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A glorious bit of capitalism!

Talk about a fine bit of opportunistic business! Well done!

22 comments to A glorious bit of capitalism!

  • So he will build the roads!

  • CaptDMO

    Spend £40 and we’ll pay BOTH ways?
    Question (from US) How tough is it to spend £40 in a pub, without ending up “over the limit”.
    On the other hand, it IS a “private” road, isn’t it?
    Mindful that I have ZERO familiarity of GB’s laws, current cost of living “economics”, or even an “easy” Pounds Sterling keyboard character, for this sphere.

  • Most pubs also serve food, as £40 just on booze will indeed have you under the table most likely.

  • the other rob

    Spend £40 and we’ll pay BOTH ways?

    I assume that the BBC story previously contained a reference to a pub offering to pay the toll for customers. If so, it has since been excised.

  • Lee Moore

    A glorious bit of capitalism meets …….a glorious bit of socialism :

    “The Council is not in a position to support the temporary road option as we have not been provided with any evidence/information to support the application. A temporary toll road requires Planning Permission and no application has been received. In view of public concerns the Council’s Planning Enforcement team are currently investigating this matter.
    The Council has no details to confirm the toll road design meets safety standards and no evidence that insurances are in place for any member of the public who use the private toll road.”

    My money is on the glorious bit of socialism winning in the end. Even if the apparatchiks lose this round, new regs will be introduced with big enough fines to deter any copycats. It’s for your safety, you see. And the children.

  • Unfortunately I am strongly inclined to concur with Lee on this: the moment I saw this the other day, I thought to myself ‘the poor guy is going to lose his house, and he’ll be lucky if that’s all he loses’. I really do hope to be proven wrong.

  • Fred the Fourth

    Lee and Alisa are probably right. Before I even saw the info from the council, I had this line running through my head: “Nationalized in 3,2,1…”

  • Fraser Orr

    Agree with Lee and Alisa. Compound the natural dislike of the “elf and safety” for this kind of thing with the fact that they embarrassed the council with how inept they were getting the road fixed… Since exposing the incompetence of politicians and bureaucrats is just about the worst crime their is I think our entrepreneurial friend will be lucky not to loose his head never mind his money.

    On the other hand, I hope I am wrong.

  • Jaded Voluntaryist

    After months of inactivity, the council finally started work on the main road on the very day the toll road opened. That’s not a coincidence. He has embarrassed the local council, and when petty little statists are embarrassed, they lash out.

    He says he has till December to recoup £300,000 or lose his home. He may have humiliated the council into bringing their repair schedule forward, shortening the timescale. I also expect them to try and find a way to close him down before the main road is reopened.

  • Mr Ed

    JV, Indeed, the man is a dangerous living example of initiative, enterprise and competence, all of which will be punished severely. If the nail sticks out, it must be hammered flat.

    After all, if he succeeds, more people might question the need for the Council rather than simply question its competence….

  • Andrew Duffin

    ” In view of public concerns the Council’s Planning Enforcement team are currently investigating this matter.”

    Public concerns? You mean members of the public are “concerned” that this splendid development might not have the requisite chitty from the local statist prodnoses? Do you expect anyone to believe that?

    But I too note the sniffy tone of these comments from “the council” (ie, the bureaucrats employed by the council). Even as we exult here, they are leafing through the rule-book to decide exactly which provision they will (mis)use to shut him down. Acting on your own initiative is the ultimate sin in modern Britain.

  • Not just in Britain, Andrew. And by ‘public’ they mean themselves, of course.

  • Rob Fisher (Surrey)

    This guy is brilliant. He was interviewed on Radio 2 the other day and I was going to write about it here, but didn’t get around to it.

    On the radio he came across as a practical, getting-stuff-done type. He was not selling any ideology. However, the presenter, Chris Evans, asked him what he would do if he ended up making a profit. Would he donate it to charity? The answer: I’ll be happy to break-even to be honest. But if there is any money left, then after all the stress involved, I think I might keep it. Chris Evans, to his credit, did at least say that it would be well deserved.

    The man did say that he had been “working closely with the council” and that they had “allowed” him to put in for a “retrospective planning application”. Surely this is going to be so popular that the authorities won’t *dare* touch him. Surely?

  • Edward MJ

    He says he has till December to recoup £300,000 or lose his home.

    He should start a Kickstarter or IndieGogo campaign to recover the money. I’d donate just to reward his initiative.

  • Laird

    He says he has till December to recoup £300,000 or lose his home.

    The linked article says it cost him £150,000 to build the road. Where did the £300,000 figure come from?

    And for that matter, how can it cost £150,000 to build a dirt road?

  • Richard Thomas

    Likely he will be shut down but it’s sometimes the fight is more important than the winning. The upside is that if they do just shut down his road (or he refuses to be co-opted), that’s a whole lot of people who suddenly are faced with being severely put-out by a direct action of the council.

  • Fraser Orr

    Just one other thought on this guy. This guy built the road from scratch in vastly less time than it will take the council to fix an existing road.

    I think that statement stands on its own, don’t you?

  • Richard Thomas

    He didn’t need a compulsory purchase order either.

  • Laird

    I have read some other articles about this. Apparently the official detour is 10 miles long, but as I understand it the toll road Mr. Watts built is only 340 yards long! Even at 10 mph (his posted speed) that’s a significant time saving, probably worth the £2 toll. But it leaves me with a question: how did he manage to spend £150,000 on 1,000 feet of dirt road? (And why does he think it’s going to cost him an additional £150,000 to operate it for six months?)

  • The wonderful thing is that the planners now have to hurry up to rule on his retrospective application, allowing the other fellows who are waiting in line for approval to protest that the man needs to wait his turn and not jump the planning queue. All their applications need to be ruled on first.

    Isn’t that fair? Why should this jumped up opportunist get his plan ruled on ahead of others who have been waiting patiently for the regular approval process?

  • ResidentAlien

    I don’t think his chances of getting retrospective approval for a toll road are very high. I think he would have better luck applying for permission to build a “car park” – a long, thin car park with two exits/entrances.

  • 17 years and counting

    Here’s an update that will depress but not surprise you…