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What a way to spend a Friday!

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Anne Diamond | 12:37 UK time, Friday, 1 October 2010

If there's ever a time when local radio comes into its own - it's when you're in a traffic jam (or snow!). I have worked for BBC Oxford, BBC London and BBC Radio Berkshire, and now I know whenever the travel news is on, wherever I'm driving.

Many, many times, I've been stuck in stationary traffic on the A34, the M4 or the M3/M27 when I've been commuting between home, work, and my mum's home in Bournemouth, and I have been so eternally grateful for the travel news.

The M4 motorway was closed until 12.00. (Picture taken by Jonathan Pratt.)

And that's the message that came over loud and clear today, when what was going to be a regular Friday "Weekend Warmup" programme was hijacked by the total closedown of the M4, and poor listeners who were stuck in their cars for five hours. One caller, Chad, was on his way to a friend's wedding in Torquay. He'd set off bright and early from London, was in plenty of time to make it to Torquay by 1pm, and was just driving through Berkshire at about 7.30 when all the traffic ground to a halt. At 10 minutes to 1, just as his friends were walking up the aisle in Torquay, Chad was only just beginning to move along the motorway. Hope they kept some wine and coronation chicken for you, Chad!

And we also heard the woeful tale of Vanessa, stuck in her car, who was desperate to answer the call of nature. Glad to report she was lent an umbrella by a fellow driver, and she skulked off into the bushes without losing her dignity.

Well done to all (especially Marie Copley at Berkshire Traffic Control) for keeping everyone sane. Hope my journey home is better than theirs!

It's October, which means it's conker time. The horse chestnut trees are brimming with ripe conkers and my sons and I love a good conker fight. Berkshire has a particularly good crop of conkers this year, so get out in the rain and enjoy!

Scottish conkers from the 2007 season


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