Better roads

The government is currently consulting on a network of A rods that have strategic importance, to supplement the national network of motorways and trunk roads. These strategic A roads will continue to be local roads under the control of the local Highways Authority – a County or Unitary Council. They will be able to bid for substantial funds for major improvement schemes for these roads. I have been a keen advocate of such an approach. The Transport Secretary has secured extra money for later in this Parliament to provide assistance with these works.

The government has set out in its Consultation document a suggested map of routes that could be included. These tend to be large A roads where there has already been some substantial upgrades and improvements, dual carriageways and recently de trunked routes. The main aim is to choose roads with substantial current road usage, that link substantial settlements. They also need to consider the role of busy routes where they act to take some local journey pressure off an adjacent national highway. I would also trust they will consider roads that may not currently have very high usage, but given likely growth in development will be hitting those levels within the planning period of this initiative.

You might like to look at what is being proposed for your local area and to make some observations to your Council. Councils also need to consider what improvements they would wish to propose once some local roads are designated. Some will need extra capacity by dualling, some better junctions to improve safety and flows, some will need bypasses round settlements and bottlenecks.

On Friday I spent time with Wokingham Borough Council, one of the two local Highways Authorities in my constituency, discussing their response to the Consultation. They too welcome the general approach. The government has set out an indicative map of routes, but is open to persuasion to add or delete roads from the draft. In my area they have proposed designating the A 329M/A3290 Bracknell to Reading route, the A 33 Reading to Basingstoke road, and the A4 into Reading from the east, a relatively recently de trunked road. I have suggested adding the A 327 and the A 329 to these routes, where some major improvement works are already underway with the Winnersh, Arborfield and Shinfield by passes. Wokingham Borough is considering the case for a B road, the Earley peripheral, as well. Anyone with thoughts on this locally should write in to the Council and copy me in to the submission at Parliament.

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  1. Sir Joe Soap
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    And when you’ve covered the South east of England in roads and houses, and houses clothed and fed the poorer half of the developing world and EU, what then? Throw the indigenous population out to create space for more roads and more incomers?
    Get a grip please.
    No more houses. No more roads. Simple.

    • Adam
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      A smaller population would solve many of the problems increasing numbers cause.

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      NIMBY. The bad cholesterol of contemporary society. If you need space, why not move to the Northwest?

      • David Price
        Posted February 21, 2018 at 6:04 am | Permalink

        Why do you believe these immigrants are more entitled to the benefits of infrastructure and services that they haven’t contributed to than those who did establish and contribute?

    • APL
      Posted February 21, 2018 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      Sir Joe Soap: “Throw the indigenous population out to create space for more roads and more incomers?”

      That’s phase 2.
      Phase 1, is to work the system to the extent that your pockets are full, your tax funded pension is assured and your children are comfortably ensconced in a sleepy little sinecure, all at the tax payers expense, where upon:-
      The rest of you can go to Hell.

  2. Andy
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 7:23 am | Permalink

    This will never happen. Brexit will all encompass the government for a decade. Nothing else will happen.

    Your NHS, schools, roads, railways will rot as the Tories fight among themselves about how best to make us all comparatively poorer.

    • Prigger
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

      Yes, we are all doomed. Yet you do nothing to get out of the country before the sky falls in! Leave now, if you’ll pardon your French

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

      It’s strange how reversing something which we were always told was having little effect on us – this had nothing whatsoever to do with the EU, that also had nothing whatsoever to do with the EU – is now all encompassing.

      • alan jutson
        Posted February 19, 2018 at 7:48 pm | Permalink


        If the EU had remained as it was when we joined, when it was the EEC with just free trade, security and co-operation on everything else, then I would suggest most of us who recently voted to leave, would have been happy to remain.

        Problem is it has now morphed into a control freak protectionist huge non democratic state, and it will only get worse.

        I can only guess Andy is not old enough to remember what it was like 40-50 years ago.

        Sad for him really.

      • Andy
        Posted February 19, 2018 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

        The EU has little to do with our roads. Our roads are lousy because MPs in Westminster have failed to fix them.

        The EU has little to do with our schools. Our schools are lousy because Westminster has failed.

        The EU has little to do with the NHS (except that without EU doctors and nurses it would collapse). The NHS is lousy because Westminster has failed.

        Westminster gave us a shiny new billion pound aircraft carrier with a hole in it (and no planes).

        Knife and gun crime is up by a fifth and Westminster has done … NOTHING.

        We have too few houses because of failures in Westminster. And our immigration system is broken because WESTMINSTER failed to fix it.

