Well, I asked the people whether I should escalate my Hunts Post battle of correspondance over the A14 toll road. And the people said ‘Yeah, why not. We don’t need to do anything right?’
Sometimes a man needs to take a stand. Push boundaries and start a trend. Run the risk of public failure. Do something that takes boldness, courage and judicious use of the rule of three. A bit like this pig:
So I wrote back. And it’s with great sadness that I report this time my letter went unpublished. That’s particularly disappointing when you consider what the paper did make space for:
But never mind. Here’s the letter in full. Maybe it was a bit shouty.
I was pleased to read D F Holdsworth’s reply to my letter of 25 September. I think he may have mistakenly interpreted my letter to indicate support for toll roads in general. That was not the intention; my point was that it would be nice to see the A14 plans debated with reference to published evidence, rather than anecdote.
Appeals to hearsay do not constitute an argument for or against toll roads. Mr Holdsworth’s reference to France’s ‘largely deserted’ roads, smells strongly of this. At least 38 countries use toll roads, and they are not universally barren stretches of pristine, unused tarmac. As for their effect on the lorries, it is perhaps interesting to note that the US, with five of the world’s ten biggest haulage companies, also has the world’s most profitable toll road in the New Jersey Turnpike.
Secondly, I must confess to finding Mr Holdsworth’s ‘only credible and fair’ solution of spending foreign aid to fund an A14 extension depressing. Personally, I would feel uncomfortable snatching away a lifeline to millions for the sake of helping Eddie Stobart.
However, I agree with him that we need some fiscal responsibility. Why not cut Winter Fuel Allowance to pensioners with household incomes of over £50,000 a year instead? There’s an equitable solution that would generate roughly £100m annually and maintain our moral and international obligations to the world’s most vulnerable people.