I have just seen on the BBC website that the UK government is to investigate the possibility of private funding initiatives for of our road system.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-17423693

I can see it now, The B&Q Barnstaple By-Pass, Tesco Telford Toll Road ( a speciality being their BOGOFF on roadkill).

Can a world rapidly advancing toward, if we havn’t already arrived at, peak oil seriously be contemplating more roads? Part of the proposal is to look at using hard shoulders to increase capacity on the roads. What a brilliant idea! Of course it takes little account of the needs of the emergency services. If there is a blockage caused by an accident how will fire and ambulance get to the scene? Mr Cameron obviously thinks that Bruce Willis will lend us his Fifth Element Taxi Cab to hover over the crash site.

The government made great play of green politics. They even made a great thing about the fact that the PM rides a bike. Well frankly Boris Johnson, whilst being a buffoon, does seem to take more interest in green initiatives. He has introduced the Boris Bike in London and appears to love buses (according to Mock the Week anyway).

Cameron’s buddies will be put in the position, presumably, of being able to buy a slice of the Toll revenue’s generated by privately funded roads. The only green spin-off may be that road travel becomes more expensive than rail travel making the train a more economical choice.

Our country is blighted by huge swathes of tarmac and concrete already. Our wildlife, upon which directly or indirectly, we all depend is being decimated. Is the answer really to have our road network extended by the hedge fund managers who, it appears to me, only have their own pockets in mind when ‘managing’.

What this country needs is not more profit for Cameron’s sycophants but an integrated transport policy. A policy that makes best use of what is here already. Canals can play a part as can the road and rail network. Long distance gas guzzling journeys need to be reduced. Public Transport, trains buses, bicycle’s in towns and trams need to be made more extensive, connecting, efficient and economic. There was a report in the recent past about more airports or runway capacity for the UK. That could be privately funded for all I care. I don’t fly, that is an environmental choice.

What does Cameron propose we do with all the roads when no-one can afford fuel anymore? Lay astro turf on then so he and his Eton chums can play cricket?

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Comments
  1. Can’t say I enjoyed your post 😦 by which I meant the news rather than the content, obviously. I’ve turned into one of those old people who doesn’t read the news because it is always gloomy, depressing, and full of stupid, short-sighted proposals.

    I was reading down feeling more saddened by the minute, thinking – where are they going to put new roads in the UK? The highlands? The UK is too small. And then you said the same thing – already too much asphalt and concrete.

    Public transport? You’re having a laugh. The British mentality is such that people will NOT use it if they can get in their box and drive. Public transport is full of nasty dirty smelly people, who are not to be mixed with. I know that because people have told me that with a real smell up their nose. Only poor people get on the bus.

    I totally agree that an integrated transport policy would be superb, but the real task is changing the mindset of the average Brit. And that’s not easy. Read forums where they want cyclists and horses off the roads. Roads are for motorists only. Cyclists and horses are not only an inconvenience, they are a danger. Pedestrians shouldn’t be walking on roads without pavements. etc etc etc Sorry this is your blog, I must shut up!! I have ranted about this one before, but I can always manage it again 😀

    Contrast it with Spain where they have seriously good bus services, presumably because people were too poor to afford cars in days gone by, and it is culturally acceptable to get on the bus rather than jump in your vehicle. It costs a couple of euros for a 50 minute journey to Málaga, which is say, 25kms. I think I travelled from the top of Spain, Bilbao, to the bottom, Málaga, for just over thirty euros.

    I never understand why people drive around Gib (apart from work vehicles) when it is so small and we have a perfectly good bus service – which is often standing room only. Cars sadly, are far too much of a status symbol, and then I guess there is the other agenda of wanting to continue to support that demand for new cars to maintain jobs in that sector.

    Think I have written as much as you know on this one, so shall discretely retire.

    • Glad to see someone thinks the same as me. I cycle to the rail station and take my bike on the train when I go to work, at least my usual workplace. My colleagues think I’m weird (probably right about that) but progress. A friend has just bought a folding bike and gets the train to work. According to the world bank there are 62,218,761 people in Britain, only 62,218, 759 to go!

      Only been to Spain once, 4 days in Seville. Used the buses and trains, brilliant. Same as Germany and France. Oh forgot, Britain rules the waves and still retains the illusion we have nothing to learn from anyone except maybe Uncle Sam who has managed to destroy a country the size of, er well the US.

      My car is nearly as old as me and my favourite form of transport (mechanised) is my 1963 moped.

  2. One of neighbours in Spain got a bike a few years ago. There was a local doctor who soundly told all the fat middle aged blokes with health problem to stop driving around and walk/cycle/get some fresh air exercise. We saw him with the bike once. His wife had to go and collect it and was pushing it up the hill while he trudged behind her. Don’t know why he doesn’t give it to us. We are the official local bike sanctuary.

    I think Uncle Sam has destroyed a few more countries than that. Or certainly contributed to the destruction. Whether financial, cultural, or otherwise. Portuguese public transport was good too when we were last there. May have been cut-backs since 😦

    We can’t compete with 1963, the Series (III) being the oldest mechanised member of the pack at 1974. A mere youth.

  3. Vicky says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more, spend the money on improving public transport. They shout about getting everyone to use it, but where I live there are no buses after 7.45pm and non on a Sunday. The rail station is a dead end too, so if we want to go anywhere we have to either get a train to Birmingham to start our journey or drive to a local station.
    Was just discussing with T this morning, how long it would take to get to Yorkshire from home, using my free bus pass .

    • I looked at going to Berlin by train but it was about £600. I didn’t go.

      They should have shot Dr Beeching, instead of implementing the report.

      I am quite lucky where I live I have two railway stations about 15 minute cycle ride apart so I can get to London, Brighton and Eastbourne easily (and stations between obviously) but at what cost?

      It would actually be cheaper for me to drive to work than catch the train, but my carbon footprint wold be huge.

      • Vicky says:

        Hmm, £600 by train, or prob something like £150 to fly, it doesn’t encourage anyone to use the trains does it?
        I didn’t move to the midlands until late ’68, so our southbound rail line had already been axed, but T remembers many day trips out in his youth, to various places. Yes, Beeching had a lot to answer for.

  4. I think I could get it for half that when I looked, very tempting but didn’t go.

  5. I will do a train/air/bus post at some point. Don’t hold me to it 😀

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