The government is to form a design panel to improve motorway services stations. These have not always charmed the British public, not least the very first: Watford Gap services, which opened in 1959 on the same day as the first stretch of the M1.
— It quickly became a night-time haunt of rock stars travelling between gigs, but not all were impressed by the food. In 1977 the folk singer Roy Harper recorded a track on his Bullinamingvase album called ‘Watford Gap’ and containing the lyrics: ‘…And the people came to worship on their death-defying wheels,/ fancy-dressed as shovels for their death-defying meals…Watford Gap, Watford Gap, a plate of grease and a load of crap.’
— The track was dropped on a rerecording of the album, supposedly because a director of record company EMI was on the board of services operator Blue Boar.
41 days later
Who benefits from a long election campaign? Days between prorogation of Parliament and election outcome:
|1983: 27 days||Conservative|
|1987: 27 days||Conservative|
|1992: 24 days||Conservative|
|1997: 41 days||Labour|
|2001: 35 days||Labour|
|2005: 28 days||Labour|
|2010: 28 days||No majority|
|2015: 41 days|
Valleys of debt
Unsecured debt, according to the accountancy firm PwC, has risen to nearly £9,000 per household. In which postcode sectors do people owe most?
|London Road, Peterborough (PE7 0)||£2,540 per capita|
|Kingston Park Road, Newcastle (NE13 9)||£1,890|
|Gray’s Inn Road, London (WC1X 8)||£1,620|
|Dock Street, Hull (HU1 3)||£1,540|
|Wixams, nr Bedford (MK42 6)||£1,540|
Source: British Bankers Association
Drowning by numbers
The Amateur Swimming Association called for more money for swimming lessons, claiming that one in five adults cannot swim. Where do people drown? Of 381 deaths in 2013:
|Off beaches/at sea||115|
Source: National Water Safety Forum
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