Hell on wheels

There are 45,166 drivers in Peterborough driving around the city with penalty points on their licence.

Thursday, 9th March 2017, 12:15 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:00 am
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

That is the ninth highest in the country.

Given that the cities above Peterborough in the bad driving league table include the likes of Birmingham (top with 66,656), Sheffield and Glasgow, it’s a fair bet that per head of population we’re top (or bottom!) of the table.

For anybody who drives around the city that won’t come as a massive surprise.

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The standard is so bad they should change the Give Way signs to Get Out My Bloody Way signs. At least then we’d all know where we stand.

Bad driving is not unique to Peterborough but we are good at it.

One of my “favourites’’ is the “I’ll drop you off at Queensgate roundabout’’ manoeuvre - which you can see in the picture above.

A better example of selfish and stupid driving you’d have to go a long way (or to the next roundabout) to beat.

Given this appalling state of affairs a snippet of information that arrived at Telegraph Towers should send shivers down the spine of the city’s driving public or at least those who attempt to obey the rules of the road.

We were told a Peterborough motorist was up before the beak recently with 27 points yet avoided a ban.

Unfortunately, we were not in court for the case and have been unable to bring you the who, why, when details. But as there are more than 10,000 drivers on Britain’s roads who despite racking up 12 or more points are still legally behind the wheel – 0ne driver has even amassed 62 points – it’s not beyond the realms of possibility.

Perhaps he had a good excuse although ‘I dropped my mobile phone’ might not have been it.

The city has also been shamed in the past for its road rage record – it was third in 2015 – and perhaps that’s understandable if still unforgiveable given how bad the other fella’s driving is.

Worst still is the damage to life and limb that bad driving presents.

The irony is that most of us probably say ‘drive carefully’ to our loved ones when they set off on a journey.

Some of us aren’t listening.

No fighting talk

It was disappointing that the Great Northern Hotel didn’t see fit to respond after an event there erupted into a huge fight which spilled onto the public highway.

More than 1oo people were involved and some were injured. Public resource in the shape of police and ambulance staff, who are funded of course by the public, were required to restore order and deal with the aftermath.

When public money is used to deal with a private issue the public has a right to know the full circumstances.

Never mind the...

I’m not surprised that Huntingdon-based Hotel Chocolat has reported a surge in profits ... I think it’s entirely down to me.

The chocolate maker, which recently opened a store in Queensgate, is my go-to store for presents for Mrs T.

Aimed squarely at the gift market, their chocolates are as delicious as they are expensive.

It would have meant more chocolate but I don’t think Mrs T would have been very impressed if I had given her 22 and a half bars of Galaxy for Valentine’s Day.

Mickey Mouse tale

It is one of the unspoken rules that the journalist should never become the story.

But in the days of social media that is becoming more and more difficult as my former colleague James Kelly found out.

James, who is now a news reader with the BBC, used to be news editor at the Evening Telegraph.

He tweeted pictures about a mouse – dubbed newsmouse – which had been spotted in his office.

Later he tweeted a colleague had killed the mouse which sparked a social media storm amid claims – which James denied – he had joked about it.

The tabloids picked up the tale/tail and I guess the moral of the story is never take the Mickey out of a mouse.

It’s an ill wind...

I found the police’s response to the safety issue of lorries on the road during Storm Doris limper than last week’s lettuce. Apart from the “we’d advise motorists to allow extra time for their journey’’ line they had nothing of note to say after a string of incident when HGVs were blown over. Thankfully, there were no serious injuries, but heavens forbid if one of those out of control lorries had landed on a car carrying a young family.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

As I walked into Telegraph Towers the other day a colleague greeted me saying: ‘‘I’ve just forwarded you the worst press release ever, it might make you something for your column.’’

Gratefully, I fired up my emails in anticipation. He was right, it would make the column, but he was very wrong about my reaction... it was one of the best press releases I’ve seen for ages.

It was entitled: What cars would the Disney princesses drive?

I explained to him that a few years back I would have shared his disdain but now Disney princesses play a huge part in my life.

On a practical level I thought it might give me some tips on what car my own princess would like to drive in a few years time.

Cinderella would go for a Fiat 500 Gucci which at £7,000 for a second hand model might be okay and certainly a lot better than the Lamborghini Aventador that Jasmine from Aladdin would chose.

It went on: “The Mercedes Vito Tourer has flexible seating for up to nine people...so what better car for Snow White and her seven dwarfs?’’

But what I really wanted to know was which princess would drive a battered (pink naturally) 20-year-old Ford Fiesta?