Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lib Dems Support Taxis to use Olympic Lanes

Olympic Games Lanes – Black taxis

Question No: 2030 / 2011

Dee Doocey

What have you done as a member of the Olympic Board to persuade the Department for Transport to overturn the ban on London’s black cabs using the Games Lanes during the Games in 2012?

Written response from the Mayor

I have not requested an exemption to allow taxis access to Games Lanes because doing so would mean that we could not guarantee journey times for the Games Family. The Games Lanes will be heavily used for most of the day, and there is simply not room to permit other vehicles access. For example, on some of the busiest days at busy locations, there will be up to 1,100 vehicles an hour in the lanes; this is the equivalent of a full road of traffic.

The Olympic Route Network (ORN) and Games Lanes will be essential to enable London 2012 to meet the Games Family journey time commitments in the Host City Contract. Because of the journey times between venues required by the International Olympic Committee, London would not have won the Games without putting the Games Lanes in place. The approach was tried and tested at Games in Sydney, Athens, Beijing and Vancouver. The ORN will operate on around one per cent of the Capital’s roads, and Games Lanes on around a third of the ORN; every effort has been made to keep the number of roads affected to an absolute minimum.

The Games Lanes will be clearly signposted to avoid confusion about which vehicles can use them.

Friday, July 15, 2011

HOUSE OF COMMONS ORAL EVIDENCE TAKEN BEFORE THE ENVIRONMENTAL AUDIT COMMITTEE

They are spraying the streets of the Capital with adhesive to try and trap polluting particles...at a cost of £5m. (see Q10-Q11)
I kid you not...


Professor Kelly stated in Q15:
In 2008, 4,000 people died in London from air pollution


The next question from committee should have been


 "can we see documented proof these 4,00 deaths were attributed solely to air pollution"


The Chair replied What about the rest of the country:


so no evidence asked for or offered.


In this lengthy report of oral evidence given to a parliamentary committee, fears grow as councilors become frustrated with the inability to do anything about TAXI pollution. 

Click Here for full report  

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Exemptions to age-based limits - Consultation


This is a massive document, take your time. Note the end date for consultation, marked bold and in red 18 July. One day before release of Commons select committee report.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Yellow Box Junctions, Part Two...Yellow 'money box' junctions earn TfL £20million in driver fines

Hi,
I thought this written answer from the Mayor might also be useful from a question asked by Caroline Pidgeon (Leader of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group and Chair of the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Group).
She has actually asked thee questions to the Mayor, but the Mayor's answers to the two other questions are now two weeks overdue.  The Mayor and TfL have an increasingly poor record in actually answering questions on time.
I assume you aware of this story based on former questions and answers that Caroline Pidgeon has received from the Mayor:
Evening Standard


Mayor answers to London
Yellow Box Junctions (2)
Question number 1900/2011    
Meeting date    15/06/2011     
Question by Caroline Pidgeon 
Please list by location, the TfL managed yellow box junctions that have been non-compliant, or continue to deviate from the standards set out in Part II of Schedule 19 of the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002, from the 1 January 2008 to 31st March 2011.
Answer by Boris Johnson
Officers are drafting a response which will be sent shortly. 
Written answer received on 24 June 2011: 
TfL currently uses CCTV enforcement at 168 Yellow Box Junctions (YBJs). The road markings comply with the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002 (TSRGD) and are surveyed to ensure continuous compliance with those regulations.
Seventy-one of the yellow box junctions being enforced on the TLRN deviate from the specific standards set out in the regulations but have been reviewed by DfT and granted specific DfT approval. Two of those approvals have been granted since January 2008.
One was to renew the previous authorisation at Battersea Rise/Northcote Rd which had expired; the other was the first authorisation of the site at Hedge Lane/Taplow Road.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Yellow Box Junctions... By Barry Segal

If you have ever received a penalty charge notice in the
post claiming that you have stopped in a box junction you
may have wondered what the law actually is. The position is
complicated because yellow box junctions are covered in
both the Highway Code  and Traffic Signs Regulations and
General Directions 2002 and the penalty charge notices are
issued under and the London Local Authorities  and
Transport for London Act 2003

