Why do so many Councils hate vans and cars?

Next week when the effectively nationalised and heavily subsidised railways go on strike more people will need to use a motor vehicle to go to work. Once again our personal transport will be the ever reliable necessary back up.

Many people need to use their vans and cars all the time to go to work, to take children to school or to carry the weekly shop back from the supermarket. The plumber, decorator, domestic appliance engineer and other home service providers need to travel with their tools and spares and need to get round several clients a day. Only a van can do that. If a parent needs to drop children off at a school not near a station and get to a place of work not near a station they need to use a car.

Private sector businesses like supermarkets, DIY sheds, garden centres and other retailers that want to make life easier for their customers provide large car parks next to the shop entrance. They do not cluster near a station or expect most shoppers to come by bike.

The Times yesterday asked people to select their main travel mode in a poll. When I read the article 63% said the car. So why then do so many Councils tax us to make it more and more difficult to drive anywhere? They specialise in cutting roadspace for cars and vans, in creating junctions that cause needless congestion, they rephase  traffic lights to impede main road flows, reduce parking facilities and turn municipal car parks into technology nightmares to catch more people out with penalties.

They would say they are implementing environmental policies to get people to leave the car at home and take the bike. If they clog the cars or ban them altogether or tax them too much surely people will go by bike? Why do they think that? How can the plumber get there by cycle with all his kit? How can the Mum shopping for four put all the food on a bike carrier? How can a parent get children to school and get to work by bike?

Councils are meant to serve the public, not disrupt our lives. It adds to the  insult when they send us a huge bill for trying to stop us getting around. No wonder some town centres struggle for custom because people cannot easily get there and cannot find good parking if they do. Councils  should study successful retailers who do let you drive to the store and park free by the door. It is a very popular model with the public. Fewer obstacles on the roads and less congestion would also be good for the environment, cutting fuel use and exhaust gases.

 

167 Comments

  1. Mark B
    June 19, 2022

    Good morning.

    So why then do so many Councils tax us to make it more and more difficult to drive anywhere?

    Money !

    To fund the ever growing State. Its dependance. Its generous pension pot. Its various madcap schemes etc. Also, much like this government, to cover the gaps created by inefficiency and corruption.

    As I like to say – “Less is more !”

    If you give the State less it will have to learn to do more with it knowing that there will be no more.

    There is another factor, and that is Central Government edicts, especially regarding the environment. For example, Mayor Khan wishes to implement an additional ULEZ in London. For those who are not sure what this is and what it means, and I confess at the beginning I was one, all vehicles that pollute over a certain amount will be fined, not charged, a certain amount if you use the roads in that zone. As is covers London that is an awful lot of cars and vans, and money, covered. I shan’t mention the fact that it was his predecessor who first implemented this. I wonder where he is now 😉

    The signs of what was to come where there from the beginning and well before , ‘Princess Nut-Nut’ was on the scene.

    Reply
    1. Sharon
      June 19, 2022

      Both my sons live outside of London, my husband and I , live about a mile inside. One of my sons, with three children, has two cars, both diesel, neither would qualify. He joked the other week, that if the ULEZ comes to pass… they won’t be able to visit very often.

      A woman posted in The Telegraph that she would have to pay to collect her grandchildren from school!

      These crazies are getting worse!

      Reply
      1. The Prangwizard
        June 19, 2022

        We must name these people what they are – dangerous authoritarians – ‘crazies’ does not draw adequate attention to their intentions.

        Reply
        1. DavidJ
          June 19, 2022

          Indeed; as you say such people are very dangerous and must be removed from office.

          Reply
    2. Mark B
      June 19, 2022

      Addendum

      The ULEZ refers to vehicles that do not meet the relevant EURO Emissions Standards. These standards are set by the EU and the UK seems to have to adopt them even though we supposed to have left. So in fact, if we were truly out of the EU, the UK government could state that the ULEZ currently proposed is not appropriate and could voluntarily ignore it.

      So for all those Londoners who voted to Remain and drive cars and for all those London MP’s who fought against BREXIT and delivered BINO, all I can say is – well done on hitting those who can least afford things right now.

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        June 19, 2022

        +1000
        Yes.
        The other day I was corrected in my wrong assumption that the ECHR was actually part of the EU.
        Looking into my mistake I discovered, according to someone who had worked for the EU in Strasbourg, that the EU Parliament and the Council of Europe ( ECHR author) are right next door to each other and there is much interaction.
        I reckon we are still in it up to our necks.
        It would explain a lot!

        Reply
        1. DavidJ
          June 19, 2022

          Indeed E.

          Reply
      2. hefner
        June 19, 2022

        ULEZ emission standards are Euro 3 for motorcycles, Euro 4 for petrol cars, Euro 6 for diesel cars, vans and lorries. Euro 4 from 2005 and Euro 6 from 2014 are the standards checked when a car goes through the annual MOT. A large majority of cars pass the MOT without ‘further ado’. The above comment is therefore a storm in a tea cup.
        As for the Euro 7 standards those may be coming in 2025, it is the Government’s responsibility to tell us whether they will be enforced in the UK. I guess the last UK car manufacturers will make sure their cars will follow those standards if they want to continue exporting to continental Europe.

        Reply
        1. Mark B
          June 20, 2022

          hefner

          As I said above, it is about MONEY !!! Having ULEZ in the centre of London may be OK as there are very good transport links, but the further you go from the centre the worse it gets. People need their cars !

          I checked both my next door neighbours cars registration against the government website to see if they would have to pay the ULEZ. One is just over a year old and they need their car as they are of limited mobility. I had to help Mike off the floor the other day because he fell and could not get up. It literally highway robbery. And for the record, my new car (when I get it) will not be subject to this tax, so I have no skin in this game.

          Reply
    3. Sea_Warrior
      June 19, 2022

      Q. Should the Mayor of London be able to fine owners of cars that are street-legal? I would suggest that he should not.

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        June 19, 2022

        So our government deems a car legal to drive if its registered, taxed and MOT’d…why are mayors allowed to reclassify these cars as illegal and warrant a hefty fines

        Reply
    4. Lifelogic
      June 19, 2022

      Indeed.

      Danniel Hannan today says:-

      “No, there is, in truth, only one unambiguous argument for submitting to the ECHR Convention, namely that it is written into the Belfast Agreement and Brexit Withdrawal Agreement.”

      No Dan these are good reasons to amend these agreements too. We also need to remover the ECJ from any role on the WA too. They are clearly not an unbiased court.

      Reply
      1. DavidJ
        June 19, 2022

        +1

        Reply
    5. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      Our government could repeal and ban ULEZ tomorrow….it chooses not too

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        June 19, 2022

        Indeed. Just another huge tax. If you are using the car to get to work you cannot even get income tax relief so the ULEZ charge can be nearly doubled i. what you have to earn gross to pay it!

        Reply
    6. oldwulf
      June 19, 2022

      @ Mark B

      Yep … money.
      “Why do so many Councils hate vans and cars?”
      Enables Councils to raise money by virtue signalling …. much the same as Westminster.

      Reply
      1. Mark B
        June 20, 2022

        oldwulf

        They only hate the plebs cars and vans. From my own experience of these people, they are very attached to their own state provided vehicles.

