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Motoring peace, cease-fire or truce?

Coalition will "end war on the motorist", Transport Secretary pledges - Telegraph.

This is a wonderful time for the optimist. New ministers set out their stalls in a positive light, saying the things we want to hear and - possibly - setting us up for disappointment.

One reason I may never return to Britain is that it is such a miserable place to drive. It is under provided with roads and bedevilled by speed cameras. The latter are a tax not a safety measure. They cause more accidents than they prevent, because they distract motorists from the job in hand. The speed limits were set in the days of the Morris Minor and take no account of the fact that a modern car can stop in the same distance from a higher speed than such a car could from 30mph.

In short, the British authorities' attitude to motoring is both puritanical and grasping.

I am no boy racer. I am a guy in my 50s with a clean licence and (touch wood) a good safety record. When the Maserati Corse team tried to teach me how to drive hard on a track, they couldn't overcome the safety reflexes instilled by 30+ years of staying alive behind the wheel. All I want is to have reasonable discretion in the use of my car on terms that I take responsibility for any mistakes I may make.

The test of the new Minister's seriousness is this; will he resist the special pleading of the puritanical single issue fanatic who will whine at him to "think of the children?" Or will he accept that accidents happen, people are best taking responsibility for themselves and that no-one wants children (or anyone else) to die?

Watch this space.


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Andrew Duffin

Driving hard on the track: I learned to do it, no holds barred, by racing Karts. You need the killer instinct - they SHALL NOT pass - as I'm sure you know.

In real cars, I never got the hang of it until I was driving someone else's vehicle on a track. First out, Audi S3, the instructor says "just put it in third and leave it there, do everything else with the throttle."

And boy did it go.

From that we moved on to TT's (too much like driving a computer game), Imprezas, Integra Type R's (no good until you exceed 7000rpm, then WOW),Lotus 7's, and other fun stuff.

But the S3 is still my favourite small super-car.


In short, the British authorities' attitude to motoring is both puritanical and grasping.

There are certainly no interests of the motorists involved in the British approach to roads and road pricing.

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