A government paper announces funding for local authorities to ‘tackle air pollution’. One of its grotesquely overdue measures is to ‘adjust traffic signals to cut congestion’. So the paper is an open admission that traffic lights contribute to 40,000 premature deaths a year from poor air quality. How overdue are these proposals? Half a century ago, when I started driving, it was blindingly obvious that woeful timing of traffic lights at Knightsbridge, for example, caused permanent congestion. It’s identical today: hardly any green time for traffic heading to the West End. Ministers and the DfT miss an equally vital point: traffic lights – symbols of the dysfunctional system of priority – help cause 24,000 casualties a year from “accidents”. I’ve had replies from the DfT claiming priority is necessary because it lays down clear rules. Its support for its own lethal system reveals the pitiful depths of its ignorance and negligence.