David Tarsh 2015 (Face) (6)

A parliamentary petition calling for the removal of temporary traffic measures to tackle congestion has reached over 15,800 signatures in just two days.

The petition is targeting the temporary road closures, new cycle lanes and the expansion of pedestrian areas and reduction of road space introduced across the UK during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdown in a government bid to reduce pollution levels.

The move has met with a growing chorus of opposition from the logistics industry, local businesses and residents across the UK.

The petition, lodged by David Tarsh (pictured) of Tarsh Consulting, argues that the measures introduced are actually increasing congestion.

It states: “Road closures, ‘school streets’ and new cycle lanes are creating severe congestion, long traffic delays and severe frustration across the country.

“Although well intentioned, the experiment has failed. Government guidance supporting such measures, and funds for them, should be withdrawn immediately.

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“Many councils have introduced schemes touted as encouraging walking and cycling, but their real impact is gridlock. They've been built without proper consultation, illegitimately justified by the Covid crisis and backed by central government direction and finance.”

Tarsh is demanding the government provides data on the congestion and pollution levels created by the schemes, on delays created to the emergency services, on the impact on local businesses and the numbers of cyclists using the new cycle lanes.

Now the petition has hit more than 10,000 signatures, the government is obliged to respond. At 100,000 signatures the issue will be considered for debate in the House of Commons.

Tarsh added: “Many people are rightfully very angry about the temporary traffic measures which have been imposed in response to the Covid crisis, for several understandable reasons.

“First, they are causing an enormous amount of congestion and inconvenience, with journey times massively increased. Second, they have been introduced with no proper consultation, which is an affront to our democratic values. Third, they have been touted as helping people to cycle but the cycle lanes are often empty, whilst the traffic alongside is gridlocked.

“Fourth, they create unnecessary pollution since crawling traffic is more polluting than flowing traffic. Fifth, lives have been put at risk with emergency vehicles stuck in traffic. Sixth, despite a great deal of local protest, many local councils are failing to acknowledge their residents’ concerns and finally, many councils are planning to make the temporary measures permanent, with their ears closed to the objections of residents.”

The petition can be found at https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/552306