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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Taking the rough with the smooth

SOMEWHERE on the road between Arnside and Milnthorpe are several of my fillings, plus bits of my car which rattled off. I’m thinking of charging SLDC for repairs.

EM Peter Grenville column
Peter Grenville

Unfortunately, it looks like they haven’t got any money for that kind of thing, or maybe they’re made of sterner stuff.

The early signs of spring are appearing. Snowdrops are out, daffodils are poking their heads warily through the soil, and lambs are frolicking in the fields, blissfully unaware that they might wind up wrongly labelled as something else altogether in a UK supermarket lasagne any time soon.

There’s another regular spring event too – crumbling roads. I’d started to figure out where they were during my journey to work, but swerving round so many of them causes motion sickness, and the likelihood of being stopped by the police for drink-driving. Not to mention the fact that it’s probably adding miles to my journey.

A nonsensical event seems to occur with a similar frequency to that of horses popping up in unexpected places too –random resurfacing. Several instances appeared towards the end of last year, the rationale seemingly being “This whole road looks like the surface of the moon – let’s randomly pick a short stretch and resurface it”.

Whilst it’s clear to anyone who actually drives that the whole road will only be passable in a tractor within a few weeks, the council resurface a brief stretch, then seem surprised when the rest of it collapses shortly afterwards. Driving some of our local roads is like sitting on a particularly unbalanced washing machine. There’s an occasional quiet, still, moment, then all hell breaks loose again.

The other method currently employed is to send someone out to stick asphalt in a hole, tread on it a bit, then go away again. The surface around the new bit then disintegrates, leaving a rock-hard molehill that tests your suspension and nerves.

On the edge of my village, a length of these repairs were done, leading to a washboard effect so violent, I’m frightened we might create some kind of rip in the fabric of space and time, and wind up back in the Dark Ages.

Mind you, apart from scurvy, civil wars and lack of internet connection, they probably had smoother roads.

I’m guessing it’s a money thing. Whilst we get charged the earth for the tax on our petrol, and the tax disc on our cars, very little of this makes it back to the road surfaces we shake, rattle, and roll our way along. Either that, or we need fresh blood in the department that works out which roads to resurface.

Here’s my suggestion: If its starting to break up, it will almost certainly get worse, not better.

Perhaps you could do something about that, before I need a climbing rope to get out of the next big pothole. Alternatively, put a ‘Big Dipper’ sign on it and charge a quid a go. You could then spend that on fixing it.

Have your say

Fair cop - you're quite right: CCC not SLDC. It's probably the violent rattling of my brain due to dodgy road surfaces that has caused the confusion.

Posted by Peter Grenville on 24 February 2013 at 21:50

Er, you do know its Cumbria County Council that have responsibility for highways and nothing to do with SLDC?

Doesn't excuse that state of them of course, but for once SLDC is (surprisingly) not to blame here!

Maybe you should ask the Arnside County Councillor what he's doing about it? Oh yeah, its another of Tims team making sure our money is not spent on the issues that really matter, like our highways.

Posted by Tom Harvey on 23 February 2013 at 16:56

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