        😉

        Reply
    7. Aden
      June 19, 2022

      The question is, who are committing the traffic offences. So I went out to check

      https://youtu.be/sI9fiWR_Gr0?t=15
      101 offences in 300 seconds.
      99 by cyclists, 2 by cars.
      £81,000 worth of fines, and 249 points.
      But Kahn won’t do anything

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        June 20, 2022

        +1

        Reply
  2. Bloke
    June 19, 2022

    Answer: Too many people live squashed too close together blocking each other’s way while they compete for access to essential destinations & services.

    Reply
    1. Ian Wragg
      June 19, 2022

      Socialist thinking even with tory councils.
      They hate freedom and want us all to be bussed about on public transport.
      The car was the most liberating invention of the 20th century so the most disliked by bossy public bodies.
      Going electric is just another way of curbing our liberty.

      Reply
      1. MFD
        June 19, 2022

        Agreed Ian, I believe the MP’s, councillors and melon ( green outside and red inside) activists have severe mental health problems in trying to return us to a bygone age, which was more poluted!

        We must make sure they do not succeed ! Fight the good fight.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          June 19, 2022

          +1

          Reply
      2. Hope
        June 19, 2022

        Johnson drops his policy not to rely on China so much for goods! Yet Putin is the bad guy! Xx and his country has done more harm to the UK than Russia, so why no action against China?

        I thought IDS and others were making the case to get tougher with world dominant China who killed millions of lives through covid, economic devastation, reneged on Hong Kong treaty etc etc. urger slaves, no h7man rights of any kind, joshon’s response is what?

        Reply
        1. glen cullen
          June 19, 2022

          Boris has yet to amend any policy on China or Net-Zero….he’s all talk

          Reply
      3. Tad Davison
        June 19, 2022

        That, I venture is the crux of the problem. But not only do councils and councillors falsely purport to be Conservative, a considerable number of Conservative Members of Parliament are also falsely living beneath the Conservative banner.

        I never cease to be shocked and disgusted by the policies and the antics of some who should have been driven out years ago. I have campaigned with, and walked the streets with some who claimed to be Brexiteers, yet when the chips were down, they reverted to type and did the EU’s bidding.

        This country is so badly led and so poorly represented both at local council level and in Parliament, by careerist politicians who are completely out of touch with the public they are supposed to serve. They follow the prevailing orthodoxy and false narrative to the detriment of everyone else’s living standards – including car ownership, and are utterly clueless how best to serve those who elected them in good faith. These are sick, cynical, and treacherous people.

        Reply
        1. Mickey Taking
          June 19, 2022

          very nicely summed up…you won’t find many taking issue with your comments, or I should say protests.
          It all comes down to the people rescuing themselves in the next GE, for the Tory MPs will not.

          Reply
      4. DavidJ
        June 19, 2022

        All to suit government’s Agenda 21 promises to the UN.

        Reply
    2. Lifelogic
      June 19, 2022

      Well the closer people live together and to their work, schools etc. the less travelling overall they should actually need to do.

      Reply
      1. Bloke
        June 19, 2022

        Teachers in tower blocks marrying each other and sending their children to the school in the basement is too close for comfort. Although living above the shop does have its advantages.

        Reply
      2. glen cullen
        June 19, 2022

        Remember when we had local schools for local people 3 decades ago….now we have school children criss-crossing cities on schools runs, polluting and causing congestion

        Reply
  3. Julian Flood
    June 19, 2022

    Sir John, diesel and petrol vehicles pollute, producing NOX, particulates and CO2. By making their use difficult it is assumed that these pollution can be reduced and the damage the policy causes is ignored. Who wants to shop somewhere they are not welcome?
    Using compressed natural gas as fuel reduces CO2, NOX and particulates. If we were to use our own fracked gas we would improve our balance of trade and were we to ramp up gas production sufficiently come to the aid of our friends in the EU when they are subjected to energy blackmail.
    Onshore fracking would solve many problems and creates only one, the reluctance of communities to accept it. The answer is compensation during the process of drilling – make homeowners within five miles of a fracking pad shareholders with free energy.
    The first big power cut will make the government tremble, the second will make it fall.

    JF

    Reply
    1. Christine
      June 19, 2022

      “friends in the EU”, that’s an oxymoron.

      Reply
      1. Nottingham Lad Himself
        June 19, 2022

        It certainly is where you are concerned.

        Reply
    2. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      Agree JULIAN
      Also note that governments own BEIS / Defra report that our air/pollution has been getting progressively cleaner year on year since the 70s….. and the latest UN IPCC report that global warming has plateaued since 1983……making you wonder why our government is pursuing net-zero

      Reply
      1. hefner
        June 19, 2022

        ’plateaued since 1983’: Figure 1 of the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group I of September 2021 (available from ipcc.ch) shows you are simply talking plain rubbish, glen.

        Reply
    3. Original Richard
      June 19, 2022

      JF :

      Agreed.

      All ice vehicles can be converted to CNG including HGVs and farm vehicles for which batteries are not commercially feasible.

      If biogas/green methane from anaerobic digestion or natural gas produced via hydrogen (electrolysis/Sabatier process) is used then the net CO2 emission is zero.

      The government should incentivise green methane/biogas by cutting the fuel duty to zero, as it does for electricity for bevs.

      If biogas/green methane is also used for home heating there is no need to scrap boilers and hobs or upgrade the gas network to take hydrogen or upgrade the local and national grid to take all the additional power required for heat pumps.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        June 20, 2022

        Makes more sense than hydrogen does. But them most things do.

        Reply
  4. Bloke
    June 19, 2022

    The Location of Offices Bureau solved much of the problem in London in the 1960s. It was effective so fast that their objectives later had to be reversed!

    UK folk need to obtain many permits to do basic things in overcrowded places, even to park outside their own home. Permits are needed to live in different countries. A permit to live in heavily-overcrowded cities such as London may be a may be a more sensible civilised option than fierce financial fights for finite space decided by who has most money.

    However, malevolent-minded mayors should have no such authority.

    Reply
    1. Sharon
      June 19, 2022

      And still we have several hundred more people arriving on these shores, daily!

      Reply
      1. Hope
        June 19, 2022

        Over million visas for low paid low skilled jobs. The borders are wide open. Higher immigration than Labour and higher illegal immigration than Labour.

        Socialists through and through are in the current govt. Gove with his landlord drive is about not owning more than one house. It is also very anti business, anti strivers and pro mass immigration etc. be cause they cannot build houses as fast as their mass immigration policy.

        Reply
      2. Diane
        June 19, 2022

        Sharon: 14 June to 18 June inclusive – 5 days: A total of 1291. That we know of. Not sure if that includes the 12 arrivals at Devon’s Slapton Sands a few days ago, with their two pre booked taxi transfers ready and waiting, still to be traced. It’s also now very noticeable that fewer boats are bringing in more people if you look at stats, they seem to be averaging 40 plus per vessel presently.

        Reply
        1. Original Richard
          June 19, 2022

          Diane :

          In fact the boats are now big enough and sufficiently sea-worthy that they could be towed back to France.

