Monday, 5 July 2010

Your freedom

Apparently the government is committed to restoring our freedom, and is looking for suggestions at At present the suggestions relating to "cyclist" or "cycling" are a mix of old chestnuts:

  • Allow cyclists to ride on pavements and footpaths (in various different forms)
  • Make it illegal to ride on pavements (in various forms)
  • Stop motorbikes using cycle lanes
  • Build more cycle paths
  • Make it compulsory for cyclists to use cycle paths
  • The driver of the bigger vehicle should be liable in any accident (in various forms)
  • Allow cyclists to jump red lights (in various circumstances)
  • Punish cyclists who jump red lights (in various forms)
  • Make it compulsory for cyclists to wear a reflective jacket
  • Make cyclists pay road tax
  • Make cyclists hold insurance
  • Bicycles should carry a registration plate
  • Exempt bicycles from VAT
  • Raise the speed limit on electric bicycles

I would have thought that best practice in consultation exercises would have been more specific about the scope of what is being covered, and made it clear what the range of possibilities are.  However, I suppose it's possible that somebody somewhere in government is taking this seriously. If they are, then the suggestions and discussion on cycling matters could look pretty balanced compared to some other subjects. For more loopy stuff, look no further than "Brussels", "immigrants", or "political correctness".

It looks as though the moderators are starting to close down discussion on any suggestions that completely miss the point by suggesting things that restrict freedom. Even so, I don't envy the poor civil servants (I think that would be "bloated bureaucrats" in newspeak) who have to assess all the contributions and make recommendations.

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