What does £80,000 Buy You These Days?

A very sensible and practical car that gets 9.0mpg, and can do 179mph:

You could buy a whopping 82cm of widened M25 – for such a short stretch, you’d only need a little digger:

You could do 1% of the work required to refurbish just one of the Trident programme’s two hundred W-76 thermonuclear warheads:

The NHS takes nine hours to raise £80K from car parking charges:

With £80K, you could spend a very busy 5½ hours protecting the royal family and important members of the government from getting their baps photographed:

You could pay the tuition fees and living expenses for six university students (not necessarily these six – we’ll let you decide):

To save £80K at the DWP, you could just stop paying all benefits for 12½ minutes. The hoards of undeserving poor probably wouldn’t even notice:

You could buy enough blue paint for 109m of a cycling superhighway in London:

You could buy a double-page advert in the Whitley Bay News Guardian every week for a year – ideal if you were, say, setting up a small, local estate agent business:

Or you could fund an advertising campaign to change the culture of safety on Britain’s roads, and lead to a revolution in the uptake of cycling, creating a healthier, better-off society, and saving the lives of around 200 cyclists a year:

Yes, you can rest assured that the UK government takes road safety seriously.

Oh. Hold on a minute. £80,000 is a tiny drop in the ocean of UK government spending, isn’t it? It’s about £400 for every cyclist that was killed on Britain’s roads last year. And given that your local estate agent is likely to be spending more than that on advertising, you’d be forgiven for thinking that £80,000 might not achieve much.

You could also be forgiven for thinking that the new minister, Stephen Hammond MP took one look at the current cycling safety trends and said to his PPS, “Something must be done!”

Quick as a flash, the reply came, “Something must be done… this is something. Therefore this is what must be done.”

But please, don’t be cynical. Be assured – the DfT has put its top people onto spunking this money up the wall. So expect results. We certainly expect big things.

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Posted in Bike Culture
4 comments on “What does £80,000 Buy You These Days?
  1. When you consider that the cost of KSIs due to road “accidents” is a little over 1% of UK GDP (although Mr Osborne is doing his best to change that), you start to realise the sheer contempt with which the political classes regard this issue. They don’t see it as a direct threat to them, unlike, say terrorism, and so don’t see it as a priority!

  2. Stephen Hammond MP took one look at the current cycling safety trends and said to his PPS, “Something must be done!”

    Quick as a flash, the reply came: “What about introducing lower speed limits, enforcing them with traffic cameras, and using the money to build infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrianising town centres?”

    To which Hammond replied “you lost me at lower speed limits” Just make an advert and get on with working out a business case for eight lane motorways.’

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