As before there look to be the usual mix of bloggers, media types, technology fans and so on going along, and of course wi-fi available. Plus with it being a Saturday night, there won’t be as much need for me to rush off to get home to bed at a reasonable time. Beth has even decided to come along too, which may make Sarah happier at more female company, although I don’t think Beth counts as a Geek. Anyway, if it is half as good as the last dinner, it is well worth the effort of heading up to London, and comes highly recommended, sign up now over on the wiki.
Thanks to the big new barrier across the road from last week, trying to get around and through the A327 roadworks was really a non-starter this morning. Quite aside from making the turn without getting hit by someone coming the other way, as the blockade forces you up onto the pavement without any sort of ramp, it’s not going to be overly nice on the tyres and suspension!
However, if you’re down that way, maybe having dinner at the Tally Ho next to the bridge, take a look at the latest attempts to discourage people from driving through, as it is really quite entertaining. Basically, Hampshire County Council have set up a slalom course to test out your driving skill, complete with barriers half blocking the road, and cones.
It’s worth saying that even with the slalom, it would probably still be faster to drive through Eversley than go through the water roadworks in Finchampstead, especially with the roadworks on the A321 pushing traffic through Finchampstead too.
To be honest though, I’d rather Hampshire County Council was spending their time getting a major road reopened as quickly as possible, rather than wasting time on comedy like this!
Heading down towards my favourite set of roadworks, the A327 closure in Eversley, when I got to the point where the Road Closed sign usually sits, I found that the sign and the barriers had been cleared to one side, as they had been last weekend. The five cars in front of me all went through, so I followed. The road was in much the same state as it was last weekend, with a new smooth surface, but no lines, and with cones and obvious signs of ongoing work on the footpaths on each side, but no workmen, and no work vehicles. There was also traffic coming the other way, including a lorry. The only hazard in the road was a cone over a manhole cover, aside from that there were two clear car widths through the whole of Eversley, aside from going round the road closed barriers. When we reached the other end it transpired that it wasn’t actually open, as the two sets of barriers on the other side were in place, so I assume that some frustrated motorist had cleared the barriers out of the way.
Anyway, coming back tonight, rather than the long back route I took last night to avoid both these roadworks, and the water works in Finchampstead, I headed straight for Eversley. Again, the barriers were across the road, but two clear car widths through the entire roadworks, with just cones along the footpaths. Again, I wasn’t the only person going through, however the traffic was quiet enough that I could pull over and take a picture. I could have stopped anywhere through the works and taken a similar shot.
Bear in mind looking at this picture that these roadworks were advertised as being 24 hours a day – which they evidently aren’t (and couldn’t be because of all the residents along the road). They are also causing daily chaos around the area, with residents in Finchampstead being particularly hard hit by queuing traffic in some places, and rat running drivers in others, the problem being especially bad at rush hour. However at these times, nobody is working on the works here, indeed the road surface itself was finished more than a week ago. To be honest I’m left wondering quite what Hampshire County Council are playing at. This week part of the M25 was resurfaced and reopened in under 24 hours after a lorry exploded and damaged the surface, and yet they are closing this, and other major roads around the area for six weeks at a time… Surely it is possible to open the road outside the times that the workers are actually at work, such as evenings and weekends, and at least give the people in Finchampstead a break? Or maybe as all the chaos is in Finchampstead, in Wokingham district, they really couldn’t care two hoots?
Incidentally, when I reached the spot tonight where the barriers had been moved this morning, the old barriers had been replaced with some much more substantial blocks, in an attempt to stop a repeat performance I guess.