According to some newspapers, speeding fines are a “war against the motorist”. This latest front is being led by a group that is not often known for its radical anti-car tendencies.
According to the headline of a double-page spread in the Daily Telegraph, the “elite” are determined to destroy the car.
The Telegraph makes a bizarre claim about the fact that people from the elite are Tesla and Lamborghini owners. What are the newspaper’s claims and is the car as endangered as the giant panda, or the black Rhino?
It turns out that the claim is based on “increasing premiums, new city charging areas, and pollution-busting roads restrictions.”
Given such existential threats, it is obvious that the number of motor vehicles has to have declined. Hardly.
Are motorists being charged more for driving? Again, no. Motoring is still cheaper than public transport. According to the RAC Foundation bus fares have increased by 65-70% in the past ten years while motoring costs rose by 20%.
The Telegraphwarns that things will get worse.
How is that possible? Whitehall bike enthusiasts have raised $245 million to fund new lanes, pedestrianization, and feasibility studies for’mini-Hollands’. These’mini-Hollands’ will be built in 19 cities.
Although $245 million may sound like a lot, it is for 134 projects. To put this in perspective, $306 million was recently approved by the government for one new motorway junction.
It is almost insignificant when you consider that the motor-traffic-only Silvertown tunnel to London will cost close to $2.5 billion over 30 year.
John Spellar, former transport minister, stated to the Telegraph, an organ that is known as the voice of the Tory party, that the government had an “anti-car attitude” despite these hard financial facts.
It’s so anti-car, there’s still an $33 billion program to make more roads for motorists.
The Telegraph asks, “How did this happen?” Apparently seriously.
According to the newspaper, the answer to the question of “How Britain went to war against the car” can be found in the 1973 energy crisis. This was the time when the 70mph speed limit was implemented for motorways.
Surprisingly, later administrations added speed cameras to capture motorists speeding.
Continue the Telegraph. Cameras were “coupled” with a new road strategy that aims to almost half the fatalities.
This is a bad thing?
It is part of a program called “pettifogging,” Tory MP Craig MacKinlay explained to the newspaper.
The MP for South Thanet complained that “Motorists are another cash cow for local, regional, and central governments.”
He said, “We just have to get out people’s hair,” and added, “stop pettifogging. stop the annoyance.”
The Telegraph article doesn’t elaborate on its headline claim about an elite who are “determined” to kill the car.
The newspaper instead quotes a policy document from last year, in which Boris Johnson, Prime Minister, stated: “I support all councils that are trying to encourage cycling and bus use. If you’re going to object to these schemes, we need to know what your alternative is. It is impossible to squeeze more delivery vans and cars onto the same roads and hope for the best.
Motorists use the 247.100 mile roads in the U.K.. There are only a few highways that are closed to them. Motorists also have access to a 2,300-mile dedicated network of motorways.
According to the old saying, equality can feel like oppression if you are used to privilege. Yet, equality for pedestrians, cyclists, and public transport users seems a long way away. There will be war.