A303 Diversion

Apparantly the big news in the Westcountry is that the A303 is to be closed some time early next year, with a 40 mile diversion. The BBC has more details and the Highways Agency press release is also available.

I wondered why neither the HA nor any of the press articles I’d seen bothered publishing a map. While they’re happy to describe an elaborate route in text, it took me less than five minutes to knock this up.

The visual view is – I think – much more explanatory than any text, and it adds instant impact to the article.


Apart from anything else, this is the first time I’ve seen the BBC News site quote an expletive directly. In previous circumstances (usually articles about swearing on live broadcasts) they’ve always seemed to dodge the exact wording of expletives.

BBC News Redesign

Earlier this month the BBC News webteam rolled out a new design for their site, which incorporated (amongst other things) some new design elements (red shades on white background for the logo, for instance) which hinted at a rebranding.

Sure enough, Stuart Pinfold notes that after the 10 o’clock news this Wednesday evening, News 24 will become BBC News Channel, with regional and other outlets following on the 21st.

BBC News Redesign

BBC News April 08 redesignFollowing on from the homepage redesign earlier this year, the BBC News site has been revamped to a 1024 pixel layout.

Personally, I find the amount of whitespace a little too overpowering; it’s hard to see where section divides are (the regional “Around the World/UK Now” sections at the bottom, for instance)

I’m sure CSS purists will also dislike that this redesign still uses tables for layout, although the “Low Graphics” option still exists for any users who prefer it.

It seems this has just happened – none of the subsequent pages (Tech, UK, World, etc) carry the updated layout, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. The BBC tend to keep old designs around for archived material, so looking back to articles from the 90s you can see the page as it was (albeit with a few SSI errors…)

Update:  Steve Herrmann from the BBC describes the changes

Top Gear Censored

Just started the Best of Top Gear video from tonight’s BBC2 (I kinda like the Flash-based iPlayer – it works), and it took me a few seconds to figure out what all the censoring was about.


That’s the BBC’s editing. It must be the whole thing about smoking on-screen after the July 1 smoking ban … either somebody’s come down on them like a ton of bricks, or somebody has a sense of humour, or both. Hehe. Anyway, was this on the broadcast edition or just the iPlayer edition?

Mind the Gap on your Way Out

Emma Clarke, the voice of the Underground for eight years has been dropped by TfL after a number of parody ‘Mind the Gap’ announcements were found on her website.

“Here we are crammed again into a sweaty Tube carriage … If you’re female smile at the bloke next to you and make his day. He’s probably not had sex for months.”

Despite TfL’s apparant lack of humour, a spokesperson told the Evening Standard “London Underground is sorry to have to announce that further contracts for Miss Clarke are experiencing severe delays”

[Reuters] [via UK Mobile Report]

Update: While the Reuters article picked the spoof messages as the reason for dismissal, BBC News are claiming that the reason was “… because she has criticised the Underground system.”

LU said it would not be offering her further work but Ms Clarke said she had been “wildly misquoted”.

“[Ms Clarke] said she was “disappointed and perplexed” that LU had not contacted her but instead had decided to dismiss her via the media.”