london


Cotch: Flashride for Blackfriars

In 2000, London’s previous mayor, Ken Livingstone, began the process of fixing forty years of mistakes that had been made in the pursuit of the impossible — the comfortable accommodation of mass motor vehicle use in a dense city centre. He recognised that cities are supposed to be places for […]


AWWTM: Delivering excellence

In a post about designing ever increasing amounts of truck and van dependence into business models, I mentioned that an “Edgar’s Cool Water” had followed me on twitter and had justified their business with the argument that some people in London and the South East need water deliveries because their […]


AWWTM: Once more unto the bridge, dear friends, once more

After the Conservative group of the London Assembly walked out on the first attempt to discuss Jenny Jones’s Blackfriars Bridge motion, the members redeemed themselves somewhat by voting unanimously — all parties, all members — against making Blackfriars Bridge and the Blackfriars Station road junction even worse for cyclists and […]


AWWTM: Friday photo: modern mail

This is the view from my office kitchen back when I had that real job (before I gave it all up to do this instead).  The sun is rising over the city, with the Docklands towers just visible, pale in the distance between the Barbican towers. The street in the […]


AWWTM: Friday photo: a handsome Raleigh tourer

On the urban motorway that is Whitechapel.  Whitechapel should be the quintessential neighbourhood High Street: it has the tube station, the bus stops, the shops and pubs and library — sorry, “Idea Store” — and the street market that these vans supply.  As Andy Cameron would put it, Whitechapel has […]


AWWTM: This pretense of neutrality

On Saturday I wrote about the leaked draft of the Tories’ coalition’s draft new planning policy document: LAs are told to take into account existing local car ownership rates when doing this.  Fair enough, but why aren’t they also told to take into account the elasticity of modal share in […]


AWWTM: The out-of-sight commuters that don’t matter to TfL

The sky lightening, I head for a bridge with a scene that would suit a subtle sunrise photograph, as Big Ben rang for four fifteen.  Bored policemen loiter beside their van, parked in the Westminster Bridge bike lane.  Tired taxi drivers inch across advance stop lines and cautiously through red […]


AWWTM: That’s not what I said, say scientists

According to SCIENTISTS, “pollution is not improved by c-charge.”  (“Improved”? These scientists are so sloppy with their language.) Journalists all over the city are this week reporting that the congestion charge has not reduced air pollution problems in central London, and that’s a fact, proven by science.  (As far as […]


AWWTM: Streets versus Democracy

We don’t have to accommodate private motor vehicles in places like central London.  The world wouldn’t implode if we did not; the economy wouldn’t collapse.  We don’t have to accommodate any specific number of private motor vehicles in central London.  We could choose to accommodate twice the number that we […]


AWWTM: How Boris learned to stop worrying and love the Brum

Apologies for the extremely strained pun.  In his election manifesto, Boris Johnson promised to treat all cars in central London equally: no extra congestion charge for Chelsea tractors, and no exemptions for little low-emission cars.  I explore why Boris thought that was a good policy, and why he has since […]


AWWTM: The Boris Cable Car

This evening, Tom from BorisWatch will review London’s transport policies over the years since the city got its elected leadership back in 2000.  It’s at The Yorkshire Grey on Theobalds Road / Grays Inn Road (doors open 6pm, talk sometime around 7ish).  Hopefully I’ll see some of you there. So […]


AWWTM: Participatory democracy (London edition)

Central government have decided to roll back their red tape and give power back to the people!  In reality, this is power going to the county and borough councilors (who don’t have the budgets needed to do anything productive with their new powers), or in some cases it could amount […]


AWWTM: Utter tripe in the outer boroughs

It was Transport Question Time at City Hall this week: the 25 London Assembly members’ monthly-ish check up on the chair and the commissioner of Transport for London — Boris Johnson and Peter Hendy respectively.  If you’re as big a loser as me, you’ll want to watch it here.  Alternatively, […]