Blocking the roads

Each time I use my car to get to work or to visit places in my constituency to keep in touch I encounter some new obstacle to getting around. Each journey poses its own mixture of traffic jams, temporary lights, closed roads, restricted carriageways, narrowed lanes, reduced lanes and new speed restrictions.

Some of the disruption is the result of the Uk madness of putting most cables, pipes and wires under tarmac roads then digging them up every time you need access for repair and improvement. The utilities and Ministers I have talked to over the years about why not place new or replacement cables and pipes in accessible conduits, preferably under pavements to avoid digging up main roads have always agreed but failed to implement. Management of road closures to allow access to existing pipes and cables is often poor with much wasted time with the road closed but  no work underway.

Some of it is Councils wanting to force people out of their cars and vans. Councils who claim to have  no cash to pay for decent social services or to maintain a good refuse service have bundles of banknotes to change kerbs, pavements, install more traffic lights, paint roads and festoon them with new signs and surveillance cameras. Many Councils take a sadistic delight in making the lives of the motorist, the van driver and goods delivery driver almost impossible.

Some of it is pressure of traffic on the diminishing number of roads that survive. We invite in hundreds of thousands additional people each year but fail to put in extra roadspace for theirs cars. In fast growing areas like Wokingham the Conservative Council did put in some important new roads and by passes, but the Lib Dem led Council is now busy narrowing or closing roads to make life difficult.

This is a major impediment to productivity and business success. Those running businesses to help us at home book fewer appointments to allow for the delays on the roads. They need to add to the charges the costs of Congestion and low emissions zones, car parking charges and the extra fuel used in traffic jams. The London Mayor’s widened ULEZ zone is very unpopular, seeking to stop people with older vehicles and lower incomes from using their cars.


  1. Ashley
    April 9, 2023

    Correct but Kahn’s is just trying to raise more tax – it is nothing whatever to do with pollution that is just the ruse used to justify the tax theft.

    Another absurd discussion about VAT & charitable status for private schools on Any Questions. The Idea that private school users get tax breaks is absurd they pay three times over for their children’s education it would be four if they put VAT on it. For those using private healthcare they already do with 12% IPT tax. But not even the “consocialists” on the panel dare to point this out.

    The idea that Labours VAT plan will raise any money is moronic it will do huge net harm and raise less tax than it costs. Nor will their Non Dom abolition proposals raise any. But the socialist and innumerate dope Gove also supports VAT on Private Schools it seems the fool thinks not having it is “egregious”.

    1. Chris S
      April 9, 2023

      Everyone should be given vouchers to spend on healthcare and education in either the private or public sector.
      In healthcare, vouchers would be a good alternative if a full privatised insurance system of funding is considered too extreme.
      We will then see what the real cost of treatments should be. When there is proper competition. I suspect, the NHS wiould have to become far more efficient, thus reducing the demand on taxation.

    2. Dave Andrews
      April 9, 2023

      Private healthcare might not be saving the public purse all that much. The insurance doesn’t save on elderly medical costs or lifestyle diseases. When it comes to long term illnesses like MS or Parkinson’s or mental illness, which cost the NHS huge, the insurance companies don’t want to know.
      There ought to be a place for business private healthcare, as it would be in their interest to promote healthy lifestyles. It should be deductible as a business expense at least, and exempt from IPT. It shouldn’t be taxable as a benefit – since when is having a hernia and surgery to fix it a benefit?

    3. Geoffrey Berg
      April 9, 2023

      I don’t know whether Michael Gove ever really was a Conservative but he certainly isn’t (even within the broad definition I favour) now.
      Apart from being fanatically unreasonable and hostile about landlords, let me explain why his attitude to private education is fundamentally outside the proper realm of Conservativism. The instant point about private education is that it saves the country the high cost of publicly educating those children which is in itself a public good. The ideological Conservative reasons for supporting (rather than hindering) private education are that it provides some choice (I am sorry that at least some independent schools don’t prioritise lower costs and lower fees) and competition to state schools. Both the freedom for people to choose and competition are absolutely fundamental to Conservativism. Genuine Competition practically always leads to better quality and better value products for customers. This is not egregious harm but egregious good, and good in a way that is at the very core of Conservativism.

    4. Ashley
      April 9, 2023

      We need far and unrigged competition in Health Care, Schools, Universities, Energy, Housing, Banking, the BBC and much else.

      Not a system that robs the money off you in advance taxes and perhaps give you something back if you are lucky, but probably not something of any quality or what you actually wanted and perhaps have a long delay.

