Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Any one got £130 million to spare.

Today appears to be the day. Will we get a bypass or will we have to sort out the road between Torquay and the Penn Inn roundabout ourselves. It's 5 miles from the outskirts of Torquay through Kingskerswell to Penn Inn. From Penn Inn it is possible to drive to Glasgow and beyond on either dual carriageway or motorway, only the first 10 miles of that is non motorway driving. It's just the first or last 5 miles that causes the problem. Now lets look at that 5 miles from my experience. If I leave Torquay at 9 am on a Sunday morning I can, in a coach, be at Collumpton Services in 45 mins (33 miles). But I don't always leave at 9 am on a Sunday morning, sometimes it's 3pm on a Thursday afternoon. The longest it has ever taken me at this time is 1 hour 10mins. The extra 25 mins was spent getting through Kingskerswell. I have known it worse coming back into Torquay, sometimes an extra half hour.

Now an other journey I made last Friday. Torquay to Hatfield, Google maps said it would take 4hours 5 minutes and as I wanted to be there by 10 am at the latest I left at 5, plenty of time. Actually I got there at 9:13 but I did take a wrong turn (old-fashioned satnav, not worth the paper it was written on) and had to drive 3 miles in the wrong direction before reaching a roundabout and heading back. Getting there at that time meant I could sit down and have a cooked breakfast which was nice. At 5pm I decided it was time to leave the family gathering and head for home. With a brief stop at Bristol for fuel I got home at 10:58. Not bad. No, hang on, that's two minutes less 6 hours. What the hell had I been doing to take 2 hours longer. I tell you what I had been doing, I had been driving on the M25 at evening rush hour. Nose to tail 5 miles an hour top speed between long periods of complete inactivity. On and on like that for miles and miles, road works to the right of me , road works to the left of me, on into the road to hell I drove. Even when I reached the M4 to situation hardly altered until I was passing Reading. Hundreds of thousands, millions maybe, all trying to get home from work, many of them from London where they do proper jobs, not like us down here in Devon who try and sell ice cream and boat rides at inflated prices to luckless visitors who only want a cheap holiday.

So if Big Brother is going to spend money on road improvements will it be for us few thousand down here in remotest LibDem voting Devon or those millions of Tory voters in Middle England?

We will see, but I wouldn't hold your breath for too long if I were you.

The photo is Kingskerswell on a bad day.



HKguy said...

I've often wondered. where the hell did all the traffic go before the M25 was built? No doubt they will be planning a new even bigger wider motorway around London to aleviate the jams on the M25.
Meanwhile in the real world gazillions of minutes must be lost each day around the UK sitting in jams.

Prodigal Green said...

Well the scheme's been pulled.

Cabbie J said...

Get rid of that junction by The Sloop? The few people per hour who join/leave there should be forced to use junctions further down.
(How much can bagging traffic lights and putting up temporary barriers to try it for a month cost?)

A lot of people have pointed this out and I am surprised the council haven't done this as a quick, cheap, temporary fix.

In other words, I don't think its a good idea to spend 130 million when we could try much cheaper solutions in the mean time.

David said...

I did suggest the idea of making the side roads at the Sloop give way but left turn only some years ago. Apparently Devon County Council believe there is nothing wrong with the traffic lights at the Sloop and refuse to even consider trying any experiments with this junction. Maybe now it is time to give it a try.