Well its been a few months now since the new traffic set up at the old Arboretum Island in Walsall came into action and I reckon the designers used the game Traffic Jam to work out the phasing of the lights. I try to avoid the junction as much as possible but I can't believe what I have seen in the paper tonight about a keep right sign on the road that has been painted upside down! I didn't know that Walsall Council had and Australian working for them, or perhaps it was there deliberate error but then no the whole blinking junction is that!
Well its official the signs on the Broadway in Walsall are not working. According to the Express and Star its because they are having trouble with the lenses - it might have something to do with the proximity of the trees to the cameras and possibly the wind. It seems they are out until the beginning of next month so who knows they could be back on by this time next week - but don't hold your breath.
In an earlier post I complained about the rather expensive signs on the Broadway in Walsall and the fact that they were not working. I was tempted to complain again this morning because the box off the top which I take to be the camera has gone again and I suspect had rendered them useless. But wait I said the signs are good and I have to admit they are working in that the traffic is now much slower and it can only be due to these signs being there and acting as a deterrent. I suppose the only problem is that the remainder of the Broadway is still treated by many drivers as some sort of racetrack.
It may be that I am in a serious minority here but I really do think mobile phones are becoming a pain. Everywhere you go some person seems to be wittering away on a mobile and there are times when it really gets up my nose. I travelled from Walsall to Birmingham and back by train on Saturday and on the way going we had three idiots disturbing the peace of other travellers by playing music (all three different) on their mobile phones. On our return journey we had a guy sitting opposite us who talked incessantly to people on his mobile phone and what a load of rubbish he was talking. We then popped into Morrison's and lo and behold there they are again up the fruit and veg section talking in the loudest voice imaginable and asking whether the person the other end wanted green or white cabbage - I nearly shouted mange tout in good old Del Boy fashion. The other thing I notice as I drive around is how many people are still using mobile phones while driving - the deterrent seems to have very little effect on this, perhaps police should be able to seize the phones and have them crushed, it might prove a more effective deterrent if folk were detached from there little box of tricks. And yes I do have a mobile phone but it is one that my employer provides and I don't take it with me everywhere and certainly not to the shops as i like to have some peace and quiet!! Perhaps I could leave the wife with the phone - ah bliss!! (only joking).
Just a little warning to readers as I have just read a story in the newspaper about a man who dropped a ten pound note coming out of a charity shop and was given a fixed penalty fine of 50 quid for dropping litter - is it me or is the rest of the world going mad. I know that money seems to be worth very little these days but to class it a litter just makes my mind boggle.
I can not believe that Wolverhampton Council have slapped parking fines on all those wonderful people who took part in the Walk for Life at West Park. Apparently a number of ladies had parked on the grass verges near the park while taking part in the walk and when they returned to their cars they had been given £70 fixed penalty fines. It seems to me there are double standards operating in Wolverhampton that do nothing for racial harmony. A few weeks ago the council had their wardens out hitting Wolves fans celebrating the teams success but the following week when the Sikhs were celebrating Vaisakhi no tickets were issued - some of us may have thought the council had seen sense and then they are at it again this week. You couldn't make it up!!
Well it seems the politicians have shot themselves in the foot yet again with the publication of the edited version of their expenses - edited to such an extent they make absolutely no sense at all. I caught a little bit of question time on TV last night and they were discussing this matter and the politicians on the panel (Ken Clarke and a liberal whose name I can't remember) did very little in my opinion to help their case. While I recognise what Ken Clarke said that it was not every MP in the house unfortunately this latest thing just makes me more suspicious of the whole expenses system and as one of the audience said makes you think this may be just the tip of the iceberg. The biggest problem with this thought is that it is pushing other news into the background that may be far more important in the long term than the expenses issue. Let's hope whoever the new Speaker of the House is that they can bring some trust and respectability back to what I believe has been known as the Mother of all Parliaments!
Following on from my last post about the dodo I started thinking that the bronze horse in Walsall may be extinct and will make a miraculous comeback at some point in the future. Remember you read about it first here!!
Now here's an interesting question - I was of the opinion it was extinct and I know there is an expression about someone or something being as dead as a dodo and yet I wonder! Is this really just a massive piece of spin that has been perpetuated for many years? Now you might be thinking this is a strange topic to raise but it has come about because last week I read about a bird that has made a comeback from being 'extinct' and I have just read an item in last nights Express and Star about an extinct blue butterfly. I am beginning to wonder what extinct really means and if there is any hope for the dodo. I think the answer is watch this space!!!
I was reading the other day about the fountain in the civic square in Walsall (near the hippo) which can not be turned on due to concerns about legionnaires disease and they are considering moving it. Now I wonder if this will become another bronze horse (see earlier post) and will disappear never to be seen again - perhaps they could move it to the art gallery where at least it could be on display and would be better than some of the ridiculous things that have been there in the past. I took my wife to the art gallery on one occasion and they had a load of dead rats on the end of sticks in one room and in another room old hospital beds - not sure what that was all about but give me a Constable any time (not not a police constable). Will keep an eye on this story and make further comment as the story unfolds!
I see Walsall Council have gone potty again - recently flashing signs were installed on a stretch of the Broadway about 20 metres away from existing speed cameras (before you get to the speed cameras) and are fitted with ANPR technology to enable reading of number plates and it looks like the signs will display vehicle registration numbers. Within a week of these going up someone came along and removed the camera bit off the top and it was reported they were not working correctly - now given that these and two other signs in Aldridge have cost us council tax payers £60,000 that makes it £15,000 per camera and within a week they weren't working!! What a complete and utter farce. The other thing is why nothing on the rest of the Broadway? Speed is more of an issue along the rest of it as there were already cameras on the stretch these new signs are on and in general terms this stretch was reasonably within the limit for most drivers. Another triumph for the powers that be at Walsall Council I reckon.
Anybody remember the bronze horse that Walsall Council commissioned some years ago? It was put in the area between the Civic Centre and the public baths and I think lasted a week or two before it got knocked over and taken into storage until a more appropriate site could be found. I think in actual fact it ended up at the knackers yard because as far as I know it has never seen the light of day since. Unless some reader knows different of course.
I think either me or the world is going absolutely stark staring bonkers!! I was reading the other day about a warden (note the word is warden not warder) at a sheltered housing scheme who had banned one of the residents from fetching fish and chips for other residents on 'health and safety' grounds. Apparently there was a concern that the fish and chips may not be hot because the chip shop was a three minute drive away and could therefore cause the more frail residents to have food poisoning. They were told if they wanted to continue they had to have the boxes that meals on wheels use. What an absolute load of piffle! Another jobsworth exercising their authority but it reminded me that there used to be a housing warden in one of our Black Country towns who thought she was the warder - residents had to be in before 10-30p.m. at night or the front door was locked, they could only use the laundry on set days and set times - she ruled with a rod of iron and the place was known locally as Colditz with carpets. The interesting thing for me in all this is that even though these folks live in a sheltered housing scheme they will still be tenants and pay rent and have a tenancy agreement and should realistically be allowed to live a normal life with the added bonus of on site support staff. The staff are not there to run their lives for them and in the fish and chip case the local authority said that the health and safety advice had been over zealously applied.
A place for a Black Country Kid to vent his spleen in respect of some of the silliness that we have all around us. Sometimes it may be a rant or it may be a reminiscence - who knows? It may be a daily thing or it might be once a month again who knows? It might even be entertaining and provoke some comment from readers (if I get any) but we will have to wait and see.