Slow Bicycle Race

Is there some sort of competion going on for the world’s slowest construction of a speed bump? If so, I reckon Lambeth are in with a pretty good chance with the one they’re working on now.

In truth, there’s so much to dislike about the speed bump in question – like its existence and its location, for instance – that it’s hard to pick just one thing. But the way it’s been built is the thing that really gets my goat. Many months ago, the council blocked off the last remaining un-humped stretch of road on my route to the station and laboured mightily to produce a single line of granite setts, right across the road, at the point where I turn onto and off it. These slowed down nobody but the bikes (do I even need to mention it’s on one of London’s numbered bike routes? No. Thought not) because if you didn’t hit them exactly square on, then it was easy to catch your wheel on them and end up face down on the road. Weeks passed. The council closed the road off again, worked through the weekend, and produced an enormous lump of tarmac in a more or less humped shape – the Mont Blanc of road bumps – completely engulfing the granite setts. Time passed. The hump began to flatten slightly. The council blocked the road off again, and just a few days ago unveiled their latest creation. And they have created a monster. The granite setts are back, two lines at the base and two lines across the top of the hump. The tarmac itself is now slightly concave between the setts, rutted and uneven across the top, and the whole thing is still absolutely enormous. It certainly slows down traffic, I’ll give it that. Anyone not wanting to take their sump out has to approach it with extreme caution. It’s really no wonder people still drive their Chelsea tractors through the streets of London – anything smaller would probably end up grounded on it. Trying to turn right over this thing on a bike is a job for a mountain bike. Doing it in the dark probably counts as an extreme sport.

But it seems that there’s more to come. The council haven’t finished with this speed bump yet – they have been out again today with their roadwork signs and their barriers. So far they haven’t blocked off the road, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time. What next for the speed bump mountain? I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a ski lift…


5 responses to “Slow Bicycle Race

  1. You have to wonder at the waste of time, resouces and money spent on what appears to a rather pointless exercise .

  2. Ah but not pointless if they win. Assuming there is a competition, of course.

  3. I thought badgers lived in setts.

  4. That’s sets with just the one ‘t’. Isn’t English wonderful?

  5. Pingback: Pothills of the Himalayas « Disgruntled Commuter

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