There were shouts of congratulation in Oslo as the builders of a major highway were awarded the Nobel Transportation Prize.

The Road To Hell Ltd, an infrastructure feature of human morality, was honoured for ‘paving the route with good intentions’.

‘The destination is not actually that important,’ the prize committee said. ‘The fact that the road is one way only and that all who travel on it end up in eternal torment did not affect our decision.’

The Road To Hell Ltd declared: ‘This demonstrates that good intentions alone are enough to be considered for honour. Actual actions with positive outcomes, such as economic sanctions and military deterrents, have for too long been the only criteria for selection.’

A traveller on the Road To Hell said: ‘This is the most convenient route I have been along. Thinking and saying nice things has been unrecognised for too – Aah! Ow! I’m on fire! Somebody help me! No, no, not with those pitchforks . . . ’

In other news, the little-known International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN) won the Nobel Peace Prize last week, as the Norwegian Nobel Committee warned that the risk of a nuclear conflict is greater than for a long time.

The award was unexpected. The architects of the 2015 nuclear deal between international powers and Iran had been seen as favourites for achieving the sort of diplomatic breakthrough that has won the prize in the past.