This entry was posted on Saturday, October 11th, 2008 at 3:42 pm and is filed under Bad motoring. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
In an interview in The Telegraph, Geoff Hoon said:
“I drove 3,500 miles this summer on our family holiday, we drove across 10 countries. I have driven across the United States four times. I love cars, I love being in cars, I think so do most people.
“I want to help and support those people who have that same kind of enthusiasm for driving that I have.”
Now, he might have been pulling the politician’s trick of saying what he thought the audience wanted to hear, or he might have meant it. If the latter, expect more predict-and-provide transport bung-ups.
Predict and provide thinking was thought to have been relegated to dustbin of history. Not even the Tories talk about it much any more. It was very much a Thatcherism.
Here’s how it works:
1. A traffic study is conducted, basing future traffic predictions on past trends and travel habits (themselves the result of catering to predicted traffic demand).
2. These traffic predictions show that in 20 years the present road system will be unable to handle the volume of traffic predicted.
3. Road space for the predicted traffic is provided for in the present. These roads, by their very design, are expected to have spare capacity to take traffic for the next 20 years.
4. Road expansion projects encourage cities to spread out as car travel times are reduced, allowing for access to more affordable suburban housing.
5. Ridership on public transport declines as trip time for the car is reduced. Sprawling communities make it impossible for transit to be efficient or economical. As ridership decreases, transit service further deteriorates, pushing more people into cars.
6. The increase in automobile use leads to the clogging of the expanded road system within a couple of years of its completion. Transportation planners attend conferences and write articles in professional journals congratulating themselves on their foresight in predicting the need for the expanded road system.
7. A new traffic study is then conducted, based on the higher-than-expected road usage. This of course leads to the conclusion that the road will be hopelessly inadequate before 20 years is up, thus requiring further expansion programs.
8. Back to #1 (above).
(Adapted from Citizens Advocating Responsible Transportation, 1993)