Alan Castle: There’s no way you will beat the tide, so don’t do it

HAS the time not come for a new approach to stop a certain type of idiot motorist putting himself and often his family at risk through nothing but their own stupidity?

I have spoken of those who think they can do better than what King Canute is alleged to have tried but failed ... hold back the sea.

Each year, once upon a time it was only during the holiday season, dozens of motorists have to be rescued from the causeway linking Holy Island to the mainland after ignoring the large warning signs telling them when to cross and when not to cross. Safe crossing times are placed at either end of the causeway, as they are every week in the Gazette, on the web and in other publications.

Yet year in year out they are ignored as some motorists think they are not meant for them.

But what they do not know is that as you approach the bridge over the deepest part of the incoming seas there is a hollow and this is where nature beats man.

The number of tourists who now come to Northumberland all the year round is increasing and therefore the number of idiots who think they can beat the tide is increasing.

They end often with their families either stuck on the roof of their vehicle or in the refuge box after calling the emergency services.

They will find that their vehicle is wrecked because of the influx of sea water.

But has the time not come to impose fines on these people who each year cost the emergency services including the Coastguards, The Royal National Lifeboat Institution and the air sea rescue helicopter from RAF Boulmer thousands of pounds?

If you ignore a sign on the highway and you cause an accident you are fined. Surely this is the same thing?

Far too many of these incidence are taking place, six since Christmas alone, and it is time for drastic action.

WHEN I am in this financial penalty mode, is it not time that fines for dog fouling were increased?

I came past one household this week, where I know the owner does not have a dog, to see huge piles of muck had been washed by them into the gutter. It was massive.

Very few owners let their dogs out alone now, so the irresponsible person must have left it, it is your civic duty to report them. Children can get disease from accidentally coming in contact with dog muck.

SOMETHING sensible has at last come out of County Hall, with the news that they have taken on specialist machinery to repair the thousands of potholes that blight every single carriageway in the county.

The council claims that a high- performance velocity machine is helping to get rid of between 750 and 800 potholes a week. It blasts stone aggregate and bitumen into potholes causing a permanent repair according to the county.

I must admit it must be a major improvement on the old technology it replaces of two men and a vehicle. One shovelling tar out of the back and another hammering the mixture flat in the pothole.

It only needed a shower of rain and surprise, surprise, the pothole re-appeared.

I know the county roads took a severe battering during the recent heavy snows and frost and anything that stops the spine-jarring journeys on country roads will be welcomed. I can see the machine being busy for months and even years ahead.

Just to keep the machine fully occupied for the rest of its working life, there are even talks of getting another, it is so successful. You can report potholes in you area to 08456006400 or environment@northumberland.gov.uk