Modified ‘Loud’ Car exhusts

I believe there should be more restrictions and laws governing the use of modified car exhausts. We have many, many, laws governing noise nuisance by neighbour’s… sterio’s etc but we are now bombarded by loud car exhausts. They are attracting more and more attention now and the police are picking up on it too now. I believe the decibel rating is 82db but I don’t know if that is idling or running. The police are now stopping and checking the decibel rating and I would like this rolled out on a country wide scale.

I cannot understand the ethos behind these exhausts other than to attract attention to the driver of these vehicles. But those of us whom do enjoy our cars and our sleep of a night are annoyed by these ‘boy-racers’ whom create this anti-social noise. No one has come up with a suitable explanation as to why have them in the first place?? On a race track it’s fine but not on public roads. There should be legislation and a ban on them.

Why is this idea important?

I believe there should be more restrictions and laws governing the use of modified car exhausts. We have many, many, laws governing noise nuisance by neighbour’s… sterio’s etc but we are now bombarded by loud car exhausts. They are attracting more and more attention now and the police are picking up on it too now. I believe the decibel rating is 82db but I don’t know if that is idling or running. The police are now stopping and checking the decibel rating and I would like this rolled out on a country wide scale.

I cannot understand the ethos behind these exhausts other than to attract attention to the driver of these vehicles. But those of us whom do enjoy our cars and our sleep of a night are annoyed by these ‘boy-racers’ whom create this anti-social noise. No one has come up with a suitable explanation as to why have them in the first place?? On a race track it’s fine but not on public roads. There should be legislation and a ban on them.

Cycle to Work Scheme – Transfer of Ownership

The cycle to work scheme is currently a hugely popular way of enabling employers to offer their employee's the chance of obtaining a tax free bike with most people saving in the region of 40% off the cost of a bicycle and accesories. In return the employee has to enter into a hire agreement with their employees over a set period and repay the cost of the bike (Minus VAT and with tax benefits) in equal monthly payments.

However, HMRC are threatening the very existence of the scheme.

HMRC's rules mean that an employer cannot state to the employee that they will either agree to enter into discussions to transfer the legal ownership of the bike before they sign up to the scheme, thus putting people off the scheme (who is going to want to pay up to a £1,000 for a bike without the guarentee of at least being made an offer to ownership in the future)

Secondly, HMRC state that the employee needs to pay what is known as a ‘fair market value' for the bike and accessories, otherwise further tax implications will apply for the individual concerned. The only problem is that they offer no guidance on how to do this other than that you cannot apply a rate of transfer on bikes across the board.

What instead they propose is that the bike is individually assessed, what this means in practice is that this increases the administrative burden associated with the scheme increasing costs and wasting resources by over complicating the process. They give no guarentee that this complies with their vague ruling thus reducing confidence in the scheme.

By also making the process more complicated and daunting than it needs to be it also makes the scheme less attractive to individuals wanting to sign up which will simply result in less people cycling and only contributing to this country’s huge carbon footprint.

It would be much simpler if a set of nationally agreed guidelines are drafted stating that a bicycle packages’ value after a defined time period is a % figure of the bicycle packages original retail value. This would make the scheme much easier to administer and it would save a enormous amount of time and effort from for organisations administering the scheme. As I say it is not just private sector businesses that run this scheme but public sector organisations too. This is one way government could actually bring about increased efficiency in the public sector.

Why is this idea important?

The cycle to work scheme is currently a hugely popular way of enabling employers to offer their employee's the chance of obtaining a tax free bike with most people saving in the region of 40% off the cost of a bicycle and accesories. In return the employee has to enter into a hire agreement with their employees over a set period and repay the cost of the bike (Minus VAT and with tax benefits) in equal monthly payments.

However, HMRC are threatening the very existence of the scheme.

HMRC's rules mean that an employer cannot state to the employee that they will either agree to enter into discussions to transfer the legal ownership of the bike before they sign up to the scheme, thus putting people off the scheme (who is going to want to pay up to a £1,000 for a bike without the guarentee of at least being made an offer to ownership in the future)

Secondly, HMRC state that the employee needs to pay what is known as a ‘fair market value' for the bike and accessories, otherwise further tax implications will apply for the individual concerned. The only problem is that they offer no guidance on how to do this other than that you cannot apply a rate of transfer on bikes across the board.

