The green road scheme, imposed under Covid emergency measures, is a mess; some councils are already u-turning on it. But we’ll really see the consequences of this crazy experiment when pupils go back to school in England and Wales this week. Councils have exploited the virus as a chance to shut roads and expand cycle lanes without consultation. Such things are not automatically bad, but done this sloppily, on this scale, has led to traffic jams, high streets devoid of custom and severe problems for emergency vehicles. As always, officials have scant understanding of the necessity of the car: disabled residents, for instance, have seen a short journey transformed into a trek around the houses. The schemes also appear to despise the freedom to choose, convenience and democracy. Exercise should not be compulsory. Behind all of this is incompetence mixed with ideology. One fashionable idea is the “15-minute city” whereby everything is designed to be within 15 minutes’ reach – not unlike the Soviet microdistrict, which promoted communal living and increased political control. The 15-minute city is almost anti-human, because it purposefully aims to limit horizons. Never mind those whose family lives miles away, or whose place of worship isn’t around the corner. School choice would go out of the window, as every child would attend the local comp.
Telegraph 29th Aug 2020 read more »