A Letter from the A22

A Letter from the A22 or, as I much prefer to be known, the Via do Infante

Dear Editor,

I realise that it is unusual for a motorway to break silence, but there have been so many comments about me in your journal over the past months that I feel I deserve the right of reply.

One must respect the importance of class.

I am a superb road, built by generous donations from the whole of Europe.

Until relatively recently I was open to all, riff raff from Spain, lower class Portuguese workers – often those such as hospital nurses and cleaners – the dregs of the working class.

Then my true place in society was finally recognised. The Portuguese government came to an arrangement with an important and high class company by which anyone who wished to use me had to pay.

The company, bless them, promised to maintain me to the highest standard, in return for guaranteed profitable income from the government, praise be to them, no matter how few used me.

The government and the company recognised my true worth and place in society. By charging those who wished to use me it ensured that only the wealthy, those most important in our lives, could travel smoothly, efficiently and almost alone.

The difference has been wonderful to behold. Now I am used by hardly any of those nasty lorries or those disreputable old vehicles that many living in this great country seem to use, for some reason I simply cannot understand.

This has come at a cost, but one which is so worth paying.

The lower classes now only use my slum neighbour, the EN125. If only the decision had been made to place me a little further away from that awful road, I would be unable, when the wind is in the wrong direction, to smell the fumes from the traffic and to hear the rumble of the lorries and those dreadful continual screaming sirens from police cars and ambulances.

I have read in your journal of those who are concerned that the EN125 has become dangerous, and might go back to the bad old days before I was built, as one of the worst roads in Europe for serious, often deadly, accidents.

What nonsense! There are far more cars and lorries on the roads now than there were in those bad old days. At peak periods the traffic on the EN125 goes so slowly that there is little danger of a serious accident, and those that do occur are usually only to lower class workers on their long journey to their place of employment.

My only regret is that there are still a few of the lower classes using me. If the charge for using me could be raised substantially, the present use by these inferior people would stop altogether, and the upper classes, those whose destiny should be to have the privilege of travelling virtually alone, in comfort, not bothered by peasants, could have the relationship with me that I and they so richly deserve.

My highest regards to those from my station in society among your readers, those precious few with whom I am now so pleased to associate.

Yours very truly,

VDI, Name and address withheld