Better transport

It is great news that the Budget will include a major programme to improve our roads. The government briefing says they will spend more on motorway improvements.They will offer a substantial sum to improve strategic local highways. There will be more money for potholes, and more to improve dangerous and congested junctions. There will be more cash to improve access to town centres.

I have been pressing for this for some time. It is welcome when ideas you work on come to fruition. I am asking Wokingham and West Berkshire Councillors to have schemes ready that are likly to qualify for money under these headings. We need better and safer junctions, we need more capacity and better flows at junctions, and we need more capacity on our strategic local highways. On my list is the northern and southern peripherals around Wokingham, the new bridge over the railway, and the rest of the Winnersh by pass.There are various junctions that can be made safer with better flows by putting in roundabouts or rephasing lights with traffic sensors. Splitting turning traffic from straight on traffic would also help.Another Thames crossing would be good but getting agreement from surrounding Councils remains problematic.

Nationally England needs to complete the network of trunk roads and motorways to at least dual carriageway standard and with grade seperated junctions. We need a network of relief A roads for local journeys to relieve the trunk routes. One of the ironies of all the Remain commentary about possible delays at the ports after Brexit is port delay pales into insignificance besides the delays transport companies have to deal with everytime there is a crash or roadworks on one of our limited number of main motorways and trunk roads. Just in Time manufacturers have to build in these delays which are all too regular. One of the ways of raising productivity in the UK is to improve the road network. People running plumbing, electrical, cleaning and other businesses offering a service in people’s homes schedule fewer appointments to allow for the extra time it usually takes to get to the places of work. Delivery companies for on line shopping also have to confront inadequate roads for their vans.

Some green critics complain about any increase in road spending. They should recognise that cutting down on traffic jams and improving flows of vehicles through junctions and over rivers and railway lines cuts down on the amount of fuel burnt by slow moving vehicles, and cuts the amount of emissions hitting people living and working close to busy roads. On line retailers cannot deliver to your door by train or bike, and businesses that need to take tools and materials to a job also need vans. It is time to give them a helping hand. It will require Councils to come up with good schemes to spend the money well. Traffic management needs to help in the task of improving junction safety and vehicle flows.

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89 Comments

  1. Mark B
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Good morning

    The moment a particular route becomes less congested the more people will want to use it. Basic common sense.

    And which sector of the productive economy will have to pay for all this ?

    We would not be in this mess if we had not joined the EU. Other EU countries, such as Spain, have used the money, or more like wasted it, that net contributors like the UK send. We talk about the so called 39bn but what of all those other billions that have been wasted ?

    • Nig l
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

      Look closer to home. 100 billion on foreign aid over the last ten years? I am still waiting for a cost/benefit statement. Fat chance!

      • Hope
        Posted October 29, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

        JR is not being open or transparent on any of the budget blogs. He knows his party has made a mess of things since 2010. JR knows that Osborne and Hammond have lied and made a mockery of UK institutions. OBR was created because faith in the Treasury was lost. The same is now the with BoE and OBR, with higher cost to the taxpayer!

        There was a paper widths difference between Darlings proposals and Osbornes. The only difference was the rate of spending was slightly reduced the rest was spin lines to create a narrative for the plebs to swallow. Lord King made it clear that if the cuts that were needed were actually made that party would never be elected again. Osborne accepted the painful rhetoric over a fiction austerity without delivering, hence why his lie to balance the structural deficit has never been achieved. A bit like the lie immigration cut to tens of thousands, Osborne came clean to state no one was serious in private. His revelation to be spiteful to May for sacking him.

        The public swallowed the scare story about Miliband and Sturgeon getting in power. The reality is May has followed Milibands energy plans and told him in parliament that she would build on it! With the EU in control and the UK acting within its limits, it would have made no difference if Labour remained in govt. The plus side is that we would not have had to tolerate New Labour Cameron or May! They were and are different cheeks of the same arse as Labour.

        We now see the same lies and collaberation over the Brexit debate. Some Tory MPs are more liberal socialist than on the Labour benches!

        Conservative party has no value, soul, principles or conviction. It has but one aim to be in power, even though it does not know what to do or what good it could do for the people.

      • Hope
        Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

        Hammond to hike national insurance for the self employed. Is the action of someone who believes in low taxes! He is determined to whack the strivers, grafters and the prudent. Hammond could have kept a long standing Tory promise to balance the structural deficit. Instead he decided to spend £30 billion instead! Now the false promise delayed until at let 2025. Who would believe or trust this deadly duo?

        Small gimmicks to help people forget May and Hammond have betrayed the nation. This budget confirms the central economic plank promised to us to get the Tories elected in 2010, then 2015, then 2017. Utter lies with an under tone to hold a budget if May’s betrayal is not accepted.

