Safer roads with less congestion

SAFER ROADS WITH LESS CONGESTION

Low Cost and No cost options for government to improve UK productivity and ease the jams

  1. Rephase traffic lights. Where there is a main road and side roads, the main road should have green  priority with traffic sensors for traffic from side roads.
  2. Remove all red phases for traffic at traffic lights
  3. Allow turn left on red, treating the red light as a Stop sign
  4. Require utilities to place new and replacement pipes and cables under pavements in prepared ducts with access points
  5. Require more off road parking for new housing estates and all commercial development
  6. Require state schools to put in pull off areas or reserved parts of car parks for drop off and pick up away from the highway
  7. Create right turning lanes at busy junctions where space permits
  8. Replace light controlled junctions with roundabouts
  9. Remove traffic lights from roundabouts, or make signals part time for peak only

Higher cost options

  1. Create segregated cycle lanes away from the highway where possible on main routes
  2. More bridges over railway lines, including replacing level crossings where possible
  3. More bridges over rivers in main towns and cities
  4. Pedestrian bridges/underpasses to allow crossing main routes safely and quickly

I will be writing at greater length about some of these ideas after Christmas.

 

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136 Comments

  1. Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:31 am | Permalink

    More left turn slip roads at roundabouts

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:16 am | Permalink

      Like Westminster we need radical change in local government, pay structure needs an overhaul. Chief exc paid far too much which everyone pegs their salary. Unitary authorities only. Councillors subject to integrity testing to prevent corruption on a massive scale. Scrutiny on council spending plans far more open and transparent so the public can hold them to account. NO More community charge increases for flooding, social care or anything else. Make them manage and be more efficient. There are little fiefdoms of cabinet cliques which are out of control.

      The roads, if you have not noticed, are in a very poor state of repair where the councils, yet again, are asking for money or an increase in community charge. No, no no.

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        The roads in Plymouth were in a terrible state a couple of years ago – I’d have a puncture on my bike at least once a week. Since having 2 Con MPs and a Ukip/Con council theyve improved immeasurably. I believe there are fewer multilingual leaflets around though.

        The unnecessary traffic lights make driving a total misery though. On the occasions when the lights don’t work it’s blissfully free flowing. I’ve lived in a few towns and cities and the traffic lights always cause jams. I wish the councils would just turn them off for a day to see what happens.

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        How about getting a grip of immigration and removing those who should not be here so that congestion is reduced for future generations of British people. Less strain on all public services and health. No need to build on the greenbelt.

  2. Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    JR you are always coming up with great practical ideas like this. However why does the civil service always implement the opposite? Perhaps over the holidays you can get your mate Dame Lucy to explain away her perceived inadequacies. Whether it be halving the flow of traffic into city centres with bus lanes. Or trying to subconsciously to impose her version of Western values on the minds of Ethiopians, by using the foreign aid budget to fund a pop group?

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      DRW
      Perhaps they should have also built the new airport in the Thames estuary instead of on an island in the middle of the Atlantic, where the wind makes it impossible to land.

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        @alan justson

        “they should have also built the new airport in the Thames estuary “

        would certainly make more sense than pouring more money into the inappropriatly located Heathrow Airport.

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

          Heathrow is in the right place. That is where the demand and the population is.

          A five runway Heathwick with a link is by far the best and cheapest solution.

          Boris Island is a daft plan but is a little better than HS2, Hinkley and the St Helena airport – all money pissed down the drain.

          • Posted December 22, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

            @lifelogic
            If Heathrow Airport wasn’t already there, would you put London’s main airport there?

            Hong Kong had the foresight not to keep extending the runway at Kai Tak, and now they have a fantastic new airport at Chek Lap Kok, which can operate 24/7 because the planes land and take off over the sea. The new transport infrastructure has been a huge benefit to the outlying areas and central areas of Kowloon alike.

            The UK continues to build on previous mistakes.

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

          Dear Bob–Heathrow is perfectly placed though perhaps a bit far from the centre of London–it’s all the silly houses around it that cause the problem

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      Indeed the green crap agenda of government aided by the BBC is to block roads, with red lights, bus bike lanes, environmental areas, one way systems, congestion causing zones and the likes. It causes congestion, more pollution and prevents people doing their jobs too.

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

        The other government and Lea policy is to use all these bus lanes, hatch junctions, parking scams and the likes as a ruse to mug car drivers when and where ever possible.

        The call it a public service.

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

          Probably a “vital” public service. But basically they over tax, mug, delay and inconvenience motorists, air travellers and truck drivers. Then they they use the money to piss down the drain on HS2, wind farms, biofuels, PV roof panels, road blocks, endless anti-car traffic lights, mugging cameras and the similar.

          This is hugely damaging to industry, jobs, productivity and living standards. Then people like Hammond have the temerity complain that productivity needs to improve! Further pretending the the pay increase due to the new socialist minimum pay controls is gift form them! When the money will come from reduced profits or losses & probably delayed investments made by their employers.

          You hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of your own eye; and then shall you see clearly to cast out the mote out of your brother’s (Mr Productive Private Sector’s) eye.

          This is what happens when PPE, modern history, law or geography graduates (nearly all Libdem types) are put in charge of the asylum. Get some decent Cambridge (or similar) engineers in to sort it out. Or just someone numerate & rational who understands the basic physic, engineering and economics or transport, energy and similar – Peter Lilly for example.

  3. Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:28 am | Permalink

    Lots of these systems are already in operation and reasonable as it sounds there are many roads where major and minor roads are not as distinctive as stated, What you need to take into consideration is that much of the traffic arises from housing estates new and old , therefore the roads are minor and access to the main roads becomes very difficult and the backlog creates the congestion.

  4. Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    1. Fewer people.

    Problems solved.

    😉

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      @Mark B

      “1. Fewer people.
      Problems solved.”

      Mass immigration affects schools, clinics, hospitals, housing, road congestion and demand for social services. The LibLabCon have all contibuted to the problem and yet people continue to vote for them. Go figure.

