Advertisement

'Protesters hurt regular folk, not corporate bosses or powerful politicians'

The law abiding public need to fight against the disruptive pockets of protesters on our roads, says Mike Rutherford

OPINION Traffic

We hear an awful lot – rightly so – about positives such as social mobility, freedom of movement and the ability of law-abiding citizens to go pretty much where we want, when we want, whether on foot, in the saddle or at the steering wheel.

And thankfully, we enjoy other important rights – from formal education and healthcare, to enhanced life and job opportunities. We’re at liberty to make journeys when we like, improving our family, social and professional lives. The freedom to travel to leisure facilities, entertainment venues, shopping centres and holiday destinations is the icing on the cake.

Advertisement - Article continues below

2018 LA Motor Show Roundup

With the above in mind, we residents of Britain don’t know how fortunate – and free – we are.

Shame, then, that there are small, disruptive pockets of people who are too often deliberately sabotaging the roads and public transport services that were set up to give us the freedom and liberty we fought for, pay for and deserve. 

The saboteurs are from widely differing camps and clans. There are, for example, the striking railway ‘workers’ who too often refuse to work. Then there are the on-street protesters, who do more harm than good to air quality when they thoughtlessly block the roads. And let’s not forget central Government, which underinvests in transport, thereby making many journeys longer, harder and dirtier than they should be. Some local councils can also consider themselves guilty parties, not least because a growing number seem determined to spend fortunes making already busy, narrow driving/riding lanes even narrower. 

Advertisement - Article continues below
Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

As I said, it’s nothing short of wilful sabotage of the roads. And here are a few examples of how the saboteurs do their counter-productive jobs. The other weekend, several of the road bridges crossing the Thames in London were occupied by activists who slowed down or stopped the traffic, increasing the exhaust emissions they say they’re protesting against.

Then, days later, they pulled a similar stunt. The people affected by the deliberate traffic mayhem were those travelling in buses or cars: hard-working men and women, students, tourists, patients struggling to get to hospital, volunteers, kids, mums, dads – salt-of-the-earth folk like that. As with the serial-striking railway workers who regularly down tools and put feet up, the misguided protesters on the bridges hurt life’s little, innocent guys, and not the corporate bosses or powerful politicians whom their beef is really with. 

Meanwhile, several local authorities are now obsessed with ‘pinching’ kerbs by a few inches or feet, creating a different type of potentially lethal chaos. Lanes which for decades had just enough width for four-wheeled vehicles and bikes now squeeze drivers and bikers dangerously closer together. It’s congestion-inducing, life-threatening insanity.

Honestly, I kid you not when I tell you that the people sabotaging the road and bridge network are working in what’s fast becoming a growth industry. Before it’s too late, we –the drivers of the 40 million heavily-taxed motorised vehicles that pay for the building and upkeep of the roads – need to reclaim them from the amateur and ‘professional’ saboteurs. 

Do you agree with Mike? Let us know what you think in the comments below...

Advertisement
Advertisement

Recommended

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'
Opinion

'VW Group management shake-up could be crucial to the car choice facing UK buyers'

Deputy editor John McIlroy points to outgoing Skoda boss as a key reason for the firm's success
15 Jul 2020
"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"
Opinion

"Despite the tragedy of 2020 so far, several intriguing developments emerged in the final week of June"

Mike Rutherford recounts some significant stories that may have passed you by in recent weeks
12 Jul 2020
'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'
Kia

'Sorry Jeep, but Kia now makes the best all-American SUV'

With Kia winning the World Car of the Year 2020 award with the American-built Telluride, Mike Rutherford believes Kia has beaten Jeep at their own gam…
18 Apr 2020
'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'
News

'Costs may drop, but buyers’ expectations don’t'

Just because premium brands can offer cheap finance deals, it doesn't mean that they can fob buyers off with poor customer service, says Deputy editor…
15 Apr 2020

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2020
Best cars & vans

Best new car deals 2020

Secure your dream model from our list of the best new car deals on the market right now
6 Aug 2020
New 2022 Ineos Grenadier: prices, specs and launch date
Ineos Grenadier

New 2022 Ineos Grenadier: prices, specs and launch date

Ineos Automotive’s spiritual successor to the old Land Rover Defender will go on sale soon, with a starting price of around £50,000
6 Aug 2020
Over a quarter of drivers are late for their MoT
MOT testing station
Consumer news

Over a quarter of drivers are late for their MoT

Motorists who drive a car without a valid MoT certificate risk a fine of up to £1,000
7 Aug 2020