There's been a lot of past research on modal filtering, and it's always shown that area-wide, overall motor traffic levels go down. The argument that main streets are then far more polluted is vastly exaggerated. Overall, air quality will improve. However, it also has to be said that a lot of filtering schemes are poor and could be done a lot better, and the problems caused by that lack of quality will always cause anger. Plenty have been taken out again in the past. Let's hope that the current run establishes the principle more widely so that they can be improved later.
Yep; I don't have a problem with LTNs and whatnot, I have a problem with the Guardian declaring victory over the non-believers in the bluntest and most dismissive terms on a fairly flimsy pretext.
Cycle campaigners say a lot of very glib things that need more thought, and the Grauniad is likely to reflect that perspective unquestioningly. I know, because I used to say many of the same things for years. It's not a slight on campaigners; there's so much to read and study and it's a case of ain't nobody got time for that. However, when you look at things more carefully, a different picture emerges. In the case of LTNs, well, of course there are drawbacks--anything that could be done has them--, e.g. as I always say about all forms of 'traffic calming', it's actually, on the face of it, absurd to block the passage of certain road users, to install humps or chicanes, etc.--roads are supposed to be facilities for spatial movement, after all. However, urban streets are not just 'roads' from A to B but more multi-functional, yet because of automobilism being what it is acquire a very strong character of facilitating movement at the expense of their other functions, such as facilitating neighbourly chatting. This then becomes oppressive and well warrants action, but the aim to discourage through motor traffic in inappropriate environments also hits a number of other people who are doing perfectly innocent and useful things with their cars, and you can't be glib about that, and it's also why the schemes need to be as good as they can be. I mean, I'd love a world in which car use was a small exception to the rule, but too few people currently agree.
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