        On the other hand, the EU looks after the good stuff. It has forced the failures in Westminster to clean up our seas and our beaches.

        It has set down rules on air pollution requiring the Tory layabout government to stop poisoning the young and the infirm.

        It has set strict standards which improve our environment and makes our food and products safer and more efficient.

        The EU has protected consumers, it has protected workers – it has enshrined hideous rights like the right to life, the right not to be tortured and the right to vote in law.

        Our country is a mess. It is failing. And pretty much all of those failures can be blamed squarely on the failing government in Westminster (and its equally bad predecessor).

        And you’ve just voted to ‘Take Back Control’ and give the people who have demonstrably failed repeatedly for decades even more power. Let’s see how well that works out for you.

        I’m guessing, as many of you are pensioners, you’ll need to be considering social care provision at some point. Thank God Westminster doesn’t, ultimately, oversee that. Oh, whoops, wait – it does. Oh well, good luck then.

        • alan jutson
          Posted February 20, 2018 at 8:39 am | Permalink


          And all of which you say, and which I agree in part, has happened when we have been in the wonderful EU.

          At least when we are back in control we will know who to blame, and can vote them out for an alternative, although the alternatives have not proven to be much good either in the past, and certainly the alternative at the moment would be a disaster, either in or out of the EU.

          Better to be a master of your own destiny, than a servant or slave to someone else.

        • Richard1
          Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:37 am | Permalink

          The EU foisted diesel on us, which is estimated to have killed 100ks of citizens prematurely – its not all a bed of roses. How did this happen? An unholy combination of a powerful industrial lobby, the German car industry, and the super powerful green blob, and the EU’S undemocratic policy making process which doesn’t allow for proper scrutiny.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

          Many years trying to educate young innocents like you, but you lack the capacity to absorb and understand facts when presented to you …

    • Richard1
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

      There are c 165 countries around the world which aren’t members of the EU. Many are now richer and show faster growth than those in the EU – how do you square that?

      • Andy
        Posted February 19, 2018 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

        This depends on how you define richer – and also on your values.

        If you take the most recent IMF figures (and obviously as Brexiteers I’d expect you all to reject them on the basis that they’re from experts) – then the average GDP per capita across the EU is a tad under $36k per annum. This would place the EU as the 36th richest country if it were a country. (Though the majority of those above it are EU / EEA countries). The EU average is, obviously, pulled down by countries like Bulgaria and Romania which are still developing – but which are getting richer fairly quickly.

        Most of the other really rich countries are in the Middle East. They’ve got rich on oil wealth – and, while they’re rich, I wouldn’t want to live there. You don’t get to do lots of normal things – like vote, for example.

        As for the countries elsewhere which are growing faster – of course they are growing faster. They are starting at a lower base. When you have little in the way of an economy it is easier to grow it faster than when you have a mature, developed economy. So says all of economic history just about ever.

        If you voted Brexit to get rich, you’re going to be disappointed. We are all getting comparatively poorer over the next few decades and, the key point, today’s young people will not forget that it was Mr Redwood’s party that made it happen.

        • Richard1
          Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:33 am | Permalink

          The growth performance of the eurozone both since its formation in 99 and since the 08 crisis puts it at the bottom end of the global league, indicating EU integration has done nothing for economic growth. Of course the EU includes developed western countries. But how do you square the fact that the US Canada Australia Switzerland Singapore etc etc all do perfectly well – in many cases better than most of the EU – without being in the EU? Your posts simply assert that out of the EU the UK will be poorer. But you advance no arguments as to why. The reality is it depends on the policies adopted post Brexit.

        • Denis Cooper
          Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          Only “comparatively” poorer, then, even on your warped view.

          • Andy
            Posted February 20, 2018 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

            At the moment you and your children are about as rich as people in Spain, Belgium, France.

            It is perfectly possible that, despite Brexit, your children and grandchildren will be richer than you are today.

            However, they’ll no longer be as rich as their counterparts in Spain, Belgium and France.

            You voted for them to fall behind. You didn’t read the small print – and they will suffer as a result. But you’re alright so that’s okay then, isn’t it?

            Perhaps in GDP per capita terms Brexit Britain will keep pace with Slovenia and the Baltics – but then maybe not.

            Incidentally the richest European country which is not in either the EU, the EEA or in a Customs Union with the EU is Belarus. Something for Brexit to aspire to, eh? (We’ll probably end up with human rights to match too).

          • Denis Cooper
            Posted February 21, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

            You have no idea what you are talking about. I well recall people like you warning of the dire consequences if we didn’t join the euro, the truth turned out to be opposite to their warnings.

