Letters of the week, August 23

Your points of view

Sunday Times Driving reader letters, August 23, 2015. This week: community road maintenance, Clarkson and the MX-5, the definition of "accident" (literally), setting the road tax record straight, more undertaking and 24-hr parking restrictions.

Verging on the ridiculous

The article about volunteers cutting the grass and tidying the verges of Devon’s highways (“Heigh-ho, off to fix our roads we go”, last week) makes interesting reading, especially when you consider that the chief executive of Devon council, Phil Norrey, is on £150,000 — more than our PM gets for running the entire country. Looking at the photo of the happy band of volunteers, I recalled the words attributed to PT Barnum: “There’s a sucker born every minute.” I’m sure Mr Norrey would agree, as he laughs all the way to the bank.

Ali Kelman, Surrey

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A ditch in time

I was heartened to see the approach made by the Devon residents. They are not alone. I am now about to do my regular roadside grass strimming and start clearing the ditch at the back of our houses to alleviate garden flooding, as the local authority practice of once every 20-plus years is not very practical.

Andrew Shaw, Ottershaw, Surrey


Starry-eyed Clarkson

You suggest that Jeremy gave the Mazda MX-5 five stars (“Clarkson’s five-star cars, part 2”, last week). He did in fact give it 14 stars.

John Bridger, Hastings


Shades of meaning

Peter Salter should read a dictionary, as should whoever it was that decided that police forces rebrand road traffic “accidents” as “collisions” (“Crash scene”, Points, last week). The definition of an accident is “an unfortunate incident that happens unexpectedly and unintentionally”. The notion of blame doesn’t come into it.

Timothy Dickson, Horsham


Road tax myth

Both Carole Ward and your cartoonist may be interested to learn that roads are paid for from general taxation (“Unpalatable vintage”, Points, last week). Car tax has not been earmarked for funding roads since the 1930s. Let’s end this fallacy and sense of ownership it engenders in a sizeable proportion of motorists.

Edward Mason, London


Passing shot

Regarding middle-lane hogging and undertaking (“Out of court”, Points, last week), correspondents should differentiate between passing on the inside, which is legal, and undertaking, which is not. Passing on the inside is simply when a vehicle is moving in the inside lane of the motorway, for example, and comes up to a vehicle in the middle lane. Keeping in your lane and passing the (illegally positioned) other vehicle is legal. This was confirmed to me by a regional head of motorway police.

Steve Ingles, Rugby


Land of the freewheeling

Venture onto a US interstate and you will be amazed by how many cars weave in and out of traffic at high speed and continually cross over two to three lanes at a time to find the least congested lane. It is a pleasure to experience the general lane discipline on UK motorways. Whatever you do, don’t change it.

Michael Poynter, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina


24-hour parking people

There can really be no justification for Islington’s plans to introduce 24-hour parking enforcement on some residential streets (“I’m gonna wait till the midnight hour — then ticket you”, August 9). For example, families visiting relatives, particularly infirm ones, at the weekend will be faced with an intolerable burden of obtaining parking permits.

Furthermore it makes a mockery of the London-wide initiative to get delivery vehicles to work outside rush hour. The proposals make delivery vehicles even better targets for ticketing than they already are.

Barrie Segal, founder of AppealNow.com, London


Capital offence

I often give way to oncoming traffic where there are cars parked on single-lane roads. I’ve noticed that, more and more, the drivers I stop for do not have the courtesy to acknowledge this. Is it a sign of the times or just a London thing?

Wallace Curtis, London


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