Monday, April 18, 2011

Man in dressing gown does ironing in central lane of motorway...

Flat out on the M1! The man who decided to do his IRONING on the motorway (which will not now be open in time for Easter)

Last updated at 12:29 PM on 18th April 2011
It brings new meaning to going 'flat out' on the motorway. A man wearing a blue dressing gown and slippers made the bizarre decision to do a spot of extreme ironing in the central lane of the M1 this morning.
Thankfully there was no chance of the mystery man being run over, as it was on the southbound section closed off to vehicles over the weekend following fire damage.
The bare-legged man was captured pressing a white shirt at around 9am by a surprised ITN cameraman who had been covering the M1 closure.
Morning chores: A mystery man chose to take his ironing out on to the M1, which is still partially closed following a scrapyard fire
It was all part of an extreme ironing stunt where people do a spot of ironing in bizarre or remote locations for fun.
According to the official website, extreme ironing is 'the latest danger sport that combines the thrills of an extreme outdoor activity with the satisfaction of a well-pressed shirt'.
It comes as Transport Minister Mike Penning confirmed the major traffic corridor may not fully reopen until late this week.
Mr Penning made the announcement yesterday as the Highways Agency faced criticism over the closure.
London Mayor Boris Johnson described the closure as 'health and safety madness' and questioned whether the Highways Agency had acted quickly enough.
His spokesman told the Evening Standard: 'He would never override anybody who says it isn't safe but he questions are we moving fast enough? Do we need to close the whole thing?
'As always with these things - as with the ash cloud - what he suspects is not foremost in the minds of those doing their analysis is the sense of urgency. Not just the disruption to people's lives but also the impact on the economy.
But he added that Mr Johnson 'does not underestimate that this was serious and that they're right to take the extensive action'.
With drivers planning to use the road to get to and from Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final at Wembley and yesterday’s London marathon, tens of thousands were forced to find alternative routes.
Now scroll down to see the video report
The Highways Agency said today that all southbound lanes between junctions one and four will remain closed 'until further notice'.
The chaos followed a blaze at a scrap-yard under an elevated section of the motorway on Friday morning.
The fire caused significant damage to a road bridge’s structure and forced the closure of junctions one to four. One northbound lane reopened on Saturday evening and a second northbound lane was opened yesterday.
    One southbound lane could open during the night and a second in the early hours of this morning, the minister said.
    But the full three lanes of each carriage-way may not reopen until ‘the middle to the end’ of the week, he said, causing Easter traffic misery because parts of the structure remained unsafe.
    Mr Penning told Sky News: ‘The bridge has been damaged by the fire quite badly and that means we have to make sure it’s safe for the motorist and safe for our workers underneath the bridge.’
    He said the hard shoulder had been particularly badly damaged by the fire. Engineers were working to make the bridge stable enough to carry the weight of traffic.

    Advising motorists to use alternative routes, the minister added: ‘I’m very conscious that if people think the motorway is open tomorrow and we only have a couple of lanes, we will have congestion. 
    ‘So what I’m saying to them is, only use the M1 if you have to.’
    Earlier, he told BBC News: ‘It is going to be a frustrating time (for motorists) but the key is their safety.
    ‘It’s not safe at the moment and that’s why it’s not open.’
    He said police were investigating the fire at the scrapyard, in Mill Hill, North London.
    It also caused chaos for thousands of football fans travelling home from the FA Cup semi-final between Manchester United and Manchester City at Wembley as well as the Bolton vs Stoke game.
    The Highways Agency said today: 'Engineers worked through the night to try to reopen southbound lanes.
    'We are working in very difficult conditions in a confined space and have encountered unexpected difficulties in manoeuvring some of the large and heavy equipment required to reinforce the bridge deck.'

    The spokesman did not know how much the work would cost to make the bridge safe. 
    More than 40 firefighters battled to stop the flames spreading to nearby gas cylinders and up to 50 local residents were evacuated.
    Officials had initially hoped that the country's main motorway would be re-opened by lunchtime today.
    She said the southbound carriageway would remain shut between junctions one and four 'until it is safe to be reopened'
    Engineers were today continuing to assess the damage caused to the motorway by the blaze, forcing it to stay closed for seven miles in both directions between junction one and four.

    With higher traffic volumes anticipated today the closure is likely to cause problems for those leaving London for an Easter holiday.
    A spokesman said its engineers had been given access to the site of the fire underneath the motorway and would be assessing the extent of the damage.
    They added: 'Depending on the results of the investigation, we will open the M1 as far as it is safe to do so.'
    London Fire Brigade said the fire had worsened after crews arrived and a temporary hazard zone had been set up in case the cylinders explode in the heat.
    The closure of the motorway one of the main routes into London from the North, has affected hundreds of fans flocking to Wembley for the FA cup semi-finals.

    Drivers who had planned to use the M1 may be rerouted onto the M6 and M40, increasing the possibility of heavy congestion.
    Many more drivers who had been planning a bumper 17-day holiday, including back-to-back weekends and the Royal Wedding, could also be affected.
    The M1 remained empty after the fire at the scrapyard closed a section of the motorway
    The M1 remained empty after the fire at the scrapyard closed a section of the motorway
    The M1 closure comes after motoring groups warned of congestion at the beginning of the extended Easter break.
    'This is definitely the start of the main getaway. It is the big build up now for Easter,' Paul Watters from the AA told The Times even before the blaze closed the M1.
    On Twitter, motorist Andrew Crozier wrote: 'Stuck on the M1 for 4 hrs.' Another driver, Morafi, tweeted: 'Stuck on the M1 heading towards London — massive delays. Avoid.' And James Bugelli reported: 'People are getting out of their cars.'
    A spokesman for travel news organisation Trafficlink said: 'The cylinders have been made safe and staff are now inspecting the bridge for serious damage. Depending on how badly damaged the bridge is, there is a possibility it may not reopen until tomorrow.'
    Station manager Dave Bird said: 'The scrapyard is close to a residential area so a number of people have been evacuated as a precaution. We're obviously aware this is causing some disruption so our crews are working really hard to bring the flames under control.'
    The Highways Agency said it was assessing the M1 viaduct structure near the site to see if there was any severe damage, and diversion routes were put in place.
    A spokesman said: 'We are working as fast as we can to reopen the road as soon as it is safe to do so.'
    Do you know who the mystery man on the M1 is? Contact us on

    Read more:

    No comments:

    Post a Comment