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February 27th 2008

Holes Holes Holes

Back in the 60’s Mr Lennon, of Beatles fame, waxed lyrical about 4000 holes in the roads of Blackburn, Lancashire. I venture to suggest that number is now far higher following the 2007 Summer Floods and the recent winter deluge (caused by pollution from 4x4s so we are led to believe). What I can't understand is that if the British motorist are some of the highest tax yielding individuals in the western world, why do we have the roads from the developing nations? As kids we used to go on holiday to France and we used to laugh at the “Chasuier Derformay” signs (yes I know its Chasse but we used to say the Roads were as lumpy as my Aunty Ann’s Gravy) and complain about the crap road surface. The joke’s now on us because we have those roads but with bigger pot holes!

Do you know how much tax we the motorist coughed up to he of the conflicting hair / eyebrow colour? £28b...yes, £28 Billion Pounds. Made up of £23b in Fuel Duty and £5b in Car tax. Add to that the VAT on motoring related purchases such as Tyres, servicing etc; you can begin to see what cash cows us motorists are.

What did all that tax buy us in terms of road repairs? £6billion, yes just 23.5% of all that tax was spent on the roads. I’ve not made these figures up, they were sent to me by a very nice man from the Department of Transport. Our roads are so bad that it's gone past a discomfiting rattling of your teeth - they are now actually dangerous. I’ve been called out to assist friends who, following a slight altercation with our acne ridden roads, have been stranded as their cars have been so badly damaged they have not been able to drive any further.

The claims going into local council have been escalating too, their answer? Send out a Transit with two shovel-wielding gents and a bag of Instant Whip masquerading as tarmac that’s washed away with the next light drizzle. Where’s all this tax money going? Because it certainly isn't going into proper road repairs.

The A61, the main arterial road that runs into Sheffield from the north, is currently single file because the road washed away in July 2007; six months of sitting in a traffic jam because they can't spare the cash to fix it quickly. “Use public transport” I hear the sandal wearers cry - well we might be tempted if the alternative road into the park and ride site for the trams was open but that too went with the flow into the River Don and is still completely closed!

I suggest we all take five minutes to write to those chocolate fireguards in Westminster and suggest that if they would like to retain their cushy little superannuated jobs they stick up for the down-trodden motorist and start voting to spend some of the tax billions on roads. No, I am not asking for new ones, I will settle for just returning the ones we have to a state of safe smooth order, otherwise, like our motoring brothers in the third world, the car of choice will be 4x4s and we all know where that will lead - so you better start gathering up the animals and dusting down those plans for a big wooden boat.


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