Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - Lud
Ran into a friend on the other side of the Angel last night. He refused to stop off for a drink at my favoured dive in Kentish Town and suggested we stop at his favourite dive in the Portobello Road, in our home district. I agreed and we set off, he in his partner's MINI and I in my rough old Escort.

I got to the pub, which was crowded. He wasn't there yet. They had run out of my favourite tipple so I had to have Young's ordinaire, the next best thing. The staff took ages to get to me and I got us both a pint. He turned up at least seven minutes after me. He told me he had come by the direct route: King's Cross, Euston Rd, Marylebone Rd, flyover into Notting Hill. Most of that route is dual carriageway with two or three lanes.

My route, probably a mile or so longer, was convoluted, through Caledonian Road, Kentish/Camden Town and appalling rich mimser-infested St John's Wood, with many twists and turns and fifty or sixty speed bumps, ramps and cushions, lots of cobbles and traffic lights including temporary ones. Of course I don't let those slow me down any more than necessary. I let the poor jalopy take the strain (and it's beginning to show it too). It helps to accelerate optimistically when one sees a green light, instead of slowing down like Eeyore as so many do.

I say this not to boast - I'm not quick really, you can't be these days - but to draw attention to the sabotaging of westbound traffic flow in Euston/Marylebone roads and the inner reaches of the M40. This set in under Ken Livingstone and hasn't been corrected yet. And from the way the new mayor is talking I don't think he means to do anything about it.
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - concrete
It's not just London where the so called 'planners' use traffic 'management' or mismanagement to create bottlenecks,needless stops and general frustration. The peoples republic of Middlesbrough and their fearless team of 'planners' have done this all over the town. Even at 5am I am regularly stopped every 100 yards or so at lights, on a half mile journey to the A19, which should take 2-3 mins, takes 8-9 mins. Doesn't sound much, but is really frustrating when the roads are completely empty. All this has done is create a series of 'rat runs' where drivers turn off the main road and come weaving through the side roads, generally at speed, which creates a danger to residents at any time.As for their latest 'creative' idea at the Portrack roundabout, it looks like it was designed class 1a at the local nursery. I would force the designers to drive around the roundabout three times every hour for the next month. They would soon redesign it using common sense.These people are highly paid professional engineers and should be ashamed of themselves. Concrete
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - BrianW
"These people are highly paid professional engineers and should be ashamed of themselves."

Exactly the opposite, they are highly paid professional engineers who have been brought up to ensure that traffic moves as slowly as possible so, far from being ashamed of themselves, they are extremely proud of the results of their efforts.
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - BrianW
As part of my journey, albeit on a motorbike, I come from Blackhorse Road, Walthmstow, through Tottenham, Seven Sisters Road and Camden Road then down St Pancras Way to Euston.
For much of the way the four wheeled traffic is solid, mainly due to traffic lights and bus lanes.

IMHO the powers that be need to identify the principal routes into and out of London, one of which is the above, and phase the traffic light to 30mph so that a clear run through can be obtained.
The saving on CO2 emissions alone must make it a priority.
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - Lud
A very clear example of pointless obstruction by road engineers is to be found in Caledonian Road, a narrow, busy commercial thoroughfare between the proletarian hinterland behind King's Cross and the newly gentrified Western edge of Islington.

The pavements in Caledonian Road have been built out several feet into the carriageway at bus stops. This makes it much more difficult for other traffic to pass when buses stop.

Heaven only knows how the minds of these people work, but I imagine this pavement building was meant to favour public over private transport. The idea that buses are somehow favoured by bringing all traffic down to a congested crawl is staggering in its transcendent clarity and brilliance.
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - BrianW
They were built out when bendy buses were introduced since at 60ft long they cannot swing into a bus stop and out again like a double decker: all they are good for is going in a straight line.
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - Lud
I may be wrong BW but I don't think vile third world articulated buses ply Caledonian Road. They wouldn't fit.
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - 1400ted
Lud,

All these names of places afar are but mysterious distant visions of an unknown Arcadia to us lesser mortals scrabbling for a living 'up in t'noorth '

Ted
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - Lud
Very sorry ted. I would remind you however that the Caledonian Road may well have led to Caledonia once, and must have passed through the mysterious zones you inhabit on the way there...

And if you think scrabbling for a living is hard up there, you should try it down here...
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - Mr X
I cringe every time I hear some local voice piece describe their road as a ' rat run ". Clearly we have a pattern of roads to allow us to get from A to B. Having paid our road fund licence, insurance, mot fee and fuel duty, it is our CHOICE how we get from A to B and which roads we use providing our vehicle meets any restrictions in place, ie no HGV's.

This same choice extends to those who claim they live on a ' rat run ".
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - Lud
If you don't live on a main road or a cul-de-sac or in an isolated enclave with only one point of entry, then you live on what some people call a rat run.

My complicated, uncomfortable, convoluted route from the Angel to de Grove uses many such, although not all of them are residential streets. The point about the route is that I know roughly how long it will take me to get from one to the other, twenty to thirty minutes depending on time of day, seldom longer. If you go by the obvious, shortest route you can be lucky but it can take as much as an hour or more if you aren't.

Some of the worst congestion I have experienced in the Marylebone Road, a principal London artery, was late on a Sunday night, round midnight. Before Ken Livingstone that simply couldn't have happened. The sheer evil, lasting malevolence of Ken's road engineers is not to be underrated.
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - perro
I know all your *rat runs* and short cuts Lud, as I used to be a delivery driver covering all of London and the home counties, I left London in 87 so I'll wager its chainged a tad since!
The Road I live on in Truro is a *rat run* ... cars run out of Truro in the rush hour like rats deserting a sinking ship, I knew that when I bought my property 2.5 years ago as it is ok at other times.
I was looking at the speed humps while walking my perro the other morning and it hit me that they aren't actually humphs at all, they are more like pillows really!
Humps are damn awful and evil things.
Mary le bone Rd = pink fluffy dice at anytime of day.

Edited by Dynamic Dave on 30/05/2009 at 15:31

Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - lotusexige
I really believe that TFL is an evile legacy delibritly left by Ken in the way that a malevolent programmer might leave a logic bomb.

Edited by lotusexige on 30/05/2009 at 15:47

Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - CGNorwich
it is our CHOICE how we get from A to B and which roads we use providing our vehicle meets any restrictions in place, ie no HGV's.


Legally yes but you can of course make the choice not to cut through a housing estate and perhaps take minute or two longer on your journey. Just because you can do something does not mean you should do it, a point sometime lost on those who bang on about their rights. If people acted more responsibly there would be fewer rules and restrictions.

Edited by CGNorwich on 30/05/2009 at 16:01

Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - bathtub tom
I came across London through the 'non congestion charging zone' the other day.

The bit where you come up Vauxhall (will they change the name soon?) bridge road, travelling north and do a left and a right under some bridge, just before Victoria, I was following a very enthustiacally driven empty car transporter (anyone we know?).
As he turned left, he kicked up a cloud of dust as the metalwork hit the already displaced kerbstone.

I thought how unsuitable the route was for that kind of vehicle.

But what choice did he have?
Rat runs, main routes and traffic obstruction - Mr X
Surely by spreading traffic out, we ease congestion on other routes. We also spend less time driving and if all those two minutes are added together, we are certainly cutting down on pollution and carbon emissions. Touch of NIMBYism by some rat run claimants , me thinks.
 

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