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Tory London mayoral candidate plans to end Sadiq Khan’s “attack on drivers” by switching off red lights

The Conservative hopeful also said he’ll put an end to segregated bike lanes, 20mph speed limits, ULEZ, and closed streets

Dan Korski, one of the candidates for the London mayor elections from the Conservative Party, has vowed to end Sadiq Khan’s “attack on drivers” by unveiling a milieu of radical traffic changes, such as switching off red lights and ending segregated bike lanes, 20mph speed limits, ULEZ and low traffic neighbourhoods.

With motorists and other people criticising Khan’s divisive policies to prioritise dealing with the capital’s deteriorating air quality and climate change, the Tory hopeful has announced a radical shake-up of London’s roads should he be elected in next year’s mayoral elections in May.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun, Korski said that he would explore switching off red lights between 10pm and 7am. Instead, amber flashing lights managed by sensors would “ease the flow of traffic”, and make sure that drivers are not forced to wait at deserted junctions.

The former No.10 aide also said that he would allow motorists and cyclists to share lanes on routes where bike segregation has caused annoying congestion, as well as scrapping 20mph limits where there's no obvious reason for the restriction.

The mayoral hopeful also wants to dramatically reduce traffic control measures including no right turns and closed streets, where they don't command local support.

> TfL to address safety concerns over drivers ignoring red lights at Bow Roundabout

Korski told The Sun: “Sadiq Khan's transport policies, to London voters, appear irrational. Above all, it's hard to see how they help the environment.

“They're driving motorists around the bend and, most counterintuitively, turning some people against environmentalism. All my changes will be made with community input.”

Korski, along with some other frontrunners from the Conservative party, has already sworn to put an end to Khan’s ULEZ expansion due in August. Another candidate, Paul Scully, said that that he will “turn off all those new cameras” on his first day, if he were to get elected.

> Suella Braverman criticised by cycling campaign group for “avoiding public scrutiny” over speeding offence

Amsterdam’s traffic light experiments

Although Korski’s plan sounds outlandish and stems out of aiding drivers cutting down their journey times as much as possible, the cycling-friendly Netherlands tried switching off red lights — not just to help drivers, but cyclists.

Until 2016, one of the Dutch capital’s busiest intersections at Sarphatistraat-Alexanderplein was controlled by traffic lights, with cyclists, the predominant users in Amsterdam as in a lot of Dutch cities, had longer wait times.

01 Afternoon traffic in Amsterdam (Photo credit- Copenhagenize Design Co)
Afternoon traffic in Amsterdam (Photo credit- Copenhagenize Design Co)

However in that case, the test was part of a larger mobility strategy across the city to make more room for cyclists and pedestrians, meaning limiting access and space for private vehicles. The new setup forced people to engage with their surroundings: Instead of relying on traffic lights, they now relied on their own abilities and the cues of others.

Over the period of a year, it was seen that cyclists had become more aware of their surroundings and of other road users. In less than two weeks, the evolution was already observed on Alexanderplein.

> Cyclists in Paris allowed to ignore red traffic lights

Delay times were reduced and safety remained unaffected, showing that regulation can lead to responsible and alert road users. It was so successful that the pilot was extended and a few months later the lights were completely removed, and even led to the junction’s redesign.

However, in February this year, Amsterdam cyclists were greeted with traffic signs asking them to not jump red lights by showing a counter of how many cyclists waited at the red light and nudging them to do the same.

Adwitiya joined road.cc in 2023 as a news writer after graduating with a masters in journalism from Cardiff University. His dissertation focused on active travel, which soon threw him into the deep end of covering everything related to the two-wheeled tool, and now cycling is as big a part of his life as guitars and football. He has previously covered local and national politics for Voice Wales, and also likes to writes about science, tech and the environment, if he can find the time. Living right next to the Taff trail in the Welsh capital, you can find him trying to tackle the brutal climbs in the valleys.

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105 comments

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Rendel Harris replied to Rich_cb | 9 months ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

Attacking the source rather than the data as well. Poor show.

