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Scott Begbie: It’s no surprise to me that Aberdeen snarl-ups are worse than London’s

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Aberdeen being named and shamed as having worse traffic congestion than London at peak times comes as no surprise to me.

I rather doubt it will come as any surprise to anyone unfortunate enough to attempt to drive in, out or around the city these days. This new study says Aberdeen motorists are at a standstill for a quarter of their drive time. I bet most of us thought it was far longer than that.

My commutes are now a wearisome drag through the AWPR roadworks at Charleston in the morning, then the crawling tailbacks for works south of Stonehaven at night.

Sure, both of these are temporary and will be mere memories once the bypass is actually up and running.

But anyone who thinks the shiny new road and attendant fix at the Haudagain will make everything hunky dory is living in cloud cuckoo land.

You see, much of congestion caused in Aberdeen itself is down to not just poor road planning (let’s stick a mahoosive shopping mall on Market Street, yeah) but poor driving.

And by poor I mean stupid and selfish.

See those big yellow things in the middle of the road at junctions. Don’t drive on to them.

Not unless what you want to do is sit there blocking other cars from moving when the lights change.

That’s a daily scenario at almost every junction box.

See roundabouts … you give way to traffic to the right. And being bored with waiting isn’t a justifiable reason for just taking off regardless.

And amber lights don’t mean “well, okay, another three cars through.” In much the same way as a red light doesn’t mean you’ll be fine if you floor it.

It’s not just drivers. Pedestrians are a menace, too, especially on Union Street. Seriously, chaps, it is a good idea to look before you step out on to the roads leading off the main drag.

So can we make a deal, all of us, please?

The authorities are cracking on with getting the big roads we need built.

Once they are in place can we all try to use them – and the existing roads in our towns and communities – properly and with consideration.

It just takes a couple of wee things – knowing how the Highway Code works and behaving like a decent human being instead of a selfish boor.


We can’t shut trolls down but we can ignore them

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Diane Abbott has a valid point in raging against vile internet trolls.

But the shadow secretary isn’t going to get far with her demands Facebook and Twitter shut them down. The problem isn’t technology, it’s human nature.

Some people are just full of bile and hatred.

In the old days the outlet for this was scrawled, incoherent letters – without a real name attached – to the local paper where a sensible journalist could scrunch them up and bin them.

These days social media gives these poor sad souls a platform. How do you stop it? You don’t. You ignore it.


Reality and what I last watched can be confusing

A Spitfire at RAF Montrose during WW2.
A Spitfire at RAF Montrose during WW2.

That was really terrible, wasn’t it, about the Nazis actually winning World War 2?

I mean really, the Nazis! Winning? What is going on? Oh, wait a minute. That was just that SS-GB TV programme I watched on Sunday night and it didn’t actually happen.

Whoops, my bad. I really need to stop this thing of confusing reality with the last thing I saw on the box.

Jings, it’s just as well I am merely a hack burbling away in a newspaper and not doing anything really important … like being president of the world’s biggest superpower.

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This article originally appeared on the Evening Express website. For more information, read about our new combined website.