” Roans–TuE NEW WAY ” by Harold Nockolds (Bri(ish Road Federitlion, 55 pages, 2s.).
This book eltliVe?e’S the 11.11.F. plea for proper motor ntads in -this country. it is delightfully produced and excellent photograplis of existing English roads are included -they never fail to please us-as tvell as pietures more necessary to the text, which looks to the halve. The enthusiast may say he isn’t interested in long, straight roads, because he enjoys corners. It all depends what car he drives. We take a particular delight, in motoring over the most. insignificant roads we eon find, yet sooner or later bosirtess overrides this kola)), and we have to get front A to It in the shOrtest possible space of iii iC. That meow; the railways are ” lout it :I ISO shows up the dreadful inadequacy of our main roads ; AI hi many pftwes is just laughable. So you should read what the B.R.E. preaches anti hawk its efforts. On the other hand, you are a taxpayer, and you should define between good new roads and unnecessary messing about with existing ones. A ease in point, or so it seems to its, is the roundabout system which ttow distigures the west side of Staines Bridge. It must have cost a lot of money, and is that really justified ? NN’e claim to know the spot pretty well. Prom London you go through the particularly unfortunate bottleneck of Staines itself, rendered the more trying if the smell of new litioleurn is in the air; and you turn left over Staines Bridge. tanning off the bridge you used to turn slightly right to contill1W yItur way along Aan. On y(tur left were two turnings, one into a large sqwire with a Itottleneek out let at one end to Chertsey, the other a minor one going round the latek of EgItam. We have driven up both, these roads and crossed the %vestbound A30 traffic to go over Staines Itridge. We had to wait fOr usually, and to use care in making this ittanoeuvre because the Iturttp of the somewhat obscured veltieles approaching front it-. Once, on a summer Sumlay, we recall a slight traffic jam on Ow bridge, probably caused by a car crossing from one of these roads. But usually London-bound trallic didn’t use these side turnings, and local motorists who did, corning out, of Staim,s, eould nip down either of them without interrupting the main traffic How. So, on the lace of’ it., Blare didn’t seem any need for a roundabout at. this spot. Vet for nearly a year manpower and materials were used to create a vast, ugly roandammt beside the faettirv where tine ‘S Lagondas ‘ere built. The thing was for a long time unlinished.and unlit at night, but all westbound motorists now have to negotiate it, going so far from the old root(‘ of A39 that at first it is difficult to believe that one is not arriving in Chertsey itself. Now perhaps this is an unfair bicker. Presumably a traffic census I roved Butt sollicient traffic conies from Cherfsey on to A30 to justify this outSize in roundabouts ‘? Perhaps accidents happemal here tO make this modern earthwork necessary ? (N.13.—We used the road twice daily at one time and never saw one.) Can the authorities confirm this ? If so, we will gyrate cheerfully in future as we quit Staines. But wait. What is going on ahead ? Why, LIM’ three-quarters of a ;utile or so of retail front Staines Bridge to the Egham arterial is apparently being Made into another arterial road. Now it was always reasonably wide and well lit. It was also a built-up area, so you couldn’t speea along it. Now it will presumably be de-restricted–and will be a fast stretch when the changes of surfacelevel. roughness mid stray obstructions have been removed. But we are Curious to know whether it. will eliminate that rather nasty rigid-Word bend at the Eghant
end And how touch time the thing will really save ?-remembering that you have to go rourat the new Staines earthwork at a crawl, probably behind a lorry—waiting until it has pulled ball< on to its own silk> before you pass, for the turn is a sharp one—and then in under a rade have to take :mother. YerY light maltdaliout if You improve your time along the new ” fourrack ” turd keep it up along the threequarter mile of ELItam arterial (alas, single track again here l) you will lose all on the grind up uarrow Egham
