This is what happens when a slip road is closed and a lorry driver thinks the grass is a viable alternative!
On Tuesday morning a man who could have been nothing other than a ‘road mender’ knocked on our door and asked me if I’d like to remove my car from the forecourt of my house. The reason? They were about to resurface a 25 metre or so stretch of the slip road that services my house and while they did that I would not have vehicular access. I was a little surprised by this as there had been no letter from the council and no yellow signs up giving people the usual 7 days warning not to park there. A call to Epsom and Ewell council established that Surrey County Council were responsible for the road’s upkeep and a short conversation with the latter got me an apology for ‘lack of communication’ and an assurance that the work would be done swiftly.
Some hours later a man who was clearly in charge of the crew tasked to do the resurfacing also knocked on my door. He too apologised for the lack of notification and thanked me for my understanding. I asked how long it would be before full vehicular access would be returned to my house and he promised I would have it back by yesterday (Wednesday) evening. Even if the new tarmac hadn’t been laid, he assured me, all the old surface would have been removed and I would be able to drive in and out of my house.
The picture at the top of this entry is how the relevant section of the slip road looked today (Thursday) at about 8.20am some 48 hours after they started. My most generous estimate is that 15% of the surface has been dug up and had new base material laid. Judging by how much has been achieved in 2 days I seriously believe it will be sometime late next week before the small stretch they marked out will be fully resurfaced. The slip road itself is about 300 metres long so it may well be mid-summer before the whole job’s completed at this rate!
Councils are, we’re told, short of funds. Is it any wonder if they are spending their (or should I say ‘our’?) money on work that takes this long?
As I finish this entry (9.15am) there is still nobody on site.
For those who don’t know, after thrashing England 5-0 in the Ashes the Australians have just beaten the South Africans by 281 runs in the first test at Centurion.