Wednesday, 28 March 2012

EU funding of the war on motorists

The EU is taking our money to keep other countries afloat, when we can barely afford to keep our own country above water. Do you think Berlusconi needed to accept "party funding" from other countries? Do you think Putin does? No. These people have enough local sources of revenue.

Yet the EU takes the money away from us, the tax payer, forcing us to pay more for our pasties -and pieminster pies, while our politicians are reduced to begging for handouts.

Sometimes that money comes back. Usually it is in useful forms, such as EU agricultural subsidy, which helps protect the Bristol Traffic country estate without having to let people visit it. Yet today we are shocked to discover that the EU has been funding tourist development.

Tourist Development? So what, people say? More caravan stops would not be amiss, more echelon-style seafront parking at Weston super Mare? No, none of these.

The EU have taken our money, and used it to fund the building of cycle tracks in ashton court, and are calling it a "tourist destination", a mountain bike hub for north somerset.

This is so wrong. Not only is it a waste of money, it will encourage cyclists to visit the area and take all the parking spaces. What is worse, it will encourage the residents of bristol to cycle there direct from their homes, so increasing the cost of congestion by many billions.

We sent an expendable mountain biker to inspect the route.

As you can see, the route is smoothly graded and weaves around the trees. This adds another complaint -it will give the cyclists unrealistic expectations of what a cycle lane can be. The in-town routes have bigger potholes, trees, road-signs, parked vans and bus stations in the middle of them. Yet here: no vehicles, not even a mini-cab right behind the cyclist. Nor are there any pedestrians diving out the way and complaining about unlicensed tax dodgers lacking registration numbers. The worst bit -look how long that route is without a single give way, "cyclists dismount" or other anti-cycle feature. Not even a single bollard or unlit set of chicanes.

Yes, this will raise expectations of what bike routes could be like across the entire city -it must be stopped at once.

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