Friday, 28 November 2008

London: getting worse for cycling and walking, not better

In a choice between the environment and the car, the car wins. If the people of Kensington want the freedom to guzzle gas, pollute the air and clog up the streets, they get it. If the people of Peckham want better public transport connections, they can get stuffed.

And now Boris Johnson is reducing London's congestion zone by half:

The move was condemned by a spokesman for the London Cycling Campaign. "This move will increase London's contribution to climate change, and exacerbate London's health and obesity crisis. It has been terrible failure of leadership." Said Koy Thomson, the organisation's chief executive. "November has seen a triple whammy for cyclists: first, motorbikes in bus lanes; second, slashing the borough cycle route budgets; finally, scrapping the cycle-promoting western congestion charge."

Interestingly, there are signs of a middle class exodus from Britain’s major cities: Nearly a quarter of a million London residents quit the city last year.

This is part of a national trend involving middle-class families of all ethnic backgrounds who are thought to be turning their backs on poor schools, poor transport, and high crime rates in major cities.