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 →

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 →

Say what you mean

Councils and the public sector are very careful about how they use language.  This is no bad thing.  It demonstrates an understanding that language is massively, foundationally important. The National Council of Teachers of English rightly says "language plays a central role in the way human beings behave and think." But language can be used to obscure as... Continue Reading →

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