    • agricola
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

      And a plague of locust will infect your fields, if you believe such caca de vaca.

    • Edward2
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      You are descending into trolling and rants Andy.
      You started with some well argued posts.
      Sad really.

    • Anonymous
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      Wishful thinking on Andy’s part.

      Remainers have been woefully poor at predicting things so actively seek to derail Brexit to prove themselves right.

      “It cannot be that the common and uneducated are more intelligent than me.”

      • Andy
        Posted February 19, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

        I am not seeking to derail Brexit. I don’t have to. The train is already well off the tracks – it will crash without my help.

        I am a Remainer but I am firmly of the opinion that not only should Brexit happen, but we should have the hardest Brexit possible as quickly as possible.

        The Tory right will not stop whinging until they get what they’ve been whining about for decades. So, my view, is let them have it – and let them own it.

        If Mr Redwood is right and everything is roses he can gloat. If he is wrong, then the Tory right is dead for ever.

        I win either way. I can’t lose. But you can.

    • APL
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

      Andy: “Your NHS, schools, roads, railways will rot ”

      You should try living in Greece under European Union enforced austerity. In the decade since the 2008 financial crash the annual death toll has doubled.

      The EU has taken the right to seize and sell off property of people who cannot afford to pay their taxes, and much of the infrastructure is being sold lock stock and barrel to outside interests.

      Now, to add insult to injury the Turks (our supposed ally) are posturing and hinting they will take back Ottoman territory they lost in 1918.

      The sooner we leave the EU the better.

      • Andy
        Posted February 20, 2018 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

        The sovereign Greek government is not in a good way. But is is just one of 28 EU member states – and for every Greece there are several countries which are doing rather well. How’s Denmark getting on? And Luxembourg? And Ireland?

        Your example simply proves that within the EU nation states are in charge of their own destiny.


        • APL
          Posted February 21, 2018 at 9:59 am | Permalink

          Andy: “The sovereign Greek government is not in a good way. But is is just one of 28 EU member states”

          You demonstrate in your of use words that you do not understand their meaning. The Greek government has no sovereignty.

          Andy: “for every Greece there are several countries which are doing rather well ”

          Denmark, Luxembourg and Ireland, you have a very peculiar understanding of the term ‘several’.

          What you actually seem to be saying is that for every country the EU ruined, three will do very well.

          So in fact you are condemning one third of the EU to poverty and economic destruction. Good unifying policy.

          By the way, Spain ( 50% youth unemployment) , Italy and Portugal are not doing too well.

          As an aside in terms of population Greece (11 million) in destitution means that more of the European Union population is suffering austerity and attenuated life expediency than the other three countries you mention.

          Denmark 5.7 million pop.
          Luxembourg 0.5 mil pop
          Ireland 4.7 mill pop.

          So, the eleven million population of Greece can take a running jump because the combined ( but lesser ) population of Denmark Luxembourg and Ireland is doing OK?

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      You are on to something: privatise the NHS facilities. That should raise a few hundred zillion pounds (just look at the redevelopment value of many hospital sites (why should the health industry not be located in industrial parks?) that could be redeployed elsewhere. And brexit will increase the demand for road space, if Rotterdam etc become relatively less important.

  3. Duyfken
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    My priority for roads is that they should be fit for purpose, and unfortunately that is not always the case especially after winter. I refer to potholes, and so many local authorities struggle to cope. Pothole repair machines are now available (from USA) and Councils might or should avail themselves of these despite the capital cost. My own Council, Shropshire is usually satisfactory on road maintenance but just go over the border to Herefordshire and one immediately risks the car’s suspension, a circumstance which seems to get no better as one travels to counties further south.

  4. Lifelogic
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    I regularly use the M25, M4, M40 and M3 and often the average speed is as low as 20 mph. Much of the M4 is restricted to 50mph with average speed cameras too so even if it is empty you can only do 50.

    We need to double the capacity of these roads.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      We also need a extra runways at Heathrow and Gatwick asap with a rapid HS shuttle link between them. Plus improvements all over the network. The undoing of the road blocking and anti-car policies that have gone on for so many years under both flavours of government.

      Largely driven by deluded green crap and a desire to tax motorist to the hilt while not providing new road space for them.

      We certainly do not need HS2 at all.

