Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Rallying Cry

Someone in the JEP was criticising the Jersey Rally the other day, saying that so many miles of public roads shouldn't be closed for motor racing enjoyed by so few people, proportionally per head of population.

Let's examine this. How many people enjoy the rally? Apart from the drivers and navigators themselves, organisers and numerous unpaid volunteer marshalls, we can only guess how many spectators there are. The Victoria Avenue stage was reported to have three to four thousand people enjoying the action (on a chilly damp evening), and other stages usually have plenty of little crowds assembled at good vantage points. Let's take a guess at 5,000 out of 90,000 islanders, and as we're guessing we'll be generous and round it down very slightly to 5.5% of us. Personally I think that may be a bit low, but I'm going for most believable credibility here.

Now, a quick websearch revealed that Jersey has about 350 miles of roads. So, proportionally, if our JEP commentator believes that it would be fair to close 5.5% of Jersey roads, then that accounts for about 19 miles worth.

Now, I welcome being proved wrong, but the two or three stages active at any one time during the rally don't really appear to be 19 miles long, even taking into consideration all the through-routes temporarily blocked off, most of which do remain passable for access to premises.

So, nice try Mr Anti-Rally, but your sense of scale and proportion is somewhat lacking. Better luck next time!