07 June, 2010


A brief note to BoJo

So yesterday afternoon, Sunday, I needed to get from Charing Cross to Marble Arch. No problem, No 15 or 23 bus from outside the station. Quick visual check to confirm that Trafalgar Square isn't full of wankers waving banners and preaching noisily to the converted and half a dozen bored coppers. Good. Bus turns up in due course and gets as far as Lower Regent Street. Then gridlock.

It turns out that Regent Street has been closed off between Piccadilly Circus and Oxford Circus for some kind of jamboree called "A Taste of Spain", with jolly little stalls sprinkled along the carriageway selling Iberian delicacies.

So the bus is diverted. Unfortunately, due to the activities of Holes 'R' Us

it cannot turn left from Charing Cross Road into Oxford Street, so we set off on a Magical Mystery Tour, turning this section of route

into this

Judging by the fits and starts along the way, as the "non-indigenous" driver was presumably peering speculatively down side streets*, we were lucky not to get lost and might even now be wandering around central London pausing every so often to ask bemused tourists if they knew the way to Oxford Circus. Assuming of course that the journey didn't end up as another of those newspaper pictures of a bus which has just passed under a low bridge, with the neatly sheared off roof lying in the road behind.

There's not much we can do about Holes 'R' Us and the water-main replacement project (apart from the fact that the level of activity pictured above seems to be equally typical of weekdays), and I really don't want to be a spoilsport** or interfere with all these doubtless commercially valuable activities, but the thing is, Boris old chap, that London is full, permanently teetering 24/7 on the edge of gridlock and choss. We could really do without this sort of bollocks, particularly on a street as crucial to the transport network as Regent Street.
* I think I've mentioned before the occasion when a London bus driver, by his appearance and accent clearly a gentleman of African birth, stopped his bus on Shaftesbury Avenue and asked me to tell him where he was.

** Actually I'm a grumpy old git and would quite enjoy being a spoilsport.

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