The Conservative Manifesto and drivers


We are told to expect action to make it more difficult for Councils to introduce low traffic neighbourhoods and 20 mph zones. We are promised the end of the much disliked ULEZ zone in outer London.

There have been big strides to tax and regulate drivers off the roads in Wales and London in recent years, and in other  parts of England with anti driver Councils. Getting the right balance between local   needs for clean air and safety, and combined local and national needs for a good road system that get people to work and goods to market is not easy.Here are some thoughts of how to get a better balance.

1. National highways should be for road vehicles. They are our safest and fastest roads. The network needs completing to at least 4 lane dual carriageway standard, preferably with grade separated junctions. These are U.K. government controlled.

2 A strategic network of major local roads. Whilst under the control of local Highways authorities they should have national limits placed on how far they can go in restricting them . Government could lead cross Authority larger improvement schemes. These roads would normally be a minimum of 30 mph in urban areas and faster permitted speeds elsewhere.

3. Other roads under local control. Residential  roads should be regulated against excess speed and inappropriate parking.

4. It is a good idea to promote more walking and cycling. This should be done by installing better footpaths, greenways and cycle ways apart from main roads. We need more and safer capacity, not cycleways carved out of an inadequate main road adding to tensions and conflicts between different types of road user.

5. Review extent of pavement capacity in London where  it is in places excessive. I walk a lot in London. Along the Embankment and in the City pavement space is well above our needs whilst east-west road capacity has been strangled.

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