Tag Archives: traffic

“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 or I am the one who has outdated taste, and these are ‘cool’ now??


Stormy Day in UK


昨日の夜から風が強くなり、今日は一日中ビュービュー風が吹いている。8月29日にカーボベルデ南部の熱帯波から発生したHurricane Katiaハリケーン・カティア)は、当初アメリカ東海岸に向かうと予測されていたが、カリブ海辺りでその行き先を変え、大西洋を越えて昨夜イギリスにやってきたのだ。ピーク時にシンプソン・スケールでカテゴリー4を記録したこのハリケーンの影響により、スコットランド、北アイルランド、イングランド北部、ウェールズ北部は強風・高波や強い雨に見舞われた。高波警報が出され、列車やフェリーなど交通網は大混乱、倒れた木々が事故を引き起こし、大規模停電や建物の損壊も報告されている。またツアー・オブ・ブリテンの第2ステージもキャンセルされた。→被害の様子はこちら:デイリーメール紙テレグラフ紙サン紙


The strong wind has started to blow since yesterday night, and has been making this annoying noise all day today. This gale is because of Hurricane Katia, developed from a tropical wave south of the Cape Verde Islands on August 29; it had been expected to hit US coastal regions but changed course from the Caribbean and arrived Britain last night. Katia, rated as a category four hurricane on the Saffir–Simpson Hurricane Scale at its peak, have been bringing high tides, strong winds and rains to Scotland, Northern Ireland, northern England and north Wales. Flood alerts have been issued, with road, rail and ferry travel widely disrupted. Uprooted trees caused accidents and large scale power cuts and damages to buildings have been reported. The second stage of the Tour of Britain was cancelled as well. → See the damages here: Daily Mail | Telegraph | the Sun

Fortunately, London hasn’t been hit hard, and no specific damage has been reported. Just some winds, which was strong enough to push me back when I was on my bike. The storm will be ease tomorrow, and it will get back to normal after tomorrow. Katia has been causing major disruption, but only surfers seem to enjoy the big waves!

Pedalbus: an annoying ‘trend’ in London

photo by Graham Jepson

テートモダンの近くでこの乗り物を何回か見たことがある。その時はヘンな乗り物だなと何気に思っただけだったけど、今日のEvening Standard(イブニング・スタンダード)紙を読んでこれが何なのか、初めて知った。記事によると、これは「pedalbus(ペダルバス)」と言って、会社のチームビルディングの一環として、また新しい社交の場として、ロンドンで人気なのだそうだが。。。


理解不能なことに、このペダルバスや自転車タクシーがロンドンの中心を走り回ることは、合法なのだそうだ。道幅が広くて渋滞の少ない、例えば北欧の都市等であれば分かるけれど、ロンドンじゃ迷惑以外の何者でもない。しかも、天候不安定なイギリスだと、いつ雨が降ってパーティ気分が台無しになるかも分からない。ペダルバスのレンタルは、一人£23.50〜。この値段なら、乗り降り自由な(hop-on hop-off)二階建て観光バスの方が楽だし、もっとたくさんの場所に行けるのでお得な気がする。それに大の大人が一緒に自転車こぎというのも、あんまり格好いいもんじゃない。ともあれチームビルディングなら、キャンプとかハイキングとか、人に迷惑がかからない場所でやって下さい。

I have seen this strange vehicle several time near Tate Modern. I had no clue what it was but today finally got to know it on the Evening Standard. It is called ‘pedalbus‘ and it is supposed to be “the latest and most sociable way to travel” and it has become “a trend among corporate clients as a way of team building”… Is it a bad joke??

This vehicle holds eight bike seats with pedals, and passengers make it move by pushing the pedals while a driver stands at the front to steer and use the brakes. Passengers can enjoy wine and beer, sitting around a bar, while pedalling. People on the pedalbus may enjoy a ride, however, not others. The road in London is quite congested, the third worst in Europe (see my past entry), and other mess such as bicycles and rickshaws have been causing the traffic even slower. And if this pedalbus with drunken people on board become a fashion, it will surely make things much worse.

I don’t understand why London allow this pedalbus (and rickshaws, to be fair) to be legal to go around central London. Cities with wider roads and less traffics, Scandinavian cities for example, may be OK with it, but not in London. Also UK’s unstable weather would ruin a party atmosphere anytime. To hire this costs from £23.50 per person – hop-on hop-off open top bus would be better value for money as you can relax and travel further. So please boycott the pedalbus for Londoners’ sake (and you would look stupid as well). Please do your team-building exercise privately, somewhere you wouldn’t bother others.

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…Again

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UK’s traffic has been paralyzed since Friday, due to the big freeze affecting Northern Europe (related article/past entry of my blog). It’s the busiest time of the year just before Christmas and the cold front came at the worst timing. The highest temperature in London has been just 1º, and there is no sign that the snow piled up on the street would melt away, at least until Christmas. London’s Heathrow airport, one of the busiest airport in the world, has been experiencing numerous flight cancellations and severe delays, and has been barely functioning. Thousands of desperate passengers have to bare with never-ending waiting on the floor of the airport, with a slightest hope of good news, that may not come for at least few more days.

