Sunday, September 21, 2008

Idling smokily

Via Barry Beelzebub, I find this humdinger of a story (eventually—Barry, me ol' mucker, any chance of you linking to your sources, please?).
Motorists could face £20 spot fines if they leave their engines running while stuck in traffic.

Traffic wardens will be able to issue the penalties - after a warning - in a bid to cut down on pollution.

A pilot scheme is due to be launched in January in Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex, and will be expanded if it proves successful. West Sussex Council said it would target areas where exhaust emissions build up unnecessarily, such as rail crossings and town centres.

But drivers branded the plans yet another round of the war on the motorist. The AA pointed out that to switch off an engine and start up again within a minute actually uses more fuel than letting it idle.

It is simply another stealth tax and, frankly, a disgusting imposition.
Cabbie Roger Turner, 30, said he was disgusted with the idea, adding: 'Who gave them the right to tell us to switch off our engines?

Well, Roger, we did. A minority of idiots elect these fuckers and then we call it "democracy".
'The ones I feel sorry for are the old dears, who won't know what's going on...

Maybe they shouldn't be driving then?
... and could end with a £20 fine for not turning off the engine in their Fiat Panda. It's another example of the nanny state.'

This isn't "a nanny state"—it has gone way beyond nannying. It is another example of the totalitarian state: little bureaucrats making up laws as they go along, and enforcing them with state violence.

Fucking hell, I am so tired of this continual bullshit.

The thing that really grips my shit is that much of the time, these queues of traffic are almost entirely caused by the councils themselves, through the installation of vast numbers of traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, sleeping policemen, chicanes and the rest of the congestion-causing paraphernalia.

Edinburgh City became particularly adept at fucking up the flow of traffic when the y were attempting to ram through a Congestion Charge for that city, as I wrote back in February 2005.
Q) What is congestion?
A) Long queues of slow moving vehicles.

Q) What do "traffic-calming" measures - narrowed roads, chicanes, sleeping policemen, etc - do?
A) They slow down traffic, thus creating long queues of slow moving vehicles.

Q) What have Edinburgh City Council been spending their road budget on?
A) Massive amounts of traffic-calming measures.

Q) Has this caused congestion?
A) Yes, quod erat demonstrandum.

Q) Is it conceivable that ECC have been deliberately installing traffic-calming measures in order to create - or at least inflate - congestion in the city centre, and thus emphasise the problem and force through the congestion charging so that they can carry on with their grand scheme for trams (or plug a big hole in their finances)?
A) If you can possibly credit the city councillors with "joined-up thinking" of that deviousness, yes.

In fact, the only use that I can possibly see for this man-made global warming hysteria is that it might be feasible to introduce a bill banning councils from deliberately slowing down traffic on the very good grounds that the longer that a motor vehicle takes to get to its destination, the more fuel it burns and thus the more CO2 it emits.

Oh, and now that I have been driving regularly for some months (on the speed camera-less A3), high speed crash notwithstanding, I am definitely of the opinion that we ahould emulate the Germans and abolish upper speed limits on motorways and multi-lane A roads: there is simply no need for them.


Anonymous said...

"and will be expanded if it proves successful" is an interesting expression.

successful in what way? reducing pollution? raising money?

i am of the opinion that it simply means if a majority doesn't severely object.

Boy on a bike said...

Do you have to turn the engine off at night? What if you forget to turn the lights out,and the battery goes flat? Will the wardens have tow trucks or jumper leads on standby?

Or worse, what if peoople turn their lights off and then forget to turn them back on, resulting in little kiddies and grannies being mown down in the street?

Best use for jumper leads - attach them to the testes of anyone seen handing out fines.

Guerilla Living said...

Buy a can of motorcycle chain lube, the spray on variety. Coat your number plates, front and rear with it.

Within a couple of weeks your number plates will have naturally picked up so much dust and crap that they will be barely legible by cameras, scumsucking council Stazi and the rest of the fucking busybodies employed by the state to make our lives miserable.

You may get stopped and told to clean your plates, but it's impossible for the cops to prove intent to obscure them ( criminal offence )

Grow a pair of testicles and fight back.

More Guerilla Living tips to follow.

Rob said...

Guess upon whom the burden of proof will lie when one of these Nazis slaps a fine on you five seconds after you come to a halt. Them? Ooh no, it's you mate.

Winston said...

If you've not heard of it before you should look up Shared Space. It's an idea being tried in many places. Essentially you rip out all road markings, pavements and all street furniture so pedestrians cyclists, motorists, horseriders and unicyclists exist in the same space. It causes people to take responsibilty for their behaviour rather than relying on being told what to do. Of course it is generally incredibly successful and accident rates fall to zero.

However for councils it has the unfortunate side effect of not being able to tell anyone what to do and putting all their road contractor mates out of business,lowering taxes and thus income. So don't expect it to become widespread anytime soon.

Anonymous said...

Manchester are doing the same as Edinburgh, causing congestion about which I have complained. They are now touting a "congestion charge" scam. I filled up the Mori poll form the other day. It was a disaster, the wording and space for answers was such that you could make a case for either side easily. It is therefore a con and should be known as such.

Anonymous said...

I'm looking forward to this.

I can take the keys out of the car and hand them to the jumped up little shit, and the engine will continue to run until it's happy the turbo has cooled sufficiently and can shut down.

Of course, I won't be altering the timer so it's significantly more paranoid in order to annoy this sort of person.

Well, not much.

As pointed out elsewhere. It's my petrol. I've paid for it. I've paid duty on it. I've then paid VAT on that duty (you bastards). For north of a pound a litre, I'll burn it when and were I damn well like.

Vicola said...

After the 57th time that a clapped out old Datsun Sunny near the front of the queue can't get it's engine started again meaning that the entire city grinds to a halt because the breakdown people can't get through to shift it, this idea will be scrapped. If not I will be taking my tax-paying ass to somewhere less fucking ridiculous because the nazi behaviour that is becoming increasingly common on this country is starting to depress me.

Chalcedon said...

I have been saying the same thing for several years now. Abolish the upper speed limit for cars on motorways and dual carriageways and allow undertaking. Modern cars are very much safer than the old cars were when motorway speed limits were introduced. The congestion on motorways limits the speed anyway.