What instead they propose is that the bike is individually assessed, what this means in practice is that this increases the administrative burden associated with the scheme increasing costs and wasting resources by over complicating the process. They give no guarentee that this complies with their vague ruling thus reducing confidence in the scheme.

By also making the process more complicated and daunting than it needs to be it also makes the scheme less attractive to individuals wanting to sign up which will simply result in less people cycling and only contributing to this country’s huge carbon footprint.

It would be much simpler if a set of nationally agreed guidelines are drafted stating that a bicycle packages’ value after a defined time period is a % figure of the bicycle packages original retail value. This would make the scheme much easier to administer and it would save a enormous amount of time and effort from for organisations administering the scheme. As I say it is not just private sector businesses that run this scheme but public sector organisations too. This is one way government could actually bring about increased efficiency in the public sector.

Move income tax, to a tax on dirty energy

 

If we want to encourage clean energy development and lower electricity use, we should raise taxes on emissions created by power plants, so that dirty energy costs more to produce than clean energy. 

If a tax based on the amount of pollutants a power station produced was raised significantly it would make renewable energy economically advantages.  Making clean energy cheaper than that produced by fossil fuels would lead to a surge in renewable energy projects.  This would lower pollution, create a secure energy supply and help the economy through investment.

Obviously this would lead to higher energy prices.  The government should offset this by lowering income tax.  Maybe the Liberal Democrats could get their 10,000 income tax threshold.  Those on fixed incomes would also need an increase, paid for by the emissions tax.  This would be a fairer system of taxation.  

Why is this idea important?

 

If we want to encourage clean energy development and lower electricity use, we should raise taxes on emissions created by power plants, so that dirty energy costs more to produce than clean energy. 

If a tax based on the amount of pollutants a power station produced was raised significantly it would make renewable energy economically advantages.  Making clean energy cheaper than that produced by fossil fuels would lead to a surge in renewable energy projects.  This would lower pollution, create a secure energy supply and help the economy through investment.

Obviously this would lead to higher energy prices.  The government should offset this by lowering income tax.  Maybe the Liberal Democrats could get their 10,000 income tax threshold.  Those on fixed incomes would also need an increase, paid for by the emissions tax.  This would be a fairer system of taxation.  

Make Traffic Laws Apply to Cyclists.

As demonstrated by the recently opened ‘cycle super highway’ in London an increasingly large amount of money is being spent on infrastructure and other facilities for cyclists, we are talking very, very, many millions of pounds.  Who is paying for all of this?  It is certainly not the cyclists, other than via the general taxation to which we are all subject.

The avowed intention of all of these so-called cycle friendly (but not pedestrian or other road user friendly) measures is to increase the number of cycles on our roads.  This is in itself a misguided notion because as the TV news pictures showed a significant proportion of cyclists still rode on the normal road surface, detoured onto the footway and rode without any consideration for other road users.

No-one doubts the exercise derived health benefits and effective means of commuting, especially in town centres, that cycling offers; however, if the numbers of cyclists are going to be encouraged and increased further by such measures then it is also high time that they were also brought firmly within and made rigorously subject to the principles and laws that govern other traffic using the public roads.  The ever increasing levels of reduction of road width are impeding the normal and effective flow of regular traffic which is the essential life blood of our towns and cities and the increasing restriction of which has a negative impact on the economic viability of our urban areas.

If these facilities are being provided for them then cyclists must be kept off the footways and footpaths so that they become once more safe for pedestrians rather than de-facto cycle tracks on which legitimate pedestrians are second class citizens.  What once were considered to be adequately sized footways must cease to have white lines painted down them and be reduced in width, with two thirds of the width being given over to cycles, such that there is little or no room for people to walk in comfort, or mothers to pass when pushing a pram or push chair.

