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107

Coming back from Goodwood after seeing Adrian Dence win this year’s Motor Sport Brooklands Memorial Trophy, I took my usual route home down S. Harting Hill, scene in the ‘twenties of J.C.C. speed hill-climbs (they say an old gentleman in this quiet Sussex village has cuttings about every one of these climbs) and was astonished to find the country between here and Petersfield slashed with new dual-carriageway roads in process of construction, necessitating long one-way detours for southbound traffic. The Petersfield-S. Harting road was always narrow and very winding but I am surprised that such drastic reconstruction is regarded as necessary, for not a great deal of traffic passes that way, although admittedly the old road was badly frost-damaged last winter and even now repairs are still in progress.

***

Beer-drinkers will be glad to know that the hops-harvest from the fields that flank the Ledbury-Hereford road appears to have been prolific this year, judging by the mud and the frequent “Danger—Tractors Crossing” notices encountered. Writing of Hereford, site of the last speed trial permitted on the public roads of this country, on the straight road towards Hay-on-Wye, by the King’s Acre Nurseries (the date was April 4th, 1925, and Riddoch’s big Zenith-J.A.P. made f.t.d., crossing the finishing line at 105/107 m.p.h.), why is it that although the road to Ledbury is clearly signposted at the beginning of the town, to follow this signpost is to get hopelessly lost—or such has been our experience? We now go through the town itself.

***

The Staines by-pass is rather curious—the approach roundabouts at each end are extremely sharp and that at the Egham end has a dangerous blind-spot caused by the guard rails to drivers coming off the by-pass, while a 30-m.p.h. speed-limit applies to the roundabout in the centre of this otherwise fast and expensive dual-carriageway road.

***

Having speeded up traffic on A 30 with this by-pass, when will Mr. Marples get rid of the level-crossing at Sunningdale? Another railway, farther down this road at Blackwater, was bridged as long ago as 1930.

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