Tuesday, 4 January 2011

'Greenest government ever' torpedoes restrictions on congestion

We'll be getting a lot more of this...
Before the election, Cameron proclaimed that the Tories were likely to be the 'greenest government ever'.

Now, following numerous blows to this claim - many blamed on the deficit, as is so much of this coalition's ideological experiment - and others simply a return for the support of a small section of society -such as Boris' axing of the western c-charge - Eric Pickles has now completed the annihilation of this claim with a reversal of almost ten years of sustainable planning regulations.

So, no longer will developers need to restrict car usage and no longer shall local councils be encouraged to promote sustainable transport, be it public transport or walking. A sad day for those not keen to see US-style sprawling residential developments suitable only for cars, and therefore with negative consequences for community cohesion, for access for the elderly or those unable to drive and, of course, for congestion.

A failed ideology

Surely even the most ideological Tory must realise that congestion can't be beaten by endlessly promoting car use at the expense of peoples' quality of life and the environment? The irony of these changes is that those that ministers are trying to placate with these measures - the loonier end of the so-called motorist lobby - will be just as unhappy as before, as they will sit in ever longer traffic jams, cursing pedestrians, cyclists, roadworks, traffic safety measures, other motorists  -  cursing everything and everyone else, in fact, except themselves.  

The truth is that in the modern, crowded world, ruthless individualism - perhaps most clearly illustrated by the insistence of certain sections of society that there should be unfettered access to unlimited car use  - leads to endless problems. And traffic jams.

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