Today we start with a video... but you may wish to read a bit first: https://youtu.be/zDfdQlSBc6Q
And a screenshot from same:
And a picture. Of a crash. On the M3. Where there used to be a hard shoulder.... It's at the end of this piece - brace yourself.
SOMETIMES one does want to hear from Government. Especially when they are seeking response to major changes, such as the provision and rules of motorways.
But here's the problem - various government sites are deemed spam by BT's mail servers! Yes that's right, government messages are treated as unsolicited commercial mail - spam!
Now I use a mail client of course so rarely visit my webmail site. In fact I try to visit roughly once a month and check the very heavily over filled spam folder. Which does not reach me of course in most cases. BT's spam protection is ridiculous frankly and seems out of or beyond my control. Anyway...
There it was, from Highways England on March 1. A consultation on changes to the Highway Code regarding what they laughingly call 'Smart Motorways' but which in reality are just a new way of killing people. No, fact - although to be fair so far only a couple of coroners have said so.
Anyway I would have had much to say - but thanks to BT it ended up in spam and I was late on the prowl and the expiration date was March 29!
So I will say it here - this is insane!
HighwaysEngland and the rest of the buffoons in this pantomime, having ended up on a couple of legal actions regarding the killing of innocent people being forced the stop during a breakdown in the former hard shoulder now inside lane of an expanded motorway, are now seeking to 'normalise' their cock up.
They are providing new must/must not and should/should not rules in a vain attempt to make the stupid idea either safer (!!!) or palatable 9!).
Now for those who have had their attention from real life utterly diverted by the woes and worries of Covid-19 the issue is this:
Motorways have so added to the attraction of car ownership that they are now overcrowded by people wanting to actually drive their cars from place to place.
Expanding motorways is one of the most expensive ways of increasing traffic capacity. It need not have been if a bit of extra width had been purchased decades ago 'just in case' but it wasn't.
The banks and financial houses having robbed Britain blind a decades ago, successive governments have compounded the felony through 'austerity' - the process by which the poor have to pay for the excesses of the rich, especially bankers who thought our money was chips in a casino.
A lot of these poor people are actually in work. This used to be a profitable endeavour by which people earned enough to have a roof over their head, three square meals a day, decent clothing, and enough money for some travel and even means of travelling. In exchange for one job, 40 or so hours a week and sick and holiday pay.
Thus they had the nerve to venture onto the very roads which had been advocated by two heavily embroiled men - one a builder of roads and bridges; the other a representative of road hauliers.
(I refer to Messrs Marples and Beeching, the twin demons of the 1950s and 60xs)
Now this influx of extra traffic meant that everything slowed down. A dreadful state of affairs if you are a major employer (people stuck in traffic don't work) or carrier of goods (customers get irritated by delays).
Desperate to avoid any further expense on public works, the Highways people turned to the obvious source of wisdom - a youthful brat/ bratess who was not around when the theory of the highspeed road, its inherent dangers, and the 'safety refuge' of the 'hard shoulder' was dreamed up.
Thus this genius observed that every motorway seemed to have an empty inside lane.
"Let us fill it" he opined.
And they all nodded. "This will save billions! Give the man (it may well have been a woman of course) a peerage" they all cooed.
And so they began. At first it seemed to work, especially near junctions. But then the reports started to come in. Vehicles were breaking down! They were sitting there like lame ducks in the former safety refuge (that's the real name of the hard shoulder by the way) and being hit by speeding vehicles - usually HGVs with horrendous consequences. Some of course managed to avoid the obstruction but the results were even more horrific.
Obviously something had to be done! And then they had the solution - "We shall re-write the Highway Code and while we are about we shall make it all seem really silly by running a series of utterly banal advertisements on television showing two insects (the last two after the motorway cull of all insect life) urging a driver to sweep across three lanes of traffic to make use of one of their sparsely provided and totally inadequate 'refuge zones'.