A FAIR DEAL FOR THE MOTORIST
“KHANT AND HYPOCRISY?”
- but there is a better way forward!
In 2016 Sadiq Khan was elected Mayor of London on a bland manifesto
pledging harmless-sounding measures. He would not have got elected if it had come out with punishing
anti-motorist proposals like those in his draft Mayor’s
This page covers some of the wider proposals and looks at
better possible alternatives.
· GENERAL POINTS
proposals are jaundiced by an unhealthy persistent prejudice against cars. For
instance: “Most of the main causes of early death in London are linked to
inactivity, including the two biggest killers – heart disease and cancer.
This inactivity is in part due to an overdependence on cars, even for very
to” is particularly cheap smear, as it does not require proof of cause and
effect. Many people who use cars, even regularly, also exercise, and it has
been estimated that 80% of cyclists also drive. Far from causing obesity, as
some flat-earthers separately allege, driving is actually
an activity that burns calories.
is also accepted that it can contribute towards personal well-being.
calls for pensioners or teenagers to have their free bus passes taken away as
it encourages ‘public transport dependency’ and discourages them from
walking, for instance. If Khan considers that a walk to and from a stop or
station, however short, can be an important part of staying healthy, then by
the same standard so can a motorist walking to a car (which might be even further
someone who is supposed to be so keen on exercise and healthy streets, there
is quite a blind spot to the possibilities for forms of exercise that do not
add to the pressure on road space – like jogging on the pavement or in the
park, dancing, swimming and other sports.
Zero approach towards eliminating road deaths is hijacked to support the
prejudice expressed as “reducing the dominance of motor vehicles on London’s
streets.” Most road users successfully cope with busy streets without
becoming casualties simply by observing the Highway Code.
Zero is a quaint mix of the Quality Assurance concept of continuous
improvement (which might in time reduce casualties) and various PC dogmas of
dubious value, such as arbitrary 20mph speed
limits that do not consistently produce the expected (i.e. hyped)
illustrate the point, think of a parallel situation that would produce uproar
at the draconian measures used. Just imagine that Khan announced that he
would try to eliminate electrocution at home by ‘reducing the dominance of
mains electricity in the home’ or ‘reducing mains electricity dependence’,
say that he tried to force residents to accept a lifestyle with less use of
TV, washing machines, computers, fans etc, and insisted that they either were
forced to rely on expensive batteries provided by the GLA or paid through the
nose for mains electricity (with bureaucrats deciding what was ‘essential
use’ and compiling a long list of restrictions to be enforced through smart
planned extreme crackdown on private car use would be no less unreasonable,
and Londoners should not have to tolerate it.
recognise some value in training for motorcyclists and cyclists; and (less
well outlined) training for drivers, including bus drivers. However his
proposals offer no clear approach to deal with a growing blight of road
danger – a thoughtless minority (often but not exclusively pedestrians) glued
to mobile phones, headphones etc with little regard for other road users.
the introduction of pre-Compulsory Basic Training for motorcyclists is
mentioned, there is no clear requirement for cycling proficiency training.
Mayor’s Transport Strategy proposals were seen overall as anti-motorcyclist
in an article
in Biker and Bike magazine.
Khan’s proposed repressive measures against
motorists on air quality grounds are sheer hypocrisy when you realise that he
lays on large firework displays such as for New
and promotes them at the Thames
Despite paying lip service to the principles of
‘robust’ and ‘compelling’ evidence, it proposes draconian measures on
environmental grounds, sidestepping the GLA’s own evidence on figures for
‘premature deaths’ linked to NO2.
The 2013 publication
‘Better Environment, Better Health, A GLA guide for London’s Boroughs’ admits
they are just a statistical manipulation – they do not relate to real
individuals. The Transport Watch publication
‘The Great Dirty Diesel Scare’ also exposes a lack of confidence in the
also level with us over “Nearly half of the health impacts of pollution in
London is from dirty air blown in from outside the capital, including diesel
and industrial fumes from Paris and other parts of the Continent." (Evening
Standard, 15.7.15). Something that is not directly controllable by the GLA.
the Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology admits
a number of uncertainties on air quality issues.
The legality of the entire consultation is
suspect. A 2014 Supreme
Court case (UKSC56, Moseley v Haringey) established some principles. A fair
consultation should ensure that those being consulted receive all relevant information – note in
particular Khan’s lack of costings
for what he hopes Londoners will nod through and then have to pay for!
A fair consultation should also set out alternative approaches. Yet Khan
effectively presents a package of measures to rubber-stamp rather than
discussing any real alternative approaches, at least those that would not
involve a heavy-handed crackdown on motorists.
· POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE APPROACHES INCLUDE…
some measures that would actually make life easier for those who use their
car? Such as providing more underground car parking as is found in
as improving the efficiency of the roads by letting cars use bus priority
lanes when not in actual use by a bus? This would mean ending 24 hour
‘car exclusion lanes’. Maybe other bus lanes could be treated as a box
junction that can be entered so long as the exit is clear, or the lane could
be ‘switched on’ to enable its use by cars as conditions permit?
Plans could at least consider if cycleways above
ground level could provide a fast segregated space for cyclists without
taking space away from other road users? These might be equipped with
elevators and covered to protect cyclists from bad weather conditions.
Other non-drastic proposals for environmental
improvements have been suggested e.g. in the publication
‘A Breath of Fresh Air’ and In the publication
‘Urban Air Quality and Public Health’ and by Fair Fuel UK
· KHAN’S SPECIFIC PROPOSALS
Of previous pages outlining
the proposals, the first
The above pages provide information
on how to simply object to the proposals.
Please object a.s.a.p. and get your friends to do the same.
The Mayor and his PC crew are
counting on you doing nothing and just paying up!
FOR HOW TO OBJECT
bizarrely perceives that London’s motorists ‘pay too little’ and are even
subsidised by public transport users! No figures are given to support this.
In the UK, motorists pay approx. 4-5 times
over for using the road. Using broad figures for illustration only (although a
pattern has been consistent in recent years)
References: MTS physical pages 6. 32-34, 52, 64, 66, 133 in the PDF (/151)
MANY THANKS FOR