'Car users being robbed of their lanes has led to a squeaky-clean retaliation'

Mike Rutherford thinks British motorists need to keep fighting to take back pedestrian and bicycle lanes

There has been little, if anything, to celebrate during this tragically dark year. And although it’s too early to start popping champagne corks or dancing in the streets, at least car users have a little something to smile about during late Summer, 2020.  

What brings us this welcome slice of hope, joy, justice and democracy is the U-turn from some politicians, safety advisers and others ‘in authority.’ They were responsible for a legally questionable land grab that saw barely adequate roads for motorised vehicles transformed into needlessly wide boulevards for pedestrians, and lavish highways for bicyclists. 

But there’s now a growing feeling that they went over the top by stealing too many miles of driving lanes from us, and some local authorities are backtracking on their misguided decisions.

My previous suggestion that car users robbed of their lanes should legally and peacefully fight back against the intolerant, ideological madness inflicted upon them led to just that: a squeaky-clean retaliation from car occupants. Together, we are circa 50 million strong. We have enormous clout. The politicians have felt this, and reacted. How could they not when, for example, it was reported in Trafford (where one of the thousands of pop-up cycle highways replaced driving lanes overnight) average speeds for drivers plummeted to just 2mph. Apart from the time spent and frustration, think of the wasted fuel and, in turn, the increased tailpipe emissions as vehicles struggled to get out of first gear.  

Not that every politician has had the common sense to bite the bullet. One of the many pieces of propaganda being expensively promoted in videos from London’s Labour Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is that “you don’t need a car to make the most of London”. 

No s**t Sherlock! There isn’t a right-minded driver who’s ever argued that a car is needed for every journey undertaken in the 607 square miles of Greater London. But that doesn’t mean cars are illegal, immoral, antisocial or environmentally unfriendly for you to use in and around the capital sometimes – perhaps even daily. 

After all, Mayor Khan does – in his Range Rover! This, despite the fact that the not- so-great London leader is spending big on his do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do “Bike it, walk it” TV ads. Hilarious. His other laughable line is “To the Mayor of London every journey matters.” That’s every journey unless it’s by a salt-of-the-earth motorist in a private car!

Meanwhile, the Lib Dems have hibernated and, after a promising start as Transport Secretary, Grant Shapps is talking far too much about non-Transport matters (take a look at your job title, mate), failing to reply to letters from concerned citizens (me included), and generally losing the plot on the motoring front that he barely acknowledges these days.

If the main opposition Labour politicians, the sleepy Lib Dems or the ruling Conservatives really do believe in robbing drivers of the roads owned by those same drivers, let’s see such blatant car-user discrimination adopted as official party policies – then included in their respective manifestos. I dare them.

Find out everything you need to know about VED road tax here...

Recommended

'MINI’s brand focus needs to rub off on BMW, too'
Opinion

'MINI’s brand focus needs to rub off on BMW, too'

BMW needs to regain its identity and should look to MINI for inspiration, says Steve Fowler
28 Oct 2020
'The Pop-Up Motor Show is a simple idea at precisely the right time'
Opinion

'The Pop-Up Motor Show is a simple idea at precisely the right time'

Mike Rutherford thinks the new Pop-Up Motor Show can be the perfect way to serve the demands of Britain's car users
11 Oct 2020
'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'
Opinion

'The Land Rover Defender and Aston Martin DBX must be front runners for World Car Design of the Year'

Mike Rutherford thinks cars from Gerry McGovern and Marek Reichman are favourites to win design award
30 Aug 2020
'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

Most Popular

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review
Audi A6

New Audi A6 50 TFSI e 2020 review

The new Audi A6 50 TFSI e brings plug-in hybrid power to the A6 range for the first time
10 Nov 2020
New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled
Mercedes S-Class

New 2021 Mercedes-Maybach S-Class luxury limo unveiled

The new Mercedes-Maybach S-Class has made its official debut, with lashings of technology and even more imposing styling
19 Nov 2020
How to transfer a number plate from one car to another
MINI number plate change
Tips & advice

How to transfer a number plate from one car to another

Need to know how to transfer a number plate between vehicles? Our step-by-step guide breaks it down
22 Nov 2020