The Guardian reports that from next year (2019) all new electric vehicles will be required by law to be fitted with noise emiters and (from 2020) all existing vehicles will be obliged to have such equipment retrofitted.
As a registered blind guide dog owner I welcome this news. Electric vehicles are environmentally friendly and it is right that there uptake is strongly encouraged and the driving of petrol and diesel vehicles phased out. However, when traveling at below 20 miles per hour electric vehicles make very little noise posing a particular danger to those with little or no sight.
While (as already stated) I greatly welcome this news, I fervently wish that the authorities would crack down on the minority of cyclists who selfishly cycle on pavements posing a risk to pedestrians and, in particular to visually impaired people such as myself. I appreciate that roads are dangerous places but if you (as a cyclist) can’t stomach the risk associated with going on a road you should not then ride your machine on the pavement. You should stick to designated cycle tracks or (if this does not appeal to you) cease cycling. I have nothing whatever against cycling and would (if possessed of vision) indulge in the activity. Cyclists should, however respect the law as should all road (and pavement users).
I have enjoyed a number of conversations with the granddaughter of Alan Clothier, (the author of “Beyond the Blaydon Races”), and it was from her that I learned of his work on the Blaydon railways.
The book’s description reads as follows:
“The area covered by this book is mainly that of the five waggonways delivering coal to their staiths on the River Tyne at Lemington from collieries at
Wylam, Heddon, Throckley, Walbottle, Hollywell and Black Callerton. The main objective has been to place the early wooden waggonways fully in the context
of their purpose and usage within the mining industry and continues with their development and the coming of railways up to the demise of the coal industry
in that district. There is a more detailed insight into the multifarious activities of Colliery Viewers whose work it is felt has not always received the
attention which it deserves. For much of this feature, the author is indebted to the wonderfully detailed work diaries of William Oliver held by the North
of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers. The opening date for the Wylam Waggonway has long escaped the notice of historians and many well-known
writers have had it wrong; the author is pleased that his researches have at least narrowed it down to the year in which this event occurred. A Glossary
of Terms used in the mining industry is also included as well as numerous plans and a Chronological Listing of Events. Whatever a reader’s interests are,
they are wished as much pleasure in following up their leads as the author has derived from gathering his”. For further information on “Beyond the Blaydon Races” please visit https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XMQ7MJ5.
The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association (the UK charity which trains assistance dogs for visually impaired people) is campaigning to raise the issue of the danger posed by electric cars to those with sight loss.
Electric vehicles make little noise which make them particularly dangerous to people who are visually impaired and rely on their hearing to get around safely.
This morning I took a train from Thornton Heath station to London Victoria. Due to me being visually impaired, a member of station staff assisted me to board the train. However, before he could disembark, off went the locomotive with the railway company employee on board, and none to happy at having been conveyed, without his consent from Thornton Heath to the next station stop, Norbury!
With a plan
To help me board a train.
Oh what a pain
For the doors closed
And there arose
From his lips a bad word,
The kind heard
On the docks.
The commuters where shocked
And the man from the station
Reached a destination
Not wished for.
No wonder he swore!
Someone went under a train today.
We commuters continued on our way.
There is nothing one can say.
Another person went under a train today.
As I walked through Embankment tube station this morning, the announcer apologised for the slight delays caused by a person having gone under a train. This is, sadly a regular occurance in London. One thinks briefly of the poor individual (and their family and friends) then, as one must, continue on one’s way. Most such instances are suicides (or attempted suicides), while a few are accidents.
You have reached the end
of the line my friend.
You must descend
and fight your way through the crush.
Good luck as you rush
to your goal.
But mind the hole
between the train and the platform.
For the gap doth yawn!
Several days ago, I was travelling on the train from Gipsy Hill to London Victoria. On arrival at Victoria a fellow passenger asked whether the train had arrived at it’s destination. This inspired the above poem.
Surely the Prince of Darkness doesn’t drive himself. I mean the undisputed ruler of Hell must have a demon or perhaps a damned soul to chauffeur him around. It stands to reason doesn’t it? On the other hand,maybe Lucifer finds all those flunkies somewhat tedious and this explains why he drives himself.
As for the car, I suspect this must be a real gas guzzler as the Devil, to state the blatantly obvious has no concern for the environment. Hold on a minute though, I have heard a rumour that a number of public relations specialists have the ear of the Prince of Darkness. They are, I understand attempting to persuade him to “go green” and invest in a bicycle thereby enhancing his credibility with the environmental movement. “Sinister green” or “A darker shade of green” have, I believe been mooted as possible slogans to spearhead the campaign.
One final thought, does Lucifer abide by all relevant traffic regulations? Answers please on a postcard to: