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December 22, 2010


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Stow Hiller


You're talking about last Monday evening in Newport. I'm talking about Monday afternoon. They were two very different things.

By the evening there was very little traffic on the roads.

In the afternoon many people had left work early, the M4 was closed for some time, forcing much traffic on to the SDR or the main roads through the city.

Yes, there are many exits off the SDR but most drivers would have chosen to stay on main routes because most side roads or routes through estates were impassable for most of the afternoon and evening.

It's a peculiar stance to take, Paul. You had to be there to understand the severity of traffic problems last Monday afternoon.

Just because you didn't see it does not mean it didn't happen.

Paul Flynn

Thanks StowHiller Every traffic jam is now described as 'gridlock' but is that what happened on Monday night in Newport? There are so many exits from the SDR, it's difficult to understand why there was no movement for such long periods. As I said traffic was flowing freely in the city centre. The train I was on travelled at high speed from Paddington to about five miles from Newport. It came to a stop about four times then 'waiting for a signal to enter Newport station'. Clearly the snow fall was exceptional.

I look forward to the police report. A jam on this scale may have lessons for the future when problems occur on the M4.

Paul Flynn

On the law, I am a greater admirer of David Howarth than I am of Roy Greenslade, Demosthenes

Kay Tie

Well, if the Americans can accuse a foreigner living abroad of treason (or indeed we can hang for treason Lord Haw Haw, an Irish American living in Germany) then anyone can be deemed guilty of anything.


Also in the Guardian the same day, by Roy Greenslade:

"Similarly, I cannot see any merit in the view of David Howarth, a former shadow solicitor general and Lib Dem MP, that the Telegraph reporters committed a criminal offence. His argument is a nonsense on stilts."

Paul Flynn

Things were very difficult on Monday DG. I arrived by train at 7.00 and could not persuade any of the very few taxis to take me up the hill to my home a mile away. Dragon Taxis refused to pick me up. They had finished for the evening. I was forced to walk. Traffic was flowing freely around the city centre. I am still baffled about a claim of a seven hour wait. Where? From when to when?


Re: Telegraph/Vince Cable. If he had said (more-or-less) the same things in public as he said in private, it wouldn't be an issue if he was recorded.

It's going to be a helluva job finding someone in politics that doesn't have strong opinions (either way) on Murdoch, though, isn't it?

Stow Hiller

The delays story re Monday's snow is entirely correct.
Returning early from work in Worcester on Monday on my wife's advice, a journey that normally takes me 70 minutes took almost five hours.
Three of those hours were spent travelling from the Coldra end of Chepstow Road to Baneswell, where I abadoned my car and walked the remaining mile or so home.
It was an extreme event but highlighted the problem Newport has already had if the M4 becomes blocked, as it was on Monday afternoon.
Traffic moved from the motorway to the SDR and the other major routes through the city centre and the infrastructure could not cope.

Paul Flynn

I'm puzzled too Plashing Vole. No-one ever comes to my surgeries without an appointment. I check beforehand that they are no the electoral. This is crucial because many who asked for appointments are non-constitents, mainly from the other Newport constituency.

It's amazing that so many MPs are so gullible and easily tempted into indiscretions.

plashing vole

I'm surprised that MPs don't check constituency visitors' names on the electoral roll before seeing them.

What worries me is that this will persuade MPs that they shouldn't be honest when talking to their constituents. (Not that my MP - not Paul Flynn - is ever honest with anybody).

Talking of that, who should I speak to when I catch my MP knowingly saying something untrue in the House of Commons? The Speaker said it wasn't for him, and the Tory Chief Whip hasn't replied to my letter.


"...a seven hour delay on a local road. It is a bypass with about eight intersections from which trapped traffic can escape... Can any of this be true?"

Yes it can, unfortunately, if the intersections get blocked by lemming-like selfish idiots going nose-to-tail and ignoring the red lights and box junctions.

Kay Tie

There is a public interest in discovering that Saint Vince was bent by using his powers to go to "war" with a lawful business. The fact the Telegraph didn't publish this might be a little harder to explain..

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