THREAD (1/10) The Telegraph report that London Ambulance staff logged 159 occasions in 8 months where LTNs delayed them. This isn’t ideal but let’s put it in the context of other 999 delays.

Widely normalised traffic congestion held up London Fire Brigade *8,841* times in 2017.
It was lower in 2020 because of the pandemic but still 5,542 instances because of traffic or roadworks. Plus, over 2,000 each year because they had the wrong address.

When was the last time you saw a headline on “Increased Car Usage and Associated Congestion Cause 999 Delays”?
It really comes down to boiling frog syndrome. We’ve accepted without realising that in the last 10 years the number of miles driven on London’s roads each year increased by a 3.9 billion. But when it comes to fast and bold action to tackle this - it shocks and worries us.
You can see the status quo, which we accept without question, here. LTN delays fall under traffic calming and that would be a tiny fraction within the general category of “traffic calming”.

Where’s the outrage on these other delays? Where are the campaigns?
Another issue that gets little media coverage is the fact that London Ambulance Service navigation systems are typically updated only on an annual basis when taken in for servicing. Rectifying this could have a transformative effect on efficiency as a lot of crews are not local.
Back to the article, it claims LTNs now have their own risk register which sounds frightening.
But, like with many of these pieces, the LAS confirm it’s in hand and they are being consulted. The quotes are always hidden towards the end - after the paywall in this case.
A lot of the media coverage comes down to individual dislike by media of the changes or the perceived “war on cars”. The community element of our residential roads make the conflict “exciting” to press. And articles like this result in easy viral shares for Mayoral candidates.
People’s concerns are natural and should be engaged with - as is happening with LAS and LFB and councils. But the disproportionate coverage given to these issues is most likely to come down to salience, as @peterwalker99 explains here.…
Finally, here’s the source data for LFB:…
Also: The London Ambulance Service gets around 6,000 calls per day. Across 8 months that’s approximately 1,440,000 calls. 159 occasions represents 0.01% of calls. Here’s a handy chart for that.

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More from @adamtranter

24 Apr
THREAD: Today, between 1200-2500 people marched against #LTNs in Ealing. In doing so, they inadvertently demonstrated why they are essential.

In London, 36% of car journeys could be walked in under 25 mins. Human-powered transport is very space-efficient.
If the same amount of people had used cars at the London average occupancy rate (1.3), it would have looked something like this (pics represent approx. 923 or 1,923 cars). With 1m in between each car, this number would stretch nearly 7km or 14km of road - some traffic jam!
Of course, none of this will change if these vehicles become electric. They will still take up the same amount of space. In fact, the trend for vehicles is that they are becoming bigger. We cannot be fatalistic and assume anything to stop car usage will cause congestion.
Read 13 tweets
17 Mar
This is the BBC's Environment Correspondent describing a video, widely shared by troll accounts, of a man shouting and swearing near families in a residential street as "brilliant".

This led to a one-sided piece on LTNs which was devoid of any fact-checking.

THREAD (1/18) 👇
I won't share the BBC video. I don't want to give it any more oxygen and reward the clickbait nature. If you really want to see it, you'll find it.

If you must watch the shouting man video, to see why this is inappropriate to be describing as "brilliant", it's here.

The report didn't mention the widely available data of LTNs, instead focusing on anecdotes and uncorroborated video clips - including one which seemed to use the Sarah Everard case to inflame the LTN debate; when in fact, the evidence shows crime reduction in LTNs.

Read 18 tweets
16 Mar
I am an optimist. I have to be. And I so desperately want to be wrong but it is very clear to me that tomorrow’s @RBKC meeting tomorrow to decide on reinstating the Ken High St cycle lane is just public theatre on an already decided outcome. Short THREAD 👇
Like @betterstreetskc eloquently state, the report prepared for Councillors is riddled with errors, has important omissions and is framed through a lens of “man in the street” punditry, not hard available data, expert assessment or good policy.
The options provided to Cllrs to pursue are narrow and pointed towards Option 3 (which I believe they will take) to “develop plans to commission research” on future cycle schemes. This is a two-pronged and drawn out process of kicking any hope of safe cycling into the long grass.
Read 9 tweets
24 Jan
THREAD: The need to enable active travel is not going away. It will only become more urgent as we fail to meet climate + pollution targets.

Every major political party’s manifesto wanted more cycling infrastructure; now is the time to stop using it for hyperlocal point scoring.
What’s more, the majority of people support it. Polls show 77% think more cycling would decrease congestion. Two thirds support road space reallocation for active travel.

Regardless of politic persuasion, people are more and more concerned about the environment.
A narrative of a “war on cars” or that cycle lanes somehow cause pollution is so incredibly niche that politicians on all sides risk alienating the lion’s share of normal voters with such vitriolic language. While forgetting that most people would enjoy cycling safely. Image
Read 8 tweets
13 Dec 20
THREAD: A thread on research and sampling, and how the media use data and polling.

I can safely say from a decade of working with media, it is *highly* unusual for a newspaper to so heavily reference a self-selecting and homemade survey and present it as the views of all people.
Surveys with self-selecting samples, in this case, both from FairFuelUK + cycling advocates, should not be represented as the views of all of those groups; same goes for claiming data represents "Tory voters".

And that's without even mentioning the survey's leading questions.
Polls can make for really interesting stories and are commonplace in media. YouGov, a key player, vets the questions and ensures they don't lead, and gets answers from a statistically representative sample to reflect the views of all GB adults.
Read 15 tweets
15 Nov 20
Today you might read that cycle lanes will have an impact on ambulance response times, which naturally sounds concerning. But the more you look into it, the more baseless it becomes; quotes from just one individual used by media with an agenda. (Thread)…
A new phenomenon caused by hastily rushed through COVID measures, another thing to be concerned about in 2020?

Well, no, the same spokesperson @Richardwebber99 said the same thing in 2017, also to the Mail, about separated cycle lanes then. Concerns that never materialised.
When pushed, articles had to admit that there is no data that specific cycle lanes cause delays to ambulances.

None of the articles referenced that new cycle lanes were actually being used on 999 calls to cut past congestion caused by motor vehicles.
Read 7 tweets

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