Weekly War Bulletin, 26 June

It was budget week, and the nation is up for sale bit by bit — before the bailiffs can get to it.  Starting with High Speed 1.

The government can’t even make money by bleeding the poor hard-done-by rule-breaking motorist dry.  The BBC reports that 1.5 million drivers could have been illegally fined for breaking no-right-turn signs.  This is an outrageous act of war on the motorist, and as the BBC article rightly intones, we should feel sorry for those who are innocent on a technicality.  There’s nothing more dignifying for a driver than being not-guilty of a crime on a technicality.

Olympics organisers are fretting about how they could hold cycling events without — horror — inconveniencing other people who might be trying to use London’s roads.  Olypics organisers have never before shown any sign of caring about the lives of those living in the cities that they descend upon.  We suspect that this spontaneous display of sympathy is actually cover for a more vexing problem: how to deal with all the athletes who would be desaddled by the potholes along the route chosen.

Stats say: cycling miles up 4.4%, driving miles down for the second year running — a historic first — cycling deaths down 10%, but injuries up.  So cyclists are no less likely to “collide” with vehicles, they’re just less likely to kill themselves in the process.

We were wrong: “Superhighways” will have specialised engineering features — mirrors for truck drivers to see people passing on the left at traffic lights.  This initiative assumes that truck drivers stop at traffic lights, rather than at an angle just beyond the advance stop line, where they will be unable to use the mirror.  Still, it’s not really about anybody being able to see anything: it’s to remind cyclists that “they should not be on the left-hand side of vehicles.”  And what could be a better reminder?  A one-metre wide green strip with a bicycle icon running to the left of the vehicles leading up to the lights, perhaps?

Hurrah!  Boris will run for another term.  We can only guess at what fabulous fantastical and revolutionary ideas for fixing London’s transport he would come up with in a further four years.  No need to guess his rival Ken’s policies, though.  He’d fix it with an iphone app for parking spaces — a sure solution to the problem that most people driving in central London are supposedly looking for one.

Meanwhile, in the regions…

In Buckinghamshire, Peter Silverman has become a local hero for restoring a great national beauty spot — the M40.  Fed up with the litter lining the once pleasant chocolate box motorway, he took none other than our old friend Phillip Hammond to court to force him to go and pick it all up.  The Guardian article even provides a helpful picture of the great piles of rubbish blotting the roadside — presumably taken by Mr Silverman stopping on the hard shoulder and exiting his vehicle for the shot.  Possibly while having one of his M40 picnics.

In Devon, killer has weapon confiscated for two years; sentenced to community service.  It was all just an accident that occurred in two seconds of distraction.  The Cycling Layer ponders on the law that says it’s fine for people to put themselves within two seconds of killing somebody.

Gunman on rampage in Kent.

Dog arrested for driving while intoxicated.

And finally, via els76uk on twitter, the traffic cam for the Strand near Charing Cross during last night’s Critical Mass:

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