In one of last week’s less shocking news items, a council in Cornwall has suggested that the best way to meet local air quality targets could be to move people out of the affected areas.

Yes, that’s ‘moving them’ as in, ‘compulsorily buying families’ homes and relocating them in new houses that have been built farther away from the traffic congestion’.

Presto, they breathe easier, only a bit farther away. The new homes would still be nearby, obviously. They’re not monsters!

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Funny old world, when this is one of the less odd things going on in it. I don’t imagine it will happen, although it does have the ring of an ‘all options on the table’ idea that gets mentioned between biscuit breaks and which everybody is slightly surprised to find bulldozers acting on five years later.

And it’s peculiar that a region whose income is based around people visiting its historic towns and enjoying its communities, open spaces and fresh air – but which is blighted by the time it takes to get to and around the place – wonders if the best way to improve things is to put houses on the open spaces and devastate the communities but leave visiting traffic stationary and thus not make Cornwall any easier to visit, or its air any cleaner.

Apparently it’s cheaperthan building bypasses, even though we have a housing crisis and I thought that new houses had roads going to and from them. So instead of one bypass, you build houses served by congested minor roads.

It’s an example of how phobic about building roads we’ve become.