Minister for Time Theft gets bitten

Littlejohn nails the Minister for Transport. Splendid.


Lord Adonis, one of Labour’s unelected ministers, found himself marooned in a five-hour traffic jam on the approach road to London’s Blackwall Tunnel.

Furious at the lack of warning, Adonis rang the Highways Agency in a state of high dudgeon.

While his children bickered on the backseat, he demanded to know why the fact that the road ahead was closed hadn’t been posted on overhead gantries.

Had drivers been made aware that the tunnel was shut, they could have made alternative arrangements, he railed.

‘I expressed very strong views about the absence of information to motorists,’ he said. ‘We need to do far better at providing information to motorists than we do at the moment.

‘If advice had been given to motorists, then the five hours that i spent in a car park by the Blackwall Tunnel would have been avoided and thousands of motorists would have got their weekend back.’

There’s a delicious irony in a Labour transport minister getting caught in the kind of chaos which afflicts millions of ordinary motorists every day of the week.

Maybe politicians are so cosseted in the back of their taxpayer-funded limousines they fail to notice the battlefield which passes for Britain’s road network.

The disruption Adonis experienced for himself is pretty much par for the course. the Blackwall Tunnel is a notorious trouble spot, bringing misery and long delays daily.

It’s not as if there’s any shortage of electronic noticeboards on our motorways. But mostly they seem to display those crass, nannying ‘safety’ messages: ‘Take a Break’; ‘Tiredness Kills’; ‘Check your Petrol’; ‘Stop Picking Your Nose’.

By the time they get round to telling you that there’s been a pile-up, it’s usually too late to take a detour. even if you are given advance warning, often there’s no escape route available. if you get stuck on the Blackwall Tunnel approach road, for instance, you’re there for the duration.

The last time i went to the O2 Arena at Greenwich, the police closed the tunnel at a moment’s notice and I was forced to take a tortuous detour through the badlands of South London to make it safely back over the river.

Part of the problem is that the Government has dragged its heels on the building of a new Thames crossing, which would ease congestion.

And here’s the Prescott effect:

Labour came to power promising a ‘world-class’ transport network and then put Two Jags in charge. His contribution was immediately to cancel vital road-widening and construction projects which had been in the pipeline for years.

Oh and introduce the M4 bus lane. The fat cunt.

You can still see the carnage on the North Circular road, which is lined with boarded-up houses compulsorily purchased 15 years ago in anticipation of a widening scheme which still hasn’t happened. Similar projects have been shelved all over Britain.

Indeed they have.

Not that there’s any lack of roadworks, mind you. My journey into central London on Friday night was like navigating the road to Basra.

Most of these seemed to be uncoordinated sewer, telephone or gas and electricity mains excavations. Either that or pointless fancy paving schemes, speed humps and road narrowing.

All these bomb sites were surrounded by miles of high-viz safety barriers, even though no one was working at any of them.

This just happens to be in North London, but I could be writing about any town or city in the country. If the roadworks don’t get you, elf’n’safety will.

Every time there is even a minor shunt, the whole stretch is considered a ‘crime scene’ and the police shut the road in both directions, while jobsworths with tape measures carry out a full-scale accident investigation.

That’s what appears to have happened when Adonis got stuck. the Old Bill no longer consider it any part of their job to keep the traffic moving, not when there are forms to be filled in and boxes to be ticked.

Perhaps matters might improve if ministers got out more and experienced the real world they have created first hand.

To be fair to Adonis, he has been travelling the length and breadth of Britain by train to investigate the state of our railways.

Typically, though, he has reached the wrong conclusion. He is proposing a £30billion high-speed link through the Chilterns, when what we actually and urgently need are improvements to existing services, particularly our hellishly overcrowded commuter routes.

But you can always depend on politicians to put grandiose ‘eye-catching’ projects before routine housekeeping.

I’d love to have been a fly on the windscreen when Adonis was tearing a strip off the Highways Agency. That’s always assuming he managed to get through.

Some years ago, with great ceremony, John Major set up the Cones Hotline to encourage motorists to report delays caused by unnecessary roadworks.

One Saturday, stuck in an endless jam on the A1, near Bedford, caused by deserted cones cordoning off miles of empty carriageway, I decided to give it a ring.

After a few minutes, someone answered.

‘Is that the Cones Hotline?’ ‘No, sir, you’ve come through to security at the Ministry of Transport.’

‘Can you put me through to the Cones Hotline?’

‘ Sorry, sir, he doesn’t work weekends.’




About Al Jahom
Anti-social malcontent, misanthrope and miserable git.

6 Responses to Minister for Time Theft gets bitten

  1. nbc says:

    The information gantries over the M4 amuse me most days with trouble on the M11, M25 or whatever, but nothing to concern me on my short hop between J’s 10 and 15. And what really pisses me off is when you pass a sign saying that a lane is closed or that there’s a queue, but the following sign, or signs, say bugger all, so what do you do? I know that long stretch between J12 and 13 very well having parked on it for fucking hours. If I knew beforehand that there was trouble there I have good alternate routes I could use, but no, they want me to sit there with a full bladder and no fucking smokes!

    I know they have cameras all along the M4, so how hard should it be to get the signage correct?


  2. Mike Spilligan says:

    Of course, what made it really irritating for Adonis was his youngsters being there, and probably saying (not bickering) “…but Dad, you’re in charge of the roads and everything….you must be able to overtake anyone you like”.

  3. Ethan says:

    Bloody marvelous! Have some of that you Labour knut!

  4. Pavlov's Cat says:

    It is so very seldom our supposed Lords & Masters get to experience the Hell that they put the rest of us through on a daily basis.
    My how it does irk them.

    I laughed so hard tea came out my nose.

  5. Barman says:

    Can we can assume that having ‘travelled the length and breadth of Britain by train’ he decided to use the car on this occasion because the rail network is such a complete, fucking mess…?

    All politicians should be forced to use public transport to see what everybody else has to put up with. Especially Prescott (the fat cunt), who should have to drive into London every day on the M4 and see how wonderful the empty bus lane is.

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