Planning and traffic rules madness
Politicians have abandoned their responsibilities.
Planning and traffic rule madness.
A political recipe for disaster.
The politicians appear to have abandoned control over a vital aspect of national life. They have been duped into allowing left wing ecology propaganda, to replace common sense and rational evaluation, they will pay for this at the ballot box.
There has been a press article explaining that much of current town, city and transport planning is being based on a notion that no one should be more than 15 minutes walk or cycle ride from their work place, shops or amenities. Such “utopian” opinions are common but they are not based on real life.
This appears to be a case of idealistic planners attempting to make one size fit all. It is based on a very narrow view of the needs and housing situations of one small sector of the nations population; then trying to make everyone live the same way. Whilst vast numbers, may be far too many, live in overcrowded cities, it is very probable that the majority of people do not. Suburbia, small towns, large towns (that are not cities), villages, hamlets, remote communities; all need very different traffic rules, planing and facilities, compared to inner city dwelling people.
Going back to the 15 minute rule, it raises many questions that need to be asked of any planners who consider enforcing this concept on everybody. Is this 15 minutes walked by an 80 year old with arthritis or a 20 year old fitness freak? What happens to the concept of mobility of labour in terms of changing Jobs? Is any one who finds work more than 15 minutes from home going to be forced to move that home? Who is going to build all the shops and amenities in these small areas? Are we back to 'small is beautiful' and going to do away with supermarkets? Any one told Tesco? Where are these facilities to be built, considering that inner city land and property prices are already so very high. Where are all the doctors and government bureaucrat staff to come from? all those made redundant in supermarkets?
A 15 minute walk is about a mile (just over one and a half kilometres) for a reasonably fit person. So are we to have doctor surgeries, libraries, government benefit offices etc. every 2 miles? Will this make all forms of public transport obsolete? since everyone can walk or cycle to work and shops, they will not need buses. This is obviously nonsense and way beyond practicality yet it seems town and traffic planners are using this idea as a basis for how all of us must live. They are using this as an excuse to impose cycle lanes on carriageways that are already too narrow for the present vehicle use. When all vehicles including goods vehicles, are electric or hybrid, there will still be the same total number of vehicles, they will still need the same space, the same road width. Artificially cutting down the width of the carriageway to allow for a very suspect evaluation of cycling needs, is lunacy. Who is going to pay for all this? If it comes from general taxation, it means that well over half the population is paying to allow a very small minority, to enjoy preferential treatment and discriminatory service, without contributing towards the cost themselves. If any politician thinks that this will be popular with the voting majority, at the next election, they are in for a shock.
Suburban housing, small towns, rural market towns, remote hamlets; all have different needs and planning requirements; so having all the rules and designs, based on a city centre concept, is lunacy. The overall demographics show that the percentage of elderly people, as a proportion of the total, is increasing. As a general rule it is self evident that the great majority of elderly people do not use cycles for shopping etc. even in cities. Many elderly people live in rural communities where some will need frequent low cost, flexible availability, public transport. Not cycle lanes. These are people who have paid taxes for many years, many will have cars and will be competent to drive these, well into their 80's. They also vote.
The government needs to get a grip on this whole area of overall aspects of planning, including infrastructure, roads buildings, bus lanes cycle ways etc. Power needs to be returned to local communities. Letting city based planners control all the whole nation with a socialist idea of some utopian inner city ideal will be a disaster for Britain. It will also be a disaster for the government at the next election.