Thursday, 6 January 2011
What better way to spend a bank holiday?
What did you do on Monday 3rd January? On one of the precious few national holidays we get here in the UK?
Well, what better way than to spend it combining three of the UK's favourite past-times: spending time with the family, driving and shopping?
Which is exactly what these motorists were doing. And to increase the pleasure of motoring, by allowing the motorist to spend lengthy periods of time bonding with their car, the traffic jam for Tottenham Hale retail park stretched from Broad Lane, through the gyratory, back through Ferry Lane to the Blackhorse Tube Station. And, of course, once the motorist finally arrived at the car park the traditional game of "find a parking space" could truly begin. After which, there was barely any time left, to queue up at the shops before they closed and allowed the motorist to, once again, become better acquainted with the inside of their car, as they queued round the gyratory to go home again. Some motorists were so excited by the prospect that they tried to jump the queue to go into the retail park car park, thus blocking all three lanes of the gyratory to allow everyone on four wheels the pleasure of spending their free time sat in traffic, whether they were going to the retail park or not.
I may mock, but it is clear that there is absolutely no alternative to the motor car when going to the shops at Tottenham Hale. Apart from the large number of covered parking spaces for bicycles. Or the tube station next door. Or the rail station. Or the bus station. Aside from these, absolutely no alternative at all.
And TfL will perpetuate the insanity by re-organising the gyratory roads with "traffic flow" top of the list of priorities. Despite what they may say when talking about hierarchy of provision. Despite the fact that congestion like this is not caused by the road capacity, but by the parking and traffic through flow capacity in the car parks. And despite the fact that, no matter how much "traffic-flow" is engineered into the gyratory, it will always be filled, and that maybe the way to engineer traffic flow is to try to reduce the amount of traffic.