20mph in central London. What a joke!

By | Category: Travel rumblings

I don’t visit London as often as I did when I lived in Surrey. Village life was reinforced in my mind when I was in London on Tuesday.

My train pulled into Euston and, having seventy minutes before my first meeting, I thought I would sit on the upper deck of a bus in order to see if London was changing.

It took 37 minutes at ten fifteen in the morning to get from Euston just as far as Aldwych on a number 59 bus. The distance is under two miles. By my calculations that means we travelled at less than four miles per hour. By the time I reached Stamford Street near Waterloo the journey had taken fifty minutes. I probably could have walked it as quickly!

Camden council has banners urging drivers to travel at 20mph. If the bus driver had managed twenty, he might have been considered  a competitor to Sebastian Vettel compared to the spped of the rest of the traffic! The banners are a waste of money since, even after the congestion charge was introduced by Ken Livingstone, you couldn’t manage 20mph. Now, despite the ever increasing price rises, traffic travels slower.

Not only does this deter tourists and slow down the sightseeing buses, residents and commuters must be wasting so much time travelling at a snail’s pace. As for using bicycles I would need to feel a lot safer than I do at the moment riding around London on a bike. Thank goodness for the tube. It might be stuffy, smelly at times but it does work efficiently in comparison.

Once again, I give thanks I live in village hundreds of miles away from London. If we have four cars at the roundabout in the morning rush hour, it is a busy day. And on Mondays -market day – it can take me all of five minutes to do a three mile journey.

As someone who worked in and around London for thirty-five years, being away for a while has made me wonder why I should visit London again. Theatre productions are streamed to our local complex. Paintings in the galleries are online to view and I have as much heritage nearby as I can want to see.

For me, London has become a chore rather a delight. I hope tourists to London aren’t of a similar mind!


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