I have never met a cyclist who admits to riding on the footway, riding through red lights, riding without lights or audible warning of approach, or riding the wrong way down a one way street.  You only have to be out on the road or in our towns to witness the lie of this apparent situation; the huge majority of cyclists ride without any concern whatsoever for other road users, the highway code, the rules of the road, road signs, or the most basic of traffic law; they hardly ever ride in single file to allow other vehicles to safely pass them on narrow roads or country lanes.  As far as they are concerned the law does not apply to them and yet they castigate other road users for not considering cyclists, whilst not demonstrating any reciprocal consideration on their part.  This ridiculous situation must change for the benefit of society as a whole.

I have seen cyclists blatantly ride through a red traffic light while a police officer stood and watched.  If I had then driven through the red light in my car that same officer would no doubt have taken my registration number and reported the offence, but because it involved a cyclist nothing happened.  I have witnessed similar occurrences at camera controlled lights when cyclists have ridden straight through knowing full well that they almost certainly cannot be traced.

The increase in cycling activity will inevitably bring with it an increase in the already high levels of illegal cycling activity.  Even with current cycling levels, let alone any increase, we must start to curb errant cycling and also force cyclists to become responsible road users with consideration for others.  This can only be done by the following suggestions:

  • All cyclists must take the equivalent of a driving test including theory, cycle maintenance, and Highway Code before they are allowed on the roads or cycle ways.
  • All cycles must be subject to the cycle equivalent of vehicle excise duty so that the cyclists make at least some contribution to the facilities provided for them.
  • All cycles must carry registration numbers so that other road users or pedestrians can identify them and report them if necessary.  This measure is also necessary so the police or cameras can identify, and action be taken against cyclists flouting traffic law, e.g. riding through red lights.
  • All cycles must at all times be equipped with adequate and appropriate lighting, both front and rear, and with an effective audible warning of approach.
  • Cycling on the footway and footpaths must end no argument.
  • All cycles over 3 years old must be subject to a cycle MoT.
  • All cycles, and/or cyclists, must be insured for at least third party risks.

All of the above are not anti-cycling; on the contrary, they will promote safe, responsible and considerate cycling whilst at the same time helping to bring the increasing numbers of cyclists within the management of existing traffic law.  Any responsible cyclist cannot but fail to agree with this philosophy; if they do disagree then they are not the responsible cyclists they claim to be.  Disagreement can only come from those who feel it is their divine right to do what they like on the public roads without fear of censure and cyclists can do no wrong, even if it is illegal.

Why is this idea important?

As demonstrated by the recently opened ‘cycle super highway’ in London an increasingly large amount of money is being spent on infrastructure and other facilities for cyclists, we are talking very, very, many millions of pounds.  Who is paying for all of this?  It is certainly not the cyclists, other than via the general taxation to which we are all subject.

The avowed intention of all of these so-called cycle friendly (but not pedestrian or other road user friendly) measures is to increase the number of cycles on our roads.  This is in itself a misguided notion because as the TV news pictures showed a significant proportion of cyclists still rode on the normal road surface, detoured onto the footway and rode without any consideration for other road users.

No-one doubts the exercise derived health benefits and effective means of commuting, especially in town centres, that cycling offers; however, if the numbers of cyclists are going to be encouraged and increased further by such measures then it is also high time that they were also brought firmly within and made rigorously subject to the principles and laws that govern other traffic using the public roads.  The ever increasing levels of reduction of road width are impeding the normal and effective flow of regular traffic which is the essential life blood of our towns and cities and the increasing restriction of which has a negative impact on the economic viability of our urban areas.

If these facilities are being provided for them then cyclists must be kept off the footways and footpaths so that they become once more safe for pedestrians rather than de-facto cycle tracks on which legitimate pedestrians are second class citizens.  What once were considered to be adequately sized footways must cease to have white lines painted down them and be reduced in width, with two thirds of the width being given over to cycles, such that there is little or no room for people to walk in comfort, or mothers to pass when pushing a pram or push chair.

I have never met a cyclist who admits to riding on the footway, riding through red lights, riding without lights or audible warning of approach, or riding the wrong way down a one way street.  You only have to be out on the road or in our towns to witness the lie of this apparent situation; the huge majority of cyclists ride without any concern whatsoever for other road users, the highway code, the rules of the road, road signs, or the most basic of traffic law; they hardly ever ride in single file to allow other vehicles to safely pass them on narrow roads or country lanes.  As far as they are concerned the law does not apply to them and yet they castigate other road users for not considering cyclists, whilst not demonstrating any reciprocal consideration on their part.  This ridiculous situation must change for the benefit of society as a whole.

