Some thoughts on shared space streets and Exhibition Road in particular.
Much of this post will also be appearing on my London Transport themed website as well as here because of the location of the particular shared space road that brought this issue to my attention. That location is of course Exhibition Road, London – a location very familiar to me from when I lived in London and was a regular visitor to museums. Here is a map for you to orient yourselves:
WHAT IS A SHARED SPACE ROAD?
A shared space road is a road without pavements, with no clear distinctions between where cars, cyclists and pedestrians should be. According to some this arrangement reduces accidents. However, a recent incident on London’s Exhibition Road has called this into question. Here is a tweet from campaign group Transport for All:
This (to me) raises two questions to be taken in turn:
CAN SHARED SPACE ROADS WORK?
I am uncertain on this one and will welcome evidence from people with experience of shared space roads in their localities. My own view is that they could work but the following is necessary:
Clear signage explaining what a shared space road is and what that means.
A very low speed limit for motor vehicles (even lower than the 20mph which is now commonplace in the vicinity of schools) fiercely enforced – speeding on a shared space street should be punished more severely than speeding elsewhere because of the greater risk of hitting someone.
Referring back to my first bullet point it needs to made clear that motorists are always expected to give way to cyclists and pedestrians.
Given what I know of London drivers I do not think that London is the right city to be trialling these (although Rome and Paris would both clearly by even worse options!)
My name is Andrew and I work for Nicola at Tour London. Nicola is a tour guide in London UK who takes individuals and groups to the most famous landmarks in London, as well as discovering hidden gems along the way! We were wondering if it were possible for us to appear on your “links” page in any way given that we share such a similar topic.
Alternatively would you be interested in content pieces? Nicola has a vast knowledge of London and would love to share it with your audience. Finally, If not content, do you have any other advertising opportunities?
Naturally, I was delighted to receive such a communication, and I have since put in some links, done a special post about this site and ‘pressed’ a couple of their pieces. Please visit londontu.be to read about this in more detail, and then explore tourlondon to see what they have to offer.
WE OWN IT – TRANSPORT
The campaign group weownit have created a resource with the catchy title Privatisation Fails. Below is a screenshot of the homepage for this resource:
30 years ago, our bus services were deregulated and privatised. This has been a disaster for our buses. Fares went up and routes that weren’t profitable were cut, meaning you now pay more for less. In 2017, the Bus Service Users Bill was passed, which included a clause which bans local councils from creating their own public bus companies.
On this page are the Big Five bus companies that grew out of deregulation and privatisation in the 1980s – together they control 70% of the bus travel industry in the UK. Many of these companies either own, or are owned by, rail companies as well.
Read more about bus services, and how and why we want to bring them into public ownership, here.
British Rail was broken up and privatised between 1994 and 1997, and since then rail services in the UK have been provided by private companies. There are 16 rail franchises in the UK, where the government gives train companies funding to run services for a certain period.
Many of the companies that run our trains are European state-owned companies who reinvest millions of pounds a year in dividends from their British operations into their own transport systems. As you’ll see, these companies often own franchises within franchises. You might be surprised to learn who owns your morning commute! We’ve also listed three ‘ROSCOs’ or rolling stock companies, who lease trains to rail companies.
Read more about the privatisation of rail and what we can do about it here.
Royal Mail workers have voted by a huge margin to take strike action. The official voting figures are:
This means that 65.593% of all those eligible to vote cast their vote in favour of strike action. I did this calculation myself, entirely in my head, but here for the record is how to get there…
Calling Turnout T and Yes votes Y and Overall Percent Yes as O we have O = TY/100. Putting the known figures into this we have O = (73.7 x 89)/100. To avoid decimals until absolutely necessary we change this to O = (737 x 89)/1000. To calculate 737 x 89 we can reduce to single figure calculations as follows:
737 x 89 = (700 x 89) + (30 x 89) + (7 x 89), and then splitting these up 700 x 89 = (700 x 80) + (700 x 9), 30 x 89 = (30 x 80) + (30 x 9) and 7 x 89 = (7 x 80) + (7 x 9). We now have a series of multiplications which can all be treated as single figure multiplications, with in some cases zeroes to be stuck on the end. Multiplying them out gives us 56,000 + 6,300 + 2,400 + 270 +560 + 63. Adding these together we get 65,593, and dividing by 1,000 requires a decimal point to go between the first and second five, giving us 65.593%. PS It took a lot longer writing this out than performing the calculations in my head!
Before I get to the main meat of this post I have some links to share.
First of all, here is a very interesting and important blog post from Paddy-Joe Moran. Next, courtesy of 38 degrees comes a short video. Cosmos Up produces a variety of interesting stories about a wide range of subjects, and the one I have chosen to share concerns oceans elsewhere than on our own planet. There are actually two outcomes that will be decided by a votes counted up on May 7th, the second being the vote for Britain’s national bird (my choice is pictured below)
My next story comes from the Independent and concerns tougher penalties for dog walkers who do not scoop when the animal poops – excellent so long as the get enforced – see if you agree by reading the article. This section ends with a splendid graphic, which is shown here, but as it is not my own I have also included a link to the original.
Today, for the first time in 2015, I am making use of the ‘outside study area’ of my flat…
The cricket season is under way, although England are in the West Indies for a series starting later this afternoon. A certain K P Pietersen started his season for Surrey by hammering 170 at The Parks yesterday. I suspect that it will take several more innings of similar magnitude before the England selectors display any inclination to take the slightest bit of notice of him.
The comparison between yesterday and today is shown up well by these pictures taken along the same stretch of the Great Ouse…
I have some more splendid pics to share with you to finish this post…