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

        Not me. I voted UKIP I wanted a centre right Conservative party the others range from centre left to extreme left supporting the EU dictatorship and lying to con people.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:55 am | Permalink

      Absolutely spot on. Lets set a target of 40Million for the end of the century. Too many necessary immigrants to service a population spiral. Subsidising births with all sorts of financial incentives. We are on an insane ride to zero quality of life.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      This is the only truly honest answer of all the comments poster currently today.

      Fewer people = fewer cars.

      I seem to remember some time ago that Nigel Farage came up with this,he was called a stupid racist,unbelievable!!!

      ?

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        Enrico ,

        Our politicians should take a leaf out of Larry Grayson’s book and learn to “Shut that door !” .

        A nice , retrospective raid on MP’s pensions to help pay for the consequences of the immigrants they “sent out search parties” (to find) might help to concentrate their minds .

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Mark B: “1. Fewer people. ”

      Well, yes.

      The UK population has done its bit, by some accounts there have been 8.2 million abortions since the ’67 act ( about equal to the number of people living in London ).

      But our politicians have tried to counter the trend by importing ten or twenty million foreigners.

      Go figure.

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 1:46 pm | Permalink

        APL: Meaning that our people chose – on a personal level – to go for low population growth, more space and more wealth per capita which, incidentally, was lowering the UK’s carbon footprint nicely.

        Our leaders decided it was going to be otherwise; the complete opposite in fact.

        On EU to UK migration no Europhile tells us how asset stripping the young from EU regions helps pensioners in those regions. It is quite obvious that all the work, shortages, crowding and congestion is going to be done here and the profits sent to quiet villages by means of fiscal union.

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

          Not my leaders. I voted UKIP! The ONLY patriotic party.

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

          I don’t think, Anymouse, that abortion has anything to do with a wish for low population growth. More to solve a personal crisis, I suspect.

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

        Good heavens! I was the only one here over some years to continually mention reducing the population to solve perhaps all pressing problems – wonderful to see so many posts advising this – a new dawn?

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

          Holding the population at current levels still seems like a distant pipe dream never mind reduction . JR’s measures can perhaps squueze a few percent more capacity out of the road network. Longer term any measures will be overwhelmed by the governments ponzi scheme policies that are driving population growth.

          Quality of life is going down and for that our politicians should be ashamed.

          • Posted December 24, 2016 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

            Ken Moore: “Quality of life is going down and for that our politicians should be ashamed.”

            I’d prefer to spell it ‘replaced’.

            We already know they have no shame

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      @Mark B; Not fewer people, just fewer commuters using the roads. It could be achieved, but public transport would need to be run (once again) as a social service and not as a means for private enterprise to make money, whilst housing would have to be readily available (once again) within specified catchment area for any given companies geographical presence, much like how the Conservative government planners in the 1950s designed the then New Towns. For companies out side of the catchment area in this era of IT there could also be more remote working, local to were the employee lives, either home or shared office space, via cheap to lease secure Fibre/VPN’s lines into the buildings.

      Also something needs to be done to stop the, often utterly needless and selfish, short “school runs” by basically lazy parents who more often than not live within easy and safe walking distance of the school. These selfish parents often being the cause of much congestion in and around schools, that they then complain about and use as the rational as to why they need to drive their kids to school!

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

        Usually mums who then have to get to work to pay large mortgages… large because of overcrowding ! Throw in the inability to get a school place in the local vicinity.

        Selfish or just about managing ?

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

        @Jerry
        Sounds like you are proposing a command economy.
        You’ve been watching too much BBC.

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

          @Bob; What ever… At least I propose a solution, one that we know can be made to work, because it has worked in the past. You on the other hand (and so many on this site) propose no solutions except finding scapegoats so you don’t have to take a long hard look yourself in the mirror. 🙁

          • Posted December 22, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

            ” You on the other hand (and so many on this site) propose no solutions except finding scapegoats so you don’t have to take a long hard look yourself in the mirror.”

            Of course Jerry, it’s everyone else that needs to look in the mirror, but not you.
            #Psychological Projection

          • Posted December 22, 2016 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

            @Bob; What ever…. But if personal insults are the order of the day … I support people like @Bob also think that asylum walls are to keep people out.

          • Posted December 24, 2016 at 3:47 pm | Permalink

            Jerry @ 18.37 21 Dec: “except finding scapegoats so you don’t have to take a long hard look yourself in the mirror.”

            Bob @ 00:12 22 Dec: “Of course Jerry, it’s everyone else that needs to look in the mirror, but not you.”

            Jerry @ 5:20 22 Dec: “But if personal insults are the order of the day ”

            And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? KJB Matthew 7:3

    • Posted December 24, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      That’s all very well, but how do you propose to get there from here?

  5. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:02 am | Permalink

    It would appear that road planners do all within their power to frustrate the motorist.
    A new estate is being built across from the station access.
    The council have put a mini island in which gives priority to station and construction traffic.
    It is an accident waiting to happen and we are taking bets on when it will happen.
    Traffic lights would have made more sense.

  6. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:11 am | Permalink

    I get the feeling that the Cities in particular need to be configured more as one way streets…in and out channelled. Not thought it through though other that vehicle numbers are always increasing where infrastructure is largely fixed.

    Either that or the traffic volume is cut dramatically. Also businesses move out like much Civil Service did under Mrs T in London…or are they back now?

  7. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    Driver Only buses may have made the buses cheaper but the cost has been transfered on to other road users. In many places they have their own lanes but even where they don’t they often block the road while the driver deals with ticket sales. This causes congestion and unnecessary overtaking.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:01 am | Permalink

      Should read : “In many places they have *stolen* their own lanes” (excluding other drivers)

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

      Indeed half the road take by perhaps 6% of the traffic in the form of Buses, Black Taxis and bikes.

      Not an efficient use of the road space – but then you get the motorist camera mugging income to pay those LEA gold plated pensions.

      • Posted December 22, 2016 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Do you have a source for your 6% on the busy roads? Of people carried of course, not vehicules

  8. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Stop TFL ‘making your journey better’ by altering junctions, traffic lights, etc and put cycle lanes in small roads away from the congestion and pollution caused by TFL. Have a look at the pollution maps to see that the only highly polluted spots are on roads where traffic is now taking much longer to travel.

