Monday, 8 May 2006

Roadwork and the diversion

On Sunday the council had planned some roadworks on the Dartmouth Road. This meant that all the traffic has to go over the Ring Road. The ring road is mostly one lane and has a major problem. The major problem is Tweenaway Cross. Much of the traffic that had been diverted needed to turn right there. The right turn traffic is controlled by the lights and on a Sunday there is not normally much traffic turning right so not much time is allowed to turn right, usually 8 or 10 vehicles. By 11 O' Clock on Sunday there were a hundred vehicles waiting to turn right and the tail back was so long that they were blocking the traffic wanting to go straight on. Result, 1 hr and 5 mins to travel what usually take 20 mins. Now it isn't as if this situation is new. This diversion was in place in January when 5 weeks of road works had been carried out and the same thing had happened each Sunday. So with this in mind you would expect any forward planning, imaginative council would have done some thing with the timing of the lights. Well a forward planning, imaginative council probably would have but Torbay Council seem to take great pride in not being accused of being a forward planning imaginative council, or maybe they just weren't planning to drive from Brixham to Paignton on Sunday.

A bit further down the down the road an elderly couple boarded the bus. She went and sat down while he dealt with the servant, sorry bus driver. He held up two of the new Devon Wide Over Sixties Passes. Free travel but you have to tell the servant, sorry bus driver where you are going. Which he did in the sort of loud voice one uses on the servants, sorry bus driver. He mentioned some obscure road which I had never heard of. I told him that I had never heard of this road but before I could ask for a clue as to its where abouts he he turned and told the rest of the bus that I didn't know where I was going. I decided that it might be a good idea if I got my
"A to Z" out and looked the road up while he continued to complain to the rest of the passengers that it was impossible to get the staff these days. He then informed me that all the other drivers knew where it was. Journalists hate the person who first said, " No Comment." I hate the first passenger who said "All the other drivers." Anyway I should have known better but I told him once again that I didn't. He informed me it was on the main road. But not which main road. Finally he lowered himself to tell me it was near the medical centre. But not which medical centre. "All the other drivers know the medical centre." This could have gone on all day and although I was enjoying myself I had to remind myself that the bus was running 50 mins late. So even though it is against the rules I issued the two tickets to Torquay. He then asked me, "Where are my tickets?" I pointed at the tickets sticking out of the machine and resisted the desire to ask why all the other drivers hadn't shown him where the ticket come out of the machine. He looked at me blankly for ten seconds and then instead of just pulling the tickets out of the machine as any experienced traveler would he used both hands and tore the tickets out of the machine.

He got off in Torquay so I had issued the correct ticket. I hope he enjoyed his first bus trip.

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