Downpour and road network falls into chaos
FIRST of all, I would like to make it clear that I am not an impatient driver and I am realistic about the financial limitations suffered by those who are in charge of keeping traffic moving.
But I can't fathom out why, when we get a hefty downpour, the road network around the Five Valleys and Severn Vale should virtually grind to a standstill.
Last week, I was one of hundreds, if not thousands, of drivers caught up in the massive evening rush-hour traffic queue which snaked, pretty much in both directions, from the Cainscross roundabout, through Ebley and Stonehouse all the way to the Haresfield island at Junction 12 of the M5.
At one point, somewhere on the B4008 Gloucester Road in Standish, I sat for a good 20 minutes without moving an inch.
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The rest of the time it was a matter of inching forward a car or two's lengths and then waiting for a few minutes to repeat the process.
The primary causes for this gridlock were the closure of two lanes on the M5, due to standing water and screen obscuring spray, and a virtual lake at The Stanleys turn on the A419 Ebley Bypass.
It's a hackneyed phrase but why, in the 21st Century, can't our roads and, worse still, the motorways cope with rain of this magnitude?
Why wasn't the drainage built to cope? Let's be frank, it's not as though Britain is new to flash flooding and torrential rain for days on end. Or, maybe, it was just the wrong sort of rain.