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In Full . . .

THE VILLAGE VIEW

Posted on March 23 2014 at 12:52:53

As the new editor of this magazine, I didn’t intend my first Village View to be based on my own pet hates. . . but this month’s postbag, coupled with comments from fellow villagers and on social media, proved that the thing that’s been winding me up of late is the same thing that’s getting up your noses, too: bad driving in general, and bad parking in particular.

We’ve been reporting on the scourge of pavement parking for a while, but despite public outrage and an official campaign to stamp it out, the problem continues.

However, it’s not just parking that seems to be an issue – people are also fed up with inconsiderate drivers of all ages, be it speeding, tailgating, or simply failing to observe driver etiquette.

The author of our lead letter suggests that the problem is endemic, and she’s got a point.

I have been driven into twice in the past month, once in the narrow lanes of Tutnall, and once in the traffic hell that is Barnt Green when a people-carrier ploughed through a non-existent gap, scraping my car all along its side, then drove off without bothering to stop.

Meanwhile, my predecessor in this post had a near-miss on the bridge at Bittell reservoir when a driver decided to ignore the priority signs.

Then there are the motorists who position themselves in the very middle of narrow roads such as Greenhill in Blackwell, preferring to clash wing mirrors with oncoming vehicles rather than move over and risk getting the wheels of their pristine 4x4s dirty; the drivers who’ve forgotten where their indicators are; and the ones who don’t even wave their thanks when you’ve just let them past.

So what’s happened? Is it the sheer volume of traffic, causing such frustration that drivers become ever more bad-tempered?

Or have we, as a community, lost our sense of courtesy and consideration? Aside from driving, other local bugbears include rubbish dumping, dog fouling and antisocial behaviour.

But then a flick through this magazine reveals how many villagers are raising money for good causes, while community spirit seems alive and well in the shape of projects like The Lounge and the Picnic in the Park. . . so the “me first” culture hasn’t completely taken hold!

As a final thought, our What’s On section now contains a new listing for an Advanced Motorist Group, committed to helping drivers of all ages improve their driving skills – perhaps there are a few local motorists who’d benefit from attending?

Sally Oldaker


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