Friday, January 13, 2012

Mansion House Speech

Last night I attended the star studded annual London Government Dinner at the Mansion House. Apart from being a high point in the London social calendar, the dinner - hosted by the Lord Mayor - provides an opportunity to hear the elected Mayor of London set out his priorities for the coming year in his after dinner speech.

Boris was on good form, infectiously optimistic about the Olympics and drawing comparisons with the austerity games of 1948 when Canada donated the wood for the diving boards, the running track was paved with cinders and the visiting athletes were accommodated in draughty school halls. Britain came 12th in the medals stakes, despite Russia and Germany not taking part. Boris expects us to do better than that in 2012.

He also spoke about prioritising London's road network for future investment. The recent closure of the Hammersmith Flyover - and earlier problems at Gallows Corner and Gants Hill - resulted from years of under investment. The Labour government and the Livingstone regime had thoughtlessly pursued an anti car policy without understanding that cyclists and buses relied on the crumbling roads as well as motorists. In addition to more investment in maintenance and new road schemes there would be a new river crossing via a tunnel at Silvertown. As from this morning, Boris announced, the Hammersmith Flyover would reopen one lane in each direction - he got half a cheer for that...


691 trolleybus fan said...

Much as it pains me to say so it cannot all be blamed on Labour governments and King Newt.

Over the years there have also been Conservative governments, Conservative controlled GLCs, and Conservative controlled councils all of whom, in varying degrees and at various times, have under-invested in transport infrastucture including roads. We are now paying the price of all the under-investment.

Anonymous said...

I have heard John Biggs support river crossing, to provide releif for the Blackwall Tunnel.

Howeber, I dont believe it will help traffic, instead it will had more cars on the North of the river. A lot of people who don't drive in Thamesmead / Kent, will opt to use a river crossing. During rush hour, traffic is crawling.

We haev seen improvement in the 406 (North Circular) and the A13 (westbound), but instead of easing congestion. There are more cars on the road.

I also, think that Congestion Charging has pushed traffic towards outer london.

Anonymous said...

I think the Blackwall Tunnel southbound has an opportunity to operate more efficiently. At the moment we have two lanes to go Southbound. The traffic lights add to the delay, as it is merely alternating switching traffic coming in EAST, NORTH and WEST.

If they get rid of traffic lights and instead of two lanes, they dedicate one lane for traffic from the east and the other lane for traffic from West and North. What would happen is you have a constrant trickle of traffic. Removing the traffic lights would improve effeciency.