Rule 174 of The Highway Code states the following:

"Box junctions. These have criss-cross yellow lines painted
on the road (see 'Road markings'). You MUST NOT enter the
box until your exit road or lane is clear. However, you may
enter the box and wait when you want to turn right, and are
only stopped from doing so by oncoming traffic, or by other
vehicles waiting to turn right. At signalled roundabouts
you MUST NOT enter the box unless you can cross over it
completely without stopping." - [My Emphasis in capitals]

The Highway Code offers sensible advice about not entering
the box junction if your exit is not clear but it is not
mandatory and there is no penalty if you fail to follow
this recommendation (but that failure could well be used
against you if there was an accident).  The actual
contravention is set out in The Traffic Signs Regulations
and General Directions 2002 Regulation 29(2) and Part 2 of
Schedule 19 .

Regulation 29(2) states "The road markings shown in
diagrams 1043 and 1004 ( Note i.e. box junctions) shall
convey the prohibition specified in Part II of Schedule
19."

This is what Part II of Schedule 19 of The Traffic Signs
Regulations and General Directions 2002 says about box
junctions:

Interpretation of Part II of Schedule
    6. In this Part of this Schedule -

     (a) "box junction" means the area of carriageway
marked with yellow cross-hatching at a junction between two
or more roads on which there has been placed the road
marking shown in diagram 1043 or 1044; and

     (b) a reference (however expressed) to a vehicle
which is stationary or stops within a box junction includes
a vehicle which is stationary whilst part of it is within
the box junction.  [Note the reference to "part" of the
vehicle - it does not say "wheels" so applies if just a
small part of your vehicle overhangs into the box junction]

Prohibition conveyed by markings in diagram 1043 or 1044
    7.  - (1) Except when placed in the circumstances
described in paragraph 8, the road markings shown in
diagrams 1043 and 1044 shall each convey the prohibition
that no person shall cause a vehicle to enter the box
junction so that the vehicle has to stop within the box
junction due to the presence of stationary vehicles.

   (2) The prohibition in sub-paragraph (1) does not apply
to any person -

     (a) who causes a vehicle to enter the box junction
(other than a box junction at a roundabout) for the purpose
of turning right;[Note exemption for turning right] and

     (b) stops it within the box junction for so long as
it is prevented from completing the right turn by oncoming
vehicles or other vehicles which are stationary whilst
waiting to complete a right turn.  - [Note exemption where
prevented from turning right]

Prohibition conveyed when markings are placed in
conjunction with signs in diagrams 615 and 811
    8. When the road marking shown in diagram 1043 or 1044
is placed in conjunction with the signs shown in diagrams
615 and 811 on an area of carriageway which is less than
4.5 metres wide at its narrowest point, the road marking
shall convey the prohibition that no person shall cause a
vehicle to enter the box junction so that the vehicle has
to stop within the box junction due to the presence of
oncoming vehicles or other stationary vehicles beyond the
box junction. [Note - This applies  where sign 811
indicates traffic from one direction has priority over
traffic coming from the opposite direction - normally in a
narrow street.  It also applies where sign 615 states"Give
Way to Oncoming Vehicles]

Let's examinie the prohibitions - You can see that the test
for a contravention is did your vehicle have to stop in the
box junction " ...due to the presence of stationary
vehicles."? I believe that this test means

a) Did you have to stop because you were following vehicles
which themselves stopped in the box junctioon and forced
you to stop in the box junction or

b) had they stopped just outside the box and forced you to
stop in the box

On my interpretation if you were forced to stop in the box
because a vehicle cut you up and impeded your path then you
did not stop because of "stationary vehicles" but because
of a MOVING vehicle!

As I have indicated above the Highway Code offers sensible
advice but is not mandatory on the subject of  the box
junctions.  The critical issue for the issuing of a ticket
is if you entered the box junction and stopped in it due to
the presence of stationary vehicles.  That is the test.