          Reply
      3. Wrinkle
        June 19, 2022

        Re the problems with parking, pollution, large class sizes, crowded roads, smaller house designs etc., etc – how much of this would be addressed and life made better if the UK population was, say, 40 million?

        Reply
      4. glen cullen
        June 19, 2022

        ….and still our MPs don’t care

        Reply
  5. Sea_Warrior
    June 19, 2022

    Councils are using the powers given to them by Parliament and responding to the eco-loon agenda set by government. Both need fixing.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 19, 2022

      Indeed it is driven by money (yet another excuse for taxing and motorist mugging) and by Miliband, May & Boris’s climate change & net zero lunacy. Though pushing people to use EVs, walking, cycling, public transport… actually saves little or no net CO2 anyway (if you do the full calculations correctly). EV certainly increase CO2 after construction – they are emissions elsewhere vehicles. We have no spare low carbon electricity to charge them with anyway.

      I see they are to launch the tiny Citroen Ami 28 MPH and 60mile range (on a good day when it is flat, no wind, not cold, not raining and the car is brand new) new EV in the UK. I would not fancy my chances in such a light car if something heavy like a Land Rover, Bus or Tesla hit it at speed. Or if it just hit a tree.

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        June 19, 2022

        First they tell you what to purchase then they tell you what to think

        Reply
    2. Donna
      June 19, 2022

      Correct, except that most, if not all of “our ” environmental regulations were created at EU level. The Government transposed all EU law into UK law when we “left” the EU and has then done nothing whatsoever to amend or scrap them, including environmental regulations.

      Reply
      1. DavidJ
        June 19, 2022

        Indeed Donna. Still too many remainers / traitors within.

        Reply
    3. Sharon
      June 19, 2022

      I agree that the councils are following orders.

      During the lockdown years, between the actual lockdowns- lots of huge flower pots appeared in the middle of residential roads, blocking them. Several roads near my father, aged 90, were affected, and affected him. So I wrote to the council describing the absurd knock on effects.

      A councillor wrote back explaining that they’d received instructions by central government to do this layout of pots in the roads, urgently!

      Fortunately, enough other people also complained and these pots now wallow, rotting, in the corner of a local park!

      Reply
    4. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      Concur

      Reply
  6. Everhopeful
    June 19, 2022

    Where do the bizarre ideas come from?
    Who whispers in their ears that cutting an important road virtually in half widthways for a never used bike lane is a good idea? That was EU funded.
    Or to spend £2m on disrupting and destroying the night with that awful new street lighting .
    Yellow lines and ugly “street furniture” everywhere yet no action at all on parking on grass verges!
    Whole swathes of roads given freely and closed at the tax payers expense for gruesome sporting events with great menaces hurled at the house-holding motorist regarding car parking.
    I still seethe at the recycling fiasco which sees us turned into dustmen to help out multinational companies with their over-packaging.
    Here the council does take-the-knee light shows.
    Here we are run by a bunch of dim Marxists.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 19, 2022

      Indeed in a nice street of pretty victorian terrace houses in Cambridge each house had three huge three coloured & hideous wheelie bins outside – ruining the appearance of the whole street and blocking the pathways.

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        June 19, 2022

        +Agree
        They are so UGLY.
        And never all emptied at once.
        Just to confuse and dismay.

        Reply
      2. glen cullen
        June 19, 2022

        We have the same issue

        Reply
    2. a-tracy
      June 19, 2022

      Everhopeful, it is not even law that if there is a bike lane the cyclist has to use it, many of the Lycra clad cyclists preferring instead to cycle on the 60mph road and causing jams as we have to leave a 5ft gap when overtaking cyclists, just today there is an article about a man who overtook with a 4ft gap and got a hefty fine over £1000 for doing so and refusing to do a retraining course. Do people leave 5ft gaps in London I doubt it from what I’ve seen there isn’t room so where does the Welsh council get off with this, is there a big publicity campaign about this on Welsh tv and in all the newspapers now that cyclists go pro cameras are all that is needed to make the claim.

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        June 19, 2022

        and I’ve get to see a cyclist overtaking crawling car traffic leaving a 5′ gap !

        Reply
      2. Nottingham Lad Himself
        June 20, 2022

        Refused to accept the penalty?

        Well serves the fool right.

        Reply
        1. a-tracy
          June 21, 2022

          NLH you’re a joy. Most people couldn’t even judge a 2m gap when they thought it would save their life following the covid rules, 5ft overtaking a bike and he overtook at 4ft. I’d guess you support the get motorists of the road plans, let us reserve them for the rich the rest of you can cycle.

          Do you honestly think that in Cities there is room to give people 5ft gap. Everyone needs sensors on their door sides to help people to judge 5ft from 4ft.

          Reply
    3. Bloke
      June 19, 2022

      Mayor Khan’s claim to suitability for office was that he was one of 8 children descended from a bus driver in Tooting. Does he want everyone to drive only buses full of passengers to achieve his aims of transport efficiency, clearer roads and less pollution?

      London was great in ‘68, when car and van drivers weren’t so restricted. Congestion then was on Tower Bridge; a pleasant sight, merely queuing until it lowered. Once a bus driver performed an Evel Knievel there just to jump the gap on its way up.

      Now even crossing a London street incurs a serious charge of the congestion brigade. He who dares pays the penalty.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        June 19, 2022

        Buses can never be full as they start of empty at the depot and slowly fill up the. on the return commutes they are fairly empty as they are outside rush hours. Average occupancy can be as low as 6 passengers. They also take indirect routes and need professional staff – so are usually rather less efficient than direct route cars & certainly car with 2 or more in them.

        Reply
        1. Narrow Shoulders
          June 19, 2022

          Buses are great as are trains, but they are a service and need to be run at a loss for the convenience of passengers. They also can not often take you door to door.

          Someone will have to pay. I would support a hypothecated surcharge on VED to go towards public transport. But I would want to see how it was spent and I would want it to have a sunset clause so it can be abolished when it gets appropriated poorly.

          Reply
          1. a-tracy
            June 20, 2022

            Yes, they have to be subsidised but why do they run double-decker buses for 2 – 6 passengers all day long around local housing estates? Why does the bus leave the train station before the once-per-hour train arrives? There is no way a private company would run like that, the wasted fuel costs are only acceptable to them because they are subsidised and that is where subsidies let us all down.

  7. MPC
    June 19, 2022

    In answer to your question, because the Conservative government has encouraged and facilitated this through its ‘green’ agenda, as part of their overall assault on our English way of life that voters do not want.

    Reply
    1. Nigl
      June 19, 2022

      Indeed and Sir J R is being disingenuous by suggesting it is solely council’s fault. They are pushing the centralist green agenda plus grabbing as much money as they can to make up for perceived underfunding or increased demands such as social care.

      Actually I couldn’t care less about ‘high streets’, the Internet and occasional out of town stores meet all my needs.

      The government has also dumped a vast increase in housing on us with the roads unable to cope. That in my view is the main problem.

      Reply
  8. Everhopeful
    June 19, 2022

    Hating this place we always used to say that at least you could always drive around the town and be certain of parking.
    And the station was near enough.
    No longer.
    Car parks have been made unusable and the trains can not be relied on and have been cut dramatically.
    You will own nothing and by God, you certainly won’t travel or even want to drive!

