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    Paying for Britains Roads ?

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    Technician
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    Paying for Britains Roads ?

    Post by Technician on Sun 29 Dec 2013, 4:15 pm

    Hi All,

    Hope all had a good Xmas !. The following is a recent observation which opened my eyes to the state of Britains roads. It is obvious that for all the tax grabbing, and 'road tax' we have been short changed for years.

    This was brought home to me as I have just returned from Austria after driving from the UK. Living in the north I had to get the ferry to Calais, and after a fairly good journey south was greeted by chaos, mismanagement and bl**dy awful service at Dover (Thanks P&O Ferries). Anyway, on to Austria. I drove into Germany via Belgium and the Netherlands, spending my first night in Brussels.

    This was deliberate as I wanted a look at the 'massive' waste of money the EU headquarters were, and I was not dissapointed.

    Anyway, on to Germany via the Rhine gorge, Bingen, down to Kempten, Stuttgart and then into Austria. On my way I met some busy motorway traffic, but NO hold ups or delays. I met ONE major set of roadworks outside Stuttgart which was contra flow for a mile or two but did not delay me.

    The roads were well maintained and not congested or pot holed. Services were frequent, clean and reasonable value for money, and the food just fine. I did not encounter notices, or observe speed cameras every few miles as I do in the UK.

    In Austria the roads were just as good. We had some heavy snow in the Tirol, and within hours the snow ploughs were out and clearing and gritting the roads. Local farmers provide this service in the villages, so overall most roads and passes are clear in a short time. On Boxing day the bin men were working early morning following a heavy snow fall (Hanging on to the back of the dustcart and jumping off to empty bins, as they used to here before 'elf and safety' stopped it !! ). My journey back was just as easy ( an I had done some miles beleive me )

    On return to Dover I was greeted by a guy from the border agency with a face like a slapped ar*se. Once on the road I was counting the bumps and holes on the M2, and soon met with the familiar notices of 'congetion' on the M25, and the ever popular chaos of the Dartford tunnel.

    When I got to the M6 after a number of roadworks and two congestion spots and a plethora of speed cameras I was starving. It was night, I did not know the area off the motorway so had to get a snack for me and the wife at some diabolocal 'services' (approx 7.00 for a crappy cottage pie! and for service withoput a smile ) Further hold ups in the Manchester area and then, thank God, home.

    I don't know what went wrong on our roads, but the short journey I had over here compared to
    my continental distances was sheer hell....Welcome to Britain!!!!

    Technician
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    papa_umau
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    Re: Paying for Britains Roads ?

    Post by papa_umau on Mon 30 Dec 2013, 11:42 am

    What an excellent report Technician. It appears that you really enjoyed your jaunt through Europe.

    Strangely, as one who seems to be anti-Europe, you do a great job of highlighting why and how we could learn a lot from the way that many of the modern European countries do things.

    I have been advocating that we should pick the brains of the European planners and governments about how they do stuff, for many years, and the thought of losing that connection by withdrawing from the EU frightens the living daylights out of me.

    Of course I totally agree with you about how we pay for and organise our roads in this crammed little country, as the picture that you paint of the distress that has grown over the state of our roads seems to never be getting any better no matter how many or amount of taxes we pay.

    That particular one of "road tax" is, and has been, a total misnomer for many years as the new name of the Vehicle Excise Duty or ( VED ), drags this tax well away from paying for road maintenance, as it used to do.

    Also, that idiot Beeching - who was given the task of making the railways pay - did this by shutting down more than fifty percent of our rail infrastructure and forcing a massive amount of traffic, especially commercial traffic, onto our congested roads, making the situation today ten times worse than it should have been.

    We really could do with those thousands of miles of track that are now virtually lost forever.

    I honestly believe that a double-hit from, firstly, all of this congested mix of traffic, and secondly, not enough money being spend on the proper upgrading of damaged roads, means that our roads are probably the worst ones in the modern world.

    A little highlight to this was shown when I wrote a wee entry to ROB recently whereby Japan had built a special test track to test their new cars on that was built to British standards, as nowhere else in the world would their cars get such a pounding as on British roads.

    What and indictment on the state of our roads is that !


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    Britains roads

    Post by Technician on Mon 30 Dec 2013, 5:07 pm

    Hi all,

    I agree Paps, they are a ruddy disgrace, and of course the railways which is another monumental rip off story!!. One point which I MUST emphasise. I am NOT anti Europe. I agree we can learn a great deal from our neighbours over the channel.

    I have been lucky in that I have been to almost all the European countries and have compared first hand services and attitudes over many years. As for the EU, they are doing us NO favours. This is an organisation which robs idividuality out of countries and all for the aim of a currency unification which is not working, and a large percentage of mainland Europe is pi**ed off with.

    The Germans are fuming at having to prop up ailing economies and many of them would like the DM back. Merkel remains popular, but at least she has some guts even if she is mired in the EU gravy train.

    The diabolical wast of money and fiddling going on is mosterous. The lattest idea is to impose restictions on what can be called a 'Danish Pastry' and what has to go in it !!. You just could not make it up !

    This is an organisation in which the auditors have refused to sign off the books for some 17 years!!!

    Technician
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    Re: Paying for Britains Roads ?

    Post by papa_umau on Tue 31 Dec 2013, 10:12 am

    I think that we actually agree on more about Europe than we disagree on, as I too feel that although Europe does many things right, that we should copy, in it's today's state it is a terribly flawed entity.

    Most of these flaws come from Brussels and I see no reason why they could not be fixed by some serious re-organisation.

    With all of this in mind, I STILL feel very strongly that we should not pull out of the EU, as we have more things in common than we have that we disagree on.

    I do not think that Farage or the Tory Eurohaters even think about the good that comes to Britain from being a member of the EU, and they do not realise that their dogmatic yet populist drive to pull out at all costs will damage Britain very badly when the EU turns on us after our exit.


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    zathrus
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    Re: Paying for Britains Roads ?

    Post by zathrus on Thu 02 Jan 2014, 12:30 pm

    Getting back to roads.

    If we add up all of the taxes we pay to the government in the many ways that we do pay tax, the money must be there to keep our roads in good condition.

    I just think that road upkeep is one of the last ways that this government want to spend our money.
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    Re: Paying for Britains Roads ?

    Post by papa_umau on Fri 03 Jan 2014, 11:21 am

    Yes Zath', I agree.

    That said, Britain has a quality that no other country in the world has, ( all over and not just in cities ), and that is that for the population who use road-vehicles, we have just too few miles of quality roads.

    As the roads that we do have are not as well upgraded as they should be they get into worse and worse condition every day that they are in use.

    The fact that the local authorities, ( who have control of the upkeep of the minor roads ), and the national authorities, ( who have the responsibility for the upkeep of the rest, including motorways and dual carriageways ), were to spend the amount of money that is required to pay for the proper upkeep of the roads they have under their perview, we might see our roads in the same conditions that they are in, in Germany,for example.

    Of course, as they try to save money by doing cheap and nasty repairs to potholes and road-surfaces, ( a favourite one is to lay down a layer of hot tar and to spread stones onto this tar and roll it down ), is always going to be a stop-gap solution that will not last very long.

    I think that this is the reason why we see so many semi-permanent sets of cones and contraflows all over the country all of the time, instead of good quality repairs being done that might last.

    Yes Technician, you have let the cat out of the bag with this thread, mate.



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