Monday, November 17, 2003

Road improvements

I'm getting rather hacked off with Halifax Visa - they used to send my statements out to arrive at the beginning of the month, so I had a couple of weeks to get around to paying. Recently they've started sending them out later (dated the 3rd, arriving on the 11th) with a due date of the 22nd, less the week or so to allow for archaic sloth in the banking clerance system.

This month, the statement didn't arrive until Saturday lunchtime the 15th, so needed paying the same day to allow the recommended delay. Fortunately, it was a nice day, so I took the opportunity to get on my bike and cycle into town to my bank to pay it in.

This being the first time for a few weeks that I'd been on my bike, the first thing I noticed was exactly how quickly one gets out of the habit - a month ago, it would have been just as natural as walking round the corner. This time it felt a bit like work.

Also in the interim, two things had happened along the route. First, the National Hedgelaying Championships had been held next to the cyclepath, so now rather than having a hedge made of wrist-thick trees a couple of man-heights tall, there is chest-high plaited hedge all around a junction where a 'B' road joins the 'A' road that the cyclepath follows, with the left turn being a nigh-on 120 degree angle. Having the visibility on what was a blind corner is great.

Further on, the cyclepath goes by the side of the road over the M11, and where it goes up to the bridge on either side, the soil has been subject to subsidence. The path was just about cyclable for about a handsbreadth from the kerb where it joined the bridge, there otherwise being a serious step; and on the town-ward side, the path is starting to slide down the slope to the left. In the same intervening period, a line of blocks has been placed narrowing the road, so that cyclists could use the meter-strip at the edge of the road instead of the cyclepath. I had fondly assumed that as a couple of weeks had elapsed, the repair work would be well advanced. But no. All that's been done is to put in a dropped kerb at each side of the bridge and a diversion sign. So much for a transport policy to encourage the cyclist.

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