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The Somerset Guardian, 2nd August 2023

The car is the harbinger of liberty.  It allows people freedom to move when they choose, not subject to timetables or state control. For holiday, business or commuting it opens up choice and takes power from officialdom to give it back to the individual. Yet for years motorists have been given the fuzzy end of the lollipop by politicians. Poor road conditions, potholes, delays, high taxation and a tiresome moralising that implied that motoring was somehow wrong have been the lot of drivers for the last 25 years.

Road building has been reduced since 1997. If people want to drive we should build more roads to make it easer and quicker for them. This is not only liberating but economically beneficial. Road building has consistently been shown to boost growth as more journeys are taken and delivery networks become more productive. 

Low traffic neighbourhoods are an extreme form of supply limitation, they do not benefit anyone but are deliberately designed to boss people about who want to drive when the local council wants them to walk or bicycle. They make pollution worse because congestion causes more fumes than free flowing traffic. Roads are narrowed creating bottle necks, the times for pedestrians to cross at traffic lights have been increased and speed limits have been reduced. 

Ultralow Emission Zones (ULEZ) are similarly not designed for air quality but to stop the young and poor from driving. Older cars are often bought by new drivers and the less well off keep their cars for longer so the ULEZ tax is pernicious. It hits diesel cars which the government, itself, encouraged people to buy. 

Driving is not a bad thing to do. If it has any morality it is good. It allows freedom and choice, brings the nation closer together and is economically productive.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance:

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