I have seen cyclists blatantly ride through a red traffic light while a police officer stood and watched.  If I had then driven through the red light in my car that same officer would no doubt have taken my registration number and reported the offence, but because it involved a cyclist nothing happened.  I have witnessed similar occurrences at camera controlled lights when cyclists have ridden straight through knowing full well that they almost certainly cannot be traced.

The increase in cycling activity will inevitably bring with it an increase in the already high levels of illegal cycling activity.  Even with current cycling levels, let alone any increase, we must start to curb errant cycling and also force cyclists to become responsible road users with consideration for others.  This can only be done by the following suggestions:

  • All cyclists must take the equivalent of a driving test including theory, cycle maintenance, and Highway Code before they are allowed on the roads or cycle ways.
  • All cycles must be subject to the cycle equivalent of vehicle excise duty so that the cyclists make at least some contribution to the facilities provided for them.
  • All cycles must carry registration numbers so that other road users or pedestrians can identify them and report them if necessary.  This measure is also necessary so the police or cameras can identify, and action be taken against cyclists flouting traffic law, e.g. riding through red lights.
  • All cycles must at all times be equipped with adequate and appropriate lighting, both front and rear, and with an effective audible warning of approach.
  • Cycling on the footway and footpaths must end no argument.
  • All cycles over 3 years old must be subject to a cycle MoT.
  • All cycles, and/or cyclists, must be insured for at least third party risks.

All of the above are not anti-cycling; on the contrary, they will promote safe, responsible and considerate cycling whilst at the same time helping to bring the increasing numbers of cyclists within the management of existing traffic law.  Any responsible cyclist cannot but fail to agree with this philosophy; if they do disagree then they are not the responsible cyclists they claim to be.  Disagreement can only come from those who feel it is their divine right to do what they like on the public roads without fear of censure and cyclists can do no wrong, even if it is illegal.

Stop Painting Roads

There are too many regulations governing the marking of roads.  Every different road use needs a different marking and each needs a sign to tell us what it means – and these markings and signs are too frequent, and cost a huge amount to implement.

 

Why is this idea important?

There are too many regulations governing the marking of roads.  Every different road use needs a different marking and each needs a sign to tell us what it means – and these markings and signs are too frequent, and cost a huge amount to implement.

 

no horse power!

i think horses should be banned from the road because they provide a hazzard for other drivers  because everyones expected to overtake realy wide and slowly a road has cars on it if a horse doesnt like cars and fast moving vehicles it shouldnt be on it! and none of the manure is ever picked up from the road afterwars potencialy causing a hazzard for motor cycles

Why is this idea important?

i think horses should be banned from the road because they provide a hazzard for other drivers  because everyones expected to overtake realy wide and slowly a road has cars on it if a horse doesnt like cars and fast moving vehicles it shouldnt be on it! and none of the manure is ever picked up from the road afterwars potencialy causing a hazzard for motor cycles

Repeal the legislation that requires no-smoking signs to be displayed at entrance to all public venues

I agree with the law that bans smoking in public places. BUT  please repeal the law that requires a non-smoking sign to be displayed at the entrance to all public venues.

Why is this idea important?

I agree with the law that bans smoking in public places. BUT  please repeal the law that requires a non-smoking sign to be displayed at the entrance to all public venues.

Environmental protection

Repeal all the environmental legislation and replace it with a general Act which makes it an offence to pollute the environment in circumstances where it can reasonably practicably have been avoided.

Why is this idea important?

Repeal all the environmental legislation and replace it with a general Act which makes it an offence to pollute the environment in circumstances where it can reasonably practicably have been avoided.

Unfettered outdoor advertisement

PROPOSAL

Repeal the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations, the roadside advertisement provisions of the Highways Act and teh Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act.

