On the outskirts of Telford is an industrial estate, Hortonwood and next to it a small village, Horton. Access to the village is via a narrow road, Horton Lane.
Horton Lane is relatively unknown but it’s a useful time saver if you’re trying to get out of the back end of the industrial estate at rush hour which, in the time-honoured tradition of Telford planners, has woefully inadequate access roads that can’t cope with rush hour. It can take upwards of half an hour to get off the industrial estate at peak times.
The council have, in the past, tried to discourage motorists from using Horton Lane by narrowing the entrance and putting up signs but it is, of course, still used and being on the outskirts of the town it’s also used by the local chav population to race their stupid cars. Nothing unusual there, a large proportion of Telford is used for racing cars but a handful of residents in Horton don’t like their quiet village being used by motorists so they’ve complained to the council.
Last year the council proposed to close off one end of Horton Lane, nearest the industrial estate to stop the lane being used as a rat run and forcing residents and visitors to Horton to take a detour of several miles. The majority of residents didn’t like the idea of having to drive miles out of their way to get out of their village or the increased amount of time it would take a fire engine or an ambulance to make its way into the village in an emergency so they formed a campaign group to stop the road closure and presented a petition to the council showing that 270 residents wanted the road open and only 68 wanted it closed.
Earlier this year they received a letter from the council saying that they had decided not to close the road after all because of their petition but they have now received a letter from the council saying that from xx January it’s going to be closed as an experiment for 18 months. The reason? The council have had more complaints from residents since the petition.
I don’t live in Horton, I don’t work on Hortonwood and I don’t use Horton Lane but this has pissed me off because it’s just the sort of stupid thinking that makes people think “why bother?”. They’ve had a petition showing that almost 5 times as many people want the road open as want it closed but because they’ve had complaints from the vocal minority they’re going to close it. The only feedback the council are going to get about the road is negative because nobody is going to write to them saying “I wish to not complain about Horton Lane being used as a rat run, I’m quite happy about it” are they?
Another genius scheme by the highways people at Telford council is a pair of bus stops opposite each other on a main road with a central refuge in the middle so you can’t pass a bus without breaking the law. The reason the council gives for doing it? It slows traffic. But it doesn’t and they know it doesn’t. If there is only one bus at the stop, cars just go the wrong side of the central refuge to go past it.
Then there’s the “improvements” to the dual carriageway that runs through the town that’s no longer a dual carriageway in places thanks to the council tinkering with the road layout to make it “safer”. The number of casualties has increased since they made their “improvements” but rather than put the road back to how it was before they are going to tinker some more and put up more signs.
Oh and we mustn’t forget the busy traffic island that they decided to make safer by erecting a plastic fence on one of the approaches to block the drivers view of the island until the last minute to slow them down.
And there’s the couple of miles of wide, open road with no junctions, no houses and no accidents that they decided to drop from a 60mph speed limit to a 40mph speed limit for no apparent reason whatsoever other than their obsession with slowing drivers down unnecessarily.
The entire department is staffed by idiots who either don’t drive in Telford or spend most of their waking hours on another planet. If I was a resident of Horton I’d wait until the council put up the bollards, drive down to them in the middle of the night, hook them up to a 4×4 and tear the buggers out of the road.