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      Its certainly destroyed the small local independent high street retail shops
      Talk about killing the cash cow of our community

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        June 19, 2022

        +Absolutely.
        And now I notice that, bizarrely, carriers are emailing before delivering a parcel to suggest that one goes to a local pick up destination “to save 90% of your carbon footprint”.
        So what? We walk and heft a large box back miles? Or cycle with panniers?
        We drive and emit much carbon and try to park?
        Sod that for a game of soldiers! They can leave my carbon footprint alone.

        Reply
        1. glen cullen
          June 19, 2022

          Somewhere in government they’re already dreaming up a plan on how to tax the individual against their own carbon foot-print, we’ll probably have to wear some tech to measure our naughtiness

          Reply
  9. Everhopeful
    June 19, 2022

    Does anybody in government give a damn as to how many soldiers are dying in Ukraine?
    And the US looks less than enthusiastic now.
    Who will be left carrying the can?

    Reply
    1. Zorro
      June 19, 2022

      No, they are clearly fighting to the last Ukrainian and they don’t give a damn if it affects this country in higher prices or shortages because they won’t be affected. They are not acting in the interests of the British people just in spite at a change in the power position of the world and blow the consequences- EVIL 👿

      zorro

      Reply
      1. Everhopeful
        June 19, 2022

        +Agree
        Utterly evil.

        Reply
        1. Mark B
          June 20, 2022

          I do not think it is them being evil, just incompetent, immature (no sane person would go around do bad Churchill impersonations) and opportunistic behaviour to bolster their flaggin reputation and provide a nice scapegoat (Putin’s Russia) for their own failures. It just so sad that so many people have to die.

          We need grown ups to run the country who, recognise that when it comes to international matters, we do not have ‘friends’ but ‘interests’, and Ukraine is neither of those.

          Reply
          1. Philip P.
            June 20, 2022

            The last foreign minister we had who understood this, Mark, was Douglas Hurd, who tried to keep us out of taking sides in East European issues back in the 90s. I did not realise at the time that I was looking at our last generation of politicians of stature and competence.

  10. ChrisS
    June 19, 2022

    Councils have not realised yet that the car is here to stay, it’s just that they will (eventually) all be electric.

    We take our lead from the Americans. For decades they have flocked to Shopping Malls and huge hypermarkets, rather than high streets in towns, and that is what is happening here.

    Take Bournemouth, near where we live. We went into the town recently for the first time in a decade. It is a hopeless layout with the shops built on two hills with a valley between them and all the remaining car parks are at the top of each hill. All the single car parking spaces have been taken away so you can’t even pop into one shop for a few minutes.

    The result ? All three of the department stores are shut as has M & S. The bulk of shopping is now done online, at big, out-of-town supermarkets and the single shopping mall where M & S is now located.
    A great many of the shops in Bournemouth are boarded up and it is the most low brow, unwelcoming place to visit. I suspect even the restaurants are struggling.

    This is the future for the town centres, except for market towns with their big, wide main streets with plenty of parking. The Victorians got it right, 20th century planners got it spectacularly wrong.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      June 19, 2022

      yes, take the USA…out of town shopping malls are everywhere. Big welcoming car parks -nobody pays.
      If they charged the people simply wouldn’t go there….
      A big obvious message to Wokingham — but our Council leaders etc are just too thick.

      Reply
    2. Richard II
      June 19, 2022

      Its so sad. I used to love Bournemouth but as things are now I wouldn’t go there again. Council policies and the lockdown madness have done for the town. If only business rates went to the local authority rather than central government, the council might have had a financial incentive to defend retail in the town centre.

      Reply
    3. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      The EV sales in the USA have been declining for a few years now….after the rich and famous buy them; there’s no one else…..you only need to look at recent history and the story of the Toyota Prius in the 90s

      Its not a given that EVs are going to be the success our government wants

      Reply
      1. DavidJ
        June 19, 2022

        Indeed Glen.

        Reply
    4. formula57
      June 19, 2022

      @ Chriss – although at present a great many of the U.S.A’s Shopping Malls and huge hypermarkets are boarded up too. That model seems to be out of favour there.

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        June 19, 2022

        in favour of what? small niche independents?

        Reply
        1. formula57
          June 20, 2022

          e-commerce.

          Reply
    5. No Longer Anonymous
      June 19, 2022

      Does anyone imagine, that if we all got our electric cars tomorrow, that the councils would ease the width restrictions and remove the planters ?

      Scientific advisers are already telling us that the main problem now isn’t fuel particulates but those shed from rubber tyres…. and all this week we have Government scientists telling us that hot days should be classed as major storms are, given names and are an enormous danger to us.

      Never has Big Government been as big as it is now.

      No wonder they’re screwing us for tax in ever more inventive ways. For our own good, of course !

      Reply
  11. Nottingham Lad Himself
    June 19, 2022

    Maybe Sir John should work to reverse the huge, centralising power grab away from local democracy by the Thatcher governments. This would leave councils with a range of options for increasing funding and thereby easing the strangulation under which more recent central cuts have left them.

    It would also free them from being held to ransom by whatever private sector interests tendered for the services that they are now de facto compelled to outsource.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      June 19, 2022

      NLH what to prop up their own pension pots even more, take on more staff to do jobs that don’t create any local wealth for themselves so they can do less days for the same pay, work from home, run down shopping centres and roads that decrease productivity and increase costs all around them, not facilitate buses to high employment areas with good short commute times, we can all see the agenda these unions have now. People need to remember we all pay the bills £600 for every household in the UK last year to fund the trains 60% of the public don’t use at all!

      Reply
  12. Sharon
    June 19, 2022

    What a brilliant article, SJR. I agreed with every sentence!

    What you say, certainly applies to anyone outside of central London. I just responded to the ULEZ consultation for outer London, so your article today, is pertinent to my thinking in response.

    Councils, and Khan in particular, are clueless!

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      But our government has given Khan the authorisation and authority to implement ULEZ

      Reply
    2. Mark B
      June 20, 2022

      Sharon

      The consultation is just an administrative formality. The decision has already been made.

      Reply
  13. Shirley M
    June 19, 2022

    “Councils are meant to serve the public, not disrupt our lives.”

    So are governments! Where is our democracy? Like the EU, this net zero has been imposed upon us without electorate consent. Politicians can, and will, destroy the country in their desire for net zero and it will all be for nothing, other than virtue signalling and halo polishing. Net zero is just a convenient way to make us more controllable and make us all poorer, else the government wouldn’t be cramming more and more people onto our island which makes net zero so much harder to achieve. Would it? Nothing this government does is logical or sensible unless the destruction is deliberate. Then it all makes sense.

    The electorate as a whole is just a convenient cash cow and consumer, and can be ignored until the next GE comes along, and even then, the main parties will all offer the same thing in order to manipulate democracy.

    Reply
    1. Donna
      June 19, 2022

      So stop voting for one of the main parties …..which are operating a CONsensus to deny choice.

      Reply
    2. ChrisS
      June 19, 2022

      I agree with every word, Shirley !

      Reply
      1. ChrisS
        June 19, 2022

        But every one of the opposition parties is even worse and wants to go harder and faster towards Net Zero !