    Also, ban lorries from using the outer two lanes on 4 lane motorways and from taking more than five minutes to overtake each other and complete their journey a minute sooner. Put ‘is my driving ok? tel …’ notices on the back of all lorries.

    Stop Highways England putting 40mph restrictions for ten miles on smart motorways because a car broke down and is in a laybye or has been moved half an hour before.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:47 am | Permalink

      @stred; (re lorries) Fine, but make all cars also have to be equipped with tachographs [1], any car driver found to have driven longer than the permitted 4 hours should be instantly banned for for say five days, a second offence should see an instant years ban – not so keen now? Don’t suspect you will be, after all you only want to get to your destination in the legally permitted driving time, not have to pull over and spend time ‘resting’ by the side of the road, perhaps have to spend the night in your car because you have run out of driving hours, perhaps having to do so miles from anywhere, perhaps missing your appointment or what ever, perhaps with a loss of income as well.

      [1] also remember that a tachograph also indicated the road speed at which the driver travelled, so there would be an instant in vehicle record of speeding offences…

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

        Many long distance or even medium distance journeys take over 4 hours. If a driver is fit, he or she will not be too tired to drive. In France, they regularly drive 8 hours with only a quick stop for services. If you persuaded HMG to put this through Jerry, you would have to keep a low profile. Imagine what families caught up in traffic delays would be saying while finding a parking space at the side of the road. Stuck in a Jerry?

        • Posted December 22, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

          @stred; You could not be more wrong, car drivers are advised to take a rest period after a maximum four hours time, just as lorry drivers are made to [1]. The problem is that mental fatigue sets in gradually, without many noticing, first judgement are affected, finally the driver fails asleep at the wheel…

          I’m not suggesting that the law should be changed, unless your silly idea of a law change is also made, the current laws and driving advice seem to work reasonably well except for the few examples of irresponsible that you seem to be suggesting are both the norm and thus acceptable.

          I also suggest that if you succeed in getting HMG to make the changes you want it will be you who will need to keep the low profile, as many of those families you talk of have to pay far more for all their goods and services as transport costs will be bound to rise, meaning that many will likely not be in any position (financially) to take a holiday -other than a “staycation”!

          [1] the law is less easy to circumnavigate these days due to the use of the electronic tachograph now rather than the paper disc that could be lost or misused -sorry officer, my last two taco-discs got sucked out of the window, thus a fix penalty fine rather than a more serious ‘driving time offence’ going to court and against the operators licence)

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

        I have always considered that limiting a lorry driver’s hours rather than distance leads to drivers going “hell for leather” and bullying other vehicles, especially in poor weather conditions or when they have been held up in traffic.

        • Posted December 22, 2016 at 8:46 am | Permalink

          @Original Richard; See my second reply to @stred as to why the tachograph laws are based on hours and not distance.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Indeed.

  9. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Remove chicanes, road narrowing structures, speed humps, and let traffic move at a constant speed.

    New housing estate roads to be made wider so that parking in the road by visitors, ambulances, doctors, social workers, tradesmen, does not cause an obstruction to traffic and at the same time leaving the paths free of obstructions (vehicles) for those who walk or have prams etc..

  10. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    Schools to have catchment areas which surround their location, where pupils can then walk/cycle to school, to try and avoid the school car rush and chaos which bussing/parents chauffeuring in causes.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Alan would you send your child to a school that is failing because it was the most local? My local primary schools have no top achievers a 45%, 36% pass rate in the most recent tests and I know Mums that pulled their children because of bad behaviour and children swearing in the class. It’s been like this for years and the local council can’t do anything to improve matters in the 25 years I’ve lived there. Not everyone can afford to move to good school catchment areas, not all areas are evenly housing split with areas with high social deprivation left to rot.

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        a-tracy

        No I would not want my child to go to a failing School.

        Sounds like the Council is failing as well given 25 years and no improvement.
        Sorry but that is complete and utter incompetence, both the Education Authority and the Council should be ashamed of themselves.
        I guess no one has been sacked.

        What have the parents done about it ?

        Has anyone approached their MP ?

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

          The parents talk to each other and when they can they educate out of town usually on their way to work as both parents tend to work to manage their mortgages now. I’m talking about the aspiring working classes here Alan, people looking for a step up for their children, not the same sort of schooling we had to suffer because our parents sent us to the most local on the instructions of the local council giving them no choice.

          The local school have only 19 or 20 children in the class.

          Yes, me several times. When the new estates were first built we were told by the builders sales people that the Council were building a new primary school, the poor primary school nearby was set on fire in the school holidays and they said the replacement building was the new primary school.

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

        I and other local parents became governors at such a school and forced improvement from within.

        • Posted December 22, 2016 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

          I tried to get on the local committees the panel was an absolutely awful experience and one I didn’t wish to repeat after being turned down. I frequently attended meetings even though my children didn’t go to the school. I have enough problems creating jobs for people without taking on the local resistant educational and council governors.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

      In rural areas the kids from villages go to school by bus. Its the ones that live round the corner that go by car

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 3:11 pm | Permalink

      Alan. If I read this correctly you are suggesting something similar to an idea I had. A kind of park and ride to school scheme where parents drop the kids off at a collection point and given a free bus ride to school.

      This could even be a regular bus route but somewhere that relives the congestion. There would be safety issues to work out but there could be huge benefits

  11. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    The traffic light solutions sound really good and very easily implemented. However, the extra roads etc are not so easy as we are being overrun slowly by immigration and the thousands of houses have to go somewhere. Normally, housing estates do not cater for all the extra cars and there is often not room for the extra roads needed for all the extra traffic being generated. We need to tackle the fact that we are over populated in this country now.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      @fedupsoutherner

      ” We need to tackle the fact that we are over populated in this country now.”

      That is what UKIP have been saying consistently. The LibLabCon only mention it at election time.

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        @Bob

        Thanks for that Bob. That’s exactly why I’m a member!! They are the only party talking commons sense on so many matters.

        We don’t seem to be able to maintain the roads we have now let alone more!

