Sunday, March 08, 2009

Thoughts of a Left Wing Petrolhead

I may be a Labour supporter, ready to argue in favour of the many policies put forward by our comrades in Westminster, but I also happen to be someone who rather likes driving. so, comrades I'm afraid that this little story has released my inner Clarkson.

I'm afraid I think that reducing the speed limit on single lane A roads from 60 to 50 is a stupid idea. I wouldn't want to comment on the safety of the idea, I don't know how effective such a policy can be, I would say however that it will irritate a hell of a lot of people for no good reason.

I can understand why there might be a call for such a thing on certain roads, but the whole plan seems like overkill to me.


Paul said...

I think we'll need to agree to disagree on that one, then, Andreas. While a libertarian at heart, I just can't go with the idea that killing more people than pretty decent research shows might otherwise be killed. I'll post about this myself later.

Nor do I think this will be unpopular, though the clarkson brigade will be the loudest. Support for speed is simply not something I hear from my constituetns, anyway, though Clarkson does not live near me.

Andreas Paterson said...

Fraid so Paul, the problem with our wheeled metal boxes is that allowing people to use them will always carry a degree of risk and the whole saving lives argument could eventually be used to crush all car usage out of existence. There appears to be an unfortunate need for some cold utilitarian calculations in the measures we take.

In my neck of the woods two of the biggest problems are the Elveden section of the A11 and the Acle straight section of the A47. Almost all accidents on the Acle straight are the result of overtaking attempts where the driver swerves to avoid a collision and ends up drowning as their car ends up in the ditches on either side of the road. There's talk of it being dualled for 2015 although that does seem rather a long way away, my worry in this particular case is that a 50 limit would increase the number of frustrated overtakers.

My big problem with it is that this kind of thing seems like a matter for local politics and doing things this way just seems like a way to rub a lot of people up the wrong way. I'll do a quick straw poll of my ReasonablyNiceCorp colleagues just to gauge a little opinion on the matter.