Austin at Cheddar!
Classic car style.
Midsomer Norton yesterday.
It was quite sad watching the news this week as they attempted to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the opening of the M1. They failed miserably.
Driving is not fun. The average drive is ruined by poor drivers, lorries, buses, tractors, cyclists etc. You are stressed 90% of the time. there's no pleasure in it. It's not cool. It's just a chore.
If anything this event proves that we don't expect road travel to last much longer. They were trying to stir a mix of 'glamour' and nostalgia into something as vile as a motorway. Why apply nostalgia to something that we're supposed to believe will last forever?
I was once accused of being anti-car. Nothing could be further from the truth. I have travelled all over Europe by car and van. I was a professional driver for four years. I probably have almost as many photos of cars as I do of trains! I think the cars of the 50s and 60s had superb design and were great fun. But since then everything's gone downhill. Try as we might we'll never invest cars and roads with a thousandth of the romance of railways. Even the imminent death of cars and roads will not bring about any great regrets. Many of us, remembering hours stuck in jams, displays of amateur driving and having to fork out for repairs etc, will be glad to see the back of them.
Look at the shot of Midford above, then think about the average road. There's no comparison.
So what's my point?
We don't have to live in a world of squalor, poor design, vandalism, environmental damage. These are all choices, made through ignorance or a false sense of economy. If we want it we can live in a world where architecture and modern transport systems combine to give us a real sense of achievement and well-being, where we all work at jobs we enjoy and where we work with nature rather than against it. The New S&D is all about this. There'll be no nostalgia in what we do, no cutting corners and no working against nature. We'll create a sustainable transport infrastructure that people will enjoy using and which enhances the environment through which it runs, much as the old S&D did.
And it will make a profit!