The UK Government has no interest in managing its traffic an a way to reduce the number of cars on the road, or deal with congestion, or, for that matter, to make the roads safer.
Why should they? The roads and drivers are a goldmine for the treasury. In this country vehicle owners can be fined on the move, and just as easily be fined when their vehicle is stationary, and they're not even in it. Seriously, you can be fined for owning a vehicle that's not on in use on the road (or even usable), if you don't tell them you have it.
This morning I had a note passed to me about their latest lie. DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) have the power to have cars crushed – they told us this would only be exercised where the vehicle was an unlicensed wreck or old banger, or was owned by a persistent offender who was not responding to other methods. Recently, they crushed a Pajero worth around £11,000. Towed away by Haringey council, the vehicle had been parked with one wheel on the kerb. Unfortunately, the documentation was with DVLA for processing as the Pajero had just been sold. By the time the owner could produce documents to prove the vehicle was his, the council had crushed it as they claimed they could not trace the owner, and could not have released it earlier, to someone without the proper documentation in order. The time was taken was 10 days. DVLA themselves do not even claim that their computer records are newer than 10 days, so any checks on ownership can easily show out of date data, and result in more vehicles being crushed in future.
The council has issued a statement claiming they only followed the rules, checked the DVLA computer, and no-one is to blame. As someone else observed, that line didn't work at Nuremberg! One hopes they will be sued for the value of the vehicle.
Our transport minister, Alastair Darling, has now even admitted that drivers are probably right to feel victimised by over-enthusiastic traffic wardens (like the ones that put parking tickets on ambulances attending accidents), and is to issue new guidelines aimed at reducing such incidents and ill-feeling.