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

        Indeed then RAT on it. Like the IHT ratting, cast iron ratting, lower simpler taxes, cutting red tape, the believing in free markets ( year sure) and getting immigration down to the tens of thousands.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      An extra 4.5 million cars have been using our roads since 2000. The graph parallels increased population.

      https://www.statista.com/statistics/299972/average-age-of-cars-on-the-road-in-the-united-kingdom/

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:10 am | Permalink
  12. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    Another low cost measure would be to make the driving test much more difficult to pass and re-test after a period of time (driver has to pay the cost of the test, not tax-payer) to the same standard.
    That measure could be effective in removing many drivers from the road, leaving only those most competent and least likely to have accidents, as well as reducing congestion.
    Further, government could put in place a “rat-line” telephone number to report bad drivers. Any more than say 5 independent reports and the drivers has a driving exam. If he/she passes, he/she is exempt for a set time, say 5 years, to reduce the incidence of spiteful reports.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      So your answer to the problem of people being unable to get around… is to stop them getting around ?

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

        Exactly!

        What government wants really is only government officials and politicians to be able to use cars, planes and have Zil lanes for them. But they like the income and mugging proceeds from other motorists!

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      Give the man a radar gun and a video camera, you sound like a real fun fellow citizen.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

      How about requiring drivers, who have obtained their licence in a country where driving standards may not be high, to sit a British test. Some drivers seem to not know which side of the road to overtake and drive. Some are seen clutching the steering wheel and driving in the wrong lane slowly as though they had never passed a test.

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

        @stred; “Some drivers seem to not know which side of the road to overtake and drive. Some are seen clutching the steering wheel and driving in the wrong lane slowly as though they had never passed a test.”

        Oh you have noticed the average British holiday makers abroad, or even more worrying those driving around in the UK were they seem clueless to the Highway Code as well as being unable to follow either a road sign or a map when their sat-nav has failed…

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 4:01 pm | Permalink

          In France, British drivers drive safely on the right, while some French overtake on the right on motorways. I see foreign drivers on the M25 doing the same, as well as British cars ding the same more frequently.

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

          Yes, and the drivers that sit in the middle lane – too scared to change

  13. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Ensure business/industrial estates can’t grow beyond their one or two exit points, once they go over the correct function of the estate they should have to put in a second entrance/exit point to keep the flows onto the main road junctions moving properly.

    We have segregated cycle roads and the cyclists still cycle on the 70mph road causing loads of problems! They won’t go 10 seconds out of their way even though a safety cycle road was put on the main roundabout insisting they have the right of way over cars at the main two-lane roundabout. Quite often I’m told it’s because the cycle lanes have debris and aren’t maintained and because it’s quicker just to stay on the main road even though it’s dangerous. Hardly anyone uses the pedestrian underpass they are so scary, smell, are unclean with pee and to be frank most people would rather take their chance with the traffic especially if they go out of sight of people going through these!

  14. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

    The experiment to remove all traffic lights and crossing lights for cars and pedestrians in Exhibition Road in London is an interesting one and seems to operate well for both sets of road users.

    I think we have spent enough on cycle lanes already. The problem is that the cycling lobby, to which local government is in thrall, has a specific stated aim to cause greater congestion for road users as a means to force people out of cars and onto public transport and bicycles (never mind that this preferentially punishes the old and the infirm). A compulsory paid cycle registration, licensing and insurance scheme and active prosecution of cyclists breaking traffic laws would be a first step to redressing the balance.

  15. Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    TOO MANY PEOPLE.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

      That is the problem .

      The road network , especially in the South East has hit mathematical limits .

      The rights of way have been largely baked in by decades of infill building .

      Neither changing peoples behaviour nor technology can dig us out of this one .

      Currently HM Govt are making the problem worse by ; desperately trying to ramp up immigration , particularly of fast breeders , and trying to encourage people to move from less densely populated parts of the UK to London and the SE .

  16. Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    Educate drivers about the correct use of:
    1) roundabouts where some drivers believe that they have priority over traffic from their left even before they have reached the roundabout.

    2) rear view mirrors, the clue is in the name (they are not vanity mirrors)

    3) lanes on motorways, the middle one is not for dawdling, a fact that seems to escape a particular gender.

    Provide adequate parking (multi storey where necessary) at those tube/railway stations where parking is routinely oversubscribed. Funding for some of this could be made available if we stopped increasing foreign aid to countries which have their own foreign aid programs, nuclear weapons, space exploration projects and politicians that spend £59 million on their daughters wedding!

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      Yes and the gender is men, I have proved this point over and over again to my husband on journeys from the Midlands north and south.

  17. Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    Safer roads with less congestion, on open roads but also in residential areas.
    Some changes in traffic regulations in Earley have completely closed through-traffic in one street out of five near the University of Reading. The other four residential streets usually have cars parked on both sides during university terms. Even so many motorists go through these (supposed to be 20 mph zone) streets to avoid the traffic lights at the “Lady of Peace” junction on Wokingham Road.
    What is the point of defining the area as a 20mph area when most vehicles go through it (very dangerously for pedestrians or anybody trying to get in or out of a parked car) at much higher speed. The 20 mph was originally a good idea, but is not being enforced.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

      It’s police policy not to enforce 20 mph limits.

      “20 mph speed limits or zones

      ACPO states that local speed limits should be part of a package with other measures to control speeds; including engineering, visible interventions and landscaping that respect the needs of all road users. This will ensure a road looks and feels like the set speed limit.

      If a road does not have the right measures to clearly identify the correct speed limit, there will be a lack of awareness amongst the majority of drivers. It would not be appropriate for the police to enforce the limit in these circumstances. As on all roads, the police’s role is to tackle deliberate speeding which poses a significant safety risk. ”

      Reply It is against the law to exceed a 20mph limit and you may face penalties

      • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

        20 mph is nearly always far too slow.

        The cyclists do more than that and overtake you with impunity. 25 mph is sensible sometimes. 20 is just for extra cash cow mugging cameras.

