The end of what can only be described as a absolutely perfect two weeks in Dorset. Our track record for weather thus far this year had not been good; our earlier two weeks in Spain were damper than we’d hoped and our week in Devon was, to all intents and purposes, nothing but wet. All change for Dorset. Not only did we not have any rain but we had almost constantly blue skies – bluer than usual, in fact, courtesy of a lack of vapour trails thanks to the unpronounceable Icelandic volcano. To be completely accurate, it did finally rain a few drops during last night but that didn’t count; we’d had a stunning two weeks.
‘T was time to leave so we hitched up and hit the roads. As we approached the A34 on the A303 a sign greeted us: “A34 closed north of the A420”. That’s between the Oxford ring road and Bicester – exactly where we wanted to go. Sod! No big deal, though, we’ll head north on the A34 up to the M4, then head east on the M4 and cut up north bypassing Marlow to High Wycombe and Princes Risborough, we thought. After a comfort break, off we set again with plan B.
As we approached the Marlow exit of the M4 another sign greeted us: “A404(M) closed between junctions 9A and 9B”. Where are they? Exactly, on the road we wanted to get up to High Wycombe. Arghh! By now we might as well keep going on the M4 and spin, in a manner of speaking round the accursed (ja)M25. Plan C swung into action. At least the (ja)M25 was actually flowing, albeit through miles and miles of yet more road works.
I know we want our roads repaired – they are, after all, in a deplorable state – but to close two of the major routes north of the M4 corridor at the same time seems a little heavy-handed. It’s in the same vein as shutting down UK airspace for six days.