Some drivers seem to think that they own the road

Lord Lucan
Lord Lucan
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I see the plan to get a stage of the Tour de France here in Portsmouth in 2019 is gathering pace – and the usual whingers are worried about the effect it will have on traffic in the city.

Luckily they’ve got a little while to think of an alternative way to get to work that day.

How about public transport, for example? Or walk.

Portsmouth is, after all, only seven miles across at its widest point.

Or how about cycle, in the whole spirit of the Le Tour thing?

I must admit it’s not very appealing at this time of year, when headwinds and crosswinds threaten at every turn and lashing rain freezes feet faster than snow would.

Personally I’ve been a little funny about cycling ever since I did a truly spectacular face-plant, at speed, at the top of the Eastern Road.

I ended up with a sprained thumb and the uncomfortable feeling that most of my internal organs had been temporarily rearranged.

But anyway, cycling is once again on my agenda as I’ve agreed to take part in an 80 miles-in-a-day ride in aid of Headway West Sussex in July.

Plus plans are afoot to help organise another ride to mark a very poignant First World War anniversary in September.

It means I will once again be out on my bike, freezing my toes off, trying to grow some leg muscles so as not to hold my team-mates up too much.

Once again I will be turning on my bike lights, putting on my helmet and wearing reflective clothing in the hope that people in other vehicles can see me.

I’ll also be training on the road, because I cycle too fast for those weird pedestrian/bike lanes that are marked on some of the city’s pavements.

In short, I’ll be trying to be as safe as possible.

But I do wonder whether my fellow road-users, specifically the most short-tempered of the four-wheeled variety, will be doing the same.

But apparently, as far as some who have posted comments on The News’ online story about Le Tour are concerned, they own the road.

The true tragedy for families is that they will never know

I saw a tweet from a Times reporter saying that the paper had waited 40-odd years to publish the obituary of Lord Lucan.

Imagine having to wait that long for a death certificate and a final acknowledgement that, whatever the mystery surrounding the 7th Earl’s disappearance, he can now finally be laid to rest — figuratively speaking, at least.

Lord Lucan disappeared before I was born, shortly after the body of his children’s nanny was discovered.

He could have leapt off a cross-Channel ferry, they said. So my childish brain imagined him jumping on a ferry at Portsmouth and then off it again somewhere south of the Isle of Wight.

We’ll never know. And that’s the true tragedy for both his family and relatives of the nanny.

Time it takes to get to capital could lead to a brain drain

I’m writing this on a South West Trains service, travelling back from a couple of meetings in London.

It’s always a treat to go up to town, no matter what the excuse.

But I do wonder how you commuters manage to do it every day.

Not only does it take just an hour less to get to the capital from Portsmouth than it does from Hull, but trains are expensive, crowded, invariably delayed during rush hour and there’s almost always a smelly giant who wants to sit down next to me.

Surely with Portsmouth’s aim to be an energetic city well-known for its culture and commitment to business, there has to be a change.

The time it takes to get to the capital could lead to a brain drain that goes against this city’s aspirations.