A car carrying Surrey Chief Constable Denis O'Connor, driven by a civilian police driver, was recently stopped for doing 78mph on a 50mph stretch of the A3 near Guildford by one of his own officers. The officer decided to use his discretion and let the driver off. The ABD would like to hear from any other drivers who have recently been stopped on this road for exceeding this unnecessarily low limit, and been treated in a similarly reasonable manner.
Zoe Stow of the 'charity' RoadPeace has accused the police of setting a very bad example, and cited the usual disinformation about speed being a 'major' factor in accidents, when it is in fact a very minor one. Now Chief Constable O'Connor knows what we drivers have to put up with, perhaps he'd like to join the ABD and help us campaign against inappropriate speed limits.
You can email your thoughts to the chief constable thus: chief.constable@surrey.police.uk
Or you can write to him at: Surrey Police Headquarters, Mount Browne, Sandy Lane, Guildford, GU3 1HG

ABD Press Release
Open letter to Chief Constable
Surrey Police Website

The Home Office have issued a consultation document on more severe penalties for road traffic offences. Part of the proposals deal with offences involving death, and dangerous driving. No bad thing you may think, except that on reading the consultation paper, it rapidly becomes clear that they plan to abuse public concern over genuinely dangerous driving as a means of getting severe punishments for minor infringements of inappropriately low speed limits in by the back door.
Under the proposed "Possible later stage of two-tier system for speeding offences":
  • 23 in a 20 limit will get you 7 points and a £60 fine, despite the fact that speedometers are only accurate to 10%.
  • 76 to 85mph on a 70mph motorway will get you 15 points and a £90 fine, despite motorways being our safest roads, and Scottish Police chiefs recently calling for the motorway limit to be increased to 80mph.
  • 20 points will result in an automatic ban.
It is quite clear that too many of the proposals are not about road safety at all, but represent the most extreme anti-car and anti-driver measures yet threatened by this government. It clearly attempts to put minor technical infringements on a par with malicious criminal activity. The high penalty points proposed are a blatant attempt to intimidate safe drivers and force people out of their cars.

The consultation paper can be downloaded as a PDF file from the Home Office website.
Select 'What's New' on the right, and look under December 19th.
Read an article in 'The Spectator'

The government is to spend £8.4 billion on 'local transport' including 14 bypasses and other road schemes over the next five years. That may sound a lot, until you compare it with the £36 billion the government took from drivers last year alone in VED and fuel tax.
New road schemes include bypasses for: Wyre Piddle (Worcs), Rugeley, Barnstaple, Camelford, Weymouth, Barford (Warks), Rugby, Earl Shilton (Leics), Rearsby (Leics), and Chilton (Durham).
In fact some of the so called 'road schemes' are a euphemism for traffic claming and bus lanes, whilst many other new roads will be used as an excuse to impose restrictions on other routes.
One road improvement scheme of note is the A689 between Wynard and Sedgefield in Durham, no prizes for knowing who the local MP is.

ABD bypass page

In a recent press release, the Institute of Advanced Motorists criticized lower speed limits. IAM Chief Executive Christopher Bullock described the "speed kills" slogan as a cliche, and warned road safety was not just about speed limits. He urged the government to put more effort into encouraging drivers to take responsibility themselves, rather than impose blanket restrictions.

Read the IAM News Release

over humps
Pensioner David Pryor has been punished to the tune of £3000 for daring to oppose the proliferation of damaging speed humps on our roads. Mr Pryor alleged that many speed humps broke regulations and caused damage to underground services such as water supplies and sewers.
Mr Justice Collins refused a judicial review and ordered Mr Pryor, a 62 year old retired engineer, to pay £3000 costs; something he can ill afford to do.
to 'sell'
to bus
Birmingham City Council plans to spend £17.5 million imposing new bus lanes on virtually all major routes throughout the city, in a joint venture with bus company Travel West Midlands (owned by Stagecoach) who will be contibuting an unknown sum to turn part of the public highway into their own private road.
Routes to be constricted include:
  • A4040 Outer Circle
  • A456 Hagley Road
  • A5127 Birmingham-Erdington-Sutton Coldfield
  • A38 Bristol Road
  • Perry Barr area
    Plus smaller schemes at Five Ways, Alcester Road, Chelmsley Wood area, and Chester Road A452

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    There are no older news stories as we did not begin reporting news until December 2000.

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