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A book that celebrates the A303

To quote today’s youngsters, “OMG!” There’s a book about the A303 – one of my favourite roads in all the world – and the Telegraph just reviewed it. The A303: Highway to the Sun by Tom Fort is my next read without a doubt. I’ve always loved that road. I love the ups and downs, the scenery, the glimpse of Stonehenge, the sad Little Chefs and the fact that it’s not a motorway but yet gets you places at a reasonable pace. It’s 92 miles of heaven from Honiton in Devon (quite nice in a clotted cream sort of way) to Basingstoke in Hampshire (to be avoided like a dose of Slough).

One achievement of the book is to explain Jeremy Clarkson. Mondeo Man dreams of freedom, but finds himself everywhere in chains. The greater the number of people who can enjoy the personal liberation bestowed by owning a car, the less everyone can move around because the roads are clogged. But the BBC has licensed Clarkson to romp anarchically around, as though cars could still be driven at top speeds and adventure, rather than roadworks, lay around the next bend. He is a bull elephant in a safari park: a token survivor of the wild, representative of a species that cannot otherwise be accommodated in the modern world.

That’s quite an achievement. People should write more books about roads. What about the A34? There’s got to be a bestseller in that one.

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