Even rat-runners have fans

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A resident of Winchelsea was stunned last week to discover a hand-written note left under his car’s windscreen wipers, berating him for parking outside his house and narrowing the road for traffic rat-running through the town.

The letter accused the resident, Dr Lawrence Youlten, of “double-parking” on the High Street, even though his car was on the opposite side of the road to other vehicles. The gripe was that his car narrowed the road and, occasionally, vehicles¬†heading one way had to stop to allow vehicles heading the other way to pass.

Dr Youlten was urged not to be so “selfish” and to be a “better person”. He confessed to being flabbergasted. The authors are thought to have been a middle-aged couple, visitors to the town, who were sitting on the bench across the road at the time he parked. “I recalled, after the event, hearing some tutting noises from that direction. I can only suppose they had come to enjoy the sight and sound of vehicles racing through the town,”¬†he said.

A spokesman for Winchelsea Community Speed Watch, Chris Mears, expressed similar surprise and some disquiet: “It’s incredible. It’s also a bit worrying that there are people out there who like to see vehicles breaking the speed limit and endangering life and limb. We’ve clocked cars doing over 50mph down the High Street (the speed limit is 30mph). They’re just rat-runners trying to beat the traffic that stays on the A259 and they pose a very real danger. The fact that vehicles may have to stop, to allow others to pass, is a valuable traffic-calming feature.”

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