Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Confluence of events

Well that was a fun trip in, queues as far as the eye could see. Sitting there I was passed by my neighbour coming the other way - apparently an accident had occurred in Gilgal. For those who don't know Gilgal is used by a fair percentage of traffic coming from Kidderminster and Bewdley as well as Stourport, they have de facto right-of-way and as such block up one of the lanes in Stourport which feeds back into the town itself and over the bridge. Depending where it gets closed and if they shut down both lanes then anyone entering the system is stuck - it's one-way with potentially no exits. This would account for the traffic, especially given the track record of the police around here for not warning people in time.

I flicked the radio in an attempt to find out more, caught the end of the report on Wyvern, quickly flipped to Heart and caught their report - nothing about Stourport, but instead they reported an accident outside the Safari Park with the road closed. Ah now this is a route from Kidderminster to Bewdley and vice versa, which does attach to Stourport. Now if that road's closed where's the traffic going to go? Three guesses.

It was getting fun, the traffic started to pick up and I finally made it to the bridge only to be stopped on it, between the traffic control lights; joy! We were getting to the point where the traffic from the town couldn't move because of the traffic from the bridge, which couldn't move because of the traffic from the town, which couldn't move because... well you get the point.

Fortunately there were a couple of free escape routes further up which a couple of cars took advantage of thus shifting the traffic enough to move. Fortunate in that one can be blocked by delivery vans and the other can be a tight fit due to the oncoming traffic overtaking all the parked vehicles. We were also lucky that the town traffic wasn't extensive enough to have backed up around the one-way system and fed back - Bridge Street to York Street to Lion Hill to High Street to Bridge Street.

I've said elsewhere that given the natural flow of traffic on a busy day I could grid-lock the town with nine cars, three of which would be parked legally, today I could probably have done it with three illegal ones alone.

After finally getting to Gilgal the road was clear with no sign of anything having happened.


suzie q said...

When was this, FlipC? I have just returned from a 'quick' trip into Kiddy to drop my son off at college. It took 2 hours!
I have never seen traffic like it in this area in my life! We joined the dual track into Kiddy and queued from there on, all the way to the college. It took an hour to get from the High School in Stourport to Foley Park! People flying past in the right hand lane and then expecting to be let in at the lights.. I thought I'd go mad!
I hope you didn't get caught up in it (apparently, the Worcester Rd was completely closed due to a lorry crashing into a Gas main?) and that you'll know more about it than I do!

Tavis Pitt said...

Here you go: ...chaos in Stourport.

FlipC said...

and here's the other Four taken to hospital after crash.

I noted the yellow cover next to a highly visible pipe in Mitton Street yesterday afternoon and wondered if that had been the problem.

Double coincidence as it wasn't that long ago we had another collision-caused gas leak in Mitton Street that time it was a bit closer to Gilgal.

Hmm I think we need to send more traffic down this road and, perhaps, put in a pedestrian crossing just past the corner. <cough>

suzie q said...

Unbelievable! I live in Mitton Street and had no idea! Typical..
Thought it was a bit quiet outside our front windows in the morning, but had been told that Worcester Road was closed... I must get out more! I came home via the Safari Park after taking all that time to get into Kiddy, and there was no sign of any disruption there either - sailed through!
Thanks for all the info! :)
I agree that there should be a pedestrian crossing at some point, have you ever tried crossing the road by the Holly Bush? It's a risky business, as is crossing Vale Road - nightmare!

FlipC said...

Ah now Suzie you already have two crossings on Mitton Street. One at the bottom at the join to Gilgal and one at the top near Vale Road, you know the one that's been carefully positioned so you can't see what's coming. Wanting another's just being greedy ;)

As for Vale Road there was talk about a pedestrian crossing, once upon a time there was even talk about a pedestrian bridge. I'm sure one will be built at the same time as the Relief Bridge over the Severn.