        Reply
        1. glen cullen
          June 19, 2022

          The only two voices against net-zero are the reform party or the monster raving loony party

          Reply
    3. Dennis
      June 19, 2022

      The electorate didn’t vote to declare war on Germany – too important decision for them as it is thought to be on the as serious climate change, as the idiots see it.

      Reply
  14. Nottingham Lad Himself
    June 19, 2022

    I travel to many towns and cities and the evidence that I find doesn’t support Sir John’s rather shrill claims, though they do evince the usual ravings from his flakier devotees here, as I assume that he intended.

    For instance, the various convenient modern means of payment in many car parks is a dream compared with the days of having to find large amounts of coinage to operate the cash driven validation machines.

    Trade vehicles are generally exempt from pedestrianised restrictions etc. anyway too.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      June 19, 2022

      You must love paying crazy fees for carparks with all that travelling, 10 mins visit but you have to find a machine that works -touch sensitive to key in the Reg’n, choose how to pay, select the rip off (I mean duration fee). Glad somebody seems happy to pay.

      Reply
    2. a-tracy
      June 19, 2022

      NLH the days when we parked for free you mean? We still only shop where parking is free! Goodbye local shopping centre I don’t want to pay an extra £5 for 35 mins parking when I can go somewhere else for no extra.

      No trade vehicles are not exempt from pedestrianised restrictions I can assure you from experience. They shorten delivery windows and don’t apply for most of the day causing jams and problems at restricted peak times and out of shift hours for drivers.

      Reply
    3. No Longer Anonymous
      June 19, 2022

      I make the point later in this thread that the real cost to drivers is central government tax on tax. I agree with you in general, NLH. Things are better in terms of tech, but then I don’t really drive in London but the last time I did we were funnelled down to one lane in a jam while there was a lane dedicated to cyclists and buses next to us. It’s one of the reasons I left there.

      Reply
    4. Dennis
      June 19, 2022

      NLH – how many apps do you have to operate the car parking meters? I would need 3 in a single town if I used them. How many would I need to park in other towns and the need to find out before travelling?

      Reply
  15. Old Albion
    June 19, 2022

    The car: A cash cow for Government and councils. Twas ever thus.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 19, 2022

      Indeed and yet despite the vast over taxation and muggings of car drivers and the vast subsidies for public transport the car is in general still vastly preferred as it is so much more convenient and usually far cheaper too. Oh and of you are (quite wrongly) concerned about CO2 public transport is rarely more efficient than cars as they often take indirect routes, need staff, have low occupancies on average, need specialist track and stations. Buses are particularly bad stopping every few hundred yards holding up other traffic, needed staff, taking long very slow routes, huge, thirsty and cumbersome vehicles and with occupancies averaging only about 6-10 depot to depot!

      Reply
  16. DOM
    June 19, 2022

    Collectivist, regressive Ideology dominates each and every policy councils and governments choose to impose. John’s own party in government do precisely the same. They’ve embraced racial, gender, sexuality and environmental ideology to rub our collective noses in ideas that are a cancer to most the vast majority of decent, moral people and indeed an anathema to reason, truth and logic

    As much as I respect admire John he needs to closer to home and recognise that his own party’s decision to appease the regressive left is also directly responsible for how national and local governmental organisations now seek to reorganise and restructure our very world

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      June 19, 2022

      +many
      It all mirrors Paradise Lost.
      Kicking against authority and overturning the idea of rules being Heaven sent.
      Overturn morality to gain the “freedom”.the “new complete life” Satan promised Eve.
      Without any truth-rooted ideology ( except that of destroying the status quo) destruction becomes an end in itself and no depravity is a bridge too far.
      At the end Satan’s only joy is in destroying the joy of others.
      Tell me that isn’t Marxism.
      “Save what is in destroying, other joy to me is lost”. Satan, Paradise Lost, Milton.

      Reply
    2. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      Succinctly put….I agree with every word, the divide between government and the people is getting bigger

      Reply
  17. Javelin
    June 19, 2022

    Councils don’t hate vans or cars just like they don’t hate people. Government have stopped seeing people as free to live their lives unless they are desperate but now only see two classes of people and things.

    Those who want Government help and those who they can tax to pay for it.

    Reply
  18. Hat man
    June 19, 2022

    One reason public transport is in crisis and can’t be relied on, Sir John, is that for many months your government and their town hall acolytes told the public not to use it. They kept the overblown Covid panic going long after it became clear that for a moderately healthy person there was no more health risk in catching a bus or train than there had been in 2019. Add to that the public sector encouragement of WFH, still going on even today. So now with the removal of the lockown subsidies to public transport, and inflation nearing 10%, the fare income isn’t there to keep services running and pay the workforce properly.
    ‘You must stay home’ (23rd March 2020) should be Johnson’s epitaph.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      Thank god we’ve got HS2 and the transport minister to satisfy all out future transport requirements

      Reply
    2. Jim Whitehead
      June 19, 2022

      Hat man, +1, and it was as predictable as it was foolish and unnecessary.

      Reply
  19. agricola
    June 19, 2022

    They do not. They see them as a soft target to increase their income stream. It never passes their febrile minds that they are cutting off the income flow to the high street businesses that till latterly were also a part of their income. It would never occur to them to encourage the motorist. For example consider the systematic way in which that lesser amoeba the mayor of London is allowed to sqeeze the life out of that city. We have a society that has been handed to lesser committerati.

    Reply
    1. Nottingham Lad Himself
      June 19, 2022

      It’s not councils which set diesel and petrol duty rates, is it?

      Reply
  20. Cortona
    June 19, 2022

    How about elderly people I know in London who aren’t able to cycle but are being forced off the road? Surprised they don’t ever get a mention…

    Reply
  21. Nigl
    June 19, 2022

    And in other news Dan Hannah’s comments on the ECJ and ECHR, namely the NI protocol somehow forces us to stay with them, even if changed, makes interesting reading.

    Are we being misled by HMG spin?

    Reply
    1. anon
      June 20, 2022

      Send all arrivals to Northern Ireland for processing until Rwanda is a go. Ensure they are restrictions on residence to NI. They can in due course , then claim EU passports!

      Reply
  22. beresford
    June 19, 2022

    Ha ha. Fewer obstacles on the road…..like other people’s double and triple-parked cars and vans.

    Reply
  23. Donna
    June 19, 2022

    Some Councils are “more enthusiastic” than others when it comes to deterring car/van use, but they are all following Government policy and they are using EU or Westminster-made Laws and/or Regulations to enforce their restrictions.

    As previous Commentators have stated, many of these restrictions are enforced by charges or fines, so they are a nice little earner for Councils which like to waste our money just as must as the Government does.

    If the Government wanted to prevent or deter Councils from making motorists’ lives a misery (including the small traders which keep the economy going) it has the power to do so. But it won’t because the Government is also engaged in the business of milking drivers for every penny they can, whilst actively trying to deter private car ownership and make it unaffordable for those on lower incomes.

    Over the last 100 years our economy has developed around the ability to easily move goods and people where they need to go, when they need to go there, using motorised transport. Quite how they expect that economy to survive when they are making the ability to do so prohibitively expensive and/or massively inconvenient is beyond me.

