Monday, 14 October 2013

Three years - a baby, two weddings, a new job and yet the potholes haven't changed...

So I have returned to my old company in west London. My cycle commute is once again along the Uxbridge Road and, while many things have changed in the three years since I was last a regular on the road, the potholed hideousness that is the road surface hasn't.

In the summer of 2010 I was at the peak of my cycling. I travelled everywhere by bike, I was the fittest I've ever been, I was just happy. Then breaking my wrist was the first in a chain of lifestyle altering changes. I was sold to another company that was nearly two hours' commute from home under TUPE (boo), I discovered I was pregnant (hooray), my sister got engaged (hooray), my parents moved to France (initially boo, then hooray), I had Eenie (hooray), sister got married (hooray), I got married on the quiet (hooray), I couldn't go back to work (boo), I filled my time helping with a local parents' group (hooray), I got a new job (hooray). And that brings us to now, today.

Suffice to say, much has happened, it's been three bloody years after all, so why the hell is the Uxbridge Road still a pothole addled mess of a road? Muscle memory means I routinely pull round certain stretches of road out of habit and what shocks me is that in many instances the problem spots from three years ago are still a problem now. Why are there routinely 5cm or deeper holes all over the place? Why has no one rectified the hideously bumpy stretch of bus lane just before Shepherd's Bush? Why has no one addressed the melted tarmaccy mess of lumps in the eastbound lead up to the bike box on the junction with Gunnersbury lane?

I can't help noticing that the particularly bad stretch of cycle lane heading west from Ealing Broadway towards west Ealing is dominated by new developments. There are several new office blocks, hotels and residential flat blocks being thrown up on that section and nearly every one of them seems to need the road drilled. That I can understand, but who is responsible for checking the road has been put back in a state befitting its use? I can't use that section as the bumps put me at risk of coming off my bike.

I'd use the A4 off-road cycleway but that's another hideous mess worthy of a post all its own.

I am not impressed. I may, in fact, write to my local paper (oh dear God, I AM that person now)...


  1. Glad you're back and I'm looking forward to reading your posts.

    However, YOU are to blame for a couple of things while you were away..........I now commute. I used to have a Giant mountain bike with slick tyres which did the job, but now thanks to my works cycle scheme I have a Bianchi Nirome 7 road bike which is just fab. My commute is 15 miles each way into Clapham Common which has it's moments.

    But, it was your blog that started it all so a BIG thank you for getting me started. Ohh, and I'm now 2 stone lighter and feeling the best I've done for a very long time.

    Welcome back.

    1. Hurray for you! That sounds amazing!

      In mitigation on starting your addiction, I too am afflicted. I am back at work so now eyeing up a rather pricey but gorgeous blue number thanks to RidetoWork. It's a slippery slope... :)