Wrong again old chap, the data is not disputed, the interpretation of it by a notorious alt-right Tufton Street thinktank is. 

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Rich_cb replied to Rendel Harris | 8 months ago
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Yet you've still failed to back up your own interpretation of the data with a single shred of evidence or even addressed any of the glaring flaws that I've pointed out.

Keep trying, I'm sure you'll manage to put a coherent argument together one day.

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Rendel Harris replied to Rich_cb | 8 months ago
2 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

Yet you've still failed to back up your own interpretation of the data with a single shred of evidence or even addressed any of the glaring flaws that I've pointed out. Keep trying, I'm sure you'll manage to put a coherent argument together one day.

You do realise that you've made over a dozen posts on this thread with numerous lofty assertions about this, that and the other and the only supporting evidence you've produced is a link to a report from a notoriously biased rightist Tufton Street thinktank?

Anyone who has interacted with you on this site will know that there's little point in answering your constant demands for evidence in any case, as like all sealions when presented with same you either query the source, demand more evidence or move the goalposts.

Enjoy your weekend, it's lovely out, I'm going for a ride, you should too, it's healthier than staying indoors poring over Google trying to find gotchas for use in online debates. Hugs.

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Rich_cb replied to Rendel Harris | 8 months ago
1 like
Rendel Harris wrote:

the only supporting evidence you've produced is a link to a report from a notoriously biased rightist Tufton Street thinktank
.
.
.

Like all sealions when presented with [evidence] you... query the source

Do you try to make yourself look foolish Rendel or is it just a happy accident?

If you don't want to provide any evidence to back up your statement then it's literally just 'taking your word for it'.

Given that your 'common sense' example was thoroughly ripped to shreds as soon as you posted it and you've refused to even address any counterpoints it seems your word is about as reliable as your maths.

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Rendel Harris replied to Rich_cb | 8 months ago
1 like

Seriously chap, go for a ride in the sunshine, you'll feel ever so much better. I've had a lovely gentle 60kms in the sunshine and it's made me feel lovely and relaxed and ready to have a few beers and watch the rugby and the Giro with wife and mates rather than waste my time arguing with sealion bores like your good self. Heartily recommend it.

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Rich_cb replied to Rendel Harris | 8 months ago
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Back under your rock Rendel (the self identified sealion).

You've thoroughly embarrassed yourself once again.

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Rendel Harris replied to Rich_cb | 8 months ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

Back under your rock Rendel (the self identified sealion). You've thoroughly embarrassed yourself once again.

I'll say it again sweetheart, ride your bike, see your mates (if any), have a couple of beers and watch some cycling or rugby or other sport of your choice. It would do you so much good compared to the amount of time you spend obsessively pumping out your right wing pro-Brexit propaganda on here. Seriously, try it. xxx

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Rich_cb replied to Rendel Harris | 8 months ago
0 likes

The best part of your desperate attempt to have the last word is that every time you bump this thread more people get to see what a fool you made of yourself.

Keep it up Rendel, keep throwing in the playground insults too, the more people who see your hypocrisy the better.

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Rendel Harris replied to Rich_cb | 8 months ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

The best part of your desperate attempt to have the last word is that every time you bump this thread more people get to see what a fool you made of yourself. Keep it up Rendel, keep throwing in the playground insults too, the more people who see your hypocrisy the better.

Bike. Mates. Sport. Beer. Seriously, it would help you a lot. Sleep well xxxxx

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Rich_cb replied to Rendel Harris | 8 months ago
0 likes

Keep it up Rendel.

If you get the last word you'll definitely save some face...

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Rendel Harris replied to Rich_cb | 8 months ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

Keep it up Rendel. If you get the last word you'll definitely save some face...

Bless, you can have it hun, it's clearly much more important to you than me. Sleep tight xxxx

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Rich_cb replied to Rendel Harris | 8 months ago
0 likes

I very much doubt that.

Time will tell...

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hawkinspeter replied to Rendel Harris | 9 months ago
4 likes

Don't forget that poorly paid employees will still be paying VAT, so benefits aren't costing the treasury as much as you may think.

