Sunday, 17 February 2008

Red Light District

The city of Belfast, along with every other major city and town in the Kingdom, is now a Red Light District. I refer to traffic lights, of course. Perhaps they are a necessary evil; nevertheless I detest them.

I am invariably detained by "the lights" at the junction of North Road and Upper Newtownards Road; and, further along, at the lights on the Grand Parade/Castlereagh Road junction. It must add five minutes to an otherwise short journey within east Belfast.

Traffic lights are not at all smart or clever: they detain us when there is no traffic on the road at all. Do they really prevent accidents, and to what extent? Do we really require so many? Would it be cheaper to have a human being at major junctions than spending thousands of pounds in the maintenance of traffic lights? How many drivers depress their accelerator further to jump an orange light? Could many lights be turned off during daylight hours?

If you read the article in today's Sunday Times it's certainly food for thought.

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