        Let me make it clear there is nothing I can think of that will ever get me to change my mind to never vote for the Tory party ever again. Until Cameron I was a Tory voter. It was clear he told too many lies to be credible. May and Hammond equally as bad.

        Hammond, again claimed to be for low taxes! Taxation at a fifty year high! Hammond did not explain why he is prevented from changing some VAT-because the EU will not let him! How will his low tax claim pan out under EU rules for goods and agri products and the non regression clauses in a host of areas? Meanwhile Hammonds deficit increases next year and the debt and the interest payments, he briefly said in passing, will rise.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 6:55 am | Permalink

      “The moment a particular route becomes less congested the more people will want to use it”.

      Indeed and that is very good and the reason why it should be done. They probably want to get to work or have some other need to travel that is likely to be good for the economy. They will get there more quickly and be more productive. Deterring road use by deliberate congestion as a policy is hugely damaging. If you really must deter you should charge users (and charge more a peak times to smooth the flow) then use this money to increase capacity where needed.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 29, 2018 at 8:06 am | Permalink

        Why build something if people did not want to use it – that would be stupid?

    • Stred
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

      The Spanish and Poles get good uncrowded roads and it looks like we will be having more ‘smart’ motorways with occasional space for breakdowns and 40 mph limits and more jams. Both paid for by British taxpayers.

    • Peter
      Posted October 30, 2018 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Comments section largely serves as an echo chamber for views expressed in the article. So posts that do not share the same views on roads and cars get delayed or deleted.

      There is no joined up thinking on roads and cars. Instead developers are given permission to just build lots of accommodation on spare land with no supporting infrastructure. This is described here
      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-45956792

      It would be far more sensible to provide basic facilities such as shops and doctors in new developments themselves rather than have residents completely dependent on their own cars to survive.

  2. Nig l
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    The investment is to be welcomed, nonetheless your government’s desperation to get more houses built resulting in many schemes being built where the infrastructure is already creaking is a prime cause. In my area no amount of clever re-engineering can overcome the fact that the main roads have no more capacity at peak times because of the bottlenecks, junctions, roundabouts etc. All,that happens is the jam moves further down the road.

    Rushmore BC and others need to think bigger picture with larger one way schemes. Yes it might mean larger local journies but a shorter time and less pollution. It could also free up more space for safer bicycle lanes. Many European towns and cities have dedicated lanes on the pavements.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 6:59 am | Permalink

      Well yet the jam moves down the road to the next pinch point that also then needs addressing! So address that too. There is not insatiable demand for road space. People do not want to sit in cars 24 hours a day they want to get from A to B.

      If you really have to deter then charge them not congest and delay them.

    • Alan Jutson
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 8:10 am | Permalink

      Nig 1

      Agreed infrastructure schemes need to be put in place before developments are started like they do in many other Countries
      The fiasco we have in Wokingham must be avoided, where 10,000 houses have been built but the new roads are still awaiting to be connected, the stupid idea of using part of the housing estate roads as part of a relief road beggars belief as the road is too narrow, has too many tight bends, too many small junctions, and will be blocked by parked cars.

      If we are to have new or modified trunk roads, why not 24 hour working to get them completed rapidly unlike the M26 which I travelled along a few weeks ago with miles of slow moving traffic, but not a soul to be seen, let alone working.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      Our local council recently reduced the width of one of our local roads to install a pavement with a cycling lane. Guess what? While some of the locals do tend to use it, the lycra lout club riders insist on remaining on the road, thereby causing the traffic to slow down, and queue up behind them. What’s the point of spending the money?

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted October 30, 2018 at 8:28 am | Permalink

        Chris.

        Happens all the time !

  3. Lifelogic
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 6:47 am | Permalink

    The greens will indeed object to all road investment but they are just deluded on almost everything, rather like T May. Most greens just subscribe to a religious belief system or “gut feelings” (as they drive a few bottles to the recycling centre). Thy do not rely on science, reason or logic. I try not to think with my gut preferring my brain. The more people claim to be greens politically they less understanding of energy and science they seem to have. The one green MP for Brighton is a good example of this (an English graduate).

    Trains, when you consider the whole door to door journey, track, ticketing, stations, energy losses at the power station and in transmission are actually far less energy efficient than a small car and hugely worse than a full small car. Even bikes are not really very green as they a fuelled very inefficiently by human food. A journey by bus can take over two hours when by car it would take 15 minutes due to the winding routes they often take, plus the walk at each end and stops (usually blocking the road for others) every few hundred yards. Bus occupancy is often fewer than 7 from depot to depot too.

