Roadworks logistics

Roadworks are popping up all over the shop these days, meaning everything takes longer and entailing complicated logistics planning.



Is it my imagination or are there more roadworks these days? I ask this as, in addition to the usual working parent logistics, roadwork logistics are now featuring ever more largely in my life. At the moment there are roadworks on the high street of the town we live near. That means huge tailbacks if you need anything from the town eg the supermarket, dropping people at the tube, at friends’ houses, going to the tube, etc.

I know a back route, but it turns out that the back route leads to another set of roadworks – this time just outside the station, meaning the only alternative to avoid the roadworks if you need to go to the supermarket is to go on two motorways and come in through a back route.

For the tube it may be quicker to incorporate a 40-minute walk into your schedule. Which would be fine and greener, of course, except that it doesn’t account for having to drop/pick up people at school [there is also a three-way roadworks on the way to the school down a country lane].

On Friday night I went out with my partner [rare occasion…] and we decided to drive to a tube station where there are multiple lines because our line has been playing up of late [poor daughter three has arrived several times at the station to find the line isn’t functioning in our neck of the woods, necessitating a 40-minute drive to the nearest alternative line]. On the way home we noted that the line was actually running really well. What we hadn’t anticipated was that there would be roadworks on the A-road home at 11pm on a Friday night…

I know there are lots of potholes. I keep driving into them by accident. The constant storms and so forth must be taking their toll. I’m all for fixing the roads, but I feel like the roads are just a reflection of the general mood of exhaustion and disrepair and I’m pretty sure all of that has a big impact on productivity. If I could, I would just not go out for days on end, but having to drop and pick up young people at all hours means this is not a possibility. So I’ve started a guessing game of where the next roadwork will pop up.

I recall roadworks being the last straw when I left my last full-time-in-the-office job. At the time, I had one child at school, one at nursery and the other on the other side of town [near the train station] at a childminder. The water pipes were being dug up across the town. I arrived 30 seconds late for the train after a stressful drop-off and a sprint to the station. My boss at the time was very unsympathetic. “I will die if I have to do this any longer,” I told my partner on the phone. Maybe our 24/7 lifestyle is just too much for the infrastructure we have, particularly at a time of climate change, and for the amount we are prepared to invest in it. Maybe we need a rethink, if only we weren’t so busy doing logistics so we had the time to do it.

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