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28 December, 2007

Not quite Big Brother

Driving to Devon today, we passed two of the RAC's regional control centres, in Birmingham and Bristol.  The former is a large, modern building overlooking the busy M6 motorway, whereas the latter goes further, with a control tower watching over the M5.

I suppose they need substantial aerials to despatch and maintain contact with their fleet of roadside repair/recovery vehicles, and if they have such towers, it probably wouldn't be difficult to add 'crow's nest' features near the top, but I wonder whether they have a practical purpose. Why would the RAC need to see the stretch of road immediately outside each control centre? Or are these architectural features 'just' PR, giving the public (or paying members of the RAC, anyway) the impression 'we're watching over you'?

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