Disaster has struck my home town.  Not an earthquake or a fire.  Not even a flood, though we’ve had our fair share of these.  No, something completely different.

They’ve installed a one way system!

The whole town has been thrown into chaos and confusion.  Streets you could drive down both ways are restricted to one way traffic.  Shops don’t seem to be in the same place anymore.  Journey times have increased by at least three minutes. 

Women and children remain indoors to avoid getting caught up in the melee.

But don’t worry, it’s only due to last for ten weeks.  Normality will then be resumed.

What’s the cause of all of this fuss?

They’re digging up the main street to improve some utility.  Gas, water or electricity I don’t know.  I dare not venture too close to find out.

The question for me is, why are utility pipes always put under roads?  Whenever there is a problem, out come the temporary traffic lights, drills, shovels and a gang of illuminated operatives.

No matter how hard they try, they can never repair a road properly.  There will always be a small dip or lip and as soon as the first frosts come, the potholes will appear.

Now I understand that pipes are laid before roads at times and that locations change as new housing schemes and business parks are developed but there must be another way.

My suggestion is that all new roads are built with conduits on either side.  They will need to be secure but all utilities will be carried through them.  Every hundred metres or so here will be a link between either side if the road, built into its construction.

This is already done for drainage water.

OK, so this will cost more and take a bit of planning but the savings from digging, re-laying and disruption would soon recoup any additional expense.

Next time you find yourself stewing in the car because the road has been dug up, think conduits.  Oh and spare a thought for my home town.

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