The Government has responded to a petition we promoted to our readers calling for an independent review of LTNs after it collected more than 10,000 signatures. They have appointed the University of Westminster to undertake an independent evaluation of active travel schemes funded in 2020/21, including low-traffic neighbourhoods. See https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/632748?reveal_response=yes for the full Government response.
What’s wrong with that? Namely that it’s not an “independent” review because one of the most active promoters of LTNs is Prof. Rachel Aldred of Westminster University who is also a Director of the Active Travel Academy. She has published a number of reviews of active travel schemes and cycling, mostly quite biased ones and is a former trustee of the London Cycling Campaign. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Aldred for more background.
In summary there is no chance that this will be an unbiased and independent review. We suggest a complaint to your Member of Parliament is appropriate – see https://members.parliament.uk/members/Commons
On the political front an enormous amount of media coverage of late is on the small boat crisis and the attempts by the Government to halt illegal immigrants. These are mostly economic migrants, not people fleeing war or other disasters.
It is suggested that the proposed Government legislation would be illegal, because it contravenes the European Convention on Human Rights and the Refugee Convention. The latter was established in 1951 to help people made homeless or stateless by the Second World War and was a very positive move at the time. But it was never intended to enhance the rights of economic migrants who wish to move to a wealthier country.
I suggest that a breach of a Convention is not necessarily illegal and that the UK can withdraw from Conventions whenever it considers it necessary to do so. The country is being swamped by migrants, both legal and illegal ones. This is putting enormous pressure on housing and social services.
For example the London Borough of Lewisham have recently published a new “Local Plan” and it reports these statistics: The population has grown by 23% over the last 20 years and is still growing rapidly. Some 46% of the residents identify as BAME heritage which rises to 76% for the school population. This shows the impact of uncontrolled immigration over the last 50 years, but the Council is still “planning for an open Lewisham”. That’s undefined but suggests that they are open to even more migration.
The BBC, as is now commonplace, spouts the views of left-wing commentators including that of a well-known footballer for no good reason. His views on football may be sound but he does not understand the problem of illegal immigrants. At least the BBC have now brought him into line to stop him issuing injudicious tweets based on his own political opinions.
Will the Government be able to halt the flow of illegal immigrants? Only if they take a very tough stance in my view.
Other news last week was the conviction of a electric scooter rider for causing the death of a pedestrian. The judge said: “Pavements are for pedestrians and people in wheelchairs or infants in prams. They are supposed to be free of vehicles of any type. This mode of transport should not be there. This tragic incident was avoidable”. See full BBC report here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-nottinghamshire-64892358
But we will no doubt see many more such cases unless scooter riding is curbed.
You can “follow” this blog by entering your email address in the box below. You will then receive an email alerting you to new posts as they are added.