There was an inadvertently hilarious piece in the Daily Mail – http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2002906/Ever-dreamt-world-traffic-wardens.html – yesterday on the story of Aberystwyth which, through an oversight between the county council and the police has been left with no traffic wardens. The reporter, the paper’s science editor, Michael Hanlon wrote in the introduction that ‘since the beginning of this month, a bureaucratic mix-up involving police and council has meant that the three police-employed traffic wardens are no longer patrolling the streets. The result should be a motorist’s paradise.
Well, no Michael. Anyone with two grey cells to rub together would realise that it wouldn’t be. Essentially, traffic wardens are there to ration what is a limited resource, parking spaces, and without them it is inevitable that there would be the chaos that you found on the streets: people touring round the whole town looking for somewhere to park, disabled spaces being used by the able bodied and parking rage becoming, well, all the rage.
The sheer crass stupidity of the Daily Mail and its supporters is beautifully exposed. This does actually highlight a wider point and exposes the whole ‘war on the motorist’ for the nonsense that we know it is. Away from transport, too, it shows that regulations are there for a sensible purpose and that without them, anarchy reigns. People – and especially motorists – are not self-regulating.
It does highlight, too, the idiocy of the campaigners against road pricing which is seen as yet another part of the war on the motorist but which, actually, would have an enormously beneficial effect on them.
Contrast the scenes in Aberystwyth with those of the Aldwych and the Strand today, closed off by a fire, but suddenly livable and pleasant places to be because cars have been banned. If only the Daily Mail could understand that the way back to the Britain of old it wants to see is through more control of cars and not less.