  5. Bryan Harris
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    My MP tells me that ‘The Government is investing £350 million to improve local roads’ and ‘this investment will also help boost regional economic growth. In fact, the Government will be spending £1,209 per head in the Southern regions on transport infrastructure through to 2021.’
    This is actually a paltry amount of money to spend on something that is vital for our economic survival – We need to do more than just widen and tinker at roundabouts…
    It always amazes me, that the governments approach to travel lacks any scientific basis –
    Millions of journeys are made daily, but I doubt we have any analysis of them… where they go and why.. and how many journeys could be eliminated with more people using technology?

    • Adam
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Personal demand for travel is automatically disciplined by the amount of time, effort & cost the traveller tolerates vs gain. Adding to the cost of fuel would exert further weight against needless journeys. To some extent, the Congestion Charge works, but it wastefully adds clumsy admin. Congestion would be reduced by siting attractions less close together.

      Technology, such as text, imaging & video conferences have reduced much wasted business travel, especially, but many of those folk prefer moving about in cars, trains, boats & planes largely for their own enjoyment. A key saving yet to reach widely is 3D printing. When individuals can print out their needs locally in their own home or office, delivering the large lumps & packing around may be eliminated.

  6. Leslie Singleton
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    Dear John–This all sounds too complicated and subjective to me–What is wrong with having as a target simply the elimination–usually just widening–of all rate-determining steps (as anybody with a knowledge of Chemical reactions would say)?–The Council and Government agonising over judgement, and wasting time and money doing so, I can do without

  7. duncan
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    The UK is on a road to nowhere with this directionless and disorientated individual as the driver at the wheel of Tory party. We’ve found ourselves in a cul de sac, blocked in by a BMW, an Audi, a Peugeot and a Citroen. She’s trying back up but the neighbours refuse to budge. In fact a Fiat’s just turned up as well. There’s no way out. We need a helicopter to extricate us from the mess created by driver May

  8. NorthbyEast
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Just shows you how critical things are right now when we are reduced to talking about sideshow issues like roads and travel?

    • Prigger
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      We have to plan for a mass exodus of Remoaners at the end of March 2019. Only the most brazen will show themselves as still living in the UK as they say life is impossible out of the EU.
      I propose we start a national collection, perhaps the national Lottery will make a contribution…lay on buses and extra trains, etc ed

      • fedupsoutherner
        Posted February 19, 2018 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

        I’ll give Andy a free lift

    • Dennis
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

      N by E – quite correct – the real issue which encompasses all problems is the massive overpopulation of the UK. I’ve posted here a few times how to user friendly fix that.
      (Over time of course)

    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

      Roads are key to the UK’s future outside the European economic system.

  9. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    Off-topic, why is Theresa May permitting the “leaders” of ten UK cities to make addresses directly to the EU’s chief negotiator? I can understand why Michel Barnier might see it as potentially advantageous for the EU and the other EU member states if he makes direct contact with various dissident individuals and institutions within the UK – in much the same way that in a previous era the Soviet bloc actors could see advantages in direct links with sympathisers, fellow travelers and potential agents within the UK – but why on earth is Theresa May allowing it? Like the Scottish government these UK municipal authorities are not parties to the EU treaties, they have no role in foreign affairs beyond that allowed to them by the UK authorities, so why are the UK authorities allowing them to use public resources to run off to Brussels in attempts to influence negotiations? Is Newcastle, for example, now running its own foreign policy? Not that I have heard.

    • Mark B
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

      Because they can say things that would get TM the boot and give her a reason to cave in on another red line.

  10. Tad Davison
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 11:50 am | Permalink

    The private car is still the most convenient way to travel. In my own case, it gets me to where I want to go, when I want to be there, and far more cheaply than any mode of public transport. Until they invent something better or tax it to oblivion, I aim to keep using it.

    It’s just sad that extra road capacity needs to be found to solve a problem that should have been seen coming a long time ago had the politicians of the time been astute enough to realise the likely consequences of their own actions, but we have got to the stage where even minor roads have become gridlocked at peak times. Other roads being more or less gridlocked most of the time.

    I can’t wait to hear what that so-called environmentalist and arch Europhile, Ms Lucas, has to say about a new road building programme. She seems to want to keep the EU’s free movement of people in perpetuity, even though the concreting over of yet more countryside is an inevitable consequence of exponential population growth and goes against the very ethos of the movement she purports to promote.

    Quite where these people come from is anybody’s guess, but every time I get stuck in a traffic jam, I know where I’d like to tell them to go to!

    Tad Davison


    • Mark B
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

      Watermelons don’t do environment.

  11. alan jutson
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    John, I am all for better designed and modern roads which will facilitate better movement and improved efficiency, so this is good news, providing the so called grant from Central Government is large enough for Councils to be able to afford their share of the cost to complete such.