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

          @Lifelogic

          Too true. We have recently had 20 mile an hour speed limits in a local town to be expanded if the SNP think it is working. Just what it is supposed to do is beyond me. The town is never that busy anyway and the speed limit is in 24 hours a day. Sometimes you can crawl along at 20 with no traffic or pedestrians around at all. Madness. If they introduce this in every town along the A77 it will be hell getting into Ayr from Girvan which used to take 40 mins and now is nearer to 50. Everyone is moaning about it and nobody thinks it is a good idea. During the school hours maybe but not all day. I sometimes think people have nothing better to do than frustrate drivers.

        • Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

          In (x)-on-Sea, where I live, even police cars break the 20 limit, until they see another car, then they slow down in case someone reports them. I see the doctors at NICE have appointed themselves as motoring experts and recommended more 20 limits in order to reduce pollution and not shorten lifetimes. Apparently, they don’t realise that driving in 2nd and 3rd all the time burns more fuel.

          Andrew Neil’s demolition of Greenpeace’s do-gooder last Sunday is worth a watch. Now on U tube.

        • Posted December 22, 2016 at 11:18 am | Permalink

          LL: Ridiculous.
          In these Earley streets the cyclists do much lower than 20 mph. Have you ever biked on a street with potholes at 25 mph? If so , you might want to train for the next Olympic Games!

          JJE: As far as I can see the “package” only includes “20 mph” painted large at both ends of the streets.

  18. Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Traffic lights we know slow traffic sometimes severely so. But in rural areas traffic is slowed nowadays by cyclists. This causes pollution and frustration. I do not know a cure but something needs to be done about the problem.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

      Indeed and they often insist on being in the middle of the lane too now.

  19. Posted December 21, 2016 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    “Require utilities to place new and replacement pipes and cables under pavements in prepared ducts with access points”.

    A great idea except that easier access will also be made available to vandals, crooks and terrorists.

  20. Posted December 21, 2016 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    “SAFER ROADS WITH LESS CONGESTION”

    Reduce the very high net migration.

  21. Posted December 21, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Bumps in the road always seem to me to be a costly way to reduce vehicle speeds. To lay them has a cost and the wear and tear on vehicles cannot be without cost either. Whilst living in Montreal, Canada I noted they had what appeared to me at first to be an absurd traffic regulation. At all minor junctions(with some exceptions) every vehicle has to stop and then turn or cross in an orderly fashion. To my amazement it worked perfectly and it did away with the need for speed bumps as reaching high speed between junctions was generally not possible.

    Maybe Montreal is an exception as no doubt the system relies on a high level of courteousness which maybe sadly lacking here. In continental Europe occasionally roundabouts have a road running through the centre of them they for me at least were scary and confusing. North America I noted did not go in for roundabouts very much. There is more than one way to skin a cat so it is said and watching our neighbours skin theirs we could possible learn a thing or two. Not just in road building and traffic control.

  22. Posted December 21, 2016 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    We don’t do traffic lights on roundabouts properly. The principle at all road junctions should be ‘to flush the junction’, i.e. control access in but allow free access out. Think of a water tank, we put a tap on the feed in but wouldn’t put a tap on the flow out if we didn’t want the tank to overflow.
    On a busy roundabout by all means control traffic entering the roundabout but there is no need for traffic lights on the roundabout, they are the ones that block the roundabout.
    I believe the Australians have/had a roundabout with red/amber lights at the entrances. When traffic is free flowing drivers ‘see’ no lights; when traffic is heavy the normal amber/red sequences come into play.

  23. Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Good ideas ; I support them . I also re-iterate other responders views on traffic volume/numbers of vehicles etc . The whole infrastructure is at breaking point and number problems cannot be overlooked .

  24. Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    “Require utilities to place new and replacement pipes and cables under pavements in prepared ducts with access points”

    That all sounds good and dandy but should the utility companies need to access their underground equipment (either via their access points -in old money they are called manholes and already are used, or need to dig up the pipes/ducts because of a fault) were do you think the displaced pedestrians and, nowadays, perhaps even cyclists will end up when the pavement is closed off? Most likely walking/cycling along the temporary pavement created out of closing a traffic lane to motorists – so the net gain from your ill-informed idea will be zero!…

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Jerry

      Try thinking this through, theres a good fellow. If the pipes and cables are in PREPARED DUCTS, with access points there is no need to dig them up, the whole point is that you have access to the pipes and cables WITHOUT digging up the carriage way ( road or pavement ).

      • Posted December 22, 2016 at 9:08 am | Permalink

        @libertarian; Just what do you not understand about the fact that sometimes “[utility providers] need to dig up the pipes/ducts because of a fault”, also the fact that even if work can be accessed via manholes it will still mean the pavement has to be closed off to some degree, often meaning that either a road lane has to close (or narrowed) and designated as the pavement or two TTL Toucan crossing provided, one at either end of the works…

        But thanks, Walter, for once again proving that you prefer to try and belittle me … no, I’m going to call a spade a spade … try and troll me, rather than read and understand what I have actually said.

        Reply Not having to dig up and reinstate cuts working time on repairs. NO need in many cases to extend work into the road.

        • Posted December 22, 2016 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

          @JR reply; Leaving aside the more obvious flaws and problems in your idea of utopia. OK, so the pavement is closed-off to allow the manholes covers to be lifted and worked on/within (remember that the utility companies vehicles will also have to be parked some place, most likely on the pavement next to the place of work), what happens to the pedestrians -who actually have a greater legal right to walk along the most (non motorway) carriageways than motorists have to drive along them, seeing that you do not accept that these pedestrians would either have a safe route created out of the nearest highway lane for them or that TTLs be provided to ensure they can safely cross to other side of the road in at least two placed before and after the works?

        • Posted December 23, 2016 at 2:46 pm | Permalink

          Jerry

          Your shrill abuse just makes me laugh.

          You are so dim and there is virtually no subject that you are ignorant of.

          Why dont I write this in capitals so that it may just sink into your brain.

