Demands for a public inquiry

Michael Rosen is demanding a public enquiry into the government’s handling of Covid-19. “We desperately need an inquiry into how and why this lethal idea [alleged experimenting with herd immunity without vaccination] was taken seriously. We owe it to the dead and injured and we must learn from such a terrible mistake.”

His words apply equally to this campaign. An inquiry is desperately overdue as to why dysfunctional public policy, pursued over the decades by transport ministers and traffic managers, is still being allowed to cause untold injustice and harm.


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UK law-breaking on pollution

Transport Network reports that the UK has “systematically and persistently” broken legal limits on dangerous air pollution since 2010. So finds the European Court of Justice. Of course the UK government has been guilty of this for several decades. They have got away with it because most exhaust fumes are invisible.

Katie Nield of ClientEarth said: “The Government has been dragging its feet for too long on air pollution, downplaying the problem and passing the buck. Clean Air Zones are the solution, alongside support for the move to cleaner forms of transport. While authorities delay getting the most polluting vehicles out of our towns, lives are being ruined by toxic air.”

The quickest win? Replace priority with equality. This would avoid the “need” for most traffic lights, which multiply emissions at least fourfold by making vehicles continually stop and restart, often needlessly.




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Dwindling justification for HS2

An internal survey found that 12,000 of 18,000 Nationwide employees prefer working from home, and home-working is at least as efficient as office working. It also improves quality of life. The main justification for HS2’s scorched earth policy was the “need” for greater north-south rail capacity. Where is that justification now? Yet the state continues to back HS2 instead of making roads safe and efficient, and instead of creating a hydrogen infrastructure for clean road transport, and the next big thing, flying cars.

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Anonymous executioners

Deaths on “smart” motorways – where the hard shoulder is opened for use at 70mph – reached their highest level in 2019. Article here.

The destruction is completely avoidable. One obvious solution is to open the lanes on straight stretches only, and to close them on bends. Another is to allow their use at low speeds only, and ban their use in fog or rain.

The DfT said: ‘Since taking office, the transport secretary has committed £500m to smart motorway safety improvements …” – So the anonymous cretins at the DfT get away with manslaughter, then receive vast funding to repair the mistakes they should have avoided in the first place.

‘The safety and peace of mind of drivers and passengers using these routes remains our priority,’ states the DfT.

Their actions swear louder than their mealy-mouthed words.

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Manslaughter charges at last?

In an earlier post I wrote that pigs would fly before Highways England faced manslaughter charges for opening hard shoulders to motorway traffic without proper precautions.

It’s promising that South Yorkshire coroner, Nicola Mundy, is referring the case of Nargis Begum to the CPS.

Highways England, of course, denies responsibility. High time that the perpetrators of a lethal system were brought to book! Another post on the subject here.

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Them and Us

A pensioner in Christchurch, Dorset, painted a zebra crossing so he and his disabled wife could cross a busy road. The council fined him for criminal damage. I kid you not.

In the absence of a bridge or flyover, road-users should be free of misguided regulation, free to act sociably, and free take to take it more or less in turns. In built-up areas especially, drivers should give way to anyone on foot wanting to cross the road.

Because the anonymous morons who run our anti-social traffic system fail us so dismally, this gentleman showed how it could be done. With his neat brushstrokes, he brought about a transformation in quality of life and space while harming no-one.

Tom Moore shuffled round his garden and, by a fluke of the internet, raised millions for charity. He was rewarded with love and a knighthood. Laurie Phillips took creative action in a bid to right decades of wrong. He gets a £130 fine. Laurie, I salute you!

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Use of motorway hard shoulders without safeguards was “entirely wrong”, admitted Grant Shapps. Article here. Are corporate manslaughter charges being brought? When pigs fly. Thirty-eight (38) avoidable deaths later and untold trauma to survivors, the anonymous perpetrators of the current traffic system – the entire miserable system – will get away with crocodile tears and an apology.

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The definition of fascism?

Re previous posts about the fabricated “crime” of “speeding”. Statutory traffic law allows no defence, no arguments on rational or commonsense grounds. The system inures itself against reform by forbidding voices to be raised in challenge. It’s a self-serving monster.

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Hit by a bus

The phrase, “You could be killed crossing the road” is a thoughtlessly-repeated phrase, e.g. the other day on The Today Programme by Chief Medical Officer, Chris Whitty (10.1. 2021, I think it was). Making some parallel with the risk of catching Covid-19, he came out with, “If you were healthy and unlucky enough to be hit by a bus” …

Death and injury on the road have little to do with luck. They are down to a lethal system involving third-rate minds, unequal rights, inhumane control, misguided engineering, and inadequate driving tuition.

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Anyone for tennis? Nope

I’m no fan of the term “nanny state” because good nannies enable rather than disable human flourishment. Blanket lockdown rules that outlaw activities such as tennis among people capable of exercising due care are akin to rigid speed limits that teach driving by numbers and outlaw intelligent discretion. The anti-speeding campaign Brake! would say that driving by context is a licence to drive without due care and attention. No, it’s a blueprint for driving with true care and attention. Speed does not kill. It’s inappropriate speed, or speed in the wrong hands that can kill. Such subtle distinctions are beyond the wit of our MPs who allow extortion rackets masquerading as safety measures to spawn.

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