      Leave the money with those who earned it and give people real “Freedom and Choice” (as Friedman puts it) as to how they spend and invest their own money. Just a safely net only for those who really cannot pay. Not you get what you are given when we choose to give it – so get lost we have your money already so you are just a cost.
      This is NHS mode.

  2. Ashley
    April 9, 2023

    Endless complaints from government and politicians about the UK’s productivity. But what is the cause of low UK productivity but bloated and hugely wasteful government, absurdly high taxes, road blocking, the war on motorists, the war on landlords and the self employed, net zero, slow restrictive planning, the largely pointless subsidised degrees, the OTT employment laws, the endless red tape…

    1. agricola
      April 9, 2023

      UK productivity is not complex. If private companies have poor productivity they go out of business and no longer affect private sector productivity. If government activity displays poor productivity it just asks for more cash and lumbers on until it wants yet more cash. Government and its scribes are utterly useless at costing or value analysing anything beyond a cup of office tea. Witness HS2, Crossrail, the Channel Tunnel, in fact anything they toutch. They are the biggest drag on UK productivity and enterprise such as SMRs that it would be possible to imagine in you worst nightmares. They are an infinitely bigger drag on UK endevour than the overbloated HoLs. They should endure radical surgery lest they kill the body in which they malignantly lie, the UK.

    2. Ian B
      April 9, 2023

      @Ashley +1
      The war on prosperity, the economy, enterprise, freedoms. Then add in the rewards for any entity in receipt of taxpayer money that fails.
      Or, then think of anything that a Conservative Party stands for, then it will dawn on you everything on offer is the 100% opposite.

      1. Ashley
        April 9, 2023

        +1 but no real escape for voters from the ConSocialists or Labour.

  3. Mark B
    April 9, 2023

    Good morning.

    Let us see if this gets posted today after yesterdays was deleted. 😉

    Councils are only doing what has been mandated further up the food chain. And in any case, the problems described are minor compared to what is coming around the corner with Net Zero etc.

    These are government websites:

    And it can find £400m for what really should be left to private industry but cannot find a penny to paint an repair the roads.

    1. Donna
      April 9, 2023

      Sir John appears to think many of his readers are stupid and will meekly go along with his “Labour and LibDem Councils are waging a war on motorists” when it’s obvious it’s the Westminster Uni-Party which is responsible.

    2. Cuibono
      April 9, 2023

      I’ve been wondering about that.
      ie how autonomous are councils.
      The mendacious terror of our council seems to suggest painful arm twisting from somewhere.
      A councillor, when challenged, denied any knowledge of WEF or WHO. What was he doing in politics then?
      Would orders to host a BLM light show come from on high?
      Talk about weaving a twisted web.

    3. Cuibono
      April 9, 2023

      The Government IS literally Extinction Rebellion.
      The same outfit!!
      You are so clever to have found those docs. Wonder what else there is?
      Not surprising that the ambulance-stopping, statue-destroyers got away with it all.
      Why didn’t a posse of Ministers do their own dirty work?
      What a revelation!

      Note how the first doc speaks wistfully of men with red flags walking in front of cars!

    4. Cuibono
      April 9, 2023

      Well! Well!
      So the govt. is hand in glove with Extinction Rebellion then?
      They are ONE AND THE SAME.
      A superb find!
      There is no surprise that the tearers-down of statues and blockers-of-ambulances were allowed to continue their dirty work.
      They want the roads to be shared space with places for kids to play! Where people can meet and chat!!
      After what they have done to society.

      (My second reply…the first was accused of being a repeat. )

      1. glen cullen
        April 9, 2023

        You see that in their manifesto

        1. glen cullen
          April 9, 2023

          NO NO NO

    5. Ian B
      April 9, 2023

      @Mark B +1

      A vote for the Conservative Party as much as it is for any Party standing in the Local Elections is a wasted vote. The Conservative Party wanted us to vote in a Conservative Government at the EG and we got a Left of Labour Government, that joins in with the Liberal Democrat’s anti UK stance. So why believe any of them. I consider myself to be a natural Conservative Party supporter, I am fortunate the my MP is Sir John. But it all ends there, I would now vote the despicable Corbyn as there is some semblance of honesty.

  4. Wanderer
    April 9, 2023

    I think the problems described stem largely from the malaise within our public sector and party political process.

    My experience is only with smaller non-metropolitan Councils. Here officers and Members always overreach their remit. Not their strictly legal remit, but they can and do make use of their freedom to use others’ money to pursue their personal preferences in aspects of life way outside of what most would expect their Council to do. So, rather than repair potholes they play around with often bonkers traffic management schemes.

