I can’t quite imagine what it must have been like to be around when the M1 was first opened. Cold, probably, and wet too, but nonetheless exciting.
Before, England’s roads would have been much like the majority of Ireland’s today: very dangerous, perilously potholed and more than a little bit clenching when you’re driving along and a lorry comes barrelling the other way. On a road as wide as a turtle.
But then, you were able to drive along at any speed that took your fancy, smoking, eating a sandwich, listening to the wireless and chatting to passengers, until your Morris broke down and you were forced to camp by the side of the motorway, until the “saluting” AA man came along to fix the problem.
Am I exaggerating? Yes, just a tad, but I feel it necessary to remind you of how bad the roads used to be, and how good they are, or rather were.
You see, last week George Osborne decided that he hates every single one of us, and that it would be better for everyone if we lived in a cave and travelled great distances in great discomfort by hopping. Or, worse, by bus.
I was watching the rather amusing comedy speech he made from Parliament, in a newsroom in Winchester; ready to broadcast the changes to whoever would listen, I couldn’t help feeling that we really won’t be on the roads for very long - something Miliband the Younger picked up on too.
I do not smoke, but from 6 pm last Wednesday, cigarettes would cost you an extra 37p. Not that you could have one in a car anyway for fear of going to prison for 234 years.
Also, from 1st August, fuel duty will rise by 3.02p per litre, and Osborne has said that all reserves of gas and oil in the North sea are to be used up, so prices will probably get to more than £1.50 for unleaded, and £1.55 for diesel, before the year is out.
There’s nothing we can do, because as you know the government listens very carefully to what we have to say, organises focus groups and lots of meetings, before ignoring us all together and doing what they believe is right for us.
Oh, and the amount of money to be spent on transport is going down from £5.1 billion this year, to £4.9 billion next year, and £4.5 billion in 2014.
If you think I don’t like George Osborne, you’d be wrong, but I can’t help wondering if the changes he’s made are going to put me out of a career in motoring journalism before I’ve begun.