“In recent years, road users have been driving fewer miles yet their journeys are taking longer thanks to shocking congestion," says Stoke-on-Trent South MP and Transport Select Committee member, Rob Flello. "I want to know why.”
The transport committee began an inquiry into congestion today. Flello said he hopes the experts called to give evidence will "help solve the mystery which has dogged roads management for the past thirty years."
Just thirty? In fact, cities such as London have been plagued with congestion for hundreds of years, and even Ancient Rome suffered from the malaise. The mystery? It's usually for something to do with four wheels, but Flello spies another possible cause: folks on two wheels.
"The roads are going to stay crowded and we need to find ways of sharing them more effectively. The same thing is true of cycling. Of course it’s a good thing to get people onto bikes in terms of health and environment. Currently there’s a row going on between bike users who say they’re making things better, and road groups who believe cycle paths are crowding other vehicles out. I want to know if anyone’s done any credible research on the subject so we can get to the truth rather than constantly slinging mud. It’s in everyone’s interests to know what’s really happening.”
What's really happening is that, in London, just 0.2 percent of the roads have been equipped with protected cycleways. During today's tube strike cyclists have been able to progress along these Cycle Superhighways at almsot the same speed as usual, and that's because cyclists are efficient users of road space, as has been pointed out by many on social media.