Tag Archives: 道路

“Get Ahead of the Games” Website to Help You Avoid Traffic Chaos

2012年ロンドンオリンピック開催まで6ヶ月を切った。期間中街は人で溢れ、交通事情も悪くなると予想される。そのため、ロンドン市民や訪れる人たちに、市内の交通渋滞や、影響があると予想されるイギリスの道路や鉄道網の情報を提供する、「Get Ahead of the Games(オリンピックに勝て/先手を打て)」というウェブサイト、ソーシャルメディア、そして新しい広告キャンペーンが立ち上げられた。

Olympic Delivery Authority(オリンピック施設やインフラを担当する機関) London 2012(ロンドンオリンピック委員会)、Department for Transport(交通省)、Highways Agency(高速道路管理局)、National Railナショナル・レール)、 Mayor of London大ロンドン市長)の協力のもと、Transport for Londonロンドン交通局)によって作られたこのウェブサイト、影響を受ける場所や時間、渋滞が予想される場合、違うルートを探す情報を得る事ができる。ウェブサイトの主な特徴は以下の通り。

ツイッター(@GAOTG Twitter channel)でも交通情報・アドバイスが入手可能。
出かける時に役立ちそうなウェブサイトだけれど、この冴えないイラストがどうも気に入らない(大嫌いなLloyds TSB(ロイズTSB)の広告を彷彿させる)。かなりブーイングの出たオリンピックのロゴマスコットもしかり。常々ロンドンは、「世界のデザインの中心地」だとうそぶいているが、「クール・ブリタニア」はいったいどこに行ってしまったのか?それとも私のテイストが時代遅れで、こんなのが今流行なんだろうか??

The London 2012 Olympic Games will start in less than 6 months. The city will be much busier than usual during the period, so in order to help Londoners and visitors avoid travel ‘hotspots’ in the city and some UK’s roads and rail networks, the ‘Get Ahead of the Games’, with new advertising campaign, website and social media channels, has been launched.

The website, developed by Transport for London on behalf of the Olympic Delivery Authority, London 2012, the Department for Transport, the Highways Agency, National Rail and the Mayor of London, provides the traveling public with information of if, where, and when travel will be affected, and helps you  find an alternative route and journey if necessary.

The website contains:

If you are Twitter user, by following the @GAOTG Twitter channel will give you the the latest tips, travel information and advice as well.

It sounds very useful when you travel to/through busy areas in London. But one problem, I don’t like the illustration on the website and advertising campaign (it reminds me of annoying Lloyds TSB ads, for some reason) – a bit old-fashioned, as much as Olympic logo and mascots. I thought London is the design capital of the world. What happened to Cool Britannia?! or I am the one who has outdated taste, and these are ‘cool’ now??


UK’s Roads are the Most Congested in Europe

今日のメトロ紙デイリー・メール紙の記事によると、イギリスはヨーロッパで最も道路が混雑している国らしい。オランダのカーナビ大手・Tom Tomの調査によると、ヨーロッパで最も交通渋滞のヒドい50都市のうち、16都市がイギリスにあり、8都市が上位20都市にランクインしている。ロンドンはブリュッセル、ワルシャワに続き第3位。それにエジンバラ(7位)、マンチェスター(10位)が続く。ちなみに、フランスは4都市がトップ10が入っている。

この調査は、Tom Tomのネットワークから自動的に集められた、8000億ものデータを元に、主要な道路の日々の混雑状況をパーセンテージ化したもの。ちなみに、「congestion(混雑)」の定義は、交通の流れが原因で、通常1時間の道程が20分以上余計にかかることそうだ。


According to articles on Metro and the Daily Mail, UK’ roads are the most congested across Europe. Among 50 European cities most affected by a traffic jam, sixteen are British cities and eight in the top 20, according to new research conducted by Tom Tom. London is ranked the third, after Brussels and Warsaw, and Edinburgh (7th) and Manchester (10th) follow. Among others, four of the top 10 cities are in France.

The figures work out the percentage of main roads suffering daily congestion based on up to 800 billion pieces of data automatically updated from TomTom’s network. Congestion is defined as a journey that should be one hour taking at least 20 minutes longer because of traffic flow.

