When you get into your car on a bitter cold “summer” morning to set off on whatever pointless journey you have planned, you will undoubtedly have allowed extra time for traffic. If you don’t do this, you risk running late for everything for, as you will be well aware, traffic is a royal pain in the rectum.
However, a lot of the time we forget to allow for something that drives everyone completely insane, and generally ruins the lives and sanity of all the poor, unsuspecting saps who have to deal with it, including myself. I’m talking, of course, about roadworks.
The best way to describe a set of roadworks would be as a collection of pointless holes dug by incompetent morons who are looking for any excuse to justify their ridiculously inflated budget. Half the time the part of the road they claim to be “working on” (a very loose term – “destroying for absolutely no conceivable purpose” would be more accurate) was completely intact and perfectly functioning before they arrived and started “fixing” it. Not like they’re ever present whenever I’m there, let alone working.
Think about it. When was the last time you drove past a set of roadworks and saw some actual, genuine, real-life work happening? I can recall one occasion; it was dark, I was on my way home from work, and I drove past some active roadworks. From a distance, I heard what sounded like a hammer clinking away at a nail or something of the sort. When I got close enough to see what was happening, I saw a dopey looking man smacking a digger with a spanner. What a brilliant way to squander the tax-payer’s money. To be honest, I don’t really think that would qualify as actual, genuine, real-life work, but it’s the closest thing I’ve seen.
A friend recalls seeing three workers digging up the tarmac once. This would be excellent, if it weren’t for two things. Firstly, there was a lovely, very expensive looking digger on the scene. More interestingly, the brilliant workers were sweating away countless hours shovelling tarmac into the scoop on the digger. Why? What purpose would this possibly serve? If the digger was functional then why weren’t they using it? And even if it wasn’t, why put the tarmac in it’s scoop? What did they intend to do with it later?
Apart from these two examples, you will almost always find that no-one is ever present at these sites, leading me to believe that their only function is to obstruct and irritate the average commuter with random holes dug in random places, which are then fitted with the horrors that are temporary traffic lights.
As much as I despise roadworks as a whole (and I hate them more than any amount of colourful language could ever even hope to describe), they are at least vaguely tolerable when they don’t have these pathetic, sad excuses for traffic control systems on them. Half the time they don’t even work, and when they do they don’t function properly. And they usually take far longer than is necessary to change – you don’t need a 20 second interval for a 30 yard stretch of road. And sometimes, every once in a while, they simply can’t work properly because some full-on ponce trying to impress his gormless mates has stolen one of the traffic lights. Genius.
Their toxic influence causes untold havoc wherever they go. The whole reason I started to rant about it was because today, while on a bus, we hit some roadworks in the middle of a maze of one way streets and narrow passageways. The roadworks in question diverted traffic the wrong way down these one way systems, which meant any unsuspecting driver trying to navigate the already confusing network of roads might find himself hurtling in the general direction of a fast moving juggernaut down a narrow street, all because the diversion route wasn’t clearly marked out. No prizes to whoever works out what the outcome of that meeting would be.
And so, day in, day out, innocent commuters the world over who want nothing more than to quickly pop to the local newsagents for a sneaky browse of the gentleman’s magazines have to put up with this constant crap caused by over-paid, under-worked morons. And for what? No noticeable improvement to anything, except that sense of relief that one feels after the road-workers have got bored and decided to impose their miserable existence on people elsewhere. Be sure to allow time for this to happen before every journey – about three hours should suffice in most cases.