So does lids new road really justify its existence ? It provides a line new way in which the factory workers who once made Lagondas can walk at ” couhitug out ” time, as we discovered the other evening, whereas when they were confronted with traffic going both ways in the same lane they respected the footpaths. Our guess is that; this expensive bit. of ” modern highway ” Itas been built for the benefit of lovers of horse-flesh. Every so often, after an Ascot meeting, the whole of this mile-long section used to be jammed with vehicles, because owe traffic fed into it from A.308 when Afal was itself heavy with such trallie, and none of it could get clear beeause Staines is such a bottleneck. Pollee used to stand in tile Middle lpf the road to ensure a passage for city workers hurrying homewards from London against. the on-coming stream. Now a few islands dotthis for them. -and at least Stairws and Eghom residents should suffer fewer Inn-glories in consequence. !hut the very thought of this expenditure on a mile of road hrings its back, in sympathy, to Noekolds’ book demanding proper new motor roads for Itritain –not lutplutzard ” improving ” of existing roads. Whether or not we shall like the new motor roads when we get. them is another
matter The Winehester by-pass, illustrated in Nocktdds’ laatk, we always find boring, and we sometimes get lost on its feeder roads. The Dorking by-pass to its is preferable, but this one isn’t illustrated. The Kingston try -hews surely iStl’t as black as it has !peen painted, and itis of oltvions usefulness. Noekolds does not seem to refer to road lighting. It is as important tLs any other aspect of road-planning. Iteverting to Afto again, its a pretty shocking example or wiLat not to do in tltis respect. Going on to the arterial lat. at Chiswick you have pat elly but ntostly alequate lighting along it as far as the roundabout junction with A4. Thereafter you come on to the dreary single-track bit to East Bedfont, and are ‘soon plunged into utter blackness, on a road, morecver, carrying much dazzling approaching trollies, countless unlit bicycles, and suffering wheeled and pedestrian onslaughts at sundry minor cross-roads as workers from London Airport. hasten to a meal and the missus. Then, braving the four-jun(‘tion Ltio roundaliout lucre !) crossing at the 011(1 of this at miles of home-going agony, matters improve somewhat for the next2i miles, until you are in St aloes. Thereafter, if you ovoid the Eghtun arterial, you are on decent lylit, road as far as the top Of Egham
wheo t he main highway to t lie west suddenly, and without warning, 1111111geti you once more Mt° abysmal I ilack ness. It wouldn’t be No had it Mr. and Mrs. Fltg-HON practised driving on their side lamps only Olt the better nights (ever tried this ?) so that eventually they would be able to dim It air’ two blazing Iteadlampt and dazzling spotlight and give on-eorning travellers a eleowe. And we want to put in a plea Butt street-lamps of the old-fashioned ” gbire on a stick” sort be erected by tIn,’ wall instead of by tae kerb. They wOulut still illuminate whatever pedeSti ians NV:1111 illtilltiletted and pernUp$ mint pECtiellt finite Snen a blaek-spot III a motorist Ivitu is trying to gel along Withollt a ship’s seareldiala c,uu tite front of his car. We are glad that Noekolds dismisses Class Ill and unclassified roads in a eolumn. We feel they Amadei be left. altogether alone. Such roads are for farmers and motoring enthusiast
farmers turd motoring enthusiasts are Dot baffled by their hazard:4. There is a danger of town and country planning !whatcarriert very much too far and we greatly deplore anything which unneeessarily alters the countryside. If pm traitor :thing A’287 front Farnleam to Odilatot you come to a er(iss-road marked I y a square brick-built, pillar-box. The road to the left goes to a 41clightful village, so does the one to the right.. We like both of them so, selfishly, we won’t mune theta But were you to turn left at, this point and go to one of these villages you could find two very minor roads leading beyond it. The lesser of these marked. ” Unsuitable for Motors,” really leads to the sante plitee as its fallow, which is to a little hamlet of half:m,-dozen houses many miles from the townsman’s idea of anywhere in part it:War. At otos petint, after passing several farms, it goes between steep banks and up a hill beneath a tunnel of overhanging trees, so naturally we always use it in preference to the other road.
We have done so winter and summer and met tw.rhaps two farmers’ ears in the past two years. NVe have bumped over loose stones On the hill, but, have never got stuck even in had weather. Vet last autumn a steam-roller was brottgle. many miles. spoiling tilC neutgerONYti :tS it coote, to spend several days rolling Ilat the stones up that hill. Whitt a pity, and why ? Dere, agaim the money :nal energy expended would lukve been better spent on buildiog motorways, which Noekolds tells you about in the latest 11.11.1″. publieation.• -W. B.