Journalist and presenter recounts travelling through central London by bike while car restrictions are in force

Jon Snow sees Olympic Lanes as ‘hope for liveable cities’

CTC president and television presenter Jon Snow has hailed the impact of the Olympic Lanes, currently detering anyone who regularly drives in the city and beyond from starting their engines.

Noting the pavements are suddenly ‘thronged with pedestrains’, Snow’s Blog on the Channel 4 news website discusses how a normally jammed route running between Highgate and Kings Cross is, at present and at least while the sun’s out, running smoothly as many seek other means to get from A to B.

Snow writes: "As a cyclist I have no objection to being banned from these lanes or roads. (Just as, as a driver, I have no objection to being fined £130 because I will quite simply never go near them in a car). Many drivers have decided not to come near central London in a car. They must be encouraged to develop this habit.

"There are no votes lost in developing proper transport strategies. When Ken Livingstone researched the potential of a congestion charge, he found that fewer that 15 per cent of car journeys in central London were undertaken by people actually living in London. Hence it was possible to introduce congestion charge without electoral damage.

"The same would undoubtedly be true if the private car were heavily restricted from ever entering central London, Manchester, Leeds, Glasgow, at all."

Snow rounds up with a statistic worth thinking about: "According to Government statistics (Defra), just under six per cent of the UK land mass is covered in urban development (staggering figure!). Yet according to the Office for National Statistics, some 90 per cent of the population of England and Wales are town or city dwellers. Is it any wonder that roads are jammed up with traffic?"

Follow the presenter on Twitter here.

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