    Especially with self driving cars coming fairly soon roads are the way to do. Congestion is a very bad way to restrict traffic growth. If traffic growth needs to be restricted it should be by charging drivers not blocking and delaying them with congestion, that is hugely inefficient and damaging to the economy. Roads do not even need to take up much land they can be double decker and under ground where needed.

    Cars are more flexible, cheaper, quicker can be greener too. That is why most people choose to use them despite the huge fiscal and policy & subsidy bias to trains and public transport.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:10 am | Permalink

      No deal, 
no end to austerity, Chancellor warns of Brexit risk to Budget as Eurosceptics accuse him of ‘bribing’ public. This in the Telegraph today.

      More of a threat than a bribe from this foolish, highest taxes for nearly 50 years, dope.. He need to be replaced by a real Conservative please. High taxes and endless government waste and red tape is the problem not the solution. If it is a bribe it is one made using money stolen off the bribee.

    • Dave Andrews
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:13 am | Permalink

      Well let me be green.
      There will continue to be worsening traffic all the time we are running at such a high immigration rate. More people = more congestion, and the burning of more fossil fuels to drive them around.
      Not only that, if they are travelling from hot countries, they will need the burning of more fossil fuels to keep them warm in our cold winters. So absolutely no more houses built.
      Stop immigration and save the planet. Better still, reverse it.

    • 37/6
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      Scratched record.

      A train makes a town 100 miles away from London commutable @ 24p a mile. Impossible to do in a car.

      • KZB
        Posted October 29, 2018 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

        But is that what we want? The whole country turned into London commuter zones?
        It seems we do, because that is all that HS2 will achieve.

      • Jagman84
        Posted October 29, 2018 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

        My reasonably frugal vehicle (57 mpg) did a 226 mile round-trip to London last weekend on exactly 4 gallons of diesel @ 127p/litre. That worked out at ~10p per mile for fuel. Adding my fixed costs still keeps it well under 20p/mile, with no additional onward travel costs. It was substantially quicker too!

        • 37/6
          Posted October 30, 2018 at 7:55 am | Permalink

          You are not a commuter, clearly. It takes substantially longer by car during peak hours and hundreds of thousands of people who actually have to do this daily have decided that what you propose is a bad idea.

          Your own hourly rate of pay has to be included in that cost for a fair comparison and I see that you have omitted to include it.

      • libertarian
        Posted October 29, 2018 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

        37/6

        Really? What if you live in a town like I do that doesn’t have a railways station? How do you get to a railway station, how do you get from the station 100 miles away to your actual destination? What is I want to travel overnight? What if I want to go to mu;title destinations not on the same route.
        Railways are victorian transport systems

        • 37/6
          Posted October 30, 2018 at 7:57 am | Permalink

          Which is why houses near railway stations are considerably more valuable than yours.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 31, 2018 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

            37/6

            Well in that case you need to add the vastly increased mortgage costs on top of the rail costs then dont you !

            Which makes your 24p figure cobblers

      • Lifelogic
        Posted October 30, 2018 at 4:17 am | Permalink

        The train is heavily subsidised and the car is heavily taxed. The car goes door to door and the train does not. The government had not provided sufficient road space spending most motoring receipts elsewhere. In London and many other places they have actively blocked and constricted the roads.

        The one advantage of the train is you can (perhaps) work on it. If you can actually get a seat that is.

        • 37/6
          Posted October 30, 2018 at 8:00 am | Permalink

          OK. Let’s see how well a candidate does on a ‘scrap the railway, turn them into B roads’ does in an election.

          • libertarian
            Posted October 31, 2018 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

            37/6

            Of course anyone with a modern brain would know that scrapping railways and replacing with roads isn’t the answer either. See if you can work out the most effective thing to do. If you can’t come back to me and I’ll let you know

      • Alan Jutson
        Posted October 30, 2018 at 8:31 am | Permalink

        37/6

        Agreed but that was for one person, and you need to get to and from Stations at each end.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 10:17 am | Permalink

      Perhaps we should concentrate on self-driving small buses first, with technology at stops to request a stop at the Bus stop or within the vehicle on the prescribed route so they don’t have to stop if no-one is there, especially in London where one bus follows another after another within 5-10 minutes of each other.

      They would also be a big help in rural areas to meet trains and give a fully integrated lower cost public transit system, especially if costs were lower because there is no human wage to pay or hours of work rules, rest breaks, or holidays to be concerned with.

      We’re spending all this money on smart motorways when smart driverless cars will soon overtake them.

    • Peter
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

      Cars are little use in London. Mine is garaged, so the street parking is not an issue. However, as soon as I drive off there is usually traffic or parking issues at the other end.

      The problems are not so bad at night, after the rush hour, or if I am going to an out of town shopping centre or golf club. I am not keen on shopping centres though. They are a bit too bland.

