9th January 2013

9th January 2013

It is amazing what chaos an overturned lorry can cause.  Heading out to a meeting of nurses in Nottingham tonight at about 3.00pm I passed an overturned lorry on a roundabout just outside Newark.  The Highways Agency was busy clearing up the mess and cargo from the lorry.  It lay on its side like a beached sperm whale.

Five hours later and driving home I discovered traffic backed up all over the place. Coming from Nottingham the cars and lorries were stationary all the way to the Mansfield turning, some three miles from the accident.  Even when I took detour through Newark and around the villages I ran into stationary traffic.

At the accident cite the men were busy still clearing the chaos of the overturned lorry.  However, they had now had to close half the roundabout on the major artery out of Lincolnshire.  This was causing total traffic turmoil.

It does beg the question “how safe are our roads?”  Why had the lorries; it turned out there was a second lorry there; turned over?

Increasingly we are seeing more and more potholes and broken carriage ways, with the length of time before damage is repaired lengthening.  Country Council and Highways Agency do not appear to be making repairs.  However, in middle of next month and in March I am sure we will see loads of road closures as repairs are hurriedly carried out to spend the budget before the end of the financial year.

Why is it that public services all appear to be unable to budget so that spending is balanced over the year?  At the end of each financial year managers start spending in the knowledge that if they do not some government department or other will take it away from them.  Surely if the money was spent as the potholes appeared this would provide road users with a better service.  This would also save motorists the cost of repairs to their wheels and cut down the number of accidents.

However, potholes for cyclists are even worse.  Whilst a pothole to a car is an inconvenience most of the time – to a cyclist it is an almost guaranteed accident if they hit it or worse are forced into it by a motorist.  Motorists pay billions of pounds a year to use the roads.  It is time that money was spent on roads.

I finally got home, after a detour of ten miles and an extra 45 minutes on my journey time.  Thank goodness I have a comfortable car – I dread to think what it would have been like in a small car.

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