How We Get Round West London Really Matters

How We Get Round West London Really Matters.

As some of you may know - I ride around on a motorbike to beat the Hammersmith and, in general, West London traffic.

Traffic has long been an issue in London. This week sees the first new Underground stations opened in two decades.

And, as London returns to something like normal after the lockdowns and exodus of people from cities, we ask what the future of transport might look like.

But these new modes of transport, mainly E-scooters and superfast E-Bikes, is a worrying trend, especially on Hammersmith Broadway.

What's your thoughts????

From the people I speak to, there are two camps here –

1. It’s a great way of getting around, saving traffic.

2. They are a nuisance and an accident waiting to happen.

But, as with many things in life, it isn’t about black and white. There are shades of grey in between. And it’s in these shades of grey that the truth lies. Hammersmith and West London need transport solutions and fast.

The Benefits Of E-Scooters And The Like

For people who want to get from A to B, especially in a big city, E-scooters and E-bikes are a godsend.

They are easy to use, you don’t need a driver’s licence and parking is a breeze. And let’s face it, owning and driving a car is an expensive business. Road tax, soaring fuel prices, soaring insurance costs and congestion charges all add up to make it an expensive way of getting around.

No wonder so many Londoners shun car ownership. And the environmental credentials of these electronic modes of transport are pretty impressive too. Low carbon footprint, no noise pollution and no more air pollution to add to the existing problems the capital suffers with.

Hammersmith and Fulham have the eighth highest percentage of early deaths attributable to nitrogen dioxide and to particulate matter air pollution in London.

Anything that takes some of the strain off the roads and public transport system has to be a good thing. And surely that’s what these will do. With all of this considered, maybe the future of mass transportation in big cities like London is all electric. But maybe not…

The Disadvantages Of E-Bikes, E-Scooters And Similar

With all the advantages outlined above, you might think that this is a no-brainer.

But nothing is ever that simple, is it?

Firstly, these are only designed for short distances. Unlike electric cars, there isn’t a future solution of bigger batteries or hybrid solutions.

So, these machines can only be used for that short hop. Plus, they are relatively slow in comparison to pretty much all the current options for getting around London – or anywhere else for that matter.

The ability for someone to steal a car has led to higher security and more tech ways of protecting a vehicle. E-scooters and E-bikes are easy to steal.

Taking them into the office, away from the prying eyes of potential thieves is an option. But storage space would run out pretty quickly. One thing we don’t have an abundance of in the capital is free space.

Safety is always high on the list of reasons when people object to the use of these machines on public roads. They have been linked to an increase in accidents. And if you’re hit by a car while on one of these the potential injuries are scary to think about. Separate lanes for electric personal vehicles might b a potential answer, akin to cycle lanes. This could be a safe space for people to get about while also staying safe. One thing is for sure, we’re going to have to come up with some radical solutions to the congestion issues London faces as it gets larger and more populous.

What Do You Think?

Their legality is often a hot topic for debate. It’s not the same as driving a car or motorbike where you need to pass a test that (supposedly) indicates that you have reached a level of competence to drive on public roads. Safety is undoubtedly an issue when it comes to Should they be insured? Well, an accident which is the fault of the E-scooters driver needs to be addressed. Damage to property or person needs to be put right. But also, I can see the attraction in them -- for time-saving, space-saving and the greenness of them. I don’t have a definitive opinion for or against. But there are definitely some talking points here. What do you think?

Written by John Rigg

Source London Estates

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