Week 11: Sleuth gets to the bottom of the Regent Road chaos

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city each week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious, but not often... @mcrsleuth

Brexit model applied to Oxford Road

Sleuth hears that all the traffic fines being given out by the Council for straying across bus lanes on Oxford Road are part of a cunning plan of confusion. Even when people appeal they are left in a curious limbo not knowing whether their appeal has been successful, as with the case of Paul Hope in our story here. Eight months after his appeal, he’s still not heard anything and has no idea when he will. 

“Of course, it’s all a plan,” said a spokesperson wearing a long pointy hat sporting a large letter D. “We want appeals to take an awfully long time, be incredibly confusing and ultimately harm nobody but our citizens and our reputation. We’ve taken the example of Brexit and applied it locally.”

Dunce Hat Sleuth
Oxford Road's traffic fines controller said: "what appeals?"

Cars banned 

Following on from the above statement, Sleuth hears the city council is taking further action with regard to traffic and the Central Manchester hospital complex off Oxford Road. In future all vehicles will be banned from approaching the hospitals any closer than 500 metres. 

“Yes,” confirmed a spokesperson, “we want to reduce carbon emissions and all that blah blah, so no motor vehicles of any kind will be allowed near the hospitals. This will include ambulances. Patients will have to get out and crawl, or just lie by the road side. People need to realise that no matter how ill they are, they are being selfish and oblivious to the environmental consequences if they expect to use fuel-guzzling ambulances to bring them right to the hospital entrance. It’s not a taxi service you know. They should get on a bicycle.”

Oxford Road Signs

Regent Road chaos explained

Last week Sleuth received a press release from the council stating that the Regent Road roadworks (you might know them as 'that complete shit show on the Mancunian Way around Castlefield') were coming along very nicely.

A few days later, on Tuesday, and workers from the construction contractor, Dawnus, had marched off site complaining about missing pay, leaving diggers in the road blocking traffic. The day after (Wednesday) the council said they were working to "resolve the situation". The day after that (Thursday) the council said they were "seeking urgent clarification" on the situation. Today, Sleuth sought some clarity...

A spokesperson for the council said: "We've still got no idea what's going on."

A spokesperson for Dawnus said: "We've gone bust."

A spokesperson for the police said: "Don't look at us."

A spokesperson for Transport for Greater Manchester said: "Don't look at us."

A spokesperson for the mayor's office said: "Andy's getting a tan in Cannes and says piss off."

A spokesperson for the thousands of people simply trying to get in to work on time said: "Fucking brilliant... you useless set of twats."

Regent Road Traffic

MIPIM's best idea ever

Every year lots of people from around the world involved in property go to lovely Cannes in the south of France for the MIPIM conference. They drink lots of champagne, talk about vast schemes and projects in their towns and cities while breathily muttering to each other at 2am each morning, “What happens in Cannes, stays in Cannes.” Noses grow snowy.

Manchester occupies one of the biggest pavilions at the conference, and this year the best idea ever has been launched. 

“We’re going to take that large area of brownfield land just north of Victoria Station and build Minas Tirith,” said a man in suit, surrounded by other men in suits and some women in suits. “It will have all the features in The Lord of the Rings without the orcs, ha, ha. There will be palaces (or ‘luxury apartments’ as we call them) of four, three, two and one beds. These will be 'affordable homes' for people on six figure salaries. For people further down the economic scale (apparently there are some people like that, although I never meet any), there will be some very very affordable homes. Well one of them, two miles away, because nobody wants to see poor people do they?”

Manchester Mipim

Councillor Pat Karney REALLY loves Piccadilly Gardens

Sleuth was impressed by the numbers of FC Schalke fans from Germany who came to watch their team get absolutely battered 7-0 by Manchester City in the Champions League on Tuesday. Sleuth was sure he saw Councillor Pat Karney, Champion of Piccadilly Gardens, amongst the thousands of fans who gathered there, saying, “This is the finest public space in Europe. I know that because I keep saying it and have done for years.” He then surprised everybody by belly-sliding across the muddy lawns to immense Teutonic cheering.

Manchester wins a thing

Good news everyone, Manchester has just been named the 15th best city in the world, in a list compiled by Time Out, as well as the third happiest city in the world and the happiest city in the UK. No wonder, as Manchester was also named the boozing capital of the world, with the highest proportion of alcohol drinkers - which you can see being celebrated in full here by hundreds of visiting German football fans, who, of course, have never drank heavily in their lives... 

Sleuth and the Champions League

Sleuth is happy that both Manchester clubs have made it through to the quarter finals of the Champions League. The final is this May in Madrid. Madrid is in Spain, which is part of the European Union, of course. By May the UK will either be out of the EU or living through an extension before being out of the EU. In which case, if City make it to the final, their chant of ‘We’re not really here” will have wonderful resonance.

Lastly, the winner of Sleuth's most Italian name ever

Goes to...

Zola Martini

Who has just opened a new Prosecco bar and restaurant in Urmston. Great work Zola... Martini.