As the nation busies itself transferring the reserves of petrol into its car tanks and jerrycans which ought to kept the Fire Service’s very busy in the next few weeks there are other things to look forward to.
Here in our town we have a circulatory traffic system designed to enable traffic to move through. This is because there is far too much trying to get through because down the years relieving roads and bridge projects have been abandoned.
As it is the system easily clogs and traffic backs up for miles. Because of complaining residents most of the available alternatives and “rat runs” have been closed off over most of the district. In any case many of the country roads are narrow and unable to cope with large vehicles.
Now at a key point in the system the Gas lot are going to do a Big Dig. Let us hope they do not discover any real archaeology but as there has been traffic problems ever since Vespasian visited with the Legio II Augusta Legion back in 43 A.D. who knows?
This will not be for a few days, all the work involved is going to take months. It will paralyse the immediate community and spread serious problems for miles around. Anyone headed for the Channel Ports this summer better make a lot more time available for the journey.
It does not help that our town managers and others are claiming with ill suppressed glee that the jams and consequential disruption promises to set records. Is there, I wonder, a set of targets to be met and EU requirements to reward the biggest and worst blockages achievable?
Looking around the County there are many other places where it takes very little to cause chaos. In almost all of them there has been compromise traffic systems designed to make the best of a bad job. There is barely anywhere which has a well designed and built road system to cope with ordinary needs.
Much the same is true across the nation, bodge, bungle and blather have been the way we have dealt with our road planning and traffic management. If anything, a petrol supply fiasco may well come as a relief and help.
Then there is energy. It seems that the German companies who may have joined in with the development of new nuclear power plants have cried off. With all the closures, demand issues and existing difficulties of supply we could run out of energy at the same time we run out of road.
There is always the rail alternative. But the National Audit now tells us that the HS1 project has not delivered even with the vast subsidy it had. Perhaps all those people who suggested a radical network of improvements to existing lines might have been cheaper, better and more useful seem to have been right, at least financially.
So what is the government to do? It is to build an HS2 project far more expensive and resource consuming than the HS1 that will lock up much of the development and “growth” money. Could someone explain how you can have “growth” when you are making a thumping loss on capital projects as well as incurring vast debt?
Also, it looks as though if we want to drown our sorrows we need to be careful with the water we may have with it, if there is any to be had. Water shortages have been on the cards now for some time because of all the development without matching provision for water supplies. Perhaps there could be a bootleg market round here in imported water.
If you could get it through the traffic.