Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Delays Possible

I've grumbled about Bradford before, and now I'm going to do it again. Sorry.

It's always a bit dark and gloomy, consisting of a lot of old stone-built houses in a dip full of traffic. Actually, I like old stone-built houses but a lot of the Bradford ones are rather run-down. Or the ones are on the route I take, anyway.

To get to Bradford Royal Infirmary, where I was working today, you go along the ring road, through Calverley (ah yes! Very pleasant old stone-built houses, here) and then turn left, straight on for a bit, wiggle about on some narrow roads going left, right, right, sort of leftish, bit of a nearly right, across a mini-roundabout, down a steep hill - - that kind of thing - and there you are. The satnav knows the way and all is well. Provided you avoid Death by Articulated Lorry, which actually, I nearly didn't.

I was at the end of one of the very narrow roads, at a junction, waiting to turn right with a queue of cars behind me, when the driver of the longest articulated lorry in the world decided to turn in front of me. He was in the road to my left and just decided to turn right, going down the road I'd just come up, if you see what I mean. (I am beginning to see why accident reports have such potential for comedy).

But the road was too narrow and the junction was too narrow and as the lorry turned it became very obvious to me that I was about to be Squished by the side of the lorry going straight into my car. And I couldn't back out of the way because of all the cars behind me.

So I found the horn (not easy as I'd never needed it before so had forgotten where it was, if indeed I ever knew, which I doubt) and hooted like a crazed woman, and Articulated Lorry Man stopped, and all the cars behind me went backwards, which took about as long as it took for human beings to evolve from microbes. And then I went backwards and Lorry Man completed his turn.

Then I got to the hospital and found a bit of good luck in the form of the last parking space in the hospital car park.

I had a lovely afternoon working with some excellent young doctors and then, as I drove out of the hospital grounds, I remembered the other problem with Bradford.

"Turn right" said the satnav, which was entirely wrong. For some reason, she doesn't know the way back. Once she's got there, the route she came by is completely lost to her. As indeed, it is to me as it's so windy and wiggly and all the roads look the same.

I knew that turning right was wrong, so I went straight on for a bit but she wasn't having any of it. "Turn right" she insisted, with a bit of "Perform a U-turn where possible" thrown in for added interest.

"Shan't! So there!" I said. Defying the satnav always gives me the manners of a two-year-old. So I went straight on, hoping she would get her act together and realise that this was the way I had come.

But no. She decided to take me to the M606 and I know from past sad experience that what she does then is wait till I'm on the motorway and then confidently tell me to take an exit which leads into an industrial park and nowhere else.

So I just wasn't having it. I spotted a sign for Leeds - not exactly the way I had come, and indeed I knew it would take me through Bradford City Centre in the rush-hour. But I preferred it to the satnav's way and sure enough when I turned onto the road the number of miles to my home dropped from eighteen to twelve.

I came to a sign. "Roadworks in City Centre. Delays Possible." Really - - how could they tell? Rush-hour traffic in central Bradford is always verging on stationary anyway.

Did I mention that it was raining? Has anyone ever been to Bradford when it hasn't been raining? I don't think I ever have, except once when it was snowing.

It took me an hour and a half to get home. Thirteen miles. But hey, I'm a cup-half-full kind of person and here is my Cheering Thought. There will be some people who have to do that journey every day. And I don't. By the time I have to do it again, I will have forgotten how bad it was. And I did love the work when I was there.


Blogger Jennyta said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who finds driving and traffic in Bradford a nightmare!

8:52 pm  
Blogger Yorkshire Pudding said...

Regarding the satnav thingamajig may I suggest that you ditch the lady's voice and get a man with a broad Yorkshire accent instead. This way you will be able to have complete faith in any directions that emanate from the gadget.

10:52 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

Here in "the Atlanta area" (which is now the 9th most populous metropolitan area in the U. S. of A.) we have a word for that kind of traffic: Normal...

My friends named their satnav "Rhonda" so that they could sing, "Help me, Rhonda; help, help me, Rhonda" (funny only to people of a certain age).

4:18 pm  
Anonymous Milo said...

I've never been to Bradford but I have this image of a tired, depressed, grey, miserable, drab, unlovely place. Like Wigan or Worksop or Stoke perhaps.

Your satnav experience made me smile. Have had some heated rows with Sheridan over his satnav before. Usually along the lines of him saying "just do what she says, it's the next left" with me getting increasingly agitated before finally blowing my top as she is invariably wrong but he ALWAYS seems to listen to her over me.

4:18 pm  
Blogger WendyCarole said...

I get the bus! Son in law from Teesside has this theory it always rains here, but accoording to my rain gauge records we do have days when it doesn't.

Bradford city centre is particularly bad atm because we are getting a city park and don't get me started on the big fenced off bit that should be a shopping centre!

12:27 pm  

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