Yearly Archives: 2010


AWWTM: Engineering, psychology, and a bus on stilts

Last week I posted about tracked hovercraft and straddling buses — a tongue-in-cheek look at how through the ages engineers have proposed ever more overcomplicated engineering solutions in an attempt to manage our out-of-control transport problems.  I assumed that my learned readers would get the point without labour.  WordPress.com very […]


AWWTM: Can you work out where I am?

I’ve been away from London for three weeks now, taking a break from the noise and the taxi drivers.  I needed to eliminate distractions to get a couple of work and writing projects completed, so I’m doing an extreme telecommute experiment for the winter, while observing the transport and environment […]


AWWTM: Overcomplicating things

In the 1960s, people were convinced that there was a huge and growing problem with transport.  The then Ministry of Transport commissioned engineers and economists to look at those problems and suggest solutions.  The Beeching Report recommended closing all except the very core main lines of the railway network.  The […]


At War With The Motorist: The future that was

I bought a second hand copy of Traffic In Towns, the 1963 Buchanan Report to the Minister of Transport on the future of urban mobility and development.  It’s fabulous sci-fi full of depictions of the future of British cities, except that it was never intended as sci-fi but as a […]


AWWTM: Cycle superhighways: are they a joke?

That’s the most common question asked by people who responded to the GLA survey of London cyclists.  Looking into the raw data I find out just how little the cycle superhighways have achieved, and the one thing that London cyclists say over and over again makes them such a joke: […]


AWWTM: London: still not impressed with superhighways

Way back at the start of October we mentioned that the London Authority’s transport committee were seeking your views on the hire bikes and the two trial cycle superhighways.  The results are in, and we must have had a massive influence because the results seem to match what we were […]


AWWTM: Unskilled and unaware of it

Most road “accidents” may be accidental in the sense that they are unintended.  But few, if any, can be considered accidental in the sense that nobody was to blame.  In road accidents, somebody did something wrong, and it’s almost always a driver doing some wrong.  It’s bad driving that causes […]


AWWTM: If a truck is full of bikes, should it be in the bike lane?

Despite being fully up to date with the latest city driving rules, the Serco/Barclays hire bike relocaters are worrying the Evening Standard today: Cyclist David Ellis, who was knocked over by a trailer used to transport the Mayor’s hire bikes between docking stations, today branded the vehicles “ludicrous”. Continue reading […]


AWWTM: When I see a medical statistician on a bicycle…

Epidemiologists at a London medical research institute have looked at the police records of fatal accidents involving cyclists on London’s roads between the late nineties and mid noughties, and notes some interesting trends in where they occur and who is involved in them.  At At War With The Motorist I […]


AWWTM: Philip Hammond happily promotes bogus transport solutions

In April 2008, the science writer Simon Singh wrote in The Guardian that chiropractors “happily promote bogus treatments”.  Singh was outlining the serious concerns he had about practitioners of unproven alternative medicines encouraging people with serious diseases to pay for expensive consultations and therapies with poor evidence basis, rather than […]