Yesterday when the trains were fully booked and many internal flights were cancelled, to cap it all the authorities closed two lanes and then the whole southbound M40 for the whole day.

As someone trying to get to the Midlands and back that day I experienced the chaos for myself, as thousands of cars were routed through the narrow roads of Banbury and headed south on roads suitable for light local traffic only, leading to very long delays and annoyance to people living near the roads.

??I understand the authorities had to allow access for lifting gear to put a lorry back on its wheels and get if off two lanes of carriageway, but surely it cannot take from very early morning until evening to do that?

??I was part of a Bill Committee which charged the authorities with the simple but important task of re-opening blocked carriageways as quickly as possible. It did not work well yesterday. We need the Highways Agency and the other authorities to have a much greater sense of urgency, with lifting gear on standby contracts to remove heavy debris or vehicles as quickly as possible.

This entry was posted in Blog. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.


  1. Kit
    Posted December 22, 2006 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    If it was a private toll road do you think it would be cleared quicker? You bet it would. Create incentives and congestion will decrease. Remove government meddling and congestion would disappear.

  2. Geoffrey G Brooking
    Posted December 27, 2006 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    Simillar over here in the East Midlands.

    Central Trains ran no service on Christmas Eve at all and its looking pretty much the same for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day!

  • About John Redwood

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

  • John’s Books

  • Email Alerts

    You can sign up to receive John's blog posts by e-mail by entering your e-mail address in the box below.

    Enter your email address:

    Delivered by FeedBurner

    The e-mail service is powered by Google's FeedBurner service. Your information is not shared.

  • Map of Visitors

    Locations of visitors to this page