The Trouble with Traffic Planning…

…is that it’s an oxymoron, much like the old joke about “Military Intelligence”.

Transport for London, in its infinite wisdom, has decided to fix a problem that it thinks might exist (see the quote below) in the Rotherhithe Tunnel by adding more solid bollards to restrict the width of the approaches to the tunnel down to 6′ 6″, i.e. tighter than a gnat’s chuff.

What this means is that on the approaches to the tunnel, both northbound and southbound, traffic – understandably – slows to a snail’s pace at best to negotiate the width restrictions and this leads to long, long queues of traffic and not just at peak times.

The justification?

“The narrowing of the width restrictions on both northbound and southbound approaches to the tunnel will significantly reduce the risk of vehicle collisions, spillage of flammable materials, and fires in the tunnel.”

So a complete lack of a quantitative analysis or justification. Are they saying that narrower vehicles don’t crash or spill flammable materials or catch fire? Evidence?


And what is to become of the vehicles that cannot enter the Rotherhithe Tunnel? Well they are required to use either Tower Bridge or the Blackwall Tunnel, both of which are well-known for traffic queues, so they’re just creating more travel problems or adding to the severity of existing ones.

Utter fuckwittery!

Still, I suppose they need to justify their fake jobs by coming up with these ludicrous schemes…

I’ve written to TfL to ask them about this issue, copied to my MP, so we’ll see what, if anything, they have to say.

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Woman Scorned

…but as always that fury bites both parties. Or so it would appear from today’s news that the Energy Secretary, Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce will both be charged with perverting the course of justice over claims that she took speeding points on his behalf in 2003.

The whole thing blew up when, following an interview she gave, allegations were made that someone had agreed to take his points for him. This was after the pair had become estranged following his affair.

Maybe saying and doing things out of revenge isn’t such a good idea after all.

Serves them both right!

Humberside Police – Speed Enforcement Breaching Guidelines?

Last night I was travelling through Waltham when I drove past one of Blunderside’s finest trying to catch speeding motorists.

It was dark, around 9.00pm, and in contravention of ACPO guidelines, the officer was not wearing his high visibility jacket and his marked car was concealed from the main road.

Looks like he was down on his quota…

I probably wasn’t speeding and in any event there was another, similar-sized vehicle I was following (see those guidelines again), so I’ll be very surprised if a ticket comes my way.

If You’ve Done Nothing Wrong…

One of the most trite sayings that sheeple come out with from time to time when human rights issues come up is “if you’ve done nothing wrong, then you’ve nothing to fear”.

I always counter that with “define ‘wrong’ now and in the future”. What may be acceptable now might not be acceptable in the future.

Taking speeding and speed limits. Now I regularly speed but I believe I am a safer driver when ‘pressing on’ given that my attention is fully on the road ahead, traffic, etc. The other trite line trotted out by the Government is that “speed kills”. If that truly was the case, there would be no Traffic Division police officers alive, would there? It’s the inappropriate use of speed that’s the issue, but that’s more difficult to police without human intervention.

The Nanny State has announced that it intends to reduce speed limits where there is a higher risk of accidents but that’s bollocks as usual: speed limits will simply be reduced for no good reason as a revenue generator.

A case in point: the section of road between Wymondham and Thickthorn Services on the old A11 in Norfolk (now the B1172) used to have a 40mph limit in Wymondham, then a national limit, then a 50mph limit through Hethersett before becoming a national limit again.

Over time, the 50mph limit has been extended towards Wymondham despite there being no additional housing or changes in use, etc.

I noticed recently that the limits have now been changed to a 40mph limit in Wymondham, then a 50mph limit then a 40mph limit through Hethersett. Why’s this?

Similarly other rural roads in Norfolk have had 50mph limits imposed despite no changes of use or apparent increases in crashes.


Shakedown Run

So after a bit of a nightmare journey to get to Birmingham, I did the deal and Wilf was wheeled out of Roger’s workshop. At which point it began raining…

We’d fixed the TomTom Rider’s RAM mount to the clutch lever bolt and I plugged in the address in Grimsby and off I went. A couple of coffees later and I set the TomTom to my home address. One annoying thing was that when riding, I was not allowed to change my destination to a previously stored one, no doubt due to some idiotic ’safety’ feature. No doubt they’d want me to pull onto the hard shoulder to do this … where a number of accidents happen!

Anyway, on arrival home, I checked the trip statistics and discovered that my moving average speed for the 380 mile journey had been xxmph. Oops! Best not put the number.

OK, my back ached a little but having spent five hours in the saddle, it had turned out to be a remarkably good high speed tourer. Maybe I need to rethink my choice of bike for the RBLR1000, a 1,000 mile ride in 24 hours I’m doing for charity.