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Published on November 28th, 2012 | by Perrin


Yellow (Line) Fever

I know that there are a lot of things to worry about in the world – the Eurozone crisis, the double dip recession, the situation inSyria, Boris Johnson’s hair – but my concerns are mainly tied up with yellow lines, double ones, specifically ones that appeared outside my house a few months ago.

It all started four years ago when a chap who lives down the road finally got fed up with the gridlocked morass of 40 foot lorries and purple faced men in Rovers that was generally to be found outside his house. He decided to do something about it and formed an action group to come up with some proposals to alleviate the problem without having to resort to spending hundreds of millions of pounds on a bypass. It was a bold step and I applauded it at the time. The problems started when the “authorities” got involved and promptly formed a committee. As everyone knows, a committee is a dark alley down which ideas are taken and quietly strangled. A committee is an organisation that has endless meetings over the course of several years and finally decides to do absolutely nothing.

The first thing the committee decided was that the main problem was not a busy A road that ran through the narrow residential streets of a Georgian town. Rather, it was the fact that some people just drove too damn fast. What was more, the residents of those narrow residential streets had the annoying habit of parking their cars on the road outside their houses. But the biggest problem was the fact that lorries are brutish, noisy, smelly things that really should be completely banned from our lovely Georgian town. And so, after years of deliberations, a few signs appeared on the road advising people that it had an advisory 20mph speed limit. Needless to say, most people tend to ignore this advice. In the meantime, the Highways Agency decided that spending £100s of millions on a bypass would be a good idea after all, so they did. It’s called the A46 dual carriageway and it opened this spring.

Undeterred by this, the committee pressed on and in August of last year they unveiled their final solution to the traffic problems. They timed their announcement well, making it on the first week in August when half the town was away on holiday, though at least they held it in the convivial setting of a pub. The announcement was made; the traffic problems would be solved once and for all by painting double yellow lines outside a pub and outside 8 or 9 houses further down the road. Unfortunately, the pub in question was the one they were holding the meeting in and the 8 or 9 houses included the home of the chap who’d formed the action group in the first place. The announcement did not go down well.

Jump forward to the spring of this year and the Highways Department had decided to kill two birds with one stone by resurfacing the road before they painted the double yellow lines on it. The lines never appeared in front of the 8 or 9 houses down the road but they were painted in front of the pub, not to mention the two houses and four flats next to it, one of which was my house.

Naturally, I phoned up to complain. “You’ve painted your lines in the wrong place mate,” I said.

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