Day 21 – Traffic Chaos
Much akin to the problems with snow, the Christmas period is renown for traffic problems. This year, it seems, is no exception.
If it’s not snow causing gridlock and road closures it’s everyone travelling at once to get from A to B. Traffic jams, slow moving queues and giant maggots blocking motorways, traffic at Christmas can be as taxing as the VAT on presents. Today, it took me 40 minutes to travel my usual 20 minute journey from Brierley to Barnsley. Mostly due to people deciding, quite rightly, to crawl along the snow covered roads at 20mph. Now I wouldn’t usually mind because I am a fairly considerate chap but when I say “snow covered roads” I am exaggerating. It was mush. Mush covered roads. So there was plenty of grip and traction and very little in the way of ice.
I recall one year travelling from Wakefield to Liverpool on the M62 and I saw 8 cars broken down. Foolishly the wife exclaimed “Imagine being broken down on a motorway at Christmas!” just as the Vectra decided that enough was enough and veered toward the hard shoulder. Oh how we laughed as we later ate reheated Christmas dinner all dried up and shrivelled.
And yet a previous year we managed to travel the 80 miles in just under an hour!
This is because, in Britain, if you want to get an idea of what it was like travelling on Motorways in the 1970’s you should set out on a journey on Christmas day. For you will behold how empty the roads can be.
But not to be outdone, this year the good old Christmas demons have pulled out all of the stops. My sojourn to Liverpool this evening has gone the way of the last bus as the exwife in her infinite wisdom went to Eurodisney this weekend.
Now, if you have been hiding under a rock this week or you live in the US, you probably won’t know that the Channel Tunnel (that railway line that connects Britain to the continent) suffered failures and has been closed since Friday night because of the cold. This means the Exwife is now stuck in France, though last I heard they were going to catch a ferry instead. Because of this, my visit to the olds and Liverpool has had to be postponed until tomorrow throwing my plans out by one day boo hiss.
So my effort to thwart the Christmas travel chaos has been….thwarted and tomorrow I face a long drive over the M62 to that jewel in the West coast through yet more ice and loads of trucks and lorries making that last minute Christmas delivery and tonight I spend time in the company of the ever so conversational puss cats. Joy!
Big. Hairy. Monkey. Balls