Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Getting the hump

The Tories' issue of the day is road humps. They have put down an amendment to the Road Safety Bill calling for them all to be removed within two years, although in his media interviews Tim Yeo has been taking a softer line. The Guardian reports:

"Our policy is not to construct new speed humps," he told the BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"As far as the removal of existing speed humps is concerned, we want to examine the arguments, the costs and so on, to see whether it is an effective way of using resources to improve safety.

For a laugh see the press release on the Conservative Party's own website:
Mr Yeo said: "We have taken a rational, evidence-based approach to the Road Safety Bill and have asked the Government to make available evidence on the effectiveness of road humps, and to have an open discussion.
In other words they have decided on their policy and then asked to see the evidence afterwards. That's a funny sort of "evidence-based approach".

No doubt the Tories think they are on to a winner, but I hope the other parties will stand firm.

When the Market Harborough bypass was opened we had all sorts of traffic calming installed in the town. There was a big fuss in the local paper and a vocal campaign was set up to have the humps removed. Their mascot was a camel called Humphrey - because they wanted a hump-free Harborough. Geddit?!!?

Yet when I went canvassing in the local elections the only people who mentioned traffic calming as an issue wanted it installed in their road too. I suspect there are fewer votes in this Jeremy Clarkson politics than the Tories expect.

The way urban streets are monopolised by the motor car is one of the chief causes of the impoverishment of social life in our towns and cities. It is time we fought back.

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