Drivers are being taxed and regulated off the roads by Lib Dem , Green and Labour Councils

In Wokingham a Lib Dem led Borough Council embarked on a £5.5 m waste of money to worsen a crucial roundabout junction of two important  B roads in Finchampstead. The junction also gave access to a public car park and retail car parks for local shops and a garage. The aim was to narrow the roads, replace normal pavements with Lib Dem yellow brick ones which quickly discolour and become uneven, and to persuade more people to shop and take children to the local school on foot or by bike.

The long period of works and road closures has slashed shop and garage turnover badly. It has driven vehicles into adjacent residential roads seeking rat runs. The Council has littered the area with road closure and diversion signs and bollards to narrow these routes. I had to travel 5 miles yesterday to complete a one mile journey. The alternative route also included a closure of half that main road with three way lights and four minute waiting time. Locals have been up in arms about the disruption and cost. Lib Dems lost all 3 of the local seats in the village as a result of this crazy scheme in the May election. They tried to blame the previous Council who refused to vote the scheme through, realising what bad value it was and how unpopular it would be. There has been no compensation to the shops and garage for lost turnover.

Flushed with their success in making the lives of those of us who drive to work, drive to the shops or to drop off children such a misery, the Lib Dems now want to repeat this anti driver policy in other parts of the Borough and send taxpayers the bill. They are about to embark on the battle of the Woosehill roundabout. This is one of Wokingham’s best junctions. It is crucial to all who live on Woosehill as it is the main route in and out of this delightful residential area. Anyone needing to drive to work, to the Wokingham shops and to local schools needs to rely on this usually free flowing roundabout. The Lib Dems want to make that very difficult during prolonged roadworks. They want to reduce the carriageways for vehicles and create traffic jams where none exist. The California Crossroads experience should make them think again, but they are motivated by a wish to hit the drivers.

42 Comments

  1. Lynn Atkinson
    June 8, 2024

    Actions have consequences and voting Lib/Dem is one of the most stupid actions deserving of the most dire consequences.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 8, 2024

      Even worse if you vote green, labour, plaid or SNP. Tories very little better.

      Reply
    2. Hope
      June 8, 2024

      Oh, come on JR. Your party is govt. Under Shapps everything was anti car same with successive Tory community secretaries. Recently your govt followed EU over limiters, followed EU regarding limiters on cars! We voted leave, not leave copy and act in lock step!

      Mordaunt wanted to blame police commissioners the other night for law and order! We rejected mayors and police commissioners to prevent politicisation of policing, your party/govt. imposed them on a the public! Your party increased bureaucracy and cost to taxpayers by imposing both!

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        June 9, 2024

        +1

        Reply
    3. Everhopeful
      June 8, 2024

      Consequences = no cars
      Absolutely no anything.
      Nihilistic future…well not really even a future. Certainly an impulse to destroy our lives.
      Wipe us out.
      Return to pre Genesis?

      Reply
  2. Lifelogic
    June 8, 2024

    Indeed but this road blocking and motorist mugging agenda and has been supported by the fake Conservatives for the last 14 years at least. Now Sunak says if re-elected he will reverse ULEZ expansion and be on the side of the motorists. Rather too late now, Suank could have stopped Kahn’s ULEZ had he wanted too years back he tacitly supported it.

    But
    A. You will never get back in perhaps a 2% chance at best and
    B. no one sensible would trust a word you say or a promise you make. The man even thinks he has cut taxes, reduced NHS waiting lists and even thinks the Vaccines were “unequivocally safe”. Idiot or liar it surely has to be one, the other or perhaps both.

    True Starmer will obviously be even worse. Why on earth did you not stay on six months and actually do some of these things. Osborne IHT promise of 15 years back for example. We can only judge politicians be actions their promises are almost always totally worthless.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 8, 2024

      So Starmer promises Labour will be on the side of small businesses. Well not businesses or people letting out residential properties that is for sure (they will destroy that), not ones running private schools, not ones where the owners use private schools for their children, not ones needing vans to work in ULEZ zones or park while doing repairs etc., not ones employing people as they will bring in ever more OTT employment laws, not ones that use much energy due to their net zero lunacy, not ones that require any economic confidence in the UK…

      Reply
      1. Lynn Atkinson
        June 8, 2024

        But Labour will sort out Business rates which is what is killing the High Street. Business rates costs are often MORE than the rent! Online shopping needs to pay it’s way.
        Time the South also paid it’s correct rating – the re-rating was ‘delayed’ in other words the poor, dark, cold, stupid, Brexit voting north continued to subsidise the south even after the quantity of subsidy was established.
        In the North we might be a lot better off with Labour as they will pour money in to consolidate the ‘red wall’.

