The hopeless Highways Agency

Driving back from a hockey match yesterday I found myself diverted all round the houses because a major motorway had been shut, causing widespread chaos. It turned out that the incident was serious but not enough to bring an entire road network to a halt for hours.
It set me thinking. Why is it that accidents these days require roads to be shut for hours whereas in the past, and on the continent, the authorities clean up and get things going as quickly as possible, only shutting roads as a last resort.
A cursory skim through the web shows that it’s down to the Highways Agency and their slavish obsession with Health & Safety, the bane of our society. Many people may not have noticed the police no longer sort such things; that’s because the HA wombles get lookalike cars, florescent jackets and inbuilt arrogance.

The best summary of these idiots came from Jeremy Clarkson in The Times.

It’s easy to see what’s happening. The traffic officers will have been told time and again that their safety is the number one priority. And that if they are dealing with the aftermath of a bump, they should do everything in their power to ensure they are not knocked down. In some cases, this means they won’t jump into a lake to save a drowning boy. On the motorway, it means they won’t get out of their cars unless the road is shut.

Just listen to the traffic reports. Every day a major motorway is closed while some fat bloke with facial hair and a Napoleon complex picks up a lightly grazed door mirror from the central reservation.

In the past, a motorway was only ever shut because it was blocked by a truly massive pile-up. Now, though, I can’t remember the last journey I made in which I wasn’t wiggling through villages and suburbia to avoid closures. Closures that are only necessary for the safety of the traffic officers.

Here’s an idea, then. Tell the motorway Wombles to stay in bed. This way they will remain safe and we can go back to the old days of having a bump and dealing with it ourselves without bringing the nation to its knees.

And so say all of us …


Filed under Health & Safety, Nanny, Transport

5 responses to “The hopeless Highways Agency

  1. Muffin

    These people are wombles. It’s not even as if they are any damned good at their jobs. They are failed traffic wardens

  2. When Mr clarksons car is upside down in lane 3 of a busy motorway and the wombles refuse to stop the traffic when they realise it’s him, I just hope I’m there to see him crawl out into lane 2 under a passing truck

  3. Fender

    Orinoco is probably from one of the companies who won’t dare set foot near a motorway unless it is shut for an hour first. Nobody is saying don’t stop traffic for emergencies, just keep things flowing when you can. But it seems that is beyond you.

  4. Orinoco

    Fender your as daft as Clarkson – the basic requirement of a womble is to get traffic flowing asap and are assessed continually on their ability to do that, when you’ve stood in a motorway looking at numerous lanes of traffic driven by the various standards of driver that frequent our roads perhaps you’ll have a better understanding of the situation – do yourself a favour and educate yourself to their task rather than believing the inane ramblings of a biased ignorant journalist. Believe me when you do have a problem on a motorway that puts you or your nearest and dearest in danger you’ll be more than happy to see the wombles roll by. Ask the people that have had first hand knowledge in traumatic circumstances I think you’ll find they have a different view.

  5. Great Uncle Bulgaria

    It’s pretty obvious that Orinoco is a womble-ette groupie, I can not see what was wrong with the previous safety system that the police used, it only needed improving slightly, why increase congestion and anguish on the ever increasing British roads. It must have cost us “the tax payer” a mointain of money to set up this Highways Agency project when we could have quite easily contracted this out to the RAC or AA who already have a huge knowledgeable workforce who know the accident black spots and have experience within the automotive indutry. The RAC and AA already work closely with the police and I am sure they would have ironed out lots of the complaints the Police are receiving about these “Wombles”. I’m not saying don’t improve a system but wake up and smell the coffee people, there can be a compromise, fine tuning is what was needed not a total re-build!!!

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