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Amersham Potholes


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#1 GJC

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 05:30 PM

I know that there was quite a lot of comment about this topic last year, but some stupidity happened this week which makes me wonder at the intelligence levels of people paid to organise such things. In summary, this week the Council filled in 2 new potholes that appeared during the recent snow but totally ignored a couple of dozen potholes adjacent to them that have been there for a couple of years.

There have been a growing number of potholes in Copperkins Lane outside Heatherton House School over a couple of years, reporting them to the Council meant that somebody came out to survey and mark them but no remedial action actually happened. These are quite serious potholes, and the worst of them was actually caused by a bad repair by the Council's Contractor 3 years ago leaving a deep dip in the road that fills with water exactly where all vehicles have to drive. This means that on a regular basis children and their parents get soaked with muddy water. This is of course in addition to the dangers to pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles that I do not need to elucidate on.

Eventually there were 2 local Councillors plus the Council Offices involved in correspondence about these potholes. As a result in March 2009 (so I am informed) an order was issued to the Council's Contractor to resurface a complete area of the road which would cover all the potholes then known about. The actual area covered by the order was 170 sq metres to give an idea of the extent of the problem. Presumably at that time if an order is issued the work has been allocated out of a specific budget so finding the money for it is no longer an excuse for the work not to be done.

Over a period of a couple of months I tried to find out when the works would be done and eventually it seemed that they were scheduling it for September so that it would be done during school holidays and cause the least disruption to traffic. This work was not carried out and I have had absolutely no success in finding out when/if the work had been rescheduled. I then saw a press report in January stating that Councillor Shakespeare had decided that 2 million would be released from the Council's reserves to deal with the growing pothole problem. I therefore emailed him to ask if he had any ability to sort out this long standing problem.

To my surprise later the same day some workmen came to Copperkins Lane to fill in some potholes. However, they only had instructions to fill in 2 potholes that had appeared during the recent snow, they had no instructions to fill in any of the other potholes that had been there for 2 years or more. Whether this visit had anything to do with my email or whether it was a coincidence I do not know, but what sort of mentality sends a workforce out to repair potholes a week old whilst ignoring similar (and in some cases worse) potholes that have been there for a couple of years?

These are serious potholes, not just a bit of broken road surface. There have been a number of instances where people have tripped on them, and traffic travelling West along Copperkins pulls over to the wrong side of the road (when cars are not parked there) to avoid them. The only plus point is that when there are cars travelling in both directions they have to slow down to under 20 mph which outside a school is not a bad thing.

Frankly I am at a loss as to what to do next. I know potholes are a nationwide problem, but if the Council cannot keep control of a Contractor who has a firm order to carry out work for which budget has been allocated there is not much hope for the rest of the potholes not yet on the radar.
GJC
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#2 Eaton

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 05:44 PM

As I understand it part of the problem may be because sometime late last year a new contractor put in a winning (ie. low) bid. Therefore it may be possible that the paperwork that pre-dates the new contractor has got lost!
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#3 GJC

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 06:02 PM

As I understand it part of the problem may be because sometime late last year a new contractor put in a winning (ie. low) bid. Therefore it may be possible that the paperwork that pre-dates the new contractor has got lost!


Ouch! That could explain it although I would have thought the amount of correspondence that has flown about quoting the specific reference number for this problem might have prompted somebody to look for it.

Thanks for the "heads up" though, I will ask them to get the Contractor to check it.
GJC
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#4 David P

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Posted 21 January 2010 - 07:36 PM

The only plus point is that when there are cars travelling in both directions they have to slow down to under 20 mph which outside a school is not a bad thing.


Cars cannot travel in both directions during HH school hours because there are always cars parked there that ensure one-way traffic. That's when the doors of the tractor are not wide open to let little Timmy out on the off-side, thereby stopping traffic in both directions.

I'm sorry, but you will get no sympathy for road problems there as long as staff and parents continue to cause inconvenience to all other road users (not to mention danger to themselves).
David P

#5 GJC

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 07:56 AM

Cars cannot travel in both directions during HH school hours because there are always cars parked there that ensure one-way traffic. That's when the doors of the tractor are not wide open to let little Timmy out on the off-side, thereby stopping traffic in both directions.

I'm sorry, but you will get no sympathy for road problems there as long as staff and parents continue to cause inconvenience to all other road users (not to mention danger to themselves).


You are correct about the actions of some parents about parking etc. Not sure if you came to the meeting at the school last year where we explained all the things we are doing to try to reduce this problem. Many local residents commented that they were not aware just how much work the school is putting in to trying to do something about this.

However, it is a school for girls up to the age of 11 and whatever issues one might have with adults it cannot be a reason for failing to support measures that impact on the safety of children.
GJC
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#6 Eaton

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 09:43 AM

However, it is a school for girls up to the age of 11 and whatever issues one might have with adults it cannot be a reason for failing to support measures that impact on the safety of children.

Why should I worry about the safety of schoolchildren when it is the actions of some of their parents who are putting them at risk?

You just have to try to drive along Bois Lane in Chesham Bois at school pick up time to see the disgraceful behaviour of so many parents. Blocking drives, parking on the zigzags, parking on private drives, double parking on the road and even (which is my personal favourite example) parking on the bridge. I accept that not all parents behave in such a way but perhaps the schools need to look into what further measures they can take to prevent such selfish and dangerous behaviour.

I used to live on the same road as a school and have since made sure that whenever we househunt we ensure that there is no school on a road that we live on.
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#7 GJC

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 10:56 AM

Why should I worry about the safety of schoolchildren when it is the actions of some of their parents who are putting them at risk?

You just have to try to drive along Bois Lane in Chesham Bois at school pick up time to see the disgraceful behaviour of so many parents. Blocking drives, parking on the zigzags, parking on private drives, double parking on the road and even (which is my personal favourite example) parking on the bridge. I accept that not all parents behave in such a way but perhaps the schools need to look into what further measures they can take to prevent such selfish and dangerous behaviour.

I used to live on the same road as a school and have since made sure that whenever we househunt we ensure that there is no school on a road that we live on.


I agree with what you say about the problems and I can only speak for our school about potential solutions. We look into all possible measures that we as a school can take. We even look for places where parents can park and finish journey on foot. The Boot & Slipper have been most helpful in agreeing that our parents can use their car park in the mornings, but not in the afternoons. We did ask a local organisation if we could use their car park for a similar scheme but were rejected even though their car park is not used at the time we requested use of it.

However to answer the first question you raise, if you were to see a mother stupidly get her 5 year old out of the road side of the car and let the child run around the road would you fell you were entitled to drive into that child because the mother had been stupid? Of course not. As a society we all have duites to look after the children, even those that are not being well cared for by their parents. I will pose the same question as I did on my thread about the speed limit in Chesham Road. Is it worth risking injury or death to a child by doing something that will save you a few minutes on a car journey?

New drivers are always told these days to remember the basic rule of road safety "Pedestrians Always Have Priority". This means always driving in such a way that you can stop your vehicle in time even if a pedestrian's actions are stupid.

Just to answer the final point you raise about buying a house in the same road as a school. Our own school will be celebrating it's 100th Anniversary very shortly. It follows that everybody that lives locally bought their property aware of both the advantages and disadvantages of having the school where it is.

I should say in closing that any comments I make on this site are personal and not those of the school which may or may not agree with my own views on these subjects.
GJC
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#8 mvjt

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 11:28 AM

I agree with what you say about the problems and I can only speak for our school about potential solutions. We look into all possible measures that we as a school can take. We even look for places where parents can park and finish journey on foot. The Boot & Slipper have been most helpful in agreeing that our parents can use their car park in the mornings, but not in the afternoons. We did ask a local organisation if we could use their car park for a similar scheme but were rejected even though their car park is not used at the time we requested use of it.


I'm not a parent with a child at Heatherton any more, but my son was in the nursery there a few years ago (when they still had boys) and I can confirm that the school does make great efforts to encourage the parents to park elsewhere. I remember being given a map outlining alternative parking places which were within close walking distance of the school, including Boot & Slipper, South Road and Devonshire Avenue.

You can't condemn the child for the selfishness of his or her parents and it is my experience that this behaviour goes on at all primary schools, not just Heatherton.

And, as a member and regular user of the tennis/squash club - those long standing potholes down Copperkins Lane are horrendous. I certainly drive with a view to avoiding them and I have seen other cars do it at speed.

#9 Eaton

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 05:11 PM

However to answer the first question you raise, if you were to see a mother stupidly get her 5 year old out of the road side of the car and let the child run around the road would you fell you were entitled to drive into that child because the mother had been stupid? Of course not. As a society we all have duites to look after the children, even those that are not being well cared for by their parents. I will pose the same question as I did on my thread about the speed limit in Chesham Road. Is it worth risking injury or death to a child by doing something that will save you a few minutes on a car journey?

I have seen many a parent (not just mothers) allowing their children to do just that and I've so far managed to refrain from hitting the child, although the temptation to take the door off that they leave open for however long suits their schedule is difficult to resist.

I do not feel that I have a duty to look after children, I don't have any and don't feel any obligation to look after children whose parents don't look after them. Hey maybe that's just me as I'm not maternal and in fact 99% of children bring me out in a nervous twitch! However, I abide by the law which means that I don't park on school zigzags or double yellow lines, not even for a second and that also means that I drive slowly and carefully around schools. To ask if it's worth risking injury or death to a child is a bit rich when in most cases it is the parents that are doing just that as they don't want to have to walk for a few minutes as it is going to impact on their time, so they park in inappropriate places. Personally I think there should be some form of naming and shaming of the worst, repeat offenders who endanger the lives of their children and their classmates by parking on the zigzags outside schools.

I also try to avoid driving on roads which have schools on them when the children are arriving or leaving, it's not always possible but I manage it most of the time.

New drivers are always told these days to remember the basic rule of road safety "Pedestrians Always Have Priority". This means always driving in such a way that you can stop your vehicle in time even if a pedestrian's actions are stupid.

I have done an advanced driver course and I was taught to drive as if everyone on the roads or pavements is a complete moron and it's worked for 22.5 years!

I should also point out that although I really don't like many children it didn't stop me from saving a 3 year old boys life in Ruislip High Street many years ago when he ran in front of a double decker bus. So I actually take offence at your supposition that my time is worth more than a childs life when you don't know me!
Mel and Co

#10 Rob

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 07:35 PM

Not potholes but...... could I add my gripe about 'inconsiderate parking' in Sycamore Road? I try to avoid driving there at all but today forgot and found myself doing the 'slalem run' i.e. in and out of parked cars on both sides of the road on double yellow lines. Some were trucks, and I know they have to load and unload and are not usually there for long but most were cars with (and this is very 'politically incorrect') blue badges.
Can anyone enlighten me as to the law - are blue badge holders allowed to park anywhere they like? I thought the whole reason for double yellow lines was to improve traffice flow &/or safety - seems to defeat the purpose if one type of driver can park there but not others. And I totally agree that there should be plenty of disabled parking spaces available so I am not ignoring the need for disabled drivers to park close to shops etc.

#11 Eaton

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 07:40 PM

My dad has a blue badge and as far as I'm aware they are allowed to park anywhere that is safe to do so, ie. not on junctions, as long as the badge is displayed.

I am always slightly amazed at the number of healthy looking people that jump out of their cars which display a blue badge and run into a shop...
Mel and Co

#12 struthie

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 10:12 PM

I made the mistake of driving through town yesterday to avoid those annoying temporary traffic lights on Woodside road,same thing the whole of Sycamore road had cars parked on both sides of the road on double yellow lines,total madness.

#13 hyposmurf

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 10:50 PM

I live near a school and know exactly what you mean Eaton.Children need a clear view of the road as they are smaller and arent road wise,so why on earth parents park on junctions completely blocking pedestrain/drivers I dont know,maybe just extreme laziness.I too drive slowly/carefully near schools but get wound up having to negotiate junctions blindly.

#14 David P

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 11:45 PM

We look into all possible measures that we as a school can take.


Really? What about these:
  • Write to the council supporting my proposal to put double yellow lines all the way along Copperkins Lane until after the bends.
  • Request zig-zags outside, as most schools seem to have
  • Find out who owns that scruffy woodland behind the school, buy it and build a proper car-park
  • Since many cars park there all day I assume they are staff, or at least parent helpers. Read the riot act.
  • You don't need to look for other places parents can park and walk in - there's another mile of Copperkins Lane just around the bend where the road is wider and the sight lines are good
and for the rest of us:
  • what about a campaign of blowing our horns as we go past whenever we get held up :P.

David P

#15 David P

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Posted 22 January 2010 - 11:52 PM

My dad has a blue badge and as far as I'm aware they are allowed to park anywhere that is safe to do so, ie. not on junctions, as long as the badge is displayed.

I am always slightly amazed at the number of healthy looking people that jump out of their cars which display a blue badge and run into a shop...


My wife has one. I think she is allowed to park just about anywhere where it is safe, is not causing an obstruction and there is no indication to the contrary. Having said that she very rarely does park anywhere other than in a proper disabled bay.

As for people who apparently use someone else's badge, I have been known to say, in a loud voice, "It's OK, he is probably mentally disabled".
David P

#16 Eaton

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 08:23 AM

As for people who apparently use someone else's badge, I have been known to say, in a loud voice, "It's OK, he is probably mentally disabled".

I don't say it but that's what I think! Has anyone else noticed the direct correlation between the people that have a badge without an apparent need for one and the size of their vehicles. I've noticed a woman in a Range Rover in Amersham who looks perfectly fit and certainly climbs in and out of her vehicle with extreme ease, whereas I have to carefully negotiate getting in and out of my neighbours! I am aware that she may have a perfectly legitimate requirement for a blue badge but I can't tell what it is...
Mel and Co

#17 Fran

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 09:16 AM

A few points about the posts above:

  • Whilst parents have ultimate responsibility for their children and I certainly don't condone some of the parking etc on Copperkins, I am shocked by the idea that one has no obligation to look after children whose parents don't look after them. Surely it's precisely because of their parents' cavalier attitude that they are vulnerable and hence amongst the ones we should be most caring of?
  • You can't always tell if someone is disabled by looking at them, not even by seeing them walk. They may have heart, lung or neurological conditions that mean they can walk a short distance, but very quickly tire and struggle.
  • I don't see the relevance of the size of a disabled person's car. Often a large car is higher, which can be easier to get in and out of.


#18 Eaton

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 10:06 AM

I'm sorry if I've shocked you but I do not have an obligation to look after other people's children, I am not their parent and I am not a social worker. However, if I saw a parent viciously beating their child or suspected another form of abuse I would contact the authorities without hesitation. I do not go out of my way to put a child in danger and that is the end of my obligation towards other people's children.

I am well aware that people do not have to look disabled to have a blue badge, you are obviously not aware that I have been entitled to have a blue badge for the last 17 years but have not done so.

A range rover is a very large car and the woman in question is smaller than my 5ft 5inches. Most disabled people that I know have smaller cars which are easier to maneouvre, get in and out of and are cheaper to run both on petrol and insurance which when you have a disability can be very expensive.

As I said I do not want to shock anyone but I do not have an obligation, moral or otherwise to raise other people's children, if I had wanted to raise a child I'd have adopted one.
Mel and Co

#19 mvjt

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 10:25 AM

Really? What about these:
[list[*]Request zig-zags outside, as most schools seem to have


I just drove past Heatherton ..... there are (or were!) zig zag lines on the school side, but the potholes in the road are so incredibly bad that they are barely visible any more!

#20 Rob

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 10:28 AM

Apparently there is a welll used black market for blue badges - perhaps if traffic wardens could check who was actually using the 'inconsiderately parked' vehicle. I don't know much about them - is there a photo of the badge holder actually on the permit?

#21 GJC

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:05 AM

Really? What about these:

  • Write to the council supporting my proposal to put double yellow lines all the way along Copperkins Lane until after the bends.
  • Request zig-zags outside, as most schools seem to have
  • Find out who owns that scruffy woodland behind the school, buy it and build a proper car-park
  • Since many cars park there all day I assume they are staff, or at least parent helpers. Read the riot act.
  • You don't need to look for other places parents can park and walk in - there's another mile of Copperkins Lane just around the bend where the road is wider and the sight lines are good
and for the rest of us:
  • what about a campaign of blowing our horns as we go past whenever we get held up Posted Image.


Hi David, as I have said I am expressing my personal views. The school may not agree with all of them but I am writing as an individual.

