It's a toss-up as to whether the dimmest people in the UK either work at HM Treasury or in the roads department of local councils.

However, as I write this, the International Monetary Fund has not yet arrived in the UK to pull the plug on our overdraft. So, I'll go with local traffic planners.

Every day I travel out of London on the A3, which means passing through the Wandsworth one-way system, a notorious bottleneck that many drivers will have experienced.

Strictly speaking, it's a Gyratory. Wandsworth High Street copes with the eastbound traffic and a new road, running in parallel to the high street, handles eastbound traffic. At peak hours it is a nightmare.

Now the logistic geniuses at Transport for London have decided that the Gyratory, so beloved of 1970s traffic planners, will be steadily wiped off the Greater London map.

The first to go was Aldgate on the eastern edge of the City. Next in line is Piccadilly in central London. Wandsworth is waiting for the go-ahead.

The local worthies are lining up to consign the long lines of traffic snaking around town centres to the bin of history.

According to the London Evening Standard, the head of the New London Architecture Centre, Peter Murray, said:

“One-way streets reflect the dominance of the car and the failed go-faster policies of the traffic engineers.

“As we begin to realise that walking and cycling should be the dominant forms of transport, the one-way street should be consigned to the dustbin of history.”

A TfL spokesman said: “Where it is beneficial for all road users, TfL is keen to remove one-way gyratory systems along the TfL road network."

What these people are not telling you is that this change of planning heart is simply another way of grabbing back road space from the driver.

The Aldgate project saw one leg of the gyratory closed to traffic altogether, as will the Wandsworth project where the High Street becomes a bus 'n' bicycle super highway.

In the last ten years, the capital has seen Transport for London rob huge amounts of road space from the people who are actually paying for it.

Drivers outside the capital won't escape. The Government recently dropped its requirement for local councils to introduce congestion charging schemes in order to cash in on extra transport funding.

Instead, the new Transport Innovation Fund, if it survives the upcoming general election, will probably be used to pay for road narrowing, wider pavements, 20mph zones and the selectively blocking of junctions.

All of these tactics are designed to cause long-term congestion, which, in theory, eventually encourages traffic to re-route permanently away from a particular area.

It seems that if drivers won’t pay for driving into a town centre, the local council will build them out.

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