Second in a series on noticing stuff when you should be concentrating
Why, oh, why do they cone off a lane or a small section of a busy road when they're not working on it? I wouldn't be so frutrated about the delay of getting two lanes of heavy traffic into one (three if you count the bus lane, which, when there's a bus in it, I do) if there were a big hole in the ground or a bunch of navvies leaning on their shovels or sitting in a little tent having a brew-up. But when it's what appears to be regular, unblemished tarmac... I can imagine the conversation in the borough engineer's office:
'That's a nce stretch of road surface; let's make sure it doesn't become worn or spoiled by all those nasty cars, lorries, vans and buses.'
'But won't that mean some people are getting less road use from their Road Fund Licence fees?'
'Yeah, but hey, this bit of road will be nice for a wee while longer. That's good value!'
While you're there, can we talk about cycles and cyclists and cycle lanes? They now get special lanes set aside for their use, with garish red surfaces, often, with lots of additional white paint designating them for cycling only, using half the carriageway and causing additional wear to the bit that is left for the cars, lorries and vans. Yet they pay no road fund licence, despite all the extra cost to everyone else. And don't give me all that guff about green, because you will quickly find that the red tarmac and white paint aren't especially friendly to the enviroment, and the encouragement of people in lycra with those silly helmets hardly beautifies the surroundings. It can be having very little effect on the pollution issue, as the number of people who have the option to choose to cycle rather than drive can be limited. Mothers with children, anyone shopping, all commercial vehicles, folks intending to travel further than a couple of miles or up a hill or two will choose to drive, won't they? That just leaves the athletes, the loopy city-biking communters (who are exploiting the environment with electric-intense trains, mostly) and the tiny minority of green ex-drivers.
Let's get the cycles off the road, or let them pay for the huge benefits they receive at the hands of a mis-judged policy. And don't get me started on number plates for cycles, who ride with impunity on the pavement, past the No Cycling signs on the seafront, the wrong way on one-way streets and (worst crime of all) with no lights. And they don't have to fork out for insurance for the times when they have their accidents, which are bound to happen, they way some of them expect all cars to see them as they emerge from the gloom, dressed in dark clothes...