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hawkinspeter replied to Rich_cb | 9 months ago
1 like
Rich_cb wrote:

It's almost impossible to scale public services that fast though. It takes 15 years minimum to train an NHS consultant. If a large increase in immigration suddenly drives a similarly large increase in demand for maternity services (as it did about 15 years ago) how can you respond quickly? Increasing hospital capacity and training staff takes a long time. I'm not sure what the figure is now but a few years ago I read that you had to earn >35k per year to be a net contributor to the Exchequer so for anyone earning less than about 40k the extra pressure on public services and housing probably doesn't justify the small net increase in tax revenue. Birth rates are plummeting globally, within a generation the global population will start to fall and the current issue of 'too much' immigration will likely reverse.

Yes, it's a thorny problem. I think the answer lies with some long-term planning and anticipating increased deman. There's also the principle of having some slack in systems so that there's extra capacity for unforseeable events and it should also reduce the pressure on medical staff. However, there's a modern trend of trying to have the capacity match demand as closely as possibly and whilst that has the benefit of reducing costs, it makes the system a lot more brittle.

Maybe we just have to wait for the lack of children to balance things out a bit, but then we'll be stuck with an unproductive aging population without the young'uns to actually do stuff.

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Rich_cb replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
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I agree it's a very difficult issue.

Simply put, it's impossible to accurately plan long term demand for public services without knowing what immigration levels will be.

A hard limit on immigration numbers would make the planning of public services easier and therefore remove most of the downsides of immigration but would also rob the economy of flexibility and hence likely lead to lower growth rates.

If current demographic trends continue and the AI/automation boom isn't too destructive in terms of total jobs the we should see this question disappear from 2060 onwards.

The really interesting question is; what does human society looks like when both space and resources (the traditional drivers of conflict) become less scarce every year.

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hawkinspeter replied to Rich_cb | 9 months ago
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Rich_cb wrote:

I agree it's a very difficult issue. Simply put, it's impossible to accurately plan long term demand for public services without knowing what immigration levels will be. A hard limit on immigration numbers would make the planning of public services easier and therefore remove most of the downsides of immigration but would also rob the economy of flexibility and hence likely lead to lower growth rates. If current demographic trends continue and the AI/automation boom isn't too destructive in terms of total jobs the we should see this question disappear from 2060 onwards. The really interesting question is; what does human society looks like when both space and resources (the traditional drivers of conflict) become less scarce every year.

It's the "accurate planning" that I think should be adjusted to instead plan for extra capacity so that public services have a good percentage of slack. With slack comes flexibility, so if you have council employed staff sat around with nothing to do in their particular area, they can be loaned to other areas to cover holidays/sickness etc. (However that does involve a slightly different employment model where employees become multi-skilled).

If we move to a post-scarcity society then we're going to have to do some tinkering with the capitalist model as we've got a lot of businesses relying on continual expansion.

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Rich_cb replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
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Extra capacity is great in theory but it inevitably means either higher taxes or cuts elsewhere.

I think capitalism will still work well in a post scarcity environment, the early days of the US are a.good example of how capitalism can thrive when land and resources are relatively plentiful.

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hawkinspeter replied to Rich_cb | 9 months ago
0 likes
Rich_cb wrote:

Extra capacity is great in theory but it inevitably means either higher taxes or cuts elsewhere. I think capitalism will still work well in a post scarcity environment, the early days of the US are a.good example of how capitalism can thrive when land and resources are relatively plentiful.

Extra capacity can bring about unexpected savings though as people have a bit of spare time to think about how they do their job and possible improvements. For an example, think of a road repair team. Currently, they'll only be assigned a single pothole to be filled (this is a hypothetical, we know they don't fill potholes), even though there's probably a few scattered nearby. With a team that runs with a bit of slack, they can arrive at the site, spot the extra potholes and decide that they might as well fill them in too as it'll save them going back to the same location in a few weeks time.

Post scarcity will cause a lot of upset to capital markets and the nature of stock trading. Fun things like negative interest rates etc.

