Driverless lorries are a senseless idea devised by a leaderless government

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Friday 25 August 2017 17:30
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The government is considering a move to driverless lorries
The government is considering a move to driverless lorries

So the Government has provided £8.1bn for trials so that platoons of driverless lorries can hurtle up and down Britain's crumbling and overstretched road system from 2018.The big idea apparently being that there are big savings to be made on fuel and emissions due to slipstreaming, a little bit like the way rail carriages follow one another do they mean?

So surely it might make sense to forget the idea and invest the money in the local rail networks the government seems so set upon ignoring which could join seamlessly up with the new high speed rail lines.

Did the ministers who tell us how much healthier, cheaper and safer the new "robo trucks" will be for us all, not consider that we might be even healthier and safer it would be if they weren't on the roads at all?

The argument that trials in Europe and America (neither of which, if I remember my school geography correctly, are small crowded islands) were successful, so it must work in the UK, a theory which was applied to amongst other things super casinos and fracking which is surely wearing a little thin by now.

Mark Bryant
Blackpool

Driverless lorries – leaderless government. Where do you begin?

Suffice to say that a convoy of thousands of tonnes of vehicle with one driver at the front sounds very like...A TRAIN – only really stupid and really really dangerous.

So why not just reform and renationalise the railways?

Amanda Baker
Edinburgh

Freedom of speech has its limitations

If I express an opinion on opinions, does that make me an expert on opinions?

I am an engineer. I have Science A-levels, an engineering degree, professional qualifications, and 40 plus years of experience. In my field of engineering, considerable weight is given to my opinion and that of similarly qualified colleagues. It is expert opinion. It is perfectly reasonable for me to share a platform and debate with someone who has produced data and drawn conclusions within that field of engineering. There is equivalence.

I also hold personal opinions on a wide range of completely unrelated matters: politics, education, beer. But I hold no expertise in these fields and it would not be appropriate for me to enter a public debate on such matters. It might mislead the audience into belief that I do have expertise.

This is why it is inappropriate to give a shared platform to, for the example, climate scientists and those who simply have personal opinions on climate change. There is no equivalence.

Freedom of speech is important but so are balance and perspective both in terms of public debate and reporting in the media.

Bernard Cudd
Morpeth

Trump isn’t the only leader who makes people’s skin crawl

It’s no surprise that Hillary Clinton has admitted that Trump made her "skin crawl" during a televised debate, as he must have a similar effect on millions every time he appears on television. What makes it disappointing, however, is that it makes May`s efforts to court friendship with him as soon as he was elected even more embarrassing.

Are we to believe our country is in such dire straits, and so desperate for trade deals, that our Prime Minister will never have the courage to criticise this most arrogant and despicable of American leaders? The answer appears to be in the affirmative, as any leader, regardless of the lack of democracy and civilised behaviour in his country is fair game for British envoys. The fact that huge food shortages in Yemen, coupled with the inevitable disease, does not stop either the Saudis bombing, or the British selling them the means with which to do it, must go down in history as one of the most callous action by any country since World War Two.

Trump makes my "skin crawl" too, but others closer home have the same effect!

Bernie Evans
Liverpool

Why were overseas students figures so overstated?

Leaving aside their hopeless incompetence at tracking the rate at which international students return to their own countries, can anyone suggest anything other than xenophobia as the explanation for this government's fanciful assumptions about the numbers who illegally overstay their visas?

D Maughan Brown
York

How can we trust the Government?

The article by Katherine Watts about how Europe has saved Britain from itself before gives rise to the following question: how can the UK government be competent to exercise a say in the policies of the EU when the UK needs the EU to save it from the blunders which its government is liable to make?

Robert Edwards
Essex

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