          IF THE PIPES AND CABLES ARE LAID IN SPECIAL TRUNKING THERE IS NOTHING TO DIG UP. You just take the cover off the trunking. Thats the point of having trunking rather than burying under soil!!!! Of course there will always be a degree of minor disruption but nothing on the scale that currently involves digging up the roads, disrupting traffic and also failing to make the roadway good afterwards ( one major cause of potholes)

          If you had ever worked in broadcasting as you claim you would know this from in building cabling trunking which works the same way on a smaller scale.

          I do read what you write Jerry…. then I correct you

          Oh and whilst trying to intimate that I’m a walter mitty type because I tell you what I do for a living , I notice we never hear from you about what you do for a living or what experience qualifies you to make the arguments that you do and thats a prerequisite as you never provide links for any of your daft assertions

          Merry Christmas

  25. Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Infrastructure maintenance(roads) done at off peak hours(night time).

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 1:08 pm | Permalink

      @am; Good luck selling that idea to the local, affected, population, most of whom quite like their sleep so that they can wake refreshed at 7:30 to be at work for their own 8 hours of hard graft come 9am!

      You do realise that even muffled noise can travel, and with less background noise during the night can appear far louder than the same sound during the day.

      • Posted December 23, 2016 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

        Jerry

        Well it happens quite a lot already. Outside of my house back in the summer we had crews working through the night on water mains.

        Last night on the way home from my radio studio at gone midnight I came across a crew putting up telegraph poles

        Motorway maintenance also frequently happens at night , following a truck demolishing a bridge over the M20 crews closed the motorway and rebuilt the bridge at night.

  26. Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Permit local councils to fine people for parking and traffic violations, but (and this is the important bit) ALL fine money to go to Central Government, not to the local council.

    This prevents councils seeing fines as a form of income, as has happened in some places with parking charges.

  27. Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    HIGHER COST OPTIONS

    5. Provide vehicle underpasses beneath roundabouts for all major roads and routes.

  28. Posted December 21, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I have noticed that many junctions work better if the traffic lights are not working. As in if they are completely turned off. People realise there is possible danger and drive more carefully but don’t stop unless they have to.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      @James Morgan; In such circumstances most road users proceed with more care, and curtsey, make it the norm and the traffic flows would be as snarled up as they were before the traffic lights were installed.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Indeed in general this is the case. The light are either designed to delay motorists (which I suspect is the case) or the designers are just totally incompetent.

  29. Posted December 21, 2016 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    The Left turn on red is a system that has worked in the USA for years (Right turn there of course).

    Utilities under footpaths is a good idea unless you are unfortunate enough to have a council as incompetent as Lincolnshire. They would still have traffic lights to allow pedestrians to move path into highway. They also use third party traffic light companies that litter roads with temporary traffic lights long before and long after the work is done. Also with no phasing forethought. Temporary traffic lights should require phasing to be done by a human being on site. Not only would this mean that the busier direction is cleared it would mean a drastic reduction in the time lights were in place. On a rainy Friday afternoon they would be took down not abandoned until 10am on Monday as they want to slope off early.

  30. Posted December 21, 2016 at 12:12 pm | Permalink

    I thought bridges and tunnels for pedestrians were a 1960s thing. Tunnels are dangerous and get dirty and smelly; bridges are no good for prams, wheelchairs, bikes, etc. and there is the added hazard now that objects get thrown on to traffic.

  31. Posted December 21, 2016 at 12:19 pm | Permalink

    Pavements need to be reclaimed for the pedestrian. Parking on pavements should be dealt with and damage to pavements from lorries driving on them should be billed to the companies concerned.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      @rose; It is not the lorry drivers fault if the highway planners have not designed or rebuilt the road properly to allow all types of permitted traffic to turn etc, if the road is unstable for a given length of vehicle one again it is not the lorry drivers fault for the non “stopping up” of such roads to that length, width or weight of vehicle by way of an official highways department/DfT order, road signs and marking in the same way as it would not be a drivers fault if there was a low bridge that had no high restriction applied in advance of it…

      Also, adding extra costs to distribution, or fining haulage companies, will do only one thing, cause the end product to cost more – if you force a distributor to use a different, less efficient model of distribution you will simply end up paying more for the goods or services those lorries carry, are you willing to pay more?

      As for parking on pavements, indeed it should be stopped, replace the pavement with designated parking lay-bys that are designed as and designated as ‘shared areas’ – problem sorted! 😛 Not that I condone such anti social parking but at times there is little or no alternative, once again often because of the failing of the planners, LAs and government departments, HMT spending cuts.

      • Posted December 24, 2016 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

        Jerry , lorries driving on to pavements, especially 18th and 19th century pavements which cannot be replaced, is criminal damage and should be dealt with as such. It is the lorry drivers’ fault and is done for various reasons, none of them valid excuses, which you don’t mention. They do it to make a few inches less distance to the door of the premises they are delivering to; they do it because they don’t want to give way when they should and could; they do it to park in an easy place rather than the designated place. None of these are valid reasons for destroying something which is old and valued as well as being of vital use.

  32. Posted December 21, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Large cities in a number of countries, including Beijing, have traffic lights with a prominently-placed, count-down clock running from say 120 seconds to zero, and thus indicating when the lights will switch to red. This is very helpful for a smooth traffic flow.

  33. Posted December 21, 2016 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

    Can I add a few to the wish list please.

    (1) Stop persons applying for planning permission on land for which they are not the registered owners.
    (2) Stop all land “Adverse Possession” attempts, ownership reverts to local government by default.
    (3) Compulsory purchase – for a nominal payment – all land holdings used as access “Ransom Strips”, ownership reverts by default to local government.
    (4) Abolish “leasehold” land, transition to Freehold and Commonhold.

    England and Wales are two countries that retain this feudal system of land tenure. Most other countries have developed more modern systems of tenure for ownership.

    Commonhold was supposed to replace it but the UK land Barons hate it; it severely hits their future profits. Scotland and Ireland have legislated to end leasehold tenure. The HoC had a chat about it yesterday, I don’t know why it bothered, nothing will come of it.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      You will have noticed that JR is gradually shifting his macro-economic stance, post Osborne. For me this is good, very good. Since 2008, the nonsense preached by the Chicago (monetarist) school; the Austrian (Mises / Hayek) school, has been well and truly proven to be total b*****ks.