Tom Tom said that London’s traffic flow has decreased by 0.2% in the past year, but it sounds nothing to me. As I wrote last year (past entry), London embraces numerous roadworks everyday, causing diversions and reduced road widths and resulting in traffic jams. London is an old city and London Underground is over 100 years old, therefore upgrading the system is not avoidable…

Frozen Britain: the Country in Chaos


イギリスの冬は高緯度の割には温暖で、厳しい寒さに慣れていないので、大寒波が来ると途端に立ち往生してしまう。幸い私たちのフライトは1時間半遅れでヒースロー空港に到着したけれど、国内便、ヨーロッパ便を中心に、ヒースロー空港やガトウィック空港等でキャンセルが相次いで、人々の足に支障が出ている。鉄道の遅れも多く報告されており、12月19日から3日間運休して大ひんしゅくを買ったユーロスターは、7日にまた英仏海峡トンネルで止まってしまった。寒波が原因の事故も増えており、これ以上悪天候が続くと、道路徐氷用の塩不足も予想される。道路の凍結や雪で食物の供給も滞り、悪天候で消費も落ち込み、経済への打撃も深刻だ。多くの学校は休校になり、今週予定されている、義務教育修了時に受ける全国統一試験(GCSE/General Certificate of Secondary Education)にも支障が出る可能性もある。


イギリス気象庁(Met Office)の予測は近年ことごとく外れていると、批判の的だ。昨年夏は「バーベキュー・サマー(バーベキューが楽しめるほど暑くて天気のよい夏)」になるという予測を出していたにも関わらず、7月は100年ぶりの歴史的大雨と、雨続きの冷夏に終わった。また、2008-09年冬も暖冬予測を出していたが、一部地域の1月の夜間気温は20年来の寒さ、2月には大雪に見舞われた。そして今年の冬は暖冬である確率が高いと言う予測を出し、気象庁はすっかり面目を失った。しかし気象庁長官は、2008/09の期間に25%もの昇給を享受し、首相より多くの給料をもらっているにも関わらずこの体たらくと、厳しい批判にさらされている。

We came back from Italy the other day. It has been very cold in UK due to the cold front from Russia staying in UK from mid-December, and it is the biggest chill since the winter of 1981/82. As we were used to mild Italian weather of around 10º for 2 weeks, we suffer with the chill quite badly. The sky has been always white and it has snowed some times everyday since we are back. I felt strange that less than 2-hour flight showed me the completely different views, when I saw the land just before our airplane touched down on Heathrow Airport (photo above).

British winter is rather mild although it is located in comparatively high latitude. The country is not used to severe cold weather and gets paralyzed when the big cold front hits. Luckily our flight arrived at Heathrow airport with 1 hour and half delay, but many flights, mainly domestic and short-haul flights, have been canceled and have been affecting people’s travel plans. Many delays of train lines also reported, and Eurostar broke down AGAIN on January 7th – it got huge criticism after notoriously three days of service were cancelled from December 22nd. The accidents and injuries related to the chill has been increasing, and it is predicted that salt stocks may run out if the cold weather stays long. Food supply has been disturbed due to the snow and icy roads. Consumer activities have dropped and UK economy has been hit hard. Many schools are closed, and it is anticipated that some students may fail to sit this week’s GCSE (General Certificate of Secondary Education), if weather prevents them taking the exam.

Although these reported chaos sound terrible, London functions relatively OK, except the mess on the streets and cancellations and delays of public transportations. However, it seems to me that UK has failed to prepare for the relatively mild cold front (for me) just below 0º temperature and has gone into such a mess. It is true that the winter is mild here, but the average winter temperature of around 5º (London) is not warm either, and the cold front, bigger or smaller, could happen anytime.

Met Office, the national weather service, has been heavily criticized for getting its forecasts wrong recently. Their forecast of a “Barbecue Summer” last year ended up heavy rainfall and the wettest July for almost 100 years. The organisation’s prediction of a mild winter in 2008-09 was also criticised after heavy snow fell last February and parts of southern England had their coldest night for 20 years in January. They issued the prediction of high probability of warm winter 2008/09 and again, they are wrong. The head of the Met Office is under attack, as he received a 25% pay rise and now is paid more than the Prime Minister during Met Office is harshly criticized of its incompetency.

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