The day started as normal for a Saturday at 10:35 from Torbay Rd to Cockington, there and back no problem. I did notice that there was some activity on Paignton Green. Several large tents and a few vans plus some children riding around on bikes but nothing else. Left Paignton for my 11:15 trip, still no problems, nothing warning me of the chaos to follow. Back in Paignton with time to spare for a quick cup of coffee before setting off at 11:55 for my last trip before my lunch break. Usual way, up Torbay Rd, round Great Western Rd past the bus station, along Dartmouth Rd and left into Sands Rd and over the level crossing. Down to the bottom of Sands Rd and left into Esplanade Rd.
Road Ahead Closed was what the notice said. What I said is not printed here as small children and other people of a nervous disposition might be reading this. At the junction with Torbay Rd there was and other sign saying Diversion Turn Left. As I had an elderly lady who wanted the Palace Hotel I went past this sign. At the Palace Hotel the road was indeed closed but I dropped my passenger off and turned the bus round in the road. A event marshal even moved a few cones to assist me but was quite unfriendly when I asked him where all the advanced warning signs were that are usual when a main road is closed. Usually there are signs put up a week before so drivers don't just turn up and find bloody great barriers across the road. He did say it wasn't his problem and would I mind going away. I did manage to find out how long the road would be closed for but that wasn't much help. So back up Torbay Rd along with everyone who had come from Brixham direction and turned right at the big tree. No signs there either. Took 25 minutes to get back to where I had started from. On to Cockington; Paignton Town centre was a mess traffic wise. People trying to get out of side roads causing chaos. Eventually I got past Preston, Manor Rd coming up was full of cars because drivers had gone down Seaway Rd to drive along the seafront only to discover at the bottom of Manor Rd there had to turn right up Manor Rd. Why no sign, Torbay Council, at Seaway Rd saying Seafront closed use town centre?
In the end I made it back to Cockington at 14:15 having missed a complete trip. People had been waiting a long time for me in Cockington and it didn't make me feel any better that it wasn't my fault. As the road was going to open at 3pm I decided to wait in Cockington until 14:46, the normal leaving time. This would mean I would get back to Esplanade Rd at 3pm just as the road opened again. After that It was plain sailing again and the last two trips of the day went according to the timetable which is the way I like things to go.
What I would like to know but probably never will is why there were no advance warning notices put up in the week before telling everyone the road would be closing. Pier Rd in Paignton which is only used by people parking on the prom had a notice up for a week saying it would be closed on two Wednesday afternoons so why didn't one of the busiest roads in Paignton get the same treatment? And why no notices in Seaway Lane and at The Big Tree to save people the time and trouble driving down to Esplanade |Rd only to find it closed.
Rating for Torbay Council on the running of this event; Extremely poor. Must do much better.
PS. One of my regular passengers took the photo.