    They get away with it because Party politics obscures local accountability. Voters more often than not vote blue or red based on their national preferences, rather than their local reality. Members know this, so feel free to get on with their agenda. As long as their side does OK nationally, they will stay in power. Disagreements between parties are pretty rare, as Councillors are all normally well-off retirees with similar backgrounds. Officers are often at liberty to develop pet policies, and get them rubber-stamped by Members.

    What a mess.

    1. glen cullen
      April 9, 2023

      ‘rubber-stamped by Members’ – correct
      My council constructs un-used cycle lanes next to unrepaired pop-holes, utter madness but as you say it’s a tick in the box

  5. Donna
    April 9, 2023

    This applies to CONservative Councils just as much as Labour and LibDem ones. The problem starts in Westminster. You’ve been in power for 13 years and currently have a majority of around 70.

    This is the legislation you need to amend.
    Part III

  6. Ian wragg
    April 9, 2023

    You’ve been in power for 13 years and have waged a relentless war on the motorist
    Now You’ve gone for the private sector landlord and soon it will be the farmers
    No one is safe from your constant meddling

    1. Ian B
      April 9, 2023

      @Ian wragg +1
      More than just the motorist. 13 years of destruction, 13years in maliciously destroying everything that would cause the UK to become resilient and self-reliant. 13 years of the highest taxes anyone alive in the UK has ever seen, 13 years of total destruction of UK enterprise and its economy. As this Government has proven Vote Conservative, and you want see a Conservative Government.

    2. glen cullen
      April 9, 2023

      13 years plotting against the people

  7. Clough
    April 9, 2023

    If you put cables etc. under pavements, what do you do about pedestrians while the work is going on? From what I’ve seen when this is done, a part of the roadway near the kerb is turned into a temporary walkway, cordoned off with plastic barriers. Not sure if it’s usually manageable to keep two-way traffic flow in this situation, but it may be. Certainly worth trying. And the repairs to the footpath would surely be cheaper and longer-lasting than what happens currently to road surfaces after the roads are dug up.

  8. turboterrier
    April 9, 2023

    As the government relies on the motorist as a guaranteed cash cow so do the councils. We all complain but they do not listen or care as they know as always we will pay.
    All this NZ religious hype has made things worse as it gives them immunity from criticism as they are on the side of the righteous. It’s all a load of b’s and gives them even more money to waste on everything and anything.
    It is just not the money they waste it is the time, materials, energy, resources.
    But they are too arrogant to sèe what they are doing is even remotely wrong.

  9. Javelin
    April 9, 2023

    Local councils are doing their bit to be “good little globalists”. Local councils genuinely think that by sabotaging their own economy they can save the rest of the world from climate destruction.

    The rest of the world are moving on and looking after their own nation states. Mean while somewhere in the UK one of Tony Blair’s generation of children has been educated beyond their own IQ and believes ripping up curb stones and destroying petrol cars will save the life of somebody on the other side of the planet who is busy competing with them to take their wealth off them.

    Virtue is the mother of destruction.

    1. Ashley
      April 9, 2023

      Indeed we are inundated by “virtue signalling” morons in government and elsewhere generally with zero grasp of logic or science. The real climate emergency is the absurd over reaction of government – rather like Covid, the lockdown and the net harm vaccines even for the healthy young.

    2. glen cullen
      April 9, 2023

      My local council has declared a ‘green global emergency’ ….do they have the authority to declare an emergency and to divert public funds …why hasn’t national government stopped this abuse of power

    3. Original Richard
      April 9, 2023

      Javelin : “Local councils are doing their bit to be “good little globalists”. Local councils genuinely think that by sabotaging their own economy they can save the rest of the world from climate destruction.”

      Yes, our ruling elites believe that saving the planet and the peoples of the world is far more important than looking after the UK population. Hence unlimited, uncontrolled immigration and Net Zero to reduce global CO2 emissions by 1% even though both will destroy our social cohesion, institutions and the economy.

      This affliction goes right to the very, very top of our elites where ruling and looking after the UK is not sufficient, they must be seen to be saving the world, no matter how damaging it is to the UK itself.

      I wonder if it’s because they cannot give up the feeling they should be ruling an Empire?

    4. Cuibono
      April 9, 2023

      +many, many
      Exactly so!

    5. turboterrier
      April 9, 2023


  10. Nigl
    April 9, 2023

    No votes in it so Ministers don’t care.

    And in other news we finally get confirmation as if we needed it, that HS2 demand data was not scrutinised or ignored before it was green lighted by Boris. (No surprise there).

    So a purely political project spaffing tens of billions we cannot afford. The DOT response to the latest comments was its standard cliches and guess what, it didn’t mention demand, which was the thrust of the comment put to it.

    Civil servants, ministers? Is there anyone ‘honest’ or competent?

