Congestion - What's Causing It?


A Direct Result Of Policy! You will often hear people in authority say that the problems of congestion are due to the fact that there are too many cars on the road, as if it is all the fault of the motorist. However, this is only partly true and certainly not the only reason. There are at least three other reasons for the amount of congestion on our roads that are a direct result of actions and policies implemented by the very same authorities.

Better Ways? There are indeed better, and more efficient ways of trying to get the traffic moving, other than trying to put everyone on the bus, or privileging the rich with congestion charging schemes. These pages are designed to examine what is right and what is wrong about the way our society's logistic and traffic planning is currently implemented. The following three objectives are aimed at helping to reduce congestion and making life easier for all people to access what they need.

1) Reduce the Need to Travel: By putting emphasis on providing more local facilities for people, such as local schools for local children. Also by putting emphasis on making sure that local facilities are not run down by the centralisation of facilities, which inevitably means that you cannot get what you need locally and have to travel further. This all adds up to more traffic on the road, more congestion and more pollution.

2) Expedite the Flow of Traffic: We must try and get people where they need to be by improving the efficiency of traffic schemes and removing retrogressive traffic schemes such as bus lanes, priority give-way schemes and traffic lights, especially unnecessary traffic lights (as on many roundabouts and junctions). All of these are inefficient and green unfriendly. In the Bexley area alone there are a multitude of instances where the local authority have taken out a perfectly good roundabout or driver initiative scheme and replaced it with a controlled lighting scheme with a notably higher congestion factor. They have also taken away dual lanes, in favour of a single lane for traffic and a wider traffic island, or implemeted a bus lane, with the obviously predictable result of doubling congestion. We must all bear in mind that if you can reduce everybody's half-hour journey time by ten minutes, you will instantly have a third less traffic on the roads.

3) Limit Housing Density In Any Given Area: More houses mean more people and inevitably more cars. It would be nice to see people spread out a bit, and, instead of building houses over all the available space in any given area, make sure we have some green areas left. This leads to a far healthier lifestyle for people, less crime and less pollution, and ultimately means that people can go about their business without tripping over each other.