It’s brilliant, I tell you. I am so excited at the prospect of this idea that I can hardly contain myself.
In a recent speech to the Institution of Civil Engineers, Pee Emm David Cameron said that he needed to look at innovative approaches to the funding of our national roads, and that “Road tolling is one option.”
Privatising the roads. What an opportunity. I know he’s only talking about this for Englandshire at the moment, but when it catches on up here, I’m going to fight my way to the front of the queue to be one of the investors.
I thought about perhaps buying a stretch of the A71. Not a big stretch you understand, just a wee bit of road where I can set up my very own toll booth. The difficulty would be persuading drivers not to take alternative routes, and I reckon I could do that by giving my toll booth a theme.
For example, I could dress it up to look like Checkpoint Charlie, complete with barbed wire, snarling dogs, watch towers, and people standing around dressed as Soviet guards, complete with greatcoats and big furry hats. It would be a tourist attraction – just east of Broxburn Main Street.
Then I thought that owning a 30-foot stretch of the M8 might be fun. I could put up marble pillars at each side and one of these big wrought iron gates – the type you get at the entrance to the drive these mega-mansions have. I could even dress up like that guy on the Monopoly boxes, with a top hat, monocle and big cigar.
Linlithgow Main Street – bales of straw across the road, and the toll collectors dressed as Highland warriors; that would work. Nice historic theme, too. Or how about having my toll looking like a replica of The Pearly Gates?
And in owning a wee stretch of road, I could paint it any colour I wanted – maybe even Paisley pattern. Owning a wee stretch of roads appeals to me so much I can’t describe it. All I would need is a 30-feet stretch.
The potential for having so much fun – and making a bit of dosh – makes the whole thing irresistible. So, I’m off to drop a letter to our Pee Emm, outlining my ideas and offering my services as one of the investors.
I’ll let you know what he has to say about it.