Britain’s biggest city has almost ground to a halt, thanks to the rise of Uber, delivery drivers – and cycle lanes. Can anything be done to end the gridlock and pollution? High Holborn on a bleak winter morning is a portrait of traffic hell. Vehicles grind east to west through an orange maze of construction and utility works. John Lewis and Argos trucks jostle with Thames Water vehicles; at one point, a flood of white vans appears in sequence, as if a fleet controller had ordered an invasion of the West End of London. Black-cab drivers lean on their steering wheels for support; one holds his head in his hands. The last passenger on a static number 8 bus hovers by the doors, hoping forlornly that the driver will release him into the streets. In the few visible cars, there are no-smoking stickers that identify them as rides for hire. In the melee, one type of vehicle seems almost completely absent: the private car.
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