There are few signs of the spending cuts when you try to drive around the UK. The other evening I found simultaneous road works on the M1, M3, M4, M 40, A 404 (M) and A 322. There is a large programme of bridge changes over railway lines being undertaken, along with substantial alterations to central reservations and motorway signs .
In many towns and cities there are continuous works to narrow lanes,to put in larger pedestrian refuges, introduce new road closures and cycleways. London itself is under continuous road works, with expensive new pavements, new higher kerbs, wider pavements, new central reservations, cycle lanes and pedestrianisation.
Some work is necessary maintenance and some work is improvement. It is however surprising that there is so much money for so much of this work at this juncture, when we have been told getting the deficit down is the number one priority, and when Councils tell us they are short of cash. The work is causing considerable congestion and disruption to England’s inadequate highways.
Are you finding the same thing in your area? Is anything being done to reduce congestion and pollution, by improving traffic flows, increasing capacity and safety of junctions and making life easier for all those who do have to rely on cars and lorries? If there is so much money to spend, could some of it be used to improve flows in ways which means the roads work better and more safely? Why do some transport planners want trains to go faster and faster, but cars to go slower and slower? Faster trains and slower cars both mean more fuel burnt, the way they are doing it.