REASON

This is the most universal form of civil disobedience and criminal negligence carried out across Britain today.  It is ignored by the tens of thousands of perpetrators and beneficiaries,

It is also actively and negligently disregarded and tacitly accepted by all the Government Agencies from the Planning Officers, Environmental Health Officers, Highways Inspectors and others charged with control and enforcement. 

 

Why is this idea important?

PROPOSAL

Repeal the Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisement) Regulations, the roadside advertisement provisions of the Highways Act and teh Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act.

REASON

This is the most universal form of civil disobedience and criminal negligence carried out across Britain today.  It is ignored by the tens of thousands of perpetrators and beneficiaries,

It is also actively and negligently disregarded and tacitly accepted by all the Government Agencies from the Planning Officers, Environmental Health Officers, Highways Inspectors and others charged with control and enforcement. 

 

Rationalising Road and Street Signs, and Traffic Lights

Ove recent years, the number and size of road and street signs has mushroomed to the point where we are now presented with a visual blitz of messages all competing for our attention.

Most of them are there for ostensibly safety reasons, but the sheer number means that the really important messages get lost in a visual mess of competing signs.

This mess of signage also greatly degrades the appearnce of many of our towns.

We need to revise whatever regulations or standards govern the placement of signs, and start to eliminate those signs which add little value, leaving only that that are vital for safety or direction-giving.

For example, at a large roundabout near me, at the junction of the A10 and the A14, for each stram of traffic joining the roundabout there are an amazing SIX sets of IDENTICAL lights – two sets on different levels on eacvh of three poles; one on each side of the road, and one on the roundabout! A single set on the roundabout is quite sufficient.

Why is this idea important?

Ove recent years, the number and size of road and street signs has mushroomed to the point where we are now presented with a visual blitz of messages all competing for our attention.

Most of them are there for ostensibly safety reasons, but the sheer number means that the really important messages get lost in a visual mess of competing signs.

This mess of signage also greatly degrades the appearnce of many of our towns.

We need to revise whatever regulations or standards govern the placement of signs, and start to eliminate those signs which add little value, leaving only that that are vital for safety or direction-giving.

For example, at a large roundabout near me, at the junction of the A10 and the A14, for each stram of traffic joining the roundabout there are an amazing SIX sets of IDENTICAL lights – two sets on different levels on eacvh of three poles; one on each side of the road, and one on the roundabout! A single set on the roundabout is quite sufficient.

Get rid of legally required noise pollution

I find it offensive that everywhere i go in an already noisy world – this is added to by legally required noise pollution.

The constant noise of vehicles in airports – let them warn people of their presence with a bell when required – not constantly.

escalators.. do we really have to be told to get ready to leave the escalator?

lifts – why is it necessary to tell us the lift is going up? the illuminated arrows tell us and if we are unfortunate enough to be blind, we can ask, or probably work it out from the motion of the lift.

buzzers in banks, building societies, post offices etc. we are capable of looking to see when a counter is available. and and and..

 

Why is this idea important?

I find it offensive that everywhere i go in an already noisy world – this is added to by legally required noise pollution.

The constant noise of vehicles in airports – let them warn people of their presence with a bell when required – not constantly.

escalators.. do we really have to be told to get ready to leave the escalator?

lifts – why is it necessary to tell us the lift is going up? the illuminated arrows tell us and if we are unfortunate enough to be blind, we can ask, or probably work it out from the motion of the lift.

buzzers in banks, building societies, post offices etc. we are capable of looking to see when a counter is available. and and and..

 

TAX vechicles over 2kcc lots and reduce max speed to 60

TAX vechicles over 2000cc lots and reduce max speed to 60 on motorways

Ban 4*4's unless special liecence has been granted for special use , ie farming , etc

Why is this idea important?

TAX vechicles over 2000cc lots and reduce max speed to 60 on motorways

Ban 4*4's unless special liecence has been granted for special use , ie farming , etc

Smoking Signage – unnecessary

Why? We all know its illegal to smoke inside a commercial premises or an office block. So why the rules for signage?

There are far too many rules relating to signs and notices that are not read and blight the high street. Start improving the commercial and regulatory environment by removing the need for this one in places where it is not necessary.

Why is this idea important?

Why? We all know its illegal to smoke inside a commercial premises or an office block. So why the rules for signage?

