Last week I pitched the following to PM and Today. As usual, no response. Am I being censored, do they not read emails, or do they only respond to non-controversial material?
If as road-users, on foot or on wheels, we give way to others who are there first, i.e. if we take it in turns as in other walks of life, then, not only do we make common cause and enjoy the sociable interaction, we would be able to dispose of those weapons of mass distraction, danger and delay – traffic lights.
Do you have any idea how much that would save the public purse? Tens of billions. Annually (see this, even just the summary at the end).
Moreover, air quality would see a transformation. By making us stop when we could go, and making us continually stop and restart, traffic control extends journey times and maximises emissions.
By contrast, letting us filter at low speeds and low revs cuts exhaust emissions and equally toxic brake dust by over half, as I wrote in 2007.
So instead of squandering public fortunes on congestion charging, with its intrusion into our freedoms and our pockets, let us build on the Highway Code’s overdue change in priority in favour of the vulnerable, and wise up to the benefits that equality among all road-users can bring.
That the Code’s new hierarchy of road-users has received inadequate publicity was demonstrated when I was crossing the road yesterday and was honked at by a bus driver. I blame his ignorance less than the traffic control system which, perhaps most egregiously, has put the onus on the child to beware the driver, when it should be the other way round.
Today we heard that the Transport Select Committee wants to plug the looming £35bn tax hole from loss of vehicle tax through road charging. Still the high-cost, counterproductive ship of traffic control sails on, bizarrely ringfenced and unquestioned.