Local authorities are increasingly consulting residents on implementing policy that significantly affects their lives. Oxfordshire County Council alone has 31 open traffic consultations at the time of writing. Even a single consultation takes effort to read, understand and reply to, so each needs to be easy to understand for residents. With 31 consultations in progress... Continue Reading →
Are lower blanket limits the answer for Witney?
Speed and speed limits are always controversial. They get a massive emotional response. Stand by the side of the road and almost everyone feels angry about ‘those bloody speeding drivers’. Likewise, over the last few years 20mph limits have become an ideological rallying point for some groups - an article of faith, almost. The problem... Continue Reading →
Dumb thinking or intelligent speed limiters?
Intelligent Speed Adaptation - not so intelligent and not so adaptable Who’s the best person to control your throttle pedal? You, the person behind the wheel, checking for hazards and moderating your speed according to constantly changing road conditions or your local councillor who’s worried about getting re-elected and under pressure to lower limits? Rhetorical? ... Continue Reading →
The future’s looking bleak for modern classics
There’s an old saying ‘take an interest in politics before it takes an interest in you’. And, slowly but with the familiar, grinding, dead-handed certainty, politicians are taking an interest in classic cars. If you own a modern classic car built between 1979 and 2005, they’re very interested indeed in you. That's £12.50, mate. In... Continue Reading →
“Simple, neat and wrong.”
After years of falls, road deaths have stopped falling. In fact, in previous years they've rising fast enough for the Department for Transport to pre-releasing figures and ministers to start getting their defence in early. UK transport minister Robert Goodwill warned a parliamentary road safety conference last week to prepare for “bad news” ahead of Thursday’s announcement,... Continue Reading →
Is this the best banger barge you can buy?
If you're a tightwad where cars are concerned, want something a cut above your average Forxhall and want to spend less than £4,000, what do you open your wallet for? How about something that’ll carry five people (and their luggage) in comfort at motorway speeds all day, will do 30mpg (if you’re as light-footed as a... Continue Reading →
Charging ahead or still on the grid?
Electric cars need to be plugged in every now and then. But what do you do if you haven't got a driveway? As the countryside around Bampton fills with huge new housing estates and commuters, even the lanes that lead to major routes are rammed in rush hour. Traffic on the A40 is moving so... Continue Reading →
There weren't many better places to enjoy clear, blue sky and things with engines than Brooklands last Saturday. It must have been a study for the English country idyll in 1906 when Hugh Locke King (the chap who owned most of Weybridge) decided to build the world's first motor racing track on his fields and woods. All the... Continue Reading →
Splat the rat
Most councils use conflict-based ‘traffic calming’ schemes as speed reduction measures and to discourage drivers from using certain roads. They call roads like these - the roads people use to get to work, to go shopping and home to their families - ‘rat runs’. In my own village in West Oxfordshire we have had ‘calming’ imposed on each... Continue Reading →
Time to be practical, not ideological, about transport
There's been a lot of fuss in Oxford lately about Oxfordshire County Council taking £4m in bus gate fines. Even the RAC has waded in to suggest that the system of fining drivers is 'broken'. The fines are an issue, but the bigger issue is the ideology that drives so much transport policy. "After all,"... Continue Reading →