There are far too many rules relating to signs and notices that are not read and blight the high street. Start improving the commercial and regulatory environment by removing the need for this one in places where it is not necessary.

Relax the Animal Byproduct Regulations

Animal By-Products Regulation (ABPR) 2005 – deal with animal by-products, including the waste disposal industry, the animal feed industry, slaughterhouse operators, tanneries, farmers, food manufacturing premises, catering outlets, food retailers and zoos are affected by the ABPR. The legislation causes a major barrier to community groups who want to start their own community composting scheme, as such it means multinational giant foreign firms come in and monopolise the composting industry with high tech solutions which require the waste to be collected and hauled vast distances in deisel fueled vehicles at public expense, most of this waste could be dealt with on small scale local compost heaps on parks, gardens, allotments, farms etc, but there is so much environmental and safety regulations in the way despite composting being inherantly a simple and low risk activity which helps create nice soil improver for free and reduces organic waste thus helping save the planet.  

 

speak to defra and the community composting association they will vouch for this!

Why is this idea important?

Animal By-Products Regulation (ABPR) 2005 – deal with animal by-products, including the waste disposal industry, the animal feed industry, slaughterhouse operators, tanneries, farmers, food manufacturing premises, catering outlets, food retailers and zoos are affected by the ABPR. The legislation causes a major barrier to community groups who want to start their own community composting scheme, as such it means multinational giant foreign firms come in and monopolise the composting industry with high tech solutions which require the waste to be collected and hauled vast distances in deisel fueled vehicles at public expense, most of this waste could be dealt with on small scale local compost heaps on parks, gardens, allotments, farms etc, but there is so much environmental and safety regulations in the way despite composting being inherantly a simple and low risk activity which helps create nice soil improver for free and reduces organic waste thus helping save the planet.  

 

speak to defra and the community composting association they will vouch for this!

Increase taxes on imported food funding tax breaks for local produce

There should be a new tax levied onto all foodstuffs imported into the country, designed to be high enough to force the price to be increased in supermarkets and shops.

In conjunction, this could fund a tax break for all locally produced foods, making these foods cheaper to produce, stimulating local economies and farms and reducing the pollution caused by the massive container ships delivering food to this country that we can quite happily produce ourselves if we had the right incentive to do so.

This tax could also fund important technologies such as large greenhouse networks, producing fresh fruits that might not ordinarily be produced in the UK.

Why is this idea important?

There should be a new tax levied onto all foodstuffs imported into the country, designed to be high enough to force the price to be increased in supermarkets and shops.

In conjunction, this could fund a tax break for all locally produced foods, making these foods cheaper to produce, stimulating local economies and farms and reducing the pollution caused by the massive container ships delivering food to this country that we can quite happily produce ourselves if we had the right incentive to do so.

This tax could also fund important technologies such as large greenhouse networks, producing fresh fruits that might not ordinarily be produced in the UK.

Relax planning regulations, using a “polluter pays” model to control development

Britain was pulled from the slump of the early 1930s by a housebuilding boom that gave us many of the semi-detached suburbs that are so sought after today. Now, in contrast, it is very difficult for new homes to receive planning permission. While new development undoubtedly will have some negative consequences, it also brings benefits, although the current planning system fails to recognise this, pandering solely to those who have objections, rather than considering how other people will gain. What are the benefits of relaxing planning regulations? I have listed some here:

– Rises in living standards resulting from improvements to the quality of the country's housing stock;

– Reduced costs of living resulting from reductions in commercial and residential rents;

– Freeing businesses from needless contraints on their activities by simplifying land use categories;

– Reductions in the local government resources devoted to land use issues, reducing the amount of money spent by local government;

– Promoting long term economic growth by removing barriers faced by infrastructure projects of national significance.

– Creating jobs and business opportunities in the construction sector, and related trades such as consumer durables;

How would this work in detail?

I propose that the current system should be replaced by a more streamlined tribunal approach working on a "polluter pays" model.