    1. turboterrier
      April 9, 2023

      The answer to the question is no.
      My question must be who will be held responsible and accountable?
      The triple tumours of incompetence, ignorance and arrogance are consuming the political structure of this country. Those credible and competent not inflicted, are banished to the back benches or promoted to the wastelands of the civil service.

  11. majorfrustration
    April 9, 2023

    The impression I get whether taking into account our roads or the performance of say the Passport Office, NHS,
    Railways, Politicians and Net Zero stupidity is that this country has had its day.

    1. glen cullen
      April 9, 2023

      Ukraine while at war with Russia is exporting electricity energy again; while we have to import electricity energy from France …more stupidly

    2. turboterrier
      April 9, 2023

      Very well said. If it is any consolation you are not alone.

    3. Ian B
      April 9, 2023

      @majorfrustration The Conservative Government causes the taxpayer to reward failure, so why should anyone care.

  12. Mary M.
    April 9, 2023

    OT but here is an extract from St. John 20 in the majestic and poetical language of the King James Bible:
    The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre . . . . Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.

    Happy Easter to you Sir John, and a Happy Easter to everyone. Mary M.

    1. Dave Andrews
      April 9, 2023

      And a Happy Easter to you too Mary M. Aren’t you doing well for your age?

    2. Norman
      April 9, 2023

      Not off topic, Mary. He’d just unblocked the highway to heaven: ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. ‘Faithful and True’, indeed (Revelation 19:11)

    3. Narrow Shoulders
      April 9, 2023

      Good Friday was notable by the lack of recognition of the crucifixion anywhere.

      Easter Sunday has services some even on the television and shops must shut by law.

      This is a country with Christian heritage. It would be nice if we could pay homage to that on the major dates.

  13. Des
    April 9, 2023

    Ah yes the Green Agenda war to destroy private car ownership and imprison the population waged by councils but championed by your very own Conservative party.

    1. Ashley
      April 9, 2023


    2. glen cullen
      April 9, 2023

      Correct Des

  14. Sue
    April 9, 2023

    As ever, your commentary is spot on, but what can we DO about it all?

    Reply Vote in Councillors who want to improve local roads and car parks to serve us better

    1. agricola
      April 9, 2023

      Reply to reply.
      Yes , but it runs far deeper than the remit of anyone you vote for in May. My town I suspect does a fair job within its capacity, but the problems blossom beyond its capacity. Think, what level of power is required to repair just one main road leading into the centre of town while re-routing all services inside an under pavement service tunnel. We have at least a dozen such roads.

    2. Ashley
      April 9, 2023

      Are there any standing who have any chance of winning? Clearly Labour, Green, Tory or LibDems as not of that mind.

    3. Berkshire Alan
      April 9, 2023

      Reply – reply
      Unfortunately John the Conservatives in Wokingham did no better with the roads when they were in control.
      The relief roads you talk about, yes are there, and are better than nothing, but they are simple single lane housing estate roads, with multiple mini roundabouts and sharp bends, completely unsuitable for heavy commercial vehicles, so they still run through the Town Centre.
      I would however agree that the latest LibDem Ideas for those roads which form the Town Centre are simply crackers, as they seem fixated on making over provision for cyclists. !

    4. Ian wragg
      April 9, 2023

      But none of the local councillors will try and improve our life because grants from central government are subject to towing the line
      It’s your own net zero crap and encouraging local mayor’s that is leading all this nonesense.
      I do hope Farage gets back in the saddle for the next GE.
      A real drubbing for the mass immigration liblabcon is not only desirable but necessary to slay the demons.

    5. turboterrier
      April 9, 2023

      Reply to reply
      You can only do that if there is a viable option on the ballot paper.
      The two big party candidates are not fit for purpose in that everything that is wrong is outwith their control.

    6. Donna
      April 9, 2023

      Those Councillors will still be bound by the Legislation the Westminster Uni-Party has put on the Statute Book and the Net Zero and War on the Motorist policy direction which is being imposed on them by the Westminster Uni-Party on behalf of the UN/WEF.

      So it will make little or no difference.

    7. ChrisS
      April 9, 2023

      Reply to Reply :
      Given that you are a Conservative MP and a very good one, your efforts have been rewarded by your electorate appointing a Lib Dim council ! Voters obviously aren’t making the link between poor services/unmaintained roads/obstructive cycleways etc and the Councillors they chose to elect !

      Unfortunately in our area of Dorset, we have a Conservative Council who are doing exactly the same as your Lib Dim one ! Long lasting and intensive congestion is being created and millions are being wasted in reducing the width of main roads to create cycleways which are rarely if ever used.

