Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Am I Getting Old...?

E-mail I sent to local radio station today

"I am writing to you in connection with a publicity stunt on the Running Horse roundabout in Maidstone, that I believe to be connected with your radio station. This caused considerable inconvenience to many people who use that roundabout, either to access the London bound M20 or to get into Maidstone itself. I shall explain.

As I joined the A229 this morning, from Burham, at approx 8am, I had to queue to get onto Bluebell Hill, an occurrence that only usually happens when there has been an accident. During the 15 minutes it took me to travel the 1 mile from the Shell garage to the Running Horse Roundabout, I witnessed two incidents that nearly resulted in motor vehicle collisions and one incident of "road rage". These all occurred directly in front of me and as a consequence of the traffic build-up. Drivers attempted to jump the queue of traffic or had to negotiate blocked exits on slip roads and roundabouts approaching the Running Horse roundabout.

At the roundabout, I discovered the reason for the delay. On the grass verge, was a vehicle festooned with Invicta Radio insignia and two young men enacting a Star Wars light sabre fight. I believe one was dressed as Obi-Won Kenobi (Episode 1-3 era) and the other as Darth Vader, who incidentally was the weediest Darth Vader I have ever had the displeasure to see. This was deemed considerable enough distraction by motorists, to slow down and cause the build up of traffic.

I'm no "killjoy" but I do think that this stunt was ill-conceived, reckless and potentially dangerous. Traffic at that roundabout is often very busy and requires drivers to concentrate fully on the road. The delay it caused to my journey this morning was frustrating, annoying and needless.

In the future please consider the impact such events have on road users, particularly during rush-hour, when many of us simply want to get from our homes to our place of work."