The Daily Telegraph have published a couple of good articles today (13/11/2022). The first is entitled “The Great Speed-Camera Racket” and covers how 1.74 million drivers were caught speeding by cameras last year and forked out almost £46 million in fines.
The author describes how it is so easy to miss the new 20 mph limits in London and includes this comment: “If only speed limits were the end of it. But they’re not. Blundering into ever-expanding low-traffic neighbourhoods (fine), congestion zones (fine) or emissions zones (fine); bus lanes that suddenly rear out of the side of the road (fine); yellow box junctions set up like fiendish games of chance (fine) – it can all seem like a confusing, infuriating lottery in reverse. Instead of low odds you’ll win, there are high odds you’ll lose. Single streets – like Lansdowne Drive in Hackney – have earned councils more than £1m in just a few months”.
According to AA President Edmond King: “Most scandalous of all is a yellow box junction on Bagleys Lane and New King’s Road in SW6 where drivers cannot see if the exit is clear before entering the dreaded cross-hatched area”.
Comment: Certainly speed cameras, yellow box junctions and all the other restrictions on drivers are there to raise money and there is no evidence that they improve road safety. Road casualties in the last ten years in the UK have only fallen slightly and the reduction can be explained by better vehicle design, improved roads (with accident black spots being treated) and improved medical treatments.
There is no justification for all the expensive enforcement action that is now deployed with people innocent of any criminal intent being pursued.
Telegraph article on speed cameras: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/11/13/great-speed-camera-racket/
The other good article is on the cost of HS2. To quote from it: “HS2 will cost taxpayers more than the benefits it will deliver, the Government has admitted for the first time. Analysis conducted by civil servants found that the rail project will now deliver just 90 pence in economic benefit for every £1 it costs, raising fresh questions about its existence ahead of this week’s Autumn Statement”.
Comment: We have always opposed the construction of HS2 because it was never justified on a cost/benefit analysis and that was before construction costs ballooned to unaffordable levels. It was always a white elephant that benefits mainly wealthy Londoners while ridership figures are hopelessly optimistic. The money would be better spent on other projects and at present the country simply cannot afford over £100 billion on such vanity projects that are also environmentally damaging. It is not too late to cancel this project.
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