    Perhaps they want us to return to the horse and cart, to go with the useless effing windmills they keep promoting?

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      The bottom line is – who is in charge of governing how we live our own life, is the government a support mechanism satisfying the peoples wishes or a nanny state controlling every aspect of society….cars are bad you naughty boys

      Reply
  24. Berkshire Alan
    June 19, 2022

    They do it because they can.
    Visited the loverly city of Ely a few weeks ago, free parking all day, spent much longer there than originally planned, ended up spending over £100 locally having a great meal in a great restaurant and visiting the Cathedral, looked like a thriving city centre ,business owners delighted as customers not constrained by time

    Reply
  25. beresford
    June 19, 2022

    Perhaps railway workers should have their wages set by a remuneration committee, like the bosses. Just like the bosses, the committee should be comprised of people with a vested interest in bidding the going rate up, such as fellow transport workers. Failing that, an organisation should be adopted which prevents one union from having too much power. Unfashionable though it is to say it, John Major was right and BR should have been split vertically into the Big Four companies rather than horizontally into disconnected groups owning the franchises, track, and rolling stock.

    Reply
  26. Know-Dice
    June 19, 2022

    I see that the BBC calculate that the refuelling cost of an EV vs petrol /diesel with a ratio of 70% home and 30% on the road recharging is currently about 50% cheaper, factor in the cost of an EV and extra CO2 generated making a new EV with current battery technology just doesn’t make any sense

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      Especially if you need 100% road charging because you live in an apartment or terrace house, like 2/3s of the population

      Reply
  27. Christine
    June 19, 2022

    For working mothers it is virtually impossible to get your children to nursery, school then work without a car. I remember the stress that Two Jags Prescott inflicted on me during my working life. My job was moved twenty miles away. Before work, I had to drive my kids to nursery and school then because the small works car park was filled with those, mainly men, who could arrive early I was forced to park a twenty-minute walk away.

    Rather than make life harder for workers why don’t governments encourage jobs to be located near where people live like in our ancestors’ days? We have the opposite where the majority of our local jobs have been moved to the cities under the auspice of Osbourne’s Power House of the North.

    It is politicians who seem to want mothers to return to work then they put in place as many obstacles as they can to deter this from happening. The saying “walk a mile in my shoes” comes to mind. I suggest the likes of Khan ditches his chauffeur-driven car and experiences what normal people have to contend with before imposing his wokery on us.

    Reply
  28. Dave Andrews
    June 19, 2022

    Even in my lifetime car ownership has expanded massively. The consequence is that many roads not built for motor vehicles are now clogged with them.
    I admit that there are numerous occasions when a car is needed, so like most cyclists I have a car for those necessary tasks, like travelling long distance, taking waste to the tip, carrying bulky items from the shop.
    I observe though there are many who appear to be going the same way as me to work, whose corpulent form really does need to be set on a saddle to do some welcome exercise, but choose the car not so much for necessity but out of laziness.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      Governments should not interfere with our decision on why, where or how we wish to travel or by what method….or is it just a platitude to say we live in a free country

      Reply
  29. IanT
    June 19, 2022

    We took a Canadian friend up to Heathrow T2 yesterday and found we had to pay £5 to quite literally “drop” her off – which took a few minutes to simply unload her suitcase. As we approached Heathrow via the M4 (driving East) there was a large green ‘LEZ’ sign over the exit and I did wonder if I was going to get charged for that too – but fortunately my car (currently) only has to pay the Congestion Charge in central London.

    We often used to drive into London, for the theatre (& staying overnight) or taking visiting friends & relatives on a tour of the sights – sometimes dropping them off at hotels etc. We haven’t done that for a while (Covid etc) but I certainly won’t be tempted to do so in the future.
    A friend (a very skilled carpenter & joiner) who is well past retirement age, still does specialist work. He drives a diesel van which he will never replace now. He no longer works in London because of the charges, mostly (I suspect) because he simply objects to the whole idea but the end result is just the same. Maybe Londoners think that it’s all worth it but (as someone who was born in London) I’m afraid it’s just another reason I’m no longer tempted to go back there….

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      The UK has gone crazy under this woke climate crusading government….sorry ‘power mad’ government

      Reply
  30. Know-Dice
    June 19, 2022

    Just look at Reading Council, width restrictors on ambulance route to Royal Berkshire Hospital. Deliberate camera placing on route to railway station to catch the unknowing with a fine, no accident about that…

    Reply
  31. Lester_Cynic
    June 19, 2022

    I thought that our government is doing everything in its power to prevent us having personal transport

    So no vehicles powered by petrol or diesel?

    Reply
  32. Christine
    June 19, 2022

    Councils are just becoming a money pit where they take more in taxes but provide fewer services. Just look at the rise in pay for council chief executives. They seem to think they deserve the same level of pay as a CEO in a private company yet they bear none of the risks and don’t need to show a profit.

    A month’s council tax on my property in the UK is equivalent to a year’s council tax on my Spanish property, yet the services I receive are much lower. Why is this the case? Where is the value for money? Who puts a check on council’s wasting our money?

    Reply
  33. Mark J
    June 19, 2022

    I certainly hope that Wokingham Borough Council, other Councils that border London and their associated MPs, will be raising objections to the proposed ULEZ expansion out to the M25 ring.

    This policy will affect many people outside London, to be honest it isn’t right. It is just another way of bolstering TFL’s dire finances. It is nothing more than a glorified tax on the motorist.

    People traveling to Heathrow from Wokingham will be affected for example, if their car doesn’t meet emissions that Sadiq Khan deems as acceptable.

    If the Government had any backbone, they would be telling Sadiq Khan in no uncertain terms, NO!

    Reply
  34. a-tracy
    June 19, 2022

    I thought it was just conspiracy’s that world governments want people being more restricted to their homes, less travelling not just around the world but out of your local areas to shop and visit family and friends. Push people onto public transport giving unions unimaginable power over our lives as they are showing us now because they want MORE and MORE for themselves when they already earn much more than the average person in this Country, they get much bigger pension pots, full sick pay, come on Shapps tell people the worth of their full packages, exactly how much it costs for the 25% employer top ups into their pension schemes to pay out the defined benefits they demand and get, how much does their sick and absence pay cost, how much does their full family free rail fares cost tell the people that pay the top ups for rail use in this country just what they’re getting (because they certainly do not appreciate the value of their full package of benefits, are their free family railfares for life taxed as a benefit in kind or not?) Then lets see how much sympathy they have, when people sit and compare with their nest and ssp and pay as well as the disruption they are causing to the rail users lives this month. I’d tell them they can have their pensions frozen and just have nest workplace pensions from now on and take the extra pay today the government will get half of it straight back in tax anyway. If they don’t pay benefit in kind on family railfares why not? This is not even seen as a big perk.

    Reply
    1. No Longer Anonymous
      June 19, 2022

      Tend to agree but…

      Most of those things used to be enjoyed by the vast majority of workers until several decades ago. My father was able to retire at 53 after 30 years service, paying 1/8th of salary for a pension larger than any rail worker required to make 40 years of contributions at 25% of salary – mum didn’t have to work to raise us either.

