The government has designated nine stretches of countryside along motorways as official beauty spots that drivers can enjoy. T
he spots vary in size, delivering between five and 150 seconds of viewing pleasure for drivers that keep to the speed limit. The scheme has a worthy goal but is clearly hare-brained.
According to newspaper reports, the public was first asked to nominate the best roadside beauty spots, which the government seems then to have largely ignored. Only five of the public’s 26 suggestions were adopted, meaning that several provinces including those with plenty of nature are bereft of a motorway beauty spot.
Drivers in Friesland, Gelderland, Brabant, Limburg en Zeeland will clearly have to travel further for a five-second official nature buzz. Will this lead to more traffic jams, one wonders?
Building is still going to be permitted in the beauty spots provided it doesn’t destroy the character of the landscape. We all know what that means.
And one wonders about the safety aspect if drivers get into the habit of staring across fields instead of watching the vehicles ahead. Nature spotting while behind the wheel could be just as dangerous as driving while phoning hands-free. ‘Sorry officer, I was admiring that lovely hedgerow when the accident happened.’
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