Thinking allowed — 17 May 2016

I wouldn’t mind betting that when you ordered your copy of Wisden so that you were armed to the teeth with statistics to bore them down at the pub, or you just had to have some jalapeño peppers to complete the latest recipe shown on television, that you were contributing to London’s severe congestion.

But according to research commissioned by Uber said gridlock in the capital has nothing to do with private hire vehicles flooding the streets, but is being caused by Ocado.

This report has come about after findings from an unbiased report by INRIX which found London to be Europe’s most congested city, with the slowest of travel times.

Uber’s research showed that demand for road use remained flat over the study period, and the number of cars on the road had fallen, cars includes private vehicles, taxis and private hire vehicles, while e-commerce vehicles had risen substantially.

Uber’s findings may be true during daylight hours but I think you would have to look more closely at Uber’s evidence during nighttimes.

Mayfair is not lined nose-to-tail with Amazon deliveries, but is inundated with empty private-hire vehicles, their drivers mostly busy on their smart phones waiting for the elusive call from the global giant.

It makes sense, of course, if you want to be electronically hailed to remain in London’s busiest and lucrative areas: Covent Garden, Theatreland and Mayfair and with 700 licences issued a week the congestion is only going to be worse.

Video: Traffic Time lapse – London At Night by i have been hakkered

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