To many people, Transport for London (TfL) is all about public transport in London. To be fair, this is a major part of its remit, but it still has the additional job of taking care of the roads motorists will drive cars on.
For those whose travel requirements cannot be met by hopping on the Elizabeth Line, Overground, Underground, DLR, Croydon Trams, mainline trains or even a traditional red bus, the car is still an important part of the transport mix. That is why car renting in London is still important, whatever the Just Stop Oil protestors would have us believe.
While removing adhesive activists from the tarmac they have plonked themselves on is one issue, ensuring the roads are in good shape, especially with winter and all the potholes it can generate now upon us, is another, as are future developments that help drivers. The good news is TfL is about to invest heavily in them.
The Draft Business Plan will see a total of £8.1 Billion being spent on rail and road improvements, with an emphasis on “safer junctions”, which will be aimed primarily at the safety of cyclists and pedestrians. That will still benefit car drivers, of course, as that means less chance of being involved in an accident with someone walking or riding.
It also stated that the London-wide Ultra-Low Emission Zone will be established to meet the “triple challenges of air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion”.
Alongside road, Tube and DLR schemes, road projects will include the completion of the Silvertown Tunnel, which will complement the Blackwall Tunnel in east London as a means of helping drivers cross the Thames on four wheels.
Discussing the plans, London’s transport commissioner Andy Lord said: “This plan shows how we will work to achieve our vision of being the green heartbeat of London, and how we will continue on the path to financial sustainability whilst delivering real and vital improvements for the city,” he remarked.
While drivers can look forward to safer junctions and easier river crossings in the east than exist at present, the immediate future may pose a few challenges, not all of them from protesters with superglue.
The Public and Commercial Services Union has become the latest to join the wave of strikes sweeping across various sectors. It has announced that its workers at Highways England are to take industrial action in December in a pay dispute, with London being affected by strikes on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th and 25th December.
There will also be national highway strikes on January 3rd and 4th, as well as other action across the country on different dates in December and January.
With the London action occurring at the same time as the rail strikes, it is just as well Chris Rea is from Middlesbrough rather than London. However, anyone who does find they have a hard time getting around at the festive season might well find the new year a good time to hire a car and get to see those they might have missed.