Common sense v. common practice



This is an unashamedly ‘grumpy old man’ item – but it needs to be aired.

Local councils seem to have their focus on unnecessary cotton wool, instead of practical action. There was a news item last summer was about the need for hanging baskets to be far enough above head height to ensure people don’t bang their heads on them.

I don’t know how much consideration they’ve given to the fact that most people have eyes at head height and tend to avoid anything coming at them around that level! We manage to avoid lamposts, pavement cafe tables, greengrocers displays, and men at work barriers blocking the pavement – ah, yes; and that’s another issue.

It’s common knowledge that severe weather damages road surfaces. It’s also common knowledge that, in the UK, there’s a reasonably good chance we’ll get snow and ice at some point (or several points) during the winter. So why is it that the local councils don’t plan ahead to ensure that, as soon as possible there are teams out filling in the ruts and potholes that have appeared and making the roads safe for us again?

It’s bad enough when you’re driving a car to hit a pothole; it rattles your teeth and can ruin your suspension (even if the garage repair people are rubbing their hands in glee). But what happens if you’re on a bicycle or motorbike? A pothole can cause a real accident, with injuries. What happens if you’re driving an open vehicle and the jolt dislodges something – and sends it flying into the path of another vehicle, or to hit a pedestrian?
Of course, things should be secured, but that doesn’t mean they can’t work loose with enough jolting and lurching.

When will the councils understand that planned preventative maintenance (PPN) – and contingency planning – would be far more useful than getting excited about flower pots that most of us can easily avoid?