November 21, 2019

The Publisher speaks: Do you remember “Malfunction Junction”?


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By Joan Wilson

Joan E. Wilson

It is one huge traffic jam every weekday evening (and Fridays it is just hell) at the roadworks at the small roundabout that meets at Shedden Road to the Airport Road that leads to Foster’s Supermarket.

When the roadworks has been completed I’m sure all will be well – at least some improvement. Another road has now joined up at the roundabout making the area even busier than it always was.

However, do you remember when that roundabout wasn’t there?

I am going back some years now, although all those of you who were here then, will remember that same area very well. It was notorious to every motorist that had to navigate through because it was a miracle your vehicle got through unscathed. It was known as “Malfunction Junction”. Whoever designed the junction never owned up to it.

Many of us screamed for a redesign to a roundabout – a small one. But it did take a lot of persuasion before we got our wish and roundabouts are now commonplace. Unfortunately, it takes common sense and signalling your attention and an understanding that you must give way to traffic on the right. These three things are lost on some drivers, but I am digressing.

Back to Malfunction Junction. Because of an experience I had at this notorious area I wrote a poem on it. What is happening there now at this moment in time brought back this distant memory.


By Joan (Watler) Wilson

I really had no business being on the road

At five o’clock rush hour

But my friend was catching a flight

And I was asked to drive her.


We left the Immigration office at ten past five

We didn’t have very far to go,

But we couldn’t even get out of the parking lot

‘Cause the vehicles were bumper to bumper and going very slow.


After signalling for quite a while

Some kind person gave us a break

You can imagine how pleased I was

This chance I had to take.


We proceeded east toward the airport

And approached the round-about

This is where all traffic flows so smoothly

Just giving way to the right.


Then came the traffic lights on Crewe road

Such long queues were my concern

We didn’t even move when the lights were green

Then they were red again.


By now my friend was getting anxious

As the time was going so fast

The airport was just a few yards away

Surely this long delay wouldn’t last?


But don’t believe it my fellow travellers

We were in that queue for some time

And to make matters worse for me

It had gone way past my teatime!


But what was the holdup anyway?

My brain was slow to function –

No wonder we weren’t moving at all,

It was caused by Malfunction Junction!!


Motorists have a very, very hard time

When approaching Malfunction Junction,

It’s only by good road courtesy

That we don’t all mash up at that intersection.


But you know, a round-about would cure it all

And it needn’t be so elaborate

Just a little circle in the road

Would help the motoring public.


“Just give way to the right,” I say

“And keep the traffic flowing.”

What works for Mother England

Is an example we should be following.


Well my friend made it to her flight

Just in the nick of time

And I’m sure she was in the Brac and well at home

Long before I got to mine.


‘Cause if you think getting into the airport is bad

Try thinking again my friend,

I crawled for another 15 minutes trying to get out

And I thought the queue would never, ever end.


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