The main motorway in Cuba stretches from the tip to the tail of the island, is six lanes wide and the last time I was there had about one vehicle passing in each direction everything 30 seconds or so.
Now the planners that built this infrastructure artery back in the 60s didn’t build it anticipating private car ownership for every citizen, but for military emergencies. But with and the rules around who can own a car being relaxed, it will soon be see much more traffic but will be able to cope for many years to come.
In many ways for reasons government civil engineers didn’t realise at the time, they were future proofing their motorway network for decades.
Good news for Cubans anxious to get see more of their country from the privacy of their own car.
If only Scottish Government engineers had such foresight accidental or otherwise. While the debacle of the Forth Road Bridge closure has proved beyond doubt the need for new bridge surely questions must be asked about it’s suitability.
Another four lane structure will cope with current traffic levels if the old crossing is still in limited use, but for how long.
Car ownership in Scotland has risen from 350 per 1000 people in 1990 to nearly 500 per 1000 in 2010 and there are no signs that this trend is reversing. New car sales in the UK have grown ever single month except one for the past 46 months in a row.
At this rate of growth how long before the Queensferry Crossing is under pressure because of traffic volumes that ‘couldn’t have been foreseen’.
The growth trends are already there to be seen. Either plan properly for this to keep the country moving or address the problem of too many cars. While there is much talk about getting people out of cars and onto public transport the evidence for this is not there.
If the government was serious about this they would have spent the £1.5 billion, not on a new bridge, but on railway infrastructure and restrict traffic on the old bridge, forcing people off roads and onto tracks.
This new crossing seems to be no more than a sticking plaster to a core problem of the growth in private car ownership.
In the meantime it is commuters who suffer with the double whammy of clogged roads and overcrowded trains.