A Transport of Delight

Venice - a great car-free city - Alan Wakeman

Venice - a great car-free city - Alan Wakeman

I’ve spent much of my life trying to cajole politicians into common sense policies on cars in cities and, with a London mayoral election due in 2012, have recently distilled five decades of reflections on this topic into 2 sheets of A4 and sent them to my MP, my MEP and both declared mayoral candidates. To make up your own mind, here’s what I’ve sent them. I’ve called my document: A Transport of Delight…

A Transport of Delight*

Despite the presence of historic village names on the TFL route map few Londoners realise their buses still trace ancient parish boundaries that have survived two world wars and centuries of urban sprawl. Yet, when asked where they live, residents of Battersea and Bloomsbury, Hackney and Hoxton, Sydenham and Soho, consistently name their villages as their home. So why has transport planning relentlessly treated London’s villages as routes not
destinations?

I propose that policies that acknowledge and reward Londoners’ enduring village loyalty would improve all residents’ and visitors’ sense of place wherever they went in our amazing, two-thousand-year-old city. I further propose that such policies be offered in itemised village referenda on detailed practical methods of enhancing each village’s environment. If such policies proved acceptable London’s villages might become virtually car-free and walking in
the street would cease to be a battle and become a pleasure.

To accomplish this desirable outcome I propose individual Village Referenda on…

Ø Conversion of existing car parks to village warehousing & delivery centres enabling:
Ø Local delivery of all goods at user’s convenience by silent, fume-free electric trucks.
Ø Signed taxi routes to village cab ranks.
Ø Signed cohesive cycle routes.
Ø Where residents vote for it, implementation of their streets as public gardens.
Ø Tree-planting.
Ø Street tidies – combined planting, seating and waste-recycling points.
Ø Removal of all redundant traffic signs.
Ø Access to pedestrians and cyclists only (with the above exceptions).

In addition I propose individual Village Referenda on…

Ø Green walkways between neighbouring villages.
Ø Continuous cohesive bicycle routes between villages.
Ø Integrated ticketing on all public transport with simple transverse and radial interchange.
Ø Integration of Thames ferry-boats with other public transport.
Ø Pedestrian-friendly interchanges at all main transport hubs including riverside piers.

*Flanders & Swan song about London’s Red Buses

How to apply these proposals to my village:-

transport soho

—- Alan Wakeman

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