Wednesday, May 05, 2010

A polite protest

I felt very proud to be English when I read the story today of the polite button-pushing protestors of Dorset.

The villagers of Chideock were fed up with the volume of traffic that goes along the High Street - much of it directed by sat-navs that seem to think the A35 is a decent alternative to the A303 (I've driven both: it isn't) - and so finally took action into their own hands.

The council installed a button-controlled pedestrian crossing on the main road, so the locals decided to man that crossing, pressing and repressing the button so that the lights would change constantly, bringing traffic to a regular halt.

Their action yesterday caused a seven-mile tailback of angry motorists. The villagers say they will carry on pushing the crossing button until the council agree to build a bypass. Or, presumably, until the council takes the crossing away.

Of course, this story is only charming if you don't have to use that stretch of the A35 to go to work or pick up children or any other essential business. The locals wanted to protest against juggernauts thundering through their village, but everyone will end up suffering.

Then again it is a very civilised and polite form of protest. So much more dignified than those stroppy Greeks with their firebombs and riots.

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