Horrified at the ludicrous alleged cost of a council-installed zebra crossing, some parents have resorted to a DIY version.
The Highways Agency says that the cost of a zebra crossing is £114,000. Presumably that is £14,000 for the crossing and £100,000 for the administrators, management consultants, risk assessors, PR agencies and the other 100 middlemen without which nothing can be done in modern Britain.
Hence parents in Kingston-upon-Thames decided to take things into their own hands. Their version costs less than £50 to install. It uses recycled linoleum, drain pipes and two orange balloons to create an effect that is almost indistinguishable from the real thing.
Spokesperson at the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) and one of the parents behind the pop-up zebra crossing, Yannick Read, said: "The idea may be tongue-in-cheek, but the issue is deadly serious; with over 2,000 children killed or seriously injured each year on our roads, parents should never have to battle to have a genuine crossing installed."
The other deadly serious question is about the insane costs of doing any public works in this country. We actually spoke to a senior official at the Greater London Assembly about it. He obviously wants to remain anonymous, but he said that the problem is that it is so hard now to become an approved contractor, that the few who have spent the huge sums of money to meet the compliance standards, and get on the list, can now pretty well charge what they like.