      The outcome is that the roads are now too narrow for Ambulances and Fire Appliances to get through and car drivers willl understandably not risk damaging their expensive tyres to mount the kerbs to create space for them to pass because the kerbstones deliberately chosen so keep cars of the cycleways are very high and razor sharp!

      1. Donna
        April 10, 2023

        Apart from the Bournemouth/Poole conurbation, the majority population of Dorset is retired, it’s very hilly and the roads are often winding lanes – even the A roads.

        The idea that older people are going to take up cycling as a means of transport in Dorset is for the birds. It will, at best, be a hobby activity for a few.

        The cycle lane policy being pursued by Dorset Council is one reason why I won’t be voting to be CONNED again in the local elections (or the general election, come to that).

  15. Old Albion
    April 9, 2023

    Car owners used as ‘cash cows’ shock horror ……………………………
    Has been so for decades under all Gov’s. Councils of all persuasions and increases constantly.
    Who will bring it to an end? No one ……………..

  16. Iain Moore
    April 9, 2023

    Our economic development rested on assisting people and goods to move around more freely, now they want to obstruct them. The people in charge cannot be so dense they don’t understand the contribution canals, railways , roads and air travel has made to our economy and wealth, as such the only conclusion you can make is that they want to impoverish us.

  17. Brian Tomkinson
    April 9, 2023

    You must see, but perhaps dare not admit, that this is all a result of the ridiculous net zero, climate catastrophe scam which has been swallowed hook line and sinker by all the main political parties. We have been betrayed by government and parliament. A complete clear out is necessary.

    1. Chris S
      April 9, 2023

      The real cause of climate change, if it exists, is the explosion of the population, world wide.
      In Britain, our politicians are spending billions of our money in a forlorn attempt to reduce emissions, and at the same time they are telling us we must impoverish ourselves by moving to impractical and impossibly-expensive EVs and heat pumps.

      It is a myth that growing our population increases growth, at least in the first decade after extra people arrive. Prevented our population increasing by the current number of 500,000 extra people a year, would save a fortune when every extra family requires more than £200,000 to be spent to establish them here. Reducing the numbers allowed to come here would go a long way towards reducing emissions, thus reducing the need to spend so much on EVs and Heat Pumps. . Can politicians not see this ?

      1. Berkshire Alan
        April 10, 2023

        Chris S
        Agreed, The Clue is in the name they have given to the problem, “MAN MADE Climate change”, yet they appear to see no connection between population growth, people movement, who all need to use more of the earths resources.
        Given these days of political correctness, I wonder if they should not use the word “Population Climate change” after all I am sure Women and all other gender types are making some contribution to the problem as well as man.

  18. Bloke
    April 9, 2023

    Obstructing blockheads from gaining power would prevent them from blocking cars’ freedom to move.
    There are just 25 days before Council elections on 4 May.
    To those who want change for the better: Drive it through!

    1. The Prangwizard
      April 9, 2023

      The only way we will.get change is by taking to the streets. It seems to me our gov decided to defer any change to pension years because of the riots in France. We must copy the people of France.

      1. Bloke
        April 9, 2023

        Much of the French action includes violence and damage. Safely obstructing and inconveniencing the politicians who penalise with the original nuisance would be more focused than burning. Custard pies have subtler impact. Even harmless red ink on Edward Heath’s suit made him stop and think about the harm he caused for years to follow.

    2. Bryan Harris
      April 9, 2023

      Yes – Stop voting LIBLABCON

  19. Cuibono
    April 9, 2023

    A few years ago there was a dreadful to do here.
    The High Street, though small and much denuded of businesses due to the council turning shops and petrol stations into housing,had plenty of parking. ( shops to housing = Agenda 2030)
    It was very easy to park and visit a shop.
    Suddenly NO PARKING!
    No explanation. Shop keepers up in arms.
    Council squirmed and ( as we now know) lied.
    Upshot….NO PARKING.

  20. agricola
    April 9, 2023

    We have had this rant before, in fact on numerous occasions, but this is the UK, you must accept third world responses and services. If you SJR do not get listend to, what chance Joe Citizen. Well there is a signalling chance at next months local elections, but who to vote for is anyones guess. An abstention gets nowhere, the monster raving loony party are already in charge in various guises, if we all voted labour it would do no more than put the shits up central office and lumber us with another few years of even greater incompetence. I am not aware of any Reform Party local involvement. So local elections are more of the same and no progress with all you highlight.
    We need nothing short of a voting revolution at the GE in 2024 because intellectually the answers do not lie in the current parliamentry incumbents, with a few exceptions. I am afraid we must watch another eighteen months of failure before we can clear the swamp. Then the election does not clear the swamp of establishment, scribes, and the well rooted, so as with Brexit it will only be the start of the battle.

