Friday, 24 September 2010

One less car

During last night's cycle ride my normal route was a tad disrupted. I normally cycle down The Ride towards Saltram, before following NCN route 27 through Saltram House's grounds. The Ride is a cul-de-sac for cars, but cyclists can continue through Saltram.

Halfway down The Ride there were many vehicles, most with flashing blue lights. As I cycled to the front I saw a fire crew in the process of extinguishing flames on a car that was presumably stolen, then set alight.

I knew they wouldn't let me pass until they had finished the job and packed up their kit, so I turned around and went back the way I came, then cycled out on the Embankment. Eventually I looped back and came back through Saltram, then along The Ride again. By this time the fire crew was gone, as were the police cars, and all that remained was the charred and mangled wreck of the car, and a strong smell of burnt plastic in the air.

We live in a society where car thieves steal cars, drive it around like lunatics, before setting it alight to dispose of any evidence. Even by police this is called "joy riding".

I have a problem with that term, as it suggests something not very serious.

Such car thieves have no respect for anybody, or anything and when I'm out cycling at night I do occasionally worry about it. After all, they're not about to give me plenty of space when overtaking, now are they?

Even though Plymouth doesn't seem to suffer excessively with this sort of thing, I hope this will not become a regular spot for cars to be dumped and set alight. If it is, then I'll need to change my usual route as I have no wish to share the road with people like that.