Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The cones of Hereford.

I was travelling through Hereford yesterday morning when the traffic came to a halt in front of me. The traffic crawled and stopped, crawled and stopped for 35 minutes and having travelled less than 3 miles I discovered the cause of this traffic jam. 2 seperate Ambulances had severe difficulty getting through the traffic jam and I hope this increased delay did not result in a fatality. Where the A465 meets the A49 there is a junction controlled by traffic lights. 2 lanes of traffic move forward when the lights change to green but yesterday there was only 1 lane open to forward traffic. The right hand lane was coned off by landscape gardeners who were working on the island at the centre of this very busy junction. These workers were working on the soil of the island and had nothing to do with the road surface or kerb stones. Why had these workers closed off half of this busy junction?

I support the use of good health and safety practices in the workplace but in my view these workers were simply being awkward in closing half of this junction. 2 live lanes of traffic would not affect their safety whilst working on the soil in the centre of this island. When I cut the grass infront of my home I do not cone off the road as a precaution. When people walk along the pavement along a road where there are 4 lanes of traffic the nearside lanes are not closed as a precaution. Did these workmen get out of bed on their own or did the nurse have to take down the guard rails first?

This unnecessary and avoidable delay had many additional costs put onto businesses and users of public transport had greatly increased total journey times due the knock on effect of this traffic jam.

There is a trial going on at the moment regarding the failed terrorist attacks in London on the 21st July. Why should terrorists go to the bother of making bombs out of flour and hair bleach to make a protest? All they need to do to bring a city to a halt is to put some cones in a busy traffic junction and the city will very quickly grind to a halt.
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