Originally published as Thought for the week – Berwick Advertiser Thursday 5th May 2016
Driving in Berwick-upon-Tweed is an interesting and sometimes tricky exercise. The variety of buildings from different stages in our history creates roads and junctions that can be difficult to navigate for both drivers and pedestrians. For example, deciding who should wait or proceed at the junction by the town hall can be quite tricky.
That’s why at Walkergate and in Golden Square traffic engineers have painted white dots. The idea is that everyone gets a fair shot at crossing the junction. In fact, it’s an offence to drive over them if you can go around.
But this idea only works if everyone follows the rules. When people decide to cut the corner from Castlegate to the new bridge, everyone else has to stop and wait. It also makes it tricky for pedestrians to decide when to cross. On the other hand, driving around the white dot allows two or even three vehicles to turn at the same time, keeping traffic moving.
Good manners are important when driving, because next time you might be the one held up by impatient drivers. If everyone looks out only for themselves, we all suffer.
It’s a modern example of the reason Saint Paul wrote in his letter to the Christians in Philippi: “Each of you should look not only to your own interests but also to the interests of others.” Because, as the old saying goes, “what goes around comes around.”