UK Anti-Car Jihad Seeks the Nuclear Option

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago
uk anti car jihad seeks the nuclear option

Regular readers of this site will know we've been monitoring the UK government's anti-car stance closely. But we didn't see this coming. After an article in the medical journal Lancet concluded that London would need to be completely car-free to meet its CO2 reduction goals, the idea has started to gain traction amongst British environmental groups and politicians. The report's author, James Woodcock of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, says the numbers don't lie. "Aside from cutting transportation emissions across London by 72 percent, shunning car journeys would decrease the risk of premature death in certain people by as much as 40 percent." At a press conference attended by Bloomberg, Woodcock's colleague Andrew Prentice suggested extending the scope of London's congestion charge zone into outer boroughs. He also recommended upping the charge to 50 or 100 pounds ($100 or $200) "to show people what the city would be like without traffic.'' The BBC reports that London Green Party member Jenny Jones has another idea: "I have asked the London mayor to do a feasibility study into creating a car free pedestrian zone in central London linking all the main squares and parks."

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  • Brownie Brownie on Sep 13, 2007

    radimus: As for Central Park, you're right - can you try to get my boss to move our office there? Thanks.

  • Steve_K Steve_K on Sep 13, 2007

    1) If a fire breaks out in a "car-free" zone, do the firemen have to run to the scene carrying the fire hose? 2) If a hostage situation occurs in a "car-free" zone, do the police have to walk up and sit behind their riot shields? 3) Would motorcycles be allowed in the "car-free" zones? If so those areas may experience an unexpected shift in social demographics! 4) If no motorized transportation is allowed in the "car-free" zone, they may as well call it the hippie zone because that's what it would become!

  • Nick2ny Nick2ny on Sep 13, 2007

    Um, Central Park is far from car-free. There are two or more cross roads through it east/west that have little pedestrian traffic, and cars are allowed on the main loop for much of the week and I think all the time in the winters. Furthermore, there have been several pedestrian deaths in Prospect from cars, and I personally have been hit by a car while riding my bike in Central Park. Look dude! I'm not kidding. This is a vid from central park. GRRR cars in manhattan suck. especially vans, they divide cross streets into sidewalk__WALL OF VANS___street___WALL OF VANS___Sidewalk. at least in the uk you can see through or over most cars. From "In February 1998, two runners on the park drive were seriously injured by an out-of-control taxicab. In 1997 in Brooklyn’s Prospect Park, which similarly allows car traffic, a 57-year old woman was struck and killed by a van while riding her bike. There are also many less serious accidents involving cars and park users, and between park users competing for space in the narrow “recreational lane.”

  • Kevin Kevin on Sep 13, 2007

    Hmm, between America and Not-America, I'm pretty sure this London place is in the Not-America part. So, who cares?