Friday, 10 July 2009

By 4X4 through the pedestrian zone...

I must admit I was startled to suddenly find a 4X4 driving past the cycle stands in the Town Square yesterday. Normally vehicles speed through the Town Square pedestrian zone taking a short cut between Selborne Road and the High Street (or vice-versa). Unusually, this driver turned right at the children's playground and drove up the footpath to the bus station.

The driver's destination was a Council tent in the mini-park by the bus station. The tent was closed all day but inside preparations were apparently taking place for a host of future fun activities. The tent bore the slogan 'Fellowship is life' which is a quotation from the writings of William Morris. Morris was a revolutionary socialist and someone who went on demos and got involved in brawls with the police, leading to his arrest. Here in Waltham Forest, home of The William Morris Gallery, we try to put that unpleasantness behind us and prefer to describe him as a designer and a man who made lovely wallpaper.

Green fanatics would doubtless assert that those working in the tent should have arrived by bus (the bus station being approximately 20 metres away) or by tube or train (Walthamstow Central is just 50 metres away). But frankly, no 4X4 driver is going to want to mix with the kind of awful people you meet on public transport. That leaves only two alternatives - walking or cycling. But these are nasty and unpleasant ways of getting around, and dangerous too. Important people (this solitary woman in her 4X4 may well have been a council officer) quite naturally want to use their cars and to park as close as possible to their destinations.

And of course, if you need to transport something too large to take a on a bus, there's no other way, is there?