Time we looked '˜underground' for a solution to Leeds' traffic woes
The thought did cross my mind that, instead of using lots of different words to fill up this column this week, I could take the novel approach of using just one. Said word would be repeated over and over and over'¦ and over.
It would, therefore, go something like this:-
Underground, underground, underground, underground, underground, underground, underground, underground, underground, underground, underground.
You get the idea.
This, then, would result in some sort of literary/artistic protest-cum-call to arms in my ongoing/occasional crusade for the creation of an underground in Leeds.
However, I then considered that the editor of the Yorkshire Evening Post might take issue with me using that much artistic licence.
In the streets, people would say, ‘Ooo, did you see that Neil Hudson, he wrote a column using just one word.’ ‘Yeah, I saw it. Tut. How can you write a column wi’ just one word?’ ‘What word wa’ it?’ ‘Can’t remember.’
Also, I don’t think it’s ever been done before. Still, I’ve blown my chances now but the idea was good and well-intentioned.
It was sparked by the YEP’s front page on Tuesday this week, which made the point that better transport links might boost productivity. This according to “economic experts”, those shadowy figures who lurk behind major public finance initiatives.
My reaction? ‘You don’t say? What, you mean that the city might prosper a little more if people could get from A to B a bit quicker? Wow, what a revelation.’
Last Wednesday at about 4.45pm, I ‘drove’ from Kirkstall Medical Centre to Wyther Lane, a distance of one mile, which took almost an hour, principally because the traffic lights on Kirkstall Hill are permanently rigged in favour of cars coming either from West Park or Burley (and therefore need sorting out).
Was this a waste of my time? Yes. Is the council on the right track to solving the problem? No.
Why not? Well, because their solutions to traffic congestion are:
A) To get everyone walking (which takes a lot longer and therefore defeats the object, plus you end up wet);
B) To get everyone cycling (completely impractical for anyone with children or elderly parents etc); or
C) To use buses.
I tried to use a bus two weeks ago to take the kids home from school. We waited for the 49 on Coal Hill Lane for 12 minutes. Nothing came. So, we decided to walk… two minutes into that walk, the blasted thing drove past.
There is (and can be) only one solution to Leeds’ transport woes. But the powers that be don’t want to hear it.
Still, seeing as it’s almost our job to annoy them… Underground, underground, underground, underground, underground, etc...