      On the other hand, my buses run all night. The station is seven minutes walk and I can use them for free now, having contributed handsomely to their income over many decades. I can also drink alcohol without worrying if I am over the limit.

      Big cities are only really sensible by using public transport. New developments in my borough do not even have provision for parking spaces.

      In the countryside things are different but you get used to it. There is a vast hinterland that is neither town nor country that have poor roads, no shops etc. Not somewhere I would want to live but it is a roof over their head for some poor souls. That said it is probably easier to supply them with basic local amenities than widen roads so that their way of life is based on driving everywhere.

  4. Original Richard
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:04 am | Permalink

    By leaving the EU we will have the money we give to the EU each year (currently £20bn gross, £15bn loss of control and £10bn net but would be increasing if we remained in the EU) to invest in our own infrastructure and institutions instead of it being used to develop and improve other countries infrastructure.

    Also, as an M25 user I look forward to the EU’s early implementation of direct shipping lines between Ireland and mainland EU so as to reduce the environmental impact and congestion caused by Irish lorries travelling to Dover.

    Mr Selmayr told MEPs 14/06/2018 of his proposal to reduce Dublin’s reliance on British shipping connections :

    “The proposal will design a new maritime route to link Ireland with the continental part of the North Sea-Mediterranean corridor.”

  5. Richard1
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:22 am | Permalink

    Did Mr Hammond really say on Andrew Marrs programme that if there is no Brexit deal he will hold an emergency budget to transform the UK into a low tax low tariff Singapore type economy? (I haven’t watched it yet). If so I have never heard a stronger argument for no deal! (But would such a budget pass the House of Commons given its preponderance of continuity remain leftists?)

    • Beecee
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

      It was lefty Marr who said it would be an emergency Budget which, in the bit I have seen, Mr Hammond ignored.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      Richard1

      No he didn’t specifically say this, although the Conservative Chancellor does seem to think there is a new category of law “illegal tax avoidance” The man is a buffoon

  6. Anonymous
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    Motorcycles and scooters still appear to be minority forms of personal transport. There is not enough done to encourage their use.

    • bigneil
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

      Scooters seem to be used for two things only now, by thugs wanting to rob people by throwing acid in their faces, and by teenagers who have no road sense at all.

  7. margaret
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I hope this includes pavements . The council have neglected the pavements in my area. They are full of holes and uneven . Why are pedestrians not given the same consideration?

  8. Lifelogic
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Can someone take Hammond to Singapore please and leave him there until he comes to his senses.

    Average monthly salary in 1990 (approx) Singapore £500 and UK £1000 now (after just 18 years) Singapore £5000 and UK £2000. With tax on the average salary in Singapore circa 12% and the UK circa 30%.

    Yet May and Hammond want to stick to the failed, European high tax, big government and over regulation model!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 8:13 am | Permalink

      No Inheritance tax or CGT either in Singapore – please note Mr Hammond. Also low crime rates and public services that work well unlike the UK.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

      Singapore also has one of the best health services and a very clever method of providing cheap housing for local people in one of the highest cost housing areas in the world

      Trouble is its not in the EU so everyone ignores it as its only the EU that knows how things should be done apparently

  9. Pete Else
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    Given the total failure of government to upgrade roads that were inadequate 30 years ago, prime examples A303, A27, and their current environmental mania I won’t hold my breath.

    • Stred
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      It took 7 hours to drive on the M25, M3 and diverting from the 303 to the A27 and A 31 when we drove to Devon last Friday. No particular jam, just one hold up after another because of a broken down vehicle on a two lane road that has not been widened for 50 years.

    • fedupsoutherner
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Agree Pete with your comments over the A27. This debacle has been going on since I was a child and I am now in my 60’s. Bypass for Arundel still not in place and it’s a hellish place in the summer with all the tourism.

      Also the A75 and A77 which are the two major routes from Stranraer and the NI ferry. Abysmal roads especially the A75 which is also the major route into England from Scotland. Nightmare. I do hope Sturgeon will spend some of her billion on road improvements instead of baby boxes and free sanitary wear for women.

  10. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Notable that politicos are either saying austerity is coming to an end or needs to come to an end.

    Spending has risen every year since 2008 (in line with immigration) it is only higher rate, top rate and discretionary tax payers who experienced real austerity

  11. agricola
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 8:18 am | Permalink

    While you quite rightly back the cause of Wokingham, I as an expat late citizen of Worcester advocate it’s needs. Principal of which is a northern dual carriageway river crossing to feed Hereford, Bromyard, Malvern, and Leominster with traffic from the north. Secondly the southern river crossing, known as the Carrington bridge needs doubling in width and the westerly exit turning into a dual carriageway. Worcester’s roads had more holes and rugosities than a Gruyere cheese, lets hope they have been attended to for my return visit in November.

