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Familiarity breeds contempt

Wednesbury

I took this photo in the town centre yesterday while waiting for a friend. I thought about how run down and ugly it is. I photographed the traffic warden or whatever they call them now, giving some poor sod a ticket.

I got a ticket in the same place. Notice there are no double yellow lines, just a loading only sign about 10 foot up on a post, in a sea of posts and signs. There are no markings on the kerb that should be there to signify that is a loading only area. The driver can appeal against the ticket, but there will be photographic evidence against him, that will show the sign, but not in a way that will help the driver.

Are we so used to our environment looking ugly that we just we just accept it with the contempt we feel it deserves. Do we just accept unfairness, because we can’t be bothered to fight it any more?

Coach in Wednesbury

It was school run time and so I suspect hiding behind those darkened windows, this coach was carrying a load of children. People can ‘shop around’ for a good school for their children and drive them to school, send them by coach, bus or taxi. Why can’t all schools be good schools? Why can’t kids walk to their local school? I used to walk and when I went to high school, I rode a bike.

Why are buses and coaches going through the narrow streets of the town centre anyway? Are those kids going shopping? I doubt it. The fact is many years ago there was a plan to put a ring road around the town, but it was never finished. They spend the money on ‘traffic calming’ instead. So now all the traffic converges on the town centre. I think the town centre could have been turned into a car park and people encouraged to only drive in when they needed to shop. There are a few car parks with parking charges. People prefer to park closer to the shops though.

The really amazing thing is that many of these shops are protected by law. It’s some kind of preservation area. Preserved crap…

Mill Pool

There isn’t crap everywhere of course. There are places where you can get away from the dereliction and grime. I think we need to take some pride in the town centres though.

I went to Tesco too yesterday. I don’t normally shop there and so I noticed a few things. I think the term familiarity breed contempt could apply to Tesco too. It needs someone unfamiliar with the place to spot the problems and ask questions. For example why were there so many cars on the car park and so few people in the store? Why aren’t all the vegetables in the same place? Why is the car park so badly designed? Why was the guy in front of me with a few items asked if he had paid for them as he left the store? (He was black).

Maybe I should be a consultant and go to places to see things with a different perspective and advise? Tesco could pay me to advise them to put all the different varieties of potatoes together in store and show them how a car park should be laid out. I could take before and after photos!

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments box. You can also follow me on Twitter.

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