Thursday, 3 September 2009

Scunnered/Dear Lothian and Borders Police

Dear Lothian and Borders Police,

Its been raining heavily - no, lashing down - today and I should have been sensible and stayed in and not, as I did, chose to go the 8 miles to Dunbar to post some letters and get some food for dinner tonight.

As usual I took the local back road to join with the A1 on the straight near Torness power station and on joining I noticed that there was no traffic. Well it was raining heavily. There was a lot of water on the road but nothing that coudn't be dealt with by my very ordinary car as long as I took care. I was surprised to come up against a road block though, closing off the whole of the road. This was even more surprising as I came up behind the roadblock. It certainly seemed to surprise the nice police officer who got out, grudgingly, from his lovely dry van to come over and ask me what I thought I was doing.
Once I had explained that I hadn't forced my way through the road block 3 miles back but had come all this way without once passing a sign to tell me the road was closed or, as your officer inferred, that only imbeciles would drive through that road under current conditions, I was allowed on my careful way. I noticed that cars who were reaching the roadblock from the other direction were very few and these were being diverted off the main A1 onto the country road leading to Innerwick. A couple of miles further on there was another block again stopping cars coming the other way and diverting them also to the Innerwick road.
At Sunny Dunny - not very sunny today of course - I couldn't get down the road I wanted as it was closed off and had to carry on to the big roundabout on the Spott Rd junction. Of course, as per one of my earlier posts - see my rather nice wee blog Crivens,Jings and Help Ma Blog - this was jammed solid by traffic coming in the other direction blocking off the Dunbar junction at the further road block which you kindly provided at that location too. Still after a short wait of 15 minutes or so I was able to squeeze past and get into Dunbar, not as far as the Post Office mind you, thanks to yet another road closed sign on an otherwise perfectly clear looking road. So my shopping done I joined the queue back to the roundabout and again after about 15 minutes managed to get close enough to attract the attention of another constable.

Again when I advised that I came from a village in the direction of the closed road and indicated that I had actually just came down the road a few minutes before, allowing for waiting time of course, I was greeted by some lack of belief and incredulity even. I assured the constable that no I wasn't a nutter and that actually the road beyond the Torness blockade was actually very passable with just a little care. I even offered that maybe it could be opened again in my opinion. Certainly it would be worth checking out at least.
After a moment the cones barring the road were moved and I was allowed past. I noticed however that they were replaced once more after I passed. I drove on, 40mph max, and noticed that the mid point road block was no longer there. Things are looking up I thought. Another couple of miles on I came up against the initial road block again albeit from the right direction this time. I stopped in front of the cones and again the nice constable left his dry and no doubt warm van and came over to me once more. I asked if I could get past the cones as my cutoff back to the village was about half a mile further on and that as he knew I had just come down that very road shortly before.

'Not a chance' was the reply 'that road is closed. You can take this side road up to Oldhamstocks and on from there.'

I explained that I knew that road very well and there would be at least two or more places where it would be much much more difficult to get past than if I was just allowed to carry on for the half mile to the junction.

'Not a chance'

And so, within 500 yards I was maneuvering though water at least twice the depth of the main road and then on to an uphill section where there was a virtual river running down towards me. And of course there were the two bridges where there is normally water pooling even on a mildly wet day to get past too. The first was actually better than I thought but the second was every bit as bad as I feared and the water came well up over the sills of the car. I almost stalled it there, but managed to stutter out the other side with a huge sigh of relief.

All in all that journey took me 20 minutes where the straightforward option would have taken 5. The route I was forced to take was much more difficult and potentially dangerous than the main road, especially as there was actually more traffic on it than normal due to the police policy of keeping the main road closed.
Thanks for that L+B's finest.
While I'm all for public safety an' all, twas just a tad of overkill. I'm not a risk taker where safety, especially my own, is concerned and the main road would have been the safer option by far.

I have also found out that the lovely G may be stranded in Edinburgh as trains and buses have stopped running in this part of the world.

Like when we have more than half an inch of snow, it seems like a few cms of rain can bring the modern world to a complete halt. {But not in places like central Europe, America and Canada where its all part of normal daily life.}

Or do we just over react in Britain.............

Either way I'm completely scunnered.

Listening to 'Singing in the rain'..... Naw, just joking.

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