The streets of the fine city of Newcastle were gridlocked on Monday. Locals despaired as their normal 20 minute commute took 3 hours 40 minutes due to a series of unfortunate events.

  • A public sector strike (against pensions) closing the Metro and a tunnel under the Tyne.
  • An attention-seeking individual pretending he wanted to end his life by jumping off a lofty bridge which meant the closure of the bridge, more traffic chaos and 57 social workers being summoned.
  • Another (suspicious) fire in the city.

I owe my eternal gratitude to my taxi driver who meekly suggested that I might like to consider walking 10 minutes (instead of sitting for a further 90 minutes with the meter running) back to my hotel.

Would that happen in London ? Probably not.