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Unneccesary Closure of Roads

Comment 12th July 2010

Not the law as such, but the interpretation of it – across the UK, every day, major roads are closed for hours at a time. This is a fairly recent phenomenon, apparently initiated by a 2004 version (updated 2007) of a police manual 'Road Death Investigation.' On occasion it must be appropriate, and justified, to close a road, but statistically very rarely – we appear to be the only civilised country that closes it's major routes, often in both directions, for long periods on a daily basis. 

Why does this matter?

 It costs us billions in wasted time and money. It may be just one example of massive over-reaction by the police, but it is  the single one that has the greatest impact on the most people on a daily basis.

There is a view pushed by strong lobby groups that 'there's no such thing as an accident' and 'someone must be blamed' – but closing entire sections of motorway to punish the rest of us is not what we want. We were not there, it is not our fault, let us go about our lawful business.  It could even be suspected that it was part of the 'make them use public transport' mindset of the previous administration,  making driving such a miserable experience that even the UK rail service looks good by comparison.

Most goods and people travel by road. Closing the roads adds hugely to all our costs, and to the petty miseries of modern life. Closing roads also adds to risk – frustrated and angry drivers take far more risks, and emergency services get stuck in traffic too. Incidentally, we can't get to the railway stations if the roads are closed. 

Stop closing our roads.

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