        Reply
        1. glen cullen
          June 8, 2024

          Agree – business rates and car parking chargers are killing the high street

          Reply
        2. jerry
          June 9, 2024

          UBR is not just killing the High Street but also stalling the growth of SMEs, far more than Green taxes have, what was the Thatcher govt thinking in 1988, whilst claiming to be the friend of small businesses.

          Reply
        3. Lifelogic
          June 9, 2024

          Well they say they will?

          Reply
    2. Everhopeful
      June 8, 2024

      Maybe Sunak realised that once the Rwanda thing proved rubbish he would not even stand the teeny slim chance he currently has?
      Guess what? The NHS actually believes it can save the planet by cutting down on procedures! And the tories destroyed private rental to hand it all over to huge companies. Just “discovered” by our bought media.
      Great. Another day in Paradise.

      PS I can’t post again.

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        June 8, 2024

        I’ve said it many times, this tory government could’ve achieve so much more ….by doing nothing

        Reply
    3. jerry
      June 8, 2024

      @LL; Yes Starmer will be worse, but perhaps more predicable, that will allow people to plan how they are to manage boiler replacements, when to buy a new car, even if to relocate etc.

      I don’t fear a Starmer govt, perhaps I just don’t have as much in the game as some, I just know we are approaching a systemic shift in how we live our lives, comparable to 1945, 1964 and 1979.

      Reply
      1. Sam
        June 10, 2024

        1945, 1964 and 1979 were periods when things such as living standards and quality of life improved.
        I’m much less optimistic than you, that post election we are headed for anything like those positive periods.

        Reply
    4. Berkshire Alan
      June 8, 2024

      LL
      Indeed I would have thought Sunak would have stayed at least until another budget and given himself some time to PERHAPS reap some of the benefits of the polices he put in place, because that last Budget was an absolute farce, if was known at the time it was to be the last one.
      He has called an election after telling his own party they could go on Holiday, had about 200 seats without a nominated candidate, and had the D Day celebrations taking up a few days of campaign time.
      Political Suicide for the Conservative Party who had a majority of 80 will be the result.
      Did he consult with anyone who had some political acumen ? Probably not.!
      It is all for Starmer to lose now, as most true Conservative have simply had enough.

      Reply
      1. Donna
        June 9, 2024

        He obviously has somewhere else he wants to be by the late summer.

        Currently, the dinghy criminals they are importing on a daily basis are running at 46% higher than last year – 10,000 with the summer season just starting. The Rwanda Distraction has so far cost us £240 million paid to Rwanda and the only migrant sent there went voluntarily with a £3000 bribe and UK taxpayer support for 5 years. Appeals by those selected for deportation are about to start and it looks like the Windsor Betrayal, will prevent any from actually taking place as he was warned it would.

        The only one of Sunak’s 5 pledges which might happen is inflation down to 2% and that’s because the BofE has smothered the economy.

        In other words, the wheels have come off his bovine excrement.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          June 9, 2024

          Indeed and Suank as Chancellor and the BoE caused the high inflation of 12%+ with vast QE, the net harm lockdowns, the huge net harm vaccines, vast government waste all over the place, huge tax increases and net zero.

          Reply
  3. glen cullen
    June 8, 2024

    …all by the design & policy of the governments push towards net-zero

    Reply
  4. glen cullen
    June 8, 2024

    152 illegal aliens /boat people arrived yesterday from the safe country of France

    Reply
    1. Kathy
      June 11, 2024

      And you can bet that every single one of them had the luxury of an almost immediate doctor’s and dentist’s examination and the provision of free clothes, mobile phone, and board and lodging while hardworking taxpayers and their families can’t get a doctor or dentist appointment for love nor money and, as for free clothes, phones and board and lodging, well, the rest of us can only dream. How can our politicians stand the blatant unfairness and how can they sleep at night when they don’t know – and certainly don’t care – who is actually floating uninvited in every single day?

