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?