Archive for February, 2015

Can we build beautiful roads? And should we build them at all?

A record of John Hayes’s recent speech to CPRE and the Campaign for Better Transport on ‘making roads beautiful’ is now on Storify. Here is my column on the speech, which will appear in the next issue of the Countryman.

Politicians do not usually talk about beauty. It is considered effete. But John Hayes, the Roads Minister, has no such qualms. In a previous job he waged war on wind turbines on the grounds that they are “simply ugly”. And he believes that “a civilisation is largely defined by what it builds,” a thought that should worry us.

So I was delighted when John Hayes told CPRE he wanted to give a speech on how to build beautiful roads. It is not every year – not every decade – that a politician asks us to host a speech on beauty. But beautiful roads? Continue reading ‘Can we build beautiful roads? And should we build them at all?’