      This is a measure of how far we’ve fallen rather than how well rail workers are paid (which they are.)

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        June 20, 2022

        There are companies with pension debts greater than they will ever afford it’s just a big ticking time bomb, £20m deficit of one engineering firm I know, some companies are now owned by their pension fund, and their turnover is only £2m. Deficits doubled during the covid closedowns so the councils, railways, and housing associations etc. will all be putting big top ups in their pension funds which leaves less to actually serve their clients.

        Over 54% of all transport expenditures are spent on the railways already! Passengers won’t be paying for these high benefits packages as well as generous salary packages for 35-hour weeks, road users will be picking up the tab, leaving less to be spent on roads or higher taxes on all of us including all those that never use the trains! The Unions and other beneficial parties want the headlines that it’s back to the 1970s for the UK – the people picking up the tab for all this political positioning are those not reaping the personal benefits.

        Reply
  35. glen cullen
    June 19, 2022

    But councils will, with justification, tell us that they are implementing government environmental policies, net-zero policy, cycle lane policy, electrification policy, street calming policy, pedestrianisation policy, the highway code and the highway agency build policy….and reductions in council budgets leading to higher parking chargers….this government needs to take responsibility, councils hate for cars and drivers is just a reflection of government

    Reply
  36. No Longer Anonymous
    June 19, 2022

    Why do councils make driving so hard ?

    Various reasons including spite and money but what makes it easier for them to hurt us is that we are caricatured as Toad of Toad Hall hobby drivers with a ‘love affair’ with the car. They call us ‘motorists’. Flying hat, goggles, gloves … scarf flailing in the wind zooming around with arrogant and gleeful abandon. Even Boris says we love a car that goes “Va-va- vrooooom !”

    Um. No we don’t. For most a car is an onerous liability that can drop unbearable bills at any moment – and usually exactly when least needed – an MOT is a dreaded date in the diary. We run our cars in order to fulfil our duties.

    The fact is that our society was deliberately structured around the private motor vehicle and that arrangement is being wound up without the adequate provision of alternatives.

    But the worst offender by FAR is the Tory Government which brazenly steals our money with tax-on-tax for fuel and VAT on repairs and parts – for something we have to use to get to work … to pay tax !!!

    Reply
  37. The Prangwizard
    June 19, 2022

    This government and almost everyone in authority regardless of party is not concerned about opposition to its actions. They have all been brainwashed into ‘climate change’ and other controlling ideologies. They will take no notice of opposition and calculate they can ger away with increasing authoritarism.

    We must stop pretendung that nice discussion pieces will change them alone, particularly Boris who sees himself entirely untouchable.

    Activism is needed in addition if our freedoms are to be protected and restored.

    Reply
  38. Denis Cooper
    June 19, 2022

    Off topic, the next edition of the Maidenhead Advertiser is on Thursday June 23 and I have offered this:

    “As we reach the sixth anniversary of the EU referendum I find that I care less and less about what stuff unscrupulous folk may take across the open Irish land border to contaminate the EU Single Market.

    The EU and the Irish government have been offered collaborative solutions, not least by a former EU Commission Director-General and two professors of law, but they have rejected them out of hand.

    So when I examine the UK government’s Bill to unilaterally disapply parts of the Irish protocol, and find that it only gives a nod towards protection of the EU Single Market, how much do I care about that?

    In its Clause 15 “safeguarding the integrity of the EU single market” is the seventh of nine “permitted purposes” for which a minister may make regulations to disapply the protocol or withdrawal agreement.

    While the first four specifically relate to Northern Ireland – its stability, its trade, its constitutional position within the UK – and are clearly intended to persuade the DUP to restore devolved government.

    But little as I may care about the integrity of the EU Single Market, now that Dublin and Brussels have worn down my neighbourly goodwill, the UK Parliament has many members who do care about it.

    Indeed it may be the case that taken across both houses a majority of parliamentarians feel greater loyalty to the EU than to the UK, and of course this Bill will have to get past them to come into effect.

    Therefore I am forced to hope that during its passage the Bill will be amended to place greater and more obvious emphasis of protecting the EU Single Market, to help win over those EU sympathisers.”

    Brexit is a shambles thanks to Cameron + Osborne, May and now Johnson, but I would still vote for it.

    Reply
  39. BOF
    June 19, 2022

    I think councils know exactly what they do.

    Over the course of many years, whenever drivers have found places to park cars free, councils have always found a way of charging them until there are no free places left, and now in recent years, they use the bogus bogey man, ‘climate change’, to charge while we drive the vehicle as well! It really is pure greed.

    With government charging road fund tax as well as extortionate duty on road fuel plus VAT, we are nothing but cash cows. If anyone thinks it will be different with daft electric cars, they are deluded.

    Reply
  40. Enough Already
    June 19, 2022

    The war on cars isn’t just being waged by council’s but also through government policy. Don’t forget it was Schapps who provided the councils with the funding for cycle and pavement infrastructure changes.

    Reply
  41. forthurst
    June 19, 2022

    My local council makes 5% of its total income from parking charges. There are more metered on-street parking spaces than residents’ permits and car parks represent only 5% of the total parking space.
    However, the main issue going forward is that planning permissions for new blocks of flats are restricted in the number of allocated resident’s parking spaces. The view seems to be that by not providing parking will force people onto bicycles and buses. of course this is not only anti-democratic but also causes spillover on to surrounding streets. It is very clear the planning law needs to be amended in favour of personal autonomy but of course this government is so ignorant of science that it believes that causing personal inconvenience to a lot of people will save the planet. We need far more parking space, far fewer foreign invaders, and far fewer Arts graduate ignoramuses running the country.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      My council had to make a decision a number of years ago to either continue its free parking and allow the high street to flourish or install parking meters and employ parking wardens to receive a small revenue at the cost of the high street – it went with the later….our high street is now diminished and the parking revenue reduced due to the lack of use….what’s our councils answer ‘increase the parking chargers’ as one councillors said ‘its better to receive something rather than nothing’

      Like our national government; local government has lost its way

      Reply
      1. Mark B
        June 20, 2022

        glen

        I was driven though my local town centre recently by an neighbour, I had not visited it in over a decade since my last car was given a PCN despite it being on private land. The once great shopping area is now derelict ! That PCN cost them mine and other peoples patronage and now, even if I wanted to and I don’t, there is nothing there to go back to.

        Reply
  42. Iain gill
    June 19, 2022

    You may ask why the NHS charges so much for parking, why they insist patients for operations arrive at 6 am when half of them won’t be treated till the afternoon. Why visitors get screamed at by their security, for being suspected staff parking in the public areas, no matter that you are actually visiting a patient. Why we have to walk through clouds of smoke at the main entrance as they have allocated no area for smokers so they all congregate around the main entrance. Truly the least patient centric healthcare in the developed world.

    Reply
  43. Wokinghamite
    June 19, 2022

    I completely agree with Sir John.