    A number of roads have undergone modification locally at significant cost, but we have little improvement to show for it.

    £ Millions spent on the A329 and Lower Earley Way to create a cycle path that seems little used.

    £ Millions spent on the A329m Interchange with the M4 which has meant a one lane reduction and more accidents and near misses at Junction 10.

    £ Millions spent on the Station road approach, but no right turn from Shute End one way system into the Station.

    Who would be responsible for the design of the roads and junctions you highlight, the Council or Highways.

    Reply The first and third are WBC. The government as owner of the M4 led on the interchange with the A329M which is a WBC highway. I have made representations about the need for an improved answer.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Same in Cambridge Alan. The local council can’t wait to blow money on road ‘improvements’ that give priority to cyclists, then wonder why traffic crawls instead of making progress. They make cycle lanes that cyclists rarely use, and instead, they ride on the road still holding everybody up including buses and HGVs with a schedule to keep. We have an expensive near blanket 20 mph speed limit throughout the city which at peak times is a joke because a motorist would do well to make half that. At other times, it is totally disregarded and never enforced. And the new development at Cambridge railway station has to be seen to be believed – absolute built-in gridlock with hoards of taxis vying with private cars for the few available spaces by which to pick up and set down passengers. And even then, cars have to go all around the houses to get there in the first place, along roads that are difficult to negotiate.

      If someone set out with the express intention of causing unnecessary traffic congestion, and creating a disincentive to visit and spend money locally, Cambridge is the best example to follow. But that’s what we get with a Labour or a Lib Dem council. I only wish the Tories could be relied upon to do better.


      • Rien Huizer
        Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:57 am | Permalink

        Cycling would improve your mood and outlook on life. Sedentary types tend to be more pessimistic. Or does one have to be an optimist to cycle in mixed traffic?

        • Tad Davison
          Posted February 20, 2018 at 11:13 am | Permalink

          The duty remoaner, struggling to find a good worthwhile argument, so resorts to saying any old garbage. Typical for the breed. You’ll be getting the sack!

    • Know-Dice
      Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Too true Alan, Lower Earley Way originally planing consent didn’t include the wooden fencing that was suddenly put in, WBC said they could do it without additional permission because it was “street furniture”… and why would the Lycra clad brigade use the cycle way when they would have to give way to other road traffic at each junction?

      Whilst on the lets slag off the council bandwagon, what about all those pay and display machines that Reading Council has put in around the University – Pepper Lane & Elmhurst Road, always virtually unused as all of the students now park in Hamilton Road, which has now become a nightmare for the residents who live there.

      Then there is the RBH parking or lack of…don’t planners understand that sick people don’t want to worry about finding a parking space…

  12. nigel seymour
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

    I wonder how the MP finger pointers regarding sex pests, molesters, gropers, fondler’s blah blah will react to Brendan Cox in the chamber on their return. I wouldn’t mind betting that it’s quietly ignored until it’s out of the news. I personally think good goose / gander …

  13. Adam
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    A flat line of grass originally separated opposite-destined traffic on the M1. The central barrier was an afterthought, added to avoid dual-speed collision.

    Many UK roads allow drivers travelling in opposite directions to share the same road space, & risk collision at 120mph. No barrier. Nor even a one-way exclusive lane.

    Yet on motorways, where one-way exclusivity prevails, a central barrier wastes a lane of road space to separate opposite-approaching vehicles. The barrier adds cost complication & construction time, increases congestion, wastes driver time & fuel, reduces safety space between each vehicle, & obstructs emergency services.

    A hard shoulder exists for refuge, & is ideally unused, but its wasteful lack of use is doubled, by having two.

    A single emergency lane in the centre of a motorway with the slowest traffic closest to it, would add some 33% to the usable road surface. The fastest traffic would be 8 lanes apart from that in its opposite direction: Not sharing the same space as on many UK roads!

    Adding 33% capacity to existing road use presents a freer safer-flowing option than the present clunky arrangement.

  14. Prigger
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Concreting and tarmacing over the Thames outside the Houses of Parliament forming a road and also building a nuclear power station there would kill two birds with one stone.

  15. Ian Russell
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    The MRN consultation can bring common sense to transport planning.

    In our area, the proposed MRN shows the A131 Braintree-Sudbury, the current strategic lorry route. The ‘Suffolk Leaders Group’ propose to spend £500,000 of the business rate retention fund to develop the business case for a £50 million bypass to link the A131 to the A134 north of Sudbury.

