It may be up there with "dog bites man" as a redundant headline, but it's true: traffic in London is slow. Four years of congestion charging may have swelled the coffers of TfL, but it hasn't done much to relieve the blood pressure of motorists. Despite a 20% reduction in traffic since 2003, snaking jams of snarling drivers are common, and things are slower than in the days of horse and cart. So we weren't particularly surprised to learn that, according to a survey by Keepmoving, London has the slowest traffic in Europe.
While we're crawling along at a not-quite blistering 12mph, the rest of the continent is motoring along nicely. Paris is 40% quicker, while our friends in Hamburg rattle along at a zippy 52.3mph. Hang about, 52.3mph? That's obscenely fast. Perhaps handbrake turns and jumping out of a moving vehicle, Dukes Of Hazzard-style, are the norm over there?
Anyway, the survey notes of Hamburg's public transport system:
Buses in the city are co-ordinated with rail services to ensure a smooth commute and there are 120 free park and ride services.
Uncongested roads and an efficient transport network. Mere coincidence?
Crossrail will be a significant step in relieving London's ailing transport network, but it's a pity that we have to delve into the bowels of gridlock hell before actually doing something about it.
Image courtesy of Peprice's Flickrstream.