A few days ago a 24 year old visitor from London cycled three miles from the station to his destination. His verdict on our local condition: far more dangerous than cycling in London, car drivers are not so used to sharing the road with cyclists.

In a recent FT article, Anthony Impey who runs Optimity, which installs and runs “superfast” wireless broadband for offices across London, said, “Our ability to get around London is fundamentally important,(“No end in sight to traffic jam misery”, October 18). “If a customer has lost their broadband connection and we’re delayed by half an hour, that’s half an hour that an office of, say, 50 people, can’t work.

boris bike“We’ve had to put our engineers on Boris Bikes to get to clients because that’s been the fastest way. Some days traffic congestion is appalling – it’s by far the biggest external challenge we face.”

Professor Stephen Glaister, president of the RAC Foundation solution believes:

“[A] national system of time- and distance-based pay-as-you-go driving will eventually have to replace existing motoring taxation.

“It is hard to see any other mechanism that would simultaneously help cut congestion, reduce carbon emissions and address the Treasury’s long-term decline in fuel duty income as the vehicle fleet gets greener.”

Timothy Waller’s FT verdict:

“It strikes me that this is an extremely innovative approach to making sure that Anthony Impey manages to operate within whatever service levels he has agreed with his clients. Mr Impey should be congratulated rather commiserated with. I travel from Liverpool Street to Canary Wharf most days with my trusty fold-up, and at 15 to 20 minutes’ cycling time it’s the healthiest and swiftest way of getting about”.

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Catherine Palgrave, a cyclist and BFOE campaigner, said: “30% of households in Birmingham cannot afford access to a car, making little or no contribution to problems such as air pollution which disproportionately affects them.

“There is only one way to increase low numbers of cycling in the city, and truly make it a form of transport for all Brummies. This is to invest in cycling infrastructure, which makes cycling safer and more appealing, and at the same time cutting congestion and helping clean-up the city’s air.

“This is why our Let’s Get Moving campaign is calling on Birmingham City Council to invest £10 per person per year for at least 10 years, to truly make us a cycling and walking city, and tackle our air pollution and congestion problems.”

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