A Weel Kent Face

I don’t know if there’s some sort of financial deadline looming, or a competition coming up, but we now have THREE separate teams of pothole fixers operating on the roads around us at the moment. There are the ones on our road (who have cunningly switched to white spray paint for marking the next batch of potholes – do you think they read the blog?), one on the road by the school and a third, rather more junior, team operating on the road into Papershop Village (their steamroller* driver has L plates. I am not making this up. Clearly it’s all hands to the pump when it comes to pothole repairs these days). This last team don’t mess around with things like spray paint, cones or road signs – clearly reasoning that two sodding great lorries with orange flashing lights was warning enough to anyone that road repairs were in progress, they park one lorry on each side of the pothole in question and set to work, having effectively blocked the entire road which is basically a lorry’s width at that point.

Well, blocked except for bikes – I was able to hop off and squeeze by on the verge whereupon one of the men stopped me and asked where I’d been cycling from. I told him and the other guy grinned and said ‘I thought I recognised you.’ It turns out he is one of the dreaded quarry lorry drivers and has got used to seeing me up by Nearest Village on his trips up and down to the quarry. They seemed impressed at the distance I was willing to cycle for a paper (‘you should have told me – I could drop off your paper on my way past’) and we parted on good terms.

It’s a little awkward, really, as we’re currently trying to get the quarry lorries banned from our road – or at least get them not to bomb up and down it when the kids are on their way to school. I still think that having a steady flow of lorries down a road that’s about the width of a lorry is not a brilliant idea – but at least I now know that one of them can not only see cyclists, but can actually recognise them, which makes me feel a little safer…

*Probably not an actual steamroller, but what else do you call those things with a big roller on the front if they aren’t driven by steam?

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5 Responses to A Weel Kent Face

  1. commuterjohn says:

    Road rollers these days. Steam rollers disappeared not that long after traction engines.

  2. Road rollers are a separate category on a driving licence. I drove my father’s steam roller (8 ton Aveling & Porter, sadly now sold to someone else) with L-plates because of this, but unlike my father I never took my Road Roller driving test. Main difference to car test is that you don’t need to do a three-point turn as rollers may be driven long distances in reverse. You do need to do an emergency stop, but that isn’t that exciting from a maximum speed of around 4mph.

  3. disgruntled says:

    This lad did seem to be having trouble as he was driving on the right hand side of the road instead of the left…

  4. ‘Our’ pothole fixing gang are pretty nifty, they have been known to respond to a report of a hole in under 4 hours!
    Derbyshire County Council seem to be keeping on top of the tarmac, we were over in Huddersfield a few weeks ago and the roads were awful, worst I’ve seen in the UK, we came home with renewed admiration for our roads.

  5. disgruntled says:

    Blimey, that’s impressive!

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