Mr Rusty had written a letter to the local council protesting about road conditions in the garden and Florence agreed the traffic was getting heavier writes David Burrows.
Zebedee asked what the problem was.
“I’m campaigning for a green belt,” said Mr Rusty
“I’m sure you’ll look very pretty,” said Zebedee.
Then Dougal, who wasn’t the smartest dog in the kennel, came along with an idea.
“I’ll tell you what,” he said. “Let’s dig up the whole Magic Roundabout and start again.”
Ermintrude looked unsure. She was convinced flowers would be dug up during the work. And Ermintrude loved flowers.
“In fact,” said Dougal, “Lets dig up OTHER roundabouts, too, and change them. We could even stop one being a roundabout altogether. We could call it the Mystic Junction. Or something.”
This is what it might be like if the characters from the Magic Roundabout were left in charge of highways planning. Sadly, it also seems to be what happens when you leave highways planners in charge of highways planning.
Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin (no, me neither) has announced that £9 MILLION will be spent mucking about with four traffic islands around Shrewsbury.
One of them is the Emstrey Island, which will get a near £4 million facelift in 2014. Emstrey, now why does that ring a bell? Oh yeah, that’s right – three years ago someone with more money than sense spent HALF A MILLION QUID giving it a facelift. I hate to sound like a broken record, but it’s the bloomin’ pedestrian refuge all over again. Spend money on something, make a right (as Boris Johnson would say) Horlicks of it and then throw more money at it.
I have no problem with the Emstrey Island, but I use it every day. Others, however, tell me the lane signage is a confusing mess and truck drivers assure us that the lanes are too narrow (while the island in the middle is large enough to host the next series of Channel 4’s Shipwrecked with the added bonus that we may never have to see the public school pretty boys and girls ever again).
Actually I lie. I do have a problem with Emstrey. I’ve mentioned it before. It’s got traffic lights on it. TRAFFIC ISLANDS DO NOT NEED TRAFFIC LIGHTS! One or the other, please.
Well good news. Someone’s listened and that’s what’s going to happen at the Preston Boats junction (where the A5 meets the A49).
I say ‘good news’. I mean the other thing.
There will be lights. But they are going to remove the roundabout. Horrah. Only not hoorah. Because the Preston Boats island WORKS PERFECTLY FINE. When have you ever seen massive congestion there? What’s that? ‘Never’, you say? Well who cares? Let’s spend £3 million on making some traffic jams.
For the life of me I can’t understand why a) the Emstrey Island scheme wasn’t thought out properly in the first place and b) why there is this sudden need to alter a road system which, until someone decided to blend lights and islands, worked perfectly fine (and still does on the islands where there ARE no lights).
Mr McLoughlin may have announced the plans, but I have a sneaking suspicion I know who drew them up. It was you, wasn’t it Dylan?
Time for bed, said Zebedee…