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@ Sheringham Community Paper Issue No 10 - Friday 21st March 2003 - Choose another issue
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Sheringham Community Paper HEAR'SAY

Hello and welcome to Hear'say no 10 and there's plenty to rattle on about so without further ado I shall proceed. So it seems in an effort the other week to curb excess traffic usage and congestion in London, officialdom has come up with this wonderful new idea of charging people for the privilege to drive in certain parts of the city.
Not to mention for some criminal elements this must be an early Christmas box. Just show someone else's number plate and it gives you license to wreak havoc at someone else's expense. I recall in days of old that this idea of charging was indeed called tolling and is certainly not new. We are told by the same said powers that if the scheme is successful it looks likely to spread to other towns and cities up and down the country quicker than the demise of our very own Ruddy Duck! Apparently threatening because these poor creatures do best what many of our celebrities do without batting an eye. Yes, the duck's promiscuous behaviour with the natives is ruffling 'purist' duck lovers feathers. So logically, despite a public outcry and all reasoning, the answer is to blast them into oblivion. Sound familiar Messieurs Blair and Bush? Anyway, I'm digressing I know. Oh, just a last thought though, if we humans treated our own promiscuous brethren in the same light, I guess the Who's Who book for 2004 would be as empty as the St Peter's church collection plate collecting for 'the knocking down of the hall appeal'.

I have been thinking though, just say if we could, that the money raised from congestion charging was, or could be, ploughed back into our regions/towns. You might say, how could this benefit us? Well for a start I'd propose they build us three new roundabouts along the Cromer Road. One at the Holt Road and Church Street junction, one at the Beeston Road and Common Lane junction and finally one at Cookies Car Boot field entrance and Britons Lane junction. Then, hopefully we would finally eradicate the problem of being able to turn right in less than three hours during the summer months. It would certainly help all those of us who like to grab a quick bargain or two and be back in time for Sunday Lunch at the Crown. Just think of it, stumping up a fiver would give us the privilege to tootle down to the sea wall for a quick glimpse of the sea whilst we negotiate the Shannocks corner. Also the right to ingratiate ourselves in the two hour trip running the gauntlet through the 3ft gap of road left by inconsiderate double-lined parking motorists alongside Crofters Restaurant and beyond at the north end of the High Street. Obviously these few motorists have special dispensation from the County Council and Local Constabulary. Perhaps they pay a special secret 'nuisance license' in advance? Our 5.00 would give us the opportunity to drive round and round aimlessly looking in vain for a vacant parking space outside Woolworths that hasn't been taken up by a 'blue badge holder'.

Just imagine though, the disdain by some! When they first learn of the charging inforcement. I can see their ashen, blood-drained faces now, as these thrifty motorists squirm at the thought of forking out a few pence (50p per hour even with a blue badge, new NNDC rate) to park on the car park, let alone a fiver to nip into town. Whatever will these people do when they learn they'll have to cough up when they poodle down and park outside of Budgens to pop into Marmalades for lunch?

I suppose in an ideal world we would all dig out our basket laden Raleigh bicycles and clips, we could then turn the clock into an Eco-friendly bicycle park. That's if there's any room left after all the anti-war protesters stalls have been set up.

I've been thinking about this charging business and have come up with a few other added extras that could warrant a surcharge. On top of the fiver already charged to the ordinary citizen, we could introduce otherwise previously untapped sources of revenue. For instance, the ever increasing numbers of boy/girl racers to be politically correct) who for much of the year ingratiate our town centre in their fast striped passion wagons, letting off steam and at least 1000 decibels into the bargain.
Why then can't we charge these individuals say two quid a circuit and during the summer the council could impose a mandatory obligation for them to comply to do a few compulsory laps of town each evening. Complete with bright flashing discotheque lighting systems, silver painted exhausts and the name of the make of the car on the rear window. (Presumably to remind the owner what the car originally was before all the added extras were stuck on). The local tourist board could mention this in their glossy brochures as one of the many local tourist attractions, the general holidaying public could join in the fun with joyful guffaws and 'Birdie Dance' bodily gestures as the cars monotonously go round and round and round……… etc. On the lookout for possible mating material. Perhaps on special occasions the Sally Ann Band could join in, but the Timbrels would have to learn a bit of rap to make it effectual. Collecting the money could be the greatest problem, so I propose to place at each end and at every entrance to town, tollbooths and cameras. Oh what fun, I can hear the chinking of the cash registers now. Talking of fun, we could extend the thing one step further and impose the same sort of charge to pedestrians. Just think, in the summer when the town's pavements are absolutely heaving and all the locals are forced to walk in the road, whilst our beloved visitor guests decide what pub to have lunch in. Wouldn't it be great to suggest that we adopt the Oxford Street, London proposals to have a slow and fast lane pavement system. We could arrange it so that local people can move about easily in a hurry and go about their daily business chores by choosing to walk in the faster outer lane. The lost, confused, window-shopping, meandering 'grockle' could use the slower inner lane at their leisure to browse the wonderful array of goods our shops have to offer. There could be along route, small shelters fitted with seats for our shopping guests to rest and wait for some of our shops to open again after lunch. This could all be paid for as the thousands of people pass through the underground type turnstiles where they would pay by swipe card or 20p in the slot. Motorised buggies would have their own special booth built which includes an in-built electric power charger, should they have to queue too long with the sheer volume of traffic.

My guess is that we could have this up and running before 2060, which incidentally according to Isaac Newton is his date for the end of the world!

Be good now, Vic

SCAMROD 2008 Ltd
'Beam Me Up'
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