  12. Turboterrier.
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    The time and effort spent on repairing pot holes is just wasteful. Over a period of months you end up with a patchwork quilt of uneven repairs. Speak to LA Road Engineers “my job is to fill them in and keep the traffic running safely”

    No their job is to ensure the damage we are experiencing never gets so out of control as it does. It is no good just filling the hole and tamping it down unless you seal the edges to prevent water getting underneath the just waiting to freeze in the winter months.

    The edges of roads are not constructed to prevent land run off from getting under the road base layer and washing it away which starts the weakness chain reaction towards slippage and pot holes. Too many minor A roads are just resurfaced with little or no concern to the traffic it is carrying. Within three years the surface is starting to break up.

    Totally correct in your thinking John in that a bit like the NHS just throwing money at roads is not the answer.

  13. Adam
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Vans from different sources make duplicated journeys to the same destinations, obstructing each other as they queue, cross paths & congest. Sorting depots with each destination’s delivery being made by a single local vehicle would prevent much of the waste. Planning & coordination are lacking.

    Click & Collect has assisted the consumer, but is merely a start of such sensible improvements.

  14. Sakara Gold
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    The motoring public have paid for a second Thames crossing many times over: it is now a “Toll” bridge run by French public roads operator Société des Autoroutes du Nord et de l’Est de la France though the tolls are collected by the government and are designated a “charge”

    It is another example of lucrative UK infrastructure assets operated by foreigners. One wonders how much better off the treasury would be had we retained control, and how many sorely needed additional crossings could have been built with the revenues obtained.

    I’ve got no problem with the government spending taxpayers money on the roads, provided they include electric vehicle charging points in preparation for the EV change-over and “smart” technology to control speeds etc

    • Steve
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

      On the subject of electric cars.

      It’ll never happen, or can’t be allowed to happen.

      Electric cars are crap.

      Who but a naive fool, liberal ,or green party voter would buy car that can’t go any decent distance without needing to stop for hours on end, and that has a power source of finite charge cycle life, so that when it’s been charged and discharged a number of times you have to throw the car away because the price for re-celling will be deliberately kept as high as a new car.

      Then there’s the cost; so if they ban petrol cars, therefore making everyone’s petrol cars illegal to take on the roads. Who’s going to pay for the electric replacement ? Oh of course! the public will have to pay for their own, thus massively increasing household and personal debt.

      We shall see if the police, Army, Ambulance service, Fire service, Farmers and Hauliers have to use this technology, I suspect not. It’s just the public being played for a bunch of mugs.

      It’s all about getting us in crippling debt and restricting movement, and the desire to force us to live in an Orwellian world.

      As far as I’m concerned…. ‘government’…..you make my car obsolete you have to provide me with a free replacement of comparable performance. And unless it’s Gas Turbine – Electric (sustained charge) It’s no use to me.

      Electric cars are not a viable alternative to petrol – fact.

      • David Price
        Posted October 30, 2018 at 7:27 am | Permalink

        I don’t support the intended ban on IC vehicles, however like all things in life one size does not fit all and electric transport will suit some while IC vehicles will suit others.

        Range is unlikely to be an issue for many car owners and if you occasionally need more than 300+ miles then there are alternatives or you just plan your journey accordingly. I have to take a rest stop after 150 miles anyway.

        What you call “re-celling” is already available, Nissan announced a program in March 2018 starting in Japan where new battery replacement will cost $6200 – $7800 for 24 – 40 kWh, a lot less than a new vehicle. Even cheaper will be re-fabricated packs which will cost even less – from $2850.

        If it meets your actual needs rather than rare extremes then electric is a viable alternative. I charge my car from solar panels on the roof so have a much lower running cost and much less restriction than when I drove a diesel. Even during winter months I can generate enough to run the car “off-grid”. My car also supports V2G so if I cared to spend the extra on a compatible charger setup I could even use the car as a backup supply in case of grid supply failure or help balance the grid.

        Even assuming an uninterrupted and economic supply of oil and petrol, which I think is fast becoming a dangerous assumption, EVs are a viable alternative for many people.

  15. ian
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 9:48 am | Permalink

    Best roundabout is in Holland.

  16. Bob
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    The last lot of so called “improvements” to the motorways resulted in the highly dangerous removal of the emergency lane, which has already resulted in some nasty accidents because drivers cannot always make it to the new “emergency refuge areas” which could be up to 1.5 miles apart.

    Motorways on the cheap, while we spend £billions to on foreign aid both directly and indirectly through Brussels. We need a ukip government and we need it asap.

    • KZB
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      There should be an enquiry about the Manchester orbital motorway, the M60 “Smart” motorway scheme. Over £200 million and years of delays for no measurable improvement whatsoever.