First, however, we should ensure those parts of Britain that genuinely deserve to be preserved continue to be subject tight planning controls. This would cover, for example, areas of outstanding natural beauty (e.g. North Downs, Cotswolds, Chilterns) and historic or noteworthy urban districts. Also, a wider range of buildings might be considered for listing. Second, in order to ensure new construction was of a high standard, I would like to see building standards being bolstered. This might mean, for example, reintroducing the Parker Morris standards for new homes (which regulate minimum room sizes) and introducing new standards for building on flood plains similar to those used in the Netherlands.

Having tightened controls over those parts of Britain most deserving of protection, I believe a tribunal process can ensure compensation is awarded to those with valid claims to have suffered damages as the result of the development. So someone losing light as the result of a neighbour's extension could be awarded a sum of money by the tribunal. In most cases, this would be settled "out of court", preventing the need for the tribunal to be used. These compensation sums would be "built-in" to the price of the development, and be part of the developer's decision whether to proceed. I suggest compensation might be awarded for noise, disruption, or loss of light, but not for aesthetic matters. With this in place, the market would be free to determine Britain's land use patterns, while ensuring those who were genuinely affected by a development were appropriately compensated.

To make this work, proposed land use changes and new development would be reported to the planning authorities. There would be some limited circumstances where permission could be denied by the council – for example, nightclubs, abatoirs, chemical plants. (I propose that existing land use categories are simplified into two categories: one would contain potentially disruptive, unpleasant, or dangerous activities and the other would contain everything else (e.g. houses, shops, offices, hospitals, libraries, etc.). It would no longer be necessary to seek permission to change use within the second category.)

Where development was proposed on greenfield land that the planning authority considered worthy of protection, the local council would be able to offer to take it into public ownership as common land, with the tribunal setting the level of compensation that would be offered to the landowner. Savings elsewhere could be put towards a fund for this purpose.

This proposal may be a bit rich for many tastes: a more digestable proposal might be to allow a development free-for-all in, for example, the eastern halves of Britain's big cities, which are invariably crying out for private investment in the built-environment, and where developers should be welcomed, not forced to kow-tow to planners and their precious local plans.

Why is this idea important?

Britain was pulled from the slump of the early 1930s by a housebuilding boom that gave us many of the semi-detached suburbs that are so sought after today. Now, in contrast, it is very difficult for new homes to receive planning permission. While new development undoubtedly will have some negative consequences, it also brings benefits, although the current planning system fails to recognise this, pandering solely to those who have objections, rather than considering how other people will gain. What are the benefits of relaxing planning regulations? I have listed some here:

– Rises in living standards resulting from improvements to the quality of the country's housing stock;

– Reduced costs of living resulting from reductions in commercial and residential rents;

– Freeing businesses from needless contraints on their activities by simplifying land use categories;

– Reductions in the local government resources devoted to land use issues, reducing the amount of money spent by local government;

– Promoting long term economic growth by removing barriers faced by infrastructure projects of national significance.

– Creating jobs and business opportunities in the construction sector, and related trades such as consumer durables;

How would this work in detail?

I propose that the current system should be replaced by a more streamlined tribunal approach working on a "polluter pays" model.

First, however, we should ensure those parts of Britain that genuinely deserve to be preserved continue to be subject tight planning controls. This would cover, for example, areas of outstanding natural beauty (e.g. North Downs, Cotswolds, Chilterns) and historic or noteworthy urban districts. Also, a wider range of buildings might be considered for listing. Second, in order to ensure new construction was of a high standard, I would like to see building standards being bolstered. This might mean, for example, reintroducing the Parker Morris standards for new homes (which regulate minimum room sizes) and introducing new standards for building on flood plains similar to those used in the Netherlands.

Having tightened controls over those parts of Britain most deserving of protection, I believe a tribunal process can ensure compensation is awarded to those with valid claims to have suffered damages as the result of the development. So someone losing light as the result of a neighbour's extension could be awarded a sum of money by the tribunal. In most cases, this would be settled "out of court", preventing the need for the tribunal to be used. These compensation sums would be "built-in" to the price of the development, and be part of the developer's decision whether to proceed. I suggest compensation might be awarded for noise, disruption, or loss of light, but not for aesthetic matters. With this in place, the market would be free to determine Britain's land use patterns, while ensuring those who were genuinely affected by a development were appropriately compensated.

