That’s the first time I have ever shut a motorway down.
Not entirely on my own. There were two other drivers involved. I was driving down the M4 at 6.15 this morning between junctions 10 and 11. As usual the traffic is light coming out of `London and it’s possible to complete the journey from Vauxhall to Newport in just over two hours.
Conditions were wretched with rain and spray. I was in the middle lane overtaking a lorry. I saw an object on the road in front on me but I could not avoid hitting it. There was a bang and the car veered out of control to the right. From the noise and uncertain steering, it was clear there was something seriously amiss. I hauled the car over to the left towards the hard shoulder.
The front off side tyre was ripped and flat and the wheel was a write off. The wheel had ripped right through the tyre. Another car pulled off behind me with the same flapping tyre problem. A third was parked 20 yards down the motorway.
The Highway people were on the scene within five minutes. They told me I was at marker 58. I summoned the AA because my hands are not up to getting wheel nuts off these days. Then all three lanes stopped on our side of the motorway at some point out of sight of where we stricken three were parked. They cleared the motorway of a, now battered, piece of concrete about the size of a breezeblock.
My AA man arrived at 7.10, efficiently changed the wheels and led our three cars on a rolling start down the hard shoulder. If you were held up on the M4 this morning you now know there was a good reason for it.
It could have been far worse.
Good news bad
A prize bit of doom invention in the Western Mail.
On the fair assumption that none of their readers ever get to the end of any story they put the truth in the final paragraphs.
“There are no major difficulties in recruitment and retention. Areas such as Rhondda Cynon Taf are reporting large numbers of applicants for salaried GP vacancies."
All very encouraging compared with past stories of valley communities stripped of their GPs.
Not for the Western Gloom. Their headline is ‘GP shortage may see NHS in crisis.’ The only substance for this fiction is another bit of empty self-serving self-promotion from the BMA.
This is not news. It’s news manipulation copied by lazy journalists who print whatever garbage is put in front of them.