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Peak Car Theory

Weclome to the age of the bike: cyclists "€˜must be first"€™ as car use passes its peak | The Times

Years of falling traffic volumes suggest that car use has passed its peak and may have entered a long era of decline, a growing body of officials from the Department for Transport and London’s City Hall believe.
The implications for how cities are designed and streets are used are enormous if car use really has passed its tipping point. Supporters of “Peak-Car” theory see a future in which the inner cities are given over to pedestrians, cyclists and public transport, and café culture replaces car culture.....
Experts say that local authorities and politicians could create a virtuous circle by providing safe and plentiful provision for cycling, walking and public transport, which would accelerate a natural change in the way we travel....
...proponents of “Peak Car” say that it is more than a recessionary blip. The evidence seems most compelling in London. Data compiled by Transport for London show that traffic has fallen almost every year in the past decade.
In Central London, traffic fell by 19 per cent between 2000 and 2009.....
...TfL says that in Central London car capacity has fallen by 30 per cent since 2000, with road space given to wider pavements, bus lanes and pedestrian areas such as on the north side of Trafalgar Square and at Piccadilly Circus....

The DfT predicts that the number of cars on the road will rise to 38,191,302 by 2035 from 28,467,300 last year. The growth is largely down to an expected 10 million increase in the size of the population. Miles travelled per car are expected to rise by just 2.6 per cent by 2035.
If the politicians balk at radical change, the cost of doing nothing will also be high. The DfT’s forecasts predict that average delays on the roads will have increased by 54 per cent by 2035 and that traffic will be travelling 8 per cent slower because of congestion.

So in fact "Peak Car" only applies in central London where they have closed a third of the roads and unsurprisingly the number of cars has fallen. The rest of the country is still enjoying the personal freedom a car gives when they can afford it.

That is the trouble about London based journalists who bicycle to work, they don't get out much to see the real world..


I imagine the Congestion Charge (introduced Feb 03) and the rocketing price of motor fuel have had more than a little to do with the drop in London traffic volumes. In fact, Dept for Transport figures show total vehicle mileage peaking 06-08 but 2011 still higher than 2010, so they're a bit late with the 'news'.

TfL hate cars, end of, and look for any excuse, sorry, opportunity to restrict their use further.

Must be nice to live in a warm climate where it never gets too hot or really cold, where this can even be contemplated seriously.

I would invite these turkeys to come and commute at -10, -15, -20 C in Montreal 3+ months of the year ( + a nice brisk wind + the bike windchill and you are talking effective -60 or so), (or and the roads have been narrowed by snow banks and thick slush) or when it's +25, +30C and so humid you can feel it as wet and you are literally dripping with sweat just walking quietly in the shade.

Is it possible? Oh yes, it is. Is just about *anything* else preferable? Yes.

So, Can we now expect to see the lycra mob taxed to pay for all this, since there won't be so many motorists to rob?

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