  21. Iain Moore
    April 9, 2023

    Not just hundreds of thousands of people, but millions, in the order of 10 million people . When there was all the talk of sewage in our rivers the one thing there was no mention of was the stress all these additional people were putting on our water and sewage systems. It should have meant they built a sewage system greater than that of London, but of course they haven’t. The 45k migrants they allowed to come here is the equivalent population size of the City of Salisbury, where are they building the new Salisbury to house them?

  22. Keith Jones
    April 9, 2023

    The problem seems to be that all “civil servants” however you define them, whether in councils, NHS or government, all go on “courses” of the same nature and thereby get the same ideas and value judgements. It seems civil servants are offered or expected to go on just too many courses which do not put the tax payer first.

  23. yossarion
    April 9, 2023

    There are plenty of roads, just stop people parking on them

    1. glen cullen
      April 9, 2023

      There’s plenty of public and NHS parking, just make it free

  24. Bloke
    April 9, 2023

    Digging up tarmac and earth for access causes a mess of activity.
    It repeatedly wastes space and time with obstructions at high expense for all.
    Services below pavements would reduce nuisance.
    Conduits with removable covers would lift the lid to access efficiency.

  25. Ian B
    April 9, 2023

    Sir John

    Then add in Wokingham Council is also anti pedestrian

    Steet-furniture(as they call it) and signage informs the on foot pedestrian that the cyclist has priority.

    Then the weird one, on foot paths you have to ride a cycle on the right according to the markings – forcing everyone including cyclist to have their backs to the traffic – not facing it, as would be convention and safe.

    Then you add in full parking 100% blocking pedestrian footpaths – pedestrians have to use the road, roads busier than normal because of other failures.

    Add in cyclist that are encouraged/or ignored by the council when hassling other traffic while they make their way in the wrong direction up Station Road and Denmark Street.

    The so-called traffic calming of narrowing roads, chicanes and even closing, has just caused traffic chaos on other residential roads that are also not fit for the purpose of heavy high volume traffic.

    I could write a book on Wokingham traffic failures. But as you say, its the Liberal Democratic Political purpose is to remove the car from the streets and in particular ensure it is pedestrian that is also punished. Maybe they are just against the ‘human race’

  26. glen cullen
    April 9, 2023

    ”The London Mayor’s widened ULEZ zone is very unpopular”
    If ULEZs aren’t against the law ….CHANGE THE LAW

  27. David Cooper
    April 9, 2023

    This is an opportune moment to look at another aspect of the war on the motorist, going beyond obstructing free passage along the King’s Highway and anticipating actual confiscation of vehicles.
    Sections 74-77 Environment Act 2021 – yes, 2021, under a Conservative government – cover “provision to require the recall of motor vehicles on environmental grounds”. If the relevant minister has “reasonable grounds to believe” that any type of vehicle does not meet relevant environmental standards, explained as having impact by reference to noise, heat, vibrations or any other kind of release of energy or emissions, he has the power to order their “recall” and in turn their confiscation and destruction.
    There was no manifesto pledge or popular mandate for this. A future S of S, acting upon questionable science, could arbitrarily use this power to order that all 4x4s manufactured before 2016 with an engine size of 3000cc or more, or all pre-2015 diesels, or all ICE cars that have done over 100,000 miles, are to be confiscated and destroyed. Think about it.

  28. Cuibono
    April 9, 2023

    We are being coerced into madness.
    Bodies..govt. departments have been captured.
    Rule Britannia..Britons never shall be slaves….Ha!Ha!
    They want to turn our roads into playgrounds where people can chat and kids can play.
    So what happens when there’s a fire?
    Oh I suppose firefighting gives off too much CO2?

    Will they get away with it? The madness is being put in practice. Oh lovely! Let’s go bl**dy green…but how about the fuel bill?

  29. Original Richard
    April 9, 2023

    “Some of the disruption is the result of the Uk madness of putting most cables, pipes and wires under tarmac roads then digging them up every time you need access for repair and improvement….why not place new or replacement cables and pipes in accessible conduits…..”

    Isn’t the problem that “accessible conduits” provide perfect locations for terrorist bombs, particularly those radio controlled and awaiting the right moment….?

  30. Dave Andrews
    April 9, 2023

    Transfer vehicle excise duty to a locally collected tax, and use that to maintain local roads.
    That still leaves fuel duty to be collected nationally, which will be ample to pay for motorways and trunk roads.

  31. formula57
    April 9, 2023

    Your descriptions accurately portray the present phenomenon where ordinary citizens attempting to do ordinary things are under relentless but ill-conceived attack by government, local and national.