    The DfT wants to select the most economically important roads for the MRN. Suffolk County Council reluctantly released , under an FOI request, their 2016 count of traffic on the A134. This shows shows the A134 Colchester to Sudbury carries FOUR TIMES more commercial traffic than the A131.

    £50 million would be better spent on an east-west link road between north Essex (A120 to Stansted Airport) and south Suffolk (Ipswich, Felixstowe). Your point that the DfT should consider roads with potential to balance the flow of traffic in the area is correct.

    Meanwhile the A134 exists. Safety and flow can be improved by minor improvements.

    PS The government needs to have a good look at housing, transport and growth policy. It’s all to easy to build houses and create a demand for roads for commuting. It’s more difficult to bring about economic growth in communities but we must do it.

  16. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    It may be worthwhile keeping an eye on this website:

    which has been recently launched specifically to counteract the prevailing media view that all sensible and informed people oppose Brexit.

    A task which should of course fall within the remit of the government department set up to manage Brexit, except that somebody or other has decided that it should never defend the very purpose for which it was set up.

    Here is an interesting article:

    “Recent Estimates of the Economic Impact of Brexit”

    This is from the last paragraph:

    “The Scottish Government reproduces the flaws in the Treasury’s 2016 report, and calculates a negative economic impact of Brexit which is exaggerated perhaps by as much as four-fold … The Cambridge Econometrics report for the Mayor of London is methodologically much sounder. The problem here is not the estimates themselves, but the prominence given in the report, and hence in media coverage, to negative aspects while ignoring those more favourable to Brexit. Finally, the leaked DEXEU report represents a new departure in the Brexit debate – a confidential report which predicts negative consequences without any indication of who generated the predictions or what methods were used. Needless to say this is a completely unsatisfactory way to conduct government business.”

    Is it now known who leaked that confidential report? Or is nobody bothered?

    • Denis Cooper
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

      And then the author of that article is interviewed on the BBC, and it is made clear that the presenter naturally prefers to believe the exaggerations in the leaked confidential report rather than his criticisms … I want to know who originally ordered that report to be prepared, and who carried out the work, and who leaked it; and I would have thought that both the Prime Minister and the Cabinet Secretary would also want all those questions to be properly answered and if necessary would have called in the police to investigate, instead of which it seems that it is being covered up; and I would have thought that MPs would also want answers to all those questions.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 6:54 pm | Permalink


      I was pleased to see the interviewee on today’s Daily Politics Show came from Cambridge. I also liked the solid assertion that the treasury models that predicted so much doom and gloom were flawed. Things are looking up. The remoaners will get found out in the end.


    • Rien Huizer
      Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:01 am | Permalink

      “the prevailing media view” ? Telegraph, Murdoch papers and Express are not exactly brevet-sceptic imo. Commercial TV and radio likewise. What media do you refer to? The painstakingly accurate and blissfully commercial-free BBC? And there is a lot of internet news to enjoy

  17. Richard1
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    Off topic I see Mr Verhofstadt warns that the European Parliament could veto any Brexit deal. For that reason alone its essential the govt prepares thoroughly for the WTO outcome – in fact its a good non-controversial excuse for doing so.

  18. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    From Martin Howe QC:

    “The European Union’s proposals for the UK’s transition period make grim reading. They are the sort of terms which might be imposed by a victorious power in war on a defeated enemy. They are not terms which any self-respecting independent and sovereign country could possibly agree to, even for an allegedly limited period.”

    • acorn
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

      Denis the EU does not want a transition / extension period via Art 50(2) or Art 50(3). The EU wants the UK out of the EU and reverting to being a “third country” at 29/3/19. Any post Brexit relationship the UK will have with the EU, will be via Art 49 of the Lisbon Treaty. Art 50 is a process, it does not bequeath anything tangible, to a member state that is voluntarily leaving the EU Club.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        acorn, why do you pretend that you have some kind of inside knowledge of the EU’s desires and plans? It could clearly be to everybody’s advantage to allow for the possibility of delayed implementation of some changes, and after all that it what the EU does in many other cases such as trade treaties. It is the UK government which has decided to try to convert that sensible proposal for transitional provisions into an idiotic oxymoronic “status quo” transition during which nothing will change. As for Article 49 TEU, that is about an additional country joining the EU and so ceasing to be a “third country” in its eyes, it is not about a third country making an agreement with the EU and its members without acceding to the EU.

