Network Rail – not our job guv!

Having tried and failed to get Network Rail to actually do something with the sub-standard Stepping Stones Bridge they dumped on Spalding last year, it now seems that the one solitary light that serves the bridge is the responsibility of the Lincolnshire County Council Highways Dept, even though the lamp-post itself is inside the Network Rail fence.  Likewise, even though the bridge’s top walk way floods and freezes in the cold weather, or just simply floods in the rain, this is again the county council’s problem not Network Rails!

So, as well as all the potholes around the district, county highways will have to add Stepping Stones Bridge Spalding to their list of things that need sorting even though their budget keeps getting smaller.  Meanwhile, Network Rail can smugly continue to do things we don’t want them to do and then pass the buck when it starts to cause a problem!

Meanwhile, Bill Bryson the Anglophile American, who now resides in England and leads the Campaign To Protect Rural England (CPRE), has come up with a bright idea on how to kick organisations such as Network Rail, when they ignore their duty to keep their house in order.  Something called a Litter Abatement Order appears to be a good tool for the job according to Bill and although it’s all a bit tedious to do, the simple threat of doing it can have the desired effect.

http://www.cpre.org.uk/campaigns/stop-the-drop/litter-and-fly-tipping/litter-campaign-update

I will be taking this to the next meeting of the Spalding town Forum to see what they think about threatening to use these on some of our more uncooperative companies.

Spalding, Wygate Park road works

Residents who are putting up with a fair amount of disruption at the moment, may be interested to know that this is all to do with getting the road ready for adoption by the county council highways department. 

I had cause to go and have a look at what was going on Weds night, following an email from a resident who had suffered a nasty shock, when his car received a severe jolt as he drove across an unmarked drop in the road surface.  The one he was referring to was particularly bad, because it was a trench some 50mm deep by 40 or 50cm across.  This was just about the right dimensions for your wheels to drop into and then jump out of it in quick succession – definitely something to make your teeth rattle!

As there were no signs warning drivers of this particular ‘trench’ in the road, I took it upon myself to seek out an unused (surprisingly given the state of the road) ‘Uneven Road Surface’ sign and placed it at the corner of Claudette Ave.  I was later told via email that I should not of done this as I wasn’t properly trained!!  However, I must have done something right, as it was still there 3 days later.

The email also told me the signs that were being used, were the authorised ones and were used throughout the country.  I agree, signs saying ‘Ramp’ are used on road works all over the country.  However, Wygate Park is the only road I know that has ramps at every junction along its length.  Is it any wonder then, that drivers who are familiar with the road might not think that these particular ‘Ramp’ signs referred to completely different ramps – or in this case drops – in the road surface and therefore received a very nasty shock when they hit them.

Having done my bit for road safety, I returned home and tried to contact the local police, to see if they could out some slow down signs overnight.  I eventually had to phone the non-emergency number for Lincolnshire Police, which of course took me to a remote control room and an operator who didn’t have a clue where Spalding was let alone Wygate Park. Having spoken to the duty inspector, I was politely told that, because the road was unadopted, they weren’t interested in responding to any road safety issues!  I then asked them if they had an emergency contact telephone number for the highway authority, no we don’t came back the reply.

Having failed to get help there, I decide to look at the LCC website.  This very helpfully told me that, if I had any out of hours highways emergencies, I should contact the police in the first instance!  Round and around we go!

Incidentally, thank you to a particular Wygate Park resident, who turned in to Wintergold Ave at about 8pm on Weds night.  Upon seeing me watch his car to see how the uneven road surface affected it, he decided to stop his car, wind down his window, ask me if I wanted a picture and then gave me a foul-mouthed tirade about finding something better to do with myself, than watch him driving (speeding) past me.  When told, ‘I am just doing my job sir’, he shout back, getting a different f*****g job!’.  Guilty concsience me thinks.  I don’t suppose I’ll be getting his vote in May then!