      The future is MMT, (Modern Monetary Theory), based on the work of Knapp, Keynes, Innes, Schumpeter, Lerner, Minsky and Godley. Redwoodians, will only recognise the name Keynes, its the only one they have picked up from the economically illiterate right-wing press.

      JR’s big spend listed above is great (fiscal stimulus). He now, does not mention the usual “socialist” put-down; “money does not grow on trees”. All of a sudden, it does. (It actually does for a sovereign fiat currency issuing government.)

      So from now on, if Redwoodians wish to be part of the solution; not part of Mrs May’s problem; think, Fiscal policy good, monetary policy bad. 🙂

      Reply I have not changed stance. I fought the last election on the platform of prosperity not austerity,and have long argued we need to fix th banks and let the. lend a bit more.

  34. Posted December 21, 2016 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Mr Redwood: I think you misunderstand the purpose of road signs and poor availability of stopping places/parking, as well fuel taxes, and lack of road improvement – it is to discourage car use and ‘force’ people onto the railways and public transport, a) to justify national and local government ownership/subsidy of these; b) to save the Planet.

    You may recall some experiments where in some towns and cities, the red phase on the main routes was deliberately extended, some up to 15 minutes specifically to eliminate any travel time advantages over using the car instead of train/bus and to frustrate drivers.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Indeed that is their bonkers agenda. In fact bikes and trains usually are slower, less efficient (door to door and when the food fuel production is properly considered they use more energy per useful passenger mile anyway) and are also very prone to union blackmail.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      But why did they have to include railways as part of the red route – they are bad enough already

  35. Posted December 21, 2016 at 1:22 pm | Permalink

    If you kept a compound of ducks and you found you had to introduce ever more sophisticated ways of managing their waddlings such as traffic lights, roundabouts, tunnels, bridges and rest/waiting points, a tourist from outside your duckland paradise may find you have lost the plot and suggest you should very well duck out of duck management and duck welfare.

  36. Posted December 21, 2016 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    One further USA idea along with the “left turn on Red”.

    Flashing amber on junctions when the traffic lights don’t need to be used. Technically this would be at times when congestion isn’t an issue such as evenings but it is annoying sat at lights on red for ages at midnight on empty roads when if all ways flashed amber you just proceeded with caution.

  37. Posted December 21, 2016 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

    A major problem is the location of bus stops. Where I live, in Edinburgh, most of the bus stops are placed immediately before junctions with traffic lights, so buses have to wait for the light to go green so that they can advance up the queue to the bus stop, then they stop at the bus stop while the light is green, and once it has turned to red again they resume queueing. As a result it takes two cycles of traffic lights to get across each juntion, and all the time the buses are blocking the way for the other vehicles. If the bus stops were sited just after traffic lights instead of just before, bus journeys would halve in time and all the traffic would flow more freely.

    A different problem is the 20 mph zones springing up everywhere. Edinburgh is now 20 mph throughout. This results in longer journeys are greater air pollution — but more speeding fines.

  38. Posted December 21, 2016 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I am amazed how efficiently Internet purchases are delivered. There is such a lot of this now, but extra road congestion is part of the price. On balance, this is bearable in rural areas, where it is such an asset.

  39. Posted December 21, 2016 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Where cycle tracks are provided, ban cyclists from all the other lanes.

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

      @Monty; What’s the point, how do you suggest that the police enforce this, I think it’s a great idea but as the police can’t (or refuse to) enforce many of the laws that we already have with regards cyclists…

    • Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

      The amount of money that’s collected on vehicle excise duty, fuel duty and VAT on fuel and its duty could pay for much better roads and still leave plenty left over for a decent dedicated cycle path network that all joins up.

  40. Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Some good points

    Additionally, where railway bridges reduce access to a single column with traffic lights – and there are a large number, get the bridge rebuilt so the span covers the whole road allowing normal flow of traffic.

  41. Posted December 21, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    All excellent ideas. I’d add “Stop the obsessive drive to put traffic lights on every single junction”.

  42. Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    I get all my diverse groceries via an online retailer. My grocery driver makes about 27 “drops” per shift in the whole of an area the size of Lancashire. With all the innovations to roads, rail, and cycle tracks he could make even more deliveries and earn quite a pretty penny I’ll be bound.
    Meanwhile, I have cunning plan which will keep the driver fully employed and ensure even more people will get their groceries..without one single error, without having to book delivery time in advance . Also relieve tremendous unnecessary pressure on the road and rail system at large.
    I’m going call my new invention “Shop” ( Details will follow… )

  43. Posted December 21, 2016 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Lifelogic – try finding some other way of expressing yourself “indeed , indeed , indeed” is boring . Equally “crap” is indeed crap !.

  44. Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

    Workday travel for individuals if organised from above would be stupid. No Organiser in the Sky so to speak would have the criss-crossing back and forths of persons of equal skill sets.
    So, we should not try to make The Stupid marginally more efficient and effective. This just increases and encourages the criss-crossings and thus compounding the error.

    Not enough work has been done to eliminate the need for travel of workers and in reducing the distribution distances of goods. There seems only a silly movement to the opposite because of insistencies of free enterprise which won’t stop making ten of something with the get-out of “choice” when one will do.Government seems to have got the hang of “no-choice” when it comes to the provision of internet and phone services where effectively there is a duopoly comprising two companies who despite modern technology and fibre optics, satellite communication, still fail to make nationwide connection for a simple phone call. What an utter failure for the Free Enterprise notion! Not free but expensive, inefficient and can’t cover an island!

  45. Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Off Topic

    The vast majority of the public supported giving bail to Sargeant Blackman who is in jail for killing an Afghan. Once again our high and mighty judges have decided the public know nothing and have refused his bail for Christmas. I hardly think he is a danger to society and nothing like some of the thugs they let out on a regular basis. Immigrants who have committed crimes in this country get better treatment. Disgraceful!!

