From My Window in Wenlock: Trucks…

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The other day I was astonished to look out of my kitchen window and behold this perplexing vision on the side of a carpet truck. It was a bit like spotting a unicorn. Well, what do you think this image is saying carpet-wise? Hey, come unravel me? Anyway, it made me laugh. And some days you do need a sense of humour to live where we live.

Trucks are a daily feature of Sheinton Street, a town lane that somehow in the 1980s was upgraded to an ‘A’ road. This means it is designated as a “through road”, and that there should thus be nothing on it to impede the flow of traffic.

Anyone who has read my previous post (By the Silurian Sea) will know that while the back of our cottage mostly overlooks farm fields and woods, the front is very close to this road. Along it come all manner of large vehicles – many so big that they get jammed together trying to pass one another. This includes school buses, and combine harvesters, garden fencing lorries and clay trucks. Sometimes they block the road completely. Not good news if you are trying to get to hospital in an ambulance. There truly is no other way to go without a huge detour.

Over the years I have captured a few of these HGV encounters. I call the phenomenon Truck Stuckage. Most of the photos are taken from my upstairs office window. See what I get up to when I’m supposed to be writing. (I know: it’s hard to say what is more oddball – the photos or the person who took them). And not only do I snap stills, I also from time to time put short video clips on You Tube so I can forward the links to Shropshire Council’s chief highways engineer. She’s called Alice. I think we are on first name terms. She doesn’t know what to do about this road, but a team of consultants has recently been employed to think about what might be done. Or not.

In the meantime, if the trucks get any larger, we will need the local fire brigade on permanent standby to unravel the stuckage. They will have to do this before they can answer any emergency calls north of Sheinton Street. One can see where the “through road” designation begins to fall down somewhat:

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Cee’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge

38 thoughts on “From My Window in Wenlock: Trucks…

  1. Oh my….where my cousin and her husband lived in Crickhowell Wales, the front of their 16th century house was almost right on an A road going to Brecon with the same issues that you clearly have.
    From the back of their house, it was all country:)

    Country roads simply weren’t built for the traffic we have today…..
    ah well, it does make for interesting viewing, as you say.
    Janet.

  2. No. The street was not built to handle that kind of traffic. There’s just that much more business and construction, and cars and noise etc going on. It’s the growth economy. Fight on.
    By the way, where was the header photo taken? It looks great.

    1. Hi there Stephen. The header photo was taken in the Shropshire Hills, a bronze age stone circle called Mitchells Fold (it features in one of my old posts – Witch-catching in the Shropshire Hills). That’s me, as captured by Graham – looking towards the Welsh border. And as for the trucks – yep, they are just plain silly in streets that can’t get any wider. We were once to have a relief road, but some bod decided it wasn’t needed, and then they hooked us up to big fast roads that go to a new town, so the traffic also speeds as well as shoving its weight around, and it all gets fed into a series of bottlenecks. We English are so proud of our planning…translate laissez faire market economy into total free for all for those with the strongest representation…

    1. Hello Katherine. Thanks so much for the re-blog. We were indeed supposed to have a relief road – the route was planned etc etc, and then they decided that 2,700 people in Much Wenlock did not warrant such an expensive road, because none of us had been squished or shed blood amongst the traffic. Of course it would have been good for the county’s economy – to create a road that works and enables the road haulage industry to function without infringing ordinary people’s welfare, quality of life etc etc but well, this is England. I would suggest that community concern is not much on any of the authorities’ agendas. We can’t even have an enforceable 20 mph limit to slow the trucks down so they don’t get so locked together. Or have a truck weight limit. So all one can do is laugh – hopefully in not too demented a fashion.

  3. My sister lives in Shropshire so I sent it to her.They were renting a house in a country village for some months and discovered that was on a noisy road… their bed shook apparently!Now they are back in a town and it’s much quieter.It’s a shame to ruin a lovely place like that.

    1. Yes, it’s golden goose killing, particvularly when you could add value to lovely places like Wenlock, not simply to preserve them in aspic, but so they can give pleasure to others who might wish to visit without their trucks.

  4. ‘Hey, come unravel me’ made me laugh! Good one. Oh my goodness, Tish–that road you live on….! I hope Alice looks good and hard at your photos.

    1. Oh, she does look. And look. And look. The trouble is, I think local authorities can be sued if they do things to main roads that upset truck transit times. It’s a question of being stuck between a truck and hard place 🙂

  5. We have one major route to Boston that a “no trucks allowed.” The problem is that it has low overpasses, just low enough for a tractor trailer to get stuck. Of course, truckers who don’t know the area think they are being unfairly prevented from using a fast road. They take the road anyhow, hit a bridge, and get stuck. They city has to bring in special equipment to get them unstuck without demolishing the bridge. If they actually READ THE SIGNS, they would understand the problem, but they don’t read. They just go.

    Our GPS is forever sending us down tiny little roads it apparently believes are main routes. Some of them aren’t roads at all. Maybe they were — 25 years ago– but now, they are unpaved or end at a washed out bridge. I’m betting a lot of your truckers use the same GPS system. It’s very popular — and very wrong.

  6. Europe roads, especially in small towns, do present a conundrum of old and modern in terms of traffic, don’t they? I found the same sort of problem in Germany.

  7. Some very impressive stuckage Tish – particularly that combine! How appropriate that someone called Alice should be responsible for such madness:
    “But I don’t want to go among mad people,” Alice remarked.
    “Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

    1. Robin, you’ve opened up a whole new portal on Sheinton Street. Bless you. I shall now envision sudden appearances of the Cheshire Cat atop timber trucks and on school buses.

  8. I love the first shot – like Medusa!
    I will be starting work with MSF in Swaziland next month, mainly treating HIV/TB. I hope to rekindle my blog again. Seasonal greetings to you and Team Leader.

  9. Good grief! This is an A road? More like an Eh? Road.

    My farther used to be a highways maintenance engineer after he left the RAF. He worked at Backford Hall in Cheshire.
    It was a standing joke that whenever we passed one of those yellow road sweeper carts everyone would yell, “Where’s Dad?”

  10. I think you’d hardly need a TV as there’s so much drama and entertainment going on right outside your window! But more seriously, somebody would need to do something before the trucks take out your bushes and trees – I’m sure there have been many close calls.

    1. Oh indeed there have been a few close calls, Tiny. One poor motorist had the side of their car shaved off by a passing truck that did not even stop. However, we are told that only a few deaths would promote any kind of action.

  11. Those trucks are definitely too big for those narrow roads – I do hope they can somehow be re-routed. It looks like a number of accidents must have happened under these conditions?
    Like you, I can’t figure out what the carpet has to do with the naked woman wrapped into it…

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