  17. KZB
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    This should be good news, but I fear the money will be misspent. Certainly in Lancashire, road spending has focussed on impeding traffic as much as possible. The more money they are given the more they will implement traffic impediments.
    On the national roads, Highways England, or whatever they are called now, well there needs to be a high-level enquiry about what is going on there.

  18. Rien Huizer
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    That roadbuilding/improvement/maintenance program is long overdue. Probably NIMBY is more of a problem than funding and that is not in the budget.

    Given the UK’s geography (virtually every major population centre is relatively close to a large or medium-sized port) compared to the continent, reliance on motorways, rail freight and river barges is much less important. Greater economic distance from the EU and the excellent logistic systems of NW Europe would mean that less trade passes through places like Rotterdam (the de facto hub for long distance freight into the UK) may need fewer, larger ports and more inland transport. Of course there would also be a bonus: the Irish traffic that now uses UK roads might be diverted to direct shipping connections bypassing the UK.

    • libertarian
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      Rien

      The main problem is the total uselessness of Highways England. During 20 years of Operation Stack they’ve made no attempt what so ever to come up with viable alternatives. Most new road schemes aren’t hampered by NIMBYs so much as the Green Enviroterrorists .

      This will come as a surprise but we use roads here for far more important things than exporting a few goods by road/sea

      The top Irish export markets are the USA and the UK , so rather than bypass the UK they usually are delivering goods here

  19. John Hatfield
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I travelled to Portsmouth from Ayr in Scotland earlier this month. Maybe I was just lucky but I found that on the M6 where, because of the roadworks, the speed was limited to 60 MPH, the traffic flowed more smoothly than on motorways with no speed restrictions.
    Traffic on the A34 was also smoother than busy motorways.

    • KZB
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      John, you were just lucky. The M6 is virtually impassable much of the time. You have got about 100 miles of roadworks currently, with about 6 people working on them.

    • Bob
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

      @John H

      “the speed was limited to 60 MPH, the traffic flowed more smoothly”

      There’s a reason for that, it’s called capacity.

      Try putting 45 amps through a 3 amp wire and see what happens.

      The government have allowed unfettered immigration into Britain with no regard for infrastructure capacity.

    • bigneil
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      I’ll guess the roadworks on the M6 had the average speed checking cameras.

    • Mike Wilson
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

      Indeed. We have an epidemic of roadworks on motorways where average speed cameras mean people actually stick to 50 m.p.h. Despite people driving too close to each other, the situation is calm as you don’t get endless lane changing.

      If only they could get cameras to stop tailgating. I find it very frightening when I am doing 70 m.p.h. to see some half-wit 30 feet behind me.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 30, 2018 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      John, the M6 from j19-j16 is restricted to 50 mph so I hope you weren’t doing 60!
      The close driving bunching up of Hgvs and cars is dangerous, getting on and off the M6 at those junctions is very dangerous with multiple accidents every week impeding flow, then there’s another set j15-j13 50mph adds 30 mins on your journey each section and is VERY dangerous a foreign truck undertaking us at speed over 50mph yesterday nearly pushed us into the concrete barrier, it had forced a car over to do this by riding on its bumper faster than 50mph.

      On the journey back without warning the M42 North was closed trying to get on the M6, adding 30 mins onto a midnight journey, no diversion signage, lots of confused drivers virtually stopping on the motorway not knowing what to do.

      What time of day did you do this journey through Lancashire, Cheshire, and Birmingham out of interest?

  20. Andy
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    We need the things you mention. We will get virtually none of them. Any extra money will be negligible.

  21. Edwardm
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    More good sense from JR.
    However congestion is worse then it need be owing to the overcrowding from immigration – we need to go to no net immigration (and we can still prioritise those who we want in the residual migration turnover). Unless we do that we will never catch up with infrastructure demands.

  22. Ron Olden
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 12:42 pm | Permalink

    We also need something done in South Wales about the proposed M4 Extension which will by pass the existing stretch at Newport.

    At the moment the Welsh Government is going to have to pay for most of it.

    I don’t normally have any sympathy for the Welsh Labour Government which wastes colossal sums out of its’ block grant.

    But there is a case for Westminster giving a bit more towards the £1.4 Billion estimated costs.

    Or at the very least exempting the project from VAT and lending the Welsh Government the money itself. The UK can borrow at lower rates of interest than the Welsh Government can.

    The M4 in South Wales is a vital link between the South of England and Ireland and between the Irish Republic and the rest of the EU.

    There’s also likely to be huge increase in traffic when the Severn Bridges Tolls are abolished in six weeks time.

    It doesn’t seem right that Wales has to pay for this road out its’ block grant.

