By Nik Butler
I would not have thought it possible but I am fairly sure we can apply Darwin’s Origin of the Species to road management in Horsham.
The ever-present theme of “twenty’s plenty” is back in conversation and for a change it holds a prominent position in online and printed format. I have written on this topic in a previous article and my position remains unchanged, so let’s not cover that ground again.
The debate brings out the most imaginative scenarios or issues. Given the passion in its discourse it might be easier to regulate gun control in Texas than accelerator control in Sussex.
Which is why I feel that Darwin may have stumbled upon the principles we can apply on our streets today. The oft incorrectly used quote attributed to Darwin was “it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change. In the struggle for survival, the fittest win out at the expense of their rivals because they succeed in adapting themselves best to their environment.”
The attribution was subsequently debunked by Nick Matzke but that is the subject for another article. We must look to the changing environment for pedestrian, cyclist and motorised vehicle owner to review the challenges faced by those groups and necessities of nature which are imposed upon them daily.
Where once there were wide and open streets with smooth black tarmac surfaces, there are now potholes, gravel, parked cars, roadworks and lane closures.
Streets are becoming congested with cars parked to the left and the right, signs, signals and directions litter the eye line and bollards or potholes wait to entrap the unwary owner leading to destruction or possible injury.
What then is the natural progression for the travel impaired? Will the Chelsea tractor evolve stronger wheels and deeper suspension, possibly cross breeding with a Massey Ferguson to become stronger, slower , safer? That’s not even its final form! Cyclists could adapt stronger elbows, faster reaction speeds or possibly some form of paint stripping venom to encourage vehicular distance on open stretches. With enough water and flooding possibly only the pedestrians will survive to adapt floats or boats in which to head into town. All my suggestions are ridiculous but no more so than those imagined to suggest we cant take it easier and slower on our roads today.