Engines are becoming less efficient.

Engines breathe better thanks to multi-valve technology and variable valve timing. This reduces pumping losses, enables fuel to burn more efficiently and thereby reduces pollution. At speed, internal mechanical frictional losses are relatively low compared with air drag. The upside of this is that modern streamlined cars travel at motorway speed with outstanding efficiency. Unfortunately it has become fashionable for roads to be designed to reduce traffic speed. This results in cars being driven in low gear and this increases mechanical frictional losses. The result? a considerable increase in carbon dioxide emissions.
Clearly this is not the way to comply with the Kyoto agreement. Roads will have to be redesigned to improve the efficiency of traffic using them. Perhaps a reversion to the transport philosophy used by the Romans 2,000 years ago?

It is so easy to criticise.

The authorities are criticised when they get things wrong, and rarely get a pat on the back when they display outstanding efficiency. May I redress the balance a little by congratulating the team who promptly removed a large graffito which had been sprayed on the wall outside the office. I had spent some time last year with a wire brush and paint stripper attempting to remove the writing, but with no success. This month I emailed the Council and complained about the mess. Within days the wall was pristine. Such service deserves recognition. Well done to all concerned!
Sometimes good things get done by stealth. A decade ago lane markings on roundabouts in Bracknell were a confusing mess. They have gradually been improved and are mostly quite logical. The authorities have an unenviable task. When things go wrong it is very obvious. Improvements, on the other hand are easy to miss.