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Paper Monitor

11:21 UK time, Friday, 22 December 2006

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

What would Christmas be without a travel chaos story? Even in years when the weather is benign and mild, there's always a slew of stories about tailbacks, gridlock and passenger getaway misery. But fog - well, that's a gift, especially when you consider it sounds a little bit like a naughty word beginning with "f".

"Christmas is all fogged up" runs the Metro splash; "For fog's sake," says the Sun.

When they're not making suggestive puns, they're going into infographic overdrive. The Express has a map of Britain criss-crossed by white lines that could be flight paths, train routes or motorways. Readers are left to make up their own minds.

Despite tough competition, the Independent and the Times nose ahead in the infographic challenge, the Times devoting a whole page to a map of Britain, littered with triangular warning signs and such like. The profusion of icons means it's hard to get a handle on what's going on, but suffice it to say Cornwall looks quiet.

Until, that is, you look at the Indy's (colour) map. It's a cluttered affair, but its warning signs notably don't tally with those in the Times. All of a sudden, the South West and south Wales have become traffic blackspots.

A word of advice to motorists and other travellers - Britain is in Christmas getaway gridlock, although the true picture is hard to make out. But that's fog for you.

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