Political Apathy 9: Goodbye Millennium Falcon

Last night my local MP, Caroline Lucas, was on BBC Question Time. If you’ve read my blog before then you probably already know I voted for Caroline. Even though our views are not 100% aligned, she was the only candidate who came half way close to representing my opinions and more importantly she was the only candidate I trusted.

A few weeks ago I got a leaflet through my door explaining that the Green led council was planning on turning one lane of the Lewes Road into a permanent bus lane. I think this is a stupid idea. I work in Lewes and I live in Brighton, my commute is 8 minutes.

I understand that the idea is to encourage people to switch from their cars to public transport, but then I must ask why taxis are allowed to use the bus lane? How is a taxi any different to a private car? Brighton is not London or New York City, we do not have an amazing public transport system that means our residents do not need cars. Using the train or bus would add a large amount of time to my journey, would be a large additional expense and would leave me having to commute from the station to my office, sometimes with large and heavy equipment, sometimes in bad weather.

I’d love to be able to avoid Lewes Road entirely and join up with the A27 via Ditchling Road and Coldean Lane, but there is always a queue of vehicles waiting to turn right at Old Boat Corner. There is also always a pile of glass from smashed windows/lights, indicating how dangerous turning right there can be. I’m sure you would remove a great many cars from Lewes Road if this corner was improved. A simple solution would be to make the corner a left turn only, traffic wanting to turn right could use the roundabout to turn and come back over the hill.

One thing that caught my eye in the plans was the proposal to use cameras to monitor people parking illegally in the cycle lanes that run along Lewes Road. I think this is a good idea… as long as the cameras are also going to catch the cyclists jumping red lights along Lewes Road. No? I didn’t think so.

I think this is going to be an expensive waste of money that will do little but make traffic worse. People don’t use Lewes Road during rush hour for fun. They have somewhere to be.

The point of this post is that when the Greens get a bit carried away we end up with 20mph speed limits and stupid bus lanes. When the main parties get carried away we end up with the Digital Economy Act, badger culls, talk about repealing the fox hunting law, talk about building nuclear power plants even though we’ve watched what happened in Japan and have no viable plan on how to handle the nuclear waste that will be produced, not to mention the wars and massive national debt.

Watching Question Time made me realise that I don’t regret any of my votes for the Greens.

Author’s note: The Millennium Falcon is going at the end of the month. This means that next month will include #ShinyNewCarDay! You can expect a fuller post on this subject at some point. Right now my time is occupied pondering the Washing Machine Sock Vortex with Sway, you can check out his blog here.

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