Sunday, 9 August 2009

How to solve rush hours

I don't think it is just Lancaster that has a rush hour problem although if you live in Morecambe it looks like the traffic congestion between Morecambe and Lancaster is the worst in the country. If you live here then even shift workers may be stuck in traffic. You may be able to nominate your town as a contender for the title worst traffic in the country so let's think about how we could deal with the problem. One answer is to build a bypass. This is not the cheapest or best answer but it does help those who want to go past the town. That's what bypasses do but they aren't too useful if you want to go into that town. Alright they will help a little because some vehicles have joined the bypass.

How can you avoid a rush hour? People want to shop in the towns but they aren't the problem because they don't shop in rush hour. The problem is caused by people who work normal office hours. If you work shifts then that is fine. So the answer is to get people to move the times that they work.

Parking is a problem in Nottingham. They decided to tax parking spaces, so if you are a company with eleven or more spaces then you have will have to pay £185 per space when it starts in 2012. If the question is how to irritate businesses and get them to move out of your area then this is the answer. It doesn't solve the question of how to solve rush hour congestion. If you have eleven spaces then you will be busy losing one. Let's hope the loss of these small numbers will not just mean wasted space and a really upset workforce. What happens if you have thousands of spaces? Well you may pass on the costs to the staff or the company may pay, but regardless of who pays it is an additional tax on business. If they pay then rush hour stays the same. There is a good chance that companies with thousands of employees will consider relocation, but who will buy a factory with lots of taxable parking spaces?

In this financial climate what we really need is no disruption to business as they are suffering enough. It would really be quite simple to charge those companies who used their car parks in peak times. Get the employees to get up early - no charge. Let them have a lie in - no charge. Use rush hour then you have to pay. Rush hour problems solved.

Change the world

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