Thursday, 4 September 2014

Survey is great but what will actually be done?

WELL, well, well! So the final stage of an official evaluation of Weymouth’s controversial new transport system is to be carried out this autumn, is it?

That alone shows how hopelessly out of touch with the situation those in authority are since the new system was actually brought in as part of hosting the Olympic Games which was a summer event!

That chaos is unlikely to be mirrored in the autumn when the bulk of tourists and almost all those down here during the school holidays have long since gone home.

But you have to admire this master stroke while hopefully maintaining a healthy dollop of scepticism about what will actually be done to the system once the survey by independent experts is completed and they make their recommendations on possible solutions.

Top of that long list will be – if they have the sense God gave an ant – the scrapping of dual entry and exit lanes to the new traffic light junctions which even police are worried about because of concerns it has created “a racetrack mentality” among drivers determined to get to the far side of the junction before fellow motorists.

Don’t forget. All this massive motoring muddle has already cost £9.3million and that’s before work is carried out on trying to improve it.

Among immensely annoying scenarios this stupid intelligent transport system has provoked is one at the bottom of Abbotsbury Road where lights now control the entrance to Swannery Bridge and the flow of traffic from Weymouth Way and Westwey Road.

Serious problems are caused by drivers exiting Westwey Road determined to force their way on to Swannery Bridge because they rush to beat the lights changing to red and end up stranded out in no-man’s-land.

That means drivers trying to leave Abbotsbury Road and drive over to the bridge have nowhere to go, sometimes taking five or more light changes to get across when they should manage it in one.

Frustration breeds frustration and in the past week I’ve seen drivers do U-turns on the junction and U-turns from the exit lane round the lights and back up the entry lane while one poor soul ended up parked on the junction because he couldn’t go backwards, forwards or sideways!

We are told that the independent auditors evaluating the system will take into account “all road users, not just motorists” to ensure that the transport plan is “fit for purpose”.

Perhaps it might have been a good idea to do all this before the original system was foisted on us two long suffering years ago!

And I’m not holding my breath that they’ll get it right now.

Now that’s alot of sand!

ANYONE who has had building work done on their home or walked by somewhere having an extension put up will be familiar with piles of sand on display needed for mortar.

But what do you do when you have more sand than you know what to do with and nothing to use it for?

That is the dilemma which faces Weymouth’s multi-storey car park every week.

So much sand is blown into the building, driven in on the wheels of motorists or is traipsed in on the feet of people that staff  have to use a special vacumn-like machine to stay on top of it all every week.

To put their task in perspective, each week they vacumn up seven hundredweight of sand or nearly 360 kilograms of the stuff.

That equates to about 18 tons of sand every year which is almost enough to start your own beach. 

Now that’s a lot of sand!

Lasting impressions

JUST come back from Weymouth Railway Station where a group of four men were slumped on the forecourt steps drinking cans of beer.

There were a few more “emergency rations” in plastic bags by their side and the cares of the day were clearly well on their way to being out of focus.

Just a couple of things to point out.

The first is that all four of them were getting plastered within ten feet of a large sign saying that drinking alcohol in this area was prohibited… and the second was that it was barely 8am!

Their position on the main steps away from the vehicle drop-off point meant anyone popping in for tickets or information had to literally clamber their way through this sozzled human chicane which itself begs two questions.

Why weren’t these drunks being moved on by railway staff and, if such action was not deemed to be their job, why didn’t they call police in to move them on?

Police views on such people cannot be misunderstood because officers have just publicly declared the success of a two-week clampdown on drinking in public and anti-social behaviour.

The final nail in the coffin of action came from the looks on the faces of two holidaying families catching an early train home. 

I wonder what they’ll be talking about as their last impression of Weymouth!

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