      Reply
  5. Roy Grainger
    June 8, 2024

    Sunak says he’ll abolish ULEZ and 20mph zones. The usual lies – he’s had plenty of time to do it but has been too scared of upsetting Guardian readers. See also: ECHR. Now he can promise anything because he knows he’s going to lose and won’t have to do it.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 9, 2024

      +1

      Reply
  6. jerry
    June 8, 2024

    The worst our then LibDem run District Council did when in power was impose a 20mph speed limit in some of the outlaying villages, although they had no power to do so on any Country Council or Highway Agency maintained roads. Whilst I accept places like London have suffered from the Congestion Charge and now ULEZ zones, the last govt has been in power for 14 years, the last 5 with a massive majority, they could have found a way of curtailing such abuses. But then, other than a freeze some fuel duties, other motorist taxes or charges (such as parking and tolls) have risen year on year. All govts, for the last 90+ years, have used the motorist as a cash-cow.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 8, 2024

      Agree, this tory government is the captain of the ship, while the regional/city mayors and local councils are mere petty officers

      Reply
  7. David+L
    June 8, 2024

    I would hope that all LibDem Councillors in Wokingham will publicly relinquish their own ICE cars as it is beyond the pale that any of them would damage the planet so cruelly by driving such abominations. Of course, EVs are so kind to the environment that I trust the roads of Wokingham will be exclusively for them in future and that the CO2 levels immediately above us will plummet so much that…er…all plants die…oh dear.

    Reply
  8. Everhopeful
    June 8, 2024

    I wonder whether the LibDems have seen that video of an extremely high end Chinese SUV being ignominiously towed by a very old, tiny ICE vehicle?
    Nice big roadside poster?

    Petrol…oil….gas….mmmmmmmmm! 🥰

    Reply
  9. Berkshire Alan
    June 8, 2024

    Agreed John the Woosehill Roundabout is under real threat, and is probably one of the reasons it has not been resurfaced, and is steadily crumbling away (ripping up tyres as we speak)
    Not sure how many houses there are on the Woosehill estate but must be at least 1,000, and this roundabout feeds the only spine road which is 2 lane each way (planned now with a single lane pinch point, with traffic lights) to that estate, Morrisons Supermarket, a School, and Doctors Surgery.
    The only other way in or out is along a convoluted route along narrow roads fed from Old Woosehill lane to perhaps Chestnut Avenue, and Simons Lane.
    Complete and utter madness.

    Reply
    1. Berkshire Alan
      June 10, 2024

      Clearly I spoke too soon, had a letter shoved through the door this weekend, the Woosehill Roundabout and part of the spine road is going to be resurfaced in a couple of weeks time over a 3 day period, in the evening and during the Night, to try and avoid complete traffic chaos.
      Route to be taken to enter the Woosehill estate is by using Old Woosehill Lane as outlined in my originalist..

      Reply
  10. Adrian Maddock
    June 8, 2024

    And yet, Sir John, the local people happily vote for these lunatics. Unbelievable!

    Reply
  11. Lifelogic
    June 8, 2024

    So JR what drives this mad and pointless vandalism? Crooks, crony capitalists or people suffering from a mad religion? Why are so many people who seek to be politicians so totally bonkers or perhaps corrupt.

    Reply
  12. Bloke
    June 8, 2024

    In the 1960s, drivers had freedom and could park in Piccadilly without even a meter to pay. Roads were near- empty at night. Gradually freedom has been lost. Now just using a car incurs an immense cost just to move or stop, with blockages and penalties in virtually every direction.

    Reply
    1. jerry
      June 9, 2024

      @Bloke; Now just _owning_ a car incurs an immense cost just to keep it on a public road, and even when stored off the public road it involves a rater silly bureaucratic game, all designed to catch the unwary, those who might be away from home, so a Govt Agency can impose a Statutory fine and perhaps even the sequestration of the vehicle!

      Once SORNed such vehicles should simply remain so, until next taxed, if someone is caught using a SORNed vehicle on the road without acceptable cause (such as going to or from an MOT station, which is needed before VED can be obtained…) by all means punish to the full.

      Reply
  13. MikeP
    June 8, 2024

    The expensive and time-consuming saga of California crossroads junction is a disgrace and if I get a visit from any LibDems seeking my support I shall tell them in no uncertain terms. We’re now told it will be fully open in mid-September! As a party they’re so anti-motorist and pro-cycling it’s unforgiveable. So many of these cycle routes are unused or under-used at best, so many narrowed routes have congestion, and so much re-wilding and/or unkempt verges obscure good visibility at roundabouts and T-junctions. 5ft high daisies and poppies may look pretty but have no place at the approach to a roundabout (for eg A327/B3349 junction near Arborfield Green). It’ll only be a matter of time before an accident occurs.

