Transport Minister Chris Grayling has certainly impacted on our world of late; and he has done so, inadvertently or otherwise, with a bit of a double whammy!
Grayling, the MP for Epsom and Ewell, delivered the stunning news that plans for the £250million upgrade to improve traffic on the A27 had been scrapped. And he also hit the headlines, and put the cat very much among the pigeons, when he warned the public not to buy diesel fuelled cars.
The A27 decision was out of nowhere; and the fallout continues. The government says it cancelled the scheme due to a lack of “clear consensus” about a preferred option.
You won’t be surprised to learn that the Chichester Bypass is in the worst 10 per cent of roads in the country for casualties and residents have been waiting decades for an improvement to its series of roundabouts.
A consultation had been held for residents, offering a choice between five proposals for how to improve the bypass, but many had complained that the options were not suitable.
As if that bombshell wasn’t enough, Grayling also presided over the claim over diesel cars; and he was heavily criticised as being irresponsible after his comments.
His warning of the health impact of the vehicles came as no comfort to more than 1.3 million British drivers who have paid tens of thousands each for the cars in the last year.
And yet the Government has previously encouraged members of the public to invest in diesel!
In the wake of Grayling’s comments, the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), said 2.69 million cars were registered last year, two per cent higher than in 2015.
The SMMT said diesel and petrol cars were the most popular fuel types for consumers with market share at 47.7 per cent and 49.0 per cent respectively.
Who’d be a politician, eh?