CRINGLE: Warning sign for pedestrians still a mystery

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WELCOME to my Christmas column.

It’s pretty much the same as last year’s. In fact its theme goes back to the day they first decided to allow Christmas shoppers in Douglas to park on the footway of Loch Promenade.

This thoughtful gift from the Department of Infrastructure always gives me the sort of childish pleasure that one is entitled to expect at this season of goodwill to all men.

(You have to wonder why they left women out of this mantra. All it does is remind me of when I overheard one pretty girl asking another: ‘What do they mean when they say we have to be good to old men at Christmas?’).

Back to the prom. I like the parking regime because it allows me to drive along the footway on my way to work every morning. It’s a nice smooth ride, unlike the hell on wheels of the roadway.

I try to be first on the walkway every day at the opening time of 9.30 am. This gives me a clear field.

If there are no persons in yellow jackets around I can crank up the Mini One to any speed I want.

The other morning, with the sun sparkling on an apparently ice-covered sea I reckon I hit . . . well, let’s just say I got to work a little earlier than usual.

You are not always alone, however. One day last week I saw coming towards me that charge of racing cyclists you encounter in Douglas on one of their early day training runs.

They were, of course, on the cycle path, like good boys.

I also get a warm feeling when I see, yet again, the signs saying: ‘Beware Pedestrians.’

They remain an enigma for me. Are they telling pedestrians to beware, to be on the lookout for motorists intent upon running them down?

This seems to be unfair. After all, a walkway is by definition a place for pedestrians by right. They were there first.

It must be that the Department of Infrastructure is telling us motorists to look out for masked and armed gangs of pedestrians intent upon holding us up and robbing us, which they might more profitably do when the motorist is returning to his or her car loaded down with gift shopping.

As far as this Christmas is concerned, I have killed no pedestrians and not been mugged by them. All is well so far.

I would also like to point out that what you don’t see on the walkway are the boys in blue either on foot or in their prowl cars.

Last week the police started their Christmas anti-drink driving campaign. I wonder if the situation is that the best place to drive while sniftered up is the walkway of Loch Promenade.

Now that would really be the Spirit of Christmas.

• IAN K.Bleasedale of Maughold directs attention to a story in the Examiner about plans to build an extension to Ballakermeen High School. It says: ‘Further staff parking will be provided by the demolition of the former funeral directors.’

This sounds like a story worth digging into. It could be a burning issue.

• MANX Radio reported last week: ‘A full investigation will be required to get to the bottom of the complications suffered by colorectal patients following surgery recently.’

That’s a story they should have sat on.

• THIS week’s Manx crossword clue is: ‘Man (not IOM) (5) – BIPED (Glasgow Herald).

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