I am not aware that the school has expressed any vies on double yellow lines. From my point of view, having actually lived on the school premises for 2 years, the increased speed at which traffic travels along Copperkins Lane when there are no parked vehicles is much more dangerous to pedestrians than having cars parked there. At weekends traffic travels along Copperkins in excess of 50mph.

There are zig-zags outside of the school in the only position we are allowed to have them. They need repainting but until the Council manages to fulfill the order for re-surfacing parts of the road that was issued in March 2009 there is no sense in repainting them as they will be obliterated by tbis work.

Members of staff and helpers are dissuaded from parking there and extreme displeasure is expressed towards those that park there. The 2 regular vehicles that park there are indeed commuters who park and then walk to the station. I have personally spoken to both people on many occassions and taken police advice, but all the while there are no parking restrictions in Copperkins there is nothing more that can be done.

Many parents do indeed park further along Copperkins, but not as many as I would like. I personally stand out between 8 and 8.30 every morning whatever the weather to open car doors and get children into the school as quickly as possible which reduses the amount of time taken for drop off. As you are aware our school has a very wide cachement area and some travel for quite long distances to get to us.
GJC
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#22 hyposmurf

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:06 AM

Perhaps if a number of traffic wardens had a walk along a few school roads during school pick up time and gave out warnings to parents parking inconsiderately and that next time they would receive parking tickets.Im sure ther would be an improvement.The only thing I can put it down to is complete laziness or maybe they are just a little stupid.Even away from schools there are still idiots who park on the apex of a hill on a blind bend.It wouldnt take much to just park a bit further up or down he road,but its too inconvenient for them.

#23 GJC

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:15 AM

I should also point out that although I really don't like many children it didn't stop me from saving a 3 year old boys life in Ruislip High Street many years ago when he ran in front of a double decker bus. So I actually take offence at your supposition that my time is worth more than a childs life when you don't know me!


I regret that you have taken offence at anything I have said. I do try to address the subject and not the person when commenting on the forum and thought I had done so on this subject but if you feel that I made a personal attack I apologise.

I am a father of 3, foster parent of 30, and grandfather of 2. My personal view is that children are the future and society has an obligation to look after them. This is actually enshrined in Law because the Childrens Act states that the Safety of the Child is Paramount. What this means in effect is that if the intended or actual result of an action was to prevent harm to a child the person doing it has a defence against legal or civil actions taken against them as a result of that action. This is one of the few occassions when law and commonsense seem to concur.
GJC
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#24 PaulEden

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 11:18 AM

We should stay on topic here.

#25 hyposmurf

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 02:44 PM

:) Yes probably a good idea I'd almost forgotten what it was.

#26 Matthew (MPJ/Admin)

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 05:32 PM

Apparently there is a welll used black market for blue badges - perhaps if traffic wardens could check who was actually using the 'inconsiderately parked' vehicle. I don't know much about them - is there a photo of the badge holder actually on the permit?


The blue badge has a photo of the holder on it. However, it has to be displayed showing the side which does not have the photo on it.
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#27 hyposmurf

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Posted 23 January 2010 - 07:45 PM

The blue badge has a photo of the holder on it. However, it has to be displayed showing the side which does not have the photo on it.

:D Clever move!

#28 GJC

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 07:48 AM

The blue badge has a photo of the holder on it. However, it has to be displayed showing the side which does not have the photo on it.



Is this on topic re Potholes/Copperkins Lane? Posted Image
GJC
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#29 PaulEden

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 10:07 AM

Is this on topic re Potholes/Copperkins Lane? Posted Image

No, we really should stay on topic. Off topic posts will be removed if we can't.

#30 GJC

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Posted 25 January 2010 - 12:18 PM

I just drove past Heatherton ..... there are (or were!) zig zag lines on the school side, but the potholes in the road are so incredibly bad that they are barely visible any more!


I did say in an earlier post that the Council had issued an order to resurface 170 sq metres of the road in the area where these zigzags are located. The school is only allowed to have zigzags in this location and once the Council have carried out the work on the order they issued last May I am sure the school will have the zigzags repainted.

The blue badge has a photo of the holder on it. However, it has to be displayed showing the side which does not have the photo on it.



This is all very interesting. Why not start a topic about blue badges and continue the thread there? Posted Image
GJC
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