Wednesday, 21 November 2012

How much higher will the wall have to go?

RECENT harbourside flooding in Weymouth has refuelled debate on global warming and how the resort is going to cope with it.

Stacks of money has already been spent raising the height of existing harbour walls yet motorists were still faced with waves breaking into the multi-storey car park and along Custom House Quay.

What intrigues me is just how far the fortress mentality will have to go before it guarantees that areas most at risk from flooding are made permanently safe. The short answer to that would seem to be – never!

Experts were at some pains to point out that existing defences only failed because of an unusual combination of high tides getting backed up by winds from the wrong direction, but to me that smacks of the famous railway comment about delays caused by “leaves on the line”.

If other experts are right - and there do seem to be a lot of “experts” about – then it is possible that global warming could cause sea level rises of more than a metre this century, perhaps within the next 50 years.

So imagine traffic in 2062 turning off the King Street roundabout (yes, roundabouts will be back by then) and motoring down Commercial Road.

No one will be able to enjoy harbour views because by then the harbour wall will need to be four feet higher than it is now just to keep pace with rising tides, higher still if the Environment Agency wants to guard against any more “unusual combinations” of wind and tide.

But at least global warming will be good for some people because the council offices should have its own beach by then!

Discontent among the dog walkers?

SMALL dog owners have a bone to pick with the owners of larger animals who they claim are flouting park restrictions requiring dogs to be kept on a lead.

The park off Radipole Park Drive in Weymouth is heavily used by dog owners but not everyone is obeying the restriction and the first half a dozen large dogs I saw use the gardens were all off their leads.

This is apparently leading to conflict with the larger dogs roaming at will and often investigating smaller dogs they may come across to the annoyance of other owners who feel the larger animals should be under closer control to avoid trouble or even attacks.

The site, tucked away by Radipole Lake, is hardly one of the more prominent ones in town and this, perhaps, is causing some owners to think it doesn’t matter if they let their dog off the lead.

Judging by the reaction of small dog owners who talked to me, they are not flavour of the month but it will take breaches being reported to the council before anything can be flagged up for action.

A merry Christmas to you too . . .

PENSIONERS are standing up for themselves in the rush for Christmas.

No longer are senior citizens prepared to wait politely and quietly in Post Office queues. Instead there are mutterings of revolt.

One pensioner was at the back of a queue which only had about eight people in it, all waiting to be served at one of five customer points.

About five minutes later the same eight people – myself included – were still waiting to be served and we’d been joined in the queue by half a dozen other customers.

Still nothing happened as all five service points attempted to deal with their business, a growing delay which clearly irked the pensioner.

They said: “Blimey! I should have brought my lunch, perhaps tea as well!”

Still nothing happened, prompting the pensioner to angrily say: “Looks like I should have brought my bed too!”

Eventually whatever the bottleneck was cleared itself and we got served but, with barely a month to go now until Christmas, it shows that attitudes are hardening... as we enter the season of goodwill to all men!

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