A new parliamentary petition has been registered calling for the removal of recent temporary traffic measures.
The petition, which has been backed by the Alliance of British Drivers, claims that many of the temporary traffic measures put in place around the UK are creating unnecessary congestion.
The petition reads: "Road closures, 'school streets' and new cycle lanes are creating severe congestion, long traffic delays and severe frustration across the country. Although well intentioned, the experiment has failed. Government guidance supporting such measures, and funds for them, should be withdrawn immediately.
“Many councils have introduced schemes touted as encouraging walking and cycling, but their real impact is gridlock. They've been built without proper consultation, illegitimately justified by the Covid crisis and backed by central government direction and finance.
“Congestion and pollution have increased, people are inconvenienced, local businesses have lost trade and lives jeopardised with emergency vehicles stuck in traffic. Cycle tracks are often empty, while the roads alongside are jammed."
The promoters of the petition have said they acknowledge that the experiment was well-intentioned, but they now believe that the temporary traffic measures are doing much more harm than good. They are calling for them to be removed immediately to improve the travelling experience for the vast majority of road users.
Counterproductive schemes listed in the petition include road closure and narrowing in Lewisham, Islington and other London boroughs, temporary cycle tracks and various schemes in Bradford-on-Avon, Birmingham, Brighton, Bristol, Chester, Colchester, Derby, Edinburgh, Harleston, Manchester, Oxford and York, with others being planned.
David Tarsh, who posted the petition, said: "Where I live, the temporary cycle lanes around Hammersmith are a source of huge frustration. The traffic is frequently gridlocked whilst the cycle lanes alongside are often empty.
“They are dangerous; several people have complained about near misses at junctions and many experienced cyclists won't use them as they feel the road is safer.
“Ambulances on emergency calls have been badly delayed and they are causing unnecessary pollution because crawling traffic is more polluting than flowing traffic. Worst of all, despite clear evidence now that they do more harm than good, our council wants to make them permanent.”
Roger Lawson, Campaign Director for the Alliance of British Drivers, had this to say: "We welcome this petition. It has been most unfortunate that central Government has supported these irrational measures and permitted some local councils who have an anti-car stance to introduce schemes without public consultation that have increased traffic congestion, increased air pollution, blocked emergency services and increased journey times for all.
“The sooner these schemes are abandoned, and we can return to normal, the better. The opposition to such schemes, particularly to road closures, as we saw in Lewisham where we are supporting a campaign by local residents against them, is enormous while local councillors just ignore the complaints."
The petition can be found here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552306