Tuesday, 22 November 2016

no through road

The Systems Administrator returned from the supermarket and announced that they are finally repairing the potholes in the lane.  I was thinking only yesterday that they had been taking their time about it.  Coloured paint marks appeared round the holes and crumbling edges months ago, but then nothing further happened other than the paint slowly fading, until about six weeks ago a second set of paint marks appeared, this time in white.  They too were beginning to wear off, and I was beginning to wonder when the council would actually send people to mend the road instead of merely reassuring us that they knew about the problem.

The lane is not very big and as such can't be expected to be a high priority on the council's list, but it is the only means of access to the half dozen or so houses and farm business units stretched along its length, and the further half dozen houses on the lettuce farm.  Plus the lettuce farm itself, whose articulated lorries can't be helping the state of the lane, but which pays its taxes and probably expects passable road access in return.  In fact, the lane carries much heavier traffic than a dozen houses and a couple of farms would generate because it is used as a cut through by drivers wanting to avoid the inconvenient traffic lights on the main road.  They slow things down considerably in the rush hour because there is no room for any right hand turning filter lanes, so once the car at the head of the queue wants to turn right that's probably it for that phase of the lights, everybody else in the queue having to wait to try their luck on the next go once the right hand turner has scuttled across on amber as the lights change.

Anyway, the lane is now being mended so hurrah for that.  The pot holes along the edges were getting to the tyre menacing stage, and the non-residents using it as a short-cut do have an unnerving tendency of charging along it at forty, as if they did not expect anybody else to be using it, and to show no signs of slowing down or pulling over when they meet me coming the other way. Friends who live along other lanes tell me that this is a general phenomenon of modern rural life, not confined to our lane.  Why I am supposed to climb half way up the verge in my poor old Skoda while they motor past at speed in their BMWs I do not know.  It can't be purely classist based on make of car because they do the same to a friend who drives a rather slinky black Jaguar.  I sometimes wish we still had the Landrover or the truck, then I could just stop in the middle of the road and wait to see if they could stop too.

Meanwhile, Storm Angus and its aftermath has caused the Orwell Bridge to be closed for twelve hours, bringing the whole of Ipswich to gridlock.  It made the Radio 2 traffic bulletin as well as the East Anglian Daily Times.  The trouble is that the Orwell crossing is the lowest bridging point on the river Orwell.  It carries the traffic not just for Woodbridge, Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and all points north up the coast but for Felixstowe docks as well.  Felixstowe is the UK's busiest container port and while the train takes some of the strain, quite a lot still goes by road.  Direct all that road traffic through the centre of Ipswich and the result is predictable chaos.  I can't see any solution, short of building a new dual carriageway north of Ipswich to link the A14 and A12.  Which is not going to happen.  In the meantime the Orwell Bridge looms more than 40 metres high over the river and is closed in high winds, at which point the east coast is cut off.

The postman did not come, what with the Lane Closed signs, and nor did any deliveries.  The SA is waiting for a new chainsaw blade and I am expecting a pink dress.  A middle aged lady one, corduroy, with pockets.

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