The demise of the junction box

Junction boxes. What gives? When did junction boxes cease to have any function beyond making asphalt brighter? Every day I cross three junction boxes (two of which are major) within 400m of each other. All are at the intersection of Adamsdown and the city centre. The biggest of the three is overlooked by Cardiff magistrate court. One is at the base of the flyover to the bay. All provide convenient car parking spots for Highway code dodging drivers.

As a cyclist, this doesn’t affect me a great deal. Even if a driver ignores the rules (which – I think – carries a £120 penalty), I can still weave in and out. I can still cast disapproving glances over my shoulder. I can still mutter as I cycle on by (and oh boy…I do). But what gets under my skin completely, utterly, TOTALLY, is when sanctimonious motorists complain that cyclists jump lights, ride on the pavement or are not visible at night, the motorist standing judgementally and wagging a great big pious finger at us. No doubt some cyclists do all of these things and maybe lump all three together for kicks. But find me the motorist that doesn’t do over 70 mph on the motorway, has never driven at more than 30mph in a city, has never parked with his or her wheels on the pavement, has never idled on double yellow lines with the hazard lights on, has never once failed to stop at a zebra crossing, and doesn’t enjoy parking in those bloody junction boxes and we’ll get them included on the IUCN endangered species list.  How about that?

As a kid, I remember being scared witless at the thought of a great big hand coming down and plucking me from that box, resolving never to do it lest my vehicle dangle chillingly from the air (such was the impact of Patrick Allen’s voice on my impressionable mind). I guess modern drivers are less traumatised. That’s easily solved (Terrifying public service advert below).

Phew! Deep breaths. Rant over. Nice up of tea anyone?

Hybrid image courtesy of creativemischiefandme

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