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Saturday, January 13, 2007

The chicken and the M4

As a frequent traveller on the M4 I do see some pretty horrendous sights, not least the sort of accidents and delays that occur as soon as the weather turns bad. I have not, however, so far witnessed the sort of incidents outlined in this Western Mail article, though I have heard some of them referred to on Radio Wales as I have travelled into Cardiff:

Traffic Wales officials have also seen heavy carpets being left on the motorway, a flock of sheep wandering on to the carriageway and a man dressed as Santa being tied to a gantry.

Officials who caught the incidents on CCTV, including a flock of chickens crossing the road, have published a top 10 of dangerous and unusual incidents witnessed on the M4 in Wales in the past few years.

Yesterday the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents condemned the dumping of furniture on the M4 as "lethal". And the RAC Foundation said the two girls pedalling their way along the motorway was "beyond belief".

Traffic Wales' 10 strangest sights

1. A man dressed as Father Christmas tied to a gantry.
2. Two small girls cycling along the hard shoulder near Newport.
3. More than 200 army trucks in convoy on one day.
4. Thousands of tiny polystyrene balls filling the carriageway (escaped from a lorry).
5. A bull charging along the M4.
6. A flock of sheep on the roadway.
7. Stray horses.
8. Flocks of chickens.
9. A pig running loose near the Second Severn Crossing.
10. Fence posts falling off a lorry and carpets and a sofa being dumped.

There is just no accounting for the sheer stupidity of some of the people referred to in this list.
Yes - I saw the Dad's campaigner dressed as Santa up on the gantry over the M4 near Bristol. I nearly drove off the road in surprise!

I've also hit a crow, narrowly missed a pheasant and spotted a deer. But it is the hot air balloons and gliders that spook me most on my regular drives from London to Cardiff.
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