    Reply
  14. agricola
    June 9, 2024

    Lib/Dems, Greens, and Labour were the orchestra and choir, your disperate lot were the conductor, even writing the music in many cases. If the resultant sound is less than pleasing you only have yourselves to blame.

    Reply
  15. Donna
    June 9, 2024

    Not-Conservative-Councils have also been attacking motorists because the policy comes from the WEF; is enforced by the EU and implemented by the Department of Transport who fund the councils to carry it out.
    The Not-a-Conservative-Government could have stopped it when we left the EU, but they refused to implement the instruction to LEAVE and “Take Back Control.”

    LTNs were first introduced in 2020, during the Covid lockdowns. Transport Secretary? Grant Schapps, who also encouraged the implementation of ULEZ to the north and south circulars. Khan just went one better and extended the revenue-stream to the whole of Greater London, including leafy Surrey and parts of rural Kent.

    Why didn’t the “Conservative” Government change the law to stop the attack on motorists Sir John? Galloways’s comment about two cheeks of the same arse comes to mind.

    Reply
    1. jerry
      June 9, 2024

      @Donna; “two cheeks” indeed! Galloway, as did Tam Dalyell, talks much left-wing nonsense but also tells some harsh unconformable home truths, and it is for the latter they are despised by the establishment.

      Reply
  16. Bryan Harris
    June 9, 2024

    The mentality of the eco-nutters comes shining through!

    Motivated by ideology to save the planet they will not rest until cars are rusting in the roadway and we have no choice but to walk everywhere within our 15 minute villages.

    It is impossible to divorce the actions described – and repeated by other looney councils, from netzero which is driving all of this nonsense.

    Socialism requires that our societies be reduced in scope and potential so that everyone is the same and enjoys the lowest possible level of joy and survival potential – BUT that is why it fits in so well with the insane netzero.

    Reply
  17. C Gunn
    June 9, 2024

    This crazy traffic calming makes it very difficult for domiciliary care workers and other health workers who visit people in their homes. Blocking off roads is also stupid as it delays ambulances and fire engines. I have been told that drivers of fire engines would just smash any obstacle out of their way rather than let someone burn in a fire. Ambulances however, are forced to find an alternative route. Which is a shame considering other drivers will go out of their way to help an ambulance get through.

    Thank you for all you do John.

    Reply
  18. Mr Paul A Townson
    June 9, 2024

    Dear John,
    First of all I wish you well for the future and thank you for your service to Wokingham, I actually heard about this in Hong Kong.
    I have just returned from HK visiting my son and enjoying the HK international soccer sevens 25th anniversary.

    You may recall in the past I have discussed the roads and infrastructure in HK , every time I visit I see new roads , road tunnels and bridges. All these help traffic to move around and stop traffic jams. Here in the UK such as you mentioned London, Wokingham and other towns and cities want to make the motorists life more difficult.
    In Reading a new Thames bridge is urgently needed, in HK it would be built because the government there get on and do things.
    I know we are in a democracy in the UK but sometimes for the good of the people we should get on and do things.
    Regarding the election I think people of my age remember the seventies and the trouble Labour caused then.

    I look forward to keeping in touch and hope to see you at future lunches.
    Kind regards
    Paul

    Reply
  19. Peter Gardner
    June 10, 2024

    None of my business really but it raises a general point applicable across the UK and in many other countries on the way housing estates are planned. They are deliberately designed with but one exit and entry point so as to keep out ‘through’ traffic. It enables developers to promote the development as an exclusive area and thus raise property prices. Clearly also people prefer to live in low traffic areas, ie, to avoid main roads, particularly so children can play outside in reasonable safety. I don’t know Woose Hill but the issue is clear on Google maps. And adjacent to it on either side, west or east, are similar developments with restricted access. The one to the east is divided from Woose Hill by a narrow road which appears to have been modified to act as a dividing barrier.
    So these developments are inherently vulnerable to any road works at their entrances.
    Leaving aside political motivations the answer may be to build an escape route, a safety valve route while the road works continue. Perhaps a route into Mons Close to the east in the neignbouring and isolated development, from Bedfordshire Close. But of course the residents of that development would object. And if the Council’s motivation is malign towards the people of Woose Hill, the Council would also object.

    Reply
    1. Peter Gardner
      June 10, 2024

      PS I have asumed the roundabout in question is the one joining Woosehill Spine Rd, Hampshire Way and Ruskin Way.

      reply Yes

      Reply

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