Detour From Hell

By Rob Last edited 169 months ago
Detour From Hell

Today's Guardian has a piece on the so-called "Deotur From Hell", which has been causing a bit of a headache in west London for the past fortnight.

The detour, set up to circumvent roadworks, meant that motorists "trying to progress 300 metres down a busy road were obliged to drive 12 miles to reach their destination".

As you might expect, this is a great excuse for anyone who's ever passed a driving test to cast Transport for London as an evil cartel of car hating, bureaucratic maniacs.

"I can see someone rolling their eyes at the thought of providing a proper route and cobbling together [something] like this," says Roger Evans, the Conservative transport spokesman for London (probably overjoyed just to get his name in the paper). "There is a lack of concern for the motorist. They see everyone who drives a car on the road as a nuisance."

Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat transport spokeswoman on the London assembly, also puts her oar in: "Before they implement silly routes like this, TfL should get out from behind their desks and see what inconvenience this causes to local people."

Silly route? Is that a special, technical transport term Lynne?

Thank God then for the AA, you can always rely on them to tell it like it is: "Diverting London's traffic is always a contentious issue because the A-roads are the main routes and any diversion has to take account of the vast volumes of traffic." says Paul Watters who's the head of AA road policy. "Alternative routes are unsuitable for heavy traffic hence the length of a diversion like this one. It is fairly unusual to have a deviation as long as this but it is not an exact science."

Last Updated 10 December 2004