|Exhibition Road - £30million spent. Looks the same to me|
Sounds stunning doesn't it?
This nice new shared space is yet another example to add to the list of greenwash coming out of the Mayor's transport plans. Yesterday, we had the proud declaration from the Mayor's Transport for London that 12 electric bicycles and a 'green wall' at Edgware Road tube station would trap harmful pollution. We had a cheap trick of a rap group being engaged to stop teenage deaths on London's roads. And then we discover that Exhibition Road is basically some expensive paving, a slower speed limit and, well, lots of cars, lots of car parking. Vive la difference. As the twitter feed of VoleOSpeed puts it "We are discovering that the new Ex Rd will be much the same as the old one, but with chequered paving, after £27m spent".
|Cheapside. Cycle space reduced to a few centimetres|
This isn't just about cycling, to be honest. It's about the fact that our politicians are spending millions on designing roads that look nice. They don't actually work any better. In fact, for cycling, they are often considerably worse. But they look lovely.
|Nesciobrug, Amsterdam. |
Compare this with London
We seem to be in thrall to a cult of things that look nice and smell nice but don't actually do anything. It's pretty galling, when you come to think of it.