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November 3, 2010 / clayliesstill

Association of British Idiots

In Britain we are blessed with a profusion of organisations representing different types of users. There are a plethora of disability groups, many of which fight for improvements for their users which would make life harder for others. For instance Guide Dogs for the Blind want kerbs on all streets, but kerbs, associated drops and tactile paving all make life harder for wheelchair users.

Cyclists are of course represented by huge numbers of groups – local campaign groups, local cycling clubs, national organisations like British Cycling (which wastes millions of pounds of public money on elite athletes), Sustrans (which wastes millions of pounds of public money on very low quality cycle facilities and endless, but never continuous, blue stickers) and CTC (which wastes millions of pounds of public money on ineffective schemes to get people cycling).

Many of the interests and aims of these different groups are different and they push in different directions. This can only be expected when examining the different needs of different types of cyclists. The alternative for motor vehicle users would be to assume that the Trail Rider Fellowship‘s interests coincide with both the BMF, AA, the RAC and the Motorsports Association.

There is one other organisation representing the interests of motor vehicle users which deserves special mention: the Association of British Idiots Drivers.

Much could be written on this organisation’s crazy policies but for the sake of brevity, just think of everything that is sensible in progressive transport thinking, reverse that, and you’ve probably alighted on the ABD policy line.

Their pronouncements are predictably batty, but a recent response exceeded my expectations. According to Local Transport Today the ABD put out a press release recently suggesting that the Executive planned to spend £900 million on the ministerial car fleet – 50% more than it was spending on finishing off dualling the ghastly A9 north of Perth. Moments later the release was retracted with the explanation that the ABD had muddled up their numbers by a factor of 1,000.


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