It doesn’t come as a shock that the residents of Southampton aren’t happy with the Green City plan for Southampton.

How do you combat congestion in Southampton?

A lot of people will say:

• Remove the cycle and bus lanes

• Make the Itchen toll bridge free

• Remove traffic lights

• Increase parking spaces on the roads

Daily Echo:

In fact, the above would actually increase congestion over time.

Here’s why.

When it suddenly becomes easier to drive in Southampton, everyone will start doing it.

More and more people will fill the city streets with their cars.

Congestion will get worse, the pollution levels will get higher, all hell breaks loose.

Two examples of this would be the M25 and Los Angeles in California.

When the government finished the M25’s extensions and smart motorway system, the traffic was flowing.

Daily Echo:

But later on it started to get worse and worse and now it’s back to “the largest car park in the UK”.

LA is mostly highway and large roads, but traffic is constantly congested.

Their public transport system is getting better, but years of “the car is our friend” caused air quality to plummet, and congestion to skyrocket.

In trials all around the world, cities are finding that improving cycle lanes and improving public transport actually decreases congestion.

London has some of the safest roads in Europe to cycle in because they took ideas from Amsterdam.

To reduce congestion, you don’t improve the capacity on the roads, because sooner or later it’ll clog up with more cars.

Daily Echo:

The government has warned the council about its pollution levels, and have secured a huge amount of money from central government to improve cycle lanes and public transport infrastructure.

It is not there to make your life in your car easier.

The plan is a huge change for Southampton’s roads and it helps cyclist journey time and safety, and the bus networks reaching more places.

Personally, I find the council’s 200-page plan (which I doubt anybody has read) great.

The council has secured a massive amount of money to do this, and all that money has to be spent on improving the cycle networks and public transport systems.

The money cannot be used to make the car journey quicker. Good riddance. Especially down Bassett Avenue, Hill Lane, Bitterne Road and Millbrook Road where 95% of the cars have only one person in it... the driver.

Daily Echo:

The councils plan includes three park and ride sites, a centralised bus station, more bus gates and lanes, more cycle lanes... the list goes on, and none of you car drivers will like it.

In fact, after the plan is finished, there will be no reason to drive into the city.

So, why don’t you all leave your cars at home, get the bike out of the shed or get your local bus app downloaded, and get to work easier, quicker and safer. There is more buses than you think, even if you have to walk a bit.

It’s seriously not hard.

Get over it, and stop whining. It’ll get better, and soon you’ll have no choice but to use it.

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