Work Wise Week – part four

today the topic for discussion is traffic congestion

well it’s mainly traffic congestion the main focus is actually The Eddington report.  Published in December 2006  by Sir Rod Eddington, the former chief exec of British Airways the report had as it’s stated aim to:

advise the Government on the long-term links between transport and economic growth within the context of the Government’s commitment to sustainable development and the environment

the reports conclusions were varied however key to the current unsatisfactory situation is the close geography of the British Isles this results in a number of key issues

  • the British people undertake A high proportion of short journeys that are concentrated in urban areas
  • other demand is concentrated in a few key corridors. 
  • the overall result is a congested unreliable overcrowded transport infrastructure, that is inefficient economically and environmentally
  • the  environmental cost must be born by those that are causing the impact in the first place.

it seems the problem is density rather than volume, the transport infrastructure is relatively sound however it is incapable of coping with all of the people employed in urban hotspots traveling to their place of work over the same systems at the same time.

The recommendations are to , encourage investment in local public transport infrastructure and discourage personal transport trying   anything to spread the load or reduce it.

At the heart of the solution to the problem is the encouragement of widespread adoption of flexible working practices, spreading the load both in terms of the times at which people attend and leave the workplace and where that workplace might be.

Why  battle and  contribute to the daily gridlock when you can work from the comfort of your own home?  or  start work later or leave it earlier?

the headline grabbing suggestions revolved around road and congestion pricing which will possibly provide the greatest impetus to flexible working practices.  whatever the final result it is likely to increase the cost of travel to business and technology can help here through:

  • enabling the increased use of conferencing, whether audio, web or video or a combination of all three.
  • providing more powerful and flexible collaboration tools
  • making communication a matter of contacting a person rather than calling a device.

there are established tools for this however the packaging has been confusing and delivery has been difficult but this is changing here’s to the future

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OH  whilst we’re at it there is another thing that we all can do…….

stop hogging the middle lane on the motorway, it’s there for overtaking so once you’ve used it please free it back up, things run a lot smoother and we can all get where we are going more quickly with less frustration.

and those  advisory speed limits approaching congestion are not there to annoy you and me.  Someone somewhere has spent a great deal of time modeling traffic flows, in the process they discovered that it’s much much much better to approach a jam slowly and not stop. this way we  allow the jam to clear if you scream up at top speed slamming the anchors on at the last minute….. therein lies only pain ;)



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