One motor car insurance provider recently conducted a survey only to find that Slough is one of the towns mostly disliked by drivers.
Made famous – or perhaps infamous by the poet John Betjeman, the Berkshire town received low marks from the discount car insurance division of Virgin Money.
The attitudes of motorists towards 65 different towns were examined by the survey, which then published its results in order of popularity. Slough came in at 61st place, according to the survey findings. Nearby location Reading was not far behind, which had won the ignominious honour of being dead last at number 65. In doing so Reading usurped the crown that London had earned for itself in last year’s annual survey.
The municipalities were rated by motorists by taking into account a range of different factors. Such items as average fuel prices, parking fees, and the incidence of vehicle-related criminal activity (the latter affecting the ability to find cheap car insurance rates) were all taken into account by the survey.
The winner for the second year in a row as the most car-friendly town was St Helens on Merseyside. West Bromwich, in the West Midlands, took the second spot. Shropshire’s Telford, a previous winner, dropped to third place, and the fourth top spot was awarded to Sutton Coldfield, another town in the West Midlands.
In his eponymous 1937 poem, Betjeman stated that Slough was unfit for human habitation, urging ‘friendly bombs’ to drop upon the town and wipe out what he saw as industrial eyesores (he magnanimously told these same bombs to avoid any human casualties). Many have stated that things have not gotten all that much better in Slough since Betjeman’s day with its rampant vehicle-rated crime rate.
However other locations across the country with similarly high rates – such as Cardiff and Manchester – were spared the poet’s ire.