Thursday, 29 March 2012

Now there’s a hold-up on every journey

FRUSTRATED motorists have heaped scorn on Weymouth’s roadworks and remain to be convinced that the new intelligent traffic light system is as good as it’s cracked up to be.

Several drivers have contacted me to complain about the synchronisation of different sets of lights which they feel leave drivers grinding from one holdup to the next.

Now traffic lights are not my favourite creatures and I far preferred the old roundabout system but, in the spirit of balanced journalism, I kept a note of what happened to me during a few weeks of jobs or visits where I had to drive into and out of the town centre.

The findings startled even cynical me and only served to confirm my belief that drivers may well have been flipped from the frying pan and into the fire.

What I discovered was that on a standard loop driving into town via Abbotsbury Road and returning home via Boot Hill and Chickerell I had to negotiate about ten traffic lights.

Assuming I was lucky enough to have half in my favour – and I wasn’t – then the half against me would delay my progress by anything up to five minutes per trip.

At the rate of about a dozen trips per week – some days none, other days up to four – that equates to just over an hour a week allowing for other work and pleasure journeys over the weekend.

This means that over a year I lose more than two entire days doing nothing but wait for a set of traffic lights to turn from red to green! Life’s too short to even bear thinking too deeply about such waste.

I, like many others, feel that the delays of summer were compensated for by the fact that roundabouts were much easier and far quicker to negotiate at quieter times of the year. 

With traffic lights you get delayed on every single journey you make all year round... and we’re told we’re lucky to have them as an Olympic legacy?!

. . . and it’s not just traffic lights causing delays!

WE seem to be getting early evidence of the start of the silly season.

When people develop a walking problem or become elderly and need a little help with their balance they often use a walking frame.

But such devices are inevitably wider than the person using them and they can cause problems on a pavement for other pedestrians.

One kind pensioner seemed to realise this and, not wishing to annoy other shoppers, followed what perhaps at the time seemed like an ideal course to solve the problem. He took to the road!

This allowed shoppers to go unobstructed on their merry way but created havoc behind him as he slowly went up Westwey Road in Weymouth.

By the time he decided to turn down Great George Street there was gridlock on the road behind him, but motorists were very tolerant, didn’t blow their horns and one or two even raised a disbelieving smile at what had happened.

I’m sure that, on the brink of an Olympic tourist season, there will be more many more unusual incidents placed before us.

It’s the thought that counts!

IT was a touching Mothering Sunday gesture, a bunch of flowers worthy of any son’s love for his mother.

The trouble was Mum didn’t seem too pleased to get them and even hastily put the small bouquet into her shopping bag with much furtive looking around.

Now you might think that they were in a supermarket and the little boy had just taken the bunch from the flowers section, but not a bit of it.

He had carefully picked each one himself because they weren’t matched and some had long stalks and some had short stalks.

The reason for his mother’s dismay was that the family happened to be in a garden centre and they were surrounded by tens of thousands of blooms which had caught the boy’s eye and triggered a response to a day he clearly knew was a special one for his mother.

Bet she doesn’t forget it in a hurry!

YOU can tell that spring is blooming because a veritable bouquet of shovel-carrying people are out in force.

This has nothing to do with keen gardeners giving their plot a turn over ahead of planting and everything to do with great steaming piles of manure.

Now we are getting some decent weather it has brought out the horse riders, and where you get horses you get horse manure which is traditionally associated with feeding roses.

Sadly, despite the furtive efforts of rose lovers to scrape up equine offerings, there are still great dollops of the stuff lying around for drivers to negotiate.

One pile in Southill had received a direct hit from a passing car and lovingly transferred itself to vehicles parked nearby, hardly the rose-smelling air freshener owners might have been thinking of.

Let’s hope a few more gardeners snap up such discards because poop scoops for horses must still be at the drawing board stage.


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