Anorak News | Road safety heroes: time to honour Ditchingham’s ‘chicken roundabout’

Road safety heroes: time to honour Ditchingham’s ‘chicken roundabout’

by | 28th, January 2013

WHY did the chicken cross the road? It didn’t. For 21 years, the 300-odd wild chickens were tended by Gordon Knowles on the “chicken roundabout” in Ditchingham, Norfolk.  In late 2012, Bungay town councillor Deirdre Shepherd said of Mr Knowles:

“Not often have I had the privilege of standing next to a living legend. He looked after the birds for many years and even when he could not do it any more he made sure they were safe and passed them on. He’s one of the last of the great eccentrics and we all need people like him to stop making life so boring.”

The chickens – thought to have escaped form small holdings – were on the A143-B1332 roundabout for around 60 years. In 2010, they were moved. And with it, the area lost some of its charm. A campaign began to erect a statue, dubbed the Chicken of the East, on the roundabout. But Ditchingham Parish Council says a statue to the chickens would be a hazard. A council spokesman said:

“The council is very much opposed to anything that could distract motorists, many of whom approach this roundabout from both directions on the A143 far too fast.”

Says Mr Knowles:

“I’ve never known of an accident caused by a chicken.”

What chickens don’t know about road safety is not worth knowing. Road safety campaigners have used hedgehogs to highlight the dangers of crossing a road, but not chickens. Hedgehogs are rubbish at crossing roads. Chickens are the go-to experts. They can only help make roads safer.Mr Knowles adds:

“If I was Ditchingham Parish Council I would pick this up and run with it.”

And always throw it over the zebra crossing beak first…

Posted: 28th, January 2013 | In: Reviews Comment | TrackBack | Permalink