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Rich_cb replied to hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
1 like

The debt markets will be interesting over the next few decades to say the least.

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chrisonabike replied to Rich_cb | 9 months ago
5 likes

Hmm... is that the example we want to reach for? Certainly the capitalism thrived... but there are some native Americans here with notes on where that land and those plentiful resources came from. (Along with the immigrants who didn't make it rich). "Manifest destiny" and (on another continent) "terra nullius" come to mind...

Anyway that's *waaay* off topic of *goes back to check* ideas someone who probably won't get elected is putting out. That not just reversing what the last guy did would be popular - but specifically "'anti-driver' things in a big urban area where many (most?) people don't own cars are bad!"

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hawkinspeter replied to OldRidgeback | 9 months ago
5 likes
OldRidgeback wrote:

I think it's fair to say that Brexit is turning out to be the complete disaster that was derided as project fear. People voted for it because they were lied to, pure and simple. And know it's becoming apparent to most people that it's gone wrong. Even Nigel Farage says it's been a disaster.

If Nigel Farage says something, it immediately makes me think the opposite must be true. However, he may have accidentally said something correctly for once.

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Hirsute replied to OldRidgeback | 9 months ago
4 likes

Worse to come now

//pbs.twimg.com/media/Fw6_gnpWAAMBPIW?format=jpg&name=small)

50 foot woman is in reserve.

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to OldRidgeback | 9 months ago
1 like
OldRidgeback wrote:

I think it's fair to say that Brexit is turning out to be the complete disaster that was derided as project fear. People voted for it because they were lied to, pure and simple. And know it's becoming apparent to most people that it's gone wrong. Even Nigel Farage says it's been a disaster.

But the fact remains: we did vote for it.

It seems very dismissive to throw away people's opinions as "frothing" while we "froth" on about how much of a disaster Brexit is (which for the record I agree with).

My point is that it is perhaps unfair to dismiss stuff as "amusing froth" just because it doesn't have the electorate behind it.

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brooksby replied to ShutTheFrontDawes | 9 months ago
6 likes
ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:

But the fact remains: we did vote for it.

I didn't bl00dy well vote for it surprise

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ShutTheFrontDawes replied to brooksby | 9 months ago
2 likes
brooksby wrote:
ShutTheFrontDawes wrote:

But the fact remains: we did vote for it.

I didn't bl00dy well vote for it surprise

Neither did I, but that's the problem with democracy, isn't it.

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Muddy Ford | 9 months ago
5 likes

Korski won't win. The vast majority of the public want quieter, healthier streets where they live. People like Korski listen to loud mouthed taxi drivers and believe them to be the voice of the common man, when they are simply loud mouthed taxi drivers.

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chrisonabike replied to Muddy Ford | 9 months ago
0 likes
Muddy Ford wrote:

Korski won't win. The vast majority of the public want quieter, healthier streets where they live. People like Korski listen to loud mouthed taxi drivers and believe them to be the voice of the common man, when they are simply loud mouthed taxi drivers.

I wish that were all, but... I used to think that but now I'd say "the vast majority of the public want quieter, healthier streets where they live BUT it's pretty low on the things that animate them come elections. They're much more likely to engage on issues directly concerning money for example. It's easy to convince them that changes which may affect their routines are existential threats."

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Dnnnnnn replied to chrisonabike | 9 months ago
3 likes

Fortunately, most Londoners don't own cars, those who do don't tend to use them much, and opposition to the ULEZ is overstated.
www.intelligenttransport.com/transport-news/140648/londoners-car-ownersh...

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hawkinspeter | 9 months ago
4 likes

If they want to experiment with turning off traffic lights at certain times, then they should also have a much stricter speeding policy at those times with proper enforcement. By all means sail through empty junctions, but stick to the speed limits.

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a1white | 9 months ago
2 likes

People wonder why Londoners keep voting for Sadiq Khan, especially with the ridiculous Silvertown tunnel construction and zero plans for any cycling crossings across the thames, east of Tower bridge. The Tories keep putting up alternatives such as this. What choice do we have?

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