Sunday, June 07, 2015

M25 Here We Come

South of Thickthorn – the Finale

Well, despite all the years of frustrated queuing, the millions of pounds of wasted money, the disillusionment of the masses and the crazy delays down the final stretch, the Thetford to Five Ways dualling on the A11 finally opened.

Whoopee do dah!

I tested it. From Thickthorn to the M25 in an hour and a half, and I don't drive very fast. Gone is the feeling of absolute dread as you approach Elveden (now a pleasant diversion from the new carriageway with quaint shops and eateries); gone is the steam from the bonnet of your over-heating vehicle, gone is the possibility of dying of thirst before you get to Five Ways roundabout.


All, of course, is not entirely rosy in the garden. I was thinking that the roundabouts at either end might get clogged up with folks tearing down the road to get queue to go around and around purposefully. So, far this has not happened. But, I'm not entirely sure it's all plain sailing. Time will tell.

Then there is the money. And, I mean a colossal amount of it. Will it be worth it? Will Keith Skipper have a heart attack at the thought of the hordes descending on rural Norfolk? Time will tell.

Let's enjoy it while we can and get ready for the fiasco that is the NDR. It's coming to a village near you, so keep an eye out for it!

For those not in the know, the NDR (Northern Distributor Road) is Norwich's answer to the M25 – well not quite. The M25 is circular. It scribes a complete circle around the capital. The NDR will not do the same for Norwich.

We already have the Southern Bypass which takes traffic from Postwick to Easton. The plan is to build the NDR going north from Postwick via Plumstead, Rackheath, Hellesdon and join the Drayton Road. This is, then, a 2/3 NDR M25-look-a-like for there will be no joining up at Easton.

Reason? Can't cross the Wensum valley – a site of special scientific interest.

Cars will pile north to Drayton and then somehow rat-run themselves back to the A47 at Easton.

Friday, June 05, 2015

2015 General Election

Scrotland scuppers Labour attempted surge

I've been waiting for the dust to settle on the General Election before making any judgements.

Since the poll all we have heard from the pollsters is how the electorate got it wrong, or were lying, or forgot how do a ballot paper.

Despite all the rhetoric, the truth is far more pragmatic. The English voters, faced with the prospect of hordes of ginger-headed Scottish scroats surging over the border, decided to stick with the devil they knew and not risk the Ed Miilband led Labour/Scottish Nationalist coalition. As usual the voters probably got it just about right.

The Tories gave it full blast in the last few days and it worked. Nobody thought that bringing the Scots into government even in a supply and confidence arrangement would be palatable in Milton Keynes. It just seemed too woolly and far too risky. The voters agreed.

So, what have we to look forward to in the next five years.

Well the Scots did rampage into the Commons upsetting the Speaker and, heaven forbid, Denis Skinner in the process. Short of being a pain in the bum that's about all the good they will do in their tenure at Westminster. Cameron will not give them anything: he has much larger fish to fry in Brussels. We can discount their efforts until the Conservative majority is whittled away – a prospect that might not be too distant.

David Cameron will focus on Europe until the referendum in 2017. Everything else will be business as usual.

The Labour party will do a lot of soul-searching and faffing about, but unless they try to seal the Emperor's clothes will find regaining power difficult. The have five years to counter the nationalists in Scotland or they have no chance of unseating Dave.

Whatever happens, it will be interesting.