  32. William Long
    April 9, 2023

    The latest is the gridlock caused by High Speed Broadband.

  33. agricola
    April 9, 2023

    Why have you arbritariley removed my contribution this morning. I give up on your censurship thinly disguissd as moderation. Perhaps thats what you want. Enjoy for anothe 18 months.

    1. formula57
      April 9, 2023

      Moderation here seems to work well. I am very mindful that it is a privilege to submit Comments at all.

      Some five months ago a Comment of mine did not emerge from moderation. I did not remark upon it, rather I turned a negative into a positive by immediately consulting my therapist who only the other day advised that it is already an event far behind me, that I have made truly remarkable progress, taking into account my intelligence and maturity, such that if a repeat like event occurs it may be I will not need therapy at all or perhaps only a short course, best undertaken evidently with another professional who could provide a fresh perspective. Clearly, I am grateful for the moderation here for without it I would not have sought help and so not heard my therapist’s remarks, words that I would take as highly flattering were they not the candid assessment of a professional.

    2. agricola
      April 9, 2023

      Now the original reappears, do all contributions spend a period in purdah before publication.

      Reply I have many other duties to attend to.This weekend I went to easter events and canvassing. Longer ones often get delayed.

  34. Bert Young
    April 9, 2023

    Owning and using a car now is no pleasure ; for someone of my age it is ,unfortunately , a necessity . Councils have been granting planning permission after planning permission without due consideration to the consequences . We are over-populated and not doing enough to manage this problem .

  35. Original Richard
    April 9, 2023

    Sir John, you’re simply describing our ruling elites efforts to force behaviour change, in this case giving up our freedom to travel.

    Has anyone noticed how there are no scientists or engineers in the CAGW/Net Zero debate?

    Those that oppose CAGW/Net Zero are of course banned from the MSM, in particular the BBC.

    But where are the scientists who support CAGW/Net Zero from the IPCC, the Royal Society, any of the engineering institutes, the Chief Scientific Adviser to DESNZ? Where are the DESNZ engineers to explain how Net Zero will be achieved?

    They’re all silent.

    Only the NAO, in a recent report, has said that DESNZ has no plan for the decarbonisation of electricity by 2035.

    Instead the only people from whom we hear are politicians, such as the (“code red for humanity, bring forward net zero to 2040”) UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, the activist (“climate change will wipe out all of humanity by 2023”) Greta Thunberg, the ex Vice President of the USA (“the oceans are boiling”) Al Gore etc..

    Amplified by the BBC who broadcast in 2009 that there would be no Arctic summer ice by 2013.

  36. Christine
    April 9, 2023

    Where I live we are getting lots of new bypasses that bypass nothing and go nowhere anybody wants to go. I can only deduce they are being built to open up the countryside for even more houses to accommodate our ever increasing population.

    Sir John, you take us for fools if you think this government isn’t following a plan from their WEF puppet masters.

  37. Bryan Harris
    April 9, 2023

    Many Councils take a sadistic delight in making the lives of the motorist, the van driver and goods delivery driver almost impossible.

    So very accurate.

    My council is constantly sending out consultations on road changes in the area, but never take note of objections. Why are they wasting money on unnecessary alterations when the could make roads safe by removing speed bumps and fixing the numerous potholes?

    The fact that so many councils are still in favour of speed bumps and other restrictive practices have no consideration to those that have to travel by rickity ambulances over these painful obstructions.

  38. Narrow Shoulders
    April 9, 2023

    As with all government initiatives both national and local. Follow the money.

    Net zero and cycling are as much to do with control as money but someone somewhere is coining it in.

  39. Derek
    April 9, 2023

    A common tale of towns across the Country. SJ again produces sound arguments and proposes sound solutions. A pity then, those supposedly there to represent and to help us, are so deaf.
    For there’s none so deaf as those who will not listen a condition now applicable to both Government and local town councils in 21st Century Britain.
    It’s as though we, the electorate, do not exist, post election day. Until the next time we are asked to buy into their wonder manifestos.

  40. Jim2
    April 9, 2023

    Where else are you going to put all the pipes and cables? These need an accessible place that does not need tiresome expensive access permissions. The pre-planned trenches idea has been tried but tends to fill up with a tangle very shortly. No use declaring some pre-planned regulatory scheme – cable and pipe layers working on a dark cold night will give any prodnose a very salty answer. The sewer menders will give you an even more salty answer and a clout with a full digger bucket to boot.

