Runcorn. You can come in, but you can never leave.

buzz_mobiushighwayOne of the favourite words of architects and designers is intuitive. It is one of their BIG IDEAS, even though much of what they do is nothing of the sort.

The most counter-intuitive place on Earth is Runcorn in Cheshire. It is impossible to find your way into or out of Runcorn the same way twice. It is surrounded by a Moebius strip of ‘expressways’ which are liable to pitch you up at any point within a five mile radius without warning. Particularly hard to find is the train station which your eyes tell you is there, alongside the road, but without any discernible means of getting to it. I found the town centre once, but I’m not sure I could again.

It’s the Hotel California of towns. Apart from the Mersey, the only two things I know that have ever found their way out are the translucent ginger one from Girls Aloud and whoever wrote Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps Please.

So baffling is the process of locating or leaving Runcorn that last year, Miss Runcorn actually came from Leeds. I’m not making this up.


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