NIGEL THORNTON: Are Peterborians just a bunch of moaners?

Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
Thornton on Thursday column with Peterborough Telegraph's deputy editor Nigel Thornton -
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Some people don’t know when they are well off. The outpouring of outrage over the finally completed stretch of Bourges Boulevard has shaken my faith in human nature.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s part of every Brit’s birthright to be able to have a good old whinge every now and again.

But those people working themselves into a lather about Bourges Boulevard really should have a word with themselves.

Goodness knows how they must react to war, child abuse, poverty and hunger.

I’m always been ambivalent about the BB revamp. In principle regeneration of any part of the city is a good thing but if the pay-off was permanent traffic snarl-ups then it would be hard to see the value in it.

Of course, while the work was being done there was bound to have been delays, although to be fair to the city council my headline CAR-MAGGEDON, which I was quite proud of, didn’t really turn out to be accurate.

Having lived and worked in several UK cities from London to Leeds and Sheffield to Southampton, I don’t think some Peterborough people know how lucky they are to have the city’s road system.

I recall the council estimated that after the revamp was complete – even with three new sets of traffic lights – the average journey time on that stretch of BB would be just eight seconds longer.

If that turns out to be true I don’t think that’s too high a price to pay for a scheme that provides easier access to the railway station, encourages investment and development and looks better.

And, yes, it does look better.

Okay, the “rusty’’ fencing and a few trees are not going to make it Britain’s newest tourism attraction, but for goodness sake it’s a stretch of inner city dual carriageway. What do the moaning minnies expect? The Sistine Chapel?

I bet if it was in Barcelona, some of the whingers would be taking selfies in front of it.

Not everybody has slagged off the scheme, and maybe the negative reaction is in part a function of social media which has given a platform and prominence to every blockhead on the planet.

I hope most Peterborians who, whether they love it or loathe it, can keep a sense of perspective about a few hundred yards of tarted up Tarmac.

There are enough people around prepared to knock our city without us doing it ourselves.

Cheryl’s No. 1

According to the music streaming service Spotify, people in Peterborough are most likely to be listening to Cheryl Fernadez-Versini. I’m not one of them, but if it’s any consolation I don’t mind looking at her.

Fletton Bank

I confess I find the plans for the so-called Fletton Quays development a bit underwhelming. The focus on offices and homes seems a bit of a missed opportunity when surely it is an ideal location for leisure facilities, including that long-awaited concert hall.

I do find it amusing that the redevelopment has been rebranded and is no longer known as the South Bank. Do they think we’ll forget about all the plans and promises to redevelop the area that go back decades? The South Bank, er, sorry, Fletton Quays, makes North Westgate seem like a pop-up development in comparison.

A six-pointer

There was some outrage from the general public when Nottingham Forest footballer Henri Lansbury appeared in court for speeding on the A1 near Peterborough. Lansbury was banned from driving for six months after getting six points for driving his Bentley at 115mph.

I agree it is outrageous – that an average second division footballer can afford a Bentley.

Only a moment

A Peterborough family including a 15-month-old girl had a lucky escape when a bus hit the shelter they were standing by in Fletton.

But what an astonishing response from the police.

A spokesman for the force said: “Due to the fact that no one was injured, only material damage was caused and there was no evidence of any prolonged lack of due care or attention on the part of the driver, no investigation will be carried out into the incident.”

I particularly like the bit about “no evidence of any prolonged lack of due care or attention.’’

Don’t most cases of careless driving involve momentary lapses?

I’ve no wish to see the bus driver prosecuted for no reason, but surely that is a decision that should only come after an investigation?

Diary Of A Bad Dad

Parenting, I have learned, is just another word for worrying. Is Baby T2’s poo the right colour? That’s a nasty cough Toddler T’s got. Look where you’re going! He’s not eating enough!

All this is bad enough, but then you start worrying about really bad things that you hope and pray will never happen.

I’m a sucker for TV thriller series but I didn’t watch a minute of the BBC’s acclaimed The Missing about child abduction as I knew it would make me feel sick to the stomach.

But I also fret about things that are supposed to be good.

Are my kids going to want a gap year and travel the world? Couldn’t they just have a gap weekend in Hunstanton (with mum and dad)?

I already want to punch the lights out of that non-existant floopy-fringed teenager who breaks Toddler T’s heart for the first time.

And Baby T2 if I get you a car after you’ve passed your test, please, please, don’t drive like I did when I was that age.

Don’t do drugs, either of you, and don’t drink. Yes, yes I know – do as I say, not as I do. Bungee jumping, holidays with your mates, rock festivals are all banned.

Oh, and I almost forgot, make sure you have a good time! And ring me!