Anorak News | Road Sense

Road Sense

by | 3rd, September 2004

‘POLITICIANS spend a lot of time and waste a lot of energy debating issues that don’t really affect anyone’s lives.

‘Nah! Still can’t find the diamonds. Let’s try the Strand again’

Fox-hunting is a case in point. Yes, it’s probably cruel, but on the other hand the fox population has to be controlled and this is how it has traditionally been done.

There are decent arguments on both sides – as there are in the HP v Daddies debate.

As soon as politicians realise they’re not going to create a Utopia (which, anyway, would be another person’s idea of hell on earth) and get on with doing things that actually improve people’s day-to-day lives, the better.

For instance, the Times reports today that at last utility and telecoms companies wishing to dig up our roads will soon have to apply for a permit to do so.

On a global scale, this may be of negligible importance, but it will make a huge difference to motorists frustrated at yet another seemingly inexplicable lane closure.

For instance, the paper reports that the Strand, one of London’s busiest thoroughfares, was dug up a mind-boggling 157 times last year – and that does not include the frequent roadworks done without informing the local council.

Most recently was for a gas leak, which was detected last week and repaired on Tuesday – but the road is still dug up because Transco’s contractor CLC failed to turn up to resurface the road.

In future, companies will be fined up to a pretty paltry £2,500 a day for such lapses. Poor resurfacing work will attract fines of up to £5,000.

Some of the worst offenders are telecoms companies who up to now have refused to lay their cables in the same trench.

“They claim that they want to keep their routes commercially confident,” says Peter Brown, of Transport for London, “but telecom companies manage to work together in New York.”

And, as the song (almost) says, if they can do it there, then they can do it anywhere…’

Posted: 3rd, September 2004 | In: Broadsheets Comment | TrackBack | Permalink