  46. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:07 pm | Permalink

    Sensible, efficient transportation does not allow for in the economic plane, private property and its development. This higgledy-piggledy Californian mid-nineteenth century shanty town development in our towns and cities needs to stop. While ever we road-around various private properties and, add-on and take-out on the basis of personal whim and personal power concentrations will always lead to chaos and the inability to produce proper transport links.
    Surprising how some leading acting members and financial contributors to UKIP were motivated in some part if not all because the government had the temerity to rattle their cages by proposing to have a transport link in sight ( 18 miles to the horizon ) of their more than humble abodes. ..or, perish the thought, wind-turbines! My goodness! Anyone would have thought those pioneering UKIPers were kine-sall-hice ORDINARY people!

  47. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    How about the Council stop wasting our money putting up two ugly metal posts for 20mph signs on cul de sacs that in 27 years I’ve never seen anyone doing more than 20mph in!

  48. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    Definitely more bridges over railway lines (or railway bridges over roads).

  49. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:40 pm | Permalink

    CNBC has just done a feature on US beef farming where a dead carcass gets $500 instead of the customary $1000. It’s all put down to people in the world “just aint buying beef even though its halved in price” I may be the first to use this pun…there seems to be a…disjoint ..in communication/transport somewhere along the line.

    Seriously beef is way out of pocket for many , here, and when our society is bloated with roads, communications and advanced technology then something is amiss. In coalmining areas a joint of beef every Sunday was the usual in the poorest of households. I’ve never had so little beef-progress in the last 30 odd years.

  50. Posted December 21, 2016 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    Re level crossings. Can’t help thinking most affect two rail tracks and when open carry two lanes of traffic. Maybe we might be able to have a common set of bridges and underpasses suitable for most crossings. They might be built in factory and lifted into position over a weekend.
    And perhaps we should send our road repairers to Hong Kong to learn how they can and do make major road repairs overnight with all he carriageways being open the next morning.

  51. Posted December 21, 2016 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    Yesterday I drove from Leeds to Wokingham via Birmingham. Arrived at Coppid Beech roundabout at 3.10pm and there I hit the only congestion of the whole journey.

  52. Posted December 21, 2016 at 10:50 pm | Permalink

    Clearly, we need a lot more people and a lot more traffic here. More cars mean more car tax = more tax for government. That summarises government thinking for the last 20 years.

  53. Posted December 22, 2016 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Local authorites seem to be regulation and control mad. A town in the Netherlands did away with all traffic lights and road markings and accidents actually decreased. Drivers paid more attention to other traffic and didn’t rely on ‘the system’.

    By contrast in my northern England locality we were asked if we wanted 20mph speed limits and everybody I knew said NO. Needless to say, thousands were spent on imposing 20mph zones with humps and obstacles everywhere. Drivers still go at exactly the same speed as before in our (wide and so far hump-free) street and ignore the speed limit as it is widely seen as just stupid. Driving is after all a process of continuous judgement including what speed is appropriate.

    All these bureaucrats do is anger the taxpayer, waste our money, and tick boxes for Whitehall. I would like to see businessmen running the council for a change, concentrating on motivation and frugality instead of control and mindless waste.

  54. Posted December 22, 2016 at 1:17 am | Permalink

    Dr Redwood, Your time would be better spent campaigning for sustainable population growth or preferably none at all. Tinkering with a system that

    Imagine a Britain in which people could live and work locally as houses are relatively cheap making it much less costly to move.
    Imagine a Britain where skills and making things of real worth are valued.
    Imagine a Britain less crowded with more open spaces.
    Imagine a Britain more at ease with itself, more trusting of neighbours because we recognise we all share common values.

    I knew of such a Britain in the early 1960’s. Perhaps you do too.
    This was a Brtain that was then despised by a political class that sought to destroy it.

    I will tell you a story.

    In 1965 I drove an ex army Bedford truck down from Hull to London . It was a Sunday so I was able to park in the centre of the capital free of charge with a 20 foot flatbed. Even then it was very busy but the traffic seemed to flow better with far less red lights. No congestion charge, bicycle lanes, traffic wardens or wheel clamps. Bliss.

    I had a hotel booked so parked up on the roadside ..my load of machinery was strapped on and covered with a tarp..but in those days i didn’t need to worry about theft.

    The following morning the hotel manager cheerfully gave me directions out of London so I headed towards London bridge and kept going until I got to the A1. No M1 in those days ofcourse.

    I was in a hurry and pushed the Bedford to it’s limit … 50 miles North of London it boiled and the truck eventually rattled so badly I had to stop. No problem I just put my thumb up and a car stopped and dropped me of at a local garage. Wouldn’t dream of doing that today far too dangerous even if someone did bother to stop..

    The garageman agreed to come out with me to the truck on a Sunday with his van but there was nothing he could do for my leaking radiator . He said ‘try the local fire station they run Bedford’s’.

    Anyway the garageman who I had never met before, lent me his van and tools and off I drove to the firestation. I had a word with the chief officer and he let me buy a radiator from the stores for £10. That wouldn’t be possible today there would be too many forms to fill in.

    So i drove back to the Bedford in the borrowed van and fitted the new radiator with my borrowed tools ..returned the van and the garageman dropped me back and refused to take any payment. Who does that sort of thing today?.

    I’m off again but unfortunatly just North of Birmingham the Bedford cylinder head gasket blows. Luckily I’m able to pull in to a yard off the road to let the engine cool.
    A kindly couple are doing some gardening and come over for a chat. They offer to let me use their telephone to ring my boss to bring a spare cylinder head.
    I thank the couple and return to my cab awaiting my rescue – a few minutes later the couple asked me if i’d like to come in the house for a ‘spot of tea’. I’m grateful as I had a long wait ahead of me.

    My point is, Britain just a few decades ago, was a much gentler, safer and kinder place.!
    I don’t think it was that unusal to recieve so many acts of kindness from strangers in those days – we have lost something very important.

    Britain was better in so many ways..what have the politicians done to my country!

    They tell us how they are so much more superior now, that they have embraced political correctness and abolished the need for anyone ever to be offended .

    They pat themselves on the back because they spend some obscene amounts of money in some far corner of the globe, or topple some tyrant with no plan of what to do after…. and yet don’t have an ounce of concern for the damage they done in their own backyard.

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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