Man behind the looney traffic systems in Camden...Labour Cllr Adam Harrison.
Letter from Albert Beale
Hi there - I'm a cyclist who supports the cabbies over Tpttenham Court Road - see my letter
below to the CNJ.
I do wish some cabbies wouldn't be so down on cyclists. It's the private cars, and - especially - the lethal minicabs, which we should be united in opposing.
There's room for taxis and buses and bikes on the road together - but 90% of private cars in central London aren't needed and we should get rid of them.
I think cabbies and cyclists should more frequently make common cause; over TCR I'd say our interests coincide. I find a cycle space which is actually a shared space with just buses and taxis (professional drivers), like TCR ought to be, is sometimes safer than a "bikes only" lane with private traffic such as minicabs nearby, since they often ignore cycle lanes and stop in them.
LETTER TO CAMDEN NEW JOURNAL (CNJ)
I travel round central London every day - by bike, on foot, and sometimes by bus; and I recognise that London's black cabs are an important component of the city's public transport system.
So I'm outraged by Camden Council's plan to stop taxis sharing the space with buses on Tottenham Court Road ("Road-block cabbies" - front page, 24 January CNJ); the demonstrators have my full support.
You report that Cllr Adam Harrison claims taxis will still be able to go within 60 metres of University College Hospital - but patients who can walk 70 yards can probably cope with a bus; one of the points of a taxi is that it can get you right to (or from) the door. And I know people with impaired mobility who'll no longer feel able to shop in that road if they don't have the option of hailing a cab if they need one.
Cllr Harrison - who seems destined to be known as the Chris Grayling of Camden Council - also claims that the road scheme will help with traffic flow, pollution, and cycling safety.
This might be the case if the ban on private cars in Tottenham Court Road operated round the clock. But those of us who use the road all the time know perfectly well that the danger and oppressiveness of cars in the area is often at its greatest in the evening, after the congestion charge stops, so letting cars into the road then is nonsensical.
With the road being two-way, there'll no longer be space for separate lanes for buses, taxis and bikes, so it's self-evident that Tottenham Court Road will be far more dangerous for cyclists than it is in the evenings now, and buses will be gridlocked. (And the cycle lanes in Gower Street will just be a bit of paint on the road, providing no real protection from the two-way motor traffic being introduced there.)
And if this wasn't awful enough, what about the situation at Princes Circus, also being dug up as part of the road scheme?
The tallest and most magnificent of the trees there, which has no doubt stood in front of the Shaftesbury Theatre since the venue opened over a century ago, has survived nearby World War Two bombs, as well as everything that London could throw at it - including a major revamping and reversing of the roads there about 40 years ago.
But it's now being destroyed to make way for traffic, sacrificed to some Camden planner's vanity project. Yes, there'll be a few saplings planted to "replace" it. But every single reader of this issue of the CNJ will be long dead well before any of them is even half the height of the magnificent tree being unnecessarily killed off. This alone is enough to demonstrate the falsity of claims that the road changes are for environmental reasons.
Camden Council should be ashamed.
TAXI LEAKS EXTRA BIT :
Just a quick caveat to Alberts letter:-
Camden's Councillor Adam Harrison insists that the road scheme will help with traffic flow, pollution, and cycling safety....we would just like to point out to him, the utter caranage that Camden have already recently caused by blocking the entrance southbound to Judd Street.
Midland road is now gridlocked most of the day, going all the way back to Camden Town. As Judd Street is home to the Royal Institute of the Blind...perhaps Cllr Harrison could offer an explanation we could use when dropping a blind person on a major road like Euston Road, telling them "you'll have to find your own way from here as Camben saw fit to block the road off to all but cyclist".
Is this Cllr Harrisn's vision of helping with traffic flow, pollution and cycle safety.....stationary traffic spewing deadly fumes along the whole of Midland and Euston Roads????
Also St Pancras, one of the busiest passenger terminals in Europe is now a no go area as passenger are getting stuck in the chaos as they come out the station to the Taxi Rank. Unless of course they happen to have bought a cycle on holiday with them.
The question should be put to Cllr Harrison, 'How many extra preventable deaths have you added to Khans total for London.... caused by Camden's horrendous traffic disrupting systems'.
Cllr Adam Harrison is Cabinet Member for improving Camden’s environment.
So far the Cabinet have manage to cause utter gridlock along Tavistock Place, forcing westbound traffic onto Oxford Street and Euston Road. Their no-left turns along Vernon place and Southampton Row has cause massive gridlock most of the day resulting in loner journeys causing more emissions. And now Judd street closure. How have they managed to get away with these utter ridiculous systems, under the banner of improving the environment??.
These people should be held accountable for the destruction they are causing to our city.
Wonder what TfL and the Mayor think about the new bus journey times along Midland Road???