    • Timaction
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. I watched with anger how Verhofstad wants us to continue with regulatory alignment on ALL our trade and businesses AFTER we leave the EU. Please tell Mr Davis that is NOT acceptable and get Ms May off her knees and stand up to these charlatans and bullies. They couldn’t have played the negotiations worse if they tried. In fact, I’m pretty sure most people would have done better. £40 billions for nothing, plus all our considerable billions of other assets just to talk about trade, whilst allowing 10’s millions more in chain migration here! Pension, public servives, health and housing on arrival!
      Mr Marr’s patsy interview demonstrated why the BBC is beyond redemption and should be broken and sold off or made subscription. We shouldn’t be made to pay for this left wing dogma! We now have to rely on the internet for real not fake news from the msm!

  19. Dennis Zoff
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Really John…Rome burns while blind-eyed politicians fiddle!

    Can the Government please get to grips with our crumbling road infrastructure?

    Many roads in the UK are starting to resemble ex-DDR roads prior to 1989. Surely the first Government priority should be to adequately fund local authorities via the money gained from motorist’s vehicle tax and focus on fixing the current road infrastructure; before Politicians dream up another fanciful non-achievable project!

    Talk about politicians deflecting from the real issues?

    Reply Improving a network of strategic local roads will include deep maintenance and repair as well as improvement and expansion of capacity. This is not fiddling, this is an attempt to improve things!

    • Dennis Zoff
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 8:46 pm | Permalink

      Yes John appreciated

      …but actions speak louder than words…and there has been very little serious A+B road improvements over the past 10 years; with councils complaining that it is the government’s fault for the lack of central funding, which has been dwindling for years; requiring councils to seek alternative income sources such as high parking fees, increased housing rates, reduced services and ridiculous speed traps etc! I am talking about everyday normal road usage as a priority – not strategic).

      The “Better roads” idea is commendable, but until we see demonstrable actions taken on our existing roads, it is just more political waffle, deflection and fiddling!

  20. Southsouthwest
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    While acknowdgling that this diary is speaking for England i would like to make the point that withdrawl by British/english first world language speakers from the various EU councils parliaments etc will mean a huge reduction of the import of the english language at this level and then the probability of the advancement of french and german..and as it turns out the only people left representing the english language at this exposure will be by Irish speakers..and so hiberno english arrives…top of the morning…isn’t it strange how the world turns? Michael o’sullivan

    • Longinus III
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

      More people will be learning English in India and China than live in Europe. French and German will be an irrelevance, like Gaelic.

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        And as China extends it’s influence more people will be learning- and speaking in -Chinese.In the fullness of time which will prevail?Why don’t we still speak Latin or Classical Greek?!

  21. APL
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    “Better Roads”

    We are now in a Tory administration run by the hapless Theresa May, who it seems is about to bung billions of pounds sterling to the EU for a not very good deal.

    So after seven years of Tory administration we’re just thinking about better roads.

    Would you, John Redwood, say we the British people are getting a good deal from our government?

    I wonder also, if you think the foreign policy pursued by her predecessor David Cameron was successful and achieved its goals?

    Here is a select check list of outcomes of David Cameron’s premiership.

    Aspiration – Destroy Libya – Achieved
    Result – Islamic slave markets in Tripoli
    – Massively increased migration across the Med.

    Do you think these were positive outcomes of our last Tory administration?
    Reply I write a lot about foreign policy and the EU. I also work hard on domestic issues, as normal life goes on and people want their local and national governments to provide better services and facilitate their lives where the government has a role, as with transport

    • Timaction
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

      But unfortunately you and other sensible Tory or Labour MP’s are not allowed anywhere near the decision or policy making ends of Government and just make up the lobby fodder at the whim of your whips, imposing more EU law and regulations on us!
      We need radical change to our voting and political system to ensure we all get a voice. Proportional representation and many more independents standing to dent the fptp legacies who deliver more of the politically correct, corrosive madness!

      • APL
        Posted February 20, 2018 at 7:20 am | Permalink

        Timeaction: “Proportional representation ”

        Nope. Too opaque and complicated. How about the Swiss system of frequent local referenda. It seems works well for them.

        Timeaction: “and many more independents standing ”

        I have frequently advocated voting independent Tory. Conservative central office, has a half nelson on the Parliamentary party. An actual case of the tail ( or regions there about ) wagging the dog.

    • APL
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

      JR: “I write a lot about foreign policy and the EU.”

      And very interesting it is too. Thank you.

      But do you think the Cameron administration’s foreign policy in Libya was a success.

      NB. There are Islamic slave markets in Libya in the twenty first century.

      • APL
        Posted February 20, 2018 at 7:15 am | Permalink

        APL: “But do you think the Cameron administration’s foreign policy in Libya was a success.”

