I used to think that “easy targets” were just cyclists and pedestrians when being pitted against the might of the motor car. But now, in a downright populist chasing move,Â I’m going to lampoon the state of the UK road system while offering absolutely no solutions other than everyone cycling. Which down the six lane M25 could be a whole lot of fun.
So my easy target is the road pollution of South East England. And while it is properly shit, it is unfair to label this as the poster child for all of the UK. My experience of the rural byways and backwaters of “proper up north” are rush hours consisting of three cars waiting at a roundabout. That doesn’t include the major cities of course, or the Lake district, or most of the M6 or M1. But I still think I have made a pretty valid point there.
My lack of car usage has now passed into a total apathy around any maintenance such as adding petrol to the tank, cleaning the car (I don’t even know what colour it is anymore) or pumping up the tyres. This last laziness left me with a partial flat and a Â£90 replacement after failing to notice it was somewhat closer to the ground than it’s fellows, then driving round on it until it exploded.
This morning, I had a ChiltenRailwayEsque journey of over two hours to reach that oh-so distant county that is Surrey. A total of 63 miles including a desperate search for a petrol station and 55 minutes of doing precisely nothing in the World’s biggest car park.Â The Highways Agency keeps digging it up to add lanes to the wrong side and the car owning population responds by buying another one for their son/daughter/dog/goldfish and we’re back to where we started.
Which is going nowhere very slowly. How could you do that every day? I even left late to miss the traffic but that’s nonsense because the congestion never really stops, it just moves about a bit. Marooned on a six lane motorway with only some interesting ear wax to harvest, it occured to me that short of tarmacing the entire counties of Surrey, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire, there’s no obvious solution other than less people, less cars or less journeys.
They could take the train of course. MWAAAHHHHHHH, go on, I dare you.