Warm, witty and wise, Sally Boazman aka Radio 2’s ‘Sally Traffic’ is famous as a radio traffic reporter and the woman who changed the face of traffic news forever.
After years of providing us with up to the minute Radio 2 traffic hotline reports, this summer Sally will hand over her weekday slot to Bobbie Pryor and take up duties alongside Graham Norton and Tony Blackburn, to keep us moving on our roads at weekends instead.
Despite a hectic radio schedule Sally is also an author (The Sally Traffic Handbook), a singer, has starred in her own ‘one woman show’ and is a highly sought after corporate compere and after dinner speaker. Of her many accolades, the ‘Outstanding Achievement Award’ from UK truckers is a particular favourite and she is a regular guest at Truckfest events so she can meet and thank her loyal army of traffic reporters.
Here is what Sally had to tell us when we spoke to her, with women in mind…
Q/ You’ve told us about your early cars in ‘The Sally Traffic Handbook’ but what car do you drive now and do you have a favourite car of all times?
A/ I drive a Vauxhall Convertible which I love but desperately needs changing! Of course, this time of year should be great for getting your top down, if you see what I mean, but the weather so far this year…..
My first car, my little Hillman Minx, was very special because it gave me my first sense of freedom; they were odd little cars, but like a first love, first cars stay with you forever. I loved it and cried when I had to send it to the knackers yard!
Q/ How up to date can your traffic reports be? How do you cope with the number of phone calls you must get, especially when there are lots of accidents and delays on a busy Friday night? What technology do you use to help you?
A/ Because so many people listen to Radio 2, more than any other station, our proportional volume of calls to the Radio 2 traffic line is very high. This means that drivers across the country are giving us ‘real time’ information constantly, which is invaluable. Of course, we have to check it out but we try and get it out on air as quickly as possible. On Fridays, the calls are constant, and it can be difficult, but if there’s any skill at all to the job it’s deciding what’s important and what isn’t. There’s no technology really, just me, a phone and a computer!
Q/ Before we set out on a long car journey, often with children and at peak travel times, what can we do to minimise (and then cope with) road traffic delays?
A/ Check check check!!!! Before you go, do as much as you can to see if your route is blocked, or traffic is slow; check on-line with one of the many traffic sites that give out information, or listen to Radio 2! And if you are travelling with children, or older people, make sure you know where the loo stops are! And always take sweets, water, fruit – whatever – in the car in case you get stuck for any reason. And never travel on a Monday morning unless you have to between 7am and 12pm or on a Friday between 2pm and 8pm!
Q/ As many women as men seem to enjoy the Top Gear TV formula despite its macho image. If you were to front a TV (or radio) motoring programme, primarily for women, how would this be different and could it ever appeal to men as well?
A/ I’m not sure that you can divide men and women to do with motoring; it’s an area you either love or hate! Personally, I’m not a petrol-head at all, but because both my father and grandfather were car enthusiasts I have a real love of, particularly old, cars and the beautiful way that they are made. Come to think of it, that might be quite girlie!
Q/ Among the many celebrities you’ve met, which ones have made a truly lasting impression and why?
A/ I have been lucky enough to meet all my heroes over the last few years; I suppose the most amazing one was James Taylor who I had loved for years before I ever joined Radio Two, and who was everything I hoped he’d be; funny, charming, modest and talented. Other heroes have turned out to be a disappointment, but no names you understand…
Q/ How rare are lady truckers in the UK? Why do you think this is and how might interested females find out about a future career in road transport?
A/ There are more and more lady truckers on the road these days and because of a general shortage of truckers, they can usually get work. I think that for some, it fits in well with childcare and school hours. There are several organisations that cater purely to lady truckers; check them out on line if you’re interested!
Q/ If you were our Minister for Transport, what would you do to make motoring more enjoyable on our roads today?
A/ Lower fuel charges, more incentives to travel out of rush hour times, special lanes for full cars in rush hours, and more co-ordination with roadworks particularly amongst utilities companies, and more roadworks being done overnight!
We hope our Transport Minister reads Sally’s foxy suggestions, especially to do with the cost of motoring.
To find out more about Sally Boazman or to discuss any broadcasting or corporate engagements please contact her agent, June Ford Crush, at www.junefordcrush.com