    Reply
  44. Pauline Baxter
    June 19, 2022

    Yes well, unfortunately your leader has this ridiculous ‘carbon neutral’ fixation so everyone else has an excuse for demonising our personal transport.
    It is not just internal combustion motors that must be confiscated apparently. The problems you have talked about would still apply even if it was practical for all vehicles to be EV.
    However, at the moment I would rather Johnson was not toppled because the front runners in your party would probably be worse.
    Many have said on here that they would like you to be leader or chancellor but we can only have what we are offered.
    The other main parties are even worse.
    So keep plugging away at all the nonsense that is churned out by Central Government in particular.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      First they came for your motorcar, then they came for your gas boiler, then they came for your energy consumption and then they came for your freedom

      Reply
      1. Original Richard
        June 19, 2022

        glen cullen :

        Agreed, this is the sole reason for the CO2 scam/Net Zero policy as evidenced by the fact that it is pointless, unnecessary and unworkable.

        Reply
      2. Mark B
        June 20, 2022

        Not before they came for, Roman Abramovich’s property and assets.

        If they can take from a billionaire they can take from you and me.

        Reply
  45. David L
    June 19, 2022

    Developers who are building around Wokingham and Bracknell are not innocent of causing inconvenience for car owners themselves. Rather than allow for adequate parking they cram more houses onto a site as it’s more profitable and motorists can go hang. For example, Outfield Crescent near the station has cars crammed into every conceivable space, and that’s a recent estate. Great Hollands in Bracknell has seen car ownership spiral over the years since it was constructed and now finding any space to park there is a major challenge. It seems to be a pattern, but as the culprits are often Party donors any criticism is muted.

    Reply
  46. XY
    June 19, 2022

    All too obvious and sensible for the average elected teddy bear of modern times.

    They seem to think these policies are popular, but they’re not. And people are increasingly voicing their concerns.

    However, being able to do something about it is another thing altogether. One of the biggest issues with local govt is the anonymity. Try finding out anything about the candidates for local elections and you’ll come up against a brick wall. Even an online search yields very little.

    Try unearthing the accounts for the local councils and then see if you can decipher who is responsible for any single thing.

    So we end up voting for a party, not a person – more in hope than anything else. And nowadays all major parties are into net zero and similar WEF/Davos twaddle. Basically, there’s no real choice left in politics these days – you can vote for more of the same or… for more of the same. Even if they do claim that you’re voting for “change”, they rarely specify the nature of the change and they never, ever enact any meaningful change (or not a change that you’d want anyway).

    Not that we really wanted much change, often just a steady hand on the tiller is all that was required.

    Reply
  47. Lynn Atkinson
    June 19, 2022

    Bravo! The day tesco dispenses with parking and pedestrianises all access is the day Cohncils should consider pedestrianisation of town centres.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      June 20, 2022

      I agree Lynn, this is how the supermarkets killed off their competition, the supermarkets we have now offer less than they used to in order to kill of the independent florists, tv shop, butchers, bakers, clothes shops and bread shops, and they restrict choice on certain lines with no competition in the local town centre. The German supermarket has made a bold step with a building three times the size so not only have we killed off the British small shop choices and service, we now get what we’re given with the profit flow out of the UK.

      Reply
  48. Random Bird
    June 19, 2022

    Not everything is about young people with kids. I live in a town where 28% are over 65 and are probably less able than younger people. The town centre is pedestrianised to the extent that one needs to walk a good few hundred yards to access the shops. I have a disability that makes it hard for me to walk distances and haven’t been able to visit my local town for nearly twenty years because it’s just too far to walk from the car, but I don’t qualify for a blue badge.
    We hear about vast sums being ploughed into diversity accessibility, but a far larger percentage have mobility issues, are hard of hearing or partially sighted that are gradually being excluded from parts of society.

    Reply
  49. Tad Davison
    June 19, 2022

    Why isn’t Sir John Redwood the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom?

    Surely it is time for a leader with copious amounts of logic and common sense?

    We haven’t had those qualities since the overthriw of Margaret Thatcher in 1990, and they are sorely needed now!

    Reply
  50. Thomas Dillon
    June 19, 2022

    Bearded bachelors cycling to their jobs in council road planning departments surely subscribe to the high-status opinion that car use is unnecessary and antisocial. But I suspect the Dept of Transport encourages these disastrous policies, such as the blocking off of side roads.

    Reply
  51. L Jones
    June 19, 2022

    ”…Councils are meant to serve the public, not disrupt our lives…”
    And couldn’t EXACTLY the same be said about our MPs and Parliament? It seems that the concept of a ”public servant” is a step too far for many of these self-serving and often arrogant people.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 19, 2022

      ”hear hear”

      Reply
  52. Quentin Paterson
    June 19, 2022

    Cars are freedom.

    Seems some folk don’t like that.

    Reply
  53. Lester_Cynic
    June 19, 2022

    I left my comment when there were only 23 comments

    There are now 33 comments and mine is still awaiting moderation, funny 🤔🤔🤔

    People are rapidly catching on to your agenda mr redwood

    Reply
    1. Donna
      June 19, 2022

      Think yourself lucky. He’s ignored mine.
      Perhaps I hit the nail a bit too hard.

      Reply
      1. Mark B
        June 20, 2022

        It happens. Just keep plugging away. I also find that other newer contributors tend to put much of what I have wanted to say so the message still gets out there, which is what is important.

        Reply
    2. Mickey Taking
      June 20, 2022

      you forget that you cannot see others waiting in the Q for Sir John to accept.
      The number visible is not the total there are more waiting for moderation.

      Reply
  54. alastair harris
    June 19, 2022

    you have to be careful with the shopping parks and their free parking. We have one by us, with supermarkets and other mixed retail. It offers free parking for a few hours, and then a hefty fine, enforced by cameras. The problem is that access is often conjested due to the nature of the local roads. There have been more than a few times when it has taken people more than an hour to exit the site. Which doesn’t seem to stop the parking operators from issuing their fines. The car parks in the city centre here are fairly expensive, but at least you know where you are!

    Reply
  55. Paul Cuthbertson
    June 19, 2022

    Lester_Cynic and Donna,
    JR is a politician therefore he plays the politics.
    As George Orwell stated “in a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act”.

    Reply
  56. mancunius
    June 20, 2022

    Sir John, this scandal is not an accident – it is a deliberate attempt to hobble business and industry by socialist mayors and councils (some even nominally Conservative but wet and green), who think if they push matters far enough, and the government remains indifferent, Tory voters will give up on the Johnson government and Labour+Greens+LibDems+SNP will waltz in.
    If the RMT carry out their most recent threat to carry on striking at least until the end of the year, these local tyrants will have a field day. The government should introduce emergency measures to override local authorities’ traffic and parking restrictions. It is not enough to say, as Grant Shapps has, that it is not for the government to intervene in rail strikes.
    1. Emergency Bill to override councils’ parking and congestion charges and restrictions.
    2. Bill to ban striking and working to rule (i.e. banning overtime) in essential services – including energy, health, travel and comms industries – just as with the police.
    PS You might usefully extend Bill No. 2 to the GPs… 😉

    Reply
    1. Mark B
      June 20, 2022

      What will happen is, companies will look to either relocated to other parts of the country that are less affected and / or encourage more home working thereby lessening the effect of strikes. The RMT and any other unions are on a hiding to nowhere especially as they now wish to bring in ULEZ for the whole of London.

      Reply

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