My daily trip to work and back is going to be challenging for some time to come. Road works on the A1 past the Metro Centre and through the Team Valley are going to turn a tense commute into a fraught one. It’s a thirty four mile drive. What would normally take about an hour is going to last probably another thirty minutes, that is unless there is an accident and then who only knows.
But they haven’t started yet and the traffic has come to a standstill. They’ve laid out some cones. They’ve narrowed the lanes and they’ve moved the outside lane south bound so that it crosses the central reservation for a couple of kilometres. Other than that – nothing.
Yet the traffic has come to a standstill for two reasons. Firstly everyone is going that bit slower and the thousands of additional seconds is adding up to reduce the rate of traffic flow. Secondly, the junctions onto the road, within the road works, have become more difficult and as the traffic is slow anyway more people are giving way to drivers trying to join the Western Bypass.
It has become like a bath with the plug out. If the rate of water coming in is slower than that which can go down the plug hole then everything is fine. If the rate of water coming in is faster then carnage ensues. The rate of flow is too great for the road to handle and that is because the plug hole is too small.
I have a suggestion. Close the junctions that allow traffic to join within the road works. This would immediately increase the size of the plug hole and increase the flow rate. Yes it would inconvenience the local traffic but they know the roads and would be able to find alternative routes to the next junction where the traffic could merge without the added difficulties of a cone restricted junction.
Give me a wave if you’re stuck outside the Metro Centre. They’re only going on until 2016.