        I mean, is it right that a man can capriciously destroy a prosperous country, and walk away, without so much as an; “Oops, that was a mistake. Sorry.’

        Until Cameron, I thought Blair was the most despicable British leader. But now, I’m not so sure.

      • Mitchel
        Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:30 am | Permalink

        And,pushed out of Syria, IS is re-grouping in Libya,waiting to cross the Med.

        • APL
          Posted February 20, 2018 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

          Mitchel: “IS is re-grouping in Libya,waiting to cross the Med.”

          And of course, we have no idea if they are not already infiltrating Europe, since it is European Union policy to tow anyone in a leaky dingy across the Mediterranean to Europe.

          Without so much as a, who are you, what have you been doing for the last four years, why are you trying to get to Europe?

          It’s not rocket science, but the basics seem to be beyond the comprehension of our MPs.

  22. Dennis
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Off topic – I have just seen a documentary on RT showing how in 2014 Ireland was told by the EU to privatise their water companies. When told there were no companies (as charges are paid by general taxation) Ire s told to make a company and then privatise it! When water meters were attempted to be installed there were riots.

    Now I had never heard about this but Google shows it was in the news at the time. How come this has not been highlighted by the Leave campaign – it has never been mentioned as far as I know!!

    • Mitchel
      Posted February 20, 2018 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      Shush!Russian propaganda!!

      • Dennis
        Posted February 20, 2018 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

        Are you saying this never happened? You should have checked before posting.

  23. Denis Cooper
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    “Sadiq Khan urges London’s EU citizens to punish Theresa May for ‘Brexit chaos’ in spring local elections”

    “Although EU citizens living in the UK cannot vote in general elections, they are entitled to take part in local elections.”

    Why? Who agreed to that? Oh, yes, I remember, “Sir” John Major. Will they still have the right to vote in our local elections after we have left the EU and are no longer bound by his Maastricht Treaty? Well, of course, because he got Parliament to grant them that right in perpetuity, without taking the risk of consulting the rest of us about it, and Theresa May is not going to take away that right freely granted to them by her predecessor.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

      Another Dud! They’ll pull every devious stroke they can to get their pro-EU way. Some people regard Major as a nice man. The boss won’t allow me to say what I really think of him, so I must try to content myself by saying I absolutely disagree with those who have a good word to say for Major.


    • Peter Parsons
      Posted February 19, 2018 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

      I take it you don’t believe in the principle of “no taxation without representation” then.

      • Denis Cooper
        Posted February 20, 2018 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        I certainly don’t believe that London in 2018 is comparable to the American colonies in 1761.

        It is perfectly normal for a country to restrict the franchise to its own citizens, the abnormal idea is to allow foreigners with no duty of loyalty to the country to nevertheless have the right to vote in its elections and referendums.

    • Prigger
      Posted February 20, 2018 at 12:06 am | Permalink

      Is Major still resident in the EU? We have a year. Then it will be harder

  24. Prigger
    Posted February 19, 2018 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    I personally might come out in support of Corbyn NOT being a spy. I hate Labour 🙂

  25. Ron Olden
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

    The case for saying that the EU ‘stops wars’ is about as reliable as claiming that it’s good for the economy. This BBC News Report today tells us all we need to know about ‘experts’ and the EU.

    I’ve listened to umpteen lectures by ‘experts’ about why productivity growth has slowed down globally in recent years.

    Recently the OBR downgraded its’ UK Growth forecasts because it’s decided that the drop is permanent.

    When challenged that productivity was already much higher in the third quarter of 2017, it said it was probably a blip.

    Perhaps it’s a fact that when you run out of unemployed people, and are threatened with a drop in the endless supply of cheap migrant labour, you have to invest and improve your productivity

    As for the rest of this. Despite unemployment being freakishly low as it is, there were 88.000 more jobs in the three months to December, than there were in the three months to November, and unemployment is far lower than it was immediately before the Leave Vote or in the rest of the EU

    Meanwhile inflation is set to fall sharply, and wage growth is rising.

    I’m still waiting for this economic collapse the Remainer fanatics, keep hoping for. Perhaps they should start inciting a war instead.

  26. Ron Olden
    Posted February 21, 2018 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

    When postin the comment I just put on about ‘productivity’ I was required to identify a street sign in the ‘captcha’ robot’ detection facility.

    The sign read ‘Redwood Street’. I was quite happy to identify it, but of it ever asks me to click on a ‘Soubry Street’, I’m not doing so, and will complain to whoever’s in charge of Street Names.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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