There are weird suggestions out there, of course there are. The idea that Shirley McLean really was Nefertiti comes to mind. There are insane suggestions out there, the idea that Hillary might become this year’s Democratic candidate as Joe Alzheimer’s into political retirement. And then there are political ideas being urged under the banner of the Covid-19 we’ve-got-to-change-the-world banner.
One such being that we should stop cars being used on the school run:
UK councils to enforce temporary road closures for safer school runs
So, why’s this?
Roads are to be temporarily closed near schools when parents drop off and pick up their children, in order to deter people from driving on the school run – and to encourage more walking, cycling and scooting.
The plans to shut off roads at school rush hours, using barriers, cones and other measures, are already far advanced in London and Manchester and are expected to be followed in other cities and towns.
Will Norman, London’s walking and cycling commissioner, told the Observer: “It will mean timed restrictions on traffic around schools to allow people to safely walk to school, cycle to school, scoot to school. I don’t mind if they are on space hoppers as long as it’s not by car. You need to reduce the amount of traffic to allow pupils and parents to walk safely.”
Who thinks that if coronavirus hadn’t happened the proposals from this quarter would be different? Quite – the sign of a nutter, the insistence upon the one course of action whatever the circumstances.
Even, when the circumstances particularly and specifically militate against this particular plan:
Transport planners are worried that if more people opt to use their cars after the lockdown ends, to get children to and from school, there will be gridlock in urban areas. They also warn that there will be a rapid rise in pollution levels around schools that will be bad for pupils’ and teachers’ health.
Yesterday [SAT] the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced a £2 billion package “to put cycling and walking at the heart of our transport policy”. He said that even if the transport network was running at full capacity, the two metre social distancing rule would mean only one in 10 passengers could travel.
So, let us drop the monomania for a moment and actually start to think.
We have that twice a day shuttle of kids to and from school. There are various means of transport that we can use to do this. Walking, sure, in certain areas. Cycling can work too. Scooters, sure. Also, public transport and why not? Then there’re also those cars. Each of these are a substitute for the others. Which one is used by any specific person – family perhaps being the better unit to consider – will depend upon number of people, other activities to be undertaken, distance to travel and so on. Are they being dropped off on the way to work for example? Is the Chelsea Tractor being used to carry Jacinta 100 yards?
Sure, we can have discussions about it all.
But now consider that point about substitution. One of our substitutes, public transport, is well nigh unusable right now. Only allowing a 10% capacity – and we’re not going to have 10x the number of public transport units now are we? – means that we require some other mode of transport for the 90% who would have used the bus and now cannot.
Which is the point at which the pencil necks and dweebs decide that we should effectively ban the use of one of the substitutes.
Quite so, this has gone right through insane to emerge the other side as the political imposition of a monomania. Or, to put this into the soundbite necessary for human understanding, they’re mad, aren’t they?
No, really – because the alternative to cars is largely out of action cars must be banned? Is this man capable of tying his won shoelaces?