To make this work, proposed land use changes and new development would be reported to the planning authorities. There would be some limited circumstances where permission could be denied by the council – for example, nightclubs, abatoirs, chemical plants. (I propose that existing land use categories are simplified into two categories: one would contain potentially disruptive, unpleasant, or dangerous activities and the other would contain everything else (e.g. houses, shops, offices, hospitals, libraries, etc.). It would no longer be necessary to seek permission to change use within the second category.)

Where development was proposed on greenfield land that the planning authority considered worthy of protection, the local council would be able to offer to take it into public ownership as common land, with the tribunal setting the level of compensation that would be offered to the landowner. Savings elsewhere could be put towards a fund for this purpose.

This proposal may be a bit rich for many tastes: a more digestable proposal might be to allow a development free-for-all in, for example, the eastern halves of Britain's big cities, which are invariably crying out for private investment in the built-environment, and where developers should be welcomed, not forced to kow-tow to planners and their precious local plans.

Pollution of the airwaves

Review the use of power line devices that use mains wiring to broadcast around the home. This causes serious pollution of the radio spectrum and also has major health implications. Do people realise that they are being bathed in high frequency radiation?

Why is this idea important?

Review the use of power line devices that use mains wiring to broadcast around the home. This causes serious pollution of the radio spectrum and also has major health implications. Do people realise that they are being bathed in high frequency radiation?

Remove Road Clutter

There has been a significant increase in road clutter in the form of signs, pedestrain crossings, lollypop ladies, speed humps, speed cameras, speed restrictions and worst of all, the dreaded thing that blocks half the road for traffic entering a village so they have to stop and give way to those exiting the village.

 

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with the principal speed limits and traffic crossings on busy roads but what on earth happened to:

 

stop, look, listen and good old 60,40,30,20 mph zones

I dread to think how much public money is wasted on this road clutter. I believe there have been a few pilot tests in some parts of the country where all road clutter has been removed and it has resulted in an all round safer environment.

Why is this idea important?

There has been a significant increase in road clutter in the form of signs, pedestrain crossings, lollypop ladies, speed humps, speed cameras, speed restrictions and worst of all, the dreaded thing that blocks half the road for traffic entering a village so they have to stop and give way to those exiting the village.

 

Don't get me wrong, I don't have a problem with the principal speed limits and traffic crossings on busy roads but what on earth happened to:

 

stop, look, listen and good old 60,40,30,20 mph zones

I dread to think how much public money is wasted on this road clutter. I believe there have been a few pilot tests in some parts of the country where all road clutter has been removed and it has resulted in an all round safer environment.

Unecessary no-smoking signs

The legal requirement that "All smokefree public places, workplaces and vehicles are required to display no-smoking signs that meet the requirements that are set out in the Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations" should be repealed.

The law is quite clear – what we don't need is to make it a further offence to fail to display signs to this effect outside churches (!), shops, etc, or inside offices and vehicles.

Why is this idea important?

The legal requirement that "All smokefree public places, workplaces and vehicles are required to display no-smoking signs that meet the requirements that are set out in the Smoke-free (Signs) Regulations" should be repealed.

The law is quite clear – what we don't need is to make it a further offence to fail to display signs to this effect outside churches (!), shops, etc, or inside offices and vehicles.

Remove all the 32 people killed in 3 years type roadsigns

Putting such specific information on a roadsign is unnecessary and it must be remembered that those were real people and the relatives of those people may not necessarily wish to be reminded every single day of their loss. If you wish to remind people that a road is dangerous the current road signs using symbols are adequate. To the people who have not lost someone these signs soon become background very quickly hence are useless, and a grss waste of money. I would like to know how much has been spent on these in the last 5 years.

Why is this idea important?

Putting such specific information on a roadsign is unnecessary and it must be remembered that those were real people and the relatives of those people may not necessarily wish to be reminded every single day of their loss. If you wish to remind people that a road is dangerous the current road signs using symbols are adequate. To the people who have not lost someone these signs soon become background very quickly hence are useless, and a grss waste of money. I would like to know how much has been spent on these in the last 5 years.