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Campaign pain….

July 10, 2011

 

Forfar, Scotland – And the award for this years, to date that is, most bizarre campaign goes to…..

Price comparison website Confused.com who are petitioning the UK Department for Transport (DfT) to introduce a sign to warn road users about dangerous potholes.

There is certainly no doubt that parts of the UK have seriously worn out potholed roads which are a danger, in particular, to motorcyclists, cyclists and scooterists, but sticking up a sign won’t fix the problem will it. Perhaps Confused would have been better off sponsoring some road repair teams and holding a lottery as to which hole they fix first.

Shades of the Highways Agency (HA) sticking up slippery road signs at sites resurfaced with stone mastic asphalt. Yes the good ole HA. Instead of introducing a proper surface conditioning regime, so that the road surface immediately meets frictional requirements, simple stick in a sign and then wait three months till it does.

Suppose, just for a moment, that a pothole sign were to be introduced. Lets just imagine the new raft of busy work that would result at Local Authority (LA) level.

The scenario would be something like this:-

Irate, motorist, motorcyclist or cyclist calls LA all singing all dancing customer contact centre handily situated, following LA outsourcing programme,  on the outskirts of Ulan Bator, Outer Mongolia and reports pothole.

Due to data transmission issues, mainframe downtime etc it takes a week for reported pothole data to reach LA’s Pothole Action Team (PAT). They immediately file it and request a car from LA carpool to enable a site visit.

Two days later the car is available so LA PAT depart  for site of pothole only find that the GPS co-ordinates given are wrong, return to PAT HQ.

A  week later ,with verified GPS coordinates now available, PAT team request pool car. Two days later they locate pothole site and applying LA pothole grading system conclude that pothole falls within pothole sign installation criteria. Return to PAT HQ.

Two weeks later PAT senior manager returns from annual leave and approves sign installation request. Installation instruction forwarded to LA road maintenance contractor.

Two week delay as contractor loses request, but then finds it again. Contractors Pothole Sign Installation Team (PSIT) receives instruction to install sign.

PSIT despatch health and safety officer (HSO)  to site. HSO officer reports that due to poor condition of road surface, trip hazard caused by large hole adjacent to installation site, road will need to be closed to facilitate installation of pothole sign. PSIT request road closure order and order sign.

Two weeks later road closure order in place, sign has arrived but has been lost in warehouse.

Two weeks later sign found and date fixed for new road closure.

Two weeks later sign installed, but installation engineer trips over pothole and is suing LA for incurred injuries.

Two weeks later, press call. Representatives from LA, PAT, PSIT, local councillor and irate, motorist, motorcyclist or cyclist etc get picture of selves and sign in media. Nice radio interview with LA CEO, subsequently fired over “policy issues”.

Two days later irate , motorist, motorcyclist or cyclist calls LA all singing all dancing customer contact centre  to report that the pothole sign has been stolen.

Due to data transmission issues, mainframe downtime etc………………

Ride with pride!

© Back Roads Rider 2011

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