Pothills of the Himalayas

Many thanks to the Guardian’s cycling special for the tip-off about the website Fill That Hole, where cyclists can report their favourite pothole to the relevant local authority. Now, as I cycle in Lambeth, it was hard to choose just one – my route to the station is so worn that the original cobbles can be seen in places through the bottom of the worst holes, and in the few spots where the road surface itself is sound, there are sunken drain covers and other obstacles, all lying in wait for an unwary wheel. The site is straightforward to use despite using the dreaded Google mapping interface (in some of the satellite photos you can actually see the worst potholes) and after only shouting at the computer 17 times I managed to report a sunken drain cover that has long threatened to either kill me or make my dentist a very rich man indeed. Of course, Lambeth has had 82 hazards reported in the last couple of months, of which a grand total of six has been fixed so I shan’t be holding my breath. But I shall keep you all posted of any progress, you can be sure.

There’s no point reporting the worst hazard on my route because A) someone else has reported it already and B) it was put there by Lambeth itself. I first blogged about these speed bumps back in November and time has not reconciled me to their existence. One of them is placed at a give-way point, where cars have to come to a halt anyway, and one of them is at the entrance to a narrow one-way street where the parked cars form an effective chicane, so they’re completely and utterly useless even to an anti-driver fascist such as myself. They’re also, apparently, made out of something with the strength and consistency of Wensleydale. This at least means that they are now flatter than they were, as they have eroded away a bit, as has the road leading up to it. But because one of them has been reinforced with granite blocks, this just means that instead of an enormous speed bump we now have a slightly less enormous speed bump with a giant raised pothole across it. Traffic calming? I don’t think so. The person reporting it charitably described it as a ‘badly mended road’ probably because there was no tick box for ‘monstrous pustular suppurating road hazard’ on the website for some reason. A deficiency I’m sure they’ll remedy in time. Unlike Lambeth and the potholes themselves…

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5 responses to “Pothills of the Himalayas

  1. This must be why they call it the Lambeth Walk.

  2. yes – shame it’s one of our national cycling routes, isn’t it?

  3. At least it is better than Zambia where there are potholes inside potholes. Small comfort for you perhaps but worth knowing none the less.

  4. Some of the potholes round here are approaching African dimensions…

  5. Pingback: Well, Well, Well « Disgruntled Commuter

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