time of day. It gets a lot worse than that.)

That twenty minute crawl is certainly a deterrent to unnecessary travel. That cannot be denied. But at what cost? The centre of Tip can be hell. Noisy and fume filled, it is not a place you would look forward to visiting. And what about the poor people who live there and have to put up with artics heading from Waterford to Limerick on the N4, running alongside the pavement that locals use to get to the shops? All due to the absence of a bypass.

Wanting to reduce the urge to do unnecessary driving is reasonable, but requiring that somebody's home town be sacrificed as a traffic reducer is not.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby mjr » 11 Nov 2019, 3:55pm

irc wrote:Let's face it. People like cars. The vast majority of people have access to a car and prefer using it to the bus or train. They all vote. Any major curbs on car use will not get politicians re-elected.

Why not "Let's face it. People like being white. The vast majority of people in this country are white and prefer that to being black or Asian. They all vote. Any major curbs on white supremacy will not get polticians re-elected"? Now, I'm not suggesting it's equivalent because you can choose not to use a car and you can't choose not to be white (despite Justin Trudeau's attempts), but it highlights that in most other things, we expect politicians to try to govern for the benefit of everybody, not merely the vast majority, even if we sometimes think their actions misguided.

Over a fifth of UK households have no access to a car (source: gov.uk data table TSGB0914). Looking at only urban conurbations, almost a third have no car, yet they suffer many of the worst effects of the current car-centric transport policies. Isn't that deeply unfair and really ought to change? Many of those conurbations already have ring roads that could be bypasses, if only some politicians would do the decent thing and blocked through traffic, Dutch-style, which would stop killing the citizens, stop killing the cyclists and stop killing the children. When will we have our "Stop De Kindermoord" moment?
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mjr
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby mjr » 11 Nov 2019, 4:05pm

pwa wrote:Wanting to reduce the urge to do unnecessary driving is reasonable, but requiring that somebody's home town be sacrificed as a traffic reducer is not.

So replace the road through town with a bypass. But a real bypass. Not an oversize relief road with the old road left as an alternative through rat-run for locals. Otherwise you're just postponing the town's sacrifice for a few years until it's next overwhelmed.

We've made this "relief road" mistake so many times. Local government is pushing to complete a third ring road around Norwich, with various spurious claims about how this will succeed in ways that the first two didn't. A six-lane bypass for Huntingdon's 1973 four-lane bypass of its 1920s bypass is about to open. There's a word for doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
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pwa
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby pwa » 11 Nov 2019, 4:06pm

My Mum has "no access to a car" officially, in that she has not driven for several decades now and has no car, but she still gets driven by family members and occasionally calls a taxi. So she is a car user in reality. Most folk with "no access to a car" have their backsides on car seats from time to time.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby Mike Sales » 11 Nov 2019, 4:13pm

pwa wrote:My Mum has "no access to a car" officially, in that she has not driven for several decades now and has no car, but she still gets driven by family members and occasionally calls a taxi. So she is a car user in reality. Most folk with "no access to a car" have their backsides on car seats from time to time.


That is not quite the same as having your own car at hand whenever you want it.
You are beholden to the convenience and goodwill of others, or have to call a taxi and wait and pay. :idea:
But at least your vehicle is not cluttering the roads even when not used, and driving about not such a casual choice.
This is not a contest in purity of transport, but a discussion of how to do something to counteract the plague of too much motor traffic.

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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby pwa » 11 Nov 2019, 4:31pm

Mike Sales wrote:
pwa wrote:My Mum has "no access to a car" officially, in that she has not driven for several decades now and has no car, but she still gets driven by family members and occasionally calls a taxi. So she is a car user in reality. Most folk with "no access to a car" have their backsides on car seats from time to time.


That is not quite the same as having your own car at hand whenever you want it.
You are beholden to the convenience and goodwill of others, or have to call a taxi and wait and pay. :idea:
But at least your vehicle is not cluttering the roads even when not used, and driving about not such a casual choice.
This is not a contest in purity of transport, but a discussion of how to do something to counteract the plague of too much motor traffic.

You won't be as tempted to use a car if it is not already sat on your drive, that's true.

If I call a taxi to take me to a railway station that taxi will end up putting more car miles down than my own car which would not have to travel to get to me, so taxi use is fairly inefficient even by car standards.

But my point is, if we want to restrict car use (and most of us do to varying degrees) we need popular support and understanding for that. The changes must be accepted, or they won't happen. Most people use cars and need some convincing. Even those who don't have their own car but benefit from the use of a taxi or a family member's car. They need to feel that there is good reason behind any changes that cause them inconvenience.

My own preference is for new road where it can take the bulk of traffic away from where people are living, but with the old roads immediately made less hostile with traffic calming, low speed limits and sometimes dead ending.
Last edited by pwa on 11 Nov 2019, 4:42pm, edited 1 time in total.

MikeF
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby MikeF » 11 Nov 2019, 4:41pm

I thought the purpose of bypasses was to make more housing land available eg Uckfield (East Sussex) and Billingshurst (West Sussex). However in the case of Crawley and Horsham in West Sussex houses are now being built or have been built on other side of of the bypasses, so those roads don't bypass anything. :?
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Re: Can we finally agree that building roads increases congestion?

Postby pwa » 11 Nov 2019, 4:44pm

MikeF wrote:I thought the purpose of bypasses was to make more housing land available eg Uckfield (East Sussex) and Billingshurst (West Sussex). However in the case of Crawley and Horsham in West Sussex houses are now being built or have been built on other side of of the bypasses, so those roads don't bypass anything. :?

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