Flicking through the Evening Standard ES Magazine on Friday highlighted the level of brainless and selfishness that unfortunately pervades the capital.
The magazine has a regular Q&A section called ‘My London’ and this week it featured WBA World Heavyweight boxing champion David Haye who reckons if he was Mayor for the day he would abandon the congestion charge and “let people park everywhere they wanted to, all day long”.
I know nothing about Haye and have no views on the man but my first thoughts were that his response was a result of him taking too many punches to the head. But on thinking about it, I seem to recall a number of other non-boxing Londoners having made the same thoughtless suggestion.
This not only highlights a lack of imagination but shows how little people consider the wider ramifications of car travel. If Haye’s dream scenario was taken-up then the roads in central London would be even more clogged up. Yes, the congestion charge has its flaws but so do those people who choose only to enter the centre of the capital by car.
Cars and other vehicles are a pain to pedestrians and also to retailers in this over-populated area. Oxford Street is not even open to cars and yet it still gets very congested – with buses. And probably like cars, most of the journeys undertaken by these buses are as good as worthless.
According to stats from New West End Company, the buses on Oxford Street are only full early in the morning and in the early evening. Between 10am and 4:30pm they are largely empty. The NWEC found that most shoppers visit the street by tube and as such it has proposed that during these quieter hours there should be a 40 per cent reduction in the numbers of buses using the road.
What Haye and the other ‘My London’ subjects reckon to this proposal is immaterial because they no doubt wouldn’t touch a bus with a bargepole – only a car for them and the many others who live in a cocoon largely devoid of responsibility for many of their actions.
My only thought now is that Mr Hayes doesn’t know where I live.