To the Top Gear team he’s a saint!
8:28am Tuesday 22nd July 2008 in By James Wallin
JEREMY Clarkson has a new motoring hero and it is our very own Coun Peter Greenhalgh.
The Top Gear presenter heaped praise on Swindon's lead member for transport and highways for his highly publicised stance on speed cameras.
Co-presenter Richard Hammond offered to present Coun Greenhalgh, pictured, with a trophy of excellence to celebrate his achievements, and invited him to visit the show.
The Freshbrook and Grange Park councillor even has his own Top Gear throne of gratitude to sit on if he ever fancies visiting the BBC set.
Clarkson began his eulogy by saying: "This week Britain has a new motoring hero and here he is Peter Greenhalgh from Swindon Council."
He offered Coun Greenhalgh the award "for common sense in the face of blatant stupidity".
Swindon Council's controversial stance that they may withdraw from the speed camera partnership, first revealed by the Adver last year, hit the national headlines last week.
The Top Gear presenters were under the impression that a decision had already been made to remove cameras, even though the council is still only considering the issue.
Coun Greenhalgh said he had an inkling something would be mentioned on the BBC2 show.
He said: "I was aware something was going on because they rang up to check the pronunciation of my surname.
"But I had no idea exactly what they were planning to do.
"I was about five minutes behind everyone else because I had recorded it but as soon as it had been on the phone started going crazy.
"I didn't stop taking calls until about midnight.
"It was very unexpected and very flattering - I'd love to go and watch Top Gear being filmed.
"I think this debate is one that is long overdue and it is good to see that it has struck a chord with so many people. Of course I am focussing on Swindon and I want to look at ways of trying to improve road safety.
"Things we've been looking at include subsidising Pass Plus, which covers elements such as motorway and night driving, which should really be included in the normal driving test.
"We are also working with local colleges so young people taking their driving test have already had a speed awareness course."
Richard Hammond sounded a note of caution for any visitors to Swindon, to watch their speed when going through the town.
Co-presenter James May went further, saying: "If you do happen to have any sort of accident in Swindon, wait until it's dark and push the wreckage into Devizes."