Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Traffic Cones - A500

Now for those who know me, know I am usually an easy going, placid type of person that does not get angry easily.

Well, maybe I try to be that person but it doesn't happen often.

One thing that really annoys me, is when those nice people who maintain our roadways & verges insist on putting out mile upon mile of traffic cones. Closing one lane, forcing traffic to crawl along the road as two lanes merge into one & then disappear into thin air.

If I can see these lovely people working away as I am out & about, merely enjoying a bit of retail therapy, I'm as happy as Larry (whoever the hell Larry is?) but when all that I see are 100's, nay 1000's of these red & white cones & nobody working it annoys me greatly.

This was the case today, I set off to peruse around Freeport, when I came upon signs on the A500 - 'Roadworks Ahead', oh bum! I thought (yes, really they were my thoughts). Fine, two lanes of traffic then began to merge, some politely, some bullying there way through but hey ho, its all part of having our roads maintained.

The cones began at the MFI island, going towards Junction 16 of the M6 (you with me so far?), well traffic wasn't moving too badly, 35 miles an hour, quite pleased with that rate of movement but was there a workman in sight? NO! NO! NO! This went on until I reached my turn off, so I must have travelled for 100's of miles (hey, I'm a woman, I don't judge distance - not unless it's in my favour - even then, don't you dare argue with me over it!!), well lo & behold, a workman or should I several of them, actually working I may add,not slinking off for a crafty cuppa in the cabs of their vans. Where were they? On the slip road of the Talke turn off. Marvellous I thought, all that crawling along, merging of two lanes & there they are on a slip road. They had fancy flashing lights with arrows directing drivers into one lane, yea, as if I hadn't managed to guess that one.

Now, do they really need miles & miles of traffic cones out, causing drivers to slow down? Can they not just work a section at a time, have a rolling road block, it can be done. Well obviously not.

To finish my post, after an hour of retail therapy, I began to head back home, well, not a traffic cone in sight on the side I had travelled on less than an hour before, I began to think i'd been dreaming but no, eventually I came across the chaps collecting the cones, wow, had they moved themsleves, the cones or lack of were way back to the Wolstanton turn off by now!!!!

Couldn't they just have collected as each section of work was completed? This would save miles of traffic only having access to one lane.

Now don't get me wrong, I'm all for safety measures being in place but miles & miles of cones, surely does not need to be placed out or left out for the work to be completed in safety.

Now, come on own up, who gets annoyed by this same scenario over & over again?
Who would love to drive down the row of cones, knocking them over like skittles? (Now i'm not condoning this behaviour, its dangerous or am I suggesting you should try it but go on admit it, in your head it would be fun).

So go on vent your anger on what upsets you on the roads - but remember, there are 3 lady drivers blogging on this site, so be nice to us.


brooneyes said...

I've got a question for you.
How is it if I do 35 mph in a 30,
I will get a fine and be hassled by the traffic nazis, yet I don't get a rebate every time I'm stuck at temporary traffic lights! And I have to say that more and more of my time is being spent stuck at bloody roadworks!
It used to take me 25 minutes to drive from Chell Heath to Blurton,
it now takes nearly that long to get to Hanley!

dangermouse said...

i probably should'nt tell you this but someone actually put a traffic cone in my garden, no honest, it was when we had a lot of anti social behaviour in meir hay ( still do) i decided to keep it because it became a usefull tool, my dog use to pee up the bloody thing all the time, great for dogs they no just where to go!

nita said...

Who is this, I am usually an easy going placid person, ha ha!! Do I know her??

I agree, this does amaze me too. Why do they put rows and rows of cones out, making the traffic crawl along at 5 mph, if you are lucky, but there is no work going on at all. When I say this, I mean, no work vehicles, nor workmen, just cones and road. This happens a lot on the motorway, and before I get stick from Helen and Alison, no I've never actually driven on one, Im just observing as a passenger, ha ha.

The most annoying thing for me, when I'm out and about on the roads, is people who do not indicate, and the lunatics that decide to go round the roundabouts at 50 mph.

Alison said...

