Up until now the Department for Transport discouraged such schemes, increasing motorists\’ frustration at being met by a succession of red lights.
It was because the Government feared motorists who were travelling smoothly, rather than stopping and starting, would use less fuel and pay less to the Treasury in duty as a result.
I beg your pardon? Traffic schemes were deliberately designed so as to increase journey times, increase congestion and increase fuel usage?
Now the Government has decided to scrap these provisions in its latest guidance to councils on transport schemes known as NATA – or "New Approach to Appraisal", as it is known in full.
The new rules no longer treat the cut in the amount of fuel used and tax paid as a "cost" to the public purse.
I boggle, truly, I boggle at the earlier system.
I tend to think of myself as a progressive….that is, one who believes in the power of government to make life better. Where I part company with many other self-described progressives is that I believe that, often enough at least, the power of government to improve our lives is that they stop doing whatever damn fool thing it is that government is currently doing.
Seriously, they were setting traffic lights so as to maximise fuel use?