A strange thing has been happening these past few weeks. Early morning traffic reports on the radio have started to use the phrase ‘free flowing traffic’. They still mention the inevitable road closures but again and again they announce, in a continuing disbelieving voice, that ‘traffic is flowing smoothly’.
The first time I heard this, back at the end of July, I was in London. It was 6.30am and I was due to collect a car from the East End and then test drive it in West London (why?!). I was dreading the rush hour traffic Unfortunately, the car wasn’t available until 7am so it looked like I was in for an exciting morning.
How wrong I was. If you’ve ever seen the zombie horror film ‘28 Days’, there is an eerie sequence of a deserted London. I found myself sailing across town, encountering hardly any delays—where was everyone?
So unsettled was I that I found myself checking the radio that some major news story hadn’t broken to keep the nation from travelling. It was only when a phone in show took a call from youngster that I realised the reason for my pleasurable journey – the schools were on holiday. Since then I have driven in several major cities and the story is the same again and again – clear roads, traffic moving, quicker journey time, less hassle.
If the government is serious about cutting road congestion, here’s an idea – home schooling for all. They could use an Xbox360 for playtime and be supervised by a government supplied nanny.
Get rid of the school run and give me back my roads!