ANDY EDGEWORTH - The Edge of Reason

WELCOME to my new weekly column from the Wigan Observer.

EVERY day on my commute out of Wigan I travel up Marsh Green and on to Kitt Green Road and then left onto City Road in my attempt to find the M6.

Those who know that neck of the woods well will be fully aware of the chicanes on Kitt Green Road which were introduced to stop speeding motorists in a heavily built-up residential area.

Of course there are always motorists who resent any sort of limits or rules who claim that such a ridiculous fixation with speed is missing the real issue, and the real menace is poor reaction times on the part of terrified pedestrians or maybe car bonnets being too hard. I have no time for these people.

Not because I’ve done any research, but because I cannot stand moaning people who don’t like being told what to do. Sometimes, unfortunately, you have to be told what to do and none more so than when the average idiot is entrusted with a driving licence.

For those who travel through said chicanes on Kitt Green Road, you will know that at times, because the give way aspect of each one is alternated, there can come a point where there are so many cars giving way to you that a log jam ensues as the same is happening at the next one further up the road.

This is a regular occurrence and the other day, having noticed that if I went through one, nobody would be able to move at either end, I stopped and despite it being my right of way I allowed the queuing cars to come through so as to ease the jam and allow everybody to get along without further delay.

It was at this point that the Rab C Nesbitt look-a-like behind me who had driven half an inch from my rear bumper all the way along Marsh Green took exception. Clearly he thought it would be far better that we continued on and ended up stuck 10 metres further up the road.

Whilst I allowed cars to pass through he thought he would scream every obscenity under the sun at me whilst implying with his hand that I am prone to bouts of self-abuse.

Clearly that 30 seconds made all the difference as he pulled into the chip shop on City Road barely a minute later. I hope you enjoyed your sausage and chips pal and that the miniscule amount of extra time it took to get there didn’t ruin your day. Grow up.

On top of this, Wigan Council took the bold and progressive move of bringing in various 20 mph speed restrictions in many residential areas of the borough to reduce the number of accidents involving pedestrians and cyclists.

This has broadly been accepted by a small group of motorists like me, who have never been fond of inflicting injuries upon the innocent and also understand that the average speed of cars during busy periods in Wigan is far less than 20 mph in any case, that there really is no need to drive any faster.

That said, 20 mph obedience isn’t easy on empty roads. If you have ever driven at 20 mph on a street bereft of any traffic, it feels odd in a nauseous sort of way. No doubt 100 years ago a 20 mph journey would have had your goggles steamed up whilst you clung to your seat shouting, “The brakes Horatio, the brakes!” but in 2013 it feels like your in a pointless slow motion advert.

Me and my girlfriend have, after too many years, abandoned our fruitless quest to win the lottery due to the price rise to £2 a ticket. Instead we are now buying £4 worth of scratch cards a week and putting £4 a week in a tin to see how we end up after 12 months.

However after only two weeks I cannot deny that it somehow feels far worse when you win nothing on a scratch card than it does not seeing your numbers come in.