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航空便だけじゃない。鉄道も遅れやキャンセルが目立ち、ユーロスターの発着駅であるセント・パンクラス駅は、行列を作る客約6,000人が構内に入りきらず駅をぐるっと半周、その長さは何と約2km。この寒空の中7時間待ちだとか(以下ビデオ/参考記事)。それでも、その日に運良く電車に乗れるという保証はない。そんな人たちを不憫に思ってか、Salvation Army(救世軍)のバンが駅にきて、紅茶やコーヒーの暖かい飲み物を人々に振る舞った(記事)。

Not only the air traffic, but rail networks have had severe disturbances such as delays and cancellations. Today at St Pancras International station, around 6,000 passengers of Eurostar have been waiting on a queue, stretching 1.2 miles/2km around the station, for seven hours under this freezing sky (video below/related article). There is no guarantee that they could get on the board today, though. For these poor passengers, Salvation Army‘s mobile canteen came on site, handing out hot tea and coffee for a little warmth (article).

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There is nothing I can say but sorry to these people in the chaos. The government insists that this is the extreme weather that country hadn’t experienced for decades, but UK has encountered this severe cold winter three years in a row. According to a meteorologist on BBC news yesterday, this trend may continue despite the global warming… I hate cold!!

↑トラックの横転により、混雑する高速道路/An overturned lorry caused traffic jam on the M25

↓ 金曜までのロンドンの天気予報/5-day weather forecast in London

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Severe Cold Weather and Traffic Chaos in UK


イギリスだけでなく、今はヨーロッパ中が大寒波に見舞われており、交通機関は大混乱。クリスマス帰省・旅行客の足に支障をきたしている。チューブ(地下鉄)や鉄道、航空便は遅延・欠航が相次ぎ、路面凍結や雪で交通事故も多数報告されている(BBC News)。先ほどのニュースでは、ルートン空港が悪天候のため閉鎖されたという。フランス・ベルギーとイギリスを結ぶユーロスターは、今日でもう3日間運休しており、100,000人もの乗客が足止めを食らっている。19日には英仏海峡トンネルで、ユーロスターいわく「fulffy French snow(フランスでのふわふわした雪)」が原因の故障で、列車5台が立ち往生。何台かの客は救出されたそうだが、2,000人以上が数時間から最長16時間もの間、車内に閉じ込められた。以下のビデオは車内で15時間を過ごした怒れる家族。ユーロスター側から何の説明もなく、乗組員のフランス人は英語が喋れず(喋らず?)。その間飲み物も食べ物もなし。トイレは2つだけで、水が流れないので、排泄物が8cm以上も溜まっていたそう。電気もつかず、暗闇の中夜を過ごしたそう。ひどい話だ。


It’s been freezing cold in London recently. The temperature is around 0°. It was OK on weekend as it was sunny as well, but today there was heavy snow in the afternoon, covering the city in white. The bus I took suddenly stopped and didn’t travel further, due to the accident or something ahead and it was forced to wait. Though it was only 4 stops away from home and 30 minutes walk, it was hard to walk on the slippery wet and melted snow, going through a thread of random snowball attacks by obnoxious kids hiding behind walls or in a park in front of my apartment.

Not only UK but Europe is suffering with severe winter weather and traffic chaos, which affects tens of thousands of people who travel during the holiday season. In the UK, delays and cancellations are reported for many flights, trains, and tube lines, and Luton airport — closed due to snow. On the road, traffic jams have been seen due to the snow and accidents and AA has been busy rescuing people on the road (BBC News). Eurostar, which connects UK and France / Belgium, has suspended all the services for 3 days and has disrupted 100,000 people’s travel plan, after “fulffy French snow” in France created excessive condensation in the channel tunnel between England and France, causing electrics to fail and 5 trains to become stuck on December 19. More than 2,000 people were trapped inside the tunnel – some trains were evacuated, but other passengers were forced to remain on board, for hours up to 16 hours, without food and water supply! Below is the video of a furious family, stuck in the train for 15 hours; they complained that the passengers were treated like animals and with no explanation, no food, water, oxygen, electricity and light, no medics, with only 2 available toilets with no flushing water and 3 inches of excrement (or poo) and urine piled up… They were really mad at French attendants, for being rude and ignorant, and ‘those French even didn’t speak English’ (or acted that they didn’t??).

Eurostar is expected to resume partial service tomorrow on Tuesday, but the priority will be given to the elderly and the vulnerable, and passengers that should have travelled on Friday and Saturday. Eurostar advises to customers holding booking in the next few days from tomorrow is to only travel if it is absolutely necessary (as in the ‘notice’ published on the newspaper). With the incident, the way Eurostar handle of the accident, Eurostar’s reputation has gone down the drain, as well as the British image of French people…

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