Tuesday, 15 July 2014

A questionable devolution

Devolution of power and responsibility from Westminster and Whitehall to regional and local government has been part of the Liberal/Liberal Democrat creed for a s long as I can remember.  So I suppose we should welcome the government's decision to devolve a power to local councils.

But what a daft power: the right to close roads and abandon speed limits so as to run motorcar  races.

I've never regarded motor racing as much of a sport.  I acknowledge that driving a  car very fast requires both physical and mental skill, and designing a car that goes very fast requires clever engineering.  But it is a noisy, smelly practice which isn't really much of a spectator sport.  There is a well established Formula 3 road race in Pau and I went to watch it during the "year abroad" of my French course.  The cars zoom past, you wait a bit and they zoom past again, and if you have sharp eyes (which I have not) you may notice that the order has changed.

If some people get a thrill out of that, good luck to them, but it seems a curious area for a government which promised to be the greenest ever to promote.  Surely at a time when we are doing our best to cut down pollution, including noise pollution, and conserve non-renewable resources, particularly oil, we should be taking measures to limit this "sport" rather than promote it.

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