Interesting Bob image

2015-04-30

Why Do Roadworks In Ipswich Never Actually Involve The Roads?

Apart from in the Town Centre and the 'prestigious' area around the 'University Campus Suffolk' and the Waterfront, neither of which are quite as splendid as they try to sound, most of the smaller roads around Ipswich are in pretty poor condition. Have a look around any of the estates, and the road conditions there are more accurately described as 'bloody atrocious' at best, and at worst the description involves words that would probably get this site closed down on the grounds of obsenity.

Anyone visiting the town might be rather surprised to read that, because there are are always holdups in various places around the town, most of them caused by 'roadworks'. Anyone unfortunate enough to be living in the town, rather than merely visiting, would know precisely why, despite so many sets of roadworks, the roads are still full of potholes. It's because most of the so called roadworks only actually involve the roads because the lorries have to be parked on them, obstructing the flow of traffic, while the workmen who arrive in the lorries are busy repairing the pavements.

Whoever it is that 'plans' things in Ipswich seems to be obsessed with repairing kerbs and pavements, while completely ignoring the blatantly obvious and potentially dangerous potholes that plague the minor roads, and even some of the not so minor roads. On one minor, but extremely busy road on the outskirts of the town, someone, presumably the council, has taken steps to reduce the potential danger posed by a massive pothole all along one side of that road. Those steps consist of plonking traffic cones in the widest and deepest parts of the long 'trench' that marks the edge of the road. Well done, that's much better, and of course it's so much cheaper than having to actually repair it.

The money saved by not bothering to repair the roads is well spent on repairs and improvements to the pavements all over town. One road away from the long, traffic cone protected pothole, 'roadworks' have been in progress for several weeks now, and look set to continue for some time. The workmen are busy replacing kerbs that looked perfectly OK to my untrained eye, but were obviously a major hazard to motorists and pedestrians, who were blissfully unaware of the terrible peril lurking there.

Recently, all the kerbs and grass verges were repaired at one end of my road. Not my end of course, that end is just an estate road, where the common people live. At the end that was repaired, the gangs spent weeks removing and replacing the kerbs, and levelling and reseeding the grass verges that had been damaged by cars being parked on them. The new kerbs and grassed areas looked magnificent, then the workmen moved a few yards further along the road. Five minutes later the new kerbs and grassed areas were returned to their former churned up mud condition, while the whole procedure started again thirty yards away. The whole operation took weeks, and presumably cost thousands of pounds, which was obviously money well spent.

The most baffling job carried out in this orgy of non-road roadworks involved a quiet cul-de-sac, called Aberfoyle Close, which leads off an equally quiet road, used almost exclusively by the people who live there. Last year a gang of workmen spent almost a fortnight replacing, (yes, you're ahead of me already aren't you?) the pavements. In a bloody cul-de-sac, where everybody owns a bloody car, and probably doesn't even know what pavements are for, and certainly wouldn't bother to walk on them. There are only ten properties there, for goodness sake. Those pavements wouldn't wear out in a hundred years in those conditions, but they apparently needed replacing.

I wonder who lives in Aberfoyle Close, Ipswich that is so influencial that the local council wanted to keep them happy.