Are you all now telling me that I am supposed to avoid hitting these traffic cones? Ha ha, only joking. Woman driver jokes and all that.

I am going to say something now - quite shocking - I AGREE WITH CRAIG!

I am fed up of bloody roadworks everywhere, and as Helen says, the cones appear long before any workmen (if any workmen ever appear).

Is it only in Stoke on Trent that this happens? I have to say that, when I venture outside the city, if there are traffic cones, there are usually workmen as well, as a general rule of thumb.

But again, perhaps I am being too harsh on my own lovely city!

gemini31 said...

It's me Nita, your NUTTY mate!!

It is truly infuriating to be held up for no apparent reason.

Those lunatic drivers you refer to,no indicators & who think they only have an accelerator pedal forget about the brakes are a nusciance. Think we personally know a couple of those don't we????

Motorways - those electronic signs which give incorrect information are also a pain in the backside.

Helen said...

Just thought i'd leave my last comment under my other id, just to confuse you!!

nita said...

Alison, you said when you venture outside the City? Does this mean going beyond the A500? Would this mean me joining the M6 motorway? Forget that, I'll stick to Hanley and back.

Alison said...

Nita, you are mental - the M6 - you're having a laugh now. Takes me all my time getting up and down the A50 - ha ha.

I have got to go to Cheshire on Friday (bloody work), not looking forward to the A500 at all, judging by this cones issue Helen has highlighted.

Mind you, it will be about 7.45am when I am travelling on it - chances of seeing any workmen at that hour are zilch!

Helen, I knew it was you all along. Don't fool me with fake ID.

The Witches of Eastwick (or should the be Meir Hay?), that's us 3!

I wonder if Craig has any ideas how I can drive down the A500 and knit at the same time?

brooneyes said...

Alison, it might be a shock for you, but I knew you'd come round.
As for knitting and driving on the A500, most bloody days you could knock up a cardy, you spend so long held up!
I've just come back from a meeting, and coming through Tunstall, the bloody roundabout is coned off and I had to go all the way round past Port Vale! I'd like to meet the council officer who keeps signing off on all this work.

Alison said...

I thought you'd been a bit quite on the site tonight Craig, obviously because you were at a meeting. You need one of those Blackberry things, so you can keep in touch with us even when not at your PC.

Alison said...

Just realised I can't spell/type tonight. Quite - should have been QUIET! Same letters, different meaning.

Sir Findo Gask said...

Most of the problem with cones blocking lanes off and nobody working on them is down to the fact that everything needs to be broken down in to different contracts now a days.. The company that are contracted to clean the drains are not contracted or allowed to put cones out. Putting traffic cones out is 'very' specialised..

When something needs doing on the A500 or A50 it will involve the highways agency and Staffordshire County Council. Yes I know we are in sunny Stoke but that's how it is. So they will arrange for their highly skilled cone layers to cone off the work area, allowing for the 5 or 10 miles each side of the grid that needs clearing to be coned off as well because the nanny state says that is how it should be done...

The cone contractor will schedule the cone laying in around traffic flows so that he is not working in heavy traffic, (loads of paperwork to do if you manage to get one of your employees killed!) this maybe some several hours before the guy comes to clear the blocked drain and then several hours after before they remove the cones. If there are road works father up the road then depending on distance they will be merged together as this is allegedly safer and one long line of congestion is better on the KPI reports than two short ones!

I could go on but It is far to warm to be wearing my anorack

nita said...

Sir Findo, thanks for the info, now we know.

We will be more patient next time.

St George said...

its faster using the newly opened Tunstall Northern Bypass, a really good road.

brooneyes said...

Yeah, St George, and it was only
£6 million or so over budget!

Helen said...


You must have more patience than me, I did know why but it just beggars belief that it cannot be done in a more efficient manner to reduce inconvenience to motorists, especially those who need to attack that retail therapy with a gusto!!

I will still be fuming, crawling along besides row upon row of cones. I could be doing better things with my time, cooking & cleaning for example.

Mind you, come to think of it, those cones seem more appealing by the minute!!

Anonymous said...

£6million over - ask Ian Norris about that....