This is my second blog in as many days – clearly I am spoiling you! However, for some reason two unrelated but equally vexing issues raised themselves in my awareness today and I just feel the need to get them off my chest. Blogging is cathartic like that.
The first of these issues is another driving related one: bloody traffic calming – in short, I’m against it. The trouble is, it is about to appear on my doorstep so it is going to be difficult to avoid. Apparently, “residents in Hucclecote and Brockworth have welcomed plans for a new £250,000 traffic calming scheme” that is going to inflict mini roundabouts and ‘raised areas’ in Hucclecote Road and Ermin Street.
It is unclear from the article in the Citizen whether this has already been put out to consultation, but it is written as if it is a done deal. Why such a scheme should be “applauded by people across the area” is a mystery. Why applaud something that is going to impede your journey, obstruct emergency vehicles and increase wear and tear on your car?
Okay, maybe people do sometimes travel too fast down these roads but I would suggest that the hysterical claims of “70 or 80 mph” made by Hucclecote Parish Council chairwoman Pat Grant-Hudson are rare. And anyway, traffic calming is more likely to increase the chance of these hardened speeders having an accident, possibly involving innocent passers-by, than it is to slow them down.
Finally, before I swap soap boxes, do we really want to applaud the spending of quarter of a million pounds of tax-payers money on this traffic calming nonsense when there are so many pot-holed roads in desperate need of repair and when the Government is trying hard to claw back money to reduce our astronomical national deficit?
Public exhibitions are to be held at Brockworth Community Centre on June 30th from 1pm to 7pm and at Hucclecote Parish Council Office on July 1 at the same times. If you agree with me, go and have your say. If you don’t, stay at home and don’t risk the traffic!
And so to my second bone of contention. Those who know me will realise that I am not a lover of football, and it is to this that my issue relates. But it is not what you may think.
You may have noticed that there is something called the ‘World Cup’ on at the moment. You will have noticed this because no matter where you go you can’t avoid it. Everything is adorned with pictures of world cup players, pubs are full of people discussing it and many people have ridiculous flags fluttering from their cars. None of this upsets me.
The thing is, the World Cup is a major sporting event, football is a very popular sport and it happens only once every four years. People are bound to get a bit excited. And it only lasts a month. I can live with that.
So what, you may ask, is the cause of my ire? Well, it is best demonstrated in the following item in The Week, referencing an article by Giles Hattersley in the Sunday Times: “For those with no interest at all in football, there are consolations…Mumsnet, the parenting website, suggests making the most of empty supermarkets during big matches [and] TV schedules are primed with female-friendly fare…”
I think I’m going to start a new pressure group to combat this blatant sexism: “Men Have the Right to Hate Football Too”!