    A perennial problem with British infrastructure (and legislation) is it built far too small with no thought for likely extensions or likely abuses. Motorways that have to be widened – two or three times. Eating up the hard shoulders with a pathetic non-functional non-hard shoulder scheme. Planning systems that allow A roads to pass within a few yards of new houses. Legislation that fails as soon as any offence can be cleverly construed as being a micro-inch inside some fuzzy border.

    Draw the lines with a thick marker pen and put the expenditure into paying proper compensation to those affected – rather than spending £ millions on administrators and lawyers cheeseparing and cheating.

    Recently passed through the port of Dover. Far too small, never been properly thought through, hardly changed in 30 years. Dynamite the white cliffs and build something like err Calais. As for renovating Parliament – don’t waste our money. Flog it off and build something more suitable in Milton Keynes.

    Sit back and relax Sir John. Take the money for doing nothing of any use – like the rest of your colleagues. Or hire some realists and follow their advice.

    1. Dave Andrews
      April 9, 2023

      All these people going to Calais from Dover. Perhaps they should avoid France in future.
      And anyway, how come they can travel abroad on their holidays when the UK population is supposed to be dependent on food banks?

      1. Mickey Taking
        April 10, 2023

        I have no sympathy. If France is that attractive they should have gone and lived there years ago.
        Bonne Chance!

  41. ukretired123
    April 9, 2023

    Well Happy Easter once again Sir John!
    You deserve a medal for your marathon stint at your excellent proposals to improve Britain, whilst many other politicians falter preferring to take the Easy Street rather than the proverbial Hard Road.
    My wife last week heard a young man asking what all the fuss was about Good Friday and heard it’s because “some guy” who was a prophet was put to death and came back to life on Sunday ! How education has changed.

  42. John McDonald
    April 9, 2023

    As the utilities are no longer State owned Parliament and the tax payer have no control over how they operate. The objective is to maximise profit with little concern for installing extra capacity needed for the future or investing in spare ducting. A trip to the Netherland will show that you don’t have to tarmac roads and pavements. Blocks on sand are quick to lay and dig up and put back. The main roads are tarmacked or course but not the pavements and side roads

  43. Cuibono
    April 9, 2023

    Easter Sunday
    (“ they” = the powers that be whoever they really are)

    The road is full of bollards, there’s no car to be seen,
    There’s birdsong from the rooftops. Oh it’s lovely being green.
    But wait! It’s getting cold outside and we have got no coal.
    The windmills are not turning. Oh, it really is too droll.
    They are killing us with kindness of a sort we do not need.
    Our protests fall on deaf ears. Our cries they do not heed.
    What will it take to make them see the mayhem they have wrought?
    Not until THEY’RE cold and starved when all the carbon’s caught?

  44. Lynn Atkinson
    April 9, 2023

    Happy Easter Sir John. May God give you strength. I know how you have held the line. I don’t know how you do it.

  45. Mickey Taking
    April 9, 2023

    No time today to read the comments, so forgive if my point here has been made already –
    BUT – The local Lib Dems are trumpeting the number of potholes is reducing under them!
    The brass neck is unbelievable. Not only do I not believe it but I feel and see more on every trip.
    The number they refer to anyway is the reported ones – which only allow a certain depth and guess what, Wokingham District has thousands – yes thousands of potholes not spray marked for repair. Driving here is like a slalom event or a new game called ‘Avoid the Potholes’. I recently had a front main suspension spring break on our car – this time the county was Oxfordshire – which might be worse!
    So is no circled spray paint – REPORT IT.

  46. glen cullen
    April 9, 2023

    Home Office – 8th April 2023
    Illegal Immigrants – 107
    Boats – 3
    Easter holiday in a UK hotel

  47. glen cullen
    April 10, 2023

    Councils are reducing the number of car parking slots and using public funds replacing them with EV charging stations and they’re soon all become big white elephants

  48. a-tracy
    April 10, 2023

    Your government just slows everyone down. 50 mph on empty motorways because smart motorways aren’t smart. Obstruction in the Road signs left up for hours after obstructions have been removed. Whole 1st lanes blocked for no good reason for months on end, no-one working on the stretch, there is no control, no date restrictions or sense of urgency. There is now talk about reducing A road speeds, I hope you raise the driving hours regulations at the same time or more drivers will have to take nights away from home or go self-employed as they are the only people regularly breaking the regulations and will never be stopped because who is going to report themselves unless they’re involved in an accident for driving 15 hours straight.

    If it is now 10 hours at the speeds now, can it be raised to 10.5 or 11 hours per day to account for the longer journey times to do the same trips. I was really happy to see all the MPs and the Mayor getting booked in the smart motorway reduced speed traps, the totting up of points for this offence is losing people their jobs and throwing their families onto the breadline.

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