  23. Anonymous
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    You could make a good start by getting rid of traffic lights… on these infernal capcha tests.

  24. margaret howard
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    More money for potholes is good news.

    But how was it possible for one of the richest, most advanced countries in the world to have a road system more akin to third world standards?

    • Richard1
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      Because it freezes in winter and rains

  25. Iain Gill
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    So the chancellor is killing the mobile freelance sector, and expects anyone engaging in temporary work far from home in the manner of a freelancer to pay for hotels and travel out of taxed income, unlike any other country in the developed world.
    How many more Conservative supporters can he possibly cheese off?
    Not impressed.

  26. bigneil
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

    It is one thing to do the roads up – it is another to check that all those coming here and driving are up to our standards – it is blatantly clear a lot come here, with NO idea of driving at all, and it is left up to us to avoid these “accidents waiting to happen”. One show even had a Chinese man, just got here, taking his scooter out, in the dark, no helmet, with two unprotected children on it as well. Luckily a Police Officer saw him and stopped him. Aren’t all these people supposed to take an English driving test if staying here?

    • margaret howard
      Posted October 30, 2018 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      I believe quite a number of accidents are caused by British people driving in Europe without experience of driving on the right.

      • a-tracy
        Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        Have you got this information from British Insurance companies margaret? I’d be interested to know if your statement is true or not?

        I would also be interested to know of the problems the MIB (Motor Insurers Bureau) have in the UK with foreign trucks that cause accidents and leave without owning up to the accidents and have to be traced, and also what % of those claims then get recompensed from the EU insurer. We had one foreign truck reverse down our business estate a couple of weeks ago, he bashed into a VW Golf caused a lot of damage and just drove off.

  27. Posted October 29, 2018 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    Traffic crises + transport crises + NHS crises + education crises + housing crises + local services crises + policing crises + other crises = population crisis.

  28. CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    We do not have room for more roads

    • CHRISTOPHER HOUSTON
      Posted October 29, 2018 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

      PS We’re full.

  29. Mike Wilson
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    If you are going to spend money on motorways, why not spend it on a few policemen in unmarked cars who nick people tailgating. Tailgating – and the consequent sharp braking and swerving due to loss of concentration – is the major cause of accidents on motorways. Accidents that, absurdly, are classed as crime scenes by the police and often involve closing motorways for hours. It’s not rocket science – keep your distance and change lanes carefully. There should never be accidents on motorways.

    The cost to the economy of people sitting on a motorway for half a day must surely be more than putting a few police cars on motorways. Once word gets round that you get fined £5k for tailgating – and lose your licence for 5 years – it will stop overnight.

    • a-tracy
      Posted October 31, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

      If you put a motorway cop on the M6 to stop tailgating between J19 and J16 he would have to stop over one hundred cars every hour!

  30. Say Le!
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    JR.
    I’ve just heard you speak in Parliament “Budget 2018” . You were very positive and optimistic for our future.
    We should have been celebrating since the referendum vote. Instead just sterile repetition of Remain which, lost THE vote.
    I see and hear Remainers now speak of Northern countries of the EU in their fake comparisons with statistical evidence of our own economy. They have learned half of what they need to digest, at least.
    Still, one has a passing fleeting thought, they should buy a rubber boat and sail for France on the next fair wind.We notherners certainly are not wanting to row them there, for all that. 🙂 Seems to irk in us somewhat

  31. Steve
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:20 pm | Permalink

    JR

    “Another Thames crossing would be good but getting agreement from surrounding Councils remains problematic.”

    Ah that one again.

    I fully agree. I used to cross the Thames each day and it was either Sonning or Caversham bridge.

    As I heard it the sticking point in building a new bridge was that Berkshire and S.Oxon couldn’t agree who would foot the bill.

    Eventually it will have to be done when Sonning bridge can no longer take the load.

  32. Steve
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    The thing that strikes me about roadworks on the motorways is that there’s often an absence of any workmen, and when they are there they all seem to be standing around drinking coffee or on their mobile phone, or just lolling about with hands in pockets.

    I never see a shovel or pick axe being utilised, unless it’s being used as a leaning post.

    The main reason for the time it takes to get up the M1…..nobody grafting !

  33. Louby Louis
    Posted October 29, 2018 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Why doesn’t the Chancellor use his natural charm… and encourage Local Authority Pension Funds to inverst in such as Facebook and Twitter rather than tax them?. We could share in the booty and horrid exploitation of ourselves.
    Or wouldn’t this fit , exactly, into Left-wing socialist ideology which fits less and less well into a balanced body-politic of 2018 UK?
    Socialism is a worn out horse. Left and Right became meaningless terms from about the 1930s here in the UK if not earlier. I’m no historian, but Left and Right probably never ever made much sensible logic.
    It is a shame our kids are inflicted with political and historical myth in schools just because Left and Right are a political regional convenience, much like the conveiences Mr . Hammond referred to in his budget for local authorities deep doings in their own locales.

    • Peter D Gardner
      Posted October 30, 2018 at 12:57 am | Permalink

      Just as a surgeon looks for things to cut off, so a Labour-Lite government looks for things to tax, things to spend other people’s money on and considers how much it can borrow. See also my other comment re Mephistopheles.

      • Louby Louis
        Posted October 30, 2018 at 10:15 pm | Permalink

        @Peter D Gardner “Mephistopheles.” Who?

  34. Posted October 29, 2018 at 11:42 pm | Permalink

    Not only will it improve productivity it will all pay for itself.

    As, all government spending pays for itself with any positive tax rate. As your spending becomes someone elses income. As long as everyone spends everything they earn.

    The only constraint of course is if we don’t have enough contractors and skills to carry out the work. Then we get inflation.

    You pay the contractor he pays his tax, the contractor buys a new digger. The digger supplier pays their tax, They buy new tyres. The tyre manufacturer pays their tax and buys his wife a holiday. The travel agent pays their tax and buys a dress. The dressmaker pays their tax and buys a new window. The glazier pays ther tax and takes their son to the pictures. The movie theater pays their tax and so on and so on.

    The monopoly issuer of the £ gets every pound back where it is cancelled like a tally stick at the BOE. Taxes didn’t fund the new junction it took everyone’s spending power away to control inflation as the money flowed through the spending chain.

    Let’s say the contractor saved £1,000. The tyre manufacturer saved £800 and The dressmaker saved £200 but everyone else spent all their income.

    Then the government has a £2,000 deficit which is equal to the private sector surplus to the penny. Spent £10,000 on the new junction collected £8,000 as it flowed through the spending chain in taxes.

    The government now borrows £2,000 to balance the books by swapping the £2,000 that the private sector saved by moving them into gilts.

    Job done.

    The real kicker is all the government is doing is borrowing back the money it has already spent on the new junction. £2,000 to be precise. The only way the private sector could buy the gilts in the first place is because the monopoly issuer of the £ spent the £’s into existence that the private sector then swapped into gilts.

    The magic money tree because we are no longer on the gold standard or use fixed exchange rates.

    So it is a win, win, win, win for everyone involved. Except for the bankers of course. The bankers of Wall Street and the City of London scream for balanced budgets or budget surpluses. They don’t want the government to run deficits and thus give the private sector a surplus. They want the private sector in deficit as it creates demand for more loans and private sector debt the debt that matters.

    They don’t want the government to fund public infrastructure. They want it to be privatised in a way that will generate profits for the new owners, along with interest for the bondholders and the banks that fund it; and also, management fees. Most of all, the privatised enterprises should generate capital gains for the stockholders as they jack up prices for hitherto public services.

    But their game is up.

    • Edward2
      Posted October 30, 2018 at 8:20 am | Permalink

      Amazing theory.
      All we need to do to get rich is to call for huge increases in state spending.

      • Posted October 30, 2018 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

        Not a theory and not political or ideological or something I made up.

        Accounting fact Edward. You should learn to look left on a balance sheet it is where the assets are.

        Trump has just broken the US spending record and hit $ 5 trillion for the very first time and he did tax cuts.

        The US is booming !

        Full employment is the key and the deficit will be whatever it will be to achieve that.

        Full employment takes care of most things and then businesses the back bone of the country can invest long term instead of short term and improve their productivity. Which lifts all boats.

        • Edward2
          Posted October 31, 2018 at 12:03 am | Permalink

          Balance sheets by definition balance.
          Yet that does not prove causation nor correlation.
          Your theory is bizarre.

        • Mitchel
          Posted October 31, 2018 at 10:52 am | Permalink

          Running a $1trn deficit,with a $21trn debt already under your belt,at a time when serious efforts are underway to erode the $ standard is reckless to say the least.

  35. Peter D Gardner
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 12:54 am | Permalink

    Without disagreeing with Dr Redwood, I would say that overall this is a Mephistopheles budget to tempt Faust. “All this can be yours if you just sign Mrs May’s Chequers deal”. Mrs May’s deal will indeed sell UK’s soul in vassalage to the EU. It will never recover its ability to be self-governing again.
    Second point: if ‘Austerity’ is now ended, surely it is time to repeal the infamous Fixed Term Parliaments Act, which we were told was only required temporarily to ensure debt and deficit reduction would be gradual.

  36. Eh?
    Posted October 30, 2018 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    “Mephistopheles budget to tempt Faust